Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/56

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22
[CANTO I.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

He knew them flatterers of the festal hour,
The heartless Parasites of present cheer.
Yea! none did love him—not his lemans dear—[1][2]
But pomp and power alone are Woman's care,
And where these are light Eros finds a feere;[3]
Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare.
And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs might despair.


    friendlessness and desolation of the Childe may be explained by the refusal of an old schoolfellow to spend the last day with him before he set out on his travels. The friend, possibly Lord Delawarr, excused himself on the plea that "he was engaged with his mother and some ladies to go shopping." "Friendship!" he exclaimed to Dallas. "I do not believe I shall leave behind me, yourself and family excepted, and, perhaps, my mother, a single being who will care what becomes of me" (Dallas, Recollections, etc., pp. 63, 64). Byron, to quote Charles Lamb's apology for Coleridge, was "full of fun," and must not be taken too seriously. Doubtless he was piqued at the moment, and afterwards, to heighten the tragedy of Childe Harold's exile, expanded a single act of negligence into general abandonment and desertion at the hour of trial.]

  1. No! none did love him ——.—[D. pencil.]
  2. The word "lemman" is used by Chaucer in both senses, but more frequently in the feminine.—[MS. M.]
  3. "Feere," a consort or mate. [Compare the line, "What when lords go with their feires, she said," in "The Ancient Fragment of the Marriage of Sir Gawaine" (Percy's Reliques, 1812, iii. 416), and the lines—

    "As with the woful fere,
    And father of that chaste dishonoured dame."

    Titus Andronicus, act iv. sc. 1.

    Compare, too, "That woman and her fleshless Pheere" (The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, line 180 of the reprint from the first version in the Lyrical Ballads, 1798; Poems by S. T. Coleridge, 1893, App. E, p. 515).]