Childe Harold had a mother—not forgot,
Though parting from that mother he did shun;
A sister whom he loved, but saw her not
Before his weary pilgrimage begun:
If friends he had, he bade adieu to none.
Yet deem not thence his breast a breast of steel:
Ye, who have known what 'tis to dote upon
A few dear objects, will in sadness feel
Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to heal.
- Childe Burun ——.—[MS.]
- [In a suppressed stanza of "Childe Harold's Good Night" (see p. 27, var. ii.), the Childe complains that he has not seen his sister for "three long years and moe." Before her marriage, in 1807, Augusta Byron divided her time between her mother's children, Lady Chichester and the Duke of Leeds; her cousin, Lord Carlisle; and General and Mrs. Harcourt. After her marriage to Colonel Leigh, she lived at Newmarket. From the end of 1805 Byron corresponded with her more or less regularly, but no meeting took place. In a letter to his sister, dated November 30, 1808 (Letters, 1898, i. 203), he writes, "I saw Col. Leigh at Brighton in July, where I should have been glad to have seen you; I only know your husband by sight." Colonel Leigh was his first cousin, as well as his half-sister's husband, and the incidental remark that "he only knew him by sight" affords striking proof that his relations and connections were at no pains to seek him out, but left him to fight his own way to social recognition and distinction. (For particulars of "the Hon. Augusta Byron," see Letters, 1898, i. 18, note.)]
- Of friends he had but few, embracing none.—[MS. erased.]
- Yet deem him not from this with breast of steel.—[MS. D.]
- [Compare Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming, ii. 8. 1—
"Yet deem not Gertrude sighed for foreign joy."]