Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/76

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42
[CANTO I.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

XXVII.

So deemed the Childe, as o'er the mountains he
Did take his way in solitary guise:
Sweet was the scene, yet soon he thought to flee,
More restless than the swallow in the skies:[1]
Though here awhile he learned to moralise,
For Meditation fixed at times on him;
And conscious Reason whispered to despise
His early youth, misspent in maddest whim;
But as he gazed on truth his aching eyes grew dim.[2]


XXVIII.

To horse! to horse! he quits, for ever quits[3]
A scene of peace, though soothing to his soul:[4]
Again he rouses from his moping fits,
But seeks not now the harlot and the bowl.[5]
Onward he flies, nor fixed as yet the goal

Where he shall rest him on his pilgrimage;
  1. More restless than the falcon as he flies.—[MS. erased.]
  2. [With reference to this passage, while yet in MS., an early reader (? Dallas) inquires, "What does this mean?" And a second (? Hobhouse) rejoins, "What does the question mean? It is one of the finest stanzas I ever read."]
  3. [Byon and Hobhouse sailed from Falmouth, July 2, 1809; reached Lisbon on the 6th or 7th; and on the 17th started from Aldea Galbega ("the first stage from Lisbon, which is only accessible by water ") on horseback for Seville. "The horses are excellent—we rode seventy miles a day" (see letters of August 6 to F. Hodgson, and August 11, 1809, to Mrs. Byron; Letters, 1898, i. 234, 236).]
  4. —— long foreign to his soul.—[MS. erased.]
  5. —— the strumpet and the bowl.—[MS. D.]