Childe Harolds Pilgrimage

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, by Lord
Byron (#1 in our series by Lord Byron)
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Title: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
Author: Lord Byron
Release Date: February, 2004 [EBook #5131]
[Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on May 7,
[Most recently updated: May 7, 2002]
Edition: 10
Language: English
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To Ianthe
Canto the First
Canto the Second
Canto the Third

Canto the Fourth
Not in those climes where I have late been straying,
Though Beauty
long hath there been matchless deemed,
Not in those visions to the
heart displaying
Forms which it sighs but to have only dreamed,

Hath aught like thee in truth or fancy seemed:
Nor, having seen thee,
shall I vainly seek
To paint those charms which varied as they
beamed -
To such as see thee not my words were weak;
To those
who gaze on thee, what language could they speak?
Ah! mayst thou ever be what now thou art,
Nor unbeseem the
promise of thy spring,
As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart,

Love's image upon earth without his wing,
And guileless beyond
Hope's imagining!
And surely she who now so fondly rears
youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening,
Beholds the rainbow of her
future years,
Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears.
Young Peri of the West!--'tis well for me
My years already doubly
number thine;
My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee,
safely view thy ripening beauties shine:
Happy, I ne'er shall see them
in decline;
Happier, that while all younger hearts shall bleed
shall escape the doom thine eyes assign
To those whose admiration
shall succeed,
But mixed with pangs to Love's even loveliest hours

Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the gazelle's,
Now brightly bold or
beautifully shy,
Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells,
o'er this page, nor to my verse deny
That smile for which my breast
might vainly sigh,
Could I to thee be ever more than friend:
much, dear maid, accord; nor question why
To one so young my
strain I would commend,
But bid me with my wreath one matchless
lily blend.
Such is thy name with this my verse entwined;
And long as kinder
eyes a look shall cast
On Harold's page, Ianthe's here enshrined

Shall thus be first beheld, forgotten last:
My days once numbered,
should this homage past
Attract thy fairy fingers near the lyre
him who hailed thee, loveliest as thou wast,
Such is the most my
memory may desire;
Though more than Hope can claim, could
Friendship less require?
Oh, thou, in Hellas deemed of heavenly birth,
Muse, formed or fabled
at the minstrel's will!
Since shamed full oft by later lyres on earth,

Mine dares not call thee from thy sacred hill:
Yet there I've wandered
by thy vaunted rill;
Yes! sighed o'er Delphi's long-deserted shrine

Where, save that feeble fountain, all is still;
Nor mote my shell awake
the weary Nine
To grace so plain a tale--this lowly lay of mine.
Whilome in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth,
Who ne in virtue's
ways did take delight;
But spent his days in riot most uncouth,
vexed with mirth the drowsy ear of Night.
Ah, me! in sooth he was a
shameless wight,
Sore given to revel and ungodly glee;
Few earthly
things found favour in his sight
Save concubines and carnal companie,

And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.

Childe Harold was he hight: --but whence his name
And lineage long,
it suits me not to say;
Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame,

And had been glorious in another day:
But one sad losel soils a name
for aye,
However mighty in the olden time;
Nor all that heralds rake
from coffined clay,
Nor florid prose, nor honeyed lines of rhyme,

Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.
Childe Harold basked him in the noontide sun,
Disporting there like
any other fly,
Nor deemed before his little day was done
One blast
might chill him into misery.
But long ere scarce a
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