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CLXVIJI Scion of chiefs' and monarchs, where art thou ? Fond hope of many nations, art thou dead? Could not the grave forget thee, and lay low Some less majestic, less beloved head? In the sad midnight, while thy heart still bled, The mother of a moment, o'er thy boy, Death hushed that pang for ever: with thee fled The present happiness and promised joy Which filled the imperial isles so full it seemed to cloy.
Peasants bring forth in safety.-Can it be,
And desolate consort—vainly wert thou wed !
Of sackcloth was thy wedding garment made; Thy bridal's fruit is ashes : in the dust The fair-haired Daughter of the Isles is laid, The love of millions! How we did entrust Futurity to her! and, though it must Darken above our bones, yet fondly deemed Our children should obey her child, and blessed Her and her hoped-for seed, whose promise seemed Like stars to shepherd's eyes :—'twas but a meteor beamed.
Woe unto us, not her ; for she sleeps well :
1 Scion of chiefs.] Byron alludes to the death of the Princess Charlotte, the daughter of George IV., and wife of Leopold, subsequently King of the Belgians, She died in 1817,
Its knell in princely ears, till the o'erstung
Against their blind omnipotence a weight
Whose shock was as an earthquake's, and opprest The land which loved thee so that none could love thee best.
A deep cold settled aspect nought can shake,
And near, Albano's scarce divided waves
1 His sympathy with the Princess does not cause him to abandon the anti-monarchical sentiments by which he was so strongly imbued.
2 Nemi.] A little village near the Arician retreat of Egeria, and within a ride of Albano.
3 Navelled.] From the Greek óupados.
4 The Epic war. The great Epic poem of Virgil, who sang of Æneas, whose reputed descendants became emperors.
Tully reposed' from Rome ;—and where yon bar
Of girdling mountains intercepts the sight The Sabine farm was tilled, the weary bard's' delight.
But I forget.-My Pilgrim's shrine is won,
Beheld it last by Calpe's rock unfold
Upon the blue Symplegades : 3 long years
reap from earth, sea, joy almost as dear As if there were no man to trouble what is clear.
Oh! that the Desert were my dwelling-place,
1 Tully reposed.] Cicero reposed at his Tusculan villa, the scene of the Tusculan disputations, and Horace was the weary bard whose Sabine farm is so frequently alluded to by himself.
2 The midland ocean.] A translation of the word Mediterranean.
3 Symplegades.). A cluster of islands near the Bosphorus, spoken of by Æschylus and Juvenal, who translates the name Concurrentia Saxa.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean-roll!
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.1
His steps are not upon thy paths,—thy fields
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
• Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.'-Scott, And Unhouselled, disappointed, unaneled.'-Hamlet, and in Homer, αφρήτωρ, αθέμιστος, ανέστιος.
2 Let him lay.] Lie; jacio used for jaces. The grammar of Childe Harold' is generally correct, though in other works Byron is careless. See Like he' - Marino Faliero; ' save I'- Heaven and Earth,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
The monsters of the deep are made ; each zone Obeys thee ; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean ! and my joy
Lord of thee, and arbiter of war.] Alludes to the pretensions of England as Queen of the Sea, to the right of search and declaration of blockades.-See the Proclamation of 1801 with regard to Russian, Danish, and Swedish vessels. See •D. J.' x. 65, . And make the very billows pay them toll.
Assyria.] Seems to stand for Syria. All the commerce of the ancient and mediæval world was Mediterranean, till from the New World and its discovery, power moved westward, first to the Peninsula, and then to England.