The Works Of Lord Byron, Vol. 3 (of 7)
by Lord Byron
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"Tears o'er my parted Thyrza's grave I shed, Affection's fondest tribute to the dead. * * * * * Break, break my heart, o'ercharged with bursting woe An empty offering to the shades below! Ah, plant regretted! Death's remorseless power, With dust unfruitful checked thy full-blown flower. Take, earth, the gentle inmate to thy breast, And soft-embosomed let my Thyrza rest."

The MSS. of "To Thyrza," "Away, away, ye notes of Woe!" "One struggle more, and I am free," and, "And thou art dead, as young and fair," which belonged originally to Mrs. Leigh, are now in the possession of Sir Theodore Martin, K.C.B.—Editor.)]

[30] [For the substitution in the present issue of continuous lines for stanzas, Byron's own authority and mandate may be quoted. "In reading the 4th vol.... I perceive that piece 12 ('Without a Stone') is made nonsense of (that is, greater nonsense than usual) by dividing it into stanzas 1, 2, etc."—Letter to John Murray, August 26, 1815, Letters, 1899, iii. 215.]

[u] And soothe if such could soothe thy shade.—[MS. erased.]

[v] {31} By many a land——.—[MS.]

[w] {33} And shall they not——.—[MS.]

[x] ——the walk aside.—[MS.]

[y] (a) The kiss that left no sting behind So guiltless Passion thus forbore; Those eyes bespoke so pure a mind, / plead That Love forgot to { } for more. ask /

(b) The kiss that left no sting behind, So guiltless Love each wish forebore; Those eyes proclaimed so pure a mind, That Passion blushed to smile for more.— [Pencilled alternative stanzas.]

[z] {34} Well hast thou fled——.—[MS. erased.]

[aa] If judging from my present pain That rest alone——.—[MS. erased.] If rest alone is in the tomb.—[MS.]

[ab] So let it be my hope in Heaven.—[MS. erased]

[ac] {35} Stanzas.—[MS. Editions 1812-1832.]

[31] ["I wrote it a day or two ago, on hearing a song of former days."—Letter to Hodgson, December 8, 1811, Letters, 1898, ii. 82.]

[ad] I dare not hear——.—[MS. erased.]

[ae] But hush the chords——.—[MS. erased.]

[af] ——I dare not gaze.—[MS. erased.]

[ag] The voice that made that song more sweet.—[MS.]

[ah] 'Tis silent now——.—[MS.]

[ai] {36} To Thyrza.—[Editions 1812-1831.]

[aj] From pangs that tear——.—[MS.] Such pangs that tear——.—[MS. erased.]

[ak] With things that moved me not before.—[MS. erased.]

[al] What sorrow cannot——.—[MS.]

[am] It would not be, so hadst not thou Withdrawn so soon——.—[MS. erased.]

[an] {38} —how oft I said.—[MS. erased.]

[ao] Like freedom to the worn-out slave.—[MS.] But Health and life returned and gave, A boon 'twas idle then to give, Relenting Health in mocking gave.—[MS. B. M. erased.]

[32] [Compare My Epitaph: "Youth, Nature and relenting Jove."—Letter to Hodgson, October 3, 1810, Letters, 1898, i. 298.]

[ap] Dear simple gift——.—[MS. erased.]

[33] {39} Compare A Wish, by Matthew Arnold, stanza 3, etc.—

"Spare me the whispering, crowded room, The friends who come and gape and go," etc.

[aq] {41} Stanzas.—[Editions 1812-1831.]

[34] ["The Lovers' Walk is terminated with an ornamental urn, inscribed to Miss Dolman, a beautiful and amiable relation of Mr. Shenstone's, who died of the small-pox, about twenty-one years of age, in the following words on one side:—

'Peramabili consobrinae M.D.'

On the other side—

'Ah! Maria! pvellarvm elegantissima! ah Flore venvstatis abrepta, vale! hev qvanto minvs est cvm reliqvis versari qvam tui meminisse.'"

(From a Description of the Leasowes, by A. Dodsley; Poetical Works of William Shenstone [1798], p. xxix.)]

[ar] Are mingled with the Earth.—[MS.] Were never meant for Earth.—[MS. erased.]

[as] Unhonoured with the vulgar dread.—[MS. erased.]

[at] {42} I will not ask where thou art laid, Nor look upon the name.—[MS. erased.]

[au] So I shall know it not.—[MS. erased.]

[av] Like common dust can rot.—[MS.]

[aw] I would not wish to see nor touch.—[MS. erased.]

[ax] As well as warm as thou.—[MS. erased.]

[ay] MS. transposes lines 5 and 6 of stanza 3.

[az] Nor frailty disavow.—[MS.]

[ba] Nor canst thou fair and faultless see.—[MS. erased.]

[bb] Nor wrong, nor change, nor fault in me.—[MS.]

[bc] {43} The cloud that cheers——.—[MS.]

[bd] The sweetness of that silent deep.—[MS.]

[be] The flower in beauty's bloom unmatched Is still the earliest prey.—[MS.] The rose by some rude fingers snatched, Is earliest doomed to fade.—[MS. erased.]

[bf] I do not deem I could have borne.—[MS.]

[bg] But night and day of thine are passed, And thou wert lovely to the last; Destroyed——.—[MS. erased.]

[bh] {44} As stars that seem to quit the sky.—[MS.]

[bi] O how much less it were to gain, All beauteous though they be.—[MS.]

[bj] Through dark and dull Eternity.—[MS.]

[bk] {45} Sympathetic Address to a Young Lady.—[Morning Chronicle, March 7, 1812.]

[35] [The scene which begat these memorable stanzas was enacted at a banquet at Carlton House, February 22, 1812. On March 6 the following quatrain, entitled, "Impromptu on a Recent Incident," appeared in the Morning Chronicle:—

"Blest omens of a happy reign, In swift succession hourly rise, Forsaken friends, vows made in vain— A daughter's tears, a nation's sighs."

Byron's lines, headed, "Sympathetic Address to a Young Lady," were published anonymously in the Morning Chronicle of March 7, but it was not till March 10 that the Courier ventured to insert a report of "The Fracas at Carlton House on the 22nd ult.," which had already been communicated to the Caledonian Mercury.

"The party consisted of the Princess Charlotte, the Duchess of York, the Dukes of York and Cambridge, Lords Moira, Erskine, Lauderdale, Messrs. Adams and Sheridan.

"The Prince Regent expressed 'his surprise and mortification' at the conduct of Lords Grey and Grenville [who had replied unfavourably to a letter addressed by the P.R. to the Duke of York, suggesting an united administration]. Lord Lauderdale thereupon, with a freedom unusual in courts, asserted that the reply did not express the opinions of Lords Grey and Grenville only, but of every political friend of that way of thinking, and that he had been present at and assisted in the drawing-up, and that every sentence had his cordial assent. The Prince was suddenly and deeply affected by Lord Lauderdale's reply, so much so, that the Princess, observing his agitation, dropt her head and burst into tears—upon which the Prince turned round and begged the female part of the company to withdraw."

In the following June, at a ball at Miss Johnson's, Byron was "presented by order to our gracious Regent, who honoured me with some conversation," and for a time he ignored and perhaps regretted his anonymous jeu d'esprit. But early in 1814, either out of mere bravado or in an access of political rancour, he determined to republish the stanzas under his own name. The first edition of the Corsair was printed, if not published, but in accordance with a peremptory direction (January 22, 1814), "eight lines on the little Royalty weeping in 1812," were included among the poems printed at the end of the second edition.

The "newspapers were in hysterics and town in an uproar on the avowal and republication" of the stanzas (Diary, February 18), and during Byron's absence from town "Murray omitted the Tears in several of the copies"—that is, in the Third Edition—but yielding to force majeure, replaced them in a Fourth Edition, which was issued early in February. (See Letters of July 6, 1812, January 22, February 2, and February 10, 1814 (Letters, 1898, ii. 134, etc.); and for "Newspaper Attacks upon Byron," see Letters, 1898, ii. Appendix VII. pp. 463-492.)]

[bl] Stanzas.—[1812.]

[36] {48} [For allusion to the "Cornelian" see "The Cornelian," ["Pignus Amoris"], and "The Adieu," stanza 7, Poetical Works, 1898, i. 66, 231, 240. See, too, Letters, 1898, i. 130, note 3.]

[bm] {50} To Samuel Rogers, Esq.—[Poems, 1816.]

[37] ["Rogers is silent,—and, it is said, severe. When he does talk, he talks well; and, on all subjects of taste, his delicacy of expression is pure as his poetry. If you enter his house—his drawing-room—his library—you of yourself say, this is not the dwelling of a common mind. There is not a gem, a coin, a book thrown aside on his chimney-piece, his sofa, his table, that does not bespeak an almost fastidious elegance in the possessor."—Diary, 1813; Letters, 1898, ii. 331.]

[38] [Compare Collins' Ode on the Death of Mr. Thomson—"In yonder grave a Druid lies."]

[39] {51} ["Mr. Elliston then came forward and delivered the following Prize address. We cannot boast of the eloquence of the delivery. It was neither gracefully nor correctly recited. The merits of the production itself we submit to the criticism of our readers. We cannot suppose that it was selected as the most poetical composition of all the scores that were submitted to the committee. But perhaps by its tenor, by its allusions to Garrick, to Siddons, and to Sheridan, it was thought most applicable to the occasion, notwithstanding its being in part unmusical, and in general tame."—Morning Chronicle, October 12, 1812.]

[40] ["By the by, the best view of the said fire [February 24, 1809] (which I myself saw from a house-top in Covent-garden) was at Westminster Bridge, from the reflection on the Thames."—Letter to Lord Holland, September 25, 1812, Letters, 1898, ii. 148.]

[bn] As flashing far the new Volcano shone / meteors And swept the skies with { } not their own. lightnings /

/ sadly or, As flashed the volumed blaze, and { } shone ghastly / The skies with lightnings awful as their own.— [Letter to Lord Holland, Sept. 25, 1812.] or, As glared each rising flash, and ghastly shone The skies with lightnings awful as their own.— [Letter to Lord Holland, Sept. 27, 1812.]

[bo] {52} / lava of the Till slowly ebbed the { } wave. spent volcanic / / the burning or, Till ebb'd the lava of { } wave, that molten / And blackening ashes mark'd the Muse's grave.— [Letter to Lord Holland, Sept. 28, 1812]

[bp] That scorns the scythe of Time, the torch of Flame.—[Letter to Lord Holland, Sept, 28, 1812.]

[bq] {53} Far be from him that hour which asks in vain Tears such as flow for Garrick in his strain; or, Far be that hour that vainly asks in turn / crowned his Sad verse for him as { } Garrick's urn.— wept o'er / [Letter to Lord Holland, Sept. 30, 1812.]

[41] [Originally, "Ere Garrick died," etc. "By the by, one of my corrections in the fair copy sent yesterday has dived into the bathos some sixty fathom—

'When Garrick died, and Brinsley ceased to write.'

Ceasing to live is a much more serious concern, and ought not to be first; therefore I will let the old couplet stand, with its half rhymes 'sought' and 'wrote' [vide supra, variant ii.] Second thoughts in every thing are best, but, in rhyme, third and fourth don't come amiss.... I always scrawl in this way, and smooth as much as I can, but never sufficiently."—Letter to Lord Holland, September 26, 1812, Letters, 1898, ii. 150.]

[br] Such are the names that here your plaudits sought, When Garrick acted, and when Brinsley wrote.—[MS.]

[42] {54} [The following lines were omitted by the Committee:—

"Nay, lower still, the Drama yet deplores That late she deigned to crawl upon all-fours. When Richard roars in Bosworth for a horse, If you command, the steed must come in course. If you decree, the Stage must condescend To soothe the sickly taste we dare not mend. Blame not our judgment should we acquiesce, And gratify you more by showing less. Oh, since your Fiat stamps the Drama's laws, Forbear to mock us with misplaced applause; That public praise be ne'er again disgraced, / brutes to man recall From { } a nation's taste; babes and brutes redeem / Then pride shall doubly nerve the actor's powers, When Reason's voice is echoed back with ours."

The last couplet but one was altered in a later copy, thus—

"The past reproach let present scenes refute, Nor shift from man to babe, from babe to brute."

"Is Whitbread," wrote Lord Byron, "determined to castrate all my cavalry lines?... I do implore, for my own gratification, one lash on those accursed quadrupeds—'a long shot, Sir Lucius, if you love me.'"—Letter to Lord Holland, September 28, 1812, Letters, 1898, ii. 156. For "animal performers," vide ibid., note 1.]

[43] [Lines 66-69 were added on September 24, in a letter to Lord Holland.]

[44] {55} [The original of Dr. Busby's address, entitled "Monologue submitted to the Committee of Drury Lane Theatre," which was published in the Morning Chronicle, October 17, 1812, "will be found in the Genuine Rejected Addresses, as well as parodied in Rejected Addresses ('Architectural Atoms'). On October 14 young Busby forced his way on to the stage of Drury Lane, attempted to recite his father's address, and was taken into custody. On the next night, Dr. Busby, speaking from one of the boxes, obtained a hearing for his son, who could not, however, make his voice heard in the theatre.... To the failure of the younger Busby (himself a competitor and the author of an 'Unalogue' ...) to make himself heard, Byron alludes in the stage direction, 'to be spoken in an inarticulate voice.'" (See Letters, 1898, ii. 176; and for Dr. Busby, see Poetical Works, 1898, i. 481, 485.) Busby's "Address" ran as follows:—

"When energising objects men pursue, What are the prodigies they cannot do? A magic edifice you here survey, Shot from the ruins of the other day! As Harlequin had smote the slumberous heap, And bade the rubbish to a fabric leap. Yet at that speed you'd never be amazed, Knew you the zeal with which the pile was raised; Nor even here your smiles would be represt, Knew you the rival flame that fires our breast, 10 Flame! fire and flame! sad heart-appalling sounds, Dread metaphors that ope our healing wounds— A sleeping pang awakes—and——But away With all reflections that would cloud the day That this triumphant, brilliant prospect brings, Where Hope reviving re-expands her wings; Where generous joy exults, where duteous ardour springs.

* * * * *

If mighty things with small we may compare, This spirit drives Britannia's conquering car, Burns in her ranks and kindles every tar. Nelson displayed its power upon the main, And Wellington exhibits it in Spain; Another Marlborough points to Blenheim's story, And with its lustre, blends his kindred glory. 40

In Arms and Science long our Isle hath shone, And Shakespeare—wondrous Shakespeare—reared a throne For British Poesy—whose powers inspire The British pencil, and the British lyre— Her we invoke—her Sister Arts implore: Their smiles beseech whose charms yourselves adore, These if we win, the Graces too we gain— Their dear, beloved, inseparable train; Three who their witching arts from Cupid stole And three acknowledged sovereigns of the soul: 50 Harmonious throng! with nature blending art! Divine Sestetto! warbling to the heart For Poesy shall here sustain the upper part. Thus lifted gloriously we'll sweep along, Shine in our music, scenery and song; Shine in our farce, masque, opera and play, And prove old Drury has not had her day, Nay more—so stretch the wing the world shall cry, Old Drury never, never soared so high. 'But hold,' you'll say, 'this self-complacent boast; 60 Easy to reckon thus without your host.' True, true—that lowers at once our mounting pride; 'Tis yours alone our merit to decide; 'Tis ours to look to you, you hold the prize That bids our great, our best ambitions rise. A double blessing your rewards impart, Each good provide and elevate the heart. Our twofold feeling owns its twofold cause, Your bounty's comfortrapture your applause; When in your fostering beam you bid us live, 70 You give the means of life, and gild the means you give."

Morning Chronicle, October 17, 1812.]

[45] {57} [Busby's translation of Lucretius (The Nature of Things, a Didascalie Poem) was published in 1813. Byron was a subscriber, and is mentioned in the preface as "one of the most distinguished poets of the age." The passage in question is, perhaps, taken from the Second Book, lines 880, 881, which Busby renders—

"Just as she quickens fuel into fire, And bids it, flaming, to the skies aspire."]

[46] {59} [The Leasowes, the residence of the poet Shenstone, is near the village of Halesowen, in Shropshire.]

[47] [See Dryden's Cymon and Iphigenia, lines 84, 85.]

[48] [The sequel of a temporary liaison formed by Lord Byron during his career in London, occasioned this impromptu. On the cessation of the connection, the fair one [Lady C. Lamb: see Letters, 1898, ii. 451] called one morning at her quondam lover's apartments. His Lordship was from home; but finding Vathek on the table, the lady wrote in the first page of the volume the words, "Remember me!" Byron immediately wrote under the ominous warning these two stanzas.—Conversations of Lord Byron, by Thomas Medwin, 1824, pp. 329, 330.

In Medwin's work the euphemisms false and fiend are represented by asterisks.]

[49] {60} ["To Bd., Feb. 22, 1813.

"'Remember thee,' nay—doubt it not— Thy Husband too may 'think' of thee! By neither canst thou be forgot, Thou false to him—thou fiend to me!

"'Remember thee'? Yes—yes—till Fate In Lethe quench the guilty dream. Yet then—e'en then—Remorse and Hate Shall vainly quaff the vanquished stream."

From a MS. (in the possession of Mr. Hallam Murray) not in Byron's handwriting.]

[bs] {61} ——not confessed thy power.—[MS. M. erased.]

[bt] ——still forgets the hour.—[MS. M. erased.]

[bu] {64} Song.—[Childe Harold, 1814.]

[50] ["I send you some lines which may as well be called 'A Song' as anything else, and will do for your new edition."—B.—(MS. M.)]

[bv] But her who not——.—[MS. M.]

[bw] {65} To Ianthe.—[MS. M. Compare "The Dedication" to Childe Harold.]

[51] {67} [It is possible that these lines, as well as the Sonnets "To Genevra," were addressed to Lady Frances Wedderburn Webster.—See Letters, 1898, ii. 2, note 1; and Letters, 1899, iii. 8, note 1.]

[bx] To him who loves and her who loved.—[MS. M.]

[by] That trembling form——.—[MS. M.]

[bz] Resigning thee, alas! I lost Joys bought too dear, if bright with tears, Yet ne'er regret the pangs it cost.—[MS. M. erased.]

[ca] And crush——.—[MS. M.]

[cb] And I been not unworthy thee.—[MS. M.]

[cc] Long may thy days——.—[MS. M.]

[cd] Might make my hope of guilty joy.—[MS.]

[52] [Byron forwarded these lines to Moore in a postscript to a letter dated September 27, 1813. "Here's," he writes, "an impromptu for you by a 'person of quality,' written last week, on being reproached for low spirits."—Letters, 1898, ii. 268. They were written at Aston Hall, Rotherham, where he "stayed a week ... and behaved very well—though the lady of the house [Lady F. Wedderburn Webster] is young, and religious, and pretty, and the master is my particular friend."—Letters, 1898, ii. 267.]

[ce] {70} And bleed——.—[MS. M.]

[53] ["Redde some Italian, and wrote two Sonnets.... I never wrote but one sonnet before, and that was not in earnest, and many years ago, as an exercise—and I will never write another. They are the most puling, petrifying, stupidly platonic compositions."—Diary, December 18, 1813; Letters, 1898, ii. 379.]

[cf] {71} ——Hope whispers not from woe.—[MS. M.]

[54] ["In moments to delight devoted 'My Life!' is still the name you give, Dear words! on which my heart had doted Had Man an endless term to live. But, ah! so swift the seasons roll That name must be repeated never, For 'Life' in future say, 'My Soul,' Which like my love exists for ever."

Byron wrote these lines in 1815, in Lady Lansdowne's album, at Bowood.—Note by Mr. Richard Edgecombe, Notes and Queries, Sixth Series, vii. 46.]



"One fatal remembrance—one sorrow that throws Its bleak shade alike o'er our joys and our woes— To which Life nothing darker nor brighter can bring, For which joy hath no balm—and affliction no sting."

MOORE. ["As a beam o'er the face," etc.—Irish Melodies.]


In a letter to Murray, dated Pisa, December 12, 1821 (Life, p. 545), Byron avows that the "Giaour Story" had actually "some foundation on facts." Soon after the poem appeared (June 5, 1813), "a story was circulated by some gentlewomen ... a little too close to the text" (Letters to Moore, September 1, 1813, Letters, 1898, ii. 258), and in order to put himself right with his friends or posterity, Byron wrote to his friend Lord Sligo, who in July, 1810, was anchored off Athens in "a twelve-gun brig, with a crew of fifty men" (see Letters, 1898, i. 289, note 1), requesting him to put on paper not so much the narrative of an actual event, but "what he had heard at Athens about the affair of that girl who was so near being put an end to while you were there." According to the letter which Moore published (Life, p. 178), and which is reprinted in the present issue (Letters, 1898, ii. 257), Byron interposed on behalf of a girl, who "in compliance with the strict letter of the Mohammedan law," had been sewn in a sack and was about to be thrown into the sea. "I was told," adds Lord Sligo, "that you then conveyed her in safety to the convent, and despatched her off at night to Thebes." The letter, which Byron characterizes as "curious," is by no means conclusive, and to judge from the designedly mysterious references in the Journal, dated November 16 and December 5, and in the second postscript to a letter to Professor Clarke, dated December 15, 1813 (Letters, 1898, ii. 321, 361, 311), "the circumstances which were the groundwork" are not before us. "An event," says John Wright (ed. 1832, ix. 145), "in which Lord Byron was personally concerned, undoubtedly supplied the groundwork of this tale; but for the story so circumstantially set forth (see Medwin's Conversations, 1824, pp. 121, 124) of his having been the lover of this female slave, there is no foundation. The girl whose life the poet saved at Athens was not, we are assured by Sir John Hobhouse (Westminster Review, January, 1825, iii. 27), an object of his Lordship's attachment, but of that of his Turkish servant." Nevertheless, whatever Byron may have told Hobhouse (who had returned to England), and he distinctly says (Letters, 1898, ii. 393) that he did not tell him everything, he avowed to Clarke that he had been led "to the water's edge," and confided to his diary that to "describe the feelings of that situation was impossible—it is icy even to recollect them."

For the allusive and fragmentary style of the Giaour, The Voyage of Columbus, which Rogers published in 1812, is in part responsible. "It is sudden in its transitions," wrote the author, in the Preface to the first edition, "... leaving much to be imagined by the reader." The story or a part of it is told by a fellow-seaman of Columbus, who had turned "eremite" in his old age, and though the narrative itself is in heroic verse, the prologue and epilogue, as they may be termed, are in "the romance or ballad-measure of the Spanish." The resemblance between the two poems is certainly more than accidental. On the other hand, a vivid and impassioned description of Oriental scenery and customs was, as Gifford observed, new and original, and though, by his own admission, Byron was indebted to Vathek (or rather S. Henley's notes to Vathek) and to D'Herbelot's Bibliotheque Orientale for allusions and details, the "atmosphere" could only have been reproduced by the creative fancy of an observant and enthusiastic traveller who had lived under Eastern skies, and had come within ken of Eastern life and sentiment.

In spite, however, of his love for the subject-matter of his poem, and the facility, surprising even to himself, with which he spun his rhymes, Byron could not persuade himself that a succession of fragments would sort themselves and grow into a complete and connected whole. If his thrice-repeated depreciation of the Giaour is not entirely genuine, it is plain that he misdoubted himself. Writing to Murray (August 26, 1813) he says, "I have, but with some difficulty, not added any more to this snake of a poem, which has been lengthening its rattles every month;" to Moore (September 1), "The Giaour I have added to a good deal, but still in foolish fragments;" and, again, to Moore (September 8), "By the coach I send you a copy of that awful pamphlet the Giaour."

But while the author doubted and apologized, or deprecated "his love's excess In words of wrong and bitterness," the public read, and edition followed edition with bewildering speed.

The Giaour was reviewed by George Agar Ellis in the Quarterly (No. xxxi., January, 1813 [published February 11, 1813]) and in the Edinburgh Review by Jeffrey (No. 54, January, 1813 [published February 24, 1813]).


The bibliography of the Giaour is beset with difficulties, and it is doubtful if more than approximate accuracy can be secured. The composition of the entire poem in its present shape was accomplished within six months, May-November, 1813, but during that period it was expanded by successive accretions from a first draft of 407 lines (extant in MS.) to a seventh edition of 1334 lines. A proof is extant of an edition of 28 pages containing 460 lines, itself an enlargement on the MS.; but whether (as a note in the handwriting of the late Mr. Murray affirms) this was or was not published is uncertain. A portion of a second proof of 38 pages has been preserved, but of the publication of the poem in this state there is no record. On June 5 a first edition of 41 pages, containing 685 lines, was issued, and of this numerous copies are extant. At the end of June, or the beginning of July, 1813, a second edition, entitled, a "New Edition with some Additions," appeared. This consisted of 47 pages, and numbered 816 lines. Among the accretions is to be found the famous passage beginning, "He that hath bent him o'er the dead." Two MS. copies of this pannus vere purpureus are in Mr. Murray's possession. At the end of July, and during the first half of August, two or more issues of a third edition were set up in type. The first issue amounted to 53 pages, containing 950 lines, was certainly published in this form, and possibly a second issue of 56 pages, containing 1004 lines, may have followed at a brief interval. A revise of this second issue, dated August 13, is extant. In the last fortnight of August a fourth edition of 58 pages, containing 1048 lines, undoubtedly saw the light. Scarcely more than a few days can have elapsed before a fifth edition of 66 pages, containing 1215 lines, was ready to supplant the fourth edition. A sixth edition, a reproduction of the fifth, may have appeared in October. A seventh edition of 75 pages, containing 1334 lines, which presented the poem in its final shape, was issued subsequently to November 27, 1813 (a seventh edition was advertised in the Morning Chronicle, December 22, 1813), the date of the last revise, or of an advance copy of the issue. The ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth editions belong to 1814, while a fourteenth edition is known to have been issued in 1815. In that year and henceforward the Giaour was included in the various collected editions of Byron's works. The subjoined table assigns to their several editions the successive accretions in their order as now published:—

Lines. Giaour. Edition of——

1—6. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

7—20. Second edition. [47 pages, 816 lines.] Approximate date, June 24, 1813.

21—45. Third edition. [53 pages, 950 lines.] July 30, 1813.

46—102. Second edition.

103—167. Fifth edition. [66 pages, 1215 lines.] August 25, 1813.

168—199. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

200—250. Third edition.

251—252. Seventh edition. [75 pages, 1334 lines.] November 27, 1813.

253—276. Third edition.

277—287. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

288—351. Third edition. (Second issue?) August 11, 1813. [56 pages, 1004,? 1014 lines.]

352—503. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

504—518. Third edition.

519—619. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

620—654. Second edition.

655—688. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

689—722. Fourth edition. [58 pages, 1048 lines.] August 19.

723—737. MS. First edition of 28 pages. 733-4 not in the MS., but in First edition of 28 pages.

738—745. First edition of 41 pages. June 5, 1813.

746—786. First edition of 28 pages. Not in the MS.

787—831. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

832—915. Seventh edition.

916—998. First edition of 41 pages. 937-970 no MS.

999—1023. Second edition.

1024—1028. Seventh edition.

1029—1079. First edition of 41 pages.

1080—1098. Third edition.

1099—1125. First edition of 41 pages.

1126—1130. Seventh edition.

1131—1191. Fifth edition.

1192—1217. Seventh edition.

1218—1256. Fifth edition.

1257—1318. First edition of 41 pages.

1319—1334. MS. First edition of 28 pages.


The first edition is advertised in the Morning Chronicle, June 5; a third edition on August 11, 13, 16, 31; a fifth edition, with considerable additions, on September 11; on November 29 a "new edition;" and on December 27, 1813, a seventh edition, together with a repeated notice of the Bride of Abydos. These dates do not exactly correspond with Murray's contemporary memoranda of the dates of the successive issues.



as a slight but most sincere token

of admiration of his genius,

respect for his character,

and gratitude for his friendship,


by his obliged

and affectionate servant,


London, May, 1813.


The tale which these disjointed fragments present, is founded upon circumstances now less common in the East than formerly; either because the ladies are more circumspect than in the "olden time," or because the Christians have better fortune, or less enterprise. The story, when entire, contained the adventures of a female slave, who was thrown, in the Mussulman manner, into the sea for infidelity, and avenged by a young Venetian, her lover, at the time the Seven Islands were possessed by the Republic of Venice, and soon after the Arnauts were beaten back from the Morea, which they had ravaged for some time subsequent to the Russian invasion. The desertion of the Mainotes, on being refused the plunder of Misitra, led to the abandonment of that enterprise, and to the desolation of the Morea, during which the cruelty exercised on all sides was unparalleled even in the annals of the faithful.


No breath of air to break the wave That rolls below the Athenian's grave, That tomb[55] which, gleaming o'er the cliff, First greets the homeward-veering skiff High o'er the land he saved in vain; When shall such Hero live again?

* * * * *

Fair clime! where every season smiles[cg] Benignant o'er those blessed isles, Which, seen from far Colonna's height, Make glad the heart that hails the sight, 10 And lend to loneliness delight. There mildly dimpling, Ocean's cheek Reflects the tints of many a peak Caught by the laughing tides that lave These Edens of the eastern wave: And if at times a transient breeze Break the blue crystal of the seas, Or sweep one blossom from the trees, How welcome is each gentle air That wakes and wafts the odours there! 20 For there the Rose, o'er crag or vale, Sultana of the Nightingale,[56] The maid for whom his melody, His thousand songs are heard on high, Blooms blushing to her lover's tale: His queen, the garden queen, his Rose, Unbent by winds, unchilled by snows, Far from the winters of the west, By every breeze and season blest, Returns the sweets by Nature given 30 In softest incense back to Heaven; And grateful yields that smiling sky Her fairest hue and fragrant sigh. And many a summer flower is there, And many a shade that Love might share, And many a grotto, meant for rest, That holds the pirate for a guest; Whose bark in sheltering cove below Lurks for the passing peaceful prow, Till the gay mariner's guitar[57] 40 Is heard, and seen the Evening Star; Then stealing with the muffled oar, Far shaded by the rocky shore, Rush the night-prowlers on the prey, And turn to groans his roundelay. Strange—that where Nature loved to trace, As if for Gods, a dwelling place, And every charm and grace hath mixed Within the Paradise she fixed, There man, enamoured of distress, 50 Should mar it into wilderness,[ch] And trample, brute-like, o'er each flower That tasks not one laborious hour; Nor claims the culture of his hand To bloom along the fairy land, But springs as to preclude his care, And sweetly woos him—but to spare! Strange—that where all is Peace beside, There Passion riots in her pride, And Lust and Rapine wildly reign 60 To darken o'er the fair domain. It is as though the Fiends prevailed Against the Seraphs they assailed, And, fixed on heavenly thrones, should dwell The freed inheritors of Hell; So soft the scene, so formed for joy, So curst the tyrants that destroy!

He who hath bent him o'er the dead[ci][58] Ere the first day of Death is fled, The first dark day of Nothingness, 70 The last of Danger and Distress, (Before Decay's effacing fingers Have swept the lines where Beauty lingers,) And marked the mild angelic air, The rapture of Repose that's there,[cj] The fixed yet tender traits that streak The languor of the placid cheek, And—but for that sad shrouded eye, That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now, And but for that chill, changeless brow, 80 Where cold Obstruction's apathy[59] Appals the gazing mourner's heart,[ck] As if to him it could impart The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon; Yes, but for these and these alone, Some moments, aye, one treacherous hour, He still might doubt the Tyrant's power; So fair, so calm, so softly sealed, The first, last look by Death revealed![60] Such is the aspect of this shore; 90 'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more![61] So coldly sweet, so deadly fair, We start, for Soul is wanting there. Hers is the loveliness in death, That parts not quite with parting breath; But beauty with that fearful bloom, That hue which haunts it to the tomb, Expression's last receding ray, A gilded Halo hovering round decay, The farewell beam of Feeling past away! 100 Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth, Which gleams, but warms no more its cherished earth!

Clime of the unforgotten brave![62] Whose land from plain to mountain-cave Was Freedom's home or Glory's grave! Shrine of the mighty! can it be,[cl] That this is all remains of thee? Approach, thou craven crouching slave:[63] Say, is not this Thermopylae?[cm] These waters blue that round you lave,— 110 Oh servile offspring of the free— Pronounce what sea, what shore is this? The gulf, the rock of Salamis! These scenes, their story not unknown, Arise, and make again your own; Snatch from the ashes of your Sires The embers of their former fires; And he who in the strife expires[cn] Will add to theirs a name of fear That Tyranny shall quake to hear, 120 And leave his sons a hope, a fame, They too will rather die than shame: For Freedom's battle once begun, Bequeathed by bleeding Sire to Son,[co] Though baffled oft is ever won. Bear witness, Greece, thy living page! Attest it many a deathless age![cp] While Kings, in dusty darkness hid, Have left a nameless pyramid, Thy Heroes, though the general doom 130 Hath swept the column from their tomb, A mightier monument command, The mountains of their native land! There points thy Muse to stranger's eye[cq] The graves of those that cannot die! 'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace, Each step from Splendour to Disgrace; Enough—no foreign foe could quell Thy soul, till from itself it fell; Yet! Self-abasement paved the way 140 To villain-bonds and despot sway.

What can he tell who treads thy shore? No legend of thine olden time, No theme on which the Muse might soar High as thine own in days of yore, When man was worthy of thy clime. The hearts within thy valleys bred,[cr] The fiery souls that might have led Thy sons to deeds sublime, Now crawl from cradle to the Grave, 150 Slaves—nay, the bondsmen of a Slave,[64] And callous, save to crime; Stained with each evil that pollutes Mankind, where least above the brutes; Without even savage virtue blest, Without one free or valiant breast, Still to the neighbouring ports they waft[cs] Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft; In this the subtle Greek is found, For this, and this alone, renowned. 160 In vain might Liberty invoke The spirit to its bondage broke Or raise the neck that courts the yoke: No more her sorrows I bewail, Yet this will be a mournful tale, And they who listen may believe, Who heard it first had cause to grieve.

* * * * *

Far, dark, along the blue sea glancing, The shadows of the rocks advancing Start on the fisher's eye like boat 170 Of island-pirate or Mainote; And fearful for his light caique, He shuns the near but doubtful creek:[ct] Though worn and weary with his toil, And cumbered with his scaly spoil, Slowly, yet strongly, plies the oar, Till Port Leone's safer shore Receives him by the lovely light That best becomes an Eastern night.

* * * * *

Who thundering comes on blackest steed,[65] 180 With slackened bit and hoof of speed? Beneath the clattering iron's sound The caverned Echoes wake around In lash for lash, and bound for bound: The foam that streaks the courser's side Seems gathered from the Ocean-tide: Though weary waves are sunk to rest, There's none within his rider's breast; And though to-morrow's tempest lower, 'Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour![66] 190 I know thee not, I loathe thy race, But in thy lineaments I trace What Time shall strengthen, not efface: Though young and pale, that sallow front Is scathed by fiery Passion's brunt; Though bent on earth thine evil eye,[cu] As meteor-like thou glidest by, Right well I view and deem thee one Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun.

On—on he hastened, and he drew 200 My gaze of wonder as he flew:[cv] Though like a Demon of the night He passed, and vanished from my sight, His aspect and his air impressed A troubled memory on my breast, And long upon my startled ear Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear. He spurs his steed; he nears the steep, That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep; He winds around; he hurries by; 210 The rock relieves him from mine eye; For, well I ween, unwelcome he Whose glance is fixed on those that flee; And not a star but shines too bright On him who takes such timeless flight.[cw] He wound along; but ere he passed One glance he snatched, as if his last, A moment checked his wheeling steed,[67] A moment breathed him from his speed, A moment on his stirrup stood— 220 Why looks he o'er the olive wood?[cx] The Crescent glimmers on the hill, The Mosque's high lamps are quivering still Though too remote for sound to wake In echoes of the far tophaike,[68] The flashes of each joyous peal Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeal. To-night, set Rhamazani's sun; To-night, the Bairam feast's begun; To-night—but who and what art thou 230 Of foreign garb and fearful brow? And what are these to thine or thee, That thou shouldst either pause or flee?

He stood—some dread was on his face, Soon Hatred settled in its place: It rose not with the reddening flush Of transient Anger's hasty blush,[cy][69] But pale as marble o'er the tomb, Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom. His brow was bent, his eye was glazed; 240 He raised his arm, and fiercely raised, And sternly shook his hand on high, As doubting to return or fly;[cz] Impatient of his flight delayed, Here loud his raven charger neighed— Down glanced that hand, and grasped his blade; That sound had burst his waking dream, As Slumber starts at owlet's scream. The spur hath lanced his courser's sides; Away—away—for life he rides: 250 Swift as the hurled on high jerreed[70] Springs to the touch his startled steed; The rock is doubled, and the shore Shakes with the clattering tramp no more; The crag is won, no more is seen His Christian crest and haughty mien. 'Twas but an instant he restrained That fiery barb so sternly reined;[da] 'Twas but a moment that he stood, Then sped as if by Death pursued; 260 But in that instant o'er his soul Winters of Memory seemed to roll, And gather in that drop of time A life of pain, an age of crime. O'er him who loves, or hates, or fears, Such moment pours the grief of years:[db] What felt he then, at once opprest By all that most distracts the breast? That pause, which pondered o'er his fate, Oh, who its dreary length shall date! 270 Though in Time's record nearly nought, It was Eternity to Thought![71] For infinite as boundless space The thought that Conscience must embrace, Which in itself can comprehend Woe without name, or hope, or end.[72]

The hour is past, the Giaour is gone: And did he fly or fall alone?[dc] Woe to that hour he came or went! The curse for Hassan's sin was sent 280 To turn a palace to a tomb; He came, he went, like the Simoom,[73] That harbinger of Fate and gloom, Beneath whose widely-wasting breath The very cypress droops to death— Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is fled, The only constant mourner o'er the dead!

The steed is vanished from the stall; No serf is seen in Hassan's hall; The lonely Spider's thin gray pall[dd] 290 Waves slowly widening o'er the wall; The Bat builds in his Haram bower,[74] And in the fortress of his power The Owl usurps the beacon-tower; The wild-dog howls o'er the fountain's brim, With baffled thirst, and famine, grim; For the stream has shrunk from its marble bed, Where the weeds and the desolate dust are spread. 'Twas sweet of yore to see it play And chase the sultriness of day, 300 As springing high the silver dew[de] In whirls fantastically flew, And flung luxurious coolness round The air, and verdure o'er the ground. 'Twas sweet, when cloudless stars were bright, To view the wave of watery light, And hear its melody by night. And oft had Hassan's Childhood played Around the verge of that cascade; And oft upon his mother's breast 310 That sound had harmonized his rest; And oft had Hassan's Youth along Its bank been soothed by Beauty's song; And softer seemed each melting tone Of Music mingled with its own. But ne'er shall Hassan's Age repose Along the brink at Twilight's close: The stream that filled that font is fled— The blood that warmed his heart is shed![df] And here no more shall human voice 320 Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice. The last sad note that swelled the gale Was woman's wildest funeral wail: That quenched in silence, all is still, But the lattice that flaps when the wind is shrill: Though raves the gust, and floods the rain, No hand shall close its clasp again. On desert sands 'twere joy to scan The rudest steps of fellow man, So here the very voice of Grief 330 Might wake an Echo like relief—[dg] At least 'twould say, "All are not gone; There lingers Life, though but in one"—[dh] For many a gilded chamber's there, Which Solitude might well forbear;[75] Within that dome as yet Decay Hath slowly worked her cankering way— But gloom is gathered o'er the gate, Nor there the Fakir's self will wait; Nor there will wandering Dervise stay, 340 For Bounty cheers not his delay; Nor there will weary stranger halt To bless the sacred "bread and salt."[di][76] Alike must Wealth and Poverty Pass heedless and unheeded by, For Courtesy and Pity died With Hassan on the mountain side. His roof, that refuge unto men, Is Desolation's hungry den. The guest flies the hall, and the vassal from labour, 350 Since his turban was cleft by the infidel's sabre![dj][77]

* * * * *

I hear the sound of coming feet, But not a voice mine ear to greet; More near—each turban I can scan, And silver-sheathed ataghan;[78] The foremost of the band is seen An Emir by his garb of green:[79] "Ho! who art thou?"—"This low salam[80] Replies of Moslem faith I am.[dk] The burthen ye so gently bear, 360 Seems one that claims your utmost care, And, doubtless, holds some precious freight— My humble bark would gladly wait."[dl]

"Thou speakest sooth: thy skiff unmoor, And waft us from the silent shore; Nay, leave the sail still furled, and ply The nearest oar that's scattered by, And midway to those rocks where sleep The channelled waters dark and deep. Rest from your task—so—bravely done, 370 Our course has been right swiftly run; Yet 'tis the longest voyage, I trow, That one of—[81] * * * "

* * * * *

Sullen it plunged, and slowly sank, The calm wave rippled to the bank; I watched it as it sank, methought Some motion from the current caught Bestirred it more,—'twas but the beam That checkered o'er the living stream: I gazed, till vanishing from view, 380 Like lessening pebble it withdrew; Still less and less, a speck of white That gemmed the tide, then mocked the sight; And all its hidden secrets sleep, Known but to Genii of the deep, Which, trembling in their coral caves, They dare not whisper to the waves.

* * * * *

As rising on its purple wing The insect-queen[82] of Eastern spring, O'er emerald meadows of Kashmeer 390 Invites the young pursuer near, And leads him on from flower to flower A weary chase and wasted hour, Then leaves him, as it soars on high, With panting heart and tearful eye: So Beauty lures the full-grown child, With hue as bright, and wing as wild: A chase of idle hopes and fears, Begun in folly, closed in tears. If won, to equal ills betrayed,[dm] 400 Woe waits the insect and the maid; A life of pain, the loss of peace; From infant's play, and man's caprice: The lovely toy so fiercely sought Hath lost its charm by being caught, For every touch that wooed its stay Hath brushed its brightest hues away, Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone, 'Tis left to fly or fall alone. With wounded wing, or bleeding breast, 410 Ah! where shall either victim rest? Can this with faded pinion soar From rose to tulip as before? Or Beauty, blighted in an hour, Find joy within her broken bower? No: gayer insects fluttering by Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that die, And lovelier things have mercy shown To every failing but their own, And every woe a tear can claim 420 Except an erring Sister's shame.

* * * * *

The Mind, that broods o'er guilty woes, Is like the Scorpion girt by fire; In circle narrowing as it glows,[dn] The flames around their captive close, Till inly searched by thousand throes, And maddening in her ire, One sad and sole relief she knows— The sting she nourished for her foes, Whose venom never yet was vain, 430 Gives but one pang, and cures all pain, And darts into her desperate brain: So do the dark in soul expire, Or live like Scorpion girt by fire;[83] So writhes the mind Remorse hath riven,[do] Unfit for earth, undoomed for heaven, Darkness above, despair beneath, Around it flame, within it death!

* * * * *

Black Hassan from the Haram flies, Nor bends on woman's form his eyes; 440 The unwonted chase each hour employs, Yet shares he not the hunter's joys. Not thus was Hassan wont to fly When Leila dwelt in his Serai. Doth Leila there no longer dwell? That tale can only Hassan tell: Strange rumours in our city say Upon that eve she fled away When Rhamazan's[84] last sun was set, And flashing from each Minaret 450 Millions of lamps proclaimed the feast Of Bairam through the boundless East. 'Twas then she went as to the bath, Which Hassan vainly searched in wrath; For she was flown her master's rage In likeness of a Georgian page, And far beyond the Moslem's power Had wronged him with the faithless Giaour. Somewhat of this had Hassan deemed; But still so fond, so fair she seemed, 460 Too well he trusted to the slave Whose treachery deserved a grave: And on that eve had gone to Mosque, And thence to feast in his Kiosk. Such is the tale his Nubians tell, Who did not watch their charge too well; But others say, that on that night, By pale Phingari's[85] trembling light, The Giaour upon his jet-black steed Was seen, but seen alone to speed 470 With bloody spur along the shore, Nor maid nor page behind him bore.

* * * * *

Her eye's dark charm 'twere vain to tell, But gaze on that of the Gazelle, It will assist thy fancy well; As large, as languishingly dark, But Soul beamed forth in every spark That darted from beneath the lid, Bright as the jewel of Giamschid.[86] Yea, Soul, and should our prophet say 480 That form was nought but breathing clay, By Alla! I would answer nay; Though on Al-Sirat's[87] arch I stood, Which totters o'er the fiery flood, With Paradise within my view, And all his Houris beckoning through. Oh! who young Leila's glance could read And keep that portion of his creed Which saith that woman is but dust, A soulless toy for tyrant's lust?[88] 490 On her might Muftis gaze, and own That through her eye the Immortal shone; On her fair cheek's unfading hue The young pomegranate's[89] blossoms strew Their bloom in blushes ever new; Her hair in hyacinthine flow,[90] When left to roll its folds below, As midst her handmaids in the hall She stood superior to them all, Hath swept the marble where her feet 500 Gleamed whiter than the mountain sleet Ere from the cloud that gave it birth It fell, and caught one stain of earth. The cygnet nobly walks the water; So moved on earth Circassia's daughter, The loveliest bird of Franguestan![91] As rears her crest the ruffled Swan, And spurns the wave with wings of pride, When pass the steps of stranger man Along the banks that bound her tide; 510 Thus rose fair Leila's whiter neck:— Thus armed with beauty would she check Intrusion's glance, till Folly's gaze Shrunk from the charms it meant to praise. Thus high and graceful was her gait; Her heart as tender to her mate; Her mate—stern Hassan, who was he? Alas! that name was not for thee![92]

* * * * *

Stern Hassan hath a journey ta'en With twenty vassals in his train, 520 Each armed, as best becomes a man, With arquebuss and ataghan; The chief before, as decked for war, Bears in his belt the scimitar Stained with the best of Arnaut blood, When in the pass the rebels stood, And few returned to tell the tale Of what befell in Parne's vale. The pistols which his girdle bore Were those that once a Pasha wore, 530 Which still, though gemmed and bossed with gold, Even robbers tremble to behold. 'Tis said he goes to woo a bride More true than her who left his side; The faithless slave that broke her bower, And—worse than faithless—for a Giaour!

* * * * *

The sun's last rays are on the hill, And sparkle in the fountain rill, Whose welcome waters, cool and clear, Draw blessings from the mountaineer: 540 Here may the loitering merchant Greek Find that repose 'twere vain to seek In cities lodged too near his lord, And trembling for his secret hoard— Here may he rest where none can see, In crowds a slave, in deserts free; And with forbidden wine may stain The bowl a Moslem must not drain

* * * * *

The foremost Tartar's in the gap Conspicuous by his yellow cap; 550 The rest in lengthening line the while Wind slowly through the long defile: Above, the mountain rears a peak, Where vultures whet the thirsty beak, And theirs may be a feast to-night, Shall tempt them down ere morrow's light; Beneath, a river's wintry stream Has shrunk before the summer beam, And left a channel bleak and bare, Save shrubs that spring to perish there: 560 Each side the midway path there lay Small broken crags of granite gray, By time, or mountain lightning, riven From summits clad in mists of heaven; For where is he that hath beheld The peak of Liakura[93] unveiled?

* * * * *

They reach the grove of pine at last; "Bismillah![94] now the peril's past; For yonder view the opening plain, And there we'll prick our steeds amain:" 570 The Chiaus[95] spake, and as he said, A bullet whistled o'er his head; The foremost Tartar bites the ground! Scarce had they time to check the rein, Swift from their steeds the riders bound; But three shall never mount again: Unseen the foes that gave the wound, The dying ask revenge in vain. With steel unsheathed, and carbine bent, Some o'er their courser's harness leant, 580 Half sheltered by the steed; Some fly beneath the nearest rock, And there await the coming shock, Nor tamely stand to bleed Beneath the shaft of foes unseen, Who dare not quit their craggy screen. Stern Hassan only from his horse Disdains to light, and keeps his course, Till fiery flashes in the van Proclaim too sure the robber-clan 590 Have well secured the only way Could now avail the promised prey; Then curled his very beard[96] with ire, And glared his eye with fiercer fire; "Though far and near the bullets hiss, I've scaped a bloodier hour than this." And now the foe their covert quit, And call his vassals to submit; But Hassan's frown and furious word Are dreaded more than hostile sword, 600 Nor of his little band a man Resigned carbine or ataghan, Nor raised the craven cry, Amaun![97] In fuller sight, more near and near, The lately ambushed foes appear, And, issuing from the grove, advance Some who on battle-charger prance. Who leads them on with foreign brand Far flashing in his red right hand? "'Tis he!'tis he! I know him now; 610 I know him by his pallid brow; I know him by the evil eye[98] That aids his envious treachery; I know him by his jet-black barb; Though now arrayed in Arnaut garb, Apostate from his own vile faith, It shall not save him from the death: 'Tis he! well met in any hour, Lost Leila's love—accursed Giaour!"

As rolls the river into Ocean,[99] 620 In sable torrent wildly streaming; As the sea-tide's opposing motion, In azure column proudly gleaming, Beats back the current many a rood, In curling foam and mingling flood, While eddying whirl, and breaking wave, Roused by the blast of winter, rave; Through sparkling spray, in thundering clash, The lightnings of the waters flash In awful whiteness o'er the shore, 630 That shines and shakes beneath the roar; Thus—as the stream and Ocean greet, With waves that madden as they meet— Thus join the bands, whom mutual wrong, And fate, and fury, drive along. The bickering sabres' shivering jar; And pealing wide or ringing near Its echoes on the throbbing ear, The deathshot hissing from afar; The shock, the shout, the groan of war, 640 Reverberate along that vale, More suited to the shepherd's tale: Though few the numbers—theirs the strife, That neither spares nor speaks for life![dp] Ah! fondly youthful hearts can press, To seize and share the dear caress; But Love itself could never pant For all that Beauty sighs to grant With half the fervour Hate bestows Upon the last embrace of foes, 650 When grappling in the fight they fold Those arms that ne'er shall lose their hold: Friends meet to part; Love laughs at faith; True foes, once met, are joined till death!

* * * * *

With sabre shivered to the hilt, Yet dripping with the blood he spilt; Yet strained within the severed hand Which quivers round that faithless brand; His turban far behind him rolled, And cleft in twain its firmest fold; 660 His flowing robe by falchion torn, And crimson as those clouds of morn That, streaked with dusky red, portend The day shall have a stormy end; A stain on every bush that bore A fragment of his palampore;[100] His breast with wounds unnumbered riven, His back to earth, his face to Heaven, Fall'n Hassan lies—his unclosed eye Yet lowering on his enemy, 670 As if the hour that sealed his fate[101] Surviving left his quenchless hate; And o'er him bends that foe with brow As dark as his that bled below.

* * * * *

"Yes, Leila sleeps beneath the wave, But his shall be a redder grave; Her spirit pointed well the steel Which taught that felon heart to feel. He called the Prophet, but his power Was vain against the vengeful Giaour: 680 He called on Alla—but the word Arose unheeded or unheard. Thou Paynim fool! could Leila's prayer Be passed, and thine accorded there? I watched my time, I leagued with these, The traitor in his turn to seize; My wrath is wreaked, the deed is done, And now I go—but go alone."

* * * * *

* * * * *

The browsing camels' bells are tinkling:[dq] His mother looked from her lattice high—[102] 690 She saw the dews of eve besprinkling The pasture green beneath her eye, She saw the planets faintly twinkling: "'Tis twilight—sure his train is nigh." She could not rest in the garden-bower, But gazed through the grate of his steepest tower. "Why comes he not? his steeds are fleet, Nor shrink they from the summer heat; Why sends not the Bridegroom his promised gift? Is his heart more cold, or his barb less swift? 700 Oh, false reproach! yon Tartar now Has gained our nearest mountain's brow, And warily the steep descends, And now within the valley bends;[dr] And he bears the gift at his saddle bow— How could I deem his courser slow?[ds] Right well my largess shall repay His welcome speed, and weary way."

The Tartar lighted at the gate, But scarce upheld his fainting weight![dt] 710 His swarthy visage spake distress, But this might be from weariness; His garb with sanguine spots was dyed, But these might be from his courser's side; He drew the token from his vest— Angel of Death! 'tis Hassan's cloven crest! His calpac[103] rent—his caftan red— "Lady, a fearful bride thy Son hath wed: Me, not from mercy, did they spare, But this empurpled pledge to bear. 720 Peace to the brave! whose blood is spilt: Woe to the Giaour! for his the guilt."

* * * * *

A Turban[104] carved in coarsest stone, A Pillar with rank weeds o'ergrown, Whereon can now be scarcely read The Koran verse that mourns the dead, Point out the spot where Hassan fell A victim in that lonely dell. There sleeps as true an Osmanlie As e'er at Mecca bent the knee; 730 As ever scorned forbidden wine, Or prayed with face towards the shrine, In orisons resumed anew At solemn sound of "Alla Hu!"[105] Yet died he by a stranger's hand, And stranger in his native land; Yet died he as in arms he stood, And unavenged, at least in blood. But him the maids of Paradise Impatient to their halls invite, 740 And the dark heaven of Houris' eyes On him shall glance for ever bright; They come—their kerchiefs green they wave,[106] And welcome with a kiss the brave! Who falls in battle 'gainst a Giaour Is worthiest an immortal bower.

* * * * *

But thou, false Infidel! shall writhe Beneath avenging Monkir's[107] scythe; And from its torments 'scape alone To wander round lost Eblis'[108] throne; 750 And fire unquenched, unquenchable, Around, within, thy heart shall dwell; Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell The tortures of that inward hell! But first, on earth as Vampire[109] sent, Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent: Then ghastly haunt thy native place, And suck the blood of all thy race; There from thy daughter, sister, wife, At midnight drain the stream of life; 760 Yet loathe the banquet which perforce Must feed thy livid living corse: Thy victims ere they yet expire Shall know the demon for their sire, As cursing thee, thou cursing them, Thy flowers are withered on the stem. But one that for thy crime must fall, The youngest, most beloved of all, Shall bless thee with a father's name— That word shall wrap thy heart in flame! 770 Yet must thou end thy task, and mark Her cheek's last tinge, her eye's last spark, And the last glassy glance must view Which freezes o'er its lifeless blue; Then with unhallowed hand shalt tear The tresses of her yellow hair, Of which in life a lock when shorn Affection's fondest pledge was worn, But now is borne away by thee, Memorial of thine agony! 780 Wet with thine own best blood shall drip Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip;[110] Then stalking to thy sullen grave, Go—and with Gouls and Afrits rave; Till these in horror shrink away From Spectre more accursed than they!

* * * * *

"How name ye yon lone Caloyer?[111] His features I have scanned before In mine own land: 'tis many a year, Since, dashing by the lonely shore, 790 I saw him urge as fleet a steed As ever served a horseman's need. But once I saw that face, yet then It was so marked with inward pain, I could not pass it by again; It breathes the same dark spirit now, As death were stamped upon his brow.[du]

"'Tis twice three years at summer tide Since first among our freres he came; And here it soothes him to abide 800 For some dark deed he will not name. But never at our Vesper prayer, Nor e'er before Confession chair Kneels he, nor recks he when arise Incense or anthem to the skies, But broods within his cell alone, His faith and race alike unknown. The sea from Paynim land he crost, And here ascended from the coast; Yet seems he not of Othman race, 810 But only Christian in his face: I'd judge him some stray renegade, Repentant of the change he made, Save that he shuns our holy shrine, Nor tastes the sacred bread and wine. Great largess to these walls he brought, And thus our Abbot's favour bought; But were I Prior, not a day Should brook such stranger's further stay, Or pent within our penance cell 820 Should doom him there for aye to dwell. Much in his visions mutters he Of maiden whelmed beneath the sea;[dv] Of sabres clashing, foemen flying, Wrongs avenged, and Moslem dying. On cliff he hath been known to stand, And rave as to some bloody hand Fresh severed from its parent limb, Invisible to all but him, Which beckons onward to his grave, 830 And lures to leap into the wave."

* * * * *

* * * * *

Dark and unearthly is the scowl That glares beneath his dusky cowl: The flash of that dilating eye Reveals too much of times gone by; Though varying, indistinct its hue, Oft with his glance the gazer rue, For in it lurks that nameless spell, Which speaks, itself unspeakable, A spirit yet unquelled and high, 840 That claims and keeps ascendancy; And like the bird whose pinions quake, But cannot fly the gazing snake, Will others quail beneath his look, Nor 'scape the glance they scarce can brook. From him the half-affrighted Friar When met alone would fain retire, As if that eye and bitter smile Transferred to others fear and guile: Not oft to smile descendeth he, 850 And when he doth 'tis sad to see That he but mocks at Misery. How that pale lip will curl and quiver! Then fix once more as if for ever; As if his sorrow or disdain Forbade him e'er to smile again. Well were it so—such ghastly mirth From joyaunce ne'er derived its birth. But sadder still it were to trace What once were feelings in that face: 860 Time hath not yet the features fixed, But brighter traits with evil mixed; And there are hues not always faded, Which speak a mind not all degraded Even by the crimes through which it waded: The common crowd but see the gloom Of wayward deeds, and fitting doom; The close observer can espy A noble soul, and lineage high: Alas! though both bestowed in vain, 870 Which Grief could change, and Guilt could stain, It was no vulgar tenement To which such lofty gifts were lent, And still with little less than dread On such the sight is riveted. The roofless cot, decayed and rent, Will scarce delay the passer-by; The tower by war or tempest bent, While yet may frown one battlement, Demands and daunts the stranger's eye; 880 Each ivied arch, and pillar lone, Pleads haughtily for glories gone! "His floating robe around him folding, Slow sweeps he through the columned aisle; With dread beheld, with gloom beholding The rites that sanctify the pile. But when the anthem shakes the choir, And kneel the monks, his steps retire; By yonder lone and wavering torch His aspect glares within the porch; 890 There will he pause till all is done— And hear the prayer, but utter none. See—by the half-illumined wall[dw] His hood fly back, his dark hair fall, That pale brow wildly wreathing round, As if the Gorgon there had bound The sablest of the serpent-braid That o'er her fearful forehead strayed: For he declines the convent oath, And leaves those locks unhallowed growth, 900 But wears our garb in all beside; And, not from piety but pride, Gives wealth to walls that never heard Of his one holy vow nor word. Lo!—mark ye, as the harmony[dx] Peals louder praises to the sky, That livid cheek, that stony air Of mixed defiance and despair! Saint Francis, keep him from the shrine![dy] Else may we dread the wrath divine 910 Made manifest by awful sign. If ever evil angel bore The form of mortal, such he wore; By all my hope of sins forgiven, Such looks are not of earth nor heaven!"

To Love the softest hearts are prone, But such can ne'er be all his own; Too timid in his woes to share, Too meek to meet, or brave despair; And sterner hearts alone may feel 920 The wound that Time can never heal. The rugged metal of the mine Must burn before its surface shine,[dz][112] But plunged within the furnace-flame, It bends and melts—though still the same; Then tempered to thy want, or will, 'Twill serve thee to defend or kill— A breast-plate for thine hour of need, Or blade to bid thy foeman bleed; But if a dagger's form it bear, 930 Let those who shape its edge, beware! Thus Passion's fire, and Woman's art, Can turn and tame the sterner heart; From these its form and tone are ta'en, And what they make it, must remain, But break—before it bend again.

* * * * *

* * * * *

If solitude succeed to grief, Release from pain is slight relief; The vacant bosom's wilderness Might thank the pang that made it less.[113] 940 We loathe what none are left to share: Even bliss—'twere woe alone to bear; The heart once left thus desolate Must fly at last for ease—to hate. It is as if the dead could feel[114] The icy worm around them steal, And shudder, as the reptiles creep To revel o'er their rotting sleep, Without the power to scare away The cold consumers of their clay! 950 It is as if the desert bird,[115] Whose beak unlocks her bosom's stream To still her famished nestlings' scream, Nor mourns a life to them transferred, Should rend her rash devoted breast, And find them flown her empty nest. The keenest pangs the wretched find Are rapture to the dreary void, The leafless desert of the mind, The waste of feelings unemployed. 960 Who would be doomed to gaze upon A sky without a cloud or sun? Less hideous far the tempest's roar, Than ne'er to brave the billows more—[ea] Thrown, when the war of winds is o'er, A lonely wreck on Fortune's shore, 'Mid sullen calm, and silent bay, Unseen to drop by dull decay;— Better to sink beneath the shock Than moulder piecemeal on the rock! 970

* * * * *

"Father! thy, days have passed in peace, 'Mid counted beads, and countless prayer; To bid the sins of others cease, Thyself without a crime or care, Save transient ills that all must bear, Has been thy lot from youth to age; And thou wilt bless thee from the rage Of passions fierce and uncontrolled, Such as thy penitents unfold, Whose secret sins and sorrows rest 980 Within thy pure and pitying breast. My days, though few, have passed below In much of Joy, but more of Woe; Yet still in hours of love or strife, I've 'scaped the weariness of Life: Now leagued with friends, now girt by foes, I loathed the languor of repose. Now nothing left to love or hate, No more with hope or pride elate, I'd rather be the thing that crawls 990 Most noxious o'er a dungeon's walls,[116] Than pass my dull, unvarying days, Condemned to meditate and gaze. Yet, lurks a wish within my breast For rest—but not to feel 'tis rest. Soon shall my Fate that wish fulfil; And I shall sleep without the dream Of what I was, and would be still Dark as to thee my deeds may seem:[eb] My memory now is but the tomb 1000 Of joys long dead; my hope, their doom: 'Though better to have died with those Than bear a life of lingering woes. My spirit shrunk not to sustain The searching throes of ceaseless pain; Nor sought the self-accorded grave Of ancient fool and modern knave: Yet death I have not feared to meet; And in the field it had been sweet, Had Danger wooed me on to move 1010 The slave of Glory, not of Love. I've braved it—not for Honour's boast; I smile at laurels won or lost; To such let others carve their way, For high renown, or hireling pay: But place again before my eyes Aught that I deem a worthy prize— The maid I love, the man I hate— And I will hunt the steps of fate, To save or slay, as these require, 1020 Through rending steel, and rolling fire:[ec] Nor needst thou doubt this speech from one Who would but do—what he hath done. Death is but what the haughty brave, The weak must bear, the wretch must crave; Then let life go to Him who gave: I have not quailed to Danger's brow When high and happy—need I now?

* * * * *

"I loved her, Friar! nay, adored— But these are words that all can use— 1030 I proved it more in deed than word; There's blood upon that dinted sword, A stain its steel can never lose: 'Twas shed for her, who died for me, It warmed the heart of one abhorred: Nay, start not—no—nor bend thy knee, Nor midst my sin such act record; Thou wilt absolve me from the deed, For he was hostile to thy creed! The very name of Nazarene 1040 Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen. Ungrateful fool! since but for brands Well wielded in some hardy hands, And wounds by Galileans given— The surest pass to Turkish heaven— For him his Houris still might wait Impatient at the Prophet's gate. I loved her—Love will find its way Through paths where wolves would fear to prey; And if it dares enough,'twere hard 1050 If Passion met not some reward— No matter how, or where, or why, I did not vainly seek, nor sigh: Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain I wish she had not loved again. She died—I dare not tell thee how; But look—'tis written on my brow! There read of Cain the curse and crime, In characters unworn by Time: Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause; 1060 Not mine the act, though I the cause. Yet did he but what I had done Had she been false to more than one. Faithless to him—he gave the blow; But true to me—I laid him low: Howe'er deserved her doom might be, Her treachery was truth to me; To me she gave her heart, that all Which Tyranny can ne'er enthrall; And I, alas! too late to save! 1070 Yet all I then could give, I gave— 'Twas some relief—our foe a grave.[ed] His death sits lightly; but her fate Has made me—what thou well mayst hate. His doom was sealed—he knew it well, Warned by the voice of stern Taheer, Deep in whose darkly boding ear[117] The deathshot pealed of murder near, As filed the troop to where they fell! He died too in the battle broil, 1080 A time that heeds nor pain nor toil; One cry to Mahomet for aid, One prayer to Alla all he made: He knew and crossed me in the fray— I gazed upon him where he lay, And watched his spirit ebb away: Though pierced like pard by hunter's steel, He felt not half that now I feel. I searched, but vainly searched, to find The workings of a wounded mind; 1090 Each feature of that sullen corse Betrayed his rage, but no remorse.[118] Oh, what had Vengeance given to trace Despair upon his dying face! The late repentance of that hour When Penitence hath lost her power To tear one terror from the grave,[ee] And will not soothe, and cannot save.

* * * * *

"The cold in clime are cold in blood, Their love can scarce deserve the name; 1100 But mine was like the lava flood That boils in AEtna's breast of flame. I cannot prate in puling strain Of Ladye-love, and Beauty's chain: If changing cheek, and scorching vein,[ef] Lips taught to writhe, but not complain, If bursting heart, and maddening brain, And daring deed, and vengeful steel, And all that I have felt, and feel, Betoken love—that love was mine, 1110 And shown by many a bitter sign. 'Tis true, I could not whine nor sigh, I knew but to obtain or die. I die—but first I have possessed, And come what may, I have been blessed. Shall I the doom I sought upbraid? No—reft of all, yet undismayed[eg] But for the thought of Leila slain, Give me the pleasure with the pain, So would I live and love again. 1120 I grieve, but not, my holy Guide! For him who dies, but her who died: She sleeps beneath the wandering wave— Ah! had she but an earthly grave, This breaking heart and throbbing head Should seek and share her narrow bed. She was a form of Life and Light,[119] That, seen, became a part of sight; And rose, where'er I turned mine eye, The Morning-star of Memory! 1130

"Yes, Love indeed is light from heaven;[eh][120] A spark of that immortal fire With angels shared, by Alia given, To lift from earth our low desire. Devotion wafts the mind above, But Heaven itself descends in Love; A feeling from the Godhead caught, To wean from self each sordid thought; A ray of Him who formed the whole; A Glory circling round the soul! 1140 I grant my love imperfect, all That mortals by the name miscall; Then deem it evil, what thou wilt; But say, oh say, hers was not Guilt! She was my Life's unerring Light: That quenched—what beam shall break my night?[ei] Oh! would it shone to lead me still, Although to death or deadliest ill! Why marvel ye, if they who lose This present joy, this future hope, 1150 No more with Sorrow meekly cope; In phrensy then their fate accuse; In madness do those fearful deeds That seem to add but Guilt to Woe? Alas! the breast that inly bleeds Hath nought to dread from outward blow: Who falls from all he knows of bliss, Cares little into what abyss.[ej] Fierce as the gloomy vulture's now To thee, old man, my deeds appear: 1160 I read abhorrence on thy brow, And this too was I born to bear! 'Tis true, that, like that bird of prey, With havock have I marked my way: But this was taught me by the dove, To die—and know no second love. This lesson yet hath man to learn, Taught by the thing he dares to spurn: The bird that sings within the brake, The swan that swims upon the lake, 1170 One mate, and one alone, will take. And let the fool still prone to range,[ek] And sneer on all who cannot change, Partake his jest with boasting boys; I envy not his varied joys, But deem such feeble, heartless man, Less than yon solitary swan; Far, far beneath the shallow maid[el] He left believing and betrayed. Such shame at least was never mine— 1180 Leila! each thought was only thine! My good, my guilt, my weal, my woe, My hope on high—my all below. Each holds no other like to thee, Or, if it doth, in vain for me: For worlds I dare not view the dame Resembling thee, yet not the same. The very crimes that mar my youth, This bed of death—attest my truth! 'Tis all too late—thou wert, thou art 1190 The cherished madness of my heart![em]

"And she was lost—and yet I breathed, But not the breath of human life: A serpent round my heart was wreathed, And stung my every thought to strife. Alike all time, abhorred all place,[en] Shuddering I shrank from Nature's face, Where every hue that charmed before The blackness of my bosom wore. The rest thou dost already know, 1200 And all my sins, and half my woe. But talk no more of penitence; Thou seest I soon shall part from hence: And if thy holy tale were true, The deed that's done canst thou undo? Think me not thankless—but this grief Looks not to priesthood for relief.[eo][121] My soul's estate in secret guess: But wouldst thou pity more, say less. When thou canst bid my Leila live, 1210 Then will I sue thee to forgive; Then plead my cause in that high place Where purchased masses proffer grace.[ep] Go, when the hunter's hand hath wrung From forest-cave her shrieking young, And calm the lonely lioness: But soothe not—mock not my distress!

"In earlier days, and calmer hours, When heart with heart delights to blend, Where bloom my native valley's bowers,[eq] 1220 I had—Ah! have I now?—a friend![er] To him this pledge I charge thee send,[es] Memorial of a youthful vow; I would remind him of my end: Though souls absorbed like mine allow Brief thought to distant Friendship's claim, Yet dear to him my blighted name. 'Tis strange—he prophesied my doom, And I have smiled—I then could smile— When Prudence would his voice assume, 1230 And warn—I recked not what—the while: But now Remembrance whispers o'er[et] Those accents scarcely marked before. Say—that his bodings came to pass, And he will start to hear their truth, And wish his words had not been sooth: Tell him—unheeding as I was, Through many a busy bitter scene Of all our golden youth had been, In pain, my faltering tongue had tried 1240 To bless his memory—ere I died; But Heaven in wrath would turn away, If Guilt should for the guiltless pray. I do not ask him not to blame, Too gentle he to wound my name; And what have I to do with Fame? I do not ask him not to mourn, Such cold request might sound like scorn; And what than Friendship's manly tear May better grace a brother's bier? 1250 But bear this ring, his own of old, And tell him—what thou dost behold! The withered frame, the ruined mind, The wrack by passion left behind, A shrivelled scroll, a scattered leaf, Seared by the autumn blast of Grief!

* * * * *

"Tell me no more of Fancy's gleam, No, father, no,'twas not a dream; Alas! the dreamer first must sleep, I only watched, and wished to weep; 1260 But could not, for my burning brow Throbbed to the very brain as now: I wished but for a single tear, As something welcome, new, and dear: I wished it then, I wish it still; Despair is stronger than my will. Waste not thine orison, despair[eu] Is mightier than thy pious prayer: I would not, if I might, be blest; I want no Paradise, but rest. 1270 'Twas then—I tell thee—father! then I saw her; yes, she lived again; And shining in her white symar[122] As through yon pale gray cloud the star Which now I gaze on, as on her, Who looked and looks far lovelier; Dimly I view its trembling spark;[ev] To-morrow's night shall be more dark; And I, before its rays appear, That lifeless thing the living fear. 1280 I wander—father! for my soul Is fleeting towards the final goal. I saw her—friar! and I rose Forgetful of our former woes; And rushing from my couch, I dart, And clasp her to my desperate heart; I clasp—what is it that I clasp? No breathing form within my grasp, No heart that beats reply to mine— Yet, Leila! yet the form is thine! 1290 And art thou, dearest, changed so much As meet my eye, yet mock my touch? Ah! were thy beauties e'er so cold, I care not—so my arms enfold The all they ever wished to hold. Alas! around a shadow prest They shrink upon my lonely breast; Yet still 'tis there! In silence stands, And beckons with beseeching hands! With braided hair, and bright-black eye— 1300 I knew 'twas false—she could not die! But he is dead! within the dell I saw him buried where he fell; He comes not—for he cannot break From earth;—why then art thou awake? They told me wild waves rolled above The face I view—the form I love; They told me—'twas a hideous tale!— I'd tell it, but my tongue would fail: If true, and from thine ocean-cave 1310 Thou com'st to claim a calmer grave, Oh! pass thy dewy fingers o'er This brow that then will burn no more; Or place them on my hopeless heart: But, Shape or Shade! whate'er thou art, In mercy ne'er again depart! Or farther with thee bear my soul Than winds can waft or waters roll!

* * * * *

"Such is my name, and such my tale. Confessor! to thy secret ear 1320 I breathe the sorrows I bewail, And thank thee for the generous tear This glazing eye could never shed. Then lay me with the humblest dead,[ew] And, save the cross above my head, Be neither name nor emblem spread, By prying stranger to be read, Or stay the passing pilgrim's tread."[123]

He passed—nor of his name and race He left a token or a trace, 1330 Save what the Father must not say Who shrived him on his dying day: This broken tale was all we knew[ex] Of her he loved, or him he slew.


[55] {85} A tomb above the rocks on the promontory, by some supposed the sepulchre of Themistocles.

["There are," says Cumberland, in his Observer, "a few lines by Plato upon the tomb of Themistocles, which have a turn of elegant and pathetic simplicity in them, that deserves a better translation than I can give—

"'By the sea's margin, on the watery strand, Thy monument, Themistocles, shall stand: By this directed to thy native shore, The merchant shall convey his freighted store; And when our fleets are summoned to the fight Athens shall conquer with thy tomb in sight.'"

Note to Edition 1832.

The traditional site of the tomb of Themistocles, "a rock-hewn grave on the very margin of the sea generally covered with water," adjoins the lighthouse, which stands on the westernmost promontory of the Piraeus, some three quarters of a mile from the entrance to the harbour. Plutarch, in his Themistocles (cap. xxxii.), is at pains to describe the exact site of the "altar-like tomb," and quotes the passage from Plato (the comic poet, B.C. 428-389) which Cumberland paraphrases. Byron and Hobhouse "made the complete circuit of the peninsula of Munychia," January 18, 1810.—Travels in Albania, 1858, i. 317, 318.]

[cg] {86} Fair clime! where ceaseless summer smiles Benignant o'er those blessed isles, Which seen from far Colonna's height, Make glad the heart that hails the sight, And lend to loneliness delight. There shine the bright abodes ye seek, Like dimples upon Occan's cheek, So smiling round the waters lave These Edens of the Eastern wave. Or if, at times, the transient breeze Break the smooth crystal of the seas, Or brush one blossom from the trees, How grateful is each gentle air That wakes and wafts the fragrance there.—[MS.] ——the fragrance there.—[Second Edition.]

[56] The attachment of the nightingale to the rose is a well-known Persian fable. If I mistake not, the "Bulbul of a thousand tales" is one of his appellations.

[Thus Mesihi, as translated by Sir William Jones—

"Come, charming maid! and hear thy poet sing, Thyself the rose and he the bird of spring: Love bids him sing, and Love will be obey'd. Be gay: too soon the flowers of spring will fade."

"The full style and title of the Persian nightingale (Pycnonotus haemorrhous) is 'Bulbul-i-hazar-dastan,' usually shortened to 'Hazar' (bird of a thousand tales = the thousand), generally called 'Andalib.'" (See Arabian Nights, by Richard F. Burton, 1887; Supplemental Nights, iii. 506.) For the nightingale's attachment to the rose, compare Moore's Lalla Rookh

"Oh! sooner shall the rose of May Mistake her own sweet nightingale," etc.

(Ed. "Chandos Classics," p. 423)

and Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (stanza vi.)—

"And David's lips are lockt; but in divine High piping Pehlevi, with 'Wine! Wine! Wine! Red Wine!'—the Nightingale cries to the Rose That sallow cheek of hers to incarnadine."

Rubaiyat, etc., 1899, p. 29, and note, p. 62.

Byron was indebted for his information to a note on a passage in Vathek, by S. Henley (Vathek, 1893, p. 217).]

[57] {87} The guitar is the constant amusement of the Greek sailor by night; with a steady fair wind, and during a calm, it is accompanied always by the voice, and often by dancing.

[ch] {88} Should wanton in a wilderness.—[MS.]

[ci] The first draft of this celebrated passage differs in many particulars from the Fair Copy, which, with the exception of the passages marked as vars. i. (p. 89) and i. (p. 90), is the same as the text. It ran as follows:—

He who hath bent him o'er the dead Ere the first day of death is fledThe first dark day of Nothingness The last of doom and of distressBefore Corruption's cankering fingers Hath tinged the hue where Beauty lingers And marked the soft and settled air That dwells with all but Spirit there The fixed yet tender lines that speak Of Peace along the placid cheek And—but for that sad shrouded eye That fires not—pleads not—weeps not—now— And but for that pale chilling brow Whose touch tells of Mortality {-And curdles to the Gazer's heart-} As if to him it could impart The doom he only looks uponYes but for these and these alone, A moment—yet—a little hour We still might doubt the Tyrant's power.

The eleven lines following (88-98) were not emended in the Fair Copy, and are included in the text. The Fair Copy is the sole MS. authority for the four concluding lines of the paragraph.

[58] [Compare "Beyond Milan the country wore the aspect of a wider devastation; and though everything seemed more quiet, the repose was like that of death spread over features which retain the impression of the last convulsions."—Mysteries of Udolpho, by Mrs. Ann Radcliffe, 1794, ii. 29.]

[cj] {89} And marked the almost dreaming air, Which speaks the sweet repose that's there.—

[MS. of Fair Copy.]

[59] {90} "Aye, but to die, and go we know not where; To lie in cold obstruction?"

Measure for Measure, act iii. sc. I, lines 115, 116.

[Compare, too, Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza iv. line 5.]

[ck] Whose touch thrills with mortality, And curdles to the gazer's heart.—[MS. of Fair Copy.]

[60] I trust that few of my readers have ever had an opportunity of witnessing what is here attempted in description; but those who have will probably retain a painful remembrance of that singular beauty which pervades, with few exceptions, the features of the dead, a few hours, and but for a few hours, after "the spirit is not there." It is to be remarked in cases of violent death by gun-shot wounds, the expression is always that of languor, whatever the natural energy of the sufferer's character; but in death from a stab the countenance preserves its traits of feeling or ferocity, and the mind its bias, to the last. [According to Medwin (1824, 4to, p. 223), an absurd charge, based on the details of this note, was brought against Byron, that he had been guilty of murder, and spoke from experience.]

[61] [In Dallaway's Constantinople (p. 2) [Rev. James Dallaway (1763-1834) published Constantinople Ancient and Modern, etc., in 1797], a book which Lord Byron is not unlikely to have consulted, I find a passage quoted from Gillies' History of Greece(vol. i. p. 335), which contains, perhaps, the first seed of the thought thus expanded into full perfection by genius: "The present state of Greece, compared to the ancient, is the silent obscurity of the grave contrasted with the vivid lustre of active life."—Moore, Note to Edition 1832.]

[62] {91} [From hence to the conclusion of the paragraph, the MS. is written in a hurried and almost illegible hand, as if these splendid lines had been poured forth in one continuous burst of poetic feeling, which would hardly allow time for the pen to follow the imagination.—(Note to Edition 1837. The lines were added to the Second Edition.)]

[cl] Fountain of Wisdom! can it be.—[MS. erased.]

[63] [Compare—

"Son of the Morning, rise! approach you here!"

Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza iii. line 1.]

[cm] Why is not this Thermopylae; These waters blue that round you lave Degenerate offspring of the freeHow name ye them what shore is this? The wave, the rock of Salamis?—[MS.]

[cn] {92} And he who in the cause expires, Will add a name and fate to them Well worthy of his noble stem.—[MS.]

[co] Commenced by Sire—renewed by Son.—[MS.]

[cp] Attest it many a former age While kings in dark oblivion hid.—[MS.]

[cq] There let the Muse direct thine eye.—[MS.]

[cr] {93} The hearts amid thy mountains bred.—[MS.]

[64] Athens is the property of the Kislar Aga [kizlar-aghasi] (the slave of the Seraglio and guardian of the women), who appoints the Waywode. A pander and eunuch—these are not polite, yet true appellations—now governs the governor of Athens!

[Hobhouse maintains that this subordination of the waiwodes (or vaivodes = the Sclavic [Greek: boebo/da]) (Turkish governors of Athens) to a higher Turkish official, was on the whole favourable to the liberties and well-being of the Athenians.—Travels in Albania, 1858, i. 246.]

[cs] Now to the neighbouring shores they waft Their ancient and proverbial craft.—[MS. erased.]

[ct] {94} he silent slants the doubtful creek.—[MS]

[65] [The reciter of the tale is a Turkish fisherman, who has been employed during the day in the gulf of AEgina, and in the evening, apprehensive of the Mainote pirates who infest the coast of Attica, lands with his boat on the harbour of Port Leone, the ancient Piraeus. He becomes the eye-witness of nearly all the incidents in the story, and in one of them is a principal agent. It is to his feelings, and particularly to his religious prejudices, that we are indebted for some of the most forcible and splendid parts of the poem.—Note by George Agar Ellis, 1797-1833.]

[66] [In Dr. Clarke's Travels (Edward Daniel Clarke, 1769-1822, published Travels in Europe, Asia, Africa, 1810-24), this word, which means infidel, is always written according to its English pronunciation, Djour. Byron adopted the Italian spelling usual among the Franks of the Levant.—Note to Edition 1832.

The pronunciation of the word depends on its origin. If it is associated with the Arabic jawr, a "deviating" or "erring," the initial consonant would be soft, but if with the Persian gawr, or guebre, "a fire-worshipper," the word should be pronounced Gow-er—as Gower Street has come to be pronounced. It is to be remarked that to the present day the Nestorians of Urumiah are contemned as Gy-ours (the G hard), by their Mohammedan countrymen.—(From information kindly supplied by Mr. A. G. Ellis, of the Oriental Printed Books and MSS. Department, British Museum.)]

[cu] {95} Though scarcely marked——.—[MS.]

[cv] With him my wonder as he flew.—[MS.] With him my roused and wondering view.—[MS. erased.]

[cw] {96} For him who takes so fast a flight.—[MS. erased.]

[67] [Compare—

"A moment now he slacked his speed, A moment breathed his panting steed."

Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto I. stanza xxvii. lines 1, 2.]

[cx] And looked along the olive wood.—[MS.]

[68] "Tophaike," musket. The Bairam is announced by the cannon at sunset: the illumination of the mosques, and the firing of all kinds of small arms, loaded with ball, proclaim it during the night. [The Bairam, the Moslem Easter, a festival of three days, succeeded the Ramazan.]

For the illumination of the mosques during the fast of the Ramazan, see Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza lv. line 5, Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 134, note 2.

[cy] {97} Of transient Anger's Darkening blush.—[MS.]

[69] [For "hasty," all the editions till the twelfth read "darkening blush." On the back of a copy of the eleventh, Lord Byron has written, "Why did not the printer attend to the solitary correction so repeatedly made? I have no copy of this, and desire to have none till my request is complied with." Notes to Editions 1832, 1837.]

[cz] As doubting if to stay or flyThen turned it swiftly to his blade; As loud his raven charger neighedThat sound dispelled his waking dream, As sleepers start at owlet's scream.—[MS.]

[70] Jerreed, or Djerrid [Jarid], a blunted Turkish javelin, which is darted from horseback with great force and precision. It is a favourite exercise of the Mussulmans; but I know not if it can be called a manly one, since the most expert in the art are the Black Eunuchs of Constantinople. I think, next to these, a Mamlouk at Smyrna was the most skilful that came within my observation. [Lines 250, 251, together with the note, were inserted in the Third Edition.]

[da] {98} 'Twas but an instant, though so long When thus dilated in my song. 'Twas but an instant——.—[MS.]

[db] Such moment holds a thousand years. or, Such moment proves the grief of years.—[MS.]

[71] ["Lord Byron told Mr. Murray that he took this idea from one of the Arabian tales—that in which the Sultan puts his head into a butt of water, and, though it remains there for only two or three minutes, he imagines that he lives many years during that time. The story had been quoted by Addison in the Spectator" [No. 94, June 18, 1711].—Memoir of John Murray, 1891, i. 219, note.]

[72] [Lines 271-276 were added in the Third Edition. The MS. proceeds with a direction (dated July 31, 1813) to the printer—"And alter

'A life of woe—an age of crime—'


'A life of pain—an age of crime.'

Alter also the lines

'On him who loves or hates or fears Such moment holds a thousand years,'


'O'er him who loves or hates or fears Such moment pours the grief of years.'"]

[dc] {99} But neither fled nor fell alone.—[MS.]

[73] The blast of the desert, fatal to everything living, and often alluded to in Eastern poetry.

[James Bruce, 1730-1794 (nicknamed "Abyssinian Bruce"), gives a remarkable description of the simoom: "I saw from the south-east a haze come, in colour like the purple part of the rainbow, but not so compressed or thick. It did not occupy twenty yards in breadth, and was about twelve feet high from the ground. It was a kind of blush upon the air, and it moved very rapidly.... We all lay flat on the ground ... till it was blown over. The meteor, or purple haze, which I saw was, indeed, passed, but the light air which still blew was of a heat to threaten suffocation." He goes on to say that he did not recover the effect of the sandblast on his chest for nearly two years (Brace's Life and Travels, ed. 1830, p. 470).—Note to Edition 1832.]

[dd] There are two MS. versions of lines 290-298: (A) a rough copy, and (B) a fair copy—

(A) And wide the Spider's thin grey pall Is curtained on the splendid wallThe Bat hath built in his mother's bower, And in the fortress of his power The Owl hath fixed her beacon tower, The wild dogs howl on the fountain's brim With baffled thirst and famine grim, For the stream is shrunk from its marble bed Where Desolation's dust is spread.—[MS.]

B. ["August 5, 1813, in last of 3rd or first of 4th ed."] The lonely Spider's thin grey pall Is curtained o'er the splendid wallThe Bat builds in his mother's bower; And in the fortress of his power The Owl hath fixed her beacon-tower, The wild dog howls o'er the fountain's brink, But vainly lolls his tongue to drink.—[MS.]

[74] {100} [Compare "The walls of Balclutha were desolated.... The stream of Clutha was removed from its place by the fall of the walls. The fox looked out from the windows" (Ossian's Balclutha). "The dreary night-owl screams in the solitary retreat of his mouldering ivy-covered tower" (Larnul, or the Song of Despair: Poems of Ossian, discovered by the Baron de Harold, 1787, p. 172). Compare, too, the well-known lines, "The spider holds the veil in the palace of Caesar; the owl stands sentinel on the watch-tower of Afrasyab" (A Grammar of the Persian Language, by Sir W. Jones, 1809, p. 106).]

[de] The silver dew of coldness sprinkling In drops fantastically twinkling As from the spring the silver dew In whirls fantastically flew And dashed luxurions coolness round The air—and verdure on the ground.—[MS.]

[df] {101} For thirsty Fox and Jackal gaunt May vainly for its waters pant.—[MS.] or, The famished fox the wild dog gaunt May vainly for its waters pant.—[MS.]

[dg] Might strike an echo——.—[MS.]

[dh] {102} And welcome Life though but in one For many a gilded chamber's there Unmeet for Solitude to share.—- [MS.]

[75] ["I have just recollected an alteration you may make in the proof.... Among the lines on Hassan's Serai, is this—'Unmeet for Solitude to share.' Now, to share implies more than one, and Solitude is a single gentlewoman: it must be thus—

'For many a gilded chamber's there, Which Solitude might well forbear;'

and so on. Will you adopt this correction? and pray accept a cheese from me for your trouble."—Letter to John Murray, Stilton, October 3, 1813, Letters, 1898, ii. 274.]

[di] To share the Master's "bread and salt."—[MS.]

[76] [To partake of food—to break bread and taste salt with your host, ensures the safety of the guest: even though an enemy, his person from that moment becomes sacred.—(Note appended to Letter of October 3, 1813.)

"I leave this (vide supra, note 1) to your discretion; if anybody thinks the old line a good one or the cheese a bad one, don't accept either. But in that case the word share is repeated soon after in the line—

'To share the master's bread and salt;'

and must be altered to—

'To break the master's bread and salt.'

This is not so well, though—confound it!

If the old line ['Unmeet for Solitude to share'] stands, let the other run thus—

'Nor there will weary traveller halt, To bless the sacred bread and salt.'"

(P.S. to Murray, October 3, 1813.)

The emendation of line 335 made that of line 343 unnecessary, but both emendations were accepted.

(Moore says (Life; p. 191, note) that the directions are written on a separate slip of paper from the letter to Murray of October 3, 1813).]

[dj] {103} And cold Hospitality shrinks from the labour, The slave fled his halter and the serf left his labour.—[MS.] or, Ah! there Hospitality light is thy labour, or, Ah! who for the traveller's solace will labour?—[MS.]

[77] I need hardly observe, that Charity and Hospitality are the first duties enjoined by Mahomet; and to say truth, very generally practised by his disciples. The first praise that can be bestowed on a chief is a panegyric on his bounty; the next, on his valour. ["Serve God ... and show kindness unto parents, and relations, and orphans, and the poor, and your neighbour who is of kin to you ... and the traveller, and the captives," etc.—Koran, cap. iv. Lines 350, 351 were inserted in the Fifth Edition.]

[78] The ataghan, a long dagger worn with pistols in the belt, in a metal scabbard, generally of silver; and, among the wealthier, gilt, or of gold.

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