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Another vivid picture is that of an Alpine storm :

The sky is changed!—and such a change! O night,
And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong;
Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light

Of a dark eye in woman! Far along,

From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud,
But every mountain now hath found a tongue,
And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!

And this is in the night :-Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be
A sharer in thy fierce and far delight,—

A portion of the tempest and of thee!
How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea,
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!

And now again 'tis black,-and now the glee
Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth,
As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth.

Here is another fine allusion to the grandeur of Alpine scenery:

Above me are the Alps,

The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,
And throned eternity in icy halls
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
The avalanche,-the thunderbolt of snow!
All that expands the spirit, yet appals,
Gathers around these summits, as to show
How carth may pierce to heaven, yet leave vain man below.



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Byron's power is seen in the following passage, because it admirably exemplifies the union of great simplicity, both in conception and expression, with true poetic sublimity. The scene which excites the emotion is the memorable plain of Marathon, situated between a range of mountains on the one side, and the sea on the other :

The mountains look on Marathon, and Marathon looks on the sea; And musing there an hour alone, I dreamed that Greece might still be free;

For, standing on the Persian's grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sat on the rocky brow which looks o'er sea-born Salamis; And ships, by thousands, lay below, and men in nations; all were his! He counted them at break of day;

And when the sun set,-where were they?

Campbell used to say, that the lines which first convinced him that Byron was a true poet, were these, from the Childe Harold :—

Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild;

Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields,
Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled,

And still his honeyed wealth Hymettus yields;
There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds,
The free-born wanderer of thy mountain air;
Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,
Still in his beam Mendali's marbles glare;
Art, glory, freedom fail, but Nature still is fair!

The Childe Harold, which appeared at various intervals, is generally supposed to be a narration of the author's life and travels. Shall we cite more of the brilliant passages which sparkle over its

1 Childe is the old word for Knight.

pages Rogers thought Byron's finest passage was that on Solitude, in the second canto of the poem :—

To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,

To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er, or rarely, been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a foid;

Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold

Converse with Nature's charms, and see her stores unroll'd.

But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess,

And roam along, the world's tired denizen,

With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of splendour shrinking from distress!
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,

If we were not, would seem to smile the less,
Of all that flattered, followed, sought, and sued:
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!

Here are his moral reflections on a skull :

Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall,

Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:
Yes, this was once ambition's airy hall,

The dome of thought, the palace of the soul:
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,
The gay recess of wisdom and of wit,

And passion's host, that never brook'd control:
Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?

How vividly he presents to us the scene of a Spanish bull


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The lists are oped, the spacious area cleared,

Thousands on thousands piled are seated round;
Long ere the first loud trumpet's note is heard,
No vacant space for lated wight is found;
Here dons, grandees, but chiefly dames, abound,


Skill'd in the ogle of a roguish eye,

Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound:

None through their cold disdain are doom'd to die,

As moon-struck bards complain, by love's sad archery.

Hushed is the din of tongues-on gallant steeds,

With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-poised lance, Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds,

And lowly bending to the lists, advance.

Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance:

If in the dangerous game they shine to-day,

The crowd's loud shout and ladies' lovely glance,
Best prize of better acts, they bear away,
And all that kings or chiefs e'er gain, their toils repay.

In costly sheen and gaudy cloak arrayed,

But all a-foot, the light-limb'd Matadore Stands in the centre, eager to invade

The lord of lowing herds; but not before

The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o'er,
Lest aught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed :
His arms a dart, he fights aloof, nor more
Can man achieve without the friendly steed,-
Alas! too oft condemn'd for him to bear and bleed.

Thrice sounds the clarion; lo! the signal falls,
The den expands, and Expectation mute
Gapes round the silent circle's peopled walls.
Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute,
And, wildly staring, spurns, with sounding foot,
The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe:

Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit
His first attack, wide waving to and fro

His angry tail; red rolls his eye's dilated glow.

Sudden he stops: his eye is fix'd away,

Away, thou heedless boy! prepare the spear: Now is thy time to perish, or display

The skill that yet may check his mad career. With well-timed croupe the nimble coursers veer; On foams the bull, but not unscathed he goes;

Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear; He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes;

Dart follows dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings speak his woes.

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