Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: Canto the Third
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: Canto the Third
Byron, Works. 17 vols. London: John Murray, 1832-33. PR 4351 M6 1832 ROBA
2 Ada! sole daughter of my house and heart?
3 When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smil'd,
4 And then we parted--not as now we part,
5 But with a hope.--Awaking with a start,
6 The waters heave around me; and on high
7 The winds lift up their voices: I depart,
8 Whither I know not; but the hour's gone by,
9When Albion's lessening shores could grieve or glad mine eye.
II10 Once more upon the waters! yet once more!
11 And the waves bound beneath me as a steed
12 That knows his rider. Welcome to their roar!
13 Swift be their guidance, wheresoe'er it lead!
14 Though the strain'd mast should quiver as a reed,
15 And the rent canvas fluttering strew the gale,
16 Still must I on; for I am as a weed,
17 Flung from the rock, on Ocean's foam to sail
18Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's breath prevail.
20 The wandering outlaw of his own dark mind;
21 Again I seize the theme, then but begun,
22 And bear it with me, as the rushing wind
23 Bears the cloud onwards: in that Tale I find
24 The furrows of long thought, and dried-up tears,
25 Which, ebbing, leave a sterile track behind,
26 O'er which all heavily the journeying years
27Plod the last sands of life--where not a flower appears.
IV28 Since my young days of passion--joy, or pain--
29 Perchance my heart and harp have lost a string,
30 And both may jar: it may be, that in vain
31 I would essay as I have sung to sing.
32 Yet, though a dreary strain, to this I cling;
33 So that it wean me from the weary dream
34 Of selfish grief or gladness--so it fling
35 Forgetfulness around me--it shall seem
36To me, though to none else, a not ungrateful theme.
V37 He, who grown aged in this world of woe,
38 In deeds, not years, piercing the depths of life,
39 So that no wonder waits him; nor below
40 Can love or sorrow, fame, ambition, strife,
41 Cut to his heart again with the keen knife
42 Of silent, sharp endurance: he can tell
43 Why thought seeks refuge in lone caves, yet rife
44 With airy images, and shapes which dwell
45Still unimpair'd, though old, in the soul's haunted cell.
VI46 'Tis to create, and in creating live
47 A being more intense, that we endow
48 With form our fancy, gaining as we give
49 The life we image, even as I do now.
50 What am I? Nothing: but not so art thou,
51 Soul of my thought! with whom I traverse earth,
52 Invisible but gazing, as I glow
53 Mix'd with thy spirit, blended with thy birth,
54 And feeling still with thee in my crush'd feelings' dearth.
VII55 Yet must I think less wildly: I have thought
56 Too long and darkly, till my brain became,
57 In its own eddy boiling and o'er-wrought,
58 A whirling gulf of fantasy and flame:
59 And thus, untaught in youth my heart to tame,
60 My springs of life were poison'd. 'Tis too late!
61 Yet am I chang'd; though still enough the same
62 In strength to bear what time cannot abate,
63And feed on bitter fruits without accusing Fate.
65 And the spell closes with its silent seal.
66 Long absent HAROLD re-appears at last;
67 He of the breast which fain no more would feel,
68 Wrung with the wounds which kill not, but ne'er heal,
69 Yet Time, who changes all, had alter'd him
70 In soul and aspect as in age: years steal
71 Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb;
72And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
IX73 His had been quaff'd too quickly, and he found
74 The dregs were wormwood; but he fill'd again,
75 And from a purer fount, on holier ground,
76 And deem'd its spring perpetual; but in vain!
77 Still round him clung invisibly a chain
78 Which gall'd for ever, fettering though unseen,
79 And heavy though it clank'd not; worn with pain,
80 Which pin'd although it spoke not, and grew keen,
81Entering with every step he took through many a scene.
X82 Secure in guarded coldness, he had mix'd
83 Again in fancied safety with his kind,
84 And deem'd his spirit now so firmly fix'd
85 And sheath'd with an invulnerable mind,
86 That, if no joy, no sorrow lurk'd behind;
87 And he, as one, might 'midst the many stand
88 Unheeded, searching through the crowd to find
89 Fit speculation; such as in strange land
90He found in wonder-works of God and Nature's hand.
XI91 But who can view the ripen'd rose, nor seek
92 To wear it? who can curiously behold
93 The smoothness and the sheen of beauty's cheek,
94 Nor feel the heart can never all grow old?
95 Who can contemplate Fame through clouds unfold
96 The star which rises o'er her steep, nor climb?
97 Harold, once more within the vortex, roll'd
98 On with the giddy circle, chasing Time,
99Yet with a nobler aim than in his youth's fond prime.
XII100 But soon he knew himself the most unfit
101 Of men to herd with Man; with whom he held
102 Little in common; untaught to submit
103 His thoughts to others, though his soul was quell'd
104 In youth by his own thoughts; still uncompell'd,
105 He would not yield dominion of his mind
106 To spirits against whom his own rebell'd;
107 Proud though in desolation; which could find
108A life within itself, to breathe without mankind.
XIII109 Where rose the mountains, there to him were friends;
110 Where roll'd the ocean, thereon was his home;
111 Where a blue sky, and glowing clime, extends,
112 He had the passion and the power to roam;
113 The desert, forest, cavern, breaker's foam,
114 Were unto him companionship; they spake
115 A mutual language, clearer than the tome
116 Of his land's tongue, which he would oft forsake
117For Nature's pages glass'd by sunbeams on the lake.
XIV118 Like the Chaldean, he could watch the stars,
119 Till he had peopled them with beings bright
120 As their own beams; and earth, and earthborn jars,
121 And human frailties, were forgotten quite:
122 Could he have kept his spirit to that flight
123 He had been happy; but this clay will sink
124 Its spark immortal, envying it the light
125 To which it mounts, as if to break the link
126That keeps us from yon heaven which woos us to its brink.
XV127 But in Man's dwellings he became a thing
128 Restless and worn, and stern and wearisome,
129 Droop'd as a wild-born falcon with clipp'd wing,
130 To whom the boundless air alone were home:
131 Then came his fit again, which to o'ercome,
132 As eagerly the barr'd-up bird will beat
133 His breast and beak against his wiry dome
134 Till the blood tinge his plumage, so the heat
135Of his impeded soul would through his bosom eat.
XVI136 Self-exil'd Harold wanders forth again,
137 With nought of hope left, but with less of gloom;
138 The very knowledge that he lived in vain,
139 That all was over on this side the tomb,
140 Had made Despair a smilingness assume,
141 Which, though 'twere wild--as on the plunder'd wreck
142 When mariners would madly meet their doom
143 With draughts intemperate on the sinking deck--,
144Did yet inspire a cheer, which he forbore to check.
XVII145 Stop!--for thy tread is on an Empire's dust!
146 An Earthquake's spoil is sepulchred below!
147 Is the spot mark'd with no colossal bust?
148 Nor column trophied for triumphal show?
149 None; but the moral's truth tells simpler so:
150 As the ground was before, thus let it be;
151 How that red rain hath made the harvest grow!
152 And is this all the world has gain'd by thee,
153Thou first and last of fields! king-making Victory?
XVIII154 And Harold stands upon this place of skulls,
156 How in an hour the power which gave annuls
157 Its gifts, transferring fame as fleeting too!
159 Then tore with bloody talon the rent plain,
160 Pierc'd by the shaft of banded nations through;
161 Ambition's life and labours all were vain;
162He wears the shatter'd links of the world's broken chain.
XIX163 Fit retribution! Gaul may champ the bit
164 And foam in fetters--but is Earth more free?
165 Did nations combat to make One submit;
166 Or league to teach all kings true sovereignty?
168 The patch'd-up idol of enlighten'd days?
169 Shall we, who struck the Lion down, shall we
170 Pay the Wolf homage? proffering lowly gaze
171And servile knees to thrones? No; prove before ye praise!
XX172 If not, o'er one fallen despot boast no more!
173 In vain fair cheeks were furrow'd with hot tears
174 For Europe's flowers long rooted up before
175 The trampler of her vineyards; in vain years
176 Of death, depopulation, bondage, fears,
177 Have all been borne, and broken by the accord
178 Of rous'd-up millions; all that most endears
179 Glory, is when the myrtle wreathes a sword
182 And Belgium's capital had gather'd then
183 Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and bright
184 The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
185 A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
186 Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
187 Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again,
188 And all went merry as a marriage bell;
189But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!
XXII190 Did ye not hear it?--No; 'twas but the wind,
191 Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
192 On with the dance! let joy be unconfin'd;
193 No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
194 To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet--
195 But hark!--that heavy sound breaks in once more,
196 As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
197 And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
198Arm! Arm! it is--it is--the cannon's opening roar!
XXIII199 Within a window'd niche of that high hall
201 That sound the first amidst the festival,
202 And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
203 And when they smil'd because he deem'd it near,
204 His heart more truly knew that peal too well
205 Which stretch'd his father on a bloody bier,
206 And rous'd the vengeance blood alone could quell:
207He rush'd into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.
XXIV208 Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
209 And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
210 And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
211 Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness;
212 And there were sudden partings, such as press
213 The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
214 Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess
215 If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
216Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise!
XXV217 And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
218 The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
219 Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
220 And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
221 And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
222 And near, the beat of the alarming drum
223 Rous'd up the soldier ere the morning star;
224 While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb,
225Or whispering, with white lips--"The foe! they come! they come!'
227 The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
228 Have heard, and heard, too, have her Saxon foes.
229 How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,
230 Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
231 Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers
232 With the fierce native daring which instils
233 The stirring memory of a thousand years,
234And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears!
236 Dewy with nature's tear-drops as they pass,
237 Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,
238 Over the unreturning brave--alas!
239 Ere evening to be trodden like the grass
240 Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
241 In its next verdure, when this fiery mass
242 Of living valour, rolling on the foe
243And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low.
XXVIII244 Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
245 Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
246 The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
247 The morn the marshalling in arms, the day
248 Battle's magnificently stern array!
249 The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent
250 The earth is cover'd thick with other clay,
251 Which her own clay shall cover, heap'd and pent,
252Rider and horse--friend, foe--in one red burial blent!
317 Whose spirit, antithetically mixt,
318 One moment of the mightiest, and again
319 On little objects with like firmness fixt;
320 Extreme in all things! hadst thou been betwixt,
321 Thy throne had still been thine, or never been;
322 For daring made thy rise as fall: thou seek'st
323 Even now to re-assume the imperial mien,
324And shake again the world, the Thunderer of the scene!
XXXVII325 Conqueror and captive of the earth art thou!
326 She trembles at thee still, and thy wild name
327 Was ne'er more bruited in men's minds than now
328 That thou art nothing, save the jest of Fame,
329 Who woo'd thee once, thy vassal, and became
330 The flatterer of thy fierceness, till thou wert
331 A god unto thyself; nor less the same
332 To the astounded kingdoms all inert,
333Who deem'd thee for a time whate'er thou didst assert.
XXXVIII334 Oh, more or less than man--in high or low,
335 Battling with nations, flying from the field;
336 Now making monarchs' necks thy footstool, now
337 More than thy meanest soldier taught to yield;
338 An empire thou couldst crush, command, rebuild,
339 But govern not thy pettiest passion, nor,
340 However deeply in men's spirits skill'd,
341 Look through thine own, nor curb the lust of war,
342Nor learn that tempted Fate will leave the loftiest star.
XXXIX343 Yet well thy soul hath brook'd the turning tide
344 With that untaught innate philosophy,
345 Which, be it wisdom, coldness, or deep pride,
346 Is gall and wormwood to an enemy.
347 When the whole host of hatred stood hard by,
348 To watch and mock thee shrinking, thou hast smil'd
349 With a sedate and all-enduring eye;
350 When Fortune fled her spoil'd and favourite child,
351He stood unbow'd beneath the ills upon him pil'd.
XL352 Sager than in thy fortunes; for in them
353 Ambition steel'd thee on too far to show
354 That just habitual scorn, which could contemn
355 Men and their thoughts; 'twas wise to feel, not so
356 To wear it ever on thy lip and brow,
357 And spurn the instruments thou wert to use
358 Till they were turn'd unto thine overthrow;
359 'Tis but a worthless world to win or lose;
360So hath it prov'd to thee, and all such lot who choose.
XLI361 If, like a tower upon a headland rock,
362 Thou hadst been made to stand or fall alone,
363 Such scorn of man had help'd to brave the shock;
364 But men's thoughts were the steps which pav'd thy throne,
365 Their admiration thy best weapon shone;
367 (Unless aside thy purple had been thrown)
368 Like stern Diogenes to mock at men;
369For sceptred cynics earth were far too wide a den.
XLII370 But quiet to quick bosoms is a hell,
371 And there hath been thy bane; there is a fire
372 And motion of the soul which will not dwell
373 In its own narrow being, but aspire
374 Beyond the fitting medium of desire;
375 And, but once kindled, quenchless evermore,
376 Preys upon high adventure, nor can tire
377 Of aught but rest; a fever at the core,
378Fatal to him who bears, to all who ever bore.
XLIII379 This makes the madmen who have made men mad
380 By their contagion; Conquerors and Kings,
381 Founders of sects and systems, to whom add
382 Sophists, Bards, Statesmen, all unquiet things
383 Which stir too strongly the soul's secret springs,
384 And are themselves the fools to those they fool;
385 Envied, yet how unenviable! what stings
386 Are theirs! One breast laid open were a school
387Which would unteach mankind the lust to shine or rule:
XLIV388 Their breath is agitation, and their life
389 A storm whereon they ride, to sink at last,
390 And yet so nurs'd and bigoted to strife,
391 That should their days, surviving perils past,
392 Melt to calm twilight, they feel overcast
393 With sorrow and supineness, and so die;
394 Even as a flame unfed, which runs to waste
395 With its own flickering, or a sword laid by,
396Which eats into itself, and rusts ingloriously.
XLV397 He who ascends to mountain-tops, shall find
398 The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow;
399 He who surpasses or subdues mankind,
400 Must look down on the hate of those below.
401 Though high above the sun of glory glow,
402 And far beneath the earth and ocean spread,
403 Round him are icy rocks, and loudly blow
404 Contending tempests on his naked head,
405And thus reward the toils which to those summits led.
645 The mirror where the stars and mountains view
646 The stillness of their aspect in each trace
647 Its clear depth yields of their far height and hue:
648 There is too much of man here, to look through
649 With a fit mind the might which I behold;
650 But soon in me shall loneliness renew
651 Thoughts hid, but not less cherish'd than of old,
652Ere mingling with the herd had penn'd me in their fold.
LXIX653 To fly from, need not be to hate, mankind:
654 All are not fit with them to stir and toil,
655 Nor is it discontent to keep the mind
656 Deep in its fountain, lest it over boil
657 In the hot throng, where we become the spoil
658 Of our infection, till too late and long
659 We may deplore and struggle with the coil,
660 In wretched interchange of wrong for wrong
661Midst a contentious world, striving where none are strong.
LXX662 There, in a moment we may plunge our years
663 In fatal penitence, and in the blight
664 Of our own soul turn all our blood to tears,
665 And colour things to come with hues of Night;
666 The race of life becomes a hopeless flight
667 To those that walk in darkness: on the sea
668 The boldest steer but where their ports invite;
669 But there are wanderers o'er Eternity
670Whose bark drives on and on, and anchor'd ne'er shall be.
LXXI671 Is it not better, then, to be alone,
672 And love Earth only for its earthly sake?
673 By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone,
674 Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake,
675 Which feeds it as a mother who doth make
676 A fair but froward infant her own care,
677 Kissing its cries away as these awake--
678 Is it not better thus our lives to wear,
679Than join the crushing crowd, doom'd to inflict or bear?
LXXII680 I live not in myself, but I become
681 Portion of that around me; and to me
682 High mountains are a feeling, but the hum
683 Of human cities torture: I can see
684 Nothing to loathe in nature, save to be
685 A link reluctant in a fleshly chain,
686 Class'd among creatures, when the soul can flee,
687 And with the sky--the peak--the heaving plain
688Of ocean, or the stars, mingle--and not in vain.
LXXIII689 And thus I am absorb'd, and this is life:
690 I look upon the peopled desert past,
691 As on a place of agony and strife,
692 Where, for some sin, to sorrow I was cast,
693 To act and suffer, but remount at last
694 With a fresh pinion; which I feel to spring,
695 Though young, yet waxing vigorous as the blast
696 Which it would cope with, on delighted wing,
697Spurning the clay-cold bonds which round our being cling.
LXXIV698 And when, at length, the mind shall be all free
699 From what it hates in this degraded form,
700 Reft of its carnal life, save what shall be
701 Existent happier in the fly and worm,
702 When elements to elements conform,
703 And dust is as it should be, shall I not
704 Feel all I see, less dazzling, but more warm?
705 The bodiless thought? the Spirit of each spot?
706Of which, even now, I share at times the immortal lot?
LXXV707 Are not the mountains, waves and skies a part
708 Of me and of my soul, as I of them?
709 Is not the love of these deep in my heart
710 With a pure passion? should I not contemn
711 All objects, if compar'd with these? and stem
712 A tide of suffering, rather than forego
713 Such feelings for the hard and worldly phlegm
714 Of those whose eyes are only turn'd below,
715Gazing upon the ground, with thoughts which dare not glow?
LXXVI716 But this is not my theme; and I return
717 To that which is immediate, and require
718 Those who find contemplation in the urn
720 A native of the land where I respire
721 The clear air for a while--a passing guest,
722 Where he became a being--whose desire
723 Was to be glorious; 'twas a foolish quest,
724The which to gain and keep, he sacrific'd all rest.
LXXVII725 Here the self-torturing sophist, wild Rousseau,
726 The apostle of affliction, he who threw
727 Enchantment over passion, and from woe
728 Wrung overwhelming eloquence, first drew
729 The breath which made him wretched; yet he knew
730 How to make madness beautiful, and cast
731 O'er erring deeds and thoughts a heavenly hue
732 Of words, like sunbeams, dazzling as they past
733The eyes, which o'er them shed tears feelingly and fast.
LXXVIII734 His love was passion's essence--as a tree
735 On fire by lightning, with ethereal flame
736 Kindled he was, and blasted; for to be
737 Thus, and enamour'd, were in him the same.
738 But his was not the love of living dame,
739 Nor of the dead who rise upon our dreams,
740 But of ideal beauty, which became
741 In him existence, and o'erflowing teems
742Along his burning page, distemper'd though it seems.
LXXIX743 This breathed itself to life in Julie, this
744 Invested her with all that's wild and sweet;
746 Which every morn his fever'd lip would greet
747 From hers, who but with friendship his would meet;
748 But to that gentle touch through brain and breast
749 Flash'd the thrill'd spirit's love-devouring heat;
750 In that absorbing sigh perchance more blest
751Than vulgar minds may be with all they seek possest.
LXXX752 His life was one long war with self-sought foes,
753 Or friends by him self-banish'd; for his mind
754 Had grown Suspicion's sanctuary, and chose,
755 For its own cruel sacrifice, the kind,
756 'Gainst whom he rag'd with fury strange and blind.
757 But he was frenzied--wherefore, who may know?
758 Since cause might be which skill could never find;
759 But he was frenzied by disease or woe,
760To that worst pitch of all, which wears a reasoning show.
LXXXI761 For then he was inspir'd, and from him came,
763 Those oracles which set the world in flame,
764 Nor ceas'd to burn till kingdoms were no more:
765 Did he not this for France? which lay before
766 Bow'd to the inborn tyranny of years?
767 Broken and trembling to the yoke she bore,
768 Till by the voice of him and his compeers
769Rous'd up to too much wrath, which follows o'ergrown fears?
LXXXII770 They made themselves a fearful monument!
771 The wreck of old opinions--things which grew,
772 Breath'd from the birth of Time: the veil they rent,
773 And what behind it lay, all earth shall view.
774 But good with ill they also overthrew,
775 Leaving but ruins, wherewith to rebuild
777 Dungeons and thrones, which the same hour refill'd
778As heretofore, because ambition was self-will'd.
LXXXIII779 But this will not endure, nor be endur'd!
780 Mankind have felt their strength and made it felt.
781 They might have us'd it better, but, allur'd
782 By their new vigour, sternly have they dealt
783 On one another; pity ceas'd to melt
784 With her once natural charities. But they,
785 Who in oppression's darkness cav'd had dwelt,
786 They were not eagles, nourish'd with the day;
787What marvel then, at times, if they mistook their prey?
LXXXIV788 What deep wounds ever clos'd without a scar?
789 The heart's bleed longest, and but heal to wear
790 That which disfigures it; and they who war
791 With their own hopes, and have been vanquish'd, bear
792 Silence, but not submission: in his lair
793 Fix'd Passion holds his breath, until the hour
794 Which shall atone for years; none need despair:
795 It came--it cometh--and will come--the power
796To punish or forgive--in one we shall be slower.
1] The first two cantos were first published in 1812 and the hero's pilgrimage covers much of the ground of Byron's recent tour (1809-11) in southern Europe. In April 1816, Byron quit England for good, travelled through Brussels, sailed up the Rhine to Switzerland, then settled on the shores of Lake Geneva (Leman), where Shelley was his neighbour and frequent companion during the spring and summer. Canto the Third was written in May and June and first published in November. Childe Harold takes the same journey as Byron had just taken, and the line between the poet's own meditations and those he attributes to his pilgrim is rarely easy to draw. Canto the Fourth was written in 1817 and first published in 1818. Byron here uses his travels in Italy as poetic material without resorting to the fictional hero, Harold. "It was in vain that I asserted, and imagined I had drawn, a distinction between the author and the pilgrim; and the very anxiety to preserve this difference, and disappointment at finding it unavailing, so far crushed my efforts in the composition, that I determined to abandon it altogether--and have done so" (Byron's "Preface" to Canto the Fourth).
Childe: an archaic title of courtesy once given to a nobleman's eldest son.
Byron's daughter Ada was born in December 1815. He had not seen her since she was five weeks old. Back to Line
Childe: an archaic title of courtesy once given to a nobleman's eldest son.
Byron's daughter Ada was born in December 1815. He had not seen her since she was five weeks old. Back to Line
19] I did sing: refers to his composition of the first two cantos. Back to Line
64] Something too much of this: Hamlet, II, 160: the phrase with which Hamlet abruptly brings to a close a revelation of personal feelings to Horatio. Back to Line
155] Waterloo. The battle was fought on June 18, 1815. Back to Line
158] "pride of place": "a term of falconry, and means the highest pitch of flight" (Byron's note). Back to Line
167] reviving Thraldom: the Holy Alliance and reviving despotism in general; the restoration of Bourbon rule in France and Italy in particular. Back to Line
180] Harmodius and Aristogeiton slew Hipparchus, the Athenian tyrant, at the Panathenaic festival, having hidden their swords in myrtle. Back to Line
181] sound of revelry. The Duke of Richmond's famous ball was actually on June 15, the eve of the battle of Quatrebras not Waterloo. Back to Line
200] Brunswick's fated chieftain. Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick and nephew of George III, was killed at Quatrebras. His father had been killed at the battle of Jena in 1806. Back to Line
226] The "Cameron's Gathering" is a war song of the clan Cameron, Lochiel the name for the chief of the Camerons, Albyn a name for Scotland, pibroch the music of the bagpipes. Evan fought against Cromwell and Donald for the Young Pretender. Back to Line
235] Ardennes. For obscure literary and geographical reasons Byron identifies the nearby forest of Soignies with Ardennes or Arden. Back to Line
366] Philip's son: Alexander the Great. Back to Line
719] One: Rousseau (1712-1778), a native of Geneva. The lines which follow refer to the revelation of himself in his Confessions, to the love story, La Nouvelle Héloise, with its heroine Julie, and to the influence of Rousseau's political doctrine in the two Discours and the Contrat Social in bringing about the French Revolution. See Shelley's presentation of Rousseau in The Triumph of Life. Back to Line
745] the memorable kiss. This and the rest of the stanza refer to Rousseau's account of his love for Madame D'Houdetot in the Confessions. Back to Line
762] Pythian's mystic cave: Apollo's shrine at Delphi, from which a priestess uttered oracles. Back to Line
776] renew / Dungeons and thrones. See note on line 167. Back to Line
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