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You are here: Home » British/American Poets » George Gordon Byron » "Come, Blue-Eyed Maid Of Heaven!..."



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George Gordon Byron

George Gordon Byron

GEORGE GORDON LORD BYRON: "Come, Blue-Eyed Maid Of Heaven!..."

"Come, Blue-Eyed Maid Of Heaven!..."

(From "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," Canto Two)
                                I
             
Come, blue-eyed Maid of Heaven! – but Thou, alas!
Didst never yet one mortal song inspire -
Goddess of Wisdom! Here thy temple was.
And is, despite of War and wasting fire,
And years, that bade thy worship in expire:
But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow,
Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire
Of men who never felt the sacred glow 
That thoughts of thee and thine on polished breast bestow.

                                II

Ancient of days! august Athena! where,
Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul?
Gone – glimmering through the dream of thing that were:
First in the race that led to Glory‘s goal,
They won, and passed away – is this the whole?
A schoolboy’s tale, the wonder of an hour!
The Warrior’s weapon and the Sophist’s stole
Are sought in vain, and o’er each mouldering tower,
Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of power.

                               III

Son of the Morning, rise! approach you here!
Come – but molest not yon defenceless Urn:
Look on this spot – a Nation’s sepulchre!
Abode of Gods, whose shrines no longer burn.
Even Gods must yield – Religions take their turn:
‘Twas Jove’s – ‘tis Mahomet’s – and other Creeds
Will rise with other years, till Man shall learn
Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds;
Poor child of Doubt and Death, whose hope is built on reeds.

                                IV

Bound to the Earth, he lifts his eye to Heaven –
Is‘t not enough, Unhappy Thing! To know 
Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given,
That being, thou would’st be again, and go,
Till know’st not, reck’st not to what region, so
On Earth no more, but mingled with the skies?
Still wilt thou dream on future Joy and Woe?
Regard and weigh you dust before it flies:
That little urn saith more than thousand Homilies.




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