Back to Index

Nature the Consoler, I

by George Gordon Byron, 1881

(Childe Harold, Canto iii. Stanzas 13–15.)

  WHERE rose the mountains, there to him were friends;
  Where roll’d the ocean, thereon was his home;
  Where a blue sky, and glowing clime, extends,
  He had the passion and the power to roam;
  The desert, forest, cavern, breaker’s foam,
  Were unto him companionship; they spake
  A mutual language, clearer than the tome
  Of his land’s tongue, which he would oft forsake
For Nature’s pages glass’d by sunbeams on the lake.

  Like the Chaldean, he could watch the stars,
  Till he had peopled them with beings bright
  As their own beams; and earth, and earth-born jars,
  And human frailties, were forgotten quite:
  Could he have kept his spirit to that flight
  He had been happy; but this clay will sink
  Its spark immortal, envying it the light
  To which it mounts, as if to break the link
That keeps us from yon heaven which woos us to its brink.

  But in Man’s dwellings he became a thing
  Restless and worn, and stern and wearisome,
  Droop’d as a wild-born falcon with clipt wing,
  To whom the boundless air alone were home:
  Then came his fit again, which to o’ercome,
  As eagerly the barr’d-up bird will beat
  His breast and beak against his wiry dome
  Till the blood tinge his plumage, so the heat
Of his impeded soul would through his bosom eat.

Published in Poetry of Byron

Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.