Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX. 1876–79.

Greece: Leucadia (Santa Maura)


By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

(From Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage)

CHILDE HAROLD sailed, and passed the barren spot

Where sad Penelope o’erlooked the wave;

And onward viewed the mount, not yet forgot,

The lover’s refuge, and the Lesbian’s grave.

Dark Sappho! could not verse immortal save

That breast imbued with such immortal fire?

Could she not live who life eternal gave?

If life eternal may await the lyre,

That only heaven to which earth’s children may aspire.

’T was on a Grecian autumn’s gentle eve

Childe Harold hailed Leucadia’s cape afar:

A spot he longed to see, nor cared to leave:

Oft did he mark the scenes of vanished war,

Actium, Lepanto, fatal Trafalgar;

Mark them unmoved, for he would not delight

(Born beneath some remote inglorious star)

In themes of bloody fray, or gallant fight,

But loathed the bravo’s trade, and laughed at martial wight.

But when he saw the evening star above

Leucadia’s far-projecting rock of woe,

And hailed the last resort of fruitless love,

He felt, or deemed he felt, no common glow;

And as the stately vessel glided slow

Beneath the shadow of that ancient mount,

He watched the billows’ melancholy flow,

And, sunk albeit in thought as he was wont,

More placid seemed his eye, and smooth his pallid front.