Comparison of Texts of 1860 and 1867 Editions
Part II, Canto I
HARP of mine, to my breast let me clasp thee once more
As closely, old friend, as I clasp'd thee of yore,
When the world smiled on me thro' thy three chords of gold,
Hope, Wonder, and Love, breathing music!
Now, celestially naked, - new Queen of the world, -
Where the rose, her red signal, is gaily unfurl'd,
Summer stands in the meadows and dresses her bowers,
Shyly tended upon by the virgin-eyed flowers;
And her rich voice hath reach'd me, far-floating along -
'All my lovers sing round me, but where is thy song?'
In secret the nightingale sings from the dark
Of his thicket, in sunlight is singing the lark,
And that spirit, which men call the cuckoo, sends out
Of the blue heart of heaven a jubilant shout,
And the brown thrush is loud in the milk-white May-bush,
And the bee makes a melody heard through the lush
Yellow-neck'd honeysuckles, and out of its dream
The air hums and whispers.
--------------------I turn to the theme
Long neglected. Years, too, have pass'd over the head
Of my hero since last of his fortunes you read,
Gentle Reader. By way, then, of due preparation,
I feel that my song needs a new invocation.
Hard to find! For each Muse by this time has, I know,
Been used up, and Apollo has bent his own bow
All too long; so I leave unassaulted the portal
Of Olympus, and only invoke here a mortal.
Hail, Murray ! - not Lindley, - but Murray and Son.
Hail, omniscient, beneficent, great Two-in-One!
In Albemarle Street may thy temple long stand!
Long enlighten'd and led by thine erudite hand,
May each novice in science nomadic unravel
The celarent, darii, ferio of travel!
May each inn-keeping knave long thy judgments revere,
And the postboys of Europe regard thee with fear;
While they feel, in the silence of baffled extortion,
That knowledge is power! Long, long, like that portion
Of the national soil which the Greek exile took
In his baggage wherever he went, may thy book
Cheer each poor British pilgrim, who trusts to thy wit
Not to pay through his nose just for following it!
May'st thou long, O instructor! preside o'er his way,
And teach him alike what to praise and to pay!
Thee, pursuing this pathway of song, once again
invoke, lest, unskill'd, I should wander in vain.
To my call be propitious, nor, churlish, refuse
Thy great accents to lend to the lips of my Muse;
For I sing of the Naiads who dwell 'mid the stems
Of the green linden-trees by the waters of Ems.
Yes! thy spirit descends upon mine, O John Murray!
And I start -- with thy book -- for the Baths in a hurry.
In dialogue verses (e..g., XXI, XXX), "The Duke" is changed to "Luvois", "Lady Alfred to "Matilda", "Lord Alfred" to "Alfred".
HAIL, Muse! But each Muse by this time has, I know,
Last revised: 17 January 2012