Listen to the Podcast

Transcription Tuesday XIX: Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage – Thou glorious mirror

Ariana Malthaner

The final of Isabella’s inclusions from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage is a haunting passage about the ocean, and Biblical creation.

The selections from Canto IV that Isabella opted to include are surprisingly varied in content, without any of them seemingly linked to each other. This would indicate that Isabella was particular about which stanzas to include. Notably, many of her included passages make reference – whether overtly or obliquely – to the sea, which could be evidence that Isabella was interested in the ocean and thus collected stanzas and poetry with maritime themes.

Her precision in rendering them here would point to her having her own copy somewhere from which she was able to refer.

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage Canto IV CLXXXVIII

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty’s form

Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,

Calm or convulsed – in breeze, or gale, or storm,

Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime,

Dark-heaving; boundless, endless, and sublime –

The image of eternity – the throne

Of the invisible; even from out thy slime

The monsters of the deep are made; each zone

Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.