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Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1
by Byron
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'Detached Thoughts', Nov. 5, 1821; 'Life', p. 540.]



[Footnote i:

'To the Earl of——-'.

['Poems O. and T.']]

[Footnote ii:

'Now——I must'.

['Poems O. and T.']]

[Footnote iii:

'In truth dear——in fancy's flight'.

['Poems O. and T.']]



I WOULD I WERE A CARELESS CHILD. [i]

1

I would I were a careless child, Still dwelling in my Highland cave, Or roaming through the dusky wild, Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave; The cumbrous pomp of Saxon [1] pride, Accords not with the freeborn soul, Which loves the mountain's craggy side, And seeks the rocks where billows roll.

2.

Fortune! take back these cultur'd lands, Take back this name of splendid sound! I hate the touch of servile hands, I hate the slaves that cringe around: Place me among the rocks I love, Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar; I ask but this—again to rove Through scenes my youth hath known before.

3.

Few are my years, and yet I feel The World was ne'er design'd for me: Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal The hour when man must cease to be? Once I beheld a splendid dream, A visionary scene of bliss: Truth!—wherefore did thy hated beam Awake me to a world like this?

4.

I lov'd—but those I lov'd are gone; Had friends—my early friends are fled: How cheerless feels the heart alone, When all its former hopes are dead! Though gay companions, o'er the bowl Dispel awhile the sense of ill; Though Pleasure stirs the maddening soul, The heart—the heart—is lonely still.

5.

How dull! to hear the voice of those Whom Rank or Chance, whom Wealth or Power, Have made, though neither friends nor foes, Associates of the festive hour. Give me again a faithful few, In years and feelings still the same, And I will fly the midnight crew, Where boist'rous Joy is but a name.

6.

And Woman, lovely Woman! thou, My hope, my comforter, my all! How cold must be my bosom now, When e'en thy smiles begin to pall! Without a sigh would I resign, This busy scene of splendid Woe, To make that calm contentment mine, Which Virtue knows, or seems to know.

7.

Fain would I fly the haunts of men [2]— I seek to shun, not hate mankind; My breast requires the sullen glen, Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind. Oh! that to me the wings were given, Which bear the turtle to her nest! Then would I cleave the vault of Heaven, To flee away, and be at rest. [3]



[Footnote 1: Sassenach, or Saxon, a Gaelic word, signifying either Lowland or English.]

[Footnote 2: Shyness was a family characteristic of the Byrons. The poet continued in later years to have a horror of being observed by unaccustomed eyes, and in the country would, if possible, avoid meeting strangers on the road.]

[Footnote 3:

"And I said, O that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away, and be at rest."

(Psalm iv. 6.) This verse also constitutes a part of the most beautiful anthem in our language.]

[Footnote i:

'Stanzas'.

['Poems O. and T.']]



LINES WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM IN THE CHURCHYARD OF HARROW. [1] [i]

Spot of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh, Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky; Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod, With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod; With those who, scatter'd far, perchance deplore, Like me, the happy scenes they knew before: Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill, Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still, Thou drooping Elm! beneath whose boughs I lay, And frequent mus'd the twilight hours away; Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline, But, ah! without the thoughts which then were mine: How do thy branches, moaning to the blast, Invite the bosom to recall the past, And seem to whisper, as they gently swell, "Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell!"

When Fate shall chill, at length, this fever'd breast, And calm its cares and passions into rest, Oft have I thought, 'twould soothe my dying hour,— If aught may soothe, when Life resigns her power,— To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell, Would hide my bosom where it lov'd to dwell; With this fond dream, methinks 'twere sweet to die— And here it linger'd, here my heart might lie; Here might I sleep where all my hopes arose, Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose; For ever stretch'd beneath this mantling shade, Press'd by the turf where once my childhood play'd; Wrapt by the soil that veils the spot I lov'd, Mix'd with the earth o'er which my footsteps mov'd; Blest by the tongues that charm'd my youthful ear, Mourn'd by the few my soul acknowledged here; Deplor'd by those in early days allied, And unremember'd by the world beside.

September 2, 1807.



[Footnote 1: On the death of his daughter, Allegra, in April, 1822, Byron sent her remains to be buried at Harrow, "where," he says, in a letter to Murray, "I once hoped to have laid my own." "There is," he wrote, May 26, "a spot in the church'yard', near the footpath, on the brow of the hill looking towards Windsor, and a tomb under a large tree (bearing the name of Peachie, or Peachey), where I used to sit for hours and hours when a boy. This was my favourite spot; but as I wish to erect a tablet to her memory, the body had better be deposited in the 'church'." No tablet was, however, erected, and Allegra sleeps in her unmarked grave inside the church, a few feet to the right of the entrance.]

[Footnote i:

'Lines written beneath an Elm In the Churchyard of Harrow on the Hill September 2, 1807'.

['Poems O. and T.']]



FRAGMENT.

WRITTEN SHORTLY AFTER THE MARRIAGE OF MISS CHAWORTH. [1]

First published in Moore's 'Letters and Journals of Lord Byron', 1830, i. 56

1.

Hills of Annesley, Bleak and Barren, Where my thoughtless Childhood stray'd, How the northern Tempests, warring, Howl above thy tufted Shade!

2.

Now no more, the Hours beguiling, Former favourite Haunts I see; Now no more my Mary smiling, Makes ye seem a Heaven to Me.

1805.

[Footnote 1: Miss Chaworth was married to John Musters, Esq., in August, 1805. The stanzas were first published in Moore's Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, 1830, i. 56. (See, too, The Dream, st. ii. 1. 9.) The original MS. (which is in the possession of Mrs. Chaworth Musters) formerly belonged to Miss E. B. Pigot, according to whom they "were written by Lord Byron in 1804." "We were reading Burns' Farewell to Ayrshire

Scenes of woe and Scenes of pleasure Scenes that former thoughts renew Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure Now a sad and last adieu, etc.

when he said, 'I like that metre; let me try it,' and taking up a pencil, wrote those on the other side in an instant. I read them to Moore, and at his particular request I copied them for him."-E. B. Pigot, 1859.

On the fly-leaf of the same volume (Poetry of Robert Burns, vol. iv. Third Edition, 1802), containing the Farewell to Ayrshire, Byron wrote in pencil the two stanzas "Oh! little lock of golden hue," in 1806 (vide post, p. 233).

It may be noted that the verses quoted, though included until recently among his poems, were not written by Burns, but by Richard Gall, who died in 1801, aged 25.]



REMEMBRANCE.

'Tis done!—I saw it in my dreams: No more with Hope the future beams; My days of happiness are few: Chill'd by Misfortune's wintry blast, My dawn of Life is overcast; Love, Hope, and Joy, alike adieu! Would I could add Remembrance too!

1806. [First published, 1832.]



TO A LADY

WHO PRESENTED THE AUTHOR WITH THE VELVET BAND WHICH BOUND HER TRESSES.

1.

This Band, which bound thy yellow hair Is mine, sweet girl! thy pledge of love; It claims my warmest, dearest care, Like relics left of saints above.

2.

Oh! I will wear it next my heart; 'Twill bind my soul in bonds to thee: From me again 'twill ne'er depart, But mingle in the grave with me.

3.

The dew I gather from thy lip Is not so dear to me as this; That I but for a moment sip, And banquet on a transient bliss: [i]

4.

This will recall each youthful scene, E'en when our lives are on the wane; The leaves of Love will still be green When Memory bids them bud again.

1806. [First published, 1832.]

[Footnote i:

on a transient kiss.

['MS. Newstead'.]



TO A KNOT OF UNGENEROUS CRITICS. [1]

Rail on, Rail on, ye heartless crew! My strains were never meant for you; Remorseless Rancour still reveal, And damn the verse you cannot feel. Invoke those kindred passions' aid, Whose baleful stings your breasts pervade; Crush, if you can, the hopes of youth, Trampling regardless on the Truth: Truth's Records you consult in vain, She will not blast her native strain; She will assist her votary's cause, His will at least be her applause, Your prayer the gentle Power will spurn; To Fiction's motley altar turn, Who joyful in the fond address Her favoured worshippers will bless: And lo! she holds a magic glass, Where Images reflected pass, Bent on your knees the Boon receive— This will assist you to deceive— The glittering gift was made for you, Now hold it up to public view; Lest evil unforeseen betide, A Mask each canker'd brow shall hide, (Whilst Truth my sole desire is nigh, Prepared the danger to defy,) "There is the Maid's perverted name, And there the Poet's guilty Flame, Gloaming a deep phosphoric fire, Threatening—but ere it spreads, retire. Says Truth Up Virgins, do not fear! The Comet rolls its Influence here; 'Tis Scandal's Mirror you perceive, These dazzling Meteors but deceive— Approach and touch—Nay do not turn It blazes there, but will not burn."— At once the shivering Mirror flies, Teeming no more with varnished Lies; The baffled friends of Fiction start, Too late desiring to depart— Truth poising high Ithuriel's spear Bids every Fiend unmask'd appear, The vizard tears from every face, And dooms them to a dire disgrace. For e'er they compass their escape, Each takes perforce a native shape— The Leader of the wrathful Band, Behold a portly Female stand! She raves, impelled by private pique, This mean unjust revenge to seek; From vice to save this virtuous Age, Thus does she vent indecent rage! What child has she of promise fair, Who claims a fostering Mother's care? Whose Innocence requires defence, Or forms at least a smooth pretence, Thus to disturb a harmless Boy, His humble hope, and peace annoy? She need not fear the amorous rhyme, Love will not tempt her future time, For her his wings have ceased to spread, No more he flutters round her head; Her day's Meridian now is past, The clouds of Age her Sun o'ercast; To her the strain was never sent, For feeling Souls alone 'twas meant— The verse she seized, unask'd, unbade, And damn'd, ere yet the whole was read! Yes! for one single erring verse, Pronounced an unrelenting Curse; Yes! at a first and transient view, Condemned a heart she never knew.— Can such a verdict then decide, Which springs from disappointed pride? Without a wondrous share of Wit, To judge is such a Matron fit? The rest of the censorious throng Who to this zealous Band belong, To her a general homage pay, And right or wrong her wish obey: Why should I point my pen of steel To break "such flies upon the wheel?" With minds to Truth and Sense unknown, Who dare not call their words their own. Rail on, Rail on, ye heartless Crew! Your Leader's grand design pursue: Secure behind her ample shield, Yours is the harvest of the field.— My path with thorns you cannot strew, Nay more, my warmest thanks are due; When such as you revile my Name, Bright beams the rising Sun of Fame, Chasing the shades of envious night, Outshining every critic Light.— Such, such as you will serve to show Each radiant tint with higher glow. Vain is the feeble cheerless toil, Your efforts on yourselves recoil; Then Glory still for me you raise, Yours is the Censure, mine the Praise.

BYRON,

December 1, 1806.

[Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.

There can be little doubt that these verses were called forth by the criticisms passed on the "Fugitive Pieces" by certain ladies of Southwell, concerning whom, Byron wrote to Mr. Pigot (Jan. 13, 1807), on sending him an early copy of the 'Poems',

"That 'unlucky' poem to my poor Mary has been the cause of some animadversion from 'ladies in years'. I have not printed it in this collection in consequence of my being pronounced a most 'profligate sinner', in short a ''young Moore''"

'Life', p. 41.]



SOLILOQUY OF A BARD IN THE COUNTRY. [1]

'Twas now the noon of night, and all was still, Except a hapless Rhymer and his quill. In vain he calls each Muse in order down, Like other females, these will sometimes frown; He frets, be fumes, and ceasing to invoke The Nine, in anguish'd accents thus he spoke: Ah what avails it thus to waste my time, To roll in Epic, or to rave in Rhyme? What worth is some few partial readers' praise. If ancient Virgins croaking 'censures' raise? Where few attend, 'tis useless to indite; Where few can read, 'tis folly sure to write; Where none but girls and striplings dare admire, And Critics rise in every country Squire— But yet this last my candid Muse admits, When Peers are Poets, Squires may well be Wits; When schoolboys vent their amorous flames in verse, Matrons may sure their characters asperse; And if a little parson joins the train, And echos back his Patron's voice again— Though not delighted, yet I must forgive, Parsons as well as other folks must live:— From rage he rails not, rather say from dread, He does not speak for Virtue, but for bread; And this we know is in his Patron's giving, For Parsons cannot eat without a 'Living'. The Matron knows I love the Sex too well, Even unprovoked aggression to repel. What though from private pique her anger grew, And bade her blast a heart she never knew? What though, she said, for one light heedless line, That Wilmot's [2] verse was far more pure than mine! In wars like these, I neither fight nor fly, When 'dames' accuse 'tis bootless to deny; Her's be the harvest of the martial field, I can't attack, where Beauty forms the shield. But when a pert Physician loudly cries, Who hunts for scandal, and who lives by lies, A walking register of daily news, Train'd to invent, and skilful to abuse— For arts like these at bounteous tables fed, When S——condemns a book he never read. Declaring with a coxcomb's native air, The 'moral's' shocking, though the 'rhymes' are fair. Ah! must he rise unpunish'd from the feast, Nor lash'd by vengeance into truth at least? Such lenity were more than Man's indeed! Those who condemn, should surely deign to read. Yet must I spare—nor thus my pen degrade, I quite forgot that scandal was his trade. For food and raiment thus the coxcomb rails, For those who fear his physic, like his tales. Why should his harmless censure seem offence? Still let him eat, although at my expense, And join the herd to Sense and Truth unknown, Who dare not call their very thoughts their own, And share with these applause, a godlike bribe, In short, do anything, except prescribe:— For though in garb of Galen he appears, His practice is not equal to his years. Without improvement since he first began, A young Physician, though an ancient Man— Now let me cease—Physician, Parson, Dame, Still urge your task, and if you can, defame. The humble offerings of my Muse destroy, And crush, oh! noble conquest! crush a Boy. What though some silly girls have lov'd the strain, And kindly bade me tune my Lyre again; What though some feeling, or some partial few, Nay, Men of Taste and Reputation too, Have deign'd to praise the firstlings of my Muse— If you your sanction to the theme refuse, If you your great protection still withdraw, Whose Praise is Glory, and whose Voice is law! Soon must I fall an unresisting foe, A hapless victim yielding to the blow.— Thus Pope by Curl and Dennis was destroyed, Thus Gray and Mason yield to furious Lloyd; [3] From Dryden, Milbourne [4] tears the palm away, And thus I fall, though meaner far than they. As in the field of combat, side by side, A Fabius and some noble Roman died.

Dec. 1806.

[Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.]

[Footnote 2: John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1647-1680). His 'Poems' were published in the year of his death.]

[Footnote 3: Robert Lloyd (1733-1764). The following lines occur in the first of two odes to 'Obscurity and Oblivion'—parodies of the odes of Gray and Mason:—

"Heard ye the din of modern rhymers bray? It was cool M——n and warm G——y, Involv'd in tenfold smoke."]

[Footnote 4: The Rev. Luke Milbourne (died 1720) published, in 1698, his 'Notes on Dryden's Virgil', containing a venomous attack on Dryden. They are alluded to in 'The Dunciad', and also by Dr. Johnson, who wrote ('Life of Dryden'),

"His outrages seem to be the ebullitions of a mind agitated by stronger resentment than bad poetry can excite."]



L'AMITIE, EST L'AMOUR SANS AILES. [1]



1.

Why should my anxious breast repine, Because my youth is fled? Days of delight may still be mine; Affection is not dead. In tracing back the years of youth, One firm record, one lasting truth Celestial consolation brings; Bear it, ye breezes, to the seat, Where first my heart responsive beat,— "Friendship is Love without his wings!"

2

Through few, but deeply chequer'd years, What moments have been mine! Now half obscured by clouds of tears, Now bright in rays divine; Howe'er my future doom be cast, My soul, enraptured with the past, To one idea fondly clings; Friendship! that thought is all thine own, Worth worlds of bliss, that thought alone— "Friendship is Love without his wings!"

3

Where yonder yew-trees lightly wave Their branches on the gale, Unheeded heaves a simple grave, Which tells the common tale; Round this unconscious schoolboys stray, Till the dull knell of childish play From yonder studious mansion rings; But here, whene'er my footsteps move, My silent tears too plainly prove, "Friendship is Love without his wings!"

4

Oh, Love! before thy glowing shrine, My early vows were paid; My hopes, my dreams, my heart was thine, But these are now decay'd; For thine are pinions like the wind, No trace of thee remains behind, Except, alas! thy jealous stings. Away, away! delusive power, Thou shall not haunt my coming hour; Unless, indeed, without thy wings.

5

Seat of my youth! [2] thy distant spire Recalls each scene of joy; My bosom glows with former fire,— In mind again a boy. Thy grove of elms, thy verdant hill, Thy every path delights me still, Each flower a double fragrance flings; Again, as once, in converse gay, Each dear associate seems to say, "Friendship is Love without his wings!'

6.

My Lycus! [3] wherefore dost thou weep? Thy falling tears restrain; Affection for a time may sleep, But, oh, 'twill wake again. Think, think, my friend, when next we meet, Our long-wished interview, how sweet! From this my hope of rapture springs; While youthful hearts thus fondly swell, Absence my friend, can only tell, "Friendship is Love without his wings!"



7.

In one, and one alone deceiv'd, Did I my error mourn? No—from oppressive bonds reliev'd, I left the wretch to scorn. I turn'd to those my childhood knew, With feelings warm, with bosoms true, Twin'd with my heart's according strings; And till those vital chords shall break, For none but these my breast shall wake Friendship, the power deprived of wings!

8

Ye few! my soul, my life is yours, My memory and my hope; Your worth a lasting love insures, Unfetter'd in its scope; From smooth deceit and terror sprung, With aspect fair and honey'd tongue, Let Adulation wait on kings; With joy elate, by snares beset, We, we, my friends, can ne'er forget, "Friendship is Love without his wings!"

9

Fictions and dreams inspire the bard, Who rolls the epic song; Friendship and truth be my reward— To me no bays belong; If laurell'd Fame but dwells with lies, Me the enchantress ever flies, Whose heart and not whose fancy sings; Simple and young, I dare not feign; Mine be the rude yet heartfelt strain, "Friendship is Love without his wings!"

December 29, 1806. [First published, 1832.]



[Footnote 1: The MS. is preserved at Newstead.]

[Footnote 2: Harrow.]

[Footnote 3: Lord Clare had written to Byron,

"I think by your last letter that you are very much piqued with most of your friends, and, if I am not much mistaken, a little so with me. In one part you say,

'There is little or no doubt a few years or months will render us as politely indifferent to each other, as if we had never passed a portion of our time together.'

Indeed, Byron, you wrong me; and I have no doubt, at least I hope, you are wrong yourself."

'Life', p. 25.]



THE PRAYER OF NATURE. [1]

1

Father of Light! great God of Heaven! Hear'st thou the accents of despair? Can guilt like man's be e'er forgiven? Can vice atone for crimes by prayer?

2

Father of Light, on thee I call! Thou see'st my soul is dark within; Thou, who canst mark the sparrow's fall, Avert from me the death of sin.

3

No shrine I seek, to sects unknown; Oh, point to me the path of truth! Thy dread Omnipotence I own; Spare, yet amend, the faults of youth.

4

Let bigots rear a gloomy fane, Let Superstition hail the pile, Let priests, to spread their sable reign, With tales of mystic rites beguile.

5

Shall man confine his Maker's sway To Gothic domes of mouldering stone? Thy temple is the face of day; Earth, Ocean, Heaven thy boundless throne.

6

Shall man condemn his race to Hell, Unless they bend in pompous form? Tell us that all, for one who fell, Must perish in the mingling storm?

7

Shall each pretend to reach the skies, Yet doom his brother to expire, Whose soul a different hope supplies, Or doctrines less severe inspire?

8

Shall these, by creeds they can't expound, Prepare a fancied bliss or woe? Shall reptiles, groveling on the ground, Their great Creator's purpose know?

9

Shall those, who live for self alone, [i] Whose years float on in daily crime— Shall they, by Faith, for guilt atone, And live beyond the bounds of Time?

10

Father! no prophet's laws I seek,— Thy laws in Nature's works appear;— I own myself corrupt and weak, Yet will I pray, for thou wilt hear!

11

Thou, who canst guide the wandering star, Through trackless realms of aether's space; Who calm'st the elemental war, Whose hand from pole to pole I trace:

12

Thou, who in wisdom plac'd me here, Who, when thou wilt, canst take me hence, Ah! whilst I tread this earthly sphere, Extend to me thy wide defence.

13

To Thee, my God, to thee I call! Whatever weal or woe betide, By thy command I rise or fall, In thy protection I confide.

14.

If, when this dust to dust's restor'd, My soul shall float on airy wing, How shall thy glorious Name ador'd Inspire her feeble voice to sing!

15

But, if this fleeting spirit share With clay the Grave's eternal bed, While Life yet throbs I raise my prayer, Though doom'd no more to quit the dead.

16

To Thee I breathe my humble strain, Grateful for all thy mercies past, And hope, my God, to thee again [ii] This erring life may fly at last.

December 29, 1806.



[Footnote 1: These stanzas were first published in Moore's 'Letters and Journals of Lord Byron', 1830, i. 106.]

[Footnote i:

Shalt these who live for self alone, Whose years fleet on in daily crime— Shall these by Faith for guilt atone, Exist beyond the bounds of Time?

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote ii:

My hope, my God, in thee again This erring life will fly at last.

['MS. Newstead']]



TRANSLATION FROM ANACREON. [1]

[Greek: Eis rodon.]

ODE 5



Mingle with the genial bowl The Rose, the 'flow'ret' of the Soul, The Rose and Grape together quaff'd, How doubly sweet will be the draught! With Roses crown our jovial brows, While every cheek with Laughter glows; While Smiles and Songs, with Wine incite, To wing our moments with Delight. Rose by far the fairest birth, Which Spring and Nature cull from Earth— Rose whose sweetest perfume given, Breathes our thoughts from Earth to Heaven. Rose whom the Deities above, From Jove to Hebe, dearly love, When Cytherea's blooming Boy, Flies lightly through the dance of Joy, With him the Graces then combine, And rosy wreaths their locks entwine. Then will I sing divinely crown'd, With dusky leaves my temples bound— Lyaeus! in thy bowers of pleasure, I'll wake a wildly thrilling measure. There will my gentle Girl and I, Along the mazes sportive fly, Will bend before thy potent throne— Rose, Wine, and Beauty, all my own.

1805.

[Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed,]



OSSIAN'S ADDRESS TO THE SUN IN "CARTHON." [1]

Oh! thou that roll'st above thy glorious Fire, Round as the shield which grac'd my godlike Sire, Whence are the beams, O Sun! thy endless blaze, Which far eclipse each minor Glory's rays? Forth in thy Beauty here thou deign'st to shine! Night quits her car, the twinkling stars decline; Pallid and cold the Moon descends to cave Her sinking beams beneath the Western wave; But thou still mov'st alone, of light the Source— Who can o'ertake thee in thy fiery course? Oaks of the mountains fall, the rocks decay, Weighed down with years the hills dissolve away. A certain space to yonder Moon is given, She rises, smiles, and then is lost in Heaven. Ocean in sullen murmurs ebbs and flows, But thy bright beam unchanged for ever glows! When Earth is darkened with tempestuous skies, When Thunder shakes the sphere and Lightning flies, Thy face, O Sun, no rolling blasts deform, Thou look'st from clouds and laughest at the Storm. To Ossian, Orb of Light! thou look'st in vain, Nor cans't thou glad his aged eyes again, Whether thy locks in Orient Beauty stream, Or glimmer through the West with fainter gleam— But thou, perhaps, like me with age must bend; Thy season o'er, thy days will find their end, No more yon azure vault with rays adorn, Lull'd in the clouds, nor hear the voice of Morn. Exult, O Sun, in all thy youthful strength! Age, dark unlovely Age, appears at length, As gleams the moonbeam through the broken cloud While mountain vapours spread their misty shroud— The Northern tempest howls along at last, And wayworn strangers shrink amid the blast. Thou rolling Sun who gild'st those rising towers, Fair didst thou shine upon my earlier hours! I hail'd with smiles the cheering rays of Morn, My breast by no tumultuous Passion torn— Now hateful are thy beams which wake no more The sense of joy which thrill'd my breast before; Welcome thou cloudy veil of nightly skies, To thy bright canopy the mourner flies: Once bright, thy Silence lull'd my frame to rest, And Sleep my soul with gentle visions blest; Now wakeful Grief disdains her mild controul, Dark is the night, but darker is my Soul. Ye warring Winds of Heav'n your fury urge, To me congenial sounds your wintry Dirge: Swift as your wings my happier days have past, Keen as your storms is Sorrow's chilling blast; To Tempests thus expos'd my Fate has been, Piercing like yours, like yours, alas! unseen.

1805.

[Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed. (See 'Ossian's Poems', London, 1819, pp. xvii. 119.)]



PIGNUS AMORIS. [1]

1

As by the fix'd decrees of Heaven, 'Tis vain to hope that Joy can last; The dearest boon that Life has given, To me is—visions of the past.

2.

For these this toy of blushing hue I prize with zeal before unknown, It tells me of a Friend I knew, Who loved me for myself alone.

3.

It tells me what how few can say Though all the social tie commend; Recorded in my heart 'twill lay, [2] It tells me mine was once a Friend.

4.

Through many a weary day gone by, With time the gift is dearer grown; And still I view in Memory's eye That teardrop sparkle through my own.

5.

And heartless Age perhaps will smile, Or wonder whence those feelings sprung; Yet let not sterner souls revile, For Both were open, Both were young.

6.

And Youth is sure the only time, When Pleasure blends no base alloy; When Life is blest without a crime, And Innocence resides with Joy.

7

Let those reprove my feeble Soul, Who laugh to scorn Affection's name; While these impose a harsh controul, All will forgive who feel the same.

8

Then still I wear my simple toy, With pious care from wreck I'll save it; And this will form a dear employ For dear I was to him who gave it.

? 1806.



[Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.]

[Footnote 2: For the irregular use of "lay" for "lie," compare "The Adieu" (st. 10, 1. 4, p. 241), and the much-disputed line, "And dashest him to earth—there let him lay" ('Childe Harold', canto iv. st. 180).]



A WOMAN'S HAIR. [1]

Oh! little lock of golden hue In gently waving ringlet curl'd, By the dear head on which you grew, I would not lose you for a world.

Not though a thousand more adorn The polished brow where once you shone, Like rays which guild a cloudless sky [i] Beneath Columbia's fervid zone.

1806.

[Footnote 1: These lines are preserved in MS. at Newstead, with the following memorandum in Miss Pigot's handwriting: "Copied from the fly-leaf in a vol. of my Burns' books, which is written in pencil by himself." They have hitherto been printed as stanzas 5 and 6 of the lines "To a Lady," etc., p. 212.]

[Footnote i:

a cloudless morn.

['Ed'. 1832.]



STANZAS TO JESSY. [1]

1

There is a mystic thread of life So dearly wreath'd with mine alone, That Destiny's relentless knife At once must sever both, or none.

2

There is a Form on which these eyes Have fondly gazed with such delight— By day, that Form their joy supplies, And Dreams restore it, through the night.

3

There is a Voice whose tones inspire Such softened feelings in my breast, [i]— I would not hear a Seraph Choir, Unless that voice could join the rest.

4

There is a Face whose Blushes tell Affection's tale upon the cheek, But pallid at our fond farewell, Proclaims more love than words can speak.

5

There is a Lip, which mine has prest, But none had ever prest before; It vowed to make me sweetly blest, That mine alone should press it more. [ii]

6

There is a Bosom all my own, Has pillow'd oft this aching head, A Mouth which smiles on me alone, An Eye, whose tears with mine are shed.

7

There are two Hearts whose movements thrill, In unison so closely sweet, That Pulse to Pulse responsive still They Both must heave, or cease to beat.

8

There are two Souls, whose equal flow In gentle stream so calmly run, That when they part—they part?—ah no! They cannot part—those Souls are One.

[GEORGE GORDON, LORD] BYRON.



[Footnote 1: "Stanzas to Jessy" have often been printed, but were never acknowledged by Byron, or included in any authorized edition of his works. They are, however, unquestionably genuine. They appeared first in 'Monthly Literary Recreations' (July, 1807), a magazine published by B. Crosby & Co., Stationers' Court. Crosby was London agent for Ridge, the Newark bookseller, and, with Longman and others, "sold" the recently issued 'Hours of Idleness'. The same number of 'Monthly Literary Recreations' (for July, 1807) contains Byron's review of Wordsworth's 'Poems' (2 vols., 1807), and a highly laudatory notice of 'Hours of Idleness'. The lines are headed "Stanzas to Jessy," and are signed "George Gordon, Lord Byron." They were republished in 1824, by Knight and Lacy, in vol. v. of the three supplementary volumes of the 'Works', and again in the same year by John Bumpus and A. Griffin, in their 'Miscellaneous Poems', etc. A note which is prefixed to these issues, "The following stanzas were addressed by Lord Byron to his Lady, a few months before their separation," and three variants in the text, make it unlikely that the pirating editors were acquainted with the text of the magazine. The MS. ('British Museum', Eg. MSS. No. 2332) is signed "George Gordon, Lord Byron," but the words "George Gordon, Lord" are in another hand, and were probably added by Crosby. The following letter (together with a wrapper addressed, "Mr. Crosby, Stationers' Court," and sealed in red wax with Byron's arms and coronet) is attached to the poem:—

July 21, 1807.

SIR,

I have sent according to my promise some Stanzas for Literary Recreations. The insertion I leave to the option of the Editors. They have never appeared before. I should wish to know whether they are admitted or not, and when the work will appear, as I am desirous of a copy.

Etc., etc., BYRON.

P.S.—Send your answer when convenient."]

[Footnote i:

'Such thrills of Rapture'.

[Knight and Lacy, 1824, v. 56.]

[Footnote ii:

'And mine, mine only'.

[Knight and Lacy, v. 56.]]



THE ADIEU.

WRITTEN UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THE AUTHOR WOULD SOON DIE.

1.

Adieu, thou Hill! [1] where early joy Spread roses o'er my brow; Where Science seeks each loitering boy With knowledge to endow. Adieu, my youthful friends or foes, Partners of former bliss or woes; No more through Ida's paths we stray; Soon must I share the gloomy cell, Whose ever-slumbering inmates dwell Unconscious of the day.

2.

Adieu, ye hoary Regal Fanes, [i] Ye spires of Granta's vale, Where Learning robed in sable reigns. And Melancholy pale. Ye comrades of the jovial hour, Ye tenants of the classic bower, On Cama's verdant margin plac'd, Adieu! while memory still is mine, For offerings on Oblivion's shrine, These scenes must be effac'd.

3

Adieu, ye mountains of the clime Where grew my youthful years; Where Loch na Garr in snows sublime His giant summit rears. Why did my childhood wander forth From you, ye regions of the North, With sons of Pride to roam? Why did I quit my Highland cave, Marr's dusky heath, and Dee's clear wave, To seek a Sotheron home?

4

Hall of my Sires! a long farewell— Yet why to thee adieu? Thy vaults will echo back my knell, Thy towers my tomb will view: The faltering tongue which sung thy fall, And former glories of thy Hall, Forgets its wonted simple note— But yet the Lyre retains the strings, And sometimes, on AEolian wings, In dying strains may float.

5.

Fields, which surround yon rustic cot, [2] While yet I linger here, Adieu! you are not now forgot, To retrospection dear. Streamlet! [3] along whose rippling surge My youthful limbs were wont to urge, At noontide heat, their pliant course; Plunging with ardour from the shore, Thy springs will lave these limbs no more, Deprived of active force.

6.

And shall I here forget the scene, Still nearest to my breast? Rocks rise and rivers roll between The spot which passion blest; Yet Mary, [4] all thy beauties seem Fresh as in Love's bewitching dream, To me in smiles display'd; Till slow disease resigns his prey To Death, the parent of decay, Thine image cannot fade.

7.

And thou, my Friend! whose gentle love Yet thrills my bosom's chords, How much thy friendship was above Description's power of words! Still near my breast thy gift [5] I wear [ii] Which sparkled once with Feeling's tear, Of Love the pure, the sacred gem: Our souls were equal, and our lot In that dear moment quite forgot; Let Pride alone condemn!

8.

All, all is dark and cheerless now! No smile of Love's deceit Can warm my veins with wonted glow, Can bid Life's pulses beat: Not e'en the hope of future fame Can wake my faint, exhausted frame, Or crown with fancied wreaths my head. Mine is a short inglorious race,— To humble in the dust my face, And mingle with the dead.

9.

Oh Fame! thou goddess of my heart; On him who gains thy praise, Pointless must fall the Spectre's dart, Consumed in Glory's blaze; But me she beckons from the earth, My name obscure, unmark'd my birth, My life a short and vulgar dream: Lost in the dull, ignoble crowd, My hopes recline within a shroud, My fate is Lethe's stream.

10.

When I repose beneath the sod, Unheeded in the clay, Where once my playful footsteps trod, Where now my head must lay, [6] The meed of Pity will be shed In dew-drops o'er my narrow bed, By nightly skies, and storms alone; No mortal eye will deign to steep With tears the dark sepulchral deep Which hides a name unknown.

11.

Forget this world, my restless sprite, Turn, turn thy thoughts to Heaven: There must thou soon direct thy flight, If errors are forgiven. To bigots and to sects unknown, Bow down beneath the Almighty's Throne; To Him address thy trembling prayer: He, who is merciful and just, Will not reject a child of dust, Although His meanest care.

12.

Father of Light! to Thee I call; My soul is dark within: Thou who canst mark the sparrow's fall, Avert the death of sin. Thou, who canst guide the wandering star Who calm'st the elemental war, Whose mantle is yon boundless sky, My thoughts, my words, my crimes forgive; And, since I soon must cease to live, Instruct me how to die. [iii]

1807. [First published, 1832.]



[Footnote 1: Harrow. ]

[Footnote 2: Mrs. Pigot's Cottage.]

[Footnote 3: The river Grete, at Southwell.]

[Footnote 4: Mary Chaworth.]

[Footnote 5: Compare the verses on "The Cornelian," p. 66, and "Pignus Amoris," p. 231.]

[Footnote 6: See note to "Pignus Amoris," st. 3, l. 3, p. 232.]

[Footnote i:

'—ye regal Towers'.

['MS. Newstead'.] ]

[Footnote ii:

'The gift I wear'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote iii:

'And since I must forbear to live, Instruct me how to die.'

['MS. Newstead']



TO——[1]

1.

Oh! well I know your subtle Sex, Frail daughters of the wanton Eve,— While jealous pangs our Souls perplex, No passion prompts you to relieve.

2

From Love, or Pity ne'er you fall, By you, no mutual Flame is felt, "Tis Vanity, which rules you all, Desire alone which makes you melt.

3

I will not say no souls are yours, Aye, ye have Souls, and dark ones too, Souls to contrive those smiling lures, To snare our simple hearts for you.

4

Yet shall you never bind me fast, Long to adore such brittle toys, I'll rove along, from first to last, And change whene'er my fancy cloys.

5

Oh! I should be a baby fool, To sigh the dupe of female art— Woman! perhaps thou hast a Soul, But where have Demons hid thy Heart?

January, 1807.



[Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.]



ON THE EYES OF MISS A——H——[1]

Anne's Eye is liken'd to the Sun, From it such Beams of Beauty fall; And this can be denied by none, For like the Sun, it shines on All.

Then do not admiration smother, Or say these glances don't become her; To you, or I, or any other Her Sun, displays perpetual Summer. [2]

January 14, 1807.



[Footnote 1: Miss Anne Houson. From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.]

[Footnote 2: Compare, for the same simile, the lines "To Edward Noel Long, Esq.," p. 187, 'ante'.]



TO A VAIN LADY. [1]

1

Ah, heedless girl! why thus disclose What ne'er was meant for other ears; Why thus destroy thine own repose, And dig the source of future tears?

2

Oh, thou wilt weep, imprudent maid, While lurking envious foes will smile, For all the follies thou hast said Of those who spoke but to beguile.

3

Vain girl! thy lingering woes are nigh, If thou believ'st what striplings say: Oh, from the deep temptation fly, Nor fall the specious spoiler's prey.

4

Dost thou repeat, in childish boast, The words man utters to deceive? Thy peace, thy hope, thy all is lost, If thou canst venture to believe.

5

While now amongst thy female peers Thou tell'st again the soothing tale, Canst thou not mark the rising sneers Duplicity in vain would veil?

6

These tales in secret silence hush, Nor make thyself the public gaze: What modest maid without a blush Recounts a flattering coxcomb's praise?

7.

Will not the laughing boy despise Her who relates each fond conceit— Who, thinking Heaven is in her eyes, Yet cannot see the slight deceit?

8.

For she who takes a soft delight These amorous nothings in revealing, Must credit all we say or write, While vanity prevents concealing.

9.

Cease, if you prize your Beauty's reign! No jealousy bids me reprove: One, who is thus from nature vain, I pity, but I cannot love.

January 15, 1807. [First published, 1832.]



[Footnote 1: To A Young Lady (Miss Anne Houson) whose vanity induced her to repeat the compliments paid her by some young men of her acquaintance.—'MS. Newstead_'.]



TO ANNE. [1]

1.

Oh, Anne, your offences to me have been grievous: I thought from my wrath no atonement could save you; But Woman is made to command and deceive us— I look'd in your face, and I almost forgave you.

2.

I vow'd I could ne'er for a moment respect you, Yet thought that a day's separation was long; When we met, I determined again to suspect you— Your smile soon convinced me suspicion was wrong.

3.

I swore, in a transport of young indignation, With fervent contempt evermore to disdain you: I saw you—my anger became admiration; And now, all my wish, all my hope's to regain you.

4.

With beauty like yours, oh, how vain the contention! Thus lowly I sue for forgiveness before you;— At once to conclude such a fruitless dissension, Be false, my sweet Anne, when I cease to adore you!

January 16, 1807. [First published, 1832.]



[Footnote 1: Miss Anne Houson.]



EGOTISM. A LETTER TO J. T. BECHER. [1]

[Greek: Heauton bur_on aeidei.]



1.

If Fate should seal my Death to-morrow, (Though much I hope she will postpone it,) I've held a share Joy and Sorrow, Enough for Ten; and here I own it.

2.

I've lived, as many others live, And yet, I think, with more enjoyment; For could I through my days again live, I'd pass them in the 'same' employment.

3.

That 'is' to say, with 'some exception', For though I will not make confession, I've seen too much of man's deception Ever again to trust profession.

4.

Some sage 'Mammas' with gesture haughty, Pronounce me quite a youthful Sinner— But 'Daughters' say, "although he's naughty, You must not check a 'Young Beginner'!"

5.

I've loved, and many damsels know it— But whom I don't intend to mention, As 'certain stanzas' also show it, 'Some' say 'deserving Reprehension'.

6.

Some ancient Dames, of virtue fiery, (Unless Report does much belie them,) Have lately made a sharp Enquiry, And much it 'grieves' me to 'deny' them.

7.

Two whom I lov'd had 'eyes' of 'Blue', To which I hope you've no objection; The 'Rest' had eyes of 'darker Hue'— Each Nymph, of course, was 'all perfection'.

8.

But here I'll close my 'chaste' Description, Nor say the deeds of animosity; For 'silence' is the best prescription, To 'physic' idle curiosity.

9.

Of 'Friends' I've known a 'goodly Hundred'— For finding 'one' in each acquaintance, By 'some deceived', by others plunder'd, 'Friendship', to me, was not 'Repentance'.

10.

At 'School' I thought like other 'Children'; Instead of 'Brains', a fine Ingredient, 'Romance', my 'youthful Head bewildering', To 'Sense' had made me disobedient.

11.

A victim, 'nearly' from affection, To certain 'very precious scheming', The still remaining recollection Has 'cured' my 'boyish soul' of 'Dreaming'.

12.

By Heaven! I rather would forswear The Earth, and all the joys reserved me, Than dare again the 'specious Snare', From which 'my Fate' and 'Heaven preserved' me.

13.

Still I possess some Friends who love me— In each a much esteemed and true one; The Wealth of Worlds shall never move me To quit their Friendship, for a new one.

14.

But Becher! you're a 'reverend pastor', Now take it in consideration, Whether for penance I should fast, or Pray for my 'sins' in expiation.

15.

I own myself the child of 'Folly', But not so wicked as they make me— I soon must die of melancholy, If 'Female' smiles should e'er forsake me.

16.

'Philosophers' have 'never doubted', That 'Ladies' Lips' were made for 'kisses!' For 'Love!' I could not live without it, For such a 'cursed' place as 'This is'.

17.

Say, Becher, I shall be forgiven! If you don't warrant my salvation, I must resign all 'Hopes' of 'Heaven'! For, 'Faith', I can't withstand Temptation.

P.S.—These were written between one and two, after 'midnight'. I have not 'corrected', or 'revised'. Yours, BYRON.



[Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.]



TO ANNE. [1]



1

Oh say not, sweet Anne, that the Fates have decreed The heart which adores you should wish to dissever; Such Fates were to me most unkind ones indeed,— To bear me from Love and from Beauty for ever.

2.

Your frowns, lovely girl, are the Fates which alone Could bid me from fond admiration refrain; By these, every hope, every wish were o'erthrown, Till smiles should restore me to rapture again.

3.

As the ivy and oak, in the forest entwin'd, The rage of the tempest united must weather; My love and my life were by nature design'd To flourish alike, or to perish together.

4.

Then say not, sweet Anne, that the Fates have decreed Your lover should bid you a lasting adieu: Till Fate can ordain that his bosom shall bleed, His Soul, his Existence, are centred in you.

1807. [First published, 1832.]



TO THE AUTHOR OF A SONNET

BEGINNING "'SAD IS MY VERSE,' YOU SAY, 'AND YET NO TEAR.'"

1.

Thy verse is "sad" enough, no doubt: A devilish deal more sad than witty! Why we should weep I can't find out, Unless for thee we weep in pity.

2.

Yet there is one I pity more; And much, alas! I think he needs it: For he, I'm sure, will suffer sore, Who, to his own misfortune, reads it.

3.

Thy rhymes, without the aid of magic, May once be read—but never after: Yet their effect's by no means tragic, Although by far too dull for laughter.

4.

But would you make our bosoms bleed, And of no common pang complain— If you would make us weep indeed, Tell us, you'll read them o'er again.

March 8, 1807. [First published, 1832.]



ON FINDING A FAN. [1]

1.

In one who felt as once he felt, This might, perhaps, have fann'd the flame; But now his heart no more will melt, Because that heart is not the same.

2.

As when the ebbing flames are low, The aid which once improved their light, And bade them burn with fiercer glow, Now quenches all their blaze in night.

3.

Thus has it been with Passion's fires— As many a boy and girl remembers— While every hope of love expires, Extinguish'd with the dying embers.

4.

The first, though not a spark survive, Some careful hand may teach to burn; The last, alas! can ne'er survive; No touch can bid its warmth return.

5.

Or, if it chance to wake again, Not always doom'd its heat to smother, It sheds (so wayward fates ordain) Its former warmth around another.

1807. [First published, 1832.]



[Footnote 1: Of Miss A. H. (MS. Newstead).]



FAREWELL TO THE MUSE. ị

1.

Thou Power! who hast ruled me through Infancy's days, Young offspring of Fancy, 'tis time we should part; Then rise on the gale this the last of my lays, The coldest effusion which springs from my heart.

2.

This bosom, responsive to rapture no more, Shall hush thy wild notes, nor implore thee to sing; The feelings of childhood, which taught thee to soar, Are wafted far distant on Apathy's wing.

3.

Though simple the themes of my rude flowing Lyre, Yet even these themes are departed for ever; No more beam the eyes which my dream could inspire, My visions are flown, to return,—alas, never!

4.

When drain'd is the nectar which gladdens the bowl, How vain is the effort delight to prolong! When cold is the beauty which dwelt in my soul, [ii] What magic of Fancy can lengthen my song?

5.

Can the lips sing of Love in the desert alone, Of kisses and smiles which they now must resign? Or dwell with delight on the hours that are flown? Ah, no! for those hours can no longer be mine.

6.

Can they speak of the friends that I lived but to love? [iii] Ah, surely Affection ennobles the strain! But how can my numbers in sympathy move, When I scarcely can hope to behold them again?

7.

Can I sing of the deeds which my Fathers have done, And raise my loud harp to the fame of my Sires? For glories like theirs, oh, how faint is my tone! For Heroes' exploits how unequal my fires!

8.

Untouch'd, then, my Lyre shall reply to the blast— 'Tis hush'd; and my feeble endeavours are o'er; And those who have heard it will pardon the past, When they know that its murmurs shall vibrate no more.

9.

And soon shall its wild erring notes be forgot, Since early affection and love is o'ercast: Oh! blest had my Fate been, and happy my lot, Had the first strain of love been the dearest, the last.

10.

Farewell, my young Muse! since we now can ne'er meet; [iv] If our songs have been languid, they surely are few: Let us hope that the present at least will be sweet— The present—which seals our eternal Adieu.

1807. [First published, 1832.]



[Footnote 1:

'Adieu to the Muse'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote ii:

'When cold is the form'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote iii:

—'whom I lived but to love'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote iv:

'Since we never can meet'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]



TO AN OAK AT NEWSTEAD. [1]

1.

Young Oak! when I planted thee deep in the ground, I hoped that thy days would be longer than mine; That thy dark-waving branches would flourish around, And ivy thy trunk with its mantle entwine.

2.

Such, such was my hope, when in Infancy's years, On the land of my Fathers I rear'd thee with pride; They are past, and I water thy stem with my tears,— Thy decay, not the weeds that surround thee can hide.

3.

I left thee, my Oak, and, since that fatal hour, A stranger has dwelt in the hall of my Sire; Till Manhood shall crown me, not mine is the power, But his, whose neglect may have bade thee expire.

4.

Oh! hardy thou wert—even now little care Might revive thy young head, and thy wounds gently heal: But thou wert not fated affection to share— For who could suppose that a Stranger would feel?

5.

Ah, droop not, my Oak! lift thy head for a while; Ere twice round yon Glory this planet shall run, The hand of thy Master will teach thee to smile, When Infancy's years of probation are done.

6.

Oh, live then, my Oak! tow'r aloft from the weeds, That clog thy young growth, and assist thy decay, For still in thy bosom are Life's early seeds, And still may thy branches their beauty display.

7.

Oh! yet, if Maturity's years may be thine, Though I shall lie low in the cavern of Death, On thy leaves yet the day-beam of ages may shine, [i] Uninjured by Time, or the rude Winter's breath.

8.

For centuries still may thy boughs lightly wave O'er the corse of thy Lord in thy canopy laid; While the branches thus gratefully shelter his grave, The Chief who survives may recline in thy shade.

9.

And as he, with his boys, shall revisit this spot, He will tell them in whispers more softly to tread. Oh! surely, by these I shall ne'er be forgot; Remembrance still hallows the dust of the dead.

10.

And here, will they say, when in Life's glowing prime, Perhaps he has pour'd forth his young simple lay, And here must he sleep, till the moments of Time Are lost in the hours of Eternity's day.

1807. [First published 1832.]

["Copied for Mr. Moore, Jan. 24, 1828."—Note by Miss Pigot.]



[Footnote 1: There is no heading to the original MS., but on the blank leaf at the end of the poem is written,

"To an oak in the garden of Newstead Abbey, planted by the author in the 9th year of [his] age; this tree at his last visit was in a state of decay, though perhaps not irrecoverable."

On arriving at Newstead, in 1798, Byron, then in his eleventh year, planted an oak, and cherished the fancy, that as the tree flourished so should he. On revisiting the abbey, he found the oak choked up by weeds and almost destroyed;—hence these lines. Shortly after Colonel Wildman took possession, he said to a servant,

"Here is a fine young oak; but it must be cut down, as it grows in an improper place."

"I hope not, sir, "replied the man, "for it's the one that my lord was so fond of, because he set it himself."

Life, p. 50, note.]

[Footnote i:

For ages may shine.

[MS. Newstead]]



ON REVISITING HARROW. [1]

1.

Here once engaged the stranger's view Young Friendship's record simply trac'd; Few were her words,—but yet, though few, Resentment's hand the line defac'd.

2.

Deeply she cut—but not eras'd— The characters were still so plain, That Friendship once return'd, and gaz'd,— Till Memory hail'd the words again.

3.

Repentance plac'd them as before; Forgiveness join'd her gentle name; So fair the inscription seem'd once more, That Friendship thought it still the same.

4.

Thus might the Record now have been; But, ah, in spite of Hope's endeavour, Or Friendship's tears, Pride rush'd between, And blotted out the line for ever.

September, 1807.

[First published in Moore's 'Life and Letters, etc.', 1830, i. 102.]



[Footnote 1:

"Some years ago, when at Harrow, a friend of the author engraved on a particular spot the names of both, with a few additional words, as a memorial. Afterwards, on receiving some real or imaginary injury, the author destroyed the frail record before he left Harrow. On revisiting the place in 1807, he wrote under it these stanzas."

Moore's 'Life, etc.', i. 102.]]



TO MY SON. [1]

1.

Those flaxen locks, those eyes of blue Bright as thy mother's in their hue; Those rosy lips, whose dimples play And smile to steal the heart away, Recall a scene of former joy, And touch thy father's heart, my Boy!

2.

And thou canst lisp a father's name— Ah, William, were thine own the same,— No self-reproach—but, let me cease— My care for thee shall purchase peace; Thy mother's shade shall smile in joy, And pardon all the past, my Boy!

3.

Her lowly grave the turf has prest, And thou hast known a stranger's breast; Derision sneers upon thy birth, And yields thee scarce a name on earth; Yet shall not these one hope destroy,— A Father's heart is thine, my Boy!

4.

Why, let the world unfeeling frown, Must I fond Nature's claims disown? Ah, no—though moralists reprove, I hail thee, dearest child of Love, Fair cherub, pledge of youth and joy— A Father guards thy birth, my Boy!

5.

Oh,'twill be sweet in thee to trace, Ere Age has wrinkled o'er my face, Ere half my glass of life is run, At once a brother and a son; And all my wane of years employ In justice done to thee, my Boy!

6.

Although so young thy heedless sire, Youth will not damp parental fire; And, wert thou still less dear to me, While Helen's form revives in thee, The breast, which beat to former joy, Will ne'er desert its pledge, my Boy!

1807.

[First published in Moore's 'Life and Letters, etc.', 1830, i. 104.]

[Footnote 1: For a reminiscence of what was, possibly, an actual event, see 'Don Juan', canto xvi. st. 61. He told Lady Byron that he had two natural children, whom he should provide for.]



QUERIES TO CASUISTS. [1]

The Moralists tell us that Loving is Sinning, And always are prating about and about it, But as Love of Existence itself's the beginning, Say, what would Existence itself be without it?

They argue the point with much furious Invective, Though perhaps 'twere no difficult task to confute it; But if Venus and Hymen should once prove defective, Pray who would there be to defend or dispute it?

BYRON.

[Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. (watermark 1805) at Newstead, now for the first time printed.]



SONG.[1]

1.

Breeze of the night in gentler sighs More softly murmur o'er the pillow; For Slumber seals my Fanny's eyes, And Peace must never shun her pillow.

2.

Or breathe those sweet AEolian strains Stolen from celestial spheres above, To charm her ear while some remains, And soothe her soul to dreams of love.

3.

But Breeze of night again forbear, In softest murmurs only sigh: Let not a Zephyr's pinion dare To lift those auburn locks on high.

4.

Chill is thy Breath, thou breeze of night! Oh! ruffle not those lids of Snow; For only Morning's cheering light May wake the beam that lurks below.

5.

Blest be that lip and azure eye! Sweet Fanny, hallowed be thy Sleep! Those lips shall never vent a sigh, Those eyes may never wake to weep.

February 23rd, 1808.

[Footnote 1: From the MS. in the possession of the Earl of Lovelace.]



TO HARRIET. [1]

1.

Harriet! to see such Circumspection, [2] In Ladies I have no objection Concerning what they read; An ancient Maid's a sage adviser, Like her, you will be much the wiser, In word, as well as Deed.

2.

But Harriet, I don't wish to flatter, And really think 't would make the matter More perfect if not quite, If other Ladies when they preach, Would certain Damsels also teach More cautiously to write.



[Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.]

[Footnote 2: See the poem "To Marion," and 'note', p. 129. It would seem that J. T. Becher addressed some flattering lines to Byron with reference to a poem concerning Harriet Maltby, possibly the lines "To Marion." The following note was attached by Miss Pigot to these stanzas, which must have been written on another occasion:—

"I saw Lord B. was flattered by John Becher's lines, as he read 'Apollo', etc., with a peculiar smile and emphasis; so out of fun, to vex him a little, I said,

'Apollo! He should have said Apollyon.'

'Elizabeth! for Heaven's sake don't say so again! I don't mind you telling me so; but if any one else got hold of the word, I should never hear the end of it.'

So I laughed at him, and dropt it, for he was red with agitation."]



THERE WAS A TIME, I NEED NOT NAME. [i] [1]

1.

There was a time, I need not name, Since it will ne'er forgotten be, When all our feelings were the same As still my soul hath been to thee.

2.

And from that hour when first thy tongue Confess'd a love which equall'd mine, Though many a grief my heart hath wrung, Unknown, and thus unfelt, by thine,

3.

None, none hath sunk so deep as this— To think how all that love hath flown; Transient as every faithless kiss, But transient in thy breast alone.

4.

And yet my heart some solace knew, When late I heard thy lips declare, In accents once imagined true, Remembrance of the days that were.

5.

Yes! my adored, yet most unkind! Though thou wilt never love again, To me 'tis doubly sweet to find Remembrance of that love remain. [ii]

6.

Yes! 'tis a glorious thought to me, Nor longer shall my soul repine, Whate'er thou art or e'er shall be, Thou hast been dearly, solely mine.

June 10, 1808. [First published, 1809]



[Footnote 1: This copy of verses, with eight others, originally appeared in a volume published in 1809 by J. C. Hobhouse, under the title of Imitations and Translations, From the Ancient and Modern Classics, Together with Original Poems never before published. The MS. is in the possession of the Earl of Lovelace.]

[Footnote i:

Stanzas to the Same.

[Imit. and Transl., p. 200.]]

[Footnote ii:

The memory of that love again.

[MS. L.]]



AND WILT THOU WEEP WHEN I AM LOW? [i]

1.

And wilt thou weep when I am low? Sweet lady! speak those words again: Yet if they grieve thee, say not so— I would not give that bosom pain.

2.

My heart is sad, my hopes are gone, My blood runs coldly through my breast; And when I perish, thou alone Wilt sigh above my place of rest.

3.

And yet, methinks, a gleam of peace Doth through my cloud of anguish shine: And for a while my sorrows cease, To know thy heart hath felt for mine.

4.

Oh lady! blessed be that tear— It falls for one who cannot weep; Such precious drops are doubly dear [ii] To those whose eyes no tear may steep.

5.

Sweet lady! once my heart was warm With every feeling soft as thine; But Beauty's self hath ceased to charm A wretch created to repine.

6. [iii]

Yet wilt thou weep when I am low? Sweet lady! speak those words again: Yet if they grieve thee, say not so— I would not give that bosom pain. [1]

Aug. 12, 1808. [First published, 1809.]



[Footnote 1: It was in one of Byron's fits of melancholy that the following verses were addressed to him by his friend John Cam Hobhouse:—

EPISTLE TO A YOUNG NOBLEMAN IN LOVE.

Hail! generous youth, whom glory's sacred flame Inspires, and animates to deeds of fame; Who feel the noble wish before you die To raise the finger of each passer-by: Hail! may a future age admiring view A Falkland or a Clarendon in you. But as your blood with dangerous passion boils, Beware! and fly from Venus' silken toils: Ah! let the head protect the weaker heart, And Wisdom's AEgis turn on Beauty's dart.

* * * * *

But if 'tis fix'd that every lord must pair, And you and Newstead must not want an heir, Lose not your pains, and scour the country round, To find a treasure that can ne'er be found! No! take the first the town or court affords, Trick'd out to stock a market for the lords; By chance perhaps your luckier choice may fall On one, though wicked, not the worst of all:

* * * * *

One though perhaps as any Maxwell free, Yet scarce a copy, Claribel, of thee; Not very ugly, and not very old, A little pert indeed, but not a scold; One that, in short, may help to lead a life Not farther much from comfort than from strife; And when she dies, and disappoints your fears, Shall leave some joys for your declining years.

But, as your early youth some time allows, Nor custom yet demands you for a spouse, Some hours of freedom may remain as yet, For one who laughs alike at love and debt: Then, why in haste? put off the evil day, And snatch at youthful comforts while you may! Pause! nor so soon the various bliss forego That single souls, and such alone, can know: Ah! why too early careless life resign, Your morning slumber, and your evening wine; Your loved companion, and his easy talk; Your Muse, invoked in every peaceful walk? What! can no more your scenes paternal please, Scenes sacred long to wise, unmated ease? The prospect lengthen'd o'er the distant down, Lakes, meadows, rising woods, and all your own? What! shall your Newstead, shall your cloister'd bowers, The high o'erhanging arch and trembling towers! Shall these, profaned with folly or with strife, An ever fond, or ever angry wife! Shall these no more confess a manly sway, But changeful woman's changing whims obey? Who may, perhaps, as varying humour calls, Contract your cloisters and o'erthrow your walls; Let Repton loose o'er all the ancient ground, Change round to square, and square convert to round; Root up the elms' and yews' too solemn gloom, And fill with shrubberies gay and green their room; Roll down the terrace to a gay parterre, Where gravel'd walks and flowers alternate glare; And quite transform, in every point complete, Your Gothic abbey to a country seat.

Forget the fair one, and your fate delay; If not avert, at least defer the day, When you beneath the female yoke shall bend, And lose your wit, your temper, and your friend. [A]

Trin. Coll. Camb., 1808.]

[Sub-Footnote A: In his mother's copy of Hobhouse's volume, Byron has written with a pencil,

"I have lost them all, and shall WED accordingly. 1811. B."]



[Footnote i:

Stanzas.

[MS. L.]

To the Same.

[Imit. and Transl., p 202.]]



[Footnote ii:

For one whose life is torment here, And only in the dust may sleep.

[MS. L.]]

[Footnote iii: The MS. inserts—

Lady I will not tell my tale For it would rend thy melting heart; 'Twere pity sorrow should prevail O'er one so gentle as thou art.

[MS. L.]]



REMIND ME NOT, REMIND ME NOT. [i]

1.

Remind me not, remind me not, Of those beloved, those vanish'd hours, When all my soul was given to thee; Hours that may never be forgot, Till Time unnerves our vital powers, And thou and I shall cease to be.

2.

Can I forget—canst thou forget, When playing with thy golden hair, How quick thy fluttering heart did move? Oh! by my soul, I see thee yet, With eyes so languid, breast so fair, And lips, though silent, breathing love.

3.

When thus reclining on my breast, Those eyes threw back a glance so sweet, As half reproach'd yet rais'd desire, And still we near and nearer prest, And still our glowing lips would meet, As if in kisses to expire.

4.

And then those pensive eyes would close, And bid their lids each other seek, Veiling the azure orbs below; While their long lashes' darken'd gloss Seem'd stealing o'er thy brilliant cheek, Like raven's plumage smooth'd on snow.

5.

I dreamt last night our love return'd, And, sooth to say, that very dream Was sweeter in its phantasy, Than if for other hearts I burn'd, For eyes that ne'er like thine could beam In Rapture's wild reality.

6.

Then tell me not, remind me not, [ii] Of hours which, though for ever gone, Can still a pleasing dream restore, [iii] Till thou and I shall be forgot, And senseless, as the mouldering stone Which tells that we shall be no more.

Aug. 13, 1808. [First published, 1809.]



[Footnote i:

_A Love Song. To——.

[Imit. and Transl., p. 197.]

[Footnote ii:

Remind me not, remind me not.

[MS. L.] ]

[Footnote iii:

Must still.

[MS. L.] ]



TO A YOUTHFUL FRIEND. [i]

1.

Few years have pass'd since thou and I Were firmest friends, at least in name, And Childhood's gay sincerity Preserved our feelings long the same. [ii]

2.

But now, like me, too well thou know'st [iii] What trifles oft the heart recall; And those who once have loved the most Too soon forget they lov'd at all. [iv]

3.

And such the change the heart displays, So frail is early friendship's reign, [v] A month's brief lapse, perhaps a day's, Will view thy mind estrang'd again. ǐ

4.

If so, it never shall be mine To mourn the loss of such a heart; The fault was Nature's fault, not thine, Which made thee fickle as thou art.

5.

As rolls the Ocean's changing tide, So human feelings ebb and flow; And who would in a breast confide Where stormy passions ever glow?

6.

It boots not that, together bred, Our childish days were days of joy: My spring of life has quickly fled; Thou, too, hast ceas'd to be a boy.

7.

And when we bid adieu to youth, Slaves to the specious World's controul, We sigh a long farewell to truth; That World corrupts the noblest soul.

8.

Ah, joyous season! when the mind [1] Dares all things boldly but to lie; When Thought ere spoke is unconfin'd, And sparkles in the placid eye.

9.

Not so in Man's maturer years, When Man himself is but a tool; When Interest sways our hopes and fears, And all must love and hate by rule.

10.

With fools in kindred vice the same, [vii] We learn at length our faults to blend; And those, and those alone, may claim The prostituted name of friend.

11.

Such is the common lot of man: Can we then 'scape from folly free? Can we reverse the general plan, Nor be what all in turn must be?

12.

No; for myself, so dark my fate Through every turn of life hath been; Man and the World so much I hate, I care not when I quit the scene.

13.

But thou, with spirit frail and light, Wilt shine awhile, and pass away; As glow-worms sparkle through the night, But dare not stand the test of day.

14.

Alas! whenever Folly calls Where parasites and princes meet, (For cherish'd first in royal halls, The welcome vices kindly greet,)

15.

Ev'n now thou'rt nightly seen to add One insect to the fluttering crowd; And still thy trifling heart is glad To join the vain and court the proud.

16.

There dost thou glide from fair to fair, Still simpering on with eager haste, As flies along the gay parterre, That taint the flowers they scarcely taste.

17.

But say, what nymph will prize the flame Which seems, as marshy vapours move, To flit along from dame to dame, An ignis-fatuus gleam of love?

18.

What friend for thee, howe'er inclin'd, Will deign to own a kindred care? Who will debase his manly mind, For friendship every fool may share?

19.

In time forbear; amidst the throng No more so base a thing be seen; No more so idly pass along; Be something, any thing, but—mean.

August 20th, 1808. [First published, 1809.]



[Footnote 1: Stanzas 8-9 are not in the MS.]

[Footnote i:

'To Sir W. D., on his using the expression, "Soyes constant en amitie."'

[MS. L.] ]

[Footnote ii:

'Twere well my friend if still with thee Through every scene of joy and woe, That thought could ever cherish'd be As warm as it was wont to glow.

[MS. L] ]

[Footnote iii:

And yet like me.

[MS. L.] ]

[Footnote iv:

Forget they ever.

[MS. L. Imit. and Transl., p. 185.] ]

[Footnote v:

So short.

[MS. L.] ]

[Footnote vi:

...a day Will send my friendship back again.

[MS. L.]

[Footnote vii:

Each fool whose vices are the same Whose faults with ours may blend.

[MS. L.]]



LINES INSCRIBED UPON A CUP FORMED FROM A SKULL. [1]



1.

Start not—nor deem my spirit fled: In me behold the only skull, From which, unlike a living head, Whatever flows is never dull.

2.

I lived, I loved, I quaff'd, like thee: I died: let earth my bones resign; Fill up—thou canst not injure me; The worm hath fouler lips than thine.

3.

Better to hold the sparkling grape, Than nurse the earth-worm's slimy brood; And circle in the goblet's shape The drink of Gods, than reptile's food.

4.

Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone, In aid of others' let me shine; And when, alas! our brains are gone, What nobler substitute than wine?

5.

Quaff while thou canst: another race, When thou and thine, like me, are sped, May rescue thee from earth's embrace, And rhyme and revel with the dead.

6.

Why not? since through life's little day Our heads such sad effects produce; Redeem'd from worms and wasting clay, This chance is theirs, to be of use.

Newstead Abbey, 1808.

[First published in the seventh edition of 'Childe Harold'.]

[Footnote 1: Byron gave Medwin the following account of this cup:—"The gardener in digging [discovered] a skull that had probably belonged to some jolly friar or monk of the abbey, about the time it was dis-monasteried. Observing it to be of giant size, and in a perfect state of preservation, a strange fancy seized me of having it set and mounted as a drinking cup. I accordingly sent it to town, and it returned with a very high polish, and of a mottled colour like tortoiseshell."—Medwin's 'Conversations', 1824, p. 87.]



WELL! THOU ART HAPPY. [i] [1]

1.

Well! thou art happy, and I feel That I should thus be happy too; For still my heart regards thy weal Warmly, as it was wont to do.

2.

Thy husband's blest—and 'twill impart Some pangs to view his happier lot: [ii] But let them pass—Oh! how my heart Would hate him if he loved thee not!

3.

When late I saw thy favourite child, I thought my jealous heart would break; But when the unconscious infant smil'd, I kiss'd it for its mother's sake.

4.

I kiss'd it,—and repress'd my sighs Its father in its face to see; But then it had its mother's eyes, And they were all to love and me.

5. [iii]

Mary, adieu! I must away: While thou art blest I'll not repine; But near thee I can never stay; My heart would soon again be thine.

6.

I deem'd that Time, I deem'd that Pride, Had quench'd at length my boyish flame; Nor knew, till seated by thy side, My heart in all,—save hope,—the same.

7.

Yet was I calm: I knew the time My breast would thrill before thy look; But now to tremble were a crime— We met,—and not a nerve was shook.

8.

I saw thee gaze upon my face, Yet meet with no confusion there: One only feeling couldst thou trace; The sullen calmness of despair.

9.

Away! away! my early dream Remembrance never must awake: Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream? My foolish heart be still, or break.

November, 1808. [First published, 1809.]



[Footnote 1: These lines were written after dining at Annesley with Mr. and Mrs. Chaworth Musters. Their daughter, born 1806, and now Mrs. Hamond, of Westacre, Norfolk, is still (January, 1898) living.]

[Footnote i:

To Mrs.——[erased].

[MS. L.]

To——-.

[Imit. and Transl. Hobhouse, 1809.] ]

[Footnote ii:

Some pang to see my rival's lot.

[MS. L.] ]

[Footnote iii: MS. L. inserts—

Poor little pledge of mutual love, I would not hurt a hair of thee, Although thy birth should chance to prove Thy parents' bliss—my misery.]



INSCRIPTION ON THE MONUMENT OF A NEWFOUNDLAND DOG. [1]

When some proud son of man returns to earth, Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth, The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe And storied urns record who rest below: When all is done, upon the tomb is seen, Not what he was, but what he should have been: But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend, The first to welcome, foremost to defend, Whose honest heart is still his master's own, Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone, Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth— Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth: While Man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven, And claims himself a sole exclusive Heaven. Oh Man! thou feeble tenant of an hour, Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power, Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust, Degraded mass of animated dust! Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat, Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit! By nature vile, ennobled but by name, Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame. Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn, Pass on—it honours none you wish to mourn: To mark a Friend's remains these stones arise; I never knew but one,—and here he lies. [i]

Newstead Abbey, October 30, 1808. [First published, 1809.]

[Footnote 1: This monument is placed in the garden of Newstead. A prose inscription precedes the verses:—

"Near this spot Are deposited the Remains of one Who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery If inscribed over human ashes, Is but a just tribute to the Memory of BOATSWAIN, a Dog, Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803, And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18, 1808."

Byron thus announced the death of his favourite to his friend Hodgson:—"Boatswain is dead!—he expired in a state of madness on the 18th after suffering much, yet retaining all the gentleness of his nature to the last; never attempting to do the least injury to any one near him. I have now lost everything except old Murray." In the will which the poet executed in 1811, he desired to be buried in the vault with his dog, and Joe Murray was to have the honour of making one of the party. When the poet was on his travels, a gentleman, to whom Murray showed the tomb, said, "Well, old boy, you will take your place here some twenty years hence." "I don't know that, sir," replied Joe; "if I was sure his lordship would come here I should like it well enough, but I should not like to lie alone with the dog."—'Life', pp. 73, 131.]

[Footnote i:

_I knew but one unchang'd—and here he lies.—

[Imit. and Transl., p. 191.] ]



TO A LADY, [1]

ON BEING ASKED MY REASON FOR QUITTING ENGLAND IN THE SPRING. [i]



1.

When Man, expell'd from Eden's bowers, A moment linger'd near the gate, Each scene recall'd the vanish'd hours, And bade him curse his future fate.

2.

But, wandering on through distant climes, He learnt to bear his load of grief; Just gave a sigh to other times, And found in busier scenes relief.

3.

Thus, Lady! will it be with me, [ii] And I must view thy charms no more; For, while I linger near to thee, I sigh for all I knew before.

4.

In flight I shall be surely wise, Escaping from temptation's snare: I cannot view my Paradise Without the wish of dwelling there. [iii] [2]

December 2, 1808. [First published, 1809.]



[Footnote 1: Byron had written to his mother on November 2, 1808, announcing his intention of sailing for India in the following March. See 'Childe Harold', canto i. st. 3. See also Letter to Hodgson, Nov. 27, 1808.]

[Footnote 2: In an unpublished letter of Byron to——, dated within a few days of his final departure from Italy to Greece, in 1823, he writes:

"Miss Chaworth was two years older than myself. She married a man of an ancient and respectable family, but her marriage was not a happier one than my own. Her conduct, however, was irreproachable; but there was not sympathy between their characters. I had not seen her for many years when an occasion offered to me, January, 1814. I was upon the point, with her consent, of paying her a visit, when my sister, who has always had more influence over me than any one else, persuaded me not to do it. 'For,' said she, 'if you go you will fall in love again, and then there will be a scene; one step will lead to another, 'et cela fera un eclat''."]

[Footnote i:

'The Farewell To a Lady.'

['Imit. and Transl.']

[Footnote ii:

'Thus Mary!' (Mrs. Musters).

['MS'.]

[Footnote iii:

'Without a wish to enter there.'

['Imit. and Transl'., p. 196.] ]



FILL THE GOBLET AGAIN. [i]

A SONG.

1.

Fill the goblet again! for I never before Felt the glow which now gladdens my heart to its core; Let us drink!—who would not?—since, through life's varied round, In the goblet alone no deception is found.

2.

I have tried in its turn all that life can supply; I have bask'd in the beam of a dark rolling eye; I have lov'd!—who has not?—but what heart can declare That Pleasure existed while Passion was there?

3.

In the days of my youth, when the heart's in its spring, And dreams that Affection can never take wing, I had friends!—who has not?—but what tongue will avow, That friends, rosy wine! are so faithful as thou?

4.

The heart of a mistress some boy may estrange, Friendship shifts with the sunbeam—thou never canst change; Thou grow'st old—who does not?—but on earth what appears, Whose virtues, like thine, still increase with its years?

5.

Yet if blest to the utmost that Love can bestow, Should a rival bow down to our idol below, We are jealous!—who's not?—thou hast no such alloy; For the more that enjoy thee, the more we enjoy.

6.

Then the season of youth and its vanities past, For refuge we fly to the goblet at last; There we find—do we not?—in the flow of the soul, That truth, as of yore, is confined to the bowl.

7.

When the box of Pandora was open'd on earth, And Misery's triumph commenc'd over Mirth, Hope was left,—was she not?—but the goblet we kiss, And care not for Hope, who are certain of bliss.

8.

Long life to the grape! for when summer is flown, The age of our nectar shall gladden our own: We must die—who shall not?—May our sins be forgiven, And Hebe shall never be idle in Heaven.

[First published, 1809.]



[Footnote i:

'Song'.

['Imit. and Transl'., p. 204.]



STANZAS TO A LADY, ON LEAVING ENGLAND. [i]

1.

Tis done—and shivering in the gale The bark unfurls her snowy sail; And whistling o'er the bending mast, Loud sings on high the fresh'ning blast; And I must from this land be gone, Because I cannot love but one.

2.

But could I be what I have been, And could I see what I have seen— Could I repose upon the breast Which once my warmest wishes blest— I should not seek another zone, Because I cannot love but one.

3.

'Tis long since I beheld that eye Which gave me bliss or misery; And I have striven, but in vain, Never to think of it again: For though I fly from Albion, I still can only love but one.

4.

As some lone bird, without a mate, My weary heart is desolate; I look around, and cannot trace One friendly smile or welcome face, And ev'n in crowds am still alone, Because I cannot love but one.

5.

And I will cross the whitening foam, And I will seek a foreign home; Till I forget a false fair face, I ne'er shall find a resting-place; My own dark thoughts I cannot shun, But ever love, and love but one.

6.

The poorest, veriest wretch on earth Still finds some hospitable hearth, Where Friendship's or Love's softer glow May smile in joy or soothe in woe; But friend or leman I have none, [ii] Because I cannot love but one.

7.

I go—but wheresoe'er I flee There's not an eye will weep for me; There's not a kind congenial heart, Where I can claim the meanest part; Nor thou, who hast my hopes undone, Wilt sigh, although I love but one.

8.

To think of every early scene, Of what we are, and what we've been, Would whelm some softer hearts with woe— But mine, alas! has stood the blow; Yet still beats on as it begun, And never truly loves but one.

9.

And who that dear lov'd one may be, Is not for vulgar eyes to see; And why that early love was cross'd, Thou know'st the best, I feel the most; But few that dwell beneath the sun Have loved so long, and loved but one.

10.

I've tried another's fetters too, With charms perchance as fair to view; And I would fain have loved as well, But some unconquerable spell Forbade my bleeding breast to own A kindred care for aught but one.

11.

'Twould soothe to take one lingering view, And bless thee in my last adieu; Yet wish I not those eyes to weep For him that wanders o'er the deep; His home, his hope, his youth are gone, [iii] Yet still he loves, and loves but one. [iv]

1809. [First published, 1809.]



[Footnote i:

'To Mrs. Musters.'

['MS.']

'To——on Leaving England.'

['Imit. and Transl.', p. 227.]

[Footnote ii:

'But friend or lover I have none'.

['Imit. and Transl'., p. 229.]]

[Footnote iii:

'Though wheresoever my bark may run, I love but thee, I love but one.'

['Imit. and Transl.', p. 230.]

'The land recedes his Bark is gone, Yet still he loves and laves but one.'

[MS.]

[Footnote iv:

'Yet far away he loves but one.'

[MS.]



ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS;

A SATIRE.

BY

LORD BYRON.



"I had rather be a kitten, and cry, mew! Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers."

SHAKESPEARE.

"Such shameless Bards we have; and yet 'tis true, There are as mad, abandon'd Critics, too."

POPE.



PREFACE [1]

All my friends, learned and unlearned, have urged me not to publish this Satire with my name. If I were to be "turned from the career of my humour by quibbles quick, and paper bullets of the brain" I should have complied with their counsel. But I am not to be terrified by abuse, or bullied by reviewers, with or without arms. I can safely say that I have attacked none 'personally', who did not commence on the offensive. An Author's works are public property: he who purchases may judge, and publish his opinion if he pleases; and the Authors I have endeavoured to commemorate may do by me as I have done by them. I dare say they will succeed better in condemning my scribblings, than in mending their own. But my object is not to prove that I can write well, but, if 'possible', to make others write better.

As the Poem has met with far more success than I expected, I have endeavoured in this Edition to make some additions and alterations, to render it more worthy of public perusal.

In the First Edition of this Satire, published anonymously, fourteen lines on the subject of Bowles's Pope were written by, and inserted at the request of, an ingenious friend of mine, [2] who has now in the press a volume of Poetry. In the present Edition they are erased, and some of my own substituted in their stead; my only reason for this being that which I conceive would operate with any other person in the same manner,—a determination not to publish with my name any production, which was not entirely and exclusively my own composition.

With [3] regard to the real talents of many of the poetical persons whose performances are mentioned or alluded to in the following pages, it is presumed by the Author that there can be little difference of opinion in the Public at large; though, like other sectaries, each has his separate tabernacle of proselytes, by whom his abilities are over-rated, his faults overlooked, and his metrical canons received without scruple and without consideration. But the unquestionable possession of considerable genius by several of the writers here censured renders their mental prostitution more to be regretted. Imbecility may be pitied, or, at worst, laughed at and forgotten; perverted powers demand the most decided reprehension. No one can wish more than the Author that some known and able writer had undertaken their exposure; but Mr. Gifford has devoted himself to Massinger, and, in the absence of the regular physician, a country practitioner may, in cases of absolute necessity, be allowed to prescribe his nostrum to prevent the extension of so deplorable an epidemic, provided there be no quackery in his treatment of the malady. A caustic is here offered; as it is to be feared nothing short of actual cautery can recover the numerous patients afflicted with the present prevalent and distressing rabies for rhyming.—As to the' Edinburgh Reviewers', it would indeed require an Hercules to crush the Hydra; but if the Author succeeds in merely "bruising one of the heads of the serpent" though his own hand should suffer in the encounter, he will be amply satisfied.

[Footnote 1: The Preface, as it is here printed, was prefixed to the Second, Third, and Fourth Editions of 'English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers'. The preface to the First Edition began with the words, "With regard to the real talents," etc. The text of the poem follows that of the suppressed Fifth Edition, which passed under Byron's own supervision, and was to have been issued in 1812. From that Edition the Preface was altogether excluded.

In an annotated copy of the Fourth Edition, of 1811, underneath the note, "This preface was written for the Second Edition, and printed with it. The noble author had left this country previous to the publication of that Edition, and is not yet returned," Byron wrote, in 1816, "He is, and gone again."—MS. Notes from this volume, which is now in Mr. Murray's possession, are marked—B., 1816.]

[Footnote 2: John Cam Hobhouse.]

[Footnote 3: Preface to the First Edition.]



INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS.

The article upon 'Hours of Idleness' "which Lord Brougham ... after denying it for thirty years, confessed that he had written" ('Notes from a Diary', by Sir M. E. Grant Duff, 1897, ii. 189), was published in the 'Edinburgh Review' of January, 1808. 'English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers' did not appear till March, 1809. The article gave the opportunity for the publication of the satire, but only in part provoked its composition. Years later, Byron had not forgotten its effect on his mind. On April 26, 1821, he wrote to Shelley: "I recollect the effect on me of the Edinburgh on my first poem: it was rage and resistance and redress: but not despondency nor despair." And on the same date to Murray: "I know by experience that a savage review is hemlock to a sucking author; and the one on me (which produced the 'English Bards', etc.) knocked me down, but I got up again," etc. It must, however, be remembered that Byron had his weapons ready for an attack before he used them in defence. In a letter to Miss Pigot, dated October 26, 1807, he says that "he has written one poem of 380 lines to be published in a few weeks with notes. The poem ... is a Satire." It was entitled 'British Bards', and finally numbered 520 lines. With a view to publication, or for his own convenience, it was put up in type and printed in quarto sheets. A single copy, which he kept for corrections and additions, was preserved by Dallas, and is now in the British Museum. After the review appeared, he enlarged and recast the 'British Bards', and in March, 1809, the Satire was published anonymously. Byron was at no pains to conceal the authorship of 'English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers', and, before starting on his Pilgrimage, he had prepared a second and enlarged edition, which came out in October, 1809, with his name prefixed. Two more editions were called for in his absence, and on his return he revised and printed a fifth, when he suddenly resolved to suppress the work. On his homeward voyage he expressed, in a letter to Dallas, June 28, 1811, his regret at having written the Satire. A year later he became intimate, among others, with Lord and Lady Holland, whom he had assailed on the supposition that they were the instigators of the article in the 'Edinburgh Review', and on being told by Rogers that they wished the Satire to be withdrawn, he gave orders to his publisher, Cawthorn, to burn the whole impression. A few copies escaped the flames. One of two copies retained by Dallas, which afterwards belonged to Murray, and is now in his grandson's possession, was the foundation of the text of 1831, and of all subsequent issues. Another copy which belonged to Dallas is retained in the British Museum.

Towards the close of the last century there had been an outburst of satirical poems, written in the style of the 'Dunciad' and its offspring the 'Rosciad', Of these, Gifford's 'Baviad' and 'Maviad' (1794-5), and T. J. Mathias' 'Pursuits of Literature' (1794-7), were the direct progenitors of 'English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers', The 'Rolliad' (1794), the 'Children of Apollo' (circ. 1794), Canning's 'New Morality' (1798), and Wolcot's coarse but virile lampoons, must also be reckoned among Byron's earlier models. The ministry of "All the Talents" gave rise to a fresh batch of political 'jeux d'esprits', and in 1807, when Byron was still at Cambridge, the air was full of these ephemera. To name only a few, 'All the Talents', by Polypus (Eaton Stannard Barrett), was answered by 'All the Blocks, an antidote to All the Talents', by Flagellum (W. H. Ireland); 'Elijah's Mantle, a tribute to the memory of the R. H. William Pitt', by James Sayer, the caricaturist, provoked 'Melville's Mantle, being a Parody on ... Elijah's Mantle'. 'The Simpliciad, A Satirico-Didactic Poem', and Lady Anne Hamilton's 'Epics of the Ton', are also of the same period. One and all have perished, but Byron read them, and in a greater or less degree they supplied the impulse to write in the fashion of the day.

'British Bards' would have lived, but, unquestionably, the spur of the article, a year's delay, and, above all, the advice and criticism of his friend Hodgson, who was at work on his 'Gentle Alterative for the Reviewers', 1809 (for further details, see vol. i., 'Letters', Letter 102, 'note' 1), produced the brilliant success of the enlarged satire. 'English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers' was recognized at once as a work of genius. It has intercepted the popularity of its great predecessors, who are often quoted, but seldom read. It is still a popular poem, and appeals with fresh delight to readers who know the names of many of the "bards" only because Byron mentions them, and count others whom he ridicules among the greatest poets of the century.



ENGLISH BARDS AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS. [1]



Still [2] must I hear?—shall hoarse [3] FITZGERALD bawl His creaking couplets in a tavern hall, And I not sing, lest, haply, Scotch Reviews Should dub me scribbler, and denounce my Muse? Prepare for rhyme—I'll publish, right or wrong: Fools are my theme, let Satire be my song. [i]

Oh! Nature's noblest gift—my grey goose-quill! Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will, Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen, That mighty instrument of little men! 10 The pen! foredoomed to aid the mental throes Of brains that labour, big with Verse or Prose; Though Nymphs forsake, and Critics may deride, The Lover's solace, and the Author's pride. What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise! How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise! Condemned at length to be forgotten quite, With all the pages which 'twas thine to write. But thou, at least, mine own especial pen! [ii] Once laid aside, but now assumed again, 20 Our task complete, like Hamet's [4] shall be free; Though spurned by others, yet beloved by me: Then let us soar to-day; no common theme, No Eastern vision, no distempered dream [5] Inspires—our path, though full of thorns, is plain; Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain.

When Vice triumphant holds her sov'reign sway, Obey'd by all who nought beside obey; [iii] When Folly, frequent harbinger of crime, Bedecks her cap with bells of every Clime; [iv] 30 When knaves and fools combined o'er all prevail, And weigh their Justice in a Golden Scale; [v] E'en then the boldest start from public sneers, Afraid of Shame, unknown to other fears, More darkly sin, by Satire kept in awe, And shrink from Ridicule, though not from Law.

Such is the force of Wit! I but not belong To me the arrows of satiric song; The royal vices of our age demand A keener weapon, and a mightier hand. ǐ 40 Still there are follies, e'en for me to chase, And yield at least amusement in the race: Laugh when I laugh, I seek no other fame, The cry is up, and scribblers are my game: Speed, Pegasus!—ye strains of great and small, Ode! Epic! Elegy!—have at you all! I, too, can scrawl, and once upon a time I poured along the town a flood of rhyme, A schoolboy freak, unworthy praise or blame; I printed—older children do the same. 50 'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print; A Book's a Book, altho' there's nothing in't. Not that a Title's sounding charm can save [vii] Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave: This LAMB [6] must own, since his patrician name Failed to preserve the spurious Farce from shame. [7] No matter, GEORGE continues still to write, [8] Tho' now the name is veiled from public sight. Moved by the great example, I pursue The self-same road, but make my own review: 60 Not seek great JEFFREY'S, yet like him will be Self-constituted Judge of Poesy.

A man must serve his time to every trade Save Censure—Critics all are ready made. Take hackneyed jokes from MILLER, [9] got by rote, With just enough of learning to misquote; A man well skilled to find, or forge a fault; A turn for punning—call it Attic salt; To JEFFREY go, be silent and discreet, His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet: 70 Fear not to lie,'twill seem a sharper hit; [viii] Shrink not from blasphemy, 'twill pass for wit; Care not for feeling—pass your proper jest, And stand a Critic, hated yet caress'd.

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