The Works Of Lord Byron, Vol. 3 (of 7)
by Lord Byron
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This etext contains only characters from the Latin-1 set. The original work contained a few phrases of Greek text. These are represented here as Beta-code transliterations in brackets, e.g. [Greek: miseto

The original text used a few other characters not found in the Latin-1 set. These have been represented using bracket notation, as follows: ā, ī for letters with a macron, and ć for c with accent. In a few places superscript letters are shown by carets, as in Oct^r. 11.

An important feature of this edition is its copious footnotes. Footnotes indexed with letters (e.g. [c], [bf]) show variant forms of Byron's text from manuscripts and other sources. Footnotes indexed with arabic numbers (e.g. [17], [221]) are informational. Text in notes and elsewhere in square brackets is the work of Editor E. H. Coleridge. Note text not in brackets is by Byron himself.

In the original, footnotes are printed at the foot of the page on which they are referenced, and their indices start over on each page. In this etext, footnotes have been collected at the end of each section, and have been numbered consecutively throughout the book. Within each block of footnotes are numbers in braces, e.g. {321}. These represent the page number on which the following notes originally appeared. To find a note that was originally printed on page 27, search for {27}.

In note [ci] to The Giaour and in the section headed "NOTE TO THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS" the editor showed deleted text struck through with lines. The struck-through words are noted here with braces and dashes, as in {-deleted words-}.

The Works





Poetry. Vol. III.








The present volume contains the six metrical tales which were composed within the years 1812 and 1815, the Hebrew Melodies, and the minor poems of 1809-1816. With the exception of the first fifteen poems (1809-1811)—Chansons de Voyage, as they might be called—the volume as a whole was produced on English soil. Beginning with the Giaour; which followed in the wake of Childe Harold and shared its triumph, and ending with the ill-omened Domestic Pieces, or Poems of the Separation, the poems which Byron wrote in his own country synchronize with his popularity as a poet by the acclaim and suffrages of his own countrymen. His greatest work, by which his lasting fame has been established, and by which his relative merits as a great poet will be judged in the future, was yet to come; but the work which made his name, which is stamped with his sign-manual, and which has come to be regarded as distinctively and characteristically Byronic, preceded maturity and achievement.

No poet of his own or other times, not Walter Scott, not Tennyson, not Mr. Kipling, was ever in his own lifetime so widely, so amazingly popular. Thousands of copies of the "Tales"—of the Bride of Abydos, of the Corsair, of Lara—were sold in a day, and edition followed edition month in and month out. Everywhere men talked about the "noble author"—in the capitals of Europe, in literary circles in the United States, in the East Indies. He was "the glass of fashion ... the observ'd of all observers," the swayer of sentiment, the master and creator of popular emotion. No other English poet before or since has divided men's attention with generals and sea-captains and statesmen, has attracted and fascinated and overcome the world so entirely and potently as Lord Byron.

It was Childe Harold, the unfinished, immature Childe Harold, and the Turkish and other "Tales," which raised this sudden and deafening storm of applause when the century was young, and now, at its close (I refer, of course, to the Tales, not to Byron's poetry as a whole, which, in spite of the critics, has held and still holds its own), are ignored if not forgotten, passed over if not despised—which but few know thoroughly, and "very few" are found to admire or to love. Ubi lapsus, quid feci? might the questioning spirit of the author exclaim with regard to his "Harrys and Larrys, Pilgrims and Pirates," who once held the field, and now seem to have gone under in the struggle for poetical existence!

To what, then, may we attribute the passing away of interest and enthusiasm? To the caprice of fashion, to an insistence on a more faultless technique, to a nicer taste in ethical sentiment, to a preference for a subtler treatment of loftier themes? More certainly, and more particularly, I think, to the blurring of outline and the blotting out of detail due to lapse of time and the shifting of the intellectual standpoint.

However much the charm of novelty and the contagion of enthusiasm may have contributed to the success of the Turkish and other Tales, it is in the last degree improbable that our grandfathers and great-grandfathers were enamoured, not of a reality, but of an illusion born of ignorance or of vulgar bewilderment. They were carried away because they breathed the same atmosphere as the singer; and being undistracted by ethical, or grammatical, or metrical offences, they not only read these poems with avidity, but understood enough of what they read to be touched by their vitality, to realize their verisimilitude.

Tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner. Nay, more, the knowledge, the comprehension of essential greatness in art, in nature, or in man is not to know that there is aught to forgive. But that sufficing knowledge which the reader of average intelligence brings with him for the comprehension and appreciation of contemporary literature has to be bought at the price of close attention and patient study when the subject-matter of a poem and the modes and movements of the poet's consciousness are alike unfamiliar.

Criticism, however subtle, however suggestive, however luminous, will not bridge over the gap between the past and the present, will not supply the sufficing knowledge. It is delightful and interesting and, in a measure, instructive to know what great poets of his own time and of ours have thought of Byron, how he "strikes" them; but unless we are ourselves saturated with his thought and style, unless we learn to breathe his atmosphere by reading the books which he read, picturing to ourselves the scenes which he saw,—unless we aspire to his ideals and suffer his limitations, we are in no way entitled to judge his poems, whether they be good or bad.

Byron's metrical "Tales" come before us in the guise of light reading, and may be "easily criticized" as melo-dramatic—the heroines conventional puppets, the heroes reduplicated reflections of the author's personality, the Oriental "properties" loosely arranged, and somewhat stage-worn. A thorough and sympathetic study of these once extravagantly lauded and now belittled poems will not, perhaps, reverse the deliberate judgment of later generations, but it will display them for what they are, bold and rapid and yet exact presentations of the "gorgeous East," vivid and fresh from the hand of the great artist who conceived them out of the abundance of memory and observation, and wrought them into shape with the "pen of a ready writer." They will be once more recognized as works of genius, an integral portion of our literary inheritance, which has its proper value, and will repay a more assiduous and a finer husbandry.

I have once more to acknowledge the generous assistance of the officials of the British Museum, and, more especially, of Mr. A. G. Ellis, of the Oriental Printed Books and MSS. Department, who has afforded me invaluable instruction in the compilation of the notes to the Giaour and Bride of Abydos.

I have also to thank Mr. R. L. Binyon, of the Department of Prints and Drawings, for advice and assistance in the selection of illustrations.

I desire to express my cordial thanks to the Registrar of the Copyright Office, Stationers' Hall; to Professor Jannaris, of the University of St. Andrews; to Miss E. Dawes, M.A., D.L., of Heathfield Lodge, Weybridge; to my cousin, Miss Edith Coleridge, of Goodrest, Torquay; and to my friend, Mr. Frank E. Taylor, of Chertsey, for information kindly supplied during the progress of the work.

For many of the "parallel passages" from the works of other poets, which are to be found in the notes, I am indebted to a series of articles by A. A. Watts, in the Literary Gazette, February and March, 1821; and to the notes to the late Professor E. Kolbing's Siege of Corinth.

On behalf of the publisher, I beg to acknowledge the kindness of Lord Glenesk, and of Sir Theodore Martin, K.C.B., who have permitted the examination and collation of MSS. of the Siege of Corinth and of the "Thyrza" poems, in their possession.

The original of the miniature of H.R.H. the Princess Charlotte of Wales (see p. 44) is in the Library of Windsor Castle. It has been reproduced for this volume by the gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen.


April 18, 1900.


Preface to Vol. III. of the Poems v

Introduction to Occasional Pieces (Poems 1809-1813; Poems 1814-1816) xix

Poems 1809-1813.

The Girl of Cadiz. First published in Works of Lord Byron, 1832, viii. 56 1

Lines written in an Album, at Malta. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 4

To Florence. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 5

Stanzas composed during a Thunderstorm. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 7

Stanzas written in passing the Ambracian Gulf. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 11

The Spell is broke, the Charm is flown! First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 12

Written after swimming from Sestos to Abydos. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 13

Lines in the Travellers' Book at Orchomenus. First published, Travels in Italy, Greece, etc., by H. W. Williams, 1820, ii. 290 15

Maid of Athens, ere we part. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 15

Fragment from the "Monk of Athos." First published, Life of Lord Byron, by the Hon. Roden Noel, 1890, pp. 206, 207 18

Lines written beneath a Picture. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 19

Translation of the famous Greek War Song, [Greek: Deu~te pi~des, k.t.l.] First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 20

Translation of the Romaic Song, [Greek: Mne/po mes' to peribo/li, k.t.l.] First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 22

On Parting. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 23

Farewell to Malta. First published, Poems on his Domestic Circumstances, by W. Hone (Sixth Edition, 1816) 24

Newstead Abbey. First published, Memoir of Rev. F. Hodgson, 1878, i. 187 27

Epistle to a Friend, in answer to some Lines exhorting the Author to be Cheerful, and to "banish Care." First published, Letters and Journals, 1830, i. 301 28

To Thyrza ["Without a stone," etc.]. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 30

Stanzas ["Away, away," etc.]. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 35

Stanzas ["One struggle more," etc.]. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to) 36

Euthanasia. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition) 39

Stanzas ["And thou art dead," etc.]. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition) 41

Lines to a Lady weeping. First published, Morning Chronicle, March 7, 1812 45

Stanzas ["If sometimes," etc.]. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition) 46

On a Cornelian Heart which was broken. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition) 48

The Chain I gave was Fair to view. From the Turkish. First published, Corsair, 1814 (Second Edition) 49

Lines written on a Blank Leaf of The Pleasures of Memory. First published, Poems, 1816 50

Address, spoken at the Opening of Drury-Lane Theatre, Saturday, October 10, 1812. First published, Morning Chronicle, October 12, 1812 51

Parenthetical Address. By Dr. Plagiary. First published, Morning Chronicle, October 23, 1812 55

Verses found in a Summer-house at Hales-Owen. First published, Works of Lord Byron, 1832, xvii. 244 59

Remember thee! Remember thee! First published, Conversations of Lord Byron, 1824, p. 330 59

To Time. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition) 60

Translation of a Romaic Love Song. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition) 62

Stanzas ["Thou art not false," etc.]. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition) 64

On being asked what was the "Origin of Love." First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition) 65

On the Quotation, "And my true faith," etc. MS. M. 65

Stanzas ["Remember him," etc.]. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition) 69

Impromptu, in Reply to a Friend. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition) 67

Sonnet. To Genevra ["Thine eyes' blue tenderness," etc.]. First published, Corsair, 1814 (Second Edition) 70

Sonnet. To Genevra ["Thy cheek is pale with thought," etc.]. First published, Corsair, 1814 (Second Edition) 71

From the Portuguese ["Tu mi chamas"]. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition). "Another Version." First published, 1831 71

The Giaour: A Fragment of a Turkish Tale.

Introduction to The Giaour 75

Bibliographical Note on The Giaour 78

Dedication 81

Advertisement 83

The Giaour 85

The Bride of Abydos. A Turkish Tale.

Introduction to The Bride of Abydos 149

Note to the MSS. of The Bride of Abydos 151

Dedication 155

The Bride of Abydos. Canto the First 157

Canto the Second 178

Note to The Bride of Abydos 211

The Corsair: A Tale.

Introduction to The Corsair 217

Bibliographical Note on The Corsair 220

Dedication 223

The Corsair. Canto the First 227

Canto the Second 249

Canto the Third 270

Introduction to the Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte 303

Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte 305

Lara: A Tale.

Introduction to Lara 319

Lara. Canto the First 323

Canto the Second 348

Hebrew Melodies.

Introduction to the Hebrew Melodies 375

Advertisement 379

She walks in Beauty 318

The Harp the Monarch Minstrel swept 382

If that High World 383

The Wild Gazelle 384

Oh! weep for those 385

On Jordan's Banks 386

Jephtha's Daughter 387

Oh! snatched away in Beauty's Bloom 388

My Soul is Dark 389

I saw thee weep 390

Thy Days are done 391

Saul 392

Song of Saul before his Last Battle 393

"All is Vanity, saith the Preacher" 394

When Coldness wraps this Suffering Clay 395

Vision of Belshazzar 397

Sun of the Sleepless! 399

Were my Bosom as False as thou deem'st it to be 399

Herod's Lament for Mariamne 400

On the Day of the Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus 401

By the Rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept 402

"By the Waters of Babylon" 404

The Destruction of Sennacherib 404

A Spirit passed before me 406

Poems 1814-1816.

Farewell! if ever Fondest Prayer. First published, Corsair (Second Edition, 1814) 409

When we Two parted. First published, Poems, 1816 410

[Love and Gold.] MS. M. 411

Stanzas for Music ["I speak not, I trace not," etc.]. First published, Fugitive Pieces, 1829 413

Address intended to be recited at the Caledonian Meeting. First published, Letters and Journals, 1830, i. 559 415

Elegiac Stanzas on the Death of Sir Peter Parker, Bart. First published, Morning Chronicle, October 7, 1814 417

Julian [a Fragment]. MS. M. 419

To Belshazzar. First published, 1831 421

Stanzas for Music ["There's not a joy," etc.]. First published, Poems, 1816 423

On the Death of the Duke of Dorset. MS. M 425

Stanzas for Music ["Bright be the place of thy soul"]. First published, Examiner, June 4, 1815 426

Napoleon's Farewell. First published, Examiner, July 30, 1815 427

From the French ["Must thou go, my glorious Chief?"]. First published, Poems, 1816 428

Ode from the French ["We do not curse thee, Waterloo!"]. First published, Morning Chronicle, March 15, 1816 431

Stanzas for Music ["There be none of Beauty's daughters"]. First published, Poems, 1816 435

On the Star of "the Legion of Honour." First published, Examiner, April 7, 1816 436

Stanzas for Music ["They say that Hope is happiness"]. First published, Fugitive Pieces, 1829 438

The Siege of Corinth.

Introduction to The Siege of Corinth 441

Dedication 445

Advertisement 447

Note on the MS. of The Siege of Corinth 448

The Siege of Corinth 449


Introduction to Parisina 499

Dedication 501

Advertisement 503

Parisina 505

Poems of the Separation.

Introduction to Poems of the Separation 531

Fare Thee Well 537

A Sketch 540

Stanzas to Augusta 544


1. Lord Byron in Albanian Dress, from a Portrait in Oils by T. Phillips, R.A., in the Possession of Mr. John Murray Frontispiece

2. H.R.H. the Princess Charlotte of Wales, from the Miniature in the Possession of H.M. the Queen, at Windsor Castle to face p. 44

3. Lady Wilmot Horton, from a Sketch by Sir Thomas Lawrence 380

4. Temple of Zeus Nemeus, from a Drawing by William Pars, A.R.A., in the British Museum 470

5. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from a Portrait in Oils by T. Phillips, R.A., in the Possession of Mr. John Murray 472

6. The Hon. Mrs. Leigh, from a Sketch by Sir George Hayter, in the British Museum 544


The Poems afterwards entitled "Occasional Pieces," which were included in the several editions of the Collected Works issued by Murray, 1819-1831, numbered fifty-seven in all. They may be described as the aggregate of the shorter poems written between the years 1809-1818, which the author thought worthy of a permanent place among his poetical works. Of these the first twenty-nine appeared in successive editions of Childe Harold (Cantos I., II.) [viz. fourteen in the first edition, twenty in the second, and twenty-nine in the seventh edition], while the thirtieth, the Ode on the Death of Sir Peter Parker, was originally attached to Hebrew Melodies. The remaining twenty-seven pieces consist of six poems first published in the Second Edition of the Corsair, 1814; eleven which formed the collection entitled "Poems," 1816; six which were appended to the Prisoner of Chillon, December, 1816; the Very Mournful Ballad, and the Sonnet by Vittorelli, which accompanied the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold, 1818; the Sketch, first included by Murray in his edition of 1819; and the Ode to Venice, which appeared in the same volume as Mazeppa.

Thus matters stood till 1831, when seventy new poems (sixty had been published by Moore, in Letters and Journals, 1830, six were republished from Hobhouse's Imitations and Translations, 1809, and four derived from other sources) were included in a sixth volume of the Collected Works.

In the edition of 1832-35, twenty-four new poems were added, but four which had appeared in Letters and Journals, 1830, and in the sixth volume of the edition of 1831 were omitted. In the one-volume edition (first issued in 1837 and still in print), the four short pieces omitted in 1832 once more found a place, and the lines on "John Keats," first published in Letters and Journals, and the two stanzas to Lady Caroline Lamb, "Remember thee! remember thee," first printed by Medwin, in the Conversations of Lord Byron, 1824, were included in the Collection.

The third volume of the present issue includes all minor poems (with the exception of epigrams and jeux d'esprit reserved for the sixth volume) written after Byron's departure for the East in July, 1809, and before he left England for good in April, 1816.

The "Separation" and its consequent exile afforded a pretext and an opportunity for the publication of a crop of spurious verses. Of these Madame Lavalette (first published in the Examiner, January 21, 1816, under the signature B. B., and immediately preceding a genuine sonnet by Wordsworth, "How clear, how keen, how marvellously bright!") and Oh Shame to thee, Land of the Gaul! included by Hone, in Poems on his Domestic Circumstances, 1816; and Farewell to England, Ode to the Isle of St. Helena, To the Lily of France, On the Morning of my Daughter's Birth, published by J. Johnston, 1816, were repudiated by Byron, in a letter to Murray, dated July 22, 1816. A longer poem entitled The Tempest, which was attached to the spurious Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, published by Johnston, "the Cheapside impostor," in 1817, was also denounced by Byron as a forgery in a letter to Murray, dated December 16, 1816.

The Triumph of the Whale, by Charles Lamb, and the Enigma on the Letter H, by Harriet Fanshawe, were often included in piratical editions of Byron's Poetical Works. Other attributed poems which found their way into newspapers and foreign editions, viz. (i.) To my dear Mary Anne, 1804, "Adieu to sweet Mary for ever;" and (ii.) To Miss Chaworth, "Oh, memory, torture me no more," 1804, published in Works of Lord Byron, Paris, 1828; (iii.) lines written In the Bible, "Within this awful volume lies," quoted in Life, Writings, Opinions, etc., 1825, iii. 414; (iv.) lines addressed to (?) George Anson Byron, "And dost thou ask the reason of my sadness?" Nicnac, March 29, 1823; (v.) To Lady Caroline Lamb, "And sayst thou that I have not felt," published in Works, etc., 1828; (vi.) lines To her who can best understand them, "Be it so, we part for ever," published in the Works of Lord Byron, In Verse and Prose, Hartford, 1847; (vii.) Lines found in the Travellers' Book at Chamouni, "How many numbered are, how few agreed!" published Works, etc., 1828; and (viii.) a second copy of verses with the same title, "All hail, Mont Blanc! Mont-au-Vert, hail!" Life, Writings, etc., 1825, ii. 384; (ix.) Lines addressed by Lord Byron to Mr. Hobhouse on his Election for Westminster, "Would you get to the house by the true gate?" Works, etc., 1828; and (x.) Enigma on the Letter I, "I am not in youth, nor in manhood, nor age," Works, etc., Paris, p. 720, together with sundry epigrams, must, failing the production of the original MSS., be accounted forgeries, or, perhaps, in one or two instances, of doubtful authenticity.

The following poems: On the Quotation, "And my true faith" etc.; [Love and Gold]; Julian [a Fragment]; and On the Death of the Duke of Dorset, are now published for the first time from MSS. in the possession of Mr. John Murray.

POEMS 1809-1813.



Oh never talk again to me Of northern climes and British ladies; It has not been your lot to see,[a] Like me, the lovely Girl of Cadiz. Although her eye be not of blue, Nor fair her locks, like English lasses, How far its own expressive hue The languid azure eye surpasses!


Prometheus-like from heaven she stole The fire that through those silken lashes In darkest glances seems to roll, From eyes that cannot hide their flashes: And as along her bosom steal In lengthened flow her raven tresses, You'd swear each clustering lock could feel, And curled to give her neck caresses.


Our English maids are long to woo,[b][2] And frigid even in possession; And if their charms be fair to view, Their lips are slow at Love's confession; But, born beneath a brighter sun, For love ordained the Spanish maid is, And who,—when fondly, fairly won,— Enchants you like the Girl of Cadiz?


The Spanish maid is no coquette, Nor joys to see a lover tremble, And if she love, or if she hate, Alike she knows not to dissemble. Her heart can ne'er be bought or sold— Howe'er it beats, it beats sincerely; And, though it will not bend to gold, 'Twill love you long and love you dearly.


The Spanish girl that meets your love Ne'er taunts you with a mock denial, For every thought is bent to prove Her passion in the hour of trial. When thronging foemen menace Spain, She dares the deed and shares the danger; And should her lover press the plain, She hurls the spear, her love's avenger.


And when, beneath the evening star, She mingles in the gay Bolero,[3] Or sings to her attuned guitar Of Christian knight or Moorish hero, Or counts her beads with fairy hand Beneath the twinkling rays of Hesper,[c] Or joins Devotion's choral band, To chaunt the sweet and hallowed vesper;—


In each her charms the heart must move Of all who venture to behold her; Then let not maids less fair reprove Because her bosom is not colder: Through many a clime 'tis mine to roam Where many a soft and melting maid is, But none abroad, and few at home, May match the dark-eyed Girl of Cadiz.[d]

1809. [First published, 1832.]



As o'er the cold sepulchral stone Some name arrests the passer-by; Thus, when thou view'st this page alone, May mine attract thy pensive eye!


And when by thee that name is read, Perchance in some succeeding year, Reflect on me as on the dead, And think my Heart is buried here.

Malta, September 14, 1809. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



Oh Lady! when I left the shore, The distant shore which gave me birth, I hardly thought to grieve once more, To quit another spot on earth:


Yet here, amidst this barren isle, Where panting Nature droops the head, Where only thou art seen to smile, I view my parting hour with dread.


Though far from Albin's craggy shore, Divided by the dark-blue main; A few, brief, rolling seasons o'er, Perchance I view her cliffs again:


But wheresoe'er I now may roam, Through scorching clime, and varied sea, Though Time restore me to my home, I ne'er shall bend mine eyes on thee:


On thee, in whom at once conspire All charms which heedless hearts can move, Whom but to see is to admire, And, oh! forgive the word—to love.


Forgive the word, in one who ne'er With such a word can more offend; And since thy heart I cannot share, Believe me, what I am, thy friend.


And who so cold as look on thee, Thou lovely wand'rer, and be less? Nor be, what man should ever be, The friend of Beauty in distress?


Ah! who would think that form had past Through Danger's most destructive path,[g] Had braved the death-winged tempest's blast, And 'scaped a Tyrant's fiercer wrath?


Lady! when I shall view the walls Where free Byzantium once arose, And Stamboul's Oriental halls The Turkish tyrants now enclose;


Though mightiest in the lists of fame, That glorious city still shall be; On me 'twill hold a dearer claim, As spot of thy nativity:


And though I bid thee now farewell, When I behold that wondrous scene— Since where thou art I may not dwell— 'Twill soothe to be where thou hast been.

September, 1809. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



Chill and mirk is the nightly blast, Where Pindus' mountains rise, And angry clouds are pouring fast The vengeance of the skies.


Our guides are gone, our hope is lost, And lightnings, as they play, But show where rocks our path have crost, Or gild the torrent's spray.


Is yon a cot I saw, though low? When lightning broke the gloom— How welcome were its shade!—ah, no! 'Tis but a Turkish tomb.


Through sounds of foaming waterfalls, I hear a voice exclaim— My way-worn countryman, who calls On distant England's name.


A shot is fired—by foe or friend? Another—'tis to tell The mountain-peasants to descend, And lead us where they dwell.


Oh! who in such a night will dare To tempt the wilderness? And who 'mid thunder-peals can hear Our signal of distress?


And who that heard our shouts would rise To try the dubious road? Nor rather deem from nightly cries That outlaws were abroad.


Clouds burst, skies flash, oh, dreadful hour! More fiercely pours the storm! Yet here one thought has still the power To keep my bosom warm.


While wandering through each broken path, O'er brake and craggy brow; While elements exhaust their wrath, Sweet Florence, where art thou?


Not on the sea, not on the sea— Thy bark hath long been gone: Oh, may the storm that pours on me, Bow down my head alone!


Full swiftly blew the swift Siroc, When last I pressed thy lip; And long ere now, with foaming shock, Impelled thy gallant ship.


Now thou art safe; nay, long ere now Hast trod the shore of Spain; 'Twere hard if aught so fair as thou Should linger on the main.


And since I now remember thee In darkness and in dread, As in those hours of revelry Which Mirth and Music sped;


Do thou, amid the fair white walls, If Cadiz yet be free, At times from out her latticed halls Look o'er the dark blue sea;


Then think upon Calypso's isles, Endeared by days gone by; To others give a thousand smiles, To me a single sigh.


And when the admiring circle mark The paleness of thy face, A half-formed tear, a transient spark Of melancholy grace,


Again thou'lt smile, and blushing shun Some coxcomb's raillery; Nor own for once thou thought'st on one, Who ever thinks on thee.


Though smile and sigh alike are vain, When severed hearts repine, My spirit flies o'er Mount and Main, And mourns in search of thine.

October 11, 1809. [MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



Through cloudless skies, in silvery sheen, Full beams the moon on Actium's coast: And on these waves, for Egypt's queen, The ancient world was won and lost.


And now upon the scene I look, The azure grave of many a Roman; Where stern Ambition once forsook His wavering crown to follow Woman.


Florence! whom I will love as well (As ever yet was said or sung, Since Orpheus sang his spouse from Hell) Whilst thou art fair and I am young;


Sweet Florence! those were pleasant times, When worlds were staked for Ladies' eyes: Had bards as many realms as rhymes,[j] Thy charms might raise new Antonies.[k]


Though Fate forbids such things to be,[l] Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curled! I cannot lose a world for thee, But would not lose thee for a World.[6]

November 14, 1809. [MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



The spell is broke, the charm is flown! Thus is it with Life's fitful fever: We madly smile when we should groan; Delirium is our best deceiver. Each lucid interval of thought Recalls the woes of Nature's charter; And He that acts as wise men ought, But lives—as Saints have died—a martyr.

[MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



If, in the month of dark December, Leander, who was nightly wont (What maid will not the tale remember?) To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont!


If, when the wintry tempest roared, He sped to Hero, nothing loth, And thus of old thy current poured, Fair Venus! how I pity both!


For me, degenerate modern wretch, Though in the genial month of May, My dripping limbs I faintly stretch, And think I've done a feat to-day.


But since he crossed the rapid tide, According to the doubtful story, To woo,—and—Lord knows what beside, And swam for Love, as I for Glory;


'Twere hard to say who fared the best: Sad mortals! thus the Gods still plague you! He lost his labour, I my jest: For he was drowned, and I've the ague.[8]

May 9, 1810. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



"Fair Albion, smiling, sees her son depart To trace the birth and nursery of art: Noble his object, glorious is his aim; He comes to Athens, and he—writes his name."


The modest bard, like many a bard unknown, Rhymes on our names, but wisely hides his own; But yet, whoe'er he be, to say no worse, His name would bring more credit than his verse.

1810. [First published, Life, 1830.]


[Greek: Zoe/ mou, sa~s a)gapo~.]


Maid of Athens,[10] ere we part, Give, oh give me back my heart! Or, since that has left my breast, Keep it now, and take the rest! Hear my vow before I go, [Greek: Zoe/ mou, sa~s a)gapo~.][11]


By those tresses unconfined, Wooed by each AEgean wind; By those lids whose jetty fringe Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tinge; By those wild eyes like the roe, [Greek: Zoe/ mou, sa~s a)gapo~.]


By that lip I long to taste; By that zone-encircled waist; By all the token-flowers[12] that tell What words can never speak so well; By love's alternate joy and woe, [Greek: Zoe/ mou, sa~s a)gapo~.]


Maid of Athens! I am gone: Think of me, sweet! when alone. Though I fly to Istambol,[13] Athens holds my heart and soul: Can I cease to love thee? No! [Greek: Zoe/ mou, sa~s a)gapo~.]

Athens, 1810. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



Beside the confines of the AEgean main, Where northward Macedonia bounds the flood, And views opposed the Asiatic plain, Where once the pride of lofty Ilion stood, Like the great Father of the giant brood, With lowering port majestic Athos stands, Crowned with the verdure of eternal wood, As yet unspoiled by sacrilegious hands, And throws his mighty shade o'er seas and distant lands.


And deep embosomed in his shady groves Full many a convent rears its glittering spire, Mid scenes where Heavenly Contemplation loves To kindle in her soul her hallowed fire, Where air and sea with rocks and woods conspire To breathe a sweet religious calm around, Weaning the thoughts from every low desire, And the wild waves that break with murmuring sound Along the rocky shore proclaim it holy ground.


Sequestered shades where Piety has given A quiet refuge from each earthly care, Whence the rapt spirit may ascend to Heaven!

Oh, ye condemned the ills of life to bear! As with advancing age your woes increase, What bliss amidst these solitudes to share The happy foretaste of eternal Peace, Till Heaven in mercy bids your pain and sorrows cease.

[First published in the Life of Lord Byron, by the Hon. Roden Noel, London, 1890, pp. 206, 207.]



Dear object of defeated care! Though now of Love and thee bereft, To reconcile me with despair Thine image and my tears are left.


'Tis said with Sorrow Time can cope; But this I feel can ne'er be true: For by the death-blow of my Hope My Memory immortal grew.

Athens, January, 1811. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]

TRANSLATION OF THE FAMOUS GREEK WAR SONG, [Greek: "Deu~te pai~des to~n E(lle/non."][16]

Sons of the Greeks, arise! The glorious hour's gone forth, And, worthy of such ties, Display who gave us birth.


Sons of Greeks! let us go In arms against the foe, Till their hated blood shall flow In a river past our feet.

Then manfully despising The Turkish tyrant's yoke, Let your country see you rising, And all her chains are broke. Brave shades of chiefs and sages, Behold the coming strife! Hellenes of past ages, Oh, start again to life! At the sound of my trumpet, breaking Your sleep, oh, join with me! And the seven-hilled city[17] seeking, Fight, conquer, till we're free.

Sons of Greeks, etc.

Sparta, Sparta, why in slumbers Lethargic dost thou lie? Awake, and join thy numbers With Athens, old ally! Leonidas recalling, That chief of ancient song, Who saved ye once from falling, The terrible! the strong! Who made that bold diversion In old Thermopylae, And warring with the Persian To keep his country free; With his three hundred waging The battle, long he stood, And like a lion raging, Expired in seas of blood.

Sons of Greeks, etc.

[First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]


[Greek: "Mpe/no mes' to peribo/li,] [Greek: O(raiota/te Chaede/," k.t.l.][18]

I enter thy garden of roses, Beloved and fair Haidee, Each morning where Flora reposes, For surely I see her in thee. Oh, Lovely! thus low I implore thee, Receive this fond truth from my tongue, Which utters its song to adore thee, Yet trembles for what it has sung; As the branch, at the bidding of Nature, Adds fragrance and fruit to the tree, Through her eyes, through her every feature, Shines the soul of the young Haidee.

But the loveliest garden grows hateful When Love has abandoned the bowers; Bring me hemlock—since mine is ungrateful, That herb is more fragrant than flowers. The poison, when poured from the chalice, Will deeply embitter the bowl; But when drunk to escape from thy malice, The draught shall be sweet to my soul. Too cruel! in vain I implore thee My heart from these horrors to save: Will nought to my bosom restore thee? Then open the gates of the grave.

As the chief who to combat advances Secure of his conquest before, Thus thou, with those eyes for thy lances, Hast pierced through my heart to its core. Ah, tell me, my soul! must I perish By pangs which a smile would dispel? Would the hope, which thou once bad'st me cherish, For torture repay me too well? Now sad is the garden of roses, Beloved but false Haidee! There Flora all withered reposes, And mourns o'er thine absence with me.

1811. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



The kiss, dear maid! thy lip has left Shall never part from mine, Till happier hours restore the gift Untainted back to thine.


Thy parting glance, which fondly beams, An equal love may see:[o] The tear that from thine eyelid streams Can weep no change in me.


I ask no pledge to make me blest In gazing when alone;[p] Nor one memorial for a breast, Whose thoughts are all thine own.


Nor need I write—to tell the tale My pen were doubly weak: Oh! what can idle words avail,[q] Unless the heart could speak?


By day or night, in weal or woe, That heart, no longer free, Must bear the love it cannot show, And silent ache for thee.

March, 1811. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812(4to).]


Adieu, ye joys of La Valette! Adieu, Sirocco, sun, and sweat! Adieu, thou palace rarely entered! Adieu, ye mansions where—I've ventured! Adieu, ye cursed streets of stairs![20] (How surely he who mounts them swears!) Adieu, ye merchants often failing! Adieu, thou mob for ever railing! Adieu, ye packets—without letters! Adieu, ye fools—who ape your betters! 10 Adieu, thou damned'st quarantine, That gave me fever, and the spleen! Adieu that stage which makes us yawn, Sirs, Adieu his Excellency's dancers![21] Adieu to Peter—whom no fault's in, But could not teach a colonel waltzing; Adieu, ye females fraught with graces! Adieu red coats, and redder faces! Adieu the supercilious air Of all that strut en militaire![22] 20 I go—but God knows when, or why, To smoky towns and cloudy sky, To things (the honest truth to say) As bad—but in a different way.

Farewell to these, but not adieu, Triumphant sons of truest blue! While either Adriatic shore,[23] And fallen chiefs, and fleets no more, And nightly smiles, and daily dinners,[24] Proclaim you war and women's winners. 30 Pardon my Muse, who apt to prate is, And take my rhyme—because 'tis "gratis."

And now I've got to Mrs. Fraser,[25] Perhaps you think I mean to praise her— And were I vain enough to think My praise was worth this drop of ink, A line—or two—were no hard matter, As here, indeed, I need not flatter: But she must be content to shine In better praises than in mine, 40 With lively air, and open heart, And fashion's ease, without its art; Her hours can gaily glide along. Nor ask the aid of idle song.

And now, O Malta! since thou'st got us, Thou little military hot-house! I'll not offend with words uncivil, And wish thee rudely at the Devil, But only stare from out my casement, And ask, "for what is such a place meant?" 50 Then, in my solitary nook, Return to scribbling, or a book, Or take my physic while I'm able (Two spoonfuls hourly, by this label), Prefer my nightcap to my beaver, And bless my stars I've got a fever.

May 26, 1811.[26] [First published, 1816.]



In the dome of my Sires as the clear moonbeam falls Through Silence and Shade o'er its desolate walls, It shines from afar like the glories of old; It gilds, but it warms not—'tis dazzling, but cold.


Let the Sunbeam be bright for the younger of days: 'Tis the light that should shine on a race that decays, When the Stars are on high and the dews on the ground, And the long shadow lingers the ruin around.


And the step that o'erechoes the gray floor of stone Falls sullenly now, for 'tis only my own; And sunk are the voices that sounded in mirth, And empty the goblet, and dreary the hearth.


And vain was each effort to raise and recall The brightness of old to illumine our Hall; And vain was the hope to avert our decline, And the fate of my fathers had faded to mine.


And theirs was the wealth and the fulness of Fame, And mine to inherit too haughty a name;[r] And theirs were the times and the triumphs of yore, And mine to regret, but renew them no more.


And Ruin is fixed on my tower and my wall, Too hoary to fade, and too massy to fall; It tells not of Time's or the tempest's decay,[s] But the wreck of the line that have held it in sway.

August 26, 1811. [First published in Memoir of Rev. F. Hodgson, 1878, i. 187.]



"Oh! banish care"—such ever be The motto of thy revelry! Perchance of mine, when wassail nights Renew those riotous delights, Wherewith the children of Despair Lull the lone heart, and "banish care." But not in Morn's reflecting hour, When present, past, and future lower, When all I loved is changed or gone, Mock with such taunts the woes of one, Whose every thought—but let them pass— Thou know'st I am not what I was. But, above all, if thou wouldst hold Place in a heart that ne'er was cold, By all the powers that men revere, By all unto thy bosom dear, Thy joys below, thy hopes above, Speak—speak of anything but Love.

'Twere long to tell, and vain to hear, The tale of one who scorns a tear; And there is little in that tale Which better bosoms would bewail. But mine has suffered more than well 'Twould suit philosophy to tell. I've seen my bride another's bride,— Have seen her seated by his side,— Have seen the infant, which she bore, Wear the sweet smile the mother wore, When she and I in youth have smiled, As fond and faultless as her child;— Have seen her eyes, in cold disdain, Ask if I felt no secret pain; And I have acted well my part, And made my cheek belie my heart, Returned the freezing glance she gave, Yet felt the while that woman's slave;— Have kissed, as if without design, The babe which ought to have been mine, And showed, alas! in each caress Time had not made me love the less.

But let this pass—I'll whine no more, Nor seek again an eastern shore; The world befits a busy brain,— I'll hie me to its haunts again. But if, in some succeeding year,[28] When Britain's "May is in the sere," Thou hear'st of one, whose deepening crimes Suit with the sablest of the times, Of one, whom love nor pity sways, Nor hope of fame, nor good men's praise; One, who in stern Ambition's pride, Perchance not blood shall turn aside; One ranked in some recording page With the worst anarchs of the age, Him wilt thou know—and knowing pause, Nor with the effect forget the cause.

Newstead Abbey, Oct. 11, 1811. [First published, Life, 1830.]

TO THYRZA.[t][29]

Without a stone to mark the spot,[30] And say, what Truth might well have said,[u] By all, save one, perchance forgot, Ah! wherefore art thou lowly laid? By many a shore and many a sea[v] Divided, yet beloved in vain; The Past, the Future fled to thee, To bid us meet—no—ne'er again! Could this have been—a word, a look, That softly said, "We part in peace," Had taught my bosom how to brook, With fainter sighs, thy soul's release. And didst thou not, since Death for thee Prepared a light and pangless dart, Once long for him thou ne'er shalt see, Who held, and holds thee in his heart? Oh! who like him had watched thee here? Or sadly marked thy glazing eye, In that dread hour ere Death appear, When silent Sorrow fears to sigh, Till all was past? But when no more 'Twas thine to reck of human woe, Affection's heart-drops, gushing o'er, Had flowed as fast—as now they flow. Shall they not flow, when many a day[w] In these, to me, deserted towers, Ere called but for a time away, Affection's mingling tears were ours? Ours too the glance none saw beside; The smile none else might understand; The whispered thought of hearts allied,[x] The pressure of the thrilling hand; The kiss, so guiltless and refined, That Love each warmer wish forbore; Those eyes proclaimed so pure a mind, Ev'n Passion blushed to plead for more.[y] The tone, that taught me to rejoice, When prone, unlike thee, to repine; The song, celestial from thy voice, But sweet to me from none but thine; The pledge we wore—I wear it still, But where is thine?—Ah! where art thou? Oft have I borne the weight of ill, But never bent beneath till now! Well hast thou left in Life's best bloom[z] The cup of Woe for me to drain.[aa] If rest alone be in the tomb, I would not wish thee here again: But if in worlds more blest than this Thy virtues seek a fitter sphere, Impart some portion of thy bliss, To wean me from mine anguish here. Teach me—too early taught by thee! To bear, forgiving and forgiven: On earth thy love was such to me; It fain would form my hope in Heaven![ab]

October 11, 1811. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



Away, away, ye notes of Woe! Be silent, thou once soothing Strain, Or I must flee from hence—for, oh! I dare not trust those sounds again.[ad] To me they speak of brighter days— But lull the chords, for now, alas![ae] I must not think, I may not gaze,[af] On what I am—on what I was.


The voice that made those sounds more sweet[ag] Is hushed, and all their charms are fled; And now their softest notes repeat A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead! Yes, Thyrza! yes, they breathe of thee, Beloved dust! since dust thou art; And all that once was Harmony Is worse than discord to my heart!


'Tis silent all!—but on my ear[ah] The well remembered Echoes thrill; I hear a voice I would not hear, A voice that now might well be still: Yet oft my doubting Soul 'twill shake; Ev'n Slumber owns its gentle tone, Till Consciousness will vainly wake To listen, though the dream be flown.


Sweet Thyrza! waking as in sleep, Thou art but now a lovely dream; A Star that trembled o'er the deep, Then turned from earth its tender beam. But he who through Life's dreary way Must pass, when Heaven is veiled in wrath, Will long lament the vanished ray That scattered gladness o'er his path.

December 8, 1811. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



One struggle more, and I am free From pangs that rend my heart in twain;[aj] One last long sigh to Love and thee, Then back to busy life again. It suits me well to mingle now With things that never pleased before:[ak] Though every joy is fled below, What future grief can touch me more?[al]


Then bring me wine, the banquet bring; Man was not formed to live alone: I'll be that light unmeaning thing That smiles with all, and weeps with none. It was not thus in days more dear, It never would have been, but thou[am] Hast fled, and left me lonely here; Thou'rt nothing,—all are nothing now.


In vain my lyre would lightly breathe! The smile that Sorrow fain would wear But mocks the woe that lurks beneath, Like roses o'er a sepulchre. Though gay companions o'er the bowl Dispel awhile the sense of ill; Though Pleasure fires the maddening soul, The Heart,—the Heart is lonely still!


On many a lone and lovely night It soothed to gaze upon the sky; For then I deemed the heavenly light Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye: And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon, When sailing o'er the AEgean wave, "Now Thyrza gazes on that moon"— Alas, it gleamed upon her grave!


When stretched on Fever's sleepless bed, And sickness shrunk my throbbing veins, "'Tis comfort still," I faintly said,[an] "That Thyrza cannot know my pains:" Like freedom to the time-worn slave—[ao] A boon 'tis idle then to give— Relenting Nature vainly gave[32] My life, when Thyrza ceased to live!


My Thyrza's pledge in better days,[ap] When Love and Life alike were new! How different now thou meet'st my gaze! How tinged by time with Sorrow's hue! The heart that gave itself with thee Is silent—ah, were mine as still! Though cold as e'en the dead can be, It feels, it sickens with the chill.


Thou bitter pledge! thou mournful token! Though painful, welcome to my breast! Still, still, preserve that love unbroken, Or break the heart to which thou'rt pressed. Time tempers Love, but not removes, More hallowed when its Hope is fled: Oh! what are thousand living loves To that which cannot quit the dead?

[First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]



When Time, or soon or late, shall bring The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead, Oblivion! may thy languid wing Wave gently o'er my dying bed!


No band of friends or heirs be there,[33] To weep, or wish, the coming blow: No maiden, with dishevelled hair, To feel, or feign, decorous woe.


But silent let me sink to Earth, With no officious mourners near: I would not mar one hour of mirth, Nor startle Friendship with a fear.


Yet Love, if Love in such an hour Could nobly check its useless sighs, Might then exert its latest power In her who lives, and him who dies.


'Twere sweet, my Psyche! to the last Thy features still serene to see: Forgetful of its struggles past, E'en Pain itself should smile on thee.


But vain the wish—for Beauty still Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath; And Woman's tears, produced at will, Deceive in life, unman in death.


Then lonely be my latest hour, Without regret, without a groan; For thousands Death hath ceased to lower, And pain been transient or unknown.


"Aye but to die, and go," alas! Where all have gone, and all must go! To be the nothing that I was Ere born to life and living woe!


Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen, Count o'er thy days from anguish free, And know, whatever thou hast been, 'Tis something better not to be.

[First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition).]


"Heu, quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quam tui meminisse!"[34]


And thou art dead, as young and fair As aught of mortal birth; And form so soft, and charms so rare, Too soon returned to Earth![ar] Though Earth received them in her bed, And o'er the spot the crowd may tread[as] In carelessness or mirth, There is an eye which could not brook A moment on that grave to look.


I will not ask where thou liest low,[at] Nor gaze upon the spot; There flowers or weeds at will may grow, So I behold them not:[au] It is enough for me to prove That what I loved, and long must love, Like common earth can rot;[av] To me there needs no stone to tell, 'Tis Nothing that I loved so well[aw]


Yet did I love thee to the last As fervently as thou,[ax] Who didst not change through all the past, And canst not alter now. The love where Death has set his seal, Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,[ay] Nor falsehood disavow:[az] And, what were worse, thou canst not see[ba] Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.[bb]


The better days of life were ours; The worst can be but mine: The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers,[bc] Shall never more be thine. The silence of that dreamless sleep[bd] I envy now too much to weep; Nor need I to repine, That all those charms have passed away I might have watched through long decay.


The flower in ripened bloom unmatched Must fall the earliest prey;[be] Though by no hand untimely snatched, The leaves must drop away: And yet it were a greater grief To watch it withering, leaf by leaf, Than see it plucked to-day; Since earthly eye but ill can bear To trace the change to foul from fair.


I know not if I could have borne[bf] To see thy beauties fade; The night that followed such a morn Had worn a deeper shade: Thy day without a cloud hath passed,[bg] And thou wert lovely to the last; Extinguished, not decayed; As stars that shoot along the sky[bh] Shine brightest as they fall from high.


As once I wept, if I could weep, My tears might well be shed, To think I was not near to keep One vigil o'er thy bed; To gaze, how fondly! on thy face, To fold thee in a faint embrace, Uphold thy drooping head; And show that love, however vain, Nor thou nor I can feel again.


Yet how much less it were to gain, Though thou hast left me free,[bi] The loveliest things that still remain, Than thus remember thee! The all of thine that cannot die Through dark and dread Eternity[bj] Returns again to me, And more thy buried love endears Than aught, except its living years.

February, 1812. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition).]


Weep, daughter of a royal line, A Sire's disgrace, a realm's decay; Ah! happy if each tear of thine Could wash a Father's fault away! Weep—for thy tears are Virtue's tears— Auspicious to these suffering Isles; And be each drop in future years Repaid thee by thy People's smiles!

March, 1812. [MS. M. First published, Morning Chronicle, March 7, 1812 (Corsair, 1814, Second Edition).]



If sometimes in the haunts of men Thine image from my breast may fade, The lonely hour presents again The semblance of thy gentle shade: And now that sad and silent hour Thus much of thee can still restore, And sorrow unobserved may pour The plaint she dare not speak before.


Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile I waste one thought I owe to thee, And self-condemned, appear to smile, Unfaithful to thy memory: Nor deem that memory less dear, That then I seem not to repine; I would not fools should overhear One sigh that should be wholly thine.


If not the Goblet pass unquaffed, It is not drained to banish care; The cup must hold a deadlier draught That brings a Lethe for despair. And could Oblivion set my soul From all her troubled visions free, I'd dash to earth the sweetest bowl That drowned a single thought of thee.


For wert thou vanished from my mind, Where could my vacant bosom turn? And who would then remain behind To honour thine abandoned Urn? No, no—it is my sorrow's pride That last dear duty to fulfil; Though all the world forget beside, 'Tis meet that I remember still.


For well I know, that such had been Thy gentle care for him, who now Unmourned shall quit this mortal scene, Where none regarded him, but thou: And, oh! I feel in that was given A blessing never meant for me; Thou wert too like a dream of Heaven, For earthly Love to merit thee.

March 14, 1812. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition).]



Ill-fated Heart! and can it be, That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain? Have years of care for thine and thee Alike been all employed in vain?


Yet precious seems each shattered part, And every fragment dearer grown, Since he who wears thee feels thou art A fitter emblem of his own.

March 16, 1812. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition).]



The chain I gave was fair to view, The lute I added sweet in sound; The heart that offered both was true, And ill deserved the fate it found.


These gifts were charmed by secret spell, Thy truth in absence to divine; And they have done their duty well,— Alas! they could not teach thee thine.


That chain was firm in every link, But not to bear a stranger's touch; That lute was sweet—till thou couldst think In other hands its notes were such.


Let him who from thy neck unbound The chain which shivered in his grasp, Who saw that lute refuse to sound, Restring the chords, renew the clasp.


When thou wert changed, they altered too; The chain is broke, the music mute, 'Tis past—to them and thee adieu— False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.

[MS. M. First published, Corsair, 1814 (Second Edition).]



Absent or present, still to thee, My friend, what magic spells belong! As all can tell, who share, like me, In turn thy converse,[37] and thy song.


But when the dreaded hour shall come By Friendship ever deemed too nigh, And "Memory" o'er her Druid's tomb[38] Shall weep that aught of thee can die,


How fondly will she then repay Thy homage offered at her shrine, And blend, while ages roll away, Her name immortally with thine!

April 19, 1812. [First published, Poems, 1816.]


In one dread night our city saw, and sighed, Bowed to the dust, the Drama's tower of pride; In one short hour beheld the blazing fane, Apollo sink, and Shakespeare cease to reign.

Ye who beheld, (oh! sight admired and mourned, Whose radiance mocked the ruin it adorned!) Through clouds of fire the massy fragments riven, Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven; Saw the long column of revolving flames Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames,[40] 10 While thousands, thronged around the burning dome, Shrank back appalled, and trembled for their home, As glared the volumed blaze, and ghastly shone[bn] The skies, with lightnings awful as their own, Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall[bo] Usurped the Muse's realm, and marked her fall; Say—shall this new, nor less aspiring pile, Reared where once rose the mightiest in our isle, Know the same favour which the former knew, A shrine for Shakespeare—worthy him and you? 20

Yes—it shall be—the magic of that name Defies the scythe of time, the torch of flame;[bp] On the same spot still consecrates the scene, And bids the Drama be where she hath been: This fabric's birth attests the potent spell—— Indulge our honest pride, and say, How well!

As soars this fane to emulate the last, Oh! might we draw our omens from the past, Some hour propitious to our prayers may boast Names such as hallow still the dome we lost. 30 On Drury first your Siddons' thrilling art O'erwhelmed the gentlest, stormed the sternest heart. On Drury, Garrick's latest laurels grew; Here your last tears retiring Roscius drew, Sighed his last thanks, and wept his last adieu: But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom, That only waste their odours o'er the tomb. Such Drury claimed and claims—nor you refuse One tribute to revive his slumbering muse; With garlands deck your own Menander's head, 40 Nor hoard your honours idly for the dead![bq] Dear are the days which made our annals bright, Ere Garrick fled, or Brinsley[41] ceased to write[br] Heirs to their labours, like all high-born heirs, Vain of our ancestry as they of theirs; While thus Remembrance borrows Banquo's glass To claim the sceptred shadows as they pass, And we the mirror hold, where imaged shine Immortal names, emblazoned on our line, Pause—ere their feebler offspring you condemn, 50 Reflect how hard the task to rival them!

Friends of the stage! to whom both Players and Plays Must sue alike for pardon or for praise, Whose judging voice and eye alone direct The boundless power to cherish or reject; If e'er frivolity has led to fame, And made us blush that you forbore to blame— If e'er the sinking stage could condescend To soothe the sickly taste it dare not mend— All past reproach may present scenes refute, 60 And censure, wisely loud, be justly mute![42] Oh! since your fiat stamps the Drama's laws, Forbear to mock us with misplaced applause; So Pride shall doubly nerve the actor's powers, And Reason's voice be echoed back by ours!

This greeting o'er—the ancient rule obeyed,[43] The Drama's homage by her herald paid— Receive our welcome too—whose every tone Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own. The curtain rises—may our stage unfold 70 Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old! Britons our judges, Nature for our guide, Still may we please—long, long may you preside.

[First published, Morning Chronicle, Oct. 12, 1812.]



Half stolen, with acknowledgments, to be spoken in an inarticulate voice by Master —— at the opening of the next new theatre. [Stolen parts marked with the inverted commas of quotation—thus "——".]

"When energising objects men pursue," Then Lord knows what is writ by Lord knows who. A modest Monologue you here survey, Hissed from the theatre the "other day," As if Sir Fretful wrote "the slumberous" verse, And gave his son "the rubbish" to rehearse. "Yet at the thing you'd never be amazed," Knew you the rumpus which the Author raised; "Nor even here your smiles would be represt," Knew you these lines—the badness of the best, 10 "Flame! fire! and flame!" (words borrowed from Lucretius.[45]) "Dread metaphors" which open wounds like issues! "And sleeping pangs awake—and——But away"— (Confound me if I know what next to say). Lo "Hope reviving re-expands her wings," And Master G—— recites what Dr. Busby sings!— "If mighty things with small we may compare," (Translated from the Grammar for the fair!) Dramatic "spirit drives a conquering car," And burn'd poor Moscow like a tub of "tar." 20 "This spirit" "Wellington has shown in Spain," To furnish Melodrames for Drury Lane. "Another Marlborough points to Blenheim's story," And George and I will dramatise it for ye.

"In Arts and Sciences our Isle hath shone" (This deep discovery is mine alone). Oh "British poesy, whose powers inspire" My verse—or I'm a fool—and Fame's a liar, "Thee we invoke, your Sister Arts implore" With "smiles," and "lyres," and "pencils," and much more. 30 These, if we win the Graces, too, we gain Disgraces, too! "inseparable train!" "Three who have stolen their witching airs from Cupid" (You all know what I mean, unless you're stupid): "Harmonious throng" that I have kept in petto Now to produce in a "divine sestetto"!! "While Poesy," with these delightful doxies, "Sustains her part" in all the "upper" boxes! "Thus lifted gloriously, you'll sweep along," Borne in the vast balloon of Busby's song; 40 "Shine in your farce, masque, scenery, and play" (For this last line George had a holiday). "Old Drury never, never soar'd so high," So says the Manager, and so say I. "But hold," you say, "this self-complacent boast;" Is this the Poem which the public lost? "True—true—that lowers at once our mounting pride;" But lo;—the Papers print what you deride. "'Tis ours to look on youyou hold the prize," 'Tis twenty guineas, as they advertise! 50 "A double blessing your rewards impart"— I wish I had them, then, with all my heart. "Our twofold feeling owns its twofold cause," Why son and I both beg for your applause. "When in your fostering beams you bid us live," My next subscription list shall say how much you give!

[First published, Morning Chronicle, October 23, 1812.]


When Dryden's fool, "unknowing what he sought," His hours in whistling spent, "for want of thought,"[47] This guiltless oaf his vacancy of sense Supplied, and amply too, by innocence: Did modern swains, possessed of Cymon's powers, In Cymon's manner waste their leisure hours, Th' offended guests would not, with blushing, see These fair green walks disgraced by infamy. Severe the fate of modern fools, alas! When vice and folly mark them as they pass. Like noxious reptiles o'er the whitened wall, The filth they leave still points out where they crawl.

[First published, 1832, vol. xvii.]



Remember thee! remember thee! Till Lethe quench life's burning stream Remorse and Shame shall cling to thee, And haunt thee like a feverish dream!


Remember thee! Aye, doubt it not. Thy husband too shall think of thee: By neither shalt thou be forgot, Thou false to him, thou fiend to me![49]

[First published, Conversations of Lord Byron, 1824.]


Time! on whose arbitrary wing The varying hours must flag or fly, Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring, But drag or drive us on to die— Hail thou! who on my birth bestowed Those boons to all that know thee known; Yet better I sustain thy load, For now I bear the weight alone. I would not one fond heart should share The bitter moments thou hast given; And pardon thee—since thou couldst spare All that I loved, to peace or Heaven. To them be joy or rest—on me Thy future ills shall press in vain; I nothing owe but years to thee, A debt already paid in pain. Yet even that pain was some relief; It felt, but still forgot thy power:[bs] The active agony of grief Retards, but never counts the hour.[bt] In joy I've sighed to think thy flight Would soon subside from swift to slow; Thy cloud could overcast the light, But could not add a night to Woe; For then, however drear and dark, My soul was suited to thy sky; One star alone shot forth a spark To prove thee—not Eternity. That beam hath sunk—and now thou art A blank—a thing to count and curse Through each dull tedious trifling part, Which all regret, yet all rehearse. One scene even thou canst not deform— The limit of thy sloth or speed When future wanderers bear the storm Which we shall sleep too sound to heed. And I can smile to think how weak Thine efforts shortly shall be shown, When all the vengeance thou canst wreak Must fall upon—a nameless stone.

[MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]



Ah! Love was never yet without The pang, the agony, the doubt, Which rends my heart with ceaseless sigh, While day and night roll darkling by.


Without one friend to hear my woe, I faint, I die beneath the blow. That Love had arrows, well I knew, Alas! I find them poisoned too.


Birds, yet in freedom, shun the net Which Love around your haunts hath set; Or, circled by his fatal fire, Your hearts shall burn, your hopes expire.


A bird of free and careless wing Was I, through many a smiling spring; But caught within the subtle snare, I burn, and feebly flutter there.


Who ne'er have loved, and loved in vain, Can neither feel nor pity pain, The cold repulse, the look askance, The lightning of Love's angry glance.


In flattering dreams I deemed thee mine; Now hope, and he who hoped, decline; Like melting wax, or withering flower, I feel my passion, and thy power.


My light of Life! ah, tell me why That pouting lip, and altered eye? My bird of Love! my beauteous mate! And art thou changed, and canst thou hate?


Mine eyes like wintry streams o'erflow: What wretch with me would barter woe? My bird! relent: one note could give A charm to bid thy lover live.


My curdling blood, my madd'ning brain, In silent anguish I sustain; And still thy heart, without partaking One pang, exults—while mine is breaking.


Pour me the poison; fear not thou! Thou canst not murder more than now: I've lived to curse my natal day, And Love, that thus can lingering slay.


My wounded soul, my bleeding breast, Can patience preach thee into rest? Alas! too late, I dearly know That Joy is harbinger of Woe.

[First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]



Thou art not false, but thou art fickle, To those thyself so fondly sought; The tears that thou hast forced to trickle Are doubly bitter from that thought: 'Tis this which breaks the heart thou grievest, Too well thou lov'st—too soon thou leavest.


The wholly false the heart despises, And spurns deceiver and deceit; But she who not a thought disguises,[bv] Whose love is as sincere as sweet,— When she can change who loved so truly, It feels what mine has felt so newly.


To dream of joy and wake to sorrow Is doomed to all who love or live; And if, when conscious on the morrow, We scarce our Fancy can forgive, That cheated us in slumber only, To leave the waking soul more lonely,


What must they feel whom no false vision But truest, tenderest Passion warmed? Sincere, but swift in sad transition: As if a dream alone had charmed? Ah! sure such grief is Fancy's scheming, And all thy Change can be but dreaming!

[MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]


The "Origin of Love!"—Ah, why That cruel question ask of me, When thou mayst read in many an eye He starts to life on seeing thee? And shouldst thou seek his end to know: My heart forebodes, my fears foresee, He'll linger long in silent woe; But live until—I cease to be.

[First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]


"And my true faith can alter never, Though thou art gone perhaps for ever."


And "thy true faith can alter never?"— Indeed it lasted for a—week! I know the length of Love's forever, And just expected such a freak. In peace we met, in peace we parted, In peace we vowed to meet again, And though I find thee fickle-hearted No pang of mine shall make thee vain.


One gone—'twas time to seek a second; In sooth 'twere hard to blame thy haste. And whatsoe'er thy love be reckoned, At least thou hast improved in taste: Though one was young, the next was younger, His love was new, mine too well known— And what might make the charm still stronger, The youth was present, I was flown.


Seven days and nights of single sorrow! Too much for human constancy! A fortnight past, why then to-morrow, His turn is come to follow me: And if each week you change a lover, And so have acted heretofore, Before a year or two is over We'll form a very pretty corps.


Adieu, fair thing! without upbraiding I fain would take a decent leave; Thy beauty still survives unfading, And undeceived may long deceive. With him unto thy bosom dearer Enjoy the moments as they flee; I only wish his love sincerer Than thy young heart has been to me.

1812. [From a MS. in the possession of Mr. Murray, now for the first time printed.]



Remember him, whom Passion's power Severely—deeply—vainly proved: Remember thou that dangerous hour, When neither fell, though both were loved.[bx]


That yielding breast, that melting eye,[by] Too much invited to be blessed: That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh, The wilder wish reproved, repressed.


Oh! let me feel that all I lost[bz] But saved thee all that Conscience fears; And blush for every pang it cost To spare the vain remorse of years.


Yet think of this when many a tongue, Whose busy accents whisper blame, Would do the heart that loved thee wrong, And brand a nearly blighted name.[ca]


Think that, whate'er to others, thou Hast seen each selfish thought subdued: I bless thy purer soul even now, Even now, in midnight solitude.


Oh, God! that we had met in time, Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free; When thou hadst loved without a crime, And I been less unworthy thee![cb]


Far may thy days, as heretofore,[cc] From this our gaudy world be past! And that too bitter moment o'er, Oh! may such trial be thy last.


This heart, alas! perverted long, Itself destroyed might there destroy; To meet thee in the glittering throng, Would wake Presumption's hope of joy.[cd]


Then to the things whose bliss or woe, Like mine, is wild and worthless all, That world resign—such scenes forego, Where those who feel must surely fall.


Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness— Thy soul from long seclusion pure; From what even here hath passed, may guess What there thy bosom must endure.


Oh! pardon that imploring tear, Since not by Virtue shed in vain, My frenzy drew from eyes so dear; For me they shall not weep again.


Though long and mournful must it be, The thought that we no more may meet; Yet I deserve the stern decree, And almost deem the sentence sweet.


Still—had I loved thee less—my heart Had then less sacrificed to thine; It felt not half so much to part As if its guilt had made thee mine.

1813. [MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]


When, from the heart where Sorrow sits, Her dusky shadow mounts too high, And o'er the changing aspect flits, And clouds the brow, or fills the eye; Heed not that gloom, which soon shall sink: My Thoughts their dungeon know too well; Back to my breast the Wanderers shrink, And droop within their silent cell.[ce]

September, 1813. [MS. M. first published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]



Thine eyes' blue tenderness, thy long fair hair, And the warm lustre of thy features—caught From contemplation—where serenely wrought, Seems Sorrow's softness charmed from its despair— Have thrown such speaking sadness in thine air, That—but I know thy blessed bosom fraught With mines of unalloyed and stainless thought— I should have deemed thee doomed to earthly care. With such an aspect, by his colours blent, When from his beauty-breathing pencil born, (Except that thou hast nothing to repent) The Magdalen of Guido saw the morn— Such seem'st thou—but how much more excellent! With nought Remorse can claim—nor Virtue scorn.

December 17, 1813.[53] [MS. M. First published, Corsair, 1814 (Second Edition).]



Thy cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,[cf] And yet so lovely, that if Mirth could flush Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush, My heart would wish away that ruder glow: And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes—but, oh! While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush, And into mine my mother's weakness rush, Soft as the last drops round Heaven's airy bow. For, through thy long dark lashes low depending, The soul of melancholy Gentleness Gleams like a Seraph from the sky descending, Above all pain, yet pitying all distress; At once such majesty with sweetness blending, I worship more, but cannot love thee less.

December 17, 1813. [MS. M. First published, Corsair, 1814 (Second Edition).]




In moments to delight devoted,[54] "My Life!" with tenderest tone, you cry; Dear words! on which my heart had doted, If Youth could neither fade nor die.


To Death even hours like these must roll, Ah! then repeat those accents never; Or change "my Life!" into "my Soul!" Which, like my Love, exists for ever.

[MS. M.]


You call me still your Life.—Oh! change the word— Life is as transient as the inconstant sigh: Say rather I'm your Soul; more just that name, For, like the soul, my Love can never die.

[Stanzas 1, 2 first published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition). "Another Version," first published, 1832.]


[1] [These stanzas were inserted in the first draft of the First Canto of Childe Harold, after the eighty-sixth stanza. "The struggle 'gainst the Demon's sway" (see stanza lxxxiv.) had, apparently, resulted in victory, for the "unpremeditated lay" poured forth at the time betrays the youth and high spirits of the singer. But the inconsistency was detected in time, and the lines, To Inez, dated January 25, 1810, with their "touches of dreariest sadness," were substituted for the simple and cheerful strains of The Girl of Cadiz (see Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 75, note 1; Life, p. 151).]

[a] {1} For thou hast never lived to see.—[MS. M. erased.]

[b] {2} The Saxon maids——.—[MS. M.]

[2] [Compare Childe Harold, Canto I. stanza lviii. lines 8, 9, Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 59, note 1.]

[3] {3} [For "Bolero," see Poetical Works, 1898, i. 492, note 1.]

[c] Or tells with light and fairy hand Her beads beneath the rays of Hesper.—[MS. M. erased.]

[d] ——the lovely Girl of Cadiz.—[MS. M.]

[e] {4} Written in an Album.—[Editions 1812-1831.] Written in Mrs. Spencer S.'s——.—[MS. M. erased] Written at the request of a lady in her memorandum book.—[MS. B. M.] "Mrs. S. S.'s request."—[Erased. MS. B.M.]

[4] [The possessor of the album was, doubtless, Mrs. Spencer Smith, the "Lady" of the lines To Florence, "the sweet Florence" of the Stanzas composed during a Thunderstorm, and of the Stanzas written in passing through the Ambracian Gulf, and, finally, when "The Spell is broke, the Charm is flown," the "fair Florence" of stanzas xxxii., xxxiii. of the Second Canto of Childe Harold. In a letter to his mother, dated September 15, 1809, Byron writes, "This letter is committed to the charge of a very extraordinary woman, whom you have doubtless heard of, Mrs. Spencer Smith, of whose escape the Marquis de Salvo published a narrative a few years ago (Travels in the Year 1806, from Italy to England through the Tyrol, etc., containing the particulars of the liberation of Mrs. Spencer Smith from the hands of the French Police, London: 12mo, 1807). She has since been shipwrecked, and her life has been from its commencement so fertile in remarkable incidents, that in a romance they would appear improbable. She was born at Constantinople [circ. 1785], where her father, Baron Herbert, was Austrian Ambassador; married unhappily, yet has never been impeached in point of character; excited the vengeance of Buonaparte by a part in some conspiracy; several times risked her life; and is not yet twenty-five."

John Spencer Smith, the "Lady's" husband, was a younger brother of Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, the hero of the siege of Acre. He began life as a Page of Honour to Queen Charlotte, was, afterwards, attached to the Turkish Embassy, and (May 4, 1798) appointed Minister Plenipotentiary. On January 5, 1799, he concluded the treaty of defensive alliance with the Porte; and, October 30, 1799, obtained the freedom of the Black Sea for the English flag (see Remains of the late John Tweddell. London: 1815. See, too, for Mrs. Spencer Smith, Letters, 1898, i. 244, 245, note 1).]

[f] {5} To——.—[Editions 1812-1832.]

[g] {6} Through giant Danger's rugged path.—[MS. M.]

[h] {7} Stanzas—[1812.]

[5] Composed Oct^r. 11, 1809, during the night in a thunderstorm, when the guides had lost the road to Zitza, near the range of mountains formerly called Pindus, in Albania. [Editions 1812-1831.]

[This thunderstorm occurred during the night of the 11th October, 1809, when Lord Byron's guides had lost the road to Zitza, near the range of mountains formerly called Pindus, in Albania. Hobhouse, who had ridden on before the rest of the party, and arrived at Zitza just as the evening set in, describes the thunder as rolling "without intermission—the echoes of one peal had not ceased to roll in the mountains, before another tremendous crash burst over our heads, whilst the plains and the distant hills, visible through the cracks in the cabin, appeared in a perpetual blaze. The tempest was altogether terrific, and worthy of the Grecian Jove. Lord Byron, with the priest and the servants, did not enter our hut before three (in the morning). I now learnt from him that they had lost their way, ... and that after wandering up and down in total ignorance of their position, had, at last, stopped near some Turkish tombstones and a torrent, which they saw by the flashes of lightning. They had been thus exposed for nine hours.... It was long before we ceased to talk of the thunderstorm in the plain of Zitza."—Travels in Albania, 1858, i. 70, 72; Childe Harold, Canto II. stanza xlviii., Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 129, note 1.]

[i] {11} Stanzas.—[1812.]

[j] {12} Had Bards but realms along with rhymes.—[MS. M.]

[k] Again we'd see some Antonies.—[MS. M.]

[l] Though Jove——.—[MS. M.]

[6] [Compare [A Woman's Hair] stanza 1, line 4, "I would not lose you for a world."—Poetical Works, 1898, i. 233.]

[m] Written at Athens.—[1812.]

[7] {13} On the 3rd of May, 1810, while the Salsette (Captain Bathurst) was lying in the Dardanelles, Lieutenant Ekenhead, of that frigate, and the writer of these rhymes, swam from the European shore to the Asiatic—by the by, from Abydos to Sestos would have been more correct. The whole distance, from the place whence we started to our landing on the other side, including the length we were carried by the current, was computed by those on board the frigate at upwards of four English miles, though the actual breadth is barely one. The rapidity of the current is such that no boat can row directly across, and it may, in some measure, be estimated from the circumstance of the whole distance being accomplished by one of the parties in an hour and five, and by the other in an hour and ten minutes. The water was extremely cold, from the melting of the mountain snows. About three weeks before, in April, we had made an attempt; but having ridden all the way from the Troad the same morning, and the water being of an icy chillness, we found it necessary to postpone the completion till the frigate anchored below the castles, when we swam the straits as just stated, entering a considerable way above the European, and landing below the Asiatic, fort. [Le] Chevalier says that a young Jew swam the same distance for his mistress; and Olivier mentions its having been done by a Neapolitan; but our consul, Tarragona, remembered neither of these circumstances, and tried to dissuade us from the attempt. A number of the Salsette's crew were known to have accomplished a greater distance; and the only thing that surprised me was that, as doubts had been entertained of the truth of Leander's story, no traveller had ever endeavoured to ascertain its practicability. [See letter to Drury, dated May 3; to his mother, May 24, 1810, etc. (Letters, 1898, i. 262, 275). Compare the well-known lines in Don Juan, Canto II. stanza cv.—

"A better swimmer you could scarce see ever, He could perhaps have passed the Hellespont, As once (a feat on which ourselves we prided) Leander, Mr. Ekenhead, and I did."

Compare, too, Childe Harold, Canto IV. stanza clxxxiv. line 3, and the Bride of Abydos, Canto II. stanza i.: Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 461, note 2, et post, p. 178.]

[8] {14} [Hobhouse, who records the first attempt to cross the Hellespont, on April 16, and the successful achievement of the feat, May 3, 1810, adds the following note: "In my journal, in my friend's handwriting: 'The whole distance E. and myself swam was more than four miles—the current very strong and cold—some large fish near us when half across—we were not fatigued, but a little chilled—did it with little difficulty.—May, 6, 1810. Byron.'"—Travels in Albania, ii. 195.]

[9] {15} ["At Orchomenus, where stood the Temple of the Graces, I was tempted to exclaim, 'Whither have the Graces fled?' Little did I expect to find them here. Yet here comes one of them with golden cups and coffee, and another with a book. The book is a register of names.... Among these is Lord Byron's connected with some lines which I shall send you: 'Fair Albion,' etc." (See Travels in Italy, Greece, etc., by H. W. Williams, ii. 290, 291; Life, p. 101.)]

[n] Song.—[1812.]

[10] [The Maid of Athens was, it is supposed, the eldest of three sisters, daughters of Theodora Macri, the widow of a former English vice-consul. Byron and Hobhouse lodged at her house. The sisters were sought out and described by the artist, Hugh W. Williams, who visited Athens in May, 1817: "Theresa, the Maid of Athens, Catinco, and Mariana, are of middle stature.... The two eldest have black, or dark hair and eyes; their visage oval, and complexion somewhat pale, with teeth of pearly whiteness. Their cheeks are rounded, their noses straight, rather inclined to aquiline. The youngest, Mariana, is very fair, her face not so finely rounded, but has a gayer expression than her sisters', whose countenances, except when the conversation has something of mirth in it, may be said to be rather pensive. Their persons are elegant, and their manners pleasing and lady-like, such as would be fascinating in any country. They possess very considerable powers of conversation, and their minds seem to be more instructed than those of the Greek women in general."—Travels in Italy, Greece, etc., ii. 291, 292.

Other travellers, Hughes, who visited Athens in 1813, and Walsh (Narrative of a Resident in Constantinople, i. 122), who saw Theresa in 1821, found her charming and interesting, but speak of her beauty as a thing of the past. "She married an Englishman named Black, employed in H.M. Consular Service at Mesolonghi. She survived her husband and fell into great poverty.... Theresa Black died October 15, 1875, aged 80 years." (See Letters, 1898, i. 269, 270, note 1; and Life, p. 105, note.)

"Maid of Athens" is possibly the best-known of Byron's short poems, all over the English-speaking world. This is no doubt due in part to its having been set to music by about half a dozen composers—the latest of whom was Gounod.]

[11] {16} Romaic expression of tenderness. If I translate it, I shall affront the gentlemen, as it may seem that I supposed they could not; and if I do not, I may affront the ladies. For fear of any misconstruction on the part of the latter, I shall do so, begging pardon of the learned. It means, "My life, I love you!" which sounds very prettily in all languages, and is as much in fashion in Greece at this day as, Juvenal tells us, the two first words were amongst the Roman ladies, whose erotic expressions were all Hellenised. [The reference is to the [Greek: Zoe/ kai Psyche] of Roman courtesans. Vide Juvenal, lib. ii., Sat. vi. line 195; Martial, Epig. x. 68. 5.]

[12] {17} In the East (where ladies are not taught to write, lest they should scribble assignations), flowers, cinders, pebbles, etc., convey the sentiments of the parties, by that universal deputy of Mercury—an old woman. A cinder says, "I burn for thee;" a bunch of flowers tied with hair, "Take me and fly;" but a pebble declares—what nothing else can. [Compare The Bride of Abydos, line 295—

"What! not receive my foolish flower?"

See, too, Medwin's story of "one of the principal incidents in The Giaour." "I was in despair, and could hardly contrive to get a cinder, or a token-flower sent to express it."—Conversations of Lord Byron, 1824, p. 122.]

[13] Constantinople. [Compare—

"Tho' I am parted, yet my mind That's more than self still stays behind."

Poems, by Thomas Carew, ed. 1640, p. 36.]

[14] {18} [Given to the Hon. Roden Noel by S. McCalmont Hill, who inherited it from his great-grandfather, Robert Dallas. No date or occasion of the piece has been recorded.—Life of Lord Byron, 1890, p. 5.]

[15] {19} [These lines are copied from a leaf of the original MS. of the Second Canto of Childe Harold. They are headed, "Lines written beneath the Picture of J.U.D."

In a curious work of doubtful authority, entitled, The Life, Writings, Opinions and Times of the Right Hon. G. G. Noel Byron, London, 1825 (iii. 123-132), there is a long and circumstantial narrative of a "defeated" attempt of Byron's to rescue a Georgian girl, whom he had bought in the slave-market for 800 piastres, from a life of shame and degradation. It is improbable that these verses suggested the story; and, on the other hand, the story, if true, does afford some clue to the verses.]

[16] {20} The son [Greek: Deu~te pai~des,] etc., was written by Riga, who perished in the attempt to revolutionize Greece. This translation is as literal as the author could make it in verse. It is of the same measure as that of the original. [For the original, see Poetical Works, 1891, Appendix, p. 792. For Constantine Rhigas, see Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 199, note 2. Hobhouse (Travels in Albania, 1858, ii. 3) prints a version (Byron told Murray that it was "well enough," Letters, 1899, iii. 13) of [Greek: Deu~te pai~des,] of his own composition. He explains in a footnote that the metre is "a mixed trochaic, except the chorus." "This song," he adds, "the chorus particularly, is sung to a tune very nearly the same as the Marseillois Hymn. Strangely enough, Lord Byron, in his translation, has entirely mistaken the metre." The first stanza runs as follows:—

"Greeks arise! the day of glory Comes at last your swords to claim. Let us all in future story Rival our forefathers' fame. Underfoot the yoke of tyrants Let us now indignant trample, Mindful of the great example, And avenge our country's shame."]

[17] {21} Constantinople. "[Greek: Heptalophos]."

[18] {22} The song from which this is taken is a great favourite with the young girls of Athens of all classes. Their manner of singing it is by verses in rotation, the whole number present joining in the chorus. I have heard it frequently at our [Greek: "cho/roi"] in the winter of 1810-11. The air is plaintive and pretty.

[o] {23} Has bound my soul to thee——[MS. M.]

[p] When wandering forth alone——[MS. M.]

[q] {24} Oh! what can tongue or pen avail Unless my heart could speak.—[MS. M.]

[19] [These lines, which are undoubtedly genuine, were published for the first time in the sixth edition of Poems on his Domestic Circumstances (W. Hone, 1816). They were first included by Murray in the collected Poetical Works, in vol. xvii., 1832.]

[20] ["The principal streets of the city of Valetta are flights of stairs."—Gazetteer of the World.]

[21] {25} [Major-General Hildebrand Oakes (1754-1822) succeeded Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keates as "his Majesty's commissioner for the affairs of Malta," April 27, 1810. There was an outbreak of plague during his tenure of office (1810-13).—Annual Register, 1810, p. 320; Dict. Nat. Biog., art. "Oakes."]

[22] ["Lord Byron ... was once rather near fighting a duel—and that was with an officer of the staff of General Oakes at Malta" (1809).—Westminster Review, January, 1825, iii. 21 (by J. C. Hobhouse). (See, too, Life (First Edition, 1830, 4to), i. 202, 222.)]

[23] [On March 13, 1811, Captain (Sir William) Hoste (1780-1828) defeated a combined French and Italian squadron off the island of Lissa, on the Dalmatian coast. "The French commodore's ship La Favorite was burnt, himself (Dubourdieu) being killed." The four victorious frigates with their prizes arrived at Malta, March 31, when the garrison "ran out unarmed to receive and hail them." The Volage, in which Byron returned to England, took part in the engagement. Captain Hoste had taken a prize off Fiume in the preceding year.—Annual Register, 1811; Memoirs and Letters of Sir W. Hoste, ii. 79.]

[24] {26} ["We have had balls and fetes given us by all classes here, and it is impossible to convey to you the sensation our success has given rise to."—Memoirs and Letters of Sir W. Hoste, ii. 82.]

[25] [Mrs. (Susan) Fraser published, in 1809, "Camilla de Florian (the scene is laid in Valetta) and Other Poems. By an Officer's Wife." Byron was, no doubt, struck by her admiration for Macpherson's Ossian, and had read with interest her version of "The Address to the Sun," in Carthon, p. 31 (see Poetical Works, 1898, i. 229). He may, too, have regarded with favour some stanzas in honour of the Bolero (p. 82), which begin, "When, my Love, supinely laying."]

[26] {27} [Byron left Malta for England June 13, 1811. (See Letter to H. Drury, July 17, 1811, Letters, 1898, i. 318.)]

[r] {28} And mine was the pride and the worth of a name—[MS. M.]

[s] It tells not of time——.—[MS. M.]

[27] Francis Hodgson.

[28] {30} [Hodgson stipulated that the last twelve lines should be omitted, but Moore disregarded his wishes, and included the poem as it stands in his Life. A marginal note ran thus: "N.B. The poor dear soul meant nothing of this. F.H."—Memoir of Rev. Francis Hodgson, 1878, i. 212.]

[t] On the death of——Thyrza.—[MS.]

[29] [The following note on the identity of Thyrza has been communicated to the Editor:—

"The identity of Thyrza and the question whether the person addressed under this name really existed, or was an imaginary being, have given rise to much speculation and discussion of a more or less futile kind.

"This difficulty is now incapable of definite and authoritative solution, and the allusions in the verses in some respects disagree with things said by Lord Byron later. According to the poems, Thyrza had met him

"' ... many a day In these, to me, deserted towers.' (Newstead, October 11, 1811.)

"'When stretched on fever's sleepless bed.' (At Patras, about September, 1810.)

"'Death for thee Prepared a light and pangless dart.'

"'And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon, When sailing o'er the AEgean wave, "Now Thyrza gazes on that moon"— Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave!' (One struggle more, and I am free.)

"Finally, in the verses of October 11, 1811—

"'The pledge we wore—I wear it still, But where is thine?—Ah! where art thou?'

"There can be no doubt that Lord Byron referred to Thyrza in conversation with Lady Byron, and probably also with Mrs. Leigh, as a young girl who had existed, and the date of whose death almost coincided with Lord Byron's landing in England in 1811. On one occasion he showed Lady Byron a beautiful tress of hair, which she understood to be Thyrza's. He said he had never mentioned her name, and that now she was gone his breast was the sole depository of that secret. 'I took the name of Thyrza from Gesner. She was Abel's wife.'

"Thyrza is mentioned in a letter from Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire, to Augustus Foster (London, May 4, 1812): 'Your little friend, Caro William (Lady Caroline Lamb), as usual, is doing all sorts of imprudent things for him (Lord Byron) and with him; he admires her very much, but is supposed by some to admire our Caroline (the Hon. Mrs. George Lamb) more; he says she is like Thyrsa, and her singing is enchantment to him.' From this extract it is obvious that Thyrza is alluded to in the following lines, which, with the above quotation, may be reproduced, by kind permission of Mr. Vere Foster, from his most interesting book, The Two Duchesses (1898, pp. 362-374).

"'Verses Addressed by Lord Byron in the year 1812 to the Hon. Mrs. George Lamb.

"'The sacred song that on my ear Yet vibrates from that voice of thine I heard before from one so dear, 'Tis strange it still appears divine. But oh! so sweet that look and tone To her and thee alike is given; It seemed as if for me alone That both had been recalled from Heaven. And though I never can redeem The vision thus endeared to me, I scarcely can regret my dream When realized again by thee.'"

(It may be noted that the name Thirza, or Thyrza, a variant of Theresa, had been familiar to Byron in his childhood. In the Preface to Cain he writes, "Gesner's Death of Abel! I have never read since I was eight years of age at Aberdeen. The general impression of my recollection is delight; but of the contents I remember only that Cain's wife was called Mahala, and Abel's Thirza." Another and more immediate suggestion of the name may be traced to the following translation of Meleager's Epitaphium In Heliodoram, which one of the "associate bards," Bland, or Merivale, or Hodgson, contributed to their Translations chiefly from the Greek Anthology, 1806, p. 4, a work which Byron singles out for commendation in English Bards, etc, (lines 881-890):—

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