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Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1 by Byron

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Against what--_he_ could never imitate. 40

The man, who hopes t' obtain the promis'd cup,
Must in one _posture_ stand, and _ne'er look up_;
Nor _stop_, but rattle over _every_ word--
No matter _what_, so it can _not_ be heard:
Thus let him hurry on, nor think to rest:
Who speaks the _fastest's_ sure to speak the _best_;
Who utters most within the shortest space,
May, safely, hope to win the _wordy race_.

The Sons of _Science_ these, who, thus repaid,
Linger in ease in Granta's sluggish shade; 50
Where on Cam's sedgy banks, supine, they lie,
Unknown, unhonour'd live--unwept for die:
Dull as the pictures, which adorn their halls,
They think all learning fix'd within their walls:
In manners rude, in foolish forms precise,
All modern arts affecting to despise;
Yet prizing _Bentley's, Brunck's_, or _Porson's_ [4] note, [v]
More than the _verse on which the critic wrote_:
Vain as their honours, heavy as their Ale, [5]
Sad as their wit, and tedious as their tale; 60
To friendship dead, though not untaught to feel,
When Self and Church demand a Bigot zeal.
With eager haste they court the lord of power, [vi]
(Whether 'tis PITT or PETTY [6] rules the hour;)
To _him_, with suppliant smiles, they bend the head,
While distant mitres to their eyes are spread; [vii]
But should a storm o'erwhelm him with disgrace,
They'd fly to seek the next, who fill'd his place.
_Such_ are the men who learning's treasures guard!
_Such_ is their _practice_, such is their _reward_! 70
This _much_, at least, we may presume to say--
The premium can't exceed the _price_ they _pay_. [viii]

1806.

[Footnote 1:

No reflection is here intended against the person mentioned under the
name of Magnus. He is merely represented as performing an unavoidable
function of his office. Indeed, such an attempt could only recoil upon
myself; as that gentleman is now as much distinguished by his
eloquence, and the dignified propriety with which he fills his
situation, as he was in his younger days for wit and conviviality.

[Dr. William Lort Mansel (1753-1820) was, in 1798, appointed Master of
Trinity College, by Pitt. He obtained the bishopric of Bristol, through
the influence of his pupil, Spencer Perceval, in 1808. He died in 1820.]

[Footnote 2: Undergraduates of the second and third year.]

[Footnote 3: Demosthenes.]

[Footnote 4: The present Greek professor at Trinity College, Cambridge;
a man whose powers of mind and writings may, perhaps, justify their
preference. [Richard Porson (1759-1808). For Byron's description of him,
see letter to Murray, of February 20, 1818. Byron says ('Diary',
December 17, 18, 1813) that he wrote the 'Devil's Drive' in imitation of
Porson's 'Devil's Walk'. This was a common misapprehension at the time.
The 'Devil's Thoughts' was the joint composition of Coleridge and
Southey, but it was generally attributed to Porson, who took no trouble
to disclaim it. It was originally published in the 'Morning Post', Sept.
6, 1799, and Stuart, the editor, said that it raised the circulation of
the paper for several days after. (See Coleridge's Poems (1893), pp.
147, 621.)]

[Footnote 5: Lines 59-62 are not in the Quarto. They first appeared in
'Poems Original and Translated']

[Footnote 6: Since this was written, Lord Henry Petty has lost his
place, and subsequently (I had almost said consequently) the honour of
representing the University. A fact so glaring requires no comment.
(Lord Henry Petty, M.P. for the University of Cambridge, was Chancellor
of the Exchequer in 1805; but in 1807 he lost his seat. In 1809 he
succeeded his brother as Marquis of Lansdowne. He died in 1863.)]

[Footnote i: 'M--us--l.--'[4to]]

[Footnote ii: 'Whilst all around.'--[4to]]

[Footnote iii:

'Who with scarse sense to pen an English letter,
Yet with precision scans an Attis metre.'

[4to]]

[Footnote iv:

'The manner of the speech is nothing, since',

[4to. 'P, on V. Occasions'.]]

[Footnote v:

'Celebrated critics'.

[4to. 'Three first Editions'.]]

[Footnote vi:

'They court the tool of power'.

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions.']]

[Footnote vii:

'While mitres, prebends'.

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions.']]

[Footnote viii:

The 'reward's' scarce equal to the 'price' they pay.

[4to]]

TO MARY,

ON RECEIVING HER PICTURE. [1]

1.

This faint resemblance of thy charms,
(Though strong as mortal art could give,)
My constant heart of fear disarms,
Revives my hopes, and bids me live.

2.

Here, I can trace the locks of gold
Which round thy snowy forehead wave;
The cheeks which sprung from Beauty's mould,
The lips, which made me 'Beauty's' slave.

3.

Here I can trace--ah, no! that eye,
Whose azure floats in liquid fire,
Must all the painter's art defy,
And bid him from the task retire.

4.

Here, I behold its beauteous hue;
But where's the beam so sweetly straying, [i.]
Which gave a lustre to its blue,
Like Luna o'er the ocean playing?

5.

Sweet copy! far more dear to me,
Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art,
Than all the living forms could be,
Save her who plac'd thee next my heart.

6.

She plac'd it, sad, with needless fear,
Lest time might shake my wavering soul,
Unconscious that her image there
Held every sense in fast controul.

7.

Thro' hours, thro' years, thro' time,'twill cheer--
My hope, in gloomy moments, raise;
In life's last conflict 'twill appear,
And meet my fond, expiring gaze.

[Footnote 1: This "Mary" is not to be confounded with the heiress of
Annesley, or "Mary" of Aberdeen. She was of humble station in life.
Byron used to show a lock of her light golden hair, as well as her
picture, among his friends. (See 'Life', p. 41, 'note'.)]

[Footnote i.:

'But Where's the beam of soft desire?
Which gave a lustre to its blue,
Love, only love, could e'er inspire.--'

[4to. 'P. on V, Occasions]]

ON THE DEATH OF MR. FOX,[1]

THE FOLLOWING ILLIBERAL IMPROMPTU APPEARED IN THE "MORNING POST."

"Our Nation's foes lament on _Fox's_ death,
But bless the hour, when PITT resign'd his breath:
These feelings wide, let Sense and Truth unclue,
We give the palm, where Justice points its due."

TO WHICH THE AUTHOR OF THESE PIECES SENT THE FOLLOWING REPLY [i]
FOR INSERTION IN THE "MORNING CHRONICLE."

Oh, factious viper! whose envenom'd tooth
Would mangle, still, the dead, perverting truth; [ii]
What, though our "nation's foes" lament the fate,
With generous feeling, of the good and great;
Shall dastard tongues essay to blast the name [iii]
Of him, whose meed exists in endless fame?
When PITT expir'd in plenitude of power,
Though ill success obscur'd his dying hour,
Pity her dewy wings before him spread,
For noble spirits "war not with the dead:"
His friends in tears, a last sad requiem gave,
As all his errors slumber'd in the grave; [iv]
He sunk, an Atlas bending "'neath the weight" [v]
Of cares o'erwhelming our conflicting state.
When, lo! a Hercules, in Fox, appear'd,
Who for a time the ruin'd fabric rear'd:
He, too, is fall'n, who Britain's loss supplied, [vi]
With him, our fast reviving hopes have died;
Not one great people, only, raise his urn,
All Europe's far-extended regions mourn.
"These feelings wide, let Sense and Truth undue,
To give the palm where Justice points its due;" [vii]
Yet, let not canker'd Calumny assail, [viii]
Or round her statesman wind her gloomy veil.
FOX! o'er whose corse a mourning world must weep,
Whose dear remains in honour'd marble sleep;
For whom, at last, e'en hostile nations groan,
While friends and foes, alike, his talents own.--[ix]
Fox! shall, in Britain's future annals, shine,
Nor e'en to PITT, the patriot's 'palm' resign;
Which Envy, wearing Candour's sacred mask,
For PITT, and PITT alone, has dar'd to ask. [x]

(Southwell, Oct., 1806. [1])

[Footnote 1: The stanza on the death of Fox appeared in the _Morning
Post_, September 26, 1806.]

[Footnote 2: This MS. is preserved at Newstead.]

[Footnote i:

_The subjoined Reply._

[4to] ]

[Footnote ii:

_Would mangle, still, the dead, in spite of truth._

[4to] ]

[Footnote iii:

_Shall, therefore, dastard tongues assail the name
Of him, whose virtues claim eternal fame?_

[4to] ]

[Footnote iv: _And all his errors._--[4to] ]

[Footnote v:
_He died, an Atlas bending 'neath the weight
Of cares oppressing our unhappy state.
But lo! another Hercules appeared._

[4to] ]

[Footnote vi:

_He too is dead who still our England propp'd
With him our fast reviving hopes have dropp'd._

[4to] ]

[Footnote vii: _And give the palm._ [4to] ]

[Footnote viii:

_But let not canker'd Calumny assail
And round.--

[4to] ]

[Footnote ix: _And friends and foes._ [4to] ]

[Footnote x: '--would dare to ask.' [410]]

TO A LADY WHO PRESENTED TO THE AUTHOR A LOCK OF HAIR BRAIDED WITH HIS
OWN, AND APPOINTED A NIGHT IN DECEMBER TO MEET HIM IN THE GARDEN. [1]

These locks, which fondly thus entwine,
In firmer chains our hearts confine,
Than all th' unmeaning protestations
Which swell with nonsense, love orations.
Our love is fix'd, I think we've prov'd it;
Nor time, nor place, nor art have mov'd it;
Then wherefore should we sigh and whine,
With groundless jealousy repine;
With silly whims, and fancies frantic,
Merely to make our love romantic?
Why should you weep, like _Lydia Languish_,
And fret with self-created anguish?
Or doom the lover you have chosen,
On winter nights to sigh half frozen;
In leafless shades, to sue for pardon,
Only because the scene's a garden?
For gardens seem, by one consent,
(Since Shakespeare set the precedent;
Since Juliet first declar'd her passion)
To form the place of assignation.
Oh! would some modern muse inspire,
And seat her by a _sea-coal_ fire;
Or had the bard at Christmas written,
And laid the scene of love in Britain;
He surely, in commiseration,
Had chang'd the place of declaration.
In Italy, I've no objection,
Warm nights are proper for reflection;
But here our climate is so rigid,
That love itself, is rather frigid:
Think on our chilly situation,
And curb this rage for imitation.
Then let us meet, as oft we've done,
Beneath the influence of the sun;
Or, if at midnight I must meet you,
Within your mansion let me greet you: [i.]
'There', we can love for hours together,
Much better, in such snowy weather,
Than plac'd in all th' Arcadian groves,
That ever witness'd rural loves;
'Then', if my passion fail to please, [ii.]
Next night I'll be content to freeze;
No more I'll give a loose to laughter,
But curse my fate, for ever after. [2]

[Footnote 1: These lines are addressed to the same Mary referred to in
the lines beginning, "This faint resemblance of thy charms." ('Vide
ante', p. 32.)]

[Footnote 2: In the above little piece the author has been accused by
some 'candid readers' of introducing the name of a lady [Julia
Leacroft] from whom he was some hundred miles distant at the time this
was written; and poor Juliet, who has slept so long in "the tomb of all
the Capulets," has been converted, with a trifling alteration of her
name, into an English damsel, walking in a garden of their own creation,
during the month of 'December', in a village where the author never
passed a winter. Such has been the candour of some ingenious critics. We
would advise these 'liberal' commentators on taste and arbiters of
decorum to read 'Shakespeare'.

Having heard that a very severe and indelicate censure has been passed
on the above poem, I beg leave to reply in a quotation from an admired
work, 'Carr's Stranger in France'.--"As we were contemplating a
painting on a large scale, in which, among other figures, is the
uncovered whole length of a warrior, a prudish-looking lady, who seemed
to have touched the age of desperation, after having attentively
surveyed it through her glass, observed to her party that there was a
great deal of indecorum in that picture. Madame S. shrewdly whispered in
my ear 'that the indecorum was in the remark.'"--[Ed. 1803, cap. xvi, p.
171. Compare the note on verses addressed "To a Knot of Ungenerous
Critics," p. 213.]]

[Footnote i:

'Oh! let me in your chamber greet you.'

[4to]]

[Footnote ii:

'There if my passion'

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions]]

TO A BEAUTIFUL QUAKER. [1]

Sweet girl! though only once we met,
That meeting I shall ne'er forget;
And though we ne'er may meet again,
Remembrance will thy form retain;
I would not say, "I love," but still,
My senses struggle with my will:
In vain to drive thee from my breast,
My thoughts are more and more represt;
In vain I check the rising sighs,
Another to the last replies:
Perhaps, this is not love, but yet,
Our meeting I can ne'er forget.

What, though we never silence broke,
Our eyes a sweeter language spoke;
The tongue in flattering falsehood deals,
And tells a tale it never feels:
Deceit, the guilty lips impart,
And hush the mandates of the heart;
But soul's interpreters, the eyes,
Spurn such restraint, and scorn disguise.
As thus our glances oft convers'd,
And all our bosoms felt rehears'd,
No _spirit_, from within, reprov'd us,
Say rather, "'twas the _spirit mov'd_ us."
Though, what they utter'd, I repress,
Yet I conceive thou'lt partly guess;
For as on thee, my memory ponders,
Perchance to me, thine also wanders.
This, for myself, at least, I'll say,
Thy form appears through night, through day;
Awake, with it my fancy teems,
In sleep, it smiles in fleeting dreams;
The vision charms the hours away,
And bids me curse Aurora's ray
For breaking slumbers of delight,
Which make me wish for endless night.
Since, oh! whate'er my future fate,
Shall joy or woe my steps await;
Tempted by love, by storms beset,
Thine image, I can ne'er forget.

Alas! again no more we meet,
No more our former looks repeat;
Then, let me breathe this parting prayer,
The dictate of my bosom's care:
"May Heaven so guard my lovely quaker,
That anguish never can o'ertake her;
That peace and virtue ne'er forsake her,
But bliss be aye her heart's partaker!
Oh! may the happy mortal, fated [i]
To be, by dearest ties, related,
For _her_, each hour, _new joys_ discover, [ii]
And lose the husband in the lover!
May that fair bosom never know
What 'tis to feel the restless woe,
Which stings the soul, with vain regret,
Of him, who never can forget!"

1806.

[Footnote 1:

_Whom the author saw at Harrowgate_.

Annotated copy of 'P. on V. Occasions', p. 64 (British Museum).]

[Footnote i:
The Quarto inserts the following lines:--

_"No jealous passion shall invade,
No envy that pure heart pervade;"
For he that revels in such charms,
Can never seek another's arms._]

[Footnote ii:

new joy _discover_.

[4to]]

TO LESBIA! [i] [1]

1.

LESBIA! since far from you I've rang'd, [ii]
Our souls with fond affection glow not;
You say, 'tis I, not you, have chang'd,
I'd tell you why,--but yet I know not.

2.

Your polish'd brow no cares have crost;
And Lesbia! we are not much older, [iii]
Since, trembling, first my heart I lost,
Or told my love, with hope grown bolder.

3.

Sixteen was then our utmost age,
Two years have lingering pass'd away, love!
And now new thoughts our minds engage,
At least, I feel disposed to stray, love!

4.

"Tis _I_ that am alone to blame,
_I_, that am guilty of love's treason;
Since your sweet breast is still the same,
Caprice must be my only reason.

5.

I do not, love! suspect your truth,
With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not;
Warm was the passion of my youth,
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.

6.

No, no, my flame was not pretended;
For, oh! I lov'd you most sincerely;
And though our dream at last is ended
My bosom still esteems you dearly.

7.

No more we meet in yonder bowers;
Absence has made me prone to roving; [iv]
But older, firmer _hearts_ than ours
Have found monotony in loving.

8.

Your cheek's soft bloom is unimpair'd,
New beauties, still, are daily bright'ning,
Your eye, for conquest beams prepar'd, [v]
The forge of love's resistless lightning.

9.

Arm'd thus, to make their bosoms bleed,
Many will throng, to sigh like me, love!
More constant they may prove, indeed;
Fonder, alas! they ne'er can be, love!

1806.

[Footnote 1: "The lady's name was Julia Leacroft" ('Note by Miss E.
Pigot'). The word "Julia" (?) is added, in a lady's hand, in the
annotated copy of 'P. on V. Occasions', p. 52 (British Museum)]

[Footnote i: 'To Julia'. [4to]]

[Footnote ii: 'Julia since'. [4to]]

[Footnote iii: 'And Julia'. [4to]]

[Footnote iv:

_Perhaps my soul's too pure for roving_.

[4to]]

[Footnote v:

_Your eye for conquest comes prepar'd_.

[4to]]

TO WOMAN.

Woman! experience might have told me [i]
That all must love thee, who behold thee:
Surely experience might have taught
Thy firmest promises are nought; [ii]
But, plac'd in all thy charms before me,
All I forget, but to _adore_ thee.
Oh memory! thou choicest blessing,
When join'd with hope, when still possessing; [iii]
But how much curst by every lover
When hope is fled, and passion's over.
Woman, that fair and fond deceiver,
How prompt are striplings to believe her!
How throbs the pulse, when first we view
The eye that rolls in glossy blue,
Or sparkles black, or mildly throws
A beam from under hazel brows!
How quick we credit every oath,
And hear her plight the willing troth!
Fondly we hope 'twill last for ay,
When, lo! she changes in a day.
This record will for ever stand,'
"Woman, thy vows are trac'd in sand." [1] [iv]

[Footnote i:

_Surely, experience_.

[4to]]

[Footnote ii:

_A woman's promises are naught_.

[4to]]

[Footnote iii: Here follows, in the Quarto, an additional couplet:--

_Thou whisperest, as our hearts are beating,
"What oft we've done, we're still repeating_,"]

[Footnote iv:

_This Record will for ever stand
That Woman's vows are writ in sand_.

[4to]]

[Footnote 1: The last line is almost a literal translation from a
Spanish proverb.

(The last line is not "almost a literal translation from a Spanish
proverb," but an adaptation of part of a stanza from the 'Diana' of
Jorge de Montemajor--

"Mira, el Amor, lo que ordena;
Que os viene a hazer creer
Cosas dichas por muger,
Y escriptas en el arena."

Southey, in his 'Letters from Spain', 1797, pp. 87-91, gives a specimen
of the 'Diana', and renders the lines in question thus--

"And Love beheld us from his secret stand,
And mark'd his triumph, laughing, to behold me,
To see me trust a writing traced in sand,
To see me credit what a woman told me."

Byron, who at this time had little or no knowledge of Spanish
literature, seems to have been struck with Southey's paraphrase, and
compressed the quatrain into an epigram.]

AN OCCASIONAL PROLOGUE,

DELIVERED BY THE AUTHOR PREVIOUS TO THE PERFORMANCE OF "THE WHEEL OF
FORTUNE" AT A PRIVATE THEATRE. [1]

Since the refinement of this polish'd age
Has swept immoral raillery from the stage;
Since taste has now expung'd licentious wit,
Which stamp'd disgrace on all an author writ;
Since, now, to please with purer scenes we seek,
Nor dare to call the blush from Beauty's cheek;
Oh! let the modest Muse some pity claim,
And meet indulgence--though she find not fame.
Still, not for _her_ alone, we wish respect, [i]
_Others_ appear more conscious of defect:
To-night no _vet'ran Roscii_ you behold,
In all the arts of scenic action old;
No COOKE, no KEMBLE, can salute you here,
No SIDDONS draw the sympathetic tear;
To-night you throng to witness the _debut_
Of embryo Actors, to the Drama new:
Here, then, our almost unfledg'd wings we try;
Clip not our _pinions_, ere the _birds can fly_:
Failing in this our first attempt to soar,
Drooping, alas! we fall to rise no more.
Not one poor trembler, only, fear betrays,
Who hopes, yet almost dreads to meet your praise;
But all our Dramatis Personae wait,
In fond suspense this crisis of their fate.
No venal views our progress can retard,
Your generous plaudits are our sole reward;
For these, each _Hero_ all his power displays, [ii]
Each timid _Heroine_ shrinks before your gaze:
Surely the last will some protection find? [iii]
None, to the softer sex, can prove unkind:
While Youth and Beauty form the female shield, [iv]
The sternest Censor to the fair must yield. [v]
Yet, should our feeble efforts nought avail,
Should, _after all_, our best endeavours fail;
Still, let some mercy in your bosoms live,
And, if you can't applaud, at least _forgive_.

[Footnote 1. "I enacted Penruddock, in 'The Wheel of Fortune', and
Tristram Fickle, in the farce of 'The Weathercock', for three nights, in
some private theatricals at Southwell, in 1806, with great applause. The
occasional prologue for our volunteer play was also of my
composition."--'Diary; Life', p. 38. The prologue was written by him,
between stages, on his way from Harrogate. On getting into the carriage
at Chesterfield, he said to his companion, "Now, Pigot, I'll spin a
prologue for our play;" and before they reached Mansfield he had
completed his task,--interrupting only once his rhyming reverie, to ask
the proper pronunciation of the French word 'debut'; and, on being told
it, exclaiming, "Aye, that will do for rhyme to ''new'.'"--'Life', p.
39. "The Prologue was spoken by G. Wylde, Esq."--Note by Miss E. PIGOT.]

[Footnote i. _But not for her alone_.--[4to]

[Footnote ii: _For them each Hero_.--[4to]]

[Footnote iii: _Surely these last_.--[4to]]

[Footnote iv: _Whilst Youth_.--[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions'.]]

[Footnote v: _The sternest critic_.--[4to]]

TO ELIZA. [i]

1.

Eliza! [1] what fools are the Mussulman sect,
Who, to woman, deny the soul's future existence;
Could they see thee, Eliza! they'd own their defect,
And this doctrine would meet with a general resistance. [ii]

2.

Had their Prophet possess'd half an atom of sense, [iii]
He ne'er would have _woman_ from Paradise driven;
Instead of his _Houris_, a flimsy pretence, [iv]
With _woman alone_ he had peopled his Heaven.

3.

Yet, still, to increase your calamities more, [v]
Not content with depriving your bodies of spirit,
He allots one poor husband to share amongst four! [vi]--
With _souls_ you'd dispense; but, this last, who could bear it?

4.

His religion to please neither party is made;
On _husbands_ 'tis _hard_, to the wives most uncivil;
Still I can't contradict, [vii] what so oft has been said,
"Though women are angels, yet wedlock's the devil."

5.

This terrible truth, even Scripture has told, [2]
Ye Benedicks! hear me, and listen with rapture;
If a glimpse of redemption you wish to behold,
Of ST. MATT.--read the second and twentieth chapter.

6.

'Tis surely enough upon earth to be vex'd,
With wives who eternal confusion are spreading;
"But in Heaven" (so runs the Evangelists' Text)
"We neither have giving in marriage, or wedding."

7.

From this we suppose, (as indeed well we may,)
That should Saints after death, with their spouses put up more,
And wives, as in life, aim at absolute sway,
All Heaven would ring with the conjugal uproar.

8.

Distraction and Discord would follow in course,
Nor MATTHEW, nor MARK, nor ST. PAUL, can deny it,
The only expedient is general divorce,
To prevent universal disturbance and riot.

9.

But though husband and wife, shall at length be disjoin'd,
Yet woman and man ne'er were meant to dissever,
Our chains once dissolv'd, and our hearts unconfin'd,
We'll love without bonds, but we'll love you for ever.

10.

Though souls are denied you by fools and by rakes,
Should you own it yourselves, I would even then doubt you,
Your nature so much of _celestial_ partakes,
The Garden of Eden would wither without you.

Southwell, _October_ 9, 1806.

[Footnote 1: The letters "E. B. P." are added, in a lady's hand, in the
annotated copy of _P. on V. Occasions_, p. 26 (_British Museum_). The
initials stand for Miss Elizabeth Pigot.]

[Footnote 2: Stanzas 5-10, which appear in the Quarto, were never
reprinted.]

[Footnote i:

_To Miss E. P._ [4to]
_To Miss_---. [_P. on V. Occasions._]]

[Footnote ii:

_Did they know but yourself they would bend with respect,
And this doctrine must meet_---.

[_MS. Newstead_.]]

[Footnote iii: _But an atom of sense_. [4to]]

[Footnote iv: _But instead of his_ Houris. [4to]]

[Footnote v: _But still to increase_. [4to]]

[Footnote vi: _He allots but one husband. [4to]]

[Footnote vii: _But I can't---._ [4to]]

THE TEAR.

O lachrymarum fons, tenero sacros
Ducentium ortus ex animo; quater
Felix! in imo qui scatentem
Pectore te, pia Nympha, sensit. [1]

GRAY, 'Alcaic Fragment'.

1.

When Friendship or Love
Our sympathies move;
When Truth, in a glance, should appear,
The lips may beguile,
With a dimple or smile,
But the test of affection's a _Tear_.

2.

Too oft is a smile
But the hypocrite's wile,
To mask detestation, or fear;
Give me the soft sigh,
Whilst the soul-telling eye
Is dimm'd, for a time, with a _Tear_.

3.

Mild Charity's glow,
To us mortals below,
Shows the soul from barbarity clear;
Compassion will melt,
Where this virtue is felt,
And its dew is diffused in a _Tear_.

4.

The man, doom'd to sail
With the blast of the gale,
Through billows Atlantic to steer,
As he bends o'er the wave
Which may soon be his grave,
The green sparkles bright with a _Tear_.

5.

The Soldier braves death
For a fanciful wreath
In Glory's romantic career;
But he raises the foe
When in battle laid low,
And bathes every wound with a _Tear_.

6.

If, with high-bounding pride,[i]
He return to his bride!
Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear;
All his toils are repaid
When, embracing the maid,
From her eyelid he kisses the _Tear_.

7.

Sweet scene of my youth! [2]
Seat of Friendship and Truth,
Where Love chas'd each fast-fleeting year;
Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd,
For a last look I turn'd,
But thy spire was scarce seen through a _Tear_.

8.

Though my vows I can pour,
To my Mary no more, [3]
My Mary, to Love once so dear,
In the shade of her bow'r,
I remember the hour,
She rewarded those vows with a _Tear_.

9.

By another possest,
May she live ever blest!
Her name still my heart must revere:
With a sigh I resign,
What I once thought was mine,
And forgive her deceit with a _Tear_.

10.

Ye friends of my heart,
Ere from you I depart,
This hope to my breast is most near:
If again we shall meet,
In this rural retreat,
May we _meet_, as we _part_, with a _Tear_.

11.

When my soul wings her flight
To the regions of night,
And my corse shall recline on its bier; [ii]
As ye pass by the tomb,
Where my ashes consume,
Oh! moisten their dust with a _Tear_.

12.

May no marble bestow
The splendour of woe,
Which the children of Vanity rear;
No fiction of fame
Shall blazon my name,
All I ask, all I wish, is a _Tear_.

October 26, 1806. [iii]

[Footnote 1: The motto was prefixed in 'Hours of Idleness'.]

[Footnote 2: Harrow.]

[Footnote 3: Miss Chaworth was married in 1805.]

[Footnote i:

_When with high-bounding pride,
He returns_----.

[4to]]

[Footnote ii:

_And my body shall sleep on its bier_.

[4to. _P. on V. Occasions_.]]

[Footnote iii:

BYRON, October 26, 1806.

[4to]]

REPLY TO SOME VERSES OF J. M. B. PIGOT, ESQ.,
ON THE CRUELTY OF HIS MISTRESS. [1]

1.

Why, Pigot, complain
Of this damsel's disdain,
Why thus in despair do you fret?
For months you may try,
Yet, believe me, a _sigh_ [i]
Will never obtain a _coquette_.

2.

Would you teach her to love?
For a time seem to rove;
At first she may _frown_ in a _pet;_
But leave her awhile,
She shortly will smile,
And then you may _kiss_ your _coquette_.

3.

For such are the airs
Of these fanciful fairs,
They think all our _homage_ a _debt_:
Yet a partial neglect [ii]
Soon takes an effect,
And humbles the proudest _coquette_.

4.

Dissemble your pain,
And lengthen your chain,
And seem her _hauteur_ to _regret;_ [iii]
If again you shall sigh,
She no more will deny,
That _yours_ is the rosy _coquette_.

5.

If still, from false pride, [iv]
Your pangs she deride,
This whimsical virgin forget;
Some _other_ admire,
Who will _melt_ with your _fire_,
And laugh at the _little coquette_.

6.

For _me_, I adore
Some _twenty_ or more,
And love them most dearly; but yet,
Though my heart they enthral,
I'd abandon them all,
Did they act like your blooming _coquette_.

7.

No longer repine,
Adopt this design, [v]
And break through her slight-woven net!
Away with despair,
No longer forbear
To fly from the captious _coquette_.

8.

Then quit her, my friend!
Your bosom defend,
Ere quite with her snares you're beset:
Lest your deep-wounded heart,
When incens'd by the smart,
Should lead you to _curse_ the _coquette_.

October 27, 1806. [vi]

[Footnote 1: The letters "C. B. F. J. B. M." are added, in a lady's
hand, in the annotated copy of 'P. on V. Occasions', p. 14 (British
Museum).]

[Footnote i: _But believe me_. [4to]]

[Footnote ii: _But a partial_. [4to]]

[Footnote iii: _Nor seem_. [4to. 'P. on V. Occasions'.]]

[Footnote iv: _But if from false pride._ [4to]]

[Footnote v: _But form this design._ [4to]]

[Footnote vi: BYRON, October 27, 1806. [4to]

GRANTA. A MEDLEY.

[Greek: Argureais logchaisi machou kai panta krataese_o.] [1]

(Reply of the Pythian Oracle to Philip of Macedon.)

1.

Oh! could LE SAGE'S [2] demon's gift
Be realis'd at my desire,
This night my trembling form he'd lift
To place it on St. Mary's spire. [i]

2.

Then would, unroof'd, old Granta's halls,
Pedantic inmates full display;
_Fellows_ who dream on _lawn_ or _stalls_,
The price of venal votes to pay. [ii]

3.

Then would I view each rival wight,
PETTY and PALMERSTON survey;
Who canvass there, with all their might, [iii]
Against the next elective day. [3]

4.

Lo! candidates and voters lie [iv]
All lull'd in sleep, a goodly number!
A race renown'd for piety,
Whose conscience won't disturb their slumber.

5.

Lord H---[4] indeed, may not demur;
Fellows are sage, reflecting men:
They know preferment can occur,
But very seldom,--_now_ and _then_.

6.

They know the Chancellor has got
Some pretty livings in disposal:
Each hopes that _one_ may be his _lot_,
And, therefore, smiles on his proposal. [v]

7.

Now from the soporific scene [vi]
I'll turn mine eye, as night grows later,
To view, unheeded and unseen, [vii]
The studious sons of Alma Mater.

8.

There, in apartments small and damp,
The candidate for college prizes,
Sits poring by the midnight lamp;
Goes late to bed, yet early rises. [viii]

9.

He surely well deserves to gain them,
With all the honours of his college, [ix]
Who, striving hardly to obtain them,
Thus seeks unprofitable knowledge:

10.

Who sacrifices hours of rest,
To scan precisely metres Attic;
Or agitates his anxious breast, [x]
In solving problems mathematic:

11.

Who reads false quantities in Seale, [5]
Or puzzles o'er the deep triangle;
Depriv'd of many a wholesome meal; [xi]
In _barbarous Latin_ [6] doom'd to wrangle:

12.

Renouncing every pleasing page,
From authors of historic use;
Preferring to the letter'd sage,
The square of the hypothenuse. [7]

13.

Still, harmless are these occupations, [xii]
That hurt none but the hapless student,
Compar'd with other recreations,
Which bring together the imprudent;

14.

Whose daring revels shock the sight,
When vice and infamy combine,
When Drunkenness and dice invite, [xiii]
As every sense is steep'd in wine.

15.

Not so the methodistic crew,
Who plans of reformation lay:
In humble attitude they sue,
And for the sins of others pray:

16.

Forgetting that their pride of spirit,
Their exultation in their trial, [xiv]
Detracts most largely from the merit
Of all their boasted self-denial.

17.

'Tis morn:--from these I turn my sight:
What scene is this which meets the eye?
A numerous crowd array'd in white, [8]
Across the green in numbers fly.

18.

Loud rings in air the chapel bell;
'Tis hush'd:--what sounds are these I hear?
The organ's soft celestial swell
Rolls deeply on the listening ear.

19.

To this is join'd the sacred song,
The royal minstrel's hallow'd strain;
Though _he_ who hears the _music_ long, [xv]
Will _never_ wish to _hear again_.

20.

Our choir would scarcely be excus'd,
E'en as a band of raw beginners;
All mercy, now, must be refus'd [xvi]
To such a set of croaking sinners.

21.

If David, when his toils were ended,
Had heard these blockheads sing before him,
To us his psalms had ne'er descended,--
In furious mood he would have tore 'em.

22.

The luckless Israelites, when taken
By some inhuman tyrant's order,
Were ask'd to sing, by joy forsaken,
On Babylonian river's border.

23.

Oh! had they sung in notes like these [xvii]
Inspir'd by stratagem or fear,
They might have set their hearts at ease,
The devil a soul had stay'd to hear.

24.

But if I scribble longer now, [xviii]
The deuce a soul will _stay to read_;
My pen is blunt, my ink is low;
'Tis almost time to _stop_, _indeed_.

25.

Therefore, farewell, old _Granta's_ spires!
No more, like _Cleofas_, I fly;
No more thy theme my Muse inspires:
The reader's tir'd, and so am I.

October 28, 1806.

[Footnote 1: The motto was prefixed in 'Hours of Idleness'.

"Fight with silver spears" ('i.e'. with bribes), "and them shall
prevail in all things."]

[Footnote 2: The 'Diable Boiteux' of Le Sage, where Asmodeus, the demon,
places Don Cleofas on an elevated situation, and unroofs the houses for
inspection. [Don Cleofas, clinging to the cloak of Asmodeus, is carried
through the air to the summit of S. Salvador.]

[Footnote 3: On the death of Pitt, in January, 1806, Lord Henry Petty
beat Lord Palmerston in the contest for the representation of the
University of Cambridge in Parliament.]

[Footnote 4: Probably Lord Henry Petty. See variant iii.]

[Footnote 5: Scale's publication on Greek Metres displays considerable
talent and ingenuity, but, as might be expected in so difficult a work,
is not remarkable for accuracy. ('An Analysis of the Greek Metres; for
the use of students at the University of Cambridge'. By John Barlow
Seale (1764), 8vo. A fifth edition was issued in 1807.)]

[Footnote 6. The Latin of the schools is of the 'canine species', and
not very intelligible.]

[Footnote 7: The discovery of Pythagoras, that the square of the
hypothenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides of a
right-angled triangle.]

[Footnote 8: On a saint's day the students wear surplices in chapel.]

[Footnote i: 'And place it'. [4to]]

[Footnote ii: 'The price of hireling'. [4to]]

[Footnote iii: 'Who canvass now'. [4to]]

[Footnote iv:

'One on his power and place depends,
The other on--the Lord knows what!
Each to some eloquence pretends,
But neither will convince by that.

The first, indeed, may not demur;
Fellows are sage reflecting men,
And know'.

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions'.]]

[Footnote v:

'And therefore smiles at his'.

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions'.]]

[Footnote vi:

'Now from Corruption's shameless scene'.

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions'.]]

[Footnote vii: 'And view unseen'. [4to]]

[Footnote viii: 'and early rises'. [4to]]

[Footnote ix: 'And all the' [4to]]

[Footnote x: 'And agitates'. [4to]]

[Footnote xi: 'And robs himself of many a meal'. [4to]]

[Footnote xii:

'But harmless are these occupations
Which'.

[4to]]

[Footnote xiii:

'When Drunkenness and dice unite.
And every sense'.

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions'.]]

[Footnote xiv: 'And exultation'. [4to]]

[Footnote xv: 'But he'. [4to]]

[Footnote xvi: 'But mercy'. [4to]]

[Footnote xvii: 'But had they sung'. [4to]]

[Footnote xviii:

'But if I write much longer now'.

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions'.]]

TO THE SIGHING STREPHON. [1]

1.

Your pardon, my friend,
If my rhymes did offend,
Your pardon, a thousand times o'er;
From friendship I strove,
Your pangs to remove,
But, I swear, I will do so no more.

2.

Since your _beautiful_ maid,
Your flame has repaid,
No more I your folly regret;
She's now most divine,
And I bow at the shrine,
Of this quickly reformed coquette.

3.

Yet still, I must own, [i]
I should never have known,
From _your verses_, what else she deserv'd;
Your pain seem'd so great,
I pitied your fate,
As your fair was so dev'lish reserv'd.

4.

Since the balm-breathing kiss [ii]
Of this magical Miss,
Can such wonderful transports produce; [iii]
Since the _"world you forget,
When your lips once have met,"_
My counsel will get but abuse.

5.

You say, "When I rove,"
"I know nothing of love;"
Tis true, I am given to range;
If I rightly remember,
_I've lov'd_ a good number; [iv]
Yet there's pleasure, at least, in a change.

6.

I will not advance, [v]
By the rules of romance,
To humour a whimsical fair;
Though a smile may delight,
Yet a _frown_ will _affright,_ [vi]
Or drive me to dreadful despair.

7.

While my blood is thus warm,
I ne'er shall reform,
To mix in the Platonists' school;
Of this I am sure,
Was my Passion so pure,
Thy _Mistress_ would think me a fool. [vii]

8 [viii]

And if I should shun,
Every _woman_ for _one,_
Whose _image_ must fill my whole breast;
Whom I must _prefer,_
And _sigh_ but for _her,_
What an _insult_ 'twould be to the _rest!_

9.

Now Strephon, good-bye;
I cannot deny,
Your _passion_ appears most _absurd;_
Such _love_ as you plead,
Is _pure_ love, indeed,
For it _only_ consists in the _word_.

[Footnote 1: The letters "J. M. B. P." are added, in a lady's hand, in
the annotated copy of 'P. on V. Occasions', p. 17 (British Museum).]

[Footnote i: 'But still'. [4to]]

[Footnote ii: 'But since the chaste kiss.' [4to]]

[Footnote iii: 'Such wonderful.' [4to]]

[Footnote iv:

'I've kiss'd a good number.
But-----'

[4to]]

[Footnote v:

'I ne'er will advance.'

[4to]]

[Footnote vi:

'Yet a frown won't affright.'

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions.']]

[Footnote vii:

'My mistress must think me.'

[4to. 'P. on V. Occasions.']]

[Footnote viii:

'Though the kisses are sweet,
Which voluptuously meet,
Of kissing I ne'er was so fond,
As to make me forget,
Though our lips oft have met,
That still there was something beyond.'

[4to]

THE CORNELIAN. [1]

1.

No specious splendour of this stone
Endears it to my memory ever;
With lustre _only once_ it shone,
And blushes modest as the giver. [i]

2.

Some, who can sneer at friendship's ties,
Have, for my weakness, oft reprov'd me;
Yet still the simple gift I prize,
For I am sure, the giver lov'd me.

3.

He offer'd it with downcast look,
As _fearful_ that I might refuse it;
I told him, when the gift I took,
My _only fear_ should be, to lose it.

4.

This pledge attentively I view'd,
And _sparkling_ as I held it near,
Methought one drop the stone bedew'd,
And, ever since, _I've lov'd a tear._

5.

Still, to adorn his humble youth,
Nor wealth nor birth their treasures yield;
But he, who seeks the flowers of truth,
Must quit the garden, for the field.

6.

'Tis not the plant uprear'd in sloth,
Which beauty shews, and sheds perfume;
The flowers, which yield the most of both,
In Nature's wild luxuriance bloom.

7.

Had Fortune aided Nature's care,
For once forgetting to be blind,
_His_ would have been an ample share,
If well proportioned to his mind.

8.

But had the Goddess clearly seen,
His form had fix'd her fickle breast;
_Her_ countless hoards would _his_ have been,
And none remain'd to give the rest.

[Footnote 1: The cornelian was a present from his friend Edleston, a
Cambridge chorister, afterwards a clerk in a mercantile house in London.
Edleston died of consumption, May 11, 1811. (See letter from Byron to
Miss Pigot, October 28, 1811.) Their acquaintance began by Byron saving
him from drowning. (MS. note by the Rev. W. Harness.)]

[Footnote i: 'But blushes modest'. [4to]]

TO M----[i]

1.

Oh! did those eyes, instead of fire,
With bright, but mild affection shine:
Though they might kindle less desire,
Love, more than mortal, would be thine.

2.

For thou art form'd so heavenly fair,
_Howe'er_ those orbs _may_ wildly beam,
We must _admire,_ but still despair;
That fatal glance forbids esteem.

3.

When Nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth,
So much perfection in thee shone,
She fear'd that, too divine for earth,
The skies might claim thee for their own.

4.

Therefore, to guard her dearest work,
Lest angels might dispute the prize,
She bade a secret lightning lurk,
Within those once celestial eyes.

5.

These might the boldest Sylph appall,
When gleaming with meridian blaze;
Thy beauty must enrapture all;
But who can dare thine ardent gaze?

6.

'Tis said that Berenice's hair,
In stars adorns the vault of heaven;
But they would ne'er permit _thee_ there,
_Thou_ wouldst so far outshine the seven.

7.

For did those eyes as planets roll,
Thy sister-lights would scarce appear:
E'en suns, which systems now controul,
Would twinkle dimly through their sphere. [1]

Friday, November 7, 1806

[Footnote 1:

"Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do intreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return."

Shakespeare.]

[Footnote i: 'To A----'. [4to] ]

LINES ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.[1]

[As the author was discharging his Pistols in a Garden, Two Ladies
passing near the spot were alarmed by the sound of a Bullet hissing near
them, to one of whom the following stanzas were addressed the next
morning.] [2]

1.

Doubtless, sweet girl! the hissing lead,
Wafting destruction o'er thy charms [i]
And hurtling o'er [3] thy lovely head,
Has fill'd that breast with fond alarms.

2.

Surely some envious Demon's force,
Vex'd to behold such beauty here,
Impell'd the bullet's viewless course,
Diverted from its first career.

3.

Yes! in that nearly fatal hour,
The ball obey'd some hell-born guide;
But Heaven, with interposing power,
In pity turn'd the death aside.

4.

Yet, as perchance one trembling tear
Upon that thrilling bosom fell;
Which _I_, th' unconscious cause of fear,
Extracted from its glistening cell;--

5.

Say, what dire penance can atone
For such an outrage, done to thee?
Arraign'd before thy beauty's throne,
What punishment wilt thou decree?

6.

Might I perform the Judge's part,
The sentence I should scarce deplore;
It only would restore a heart,
Which but belong'd to _thee_ before.

7.

The least atonement I can make
Is to become no longer free;
Henceforth, I breathe but for thy sake,
Thou shalt be _all in all_ to me.

8.

But thou, perhaps, may'st now reject
Such expiation of my guilt;
Come then--some other mode elect?
Let it be death--or what thou wilt.

9.

Choose, then, relentless! and I swear
Nought shall thy dread decree prevent;
Yet hold--one little word forbear!
Let it be aught but banishment.

[Footnote 1: This title first appeared in "Contents" to 'P. on V.
Occasions'.]

[Footnote 2: The occurrence took place at Southwell, and the beautiful
lady to whom the lines were addressed was Miss Houson, who is also
commemorated in the verses "To a Vain Lady" and "To Anne." She was the
daughter of the Rev. Henry Houson of Southwell, and married the Rev.
Luke Jackson. She died on Christmas Day, 1821, and her monument may be
seen in Hucknall Torkard Church.]

[Footnote 3: This word is used by Gray in his poem to the Fatal
Sisters:--

"Iron-sleet of arrowy shower
Hurtles in the darken'd air."]

[Footnote i: 'near thy charms'. [4to. 'P. on V. Occasions'.]]

TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS.

AD LESBIAM.

Equal to Jove that youth must be--
_Greater_ than Jove he seems to me--
Who, free from Jealousy's alarms,
Securely views thy matchless charms;
That cheek, which ever dimpling glows,
That mouth, from whence such music flows,
To him, alike, are always known,
Reserv'd for him, and him alone.
Ah! Lesbia! though 'tis death to me,
I cannot choose but look on thee;
But, at the sight, my senses fly,
I needs must gaze, but, gazing, die;
Whilst trembling with a thousand fears,
Parch'd to the throat my tongue adheres,
My pulse beats quick, my breath heaves short,
My limbs deny their slight support;
Cold dews my pallid face o'erspread,
With deadly languor droops my head,
My ears with tingling echoes ring,
And Life itself is on the wing;
My eyes refuse the cheering light,
Their orbs are veil'd in starless night:
Such pangs my nature sinks beneath,
And feels a temporary death.

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