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Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1 by Byron

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TRANSLATION OF THE EPITAPH ON VIRGIL
AND TIBULLUS, BY DOMITIUS MARSUS.

He who, sublime, in epic numbers roll'd,
And he who struck the softer lyre of Love,
By Death's _unequal_[1] hand alike controul'd,
Fit comrades in Elysian regions move!

[Footnote: 1. The hand of Death is said to be unjust or unequal, as
Virgil was considerably older than Tibullus at his decease.]

IMITATION OF TIBULLUS.

SULPICIA AD CERINTHUM (LIB. QUART.).

Cruel Cerinthus! does the fell disease [i]
Which racks my breast your fickle bosom please?
Alas! I wish'd but to o'ercome the pain,
That I might live for Love and you again;
But, now, I scarcely shall bewail my fate:
By Death alone I can avoid your hate.

[Footnote i:

'does this fell disease'.

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

TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS.

LUGETE VENERES CUPIDINESQUE (CARM. III.) [i]

Ye Cupids, droop each little head,
Nor let your wings with joy be spread,
My Lesbia's favourite bird is dead,
Whom dearer than her eyes she lov'd: [ii]
For he was gentle, and so true,
Obedient to her call he flew,
No fear, no wild alarm he knew,
But lightly o'er her bosom mov'd:

And softly fluttering here and there,
He never sought to cleave the air,
He chirrup'd oft, and, free from care, [iii]
Tun'd to her ear his grateful strain.
Now having pass'd the gloomy bourn, [iv]
From whence he never can return,
His death, and Lesbia's grief I mourn,
Who sighs, alas! but sighs in vain.

Oh! curst be thou, devouring grave!
Whose jaws eternal victims crave,
From whom no earthly power can save,
For thou hast ta'en the bird away:
From thee my Lesbia's eyes o'erflow,
Her swollen cheeks with weeping glow;
Thou art the cause of all her woe,
Receptacle of life's decay.

[Footnote i:

_Luctus De Morte Passeris_.

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

[Footnote ii: _Which dearer_. [4to] ]

[Footnote iii: _But chirrup'd_. [4to] ]

[Footnote iv: _But now he's pass'd_. [4to] ]

IMITATED FROM CATULLUS. [1]

TO ELLEN. [i]

Oh! might I kiss those eyes of fire,
A million scarce would quench desire;
Still would I steep my lips in bliss,
And dwell an age on every kiss;
Nor then my soul should sated be,
Still would I kiss and cling to thee:
Nought should my kiss from thine dissever,
Still would we kiss and kiss for ever;
E'en though the numbers did exceed [ii]
The yellow harvest's countless seed;
To part would be a vain endeavour:
Could I desist?--ah! never--never.

November 16, 1806.

[Footnote 1: From a note in Byron's copy of Catullus (now in the
possession of Mr. Murray), it is evident that these lines are based on
Carm. xlviii., 'Mellitos oculos tuos, Juventi'.]

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

[Footnote ii: 'E'en though the number'. [4to. 'Three first Editions'.]]

* * * * * * * *

POEMS ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS

TO M. S. G.

1.

Whene'er I view those lips of thine,
Their hue invites my fervent kiss;
Yet, I forego that bliss divine,
Alas! it were--unhallow'd bliss.

2.

Whene'er I dream of that pure breast,
How could I dwell upon its snows!
Yet, is the daring wish represt,
For that,--would banish its repose.

3.

A glance from thy soul-searching eye
Can raise with hope, depress with fear;
Yet, I conceal my love,--and why?
I would not force a painful tear.

4.

I ne'er have told my love, yet thou
Hast seen my ardent flame too well;
And shall I plead my passion now,
To make thy bosom's heaven a hell?

5.

No! for thou never canst be mine,
United by the priest's decree:
By any ties but those divine,
Mine, my belov'd, thou ne'er shalt be.

6.

Then let the secret fire consume,
Let it consume, thou shalt not know:
With joy I court a certain doom,
Rather than spread its guilty glow.

7.

I will not ease my tortur'd heart,
By driving dove-ey'd peace from thine;
Rather than such a sting impart,
Each thought presumptuous I resign.

8.

Yes! yield those lips, for which I'd brave
More than I here shall dare to tell;
Thy innocence and mine to save,--
I bid thee now a last farewell.

9.

Yes! yield that breast, to seek despair
And hope no more thy soft embrace;
Which to obtain, my soul would dare,
All, all reproach, but thy disgrace.

10.

At least from guilt shall thou be free,
No matron shall thy shame reprove;
Though cureless pangs may prey on me,
No martyr shall thou be to love.

STANZAS TO A LADY, WITH THE POEMS OF CAMOENS. [1]

1.

This votive pledge of fond esteem,
Perhaps, dear girl! for me thou'lt prize;
It sings of Love's enchanting dream,
A theme we never can despise.

2.

Who blames it but the envious fool,
The old and disappointed maid?
Or pupil of the prudish school,
In single sorrow doom'd to fade?

3.

Then read, dear Girl! with feeling read,
For thou wilt ne'er be one of those;
To thee, in vain, I shall not plead
In pity for the Poet's woes.

4.

He was, in sooth, a genuine Bard;
His was no faint, fictitious flame:
Like his, may Love be thy reward,
But not thy hapless fate the same.

[Footnote: 1. Lord Strangford's 'Poems from the Portuguese by Luis de
Camoens' and "Little's" Poems are mentioned by Moore as having been
Byron's favourite study at this time ('Life', P--39).]

TO M. S. G. [1]

1.

When I dream that you love me, you'll surely forgive;
Extend not your anger to sleep;
For in visions alone your affection can live,--
I rise, and it leaves me to weep.

2.

Then, Morpheus! envelop my faculties fast,
Shed o'er me your languor benign;
Should the dream of to-night but resemble the last,
What rapture celestial is mine!

3.

They tell us that slumber, the sister of death,
Mortality's emblem is given;
To fate how I long to resign my frail breath,
If this be a foretaste of Heaven!

4.

Ah! frown not, sweet Lady, unbend your soft brow,
Nor deem me too happy in this;
If I sin in my dream, I atone for it now,
Thus doom'd, but to gaze upon bliss.

5.

Though in visions, sweet Lady, perhaps you may smile,
Oh! think not my penance deficient!
When dreams of your presence my slumbers beguile,
To awake, will be torture sufficient.

[Footnote 1: "C. G. B. to E. P." 'MS. Newstead'.]

TRANSLATION FROM HORACE.

Justum et tenacem propositi virum.

HOR. 'Odes', iii. 3. I.

1.

The man of firm and noble soul
No factious clamours can controul;
No threat'ning tyrant's darkling brow
Can swerve him from his just intent:
Gales the warring waves which plough,
By Auster on the billows spent,
To curb the Adriatic main,
Would awe his fix'd determined mind in vain.

2.

Aye, and the red right arm of Jove,
Hurtling his lightnings from above,
With all his terrors there unfurl'd,
He would, unmov'd, unaw'd, behold;
The flames of an expiring world,
Again in crashing chaos roll'd,
In vast promiscuous ruin hurl'd,
Might light his glorious funeral pile:
Still dauntless 'midst the wreck of earth he'd smile.

THE FIRST KISS OF LOVE.

[Greek:

Ha barbitos de chordais
Er_ota mounon aechei. [1]

ANACREON ['Ode' 1].

1.

Away with your fictions of flimsy romance,
Those tissues of falsehood which Folly has wove; [i]
Give me the mild beam of the soul-breathing glance,
Or the rapture which dwells on the first kiss of love.

2.

Ye rhymers, whose bosoms with fantasy glow, [ii]
Whose pastoral passions are made for the grove;
From what blest inspiration your sonnets would flow, [iii]
Could you ever have tasted the first kiss of love.

3.

If Apollo should e'er his assistance refuse,
Or the Nine be dispos'd from your service to rove,
Invoke them no more, bid adieu to the Muse,
And try the effect, of the first kiss of love.

4.

I hate you, ye cold compositions of art,
Though prudes may condemn me, and bigots reprove;
I court the effusions that spring from the heart,
Which throbs, with delight, to the first kiss of love. [iv]

5.

Your shepherds, your flocks, those fantastical themes, [v]
Perhaps may amuse, yet they never can move:
Arcadia displays but a region of dreams; [vi]
What are visions like these, to the first kiss of love?

6.

Oh! cease to affirm that man, since his birth, [vii]
From Adam, till now, has with wretchedness strove;
Some portion of Paradise still is on earth,
And Eden revives, in the first kiss of love.

7.

When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past--
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove--
The dearest remembrance will still be the last,
Our sweetest memorial, the first kiss of love.

December 23, 1806.

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

[Footnote i:

'Moriah [A] those air dreams and types has o'er wove,
['MS. Newstead'.]
'Those tissues of fancy Moriah has wove,

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

[Sub-Footnote A: Moriah is the "Goddess of Folly."]

[Footnote ii:

'Ye rhymers, who sing as if seated on snow.--'

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

[Footnote iii:

'With what blest inspiration.--'

['MS. P. on V. Occasions'.] ]

[Footnote iv:

'Which glows with delight at'.

['MS'.]]

[Footnote v:

'Your shepherds, your pipes'.

['MS. P. on V. Occasions'.]]

[Footnote vi:

'Arcadia yields but a legion of dreams'.

['MS'.]

[Footnote vii:

'that man from his birth'.

['MS. P. on V. Occasions'.]

CHILDISH RECOLLECTIONS. [1]

"I cannot but remember such things were,
And were most dear to me."

'Macbeth' [2]

["That were most precious to me."

'Macbeth', act iv, sc. 3.]

When slow Disease, with all her host of Pains, [i]
Chills the warm tide, which flows along the veins;
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing,
And flies with every changing gale of spring;
Not to the aching frame alone confin'd,
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind:
What grisly forms, the spectre-train of woe,
Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow,
With Resignation wage relentless strife,
While Hope retires appall'd, and clings to life. 10
Yet less the pang when, through the tedious hour,
Remembrance sheds around her genial power,
Calls back the vanish'd days to rapture given,
When Love was bliss, and Beauty form'd our heaven;
Or, dear to youth, pourtrays each childish scene,
Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been.
As when, through clouds that pour the summer storm,
The orb of day unveils his distant form,
Gilds with faint beams the crystal dews of rain
And dimly twinkles o'er the watery plain; 20
Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams,
The Sun of Memory, glowing through my dreams,
Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze,
To scenes far distant points his paler rays,
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway,
The past confounding with the present day.

Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought,
Which still recurs, unlook'd for and unsought;
My soul to Fancy's fond suggestion yields,
And roams romantic o'er her airy fields. 30
Scenes of my youth, develop'd, crowd to view,
To which I long have bade a last adieu!
Seats of delight, inspiring youthful themes;
Friends lost to me, for aye, except in dreams;
Some, who in marble prematurely sleep,
Whose forms I now remember, but to weep;
Some, who yet urge the same scholastic course
Of early science, future fame the source;
Who, still contending in the studious race,
In quick rotation, fill the senior place! 40
These, with a thousand visions, now unite,
To dazzle, though they please, my aching sight. [3]

IDA! blest spot, where Science holds her reign,
How joyous, once, I join'd thy youthful train!
Bright, in idea, gleams thy lofty spire,
Again, I mingle with thy playful quire;
Our tricks of mischief, [4] every childish game,
Unchang'd by time or distance, seem the same;
Through winding paths, along the glade I trace
The social smile of every welcome face; 50
My wonted haunts, my scenes of joy or woe,
Each early boyish friend, or youthful foe,
Our feuds dissolv'd, but not my friendship past,--
I bless the former, and forgive the last.
Hours of my youth! when, nurtur'd in my breast,
To Love a stranger, Friendship made me blest,--
Friendship, the dear peculiar bond of youth,
When every artless bosom throbs with truth;
Untaught by worldly wisdom how to feign,
And check each impulse with prudential rein; 60
When, all we feel, our honest souls disclose,
In love to friends, in open hate to foes;
No varnish'd tales the lips of youth repeat,
No dear-bought knowledge purchased by deceit;
Hypocrisy, the gift of lengthen'd years,
Matured by age, the garb of Prudence wears: [ii]
When, now, the Boy is ripen'd into Man,
His careful Sire chalks forth some wary plan;
Instructs his Son from Candour's path to shrink,
Smoothly to speak, and cautiously to think; 70
Still to assent, and never to deny--
A patron's praise can well reward the lie:
And who, when Fortune's warning voice is heard,
Would lose his opening prospects for a word?
Although, against that word, his heart rebel,
And Truth, indignant, all his bosom swell.

Away with themes like this! not mine the task,
From flattering friends to tear the hateful mask;
Let keener bards delight in Satire's sting,
My Fancy soars not on Detraction's wing: 80
Once, and but once, she aim'd a deadly blow,
To hurl Defiance on a secret Foe;
But when that foe, from feeling or from shame,
The cause unknown, yet still to me the same,
Warn'd by some friendly hint, perchance, retir'd,
With this submission all her rage expired.
From dreaded pangs that feeble Foe to save,
She hush'd her young resentment, and forgave.
Or, if my Muse a Pedant's portrait drew,
POMPOSUS' [5] virtues are but known to few: 90
I never fear'd the young usurper's nod,
And he who wields must, sometimes, feel the rod.
If since on Granta's failings, known to all
Who share the converse of a college hall,
She sometimes trifled in a lighter strain,
'Tis past, and thus she will not sin again:
Soon must her early song for ever cease,
And, all may rail, when I shall rest in peace.

Here, first remember'd be the joyous band,
Who hail'd me chief, [6] obedient to command; 100
Who join'd with me, in every boyish sport,
Their first adviser, and their last resort;
Nor shrunk beneath the upstart pedant's frown, [iii]
Or all the sable glories of his gown; [iv]
Who, thus, transplanted from his father's school,
Unfit to govern, ignorant of rule--
Succeeded him, whom all unite to praise,
The dear preceptor of my early days,
PROBUS, [7] the pride of science, and the boast--
To IDA now, alas! for ever lost! 110
With him, for years, we search'd the classic page, [v]
And fear'd the Master, though we lov'd the Sage:
Retir'd at last, his small yet peaceful seat
From learning's labour is the blest retreat.
POMPOSUS fills his magisterial chair;
POMPOSUS governs,--but, my Muse, forbear:
Contempt, in silence, be the pedant's lot, [vi]
His name and precepts be alike forgot;
No more his mention shall my verse degrade,--
To him my tribute is already paid. [8] 120

High, through those elms with hoary branches crown'd [9]
Fair IDA'S bower adorns the landscape round;
There Science, from her favour'd seat, surveys
The vale where rural Nature claims her praise;
To her awhile resigns her youthful train,
Who move in joy, and dance along the plain;
In scatter'd groups, each favour'd haunt pursue,
Repeat old pastimes, and discover new;
Flush'd with his rays, beneath the noontide Sun,
In rival bands, between the wickets run, 130
Drive o'er the sward the ball with active force,
Or chase with nimble feet its rapid course.
But these with slower steps direct their way,
Where Brent's cool waves in limpid currents stray,
While yonder few search out some green retreat,
And arbours shade them from the summer heat:
Others, again, a pert and lively crew,
Some rough and thoughtless stranger plac'd in view,
With frolic quaint their antic jests expose,
And tease the grumbling rustic as he goes; 140
Nor rest with this, but many a passing fray
Tradition treasures for a future day:
"'Twas here the gather'd swains for vengeance fought,
And here we earn'd the conquest dearly bought:
Here have we fled before superior might,
And here renew'd the wild tumultuous fight."
While thus our souls with early passions swell,
In lingering tones resounds the distant bell;
Th' allotted hour of daily sport is o'er,
And Learning beckons from her temple's door. 150
No splendid tablets grace her simple hall,
But ruder records fill the dusky wall:
There, deeply carv'd, behold! each Tyro's name
Secures its owner's academic fame;
Here mingling view the names of Sire and Son,
The one long grav'd, the other just begun:
These shall survive alike when Son and Sire,
Beneath one common stroke of fate expire; [10]
Perhaps, their last memorial these alone,
Denied, in death, a monumental stone, 160
Whilst to the gale in mournful cadence wave
The sighing weeds, that hide their nameless grave.
And, here, my name, and many an early friend's,
Along the wall in lengthen'd line extends.
Though, still, our deeds amuse the youthful race,
Who tread our steps, and fill our former place,
Who young obeyed their lords in silent awe,
Whose nod commanded, and whose voice was law;
And now, in turn, possess the reins of power,
To rule, the little Tyrants of an hour; 170
Though sometimes, with the Tales of ancient day,
They pass the dreary Winter's eve away;
"And, thus, our former rulers stemm'd the tide,
And, thus, they dealt the combat, side by side;
Just in this place, the mouldering walls they scaled,
Nor bolts, nor bars, against their strength avail'd;
Here PROBUS came, the rising fray to quell,
And, here, he falter'd forth his last farewell;
And, here, one night abroad they dared to roam,
While bold POMPOSUS bravely staid at home;" 180
While thus they speak, the hour must soon arrive,
When names of these, like ours, alone survive:
Yet a few years, one general wreck will whelm
The faint remembrance of our fairy realm.

Dear honest race! though now we meet no more,
One last long look on what we were before--
Our first kind greetings, and our last adieu--
Drew tears from eyes unus'd to weep with you.
Through splendid circles, Fashion's gaudy world,
Where Folly's glaring standard waves unfurl'd, 190
I plung'd to drown in noise my fond regret,
And all I sought or hop'd was to forget:
Vain wish! if, chance, some well-remember'd face,
Some old companion of my early race,
Advanc'd to claim his friend with honest joy,
My eyes, my heart, proclaim'd me still a boy;
The glittering scene, the fluttering groups around,
Were quite forgotten when my friend was found;
The smiles of Beauty, (for, alas! I've known
What 'tis to bend before Love's mighty throne;) 200
The smiles of Beauty, though those smiles were dear,
Could hardly charm me, when that friend was near:
My thoughts bewilder'd in the fond surprise,
The woods of IDA danc'd before my eyes;
I saw the sprightly wand'rers pour along,
I saw, and join'd again the joyous throng;
Panting, again I trac'd her lofty grove,
And Friendship's feelings triumph'd over Love.

Yet, why should I alone with such delight
Retrace the circuit of my former flight? 210
Is there no cause beyond the common claim,
Endear'd to all in childhood's very name?
Ah! sure some stronger impulse vibrates here,
Which whispers friendship will be doubly dear
To one, who thus for kindred hearts must roam,
And seek abroad, the love denied at home.
Those hearts, dear IDA, have I found in thee,
A home, a world, a paradise to me.
Stern Death forbade my orphan youth to share
The tender guidance of a Father's care; 220
Can Rank, or e'en a Guardian's name supply
The love, which glistens in a Father's eye?
For this, can Wealth, or Title's sound atone,
Made, by a Parent's early loss, my own?
What Brother springs a Brother's love to seek?
What Sister's gentle kiss has prest my cheek?
For me, how dull the vacant moments rise,
To no fond bosom link'd by kindred ties!
Oft, in the progress of some fleeting dream,
Fraternal smiles, collected round me seem; 230
While still the visions to my heart are prest,
The voice of Love will murmur in my rest:
I hear--I wake--and in the sound rejoice!
I hear again,--but, ah! no Brother's voice.
A Hermit, 'midst of crowds, I fain must stray
Alone, though thousand pilgrims fill the way;
While these a thousand kindred wreaths entwine,
I cannot call one single blossom mine:
What then remains? in solitude to groan,
To mix in friendship, or to sigh alone? 240
Thus, must I cling to some endearing hand,
And none more dear, than IDA'S social band.

Alonzo! [11] best and dearest of my friends, [vii]
Thy name ennobles him, who thus commends:
From this fond tribute thou canst gain no praise;
The praise is his, who now that tribute pays.
Oh! in the promise of thy early youth,
If Hope anticipate the words of Truth!
Some loftier bard shall sing thy glorious name,
To build his own, upon thy deathless fame: [viii] 250
Friend of my heart, and foremost of the list
Of those with whom I lived supremely blest;
Oft have we drain'd the font of ancient lore,
Though drinking deeply, thirsting still the more;
Yet, when Confinement's lingering hour was done,
Our sports, our studies, and our souls were one:
Together we impell'd the flying ball,
Together waited in our tutor's hall;
Together join'd in cricket's manly toil,
Or shar'd the produce of the river's spoil; 260
Or plunging from the green declining shore,
Our pliant limbs the buoyant billows bore: [ix]
In every element, unchang'd, the same,
All, all that brothers should be, but the name.

Nor, yet, are you forgot, my jocund Boy!
DAVUS, [12] the harbinger of childish joy;
For ever foremost in the ranks of fun,
The laughing herald of the harmless pun;
Yet, with a breast of such materials made,
Anxious to please, of pleasing half afraid; 270
Candid and liberal, with a heart of steel
In Danger's path, though not untaught to feel.
Still, I remember, in the factious strife,
The rustic's musket aim'd against my life: [13]
High pois'd in air the massy weapon hung,
A cry of horror burst from every tongue:
Whilst I, in combat with another foe,
Fought on, unconscious of th' impending blow;
Your arm, brave Boy, arrested his career--
Forward you sprung, insensible to fear; 280
Disarm'd, and baffled by your conquering hand,
The grovelling Savage roll'd upon the sand:
An act like this, can simple thanks repay? [x]
Or all the labours of a grateful lay?
Oh no! whene'er my breast forgets the deed,
That instant, DAVUS, it deserves to bleed.

LYCUS! [14] on me thy claims are justly great:
Thy milder virtues could my Muse relate,
To thee, alone, unrivall'd, would belong
The feeble efforts of my lengthen'd song. [xi] 290
Well canst thou boast, to lead in senates fit,
A Spartan firmness, with Athenian wit:
Though yet, in embryo, these perfections shine,
LYCUS! thy father's fame [15] will soon be thine.
Where Learning nurtures the superior mind,
What may we hope, from genius thus refin'd;
When Time, at length, matures thy growing years,
How wilt thou tower, above thy fellow peers!
Prudence and sense, a spirit bold and free,
With Honour's soul, united beam in thee. 300

Shall fair EURYALUS,[16] pass by unsung?
From ancient lineage, not unworthy, sprung:
What, though one sad dissension bade us part,
That name is yet embalm'd within my heart,
Yet, at the mention, does that heart rebound,
And palpitate, responsive to the sound;
Envy dissolved our ties, and not our will:
We once were friends,--I'll think, we are so still.
A form unmatch'd in Nature's partial mould,
A heart untainted, we, in thee, behold: 310
Yet, not the Senate's thunder thou shall wield,
Nor seek for glory, in the tented field:
To minds of ruder texture, these be given--
Thy soul shall nearer soar its native heaven.
Haply, in polish'd courts might be thy seat,
But, that thy tongue could never forge deceit:
The courtier's supple bow, and sneering smile,
The flow of compliment, the slippery wile,
Would make that breast, with indignation, burn,
And, all the glittering snares, to tempt thee, spurn. 320
Domestic happiness will stamp thy fate;
Sacred to love, unclouded e'er by hate;
The world admire thee, and thy friends adore;--
Ambition's slave, alone, would toil for more. [xii]

Now last, but nearest, of the social band,
See honest, open, generous CLEON [17] stand;
With scarce one speck, to cloud the pleasing scene,
No vice degrades that purest soul serene.
On the same day, our studious race begun,
On the same day, our studious race was run; 330
Thus, side by side, we pass'd our first career,
Thus, side by side, we strove for many a year:
At last, concluded our scholastic life,
We neither conquer'd in the classic strife:
As Speakers, [18] each supports an equal name, [xiii]
And crowds allow to both a partial fame:
To soothe a youthful Rival's early pride,
Though Cleon's candour would the palm divide,
Yet Candour's self compels me now to own,
Justice awards it to my Friend alone. 340

Oh! Friends regretted, Scenes for ever dear,
Remembrance hails you with her warmest tear!
Drooping, she bends o'er pensive Fancy's urn,
To trace the hours, which never can return;
Yet, with the retrospection loves to dwell, [xiv]
And soothe the sorrows of her last farewell!
Yet greets the triumph of my boyish mind,
As infant laurels round my head were twin'd;
When PROBUS' praise repaid my lyric song,
Or plac'd me higher in the studious throng; 350
Or when my first harangue receiv'd applause, [19]
His sage instruction the primeval cause,
What gratitude, to him, my soul possest,
While hope of dawning honours fill'd my breast! [xv]
For all my humble fame, to him alone,
The praise is due, who made that fame my own.
Oh! could I soar above these feeble lays,
These young effusions of my early days,
To him my Muse her noblest strain would give,
The song might perish, but the theme might live. [xvi] 360
Yet, why for him the needless verse essay?
His honour'd name requires no vain display:
By every son of grateful IDA blest,
It finds an echo in each youthful breast;
A fame beyond the glories of the proud,
Or all the plaudits of the venal crowd.

IDA! not yet exhausted is the theme,
Nor clos'd the progress of my youthful dream.
How many a friend deserves the grateful strain!
What scenes of childhood still unsung remain! 370
Yet let me hush this echo of the past,
This parting song, the dearest and the last;
And brood in secret o'er those hours of joy,
To me a silent and a sweet employ,
While, future hope and fear alike unknown,
I think with pleasure on the past alone;
Yes, to the past alone, my heart confine,
And chase the phantom of what once was mine.

IDA! still o'er thy hills in joy preside,
And proudly steer through Time's eventful tide: 380
Still may thy blooming Sons thy name revere,
Smile in thy bower, but quit thee with a tear;--
That tear, perhaps, the fondest which will flow,
O'er their last scene of happiness below:
Tell me, ye hoary few, who glide along,
The feeble Veterans of some former throng,
Whose friends, like Autumn leaves by tempests whirl'd,
Are swept for ever from this busy world;
Revolve the fleeting moments of your youth,
While Care has yet withheld her venom'd tooth; [xvii] 390
Say, if Remembrance days like these endears,
Beyond the rapture of succeeding years?
Say, can Ambition's fever'd dream bestow
So sweet a balm to soothe your hours of woe?
Can Treasures hoarded for some thankless Son,
Can Royal Smiles, or Wreaths by slaughter won,
Can Stars or Ermine, Man's maturer Toys,
(For glittering baubles are not left to Boys,)
Recall one scene so much belov'd to view,
As those where Youth her garland twin'd for you? 400
Ah, no! amid the gloomy calm of age
You turn with faltering hand life's varied page,
Peruse the record of your days on earth,
Unsullied only where it marks your birth;
Still, lingering, pause above each chequer'd leaf,
And blot with Tears the sable lines of Grief;
Where Passion o'er the theme her mantle threw,
Or weeping Virtue sigh'd a faint adieu;
But bless the scroll which fairer words adorn,
Trac'd by the rosy finger of the Morn; 410
When Friendship bow'd before the shrine of truth,
And Love, without his pinion, [20] smil'd on Youth.

[Footnote 1: The words, "that schoolboy thing," etc. (see letter to H.
Drury, Jan. 8, 1808), evidently apply, not as Moore intimates,
to this period, but to the lines "On a Change of Masters,"
etc., July, 1805 (see letter to W. Bankes, March 6, 1807).]

[Footnote 2: The motto was prefixed in 'Hours of Idleness'.]

[Footnote 3: Lines 43-98 were added in 'Hours of Idleness']

[Footnote 4: Newton Hanson relates that on one occasion he accompanied
his father to Harrow on Speech Day to see his brother Hargreaves Hanson
and Byron.

"On our arrival at Harrow, we set out in search of Hargreaves and
Byron, but the latter was not at his tutor's. Three or four lads,
hearing my father's inquiries, set off at full speed to find him. They
soon discovered him, and, laughing most heartily, called out, 'Hallo,
Byron! here's a gentleman wants you.' And what do you think? He had
got on Drury's hat. I can still remember the arch cock of Byron's eye
at the hat and then at my father, and the fun and merriment it caused
him and all of us whilst, during the day, he was perambulating the
highways and byeways of Ida with the hat on. 'Harrow Speech Day and
the Governor's Hat' was one of the standing rallying-points for Lord
Byron ever after."

[Footnote 5: Dr. Butler, then Head-master of Harrow. Had Byron
published another edition of these poems, it was his intention
to replace these four lines by the four which follow:--

"'If once my muse a harsher portrait drew,
Warm with her wrongs, and deemed the likeness true,
By cooler judgment taught, her fault she owns,--
With noble minds a fault confess'd, atones'."

['MS. M.']

See also allusion in letter to Mr. Henry Drury, June 25, 1809.
--Moore's 'Note'.]

[Footnote 6: On the retirement of Dr. Drury, three candidates for the
vacant chair presented themselves--Messrs. Drury, Evans, and Butler. On
the first movement to which this contest gave rise in the school, young
Wildman was at the head of the party for Mark Drury, while Byron held
himself aloof from any. Anxious, however, to have him as an ally, one of
the Drury faction said to Wildman, "Byron, I know, will not join,
because he does not choose to act second to any one, but, by giving up
the leadership to him, you may at once secure him." This Wildman did,
and Byron took the command.--'Life', p. 29.]

[Footnote 7: Dr. Drury. This most able and excellent man retired from
his situation in March, 1805, after having resided thirty-five years at
Harrow; the last twenty as head-master; an office he held with equal
honour to himself and advantage to the very extensive school over which
he presided. Panegyric would here be superfluous: it would be useless to
enumerate qualifications which were never doubted. A considerable
contest took place between three rival candidates for his vacant chair:
of this I can only say--

'Si mea cum vestris valuissent vota, Pelasgi!
Non foret ambiguus tanti certaminis hares.'

[Byron's letters from Harrow contain the same high praise of Dr. Drury.
In one, of November 2, 1804, he says,

"There is so much of the gentleman, so much mildness, and nothing of
pedantry in his character, that I cannot help liking him, and will
remember his instructions with gratitude as long as I live."

A week after, he adds,

"I revere Dr. Drury. I dread offending him; not, however, through
fear, but the respect I bear him makes me unhappy when I am under his
displeasure."

Dr. Drury has related the secret of the influence he obtained: the
glance which told him that the lad was "a wild mountain colt," told him
also that he could be "led with a silken string."]]

[Footnote 8: This alludes to a character printed in a former private
edition ['P. on V. Occasions'] for the perusal of some friends, which,
with many other pieces, is withheld from the present volume. To draw the
attention of the public to insignificance would be deservedly
reprobated; and another reason, though not of equal consequence, may be
given in the following couplet:--

"Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a Butterfly upon a wheel?"

'Prologue to the Satires': POPE.

['Hours of Idleness', p. 154, 'note']
[(See the lines "On a Change of Masters at a Great Public School,"
'ante', p. 16.)

The following lines, attached to the Newstead MS. draft of
"Childish Recollections," are aimed at Pomposus:--

"Just half a Pedagogue, and half a Fop,
Not formed to grace the pulpit, but the Shop;
The 'Counter', not the 'Desk', should be his place,
Who deals out precepts, as if dealing Lace;
Servile in mind, from Elevation proud,
In argument, less sensible than loud,
Through half the continent, the Coxcomb's been,
And stuns you with the Wonders he has seen:
''How' in Pompeii's vault he found the page,
Of some long lost, and long lamented Sage,
And doubtless he the Letters would have trac'd,
Had they not been by age and dust effac'd:
This single specimen will serve to shew,
The weighty lessons of this reverend Beau,
Bombast in vain would want of Genius cloke,
For feeble fires evaporate in smoke;
A Boy, o'er Boys he holds a trembling reign,
More fit than they to seek some School again."]]

[Footnote 9: Lines 121-243 were added in 'Hours of Idleness'.]

[Footnote 10: During a rebellion at Harrow, the poet prevented the
school-room from being burnt down, by pointing out to the boys the names
of their fathers and grandfathers on the walls.--(Medwin's
'Conversations' (1824), p. 85.)

Byron elsewhere thus describes his usual course of life
while at Harrow: "always cricketing, rebelling, 'rowing', and in all
manner of mischiefs." One day he tore down the gratings from the window
of the hall; and when asked by Dr. Butler his reason for the outrage,
coolly answered, "because they darkened the room."--'Life', p. 29.]

[Footnote 11: "Lord Clare." (Annotated copy of 'P. on V. Occasions'
in the British Museum.)

[Lines 243-264, as the note in Byron's handwriting explains, were
originally intended to apply to Lord Clare. In 'Hours of Idleness'
"Joannes" became "Alonzo," and the same lines were employed to celebrate
the memory of his friend the Hon. John Wingfield, of the Coldstream
Guards, brother to Richard, fourth Viscount Powerscourt. He died at
Coimbra in 1811, in his twentieth year. Byron at one time gave him the
preference over all other friends.]]

[Footnote 12: The Rev. John Cecil Tattersall, B.A., of Christ Church,
Oxford, who died December 8, 1812, at Hall's Place, Kent, aged
twenty-three.]

[Footnote 13: The "factious strife" was brought on by the breaking up of
school, and the dismissal of some volunteers from drill, both happening
at the same hour. The butt-end of a musket was aimed at Byron's head,
and would have felled him to the ground, but for the interposition of
Tattersall.--'Life', p. 25.]

[Footnote 14: John Fitzgibbon, second Earl of Clare (1792-1851),
afterwards Governor of Bombay, of whom Byron said, in 1822,

"I have always loved him better than any 'male' thing in the world."
"I never," was his language in 1821, "hear the word ''Clare'' without
a beating of the heart even 'now'; and I write it with the feelings of
1803-4-5, ad infinitum."]

[Footnote 15: John Fitzgibbon, first Earl of Clare (1749-1802), became
Attorney-General and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. In the latter years of
the independent Irish Parliament, he took an active part in politics in
opposition to Grattan and the national party, and was distinguished as a
powerful, if bitter, speaker. He was made Earl of Clare in 1795.]

[Footnote 16: George John, fifth Earl of Delawarr.--

"I am happy enough, and comfortable here," says Byron, in a letter
from Harrow of Oct. 25, 1804. "My friends are not numerous, but
select. Among the principal, I rank Lord Delawarr, who is very
amiable, and my particular friend."--
"Nov. 2, 1804. Lord Delawarr is considerably younger than me, but the
most good-tempered, amiable, clever fellow in the universe. To all
which he adds the quality (a good one in the eyes of women) of being
remarkably handsome. Delawarr and myself are, in a manner, connected;
for one of my forefathers, in Charles I's time, married into their
family."

The allusion in the text to their subsequent quarrel, receives further
light from a letter which the poet addressed to Lord Clare under date,
February 6, 1807. (See, too, lines "To George, Earl Delawarr," p. 126.)
The first Lord Byron was twice married. His first wife was Cecilie,
widow of Sir Francis Bindlose, and daughter of Thomas, third Lord
Delawarr. He died childless, and was succeeded by his brother Richard,
the poet's ancestor. His younger brother, Sir Robert Byron, married
Lucy, another daughter of the third Lord Delawarr.]

[Footnote 17: Edward Noel Long, who was drowned by the foundering of a
transport on the voyage to Lisbon with his regiment, in 1809. (See lines
"To Edward Noel Long, Esq.," 'post', p. 184.)]

[Footnote 18: This alludes to the public speeches delivered at the
school where the author was educated.]

[Footnote 19:

"My qualities were much more oratorical than poetical, and Dr. Drury,
my grand patron, had a great notion that I should turn out an orator
from my fluency, my turbulence, my voice, my copiousness of
declamation, and my action. I remember that my first declamation
astonished Dr. Drury into some unwonted (for he was economical of
such) and sudden compliments, before the declaimers at our first
rehearsal."

'Byron Diary'.

"I certainly was much pleased with Lord Byron's attitude, gesture, and
delivery, as well as with his composition. To my surprise, he suddenly
diverged from the written composition, with a boldness and rapidity
sufficient to alarm me, lest he should fail in memory as to the
conclusion. I questioned him, why he had altered his declamation? He
declared he had made no alteration, and did not know, in speaking,
that he had deviated from it one letter. I believed him, and from a
knowledge of his temperament, am convinced that he was hurried on to
expressions and colourings more striking than what his pen had
expressed."

DR. DRURY, 'Life', p. 20.]

[Footnote 20: "L'Amitie est l'Amour sans ailes," is a French proverb.
(See the lines so entitled, p. 220.)]

[Footnote i:

'Hence! thou unvarying song, of varied loves,
Which youth commends, maturer age reproves;
Which every rhyming bard repeats by rote,
By thousands echo'd to the self-same note!
Tir'd of the dull, unceasing, copious strain,
My soul is panting to be free again.
Farewell! ye nymphs, propitious to my verse,
Some other Damon, will your charms rehearse;
Some other paint his pangs, in hope of bliss,
Or dwell in rapture on your nectar'd kiss.
Those beauties, grateful to my ardent sight,
No more entrance my senses in delight;
Those bosoms, form'd of animated snow,
Alike are tasteless and unfeeling now.
These to some happier lover, I resign;
The memory of those joys alone is mine.
Censure no more shall brand my humble name,
The child of passion and the fool of fame.
Weary of love, of life, devoured with spleen,
I rest a perfect Timon, not nineteen;
World! I renounce thee! all my hope's o'ercast!
One sigh I give thee, but that sigh's the last.
Friends, foes, and females, now alike, adieu!
Would I could add remembrance of you, too!
Yet though the future, dark and cheerless gleams,
The curse of memory, hovering in my dreams,
Depicts with glowing pencil all those years,
Ere yet, my cup, empoison'd, flow'd with tears,
Still rules my senses with tyrannic sway,
The past confounding with the present day.

Alas! in vain I check the maddening thought;
It still recurs, unlook'd for and unsought:
My soul to Fancy's', etc., etc., as at line 29.--]

[Footnote ii: 'Cunning with age.' ['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote iii: 'Nor shrunk before.' ['Hours of Idleness'.]]

[Footnote iv:

'Careless to soothe the pedant's furious frown,
Scarcely respecting his majestic gown;
By which, in vain, he gain'd a borrow'd grace,
Adding new terror to his sneering face,'

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

[Footnote v:

'With him for years I search'd the classic page,
Culling the treasures of the letter'd sage,'

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

[Footnote vi:

'Contempt, in silence, be the pedant's lot,
Soon shall his shallow precepts be forgot;
No more his mention shall my pen degrade--
My tribute to his name's already paid.'

['P. on V. Occasions'.]

Another variant for a new edition ran--

'Another fills his magisterial chair;
Reluctant Ida owns a stranger's care;
Oh! may like honours crown his future name:
If such his virtues, such shall be his fame.'

['MS. M.']

[Footnote vii:

'Joannes! best and dearest of my friends.'

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

[Footnote viii:

'Could aught inspire me with poetic fire,
For thee, alone, I'd strike the hallow'd lyre;
But, to some abler hand, the task I wave,
Whose strains immortal may outlive the grave'.--

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

[Footnote ix:

'Our lusty limbs.'

['P. on V. Occasions.']

'--the buoyant waters bore.'

['Hours of Idleness.']]

[Footnote x:

'Thus did you save that life I scarcely prize--
A life unworthy such a sacrifice.
Oh! when my breast forgets the generous deed.'

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

[Footnote xi:

'For ever to possess a friend in thee,
Was bliss unhop'd, though not unsought by me;
Thy softer soul was form'd for love alone,
To ruder passions and to hate unknown;
Thy mind, in union with thy beauteous form,
Was gentle, but unfit to stem the storm;
That face, an index of celestial worth,
Proclaim'd a heart abstracted from the earth.
Oft, when depress'd with sad, foreboding gloom,
I sat reclin'd upon our favourite tomb,
I've seen those sympathetic eyes o'erflow
With kind compassion for thy comrade's woe;
Or, when less mournful subjects form'd our themes,
We tried a thousand fond romantic schemes,
Oft hast thou sworn, in friendship's soothing tone.
Whatever wish was mine, must be thine own.
The next can boast to lead in senates fit,
A Spartan firmness,--with Athenian wit;
Tho' yet, in embryo, these perfections shine,
Clarus! thy father's fame will soon be thine.'--

['P. on V. Occasions'.]

A remonstrance which Lord Clare addressed to him at
school; was found among his papers (as were most of the
notes of his early favourites), and on the back of it was an
endorsement which is a fresh testimony of his affection:--

"This and another letter were written at Harrow, by my 'then' and, I
hope, 'ever' beloved friend, Lord Clare, when we were both schoolboys;
and sent to my study in consequence of some 'childish'
misunderstanding,--the only one which ever arose between us. It was of
short duration, and I retain this note solely for the purpose of
submitting it to his perusal, that we may smile over the recollection
of the insignificance of our first and last quarrel."

See, also, Byron's account of his accidental meeting with Lord Clare in
Italy in 1821, as recorded in 'Detached Thoughts', Nov. 5, 1821; in
letters to Moore, March 1 and June 8, 1822; and Mme. Guiccioli's
description of his emotion on seeing Clare ('My Recollections of Lord
Byron', ed. 1869, p. 156).]

[Footnote xii:

'Where is the restless fool, would wish for more?'

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

[Footnote xiii:

'As speakers, each supports a rival name,
Though neither seeks to damn the other's fame,
Pomposus sits, unequal to decide,
With youthful candour, we the palm divide.'--

['P. on V. Occasions']]

[Footnote xiv:

'Yet in the retrospection finds relief,
And revels in the luxury of grief.'--

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

[Footnote xv:

'When, yet a novice in the mimic art,
I feign'd the transports of a vengeful heart;
When, as the Royal Slave, I trod the stage,
To vent in Zanga, more than mortal rage;
The praise of Probus, made me feel more proud,
Than all the plaudits of the list'ning crowd.

Ah! vain endeavour in this childish strain
To soothe the woes of which I thus complain!
What can avail this fruitless loss of time,
To measure sorrow, in a jingling rhyme!
No social solace from a friend, is near,
And heartless strangers drop no feeling tear.
I seek not joy in Woman's sparkling eye,
The smiles of Beauty cannot check the sigh.
Adieu, thou world! thy pleasure's still a dream,
Thy virtue, but a visionary theme;
Thy years of vice, on years of folly roll,
Till grinning death assigns the destin'd goal,'
'Where all are hastening to the dread abode,
To meet the judgment of a righteous God;
Mix'd in the concourse of a thoughtless throng,
A mourner, midst of mirth, I glide along;
A wretched, isolated, gloomy thing,
Curst by reflection's deep corroding sting;
But not that mental sting, which stabs within,
The dark avenger of unpunish'd sin;
The silent shaft, which goads the guilty wretch
Extended on a rack's untiring stretch:
Conscience that sting, that shaft to him supplies--
His mind the rack, from which he ne'er can rise,
For me, whatever my folly, or my fear,
One cheerful comfort still is cherish'd here.
No dread internal, haunts my hours of rest,
No dreams of injured innocence infest;
Of hope, of peace, of almost all bereft,
Conscience, my last but welcome guest, is left.
Slander's empoison'd breath, may blast my name,
Envy delights to blight the buds of fame:
Deceit may chill the current of my blood,
And freeze affection's warm impassion'd flood;
Presaging horror, darken every sense,
Even here will conscience be my best defence;
My bosom feeds no "worm which ne'er can die:"
Not crimes I mourn, but happiness gone by.
Thus crawling on with many a reptile vile,
My heart is bitter, though my cheek may smile;
No more with former bliss, my heart is glad;
Hope yields to anguish and my soul is sad;
From fond regret, no future joy can save;
Remembrance slumbers only in the grave.'

['P. on V. Occasions']]

[Footnote xvi:

'The song might perish, but the theme must live.'

['Hours of Idleness.']]

[Footnote xvii:

'----his venom'd tooth.'

['Hours of Idleness'.]]

ANSWER TO A BEAUTIFUL POEM, WRITTEN BY MONTGOMERY,
AUTHOR OF "THE WANDERER OF SWITZERLAND," ETC.,
ENTITLED "THE COMMON LOT." [1]

1.

Montgomery! true, the common lot
Of mortals lies in Lethe's wave;
Yet some shall never be forgot,
Some shall exist beyond the grave.

2.

"Unknown the region of his birth,"
The hero [2] rolls the tide of war;
Yet not unknown his martial worth,
Which glares a meteor from afar.

3.

His joy or grief, his weal or woe,
Perchance may 'scape the page of fame;
Yet nations, now unborn, will know
The record of his deathless name.

4.

The Patriot's and the Poet's frame
Must share the common tomb of all:
Their glory will not sleep the same;
'That' will arise, though Empires fall.

5.

The lustre of a Beauty's eye
Assumes the ghastly stare of death;
The fair, the brave, the good must die,
And sink the yawning grave beneath.

6.

Once more, the speaking eye revives,
Still beaming through the lover's strain;
For Petrarch's Laura still survives:
She died, but ne'er will die again.

7.

The rolling seasons pass away,
And Time, untiring, waves his wing;
Whilst honour's laurels ne'er decay,
But bloom in fresh, unfading spring.

8.

All, all must sleep in grim repose,
Collected in the silent tomb;
The old, the young, with friends and foes,
Fest'ring alike in shrouds, consume.

9.

The mouldering marble lasts its day,
Yet falls at length an useless fane;
To Ruin's ruthless fangs a prey,
The wrecks of pillar'd Pride remain.

10.

What, though the sculpture be destroy'd,
From dark Oblivion meant to guard;
A bright renown shall be enjoy'd,
By those, whose virtues claim reward.

11.

Then do not say the common lot
Of all lies deep in Lethe's wave;
Some few who ne'er will be forgot
Shall burst the bondage of the grave.

1806.

[Footnote 1: Montgomery (James), 1771-1854, poet and hymn-writer,
published:
'Prison Amusements' (1797),
'The Ocean; a Poem' (1805),
'The Wanderer of Switzerland, and other Poems' (1806),
'The West Indies, and other Poems' (1810),
'Songs of Sion' (1822),
'The Christian Psalmist' (1825),
'The Pelican Island, and other Poems' (1827),
'etc.' ('vide post'), 'English Bards',
'etc.', line 418, and 'note'.]

[Footnote 2: No particular hero is here alluded to. The exploits of
Bayard, Nemours, Edward the Black Prince, and, in more modern times, the
fame of Marlborough, Frederick the Great, Count Saxe, Charles of Sweden,
etc., are familiar to every historical reader, but the exact places of
their birth are known to a very small proportion of their admirers.]

LOVE'S LAST ADIEU.

[Greek: Aei d' aei me pheugei.]--[Pseud.] ANACREON, [Greek: Eis chruson].

1.

The roses of Love glad the garden of life,
Though nurtur'd 'mid weeds dropping pestilent dew,
Till Time crops the leaves with unmerciful knife,
Or prunes them for ever, in Love's last adieu!

2.

In vain, with endearments, we soothe the sad heart,
In vain do we vow for an age to be true;
The chance of an hour may command us to part,
Or Death disunite us, in Love's last adieu!

3.

Still Hope, breathing peace, through the grief-swollen breast, [i]
Will whisper, "Our meeting we yet may renew:"
With this dream of deceit, half our sorrow's represt,
Nor taste we the poison, of Love's last adieu!

4.

Oh! mark you yon pair, in the sunshine of youth,
Love twin'd round their childhood his flow'rs as they grew;
They flourish awhile, in the season of truth,
Till chill'd by the winter of Love's last adieu!

5.

Sweet lady! why thus doth a tear steal its way,
Down a cheek which outrivals thy bosom in hue?
Yet why do I ask?--to distraction a prey,
Thy reason has perish'd, with Love's last adieu!

6.

Oh! who is yon Misanthrope, shunning mankind?
From cities to caves of the forest he flew:
There, raving, he howls his complaint to the wind;
The mountains reverberate Love's last adieu!

7.

Now Hate rules a heart which in Love's easy chains,
Once Passion's tumultuous blandishments knew;
Despair now inflames the dark tide of his veins,
He ponders, in frenzy, on Love's last adieu!

8.

How he envies the wretch, with a soul wrapt in steel!
His pleasures are scarce, yet his troubles are few,
Who laughs at the pang that he never can feel,
And dreads not the anguish of Love's last adieu!

9.

Youth flies, life decays, even hope is o'ercast;
No more, with Love's former devotion, we sue:
He spreads his young wing, he retires with the blast;
The shroud of affection is Love's last adieu!

10.

In this life of probation, for rapture divine,
Astrea[1] declares that some penance is due;
From him, who has worshipp'd at Love's gentle shrine,
The atonement is ample, in Love's last adieu!

11.

Who kneels to the God, on his altar of light
Must myrtle and cypress alternately strew:
His myrtle, an emblem of purest delight,
His cypress, the garland of Love's last adieu!

[Footnote 1: The Goddess of Justice.]

[Footnote i:

_Still, hope-beaming peace._

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

LINES. [i]
ADDRESSED TO THE REV. J. T. BECHER, [1]
ON HIS ADVISING THE AUTHOR TO MIX MORE WITH SOCIETY.

1.

Dear BECHER, you tell me to mix with mankind;
I cannot deny such a precept is wise;
But retirement accords with the tone of my mind:
I will not descend to a world I despise.

2.

Did the Senate or Camp my exertions require,
Ambition might prompt me, at once, to go forth;
When Infancy's years of probation expire,
Perchance, I may strive to distinguish my birth.

3.

The fire, in the cavern of Etna, conceal'd,
Still mantles unseen in its secret recess;
At length, in a volume terrific, reveal'd,
No torrent can quench it, no bounds can repress.

4.

Oh! thus, the desire, in my bosom, for fame [i]
Bids me live, but to hope for Posterity's praise.
Could I soar with the Phoenix on pinions of flame,
With him I would wish to expire in the blaze.

5.

For the life of a Fox, of a Chatham the death,
What censure, what danger, what woe would I brave!
Their lives did not end, when they yielded their breath,
Their glory illumines the gloom of their grave.[ii]

6.

Yet why should I mingle in Fashion's full herd?
Why crouch to her leaders, or cringe to her rules?
Why bend to the proud, or applaud the absurd?
Why search for delight, in the friendship of fools?

7.

I have tasted the sweets, and the bitters, of love,
In friendship I early was taught to believe;
My passion the matrons of prudence reprove,
I have found that a friend may profess, yet deceive.

8.

To me what is wealth?--it may pass in an hour,
If Tyrants prevail, or if Fortune should frown:
To me what is title?--the phantom of power;
To me what is fashion?--I seek but renown.

9.

Deceit is a stranger, as yet, to my soul;
I, still, am unpractised to varnish the truth:
Then, why should I live in a hateful controul?
Why waste, upon folly, the days of my youth?

1806.

[Footnote 1: The Rev. John Thomas Becher (1770-1848) was Vicar of
Rumpton and Midsomer Norton, Notts., and made the acquaintance of Byron
when he was living at Southwell. To him was submitted an early copy of
the 'Quarto', and on his remonstrance at the tone of some of the
verses, the whole edition (save one or two copies) was burnt. Becher
assisted in the revision of 'P. on V. Occasions', published in
1807. He was in 1818 appointed Prebendary of Southwell, and, all his
life, took an active interest and prominent part in the administration
of the poor laws and the welfare of the poor. (See Byron's letters to
him of February 26 and March 28, 1808.)]

[Footnote i:

'To the Rev. J. T. Becher.'

['P. on V. Occasions']]

[Footnote ii:

'Oh! such the desire.'

['P. on V. Occasions']]

[Footnote iii:

'--the gloom of the grave.'

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

ANSWER TO SOME ELEGANT VERSES SENT BY A FRIEND TO THE AUTHOR,
COMPLAINING THAT ONE OF HIS DESCRIPTIONS
WAS RATHER TOO WARMLY DRAWN.

"But if any old Lady, Knight, Priest, or Physician,
Should condemn me for printing a second edition;
If good Madam Squintum my work should abuse,
May I venture to give her a smack of my muse?"

Anstey's 'New Bath Guide', p. 169.

Candour compels me, BECHER! to commend
The verse, which blends the censor with the friend;
Your strong yet just reproof extorts applause
From me, the heedless and imprudent cause; [i]
For this wild error, which pervades my strain, [ii]
I sue for pardon,--must I sue in vain?
The wise sometimes from Wisdom's ways depart;
Can youth then hush the dictates of the heart?
Precepts of prudence curb, but can't controul,
The fierce emotions of the flowing soul.
When Love's delirium haunts the glowing mind,
Limping Decorum lingers far behind;
Vainly the dotard mends her prudish pace,
Outstript and vanquish'd in the mental chase.
The young, the old, have worn the chains of love;
Let those, they ne'er confined, my lay reprove;
Let those, whose souls contemn the pleasing power,
Their censures on the hapless victim shower.
Oh! how I hate the nerveless, frigid song,
The ceaseless echo of the rhyming throng,
Whose labour'd lines, in chilling numbers flow,
To paint a pang the author ne'er can know!
The artless Helicon, I boast, is youth;--
My Lyre, the Heart--my Muse, the simple Truth.
Far be't from me the "virgin's mind" to "taint:"
Seduction's dread is here no slight restraint:
The maid whose virgin breast is void of guile,
Whose wishes dimple in a modest smile,
Whose downcast eye disdains the wanton leer,
Firm in her virtue's strength, yet not severe;
She, whom a conscious grace shall thus refine,
Will ne'er be "tainted" by a strain of mine.
But, for the nymph whose premature desires
Torment her bosom with unholy fires,
No net to snare her willing heart is spread;
She would have fallen, though she ne'er had read.
For me, I fain would please the chosen few,
Whose souls, to feeling and to nature true,
Will spare the childish verse, and not destroy
The light effusions of a heedless boy. [iii]
I seek not glory from the senseless crowd;
Of fancied laurels, I shall ne'er be proud;
Their warmest plaudits I would scarcely prize,
Their sneers or censures, I alike despise.

November 26, 1806.

[Footnote i:

_the heedless and unworthy cause._

[_P. on V. Occasions._]]

[Footnote ii:

_For this sole error._

[_P. on V. Occasions._]]

[Footnote iii:

_The light effusions of an amorous boy._

[_P. on V. Occasions._]]

ELEGY ON NEWSTEAD ABBEY. [1]

"It is the voice of years, that are gone! they roll before me, with
all their deeds."

Ossian. [i]

1.

NEWSTEAD! fast-falling, once-resplendent dome!
Religion's shrine! repentant HENRY'S [2] pride!
Of Warriors, Monks, and Dames the cloister'd tomb,
Whose pensive shades around thy ruins glide,

2.

Hail to thy pile! more honour'd in thy fall,
Than modern mansions, in their pillar'd state;
Proudly majestic frowns thy vaulted hall,
Scowling defiance on the blasts of fate.

3.

No mail-clad Serfs, [3] obedient to their Lord,
In grim array, the crimson cross [4] demand;
Or gay assemble round the festive board,
Their chief's retainers, an immortal band.

4.

Else might inspiring Fancy's magic eye
Retrace their progress, through the lapse of time;
Marking each ardent youth, ordain'd to die,
A votive pilgrim, in Judea's clime.

5.

But not from thee, dark pile! departs the Chief;
His feudal realm in other regions lay:
In thee the wounded conscience courts relief,
Retiring from the garish blaze of day.

6.

Yes! in thy gloomy cells and shades profound,
The monk abjur'd a world, he ne'er could view;
Or blood-stain'd Guilt repenting, solace found,
Or Innocence, from stern Oppression, flew.

7.

A Monarch bade thee from that wild arise,
Where Sherwood's outlaws, once, were wont to prowl;
And Superstition's crimes, of various dyes,
Sought shelter in the Priest's protecting cowl.

8.

Where, now, the grass exhales a murky dew,
The humid pall of life-extinguish'd clay,
In sainted fame, the sacred Fathers grew,
Nor raised their pious voices, but to pray.

9.

Where, now, the bats their wavering wings extend,
Soon as the gloaming [5] spreads her waning shade;[ii]
The choir did, oft, their mingling vespers blend,
Or matin orisons to Mary [6] paid.

10.

Years roll on years; to ages, ages yield;
Abbots to Abbots, in a line, succeed:
Religion's charter, their protecting shield,
Till royal sacrilege their doom decreed.

11.

One holy HENRY rear'd the Gothic walls,
And bade the pious inmates rest in peace;
Another HENRY [7] the kind gift recalls,
And bids devotion's hallow'd echoes cease.

12.

Vain is each threat, or supplicating prayer;
He drives them exiles from their blest abode,
To roam a dreary world, in deep despair--
No friend, no home, no refuge, but their God. [8]

13.

Hark! how the hall, resounding to the strain,
Shakes with the martial music's novel din!
The heralds of a warrior's haughty reign,
High crested banners wave thy walls within.

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