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Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1 by Byron

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The baffled friends of Fiction start,
Too late desiring to depart--
Truth poising high Ithuriel's spear
Bids every Fiend unmask'd appear,
The vizard tears from every face,
And dooms them to a dire disgrace.
For e'er they compass their escape,
Each takes perforce a native shape--
The Leader of the wrathful Band,
Behold a portly Female stand!
She raves, impelled by private pique,
This mean unjust revenge to seek;
From vice to save this virtuous Age,
Thus does she vent indecent rage!
What child has she of promise fair,
Who claims a fostering Mother's care?
Whose Innocence requires defence,
Or forms at least a smooth pretence,
Thus to disturb a harmless Boy,
His humble hope, and peace annoy?
She need not fear the amorous rhyme,
Love will not tempt her future time,
For her his wings have ceased to spread,
No more he flutters round her head;
Her day's Meridian now is past,
The clouds of Age her Sun o'ercast;
To her the strain was never sent,
For feeling Souls alone 'twas meant--
The verse she seized, unask'd, unbade,
And damn'd, ere yet the whole was read!
Yes! for one single erring verse,
Pronounced an unrelenting Curse;
Yes! at a first and transient view,
Condemned a heart she never knew.--
Can such a verdict then decide,
Which springs from disappointed pride?
Without a wondrous share of Wit,
To judge is such a Matron fit?
The rest of the censorious throng
Who to this zealous Band belong,
To her a general homage pay,
And right or wrong her wish obey:
Why should I point my pen of steel
To break "such flies upon the wheel?"
With minds to Truth and Sense unknown,
Who dare not call their words their own.
Rail on, Rail on, ye heartless Crew!
Your Leader's grand design pursue:
Secure behind her ample shield,
Yours is the harvest of the field.--
My path with thorns you cannot strew,
Nay more, my warmest thanks are due;
When such as you revile my Name,
Bright beams the rising Sun of Fame,
Chasing the shades of envious night,
Outshining every critic Light.--
Such, such as you will serve to show
Each radiant tint with higher glow.
Vain is the feeble cheerless toil,
Your efforts on yourselves recoil;
Then Glory still for me you raise,
Yours is the Censure, mine the Praise.

BYRON,

December 1, 1806.

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

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

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

'Life', p. 41.]

SOLILOQUY OF A BARD IN THE COUNTRY. [1]

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

Dec. 1806.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6.

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

7.

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

8

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

9

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

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

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

[Footnote 2: Harrow.]

[Footnote 3: Lord Clare had written to Byron,

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

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

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

'Life', p. 25.]

THE PRAYER OF NATURE. [1]

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

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

14.

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

15

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

16

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

December 29, 1806.

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

[Footnote i:

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

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote ii:

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

['MS. Newstead']]

TRANSLATION FROM ANACREON. [1]

[Greek: Eis rodon.]

ODE 5

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

1805.

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

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

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

1805.

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

PIGNUS AMORIS. [1]

1

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

5.

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

6.

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

7

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

8

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

? 1806.

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

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

A WOMAN'S HAIR. [1]

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

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

1806.

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

[Footnote i:

_a cloudless morn_.

['Ed'. 1832.]

STANZAS TO JESSY. [1]

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

[GEORGE GORDON, LORD] BYRON.

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

July 21, 1807.

SIR,

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

Etc., etc., BYRON.

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

[Footnote i:

'Such thrills of Rapture'.

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

[Footnote ii:

'And mine, mine only'.

[Knight and Lacy, v. 56.]]

THE ADIEU.

WRITTEN UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THE AUTHOR WOULD SOON DIE.

1.

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

2.

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

3

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

4

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

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

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

9.

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

10.

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

11.

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

12.

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

1807. [First published, 1832.]

[Footnote 1: Harrow. ]

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

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

[Footnote 4: Mary Chaworth.]

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

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

[Footnote i:

'--ye regal Towers'.

['MS. Newstead'.] ]

[Footnote ii:

'The gift I wear'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote iii:

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

['MS. Newstead']

TO----[1]

1.

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

Oh! I should be a _baby_ fool,
To sigh the dupe of female art--
Woman! perhaps thou hast a _Soul_,
But where have _Demons_ hid thy _Heart_?

January, 1807.

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

ON THE EYES OF MISS A----H----[1]

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

Then do not admiration smother,
Or say these glances don't become her;
To _you_, or _I_, or _any other_
Her _Sun_, displays perpetual Summer. [2]

January 14, 1807.

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

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

TO A VAIN LADY. [1]

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7.

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

8.

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

9.

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

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

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

TO ANNE. [1]

1.

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

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

[Footnote 1: Miss Anne Houson.]

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

[Greek: Heauton bur_on aeidei.]

1.

If Fate should seal my Death to-morrow,
(Though much _I_ hope she will _postpone_ it,)
I've held a share _Joy_ and _Sorrow_,
Enough for _Ten_; and _here_ I _own_ it.

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

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

9.

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

10.

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

11.

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

12.

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

13.

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

14.

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

15.

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

16.

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

17.

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

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

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

TO ANNE. [1]

1

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

1807. [First published, 1832.]

TO THE AUTHOR OF A SONNET

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

1.

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

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

ON FINDING A FAN. [1]

1.

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

5.

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

1807. [First published, 1832.]

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

FAREWELL TO THE MUSE. [i.]

1.

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

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

9.

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

10.

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

1807. [First published, 1832.]

[Footnote 1:

'Adieu to the Muse'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote ii:

'When cold is the form'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote iii:

--'whom I lived but to love'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]

[Footnote iv:

'Since we never can meet'.

['MS. Newstead'.]]

TO AN OAK AT NEWSTEAD. [1]

1.

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

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

9.

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

10.

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

1807. [First published 1832.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Life_, p. 50, note.]

[Footnote i:

_For ages may shine_.

[_MS. Newstead_]]

ON REVISITING HARROW. [1]

1.

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

September, 1807.

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

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