Byron’s Poetical Works, Vol. 1 by Byron

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Clytie Siddall and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team THE WORKS OF LORD BYRON. A NEW, REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS. POETRY, VOLUME 1. EDITED BY ERNEST HARTLEY COLERIDGE, M.A. 1898 PREFACE TO THE POEMS. The text of the present issue of Lord Byron’s Poetical Works is based on that of
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Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Clytie Siddall and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team










The text of the present issue of Lord Byron’s Poetical Works is based on that of ‘The Works of Lord Byron’, in six volumes, 12mo, which was published by John Murray in 1831. That edition followed the text of the successive issues of plays and poems which appeared in the author’s lifetime, and were subject to his own revision, or that of Gifford and other accredited readers. A more or less thorough collation of the printed volumes with the MSS. which were at Moore’s disposal, yielded a number of variorum readings which have appeared in subsequent editions published by John Murray. Fresh collations of the text of individual poems with the original MSS. have been made from time to time, with the result that the text of the latest edition (one-vol. 8vo, 1891) includes some emendations, and has been supplemented by additional variants. Textual errors of more or less importance, which had crept into the numerous editions which succeeded the seventeen-volume edition of 1832, were in some instances corrected, but in others passed over. For the purposes of the present edition the printed text has been collated with all the MSS. which passed through Moore’s hands, and, also, for the first time, with MSS. of the following plays and poems, viz. ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’; ‘Childe Harold’, Canto IV.; ‘Don Juan’, Cantos VI.-XVI.; ‘Werner’; ‘The Deformed Transformed’; ‘Lara’; ‘Parisina’; ‘The Prophecy of Dante’; ‘The Vision of Judgment’; ‘The Age of Bronze’; ‘The Island’. The only works of any importance which have been printed directly from the text of the first edition, without reference to the MSS., are the following, which appeared in ‘The Liberal’ (1822-23), viz.: ‘Heaven and Earth’, ‘The Blues’, and ‘Morgante Maggiore’.

A new and, it is believed, an improved punctuation has been adopted. In this respect Byron did not profess to prepare his MSS. for the press, and the punctuation, for which Gifford is mainly responsible, has been reconsidered with reference solely to the meaning and interpretation of the sentences as they occur.

In the ‘Hours of Idleness and Other Early Poems’, the typography of the first four editions, as a rule, has been preserved. A uniform typography in accordance with modern use has been adopted for all poems of later date. Variants, being the readings of one or more MSS. or of successive editions, are printed in italics [as footnotes. text Ed] immediately below the text. They are marked by Roman numerals. Words and lines through which the author has drawn his pen in the MSS. or Revises are marked ‘MS. erased’.

Poems and plays are given, so far as possible, in chronological order. ‘Childe Harold’ and ‘Don Juan’, which were written and published in parts, are printed continuously; and minor poems, including the first four satires, have been arranged in groups according to the date of composition. Epigrams and ‘jeux d’esprit’ have been placed together, in chronological order, towards the end of the sixth volume. A Bibliography of the poems will immediately precede the Index at the close of the sixth volume.

The edition contains at least thirty hitherto unpublished poems, including fifteen stanzas of the unfinished seventeenth canto of ‘Don Juan’, and a considerable fragment of the third part of ‘The Deformed Transformed’. The eleven unpublished poems from MSS. preserved at Newstead, which appear in the first volume, are of slight if any literary value, but they reflect with singular clearness and sincerity the temper and aspirations of the tumultuous and moody stripling to whom “the numbers came,” but who wisely abstained from printing them himself.

Byron’s notes, of which many are published for the first time, and editorial notes, enclosed in brackets, are printed immediately below the variorum readings. The editorial notes are designed solely to supply the reader with references to passages in other works illustrative of the text, or to interpret expressions and allusions which lapse of time may have rendered obscure.

Much of the knowledge requisite for this purpose is to be found in the articles of the ‘Dictionary of National Biography’, to which the fullest acknowledgments are due; and much has been arrived at after long research, involving a minute examination of the literature, the magazines, and often the newspapers of the period.

Inasmuch as the poems and plays have been before the public for more than three quarters of a century, it has not been thought necessary to burden the notes with the eulogies and apologies of the great poets and critics who were Byron’s contemporaries, and regarded his writings, both for good and evil, for praise and blame, from a different standpoint from ours. Perhaps, even yet, the time has not come for a definite and positive appreciation of his genius. The tide of feeling and opinion must ebb and flow many times before his rank and station among the poets of all time will be finally adjudged. The splendour of his reputation, which dazzled his own countrymen, and, for the first time, attracted the attention of a contemporary European audience to an English writer, has faded, and belongs to history; but the poet’s work remains, inviting a more intimate and a more extended scrutiny than it has hitherto received in this country. The reader who cares to make himself acquainted with the method of Byron’s workmanship, to unravel his allusions, and to follow the tenour of his verse, will, it is hoped, find some assistance in these volumes.

I beg to record my especial thanks to the Earl of Lovelace for the use of MSS. of his grandfather’s poems, including unpublished fragments; for permission to reproduce portraits in his possession; and for valuable information and direction in the construction of some of the notes.

My grateful acknowledgments are due to Dr. Garnett, C.B., Dr. A. H. Murray, Mr. R. E. Graves, and other officials of the British Museum, for invaluable assistance in preparing the notes, and in compiling a bibliography of the poems.

I have also to thank Mr. Leslie Stephen and others for important hints and suggestions with regard to the interpretation of some obscure passages in ‘Hints from Horace’.

In correcting the proofs for the press, I have had the advantage of the skill and knowledge of my friend Mr. Frank E. Taylor, of Chertsey, to whom my thanks are due.

On behalf of the Publisher, I beg to acknowledge with gratitude the kindness of the Lady Dorchester, the Earl Stanhope, Lord Glenesk and Sir Theodore Martin, K.C.B., for permission to examine MSS. in their possession; and of Mrs. Chaworth Musters, for permission to reproduce her miniature of Miss Chaworth, and for other favours. He desires also to acknowledge the generous assistance of Mr. and Miss Webb, of Newstead Abbey, in permitting the publication of MS. poems, and in making transcripts for the press.

I need hardly add that, throughout the progress of the work, the advice and direct assistance of Mr. John Murray and Mr. R. E. Prothero have been always within my reach. They have my cordial thanks.


[facsimile of title page:]


Virginibus Puerisque Canto.

(Hor. Lib, 3. ‘Ode 1’.)

The only Apology necessary to be adduced, in extenuation of any errors in the following collection, is, that the Author has not yet completed his nineteenth year.

December 23,1806.


There were four distinct issues of Byron’s Juvenilia. The first collection, entitled ‘Fugitive Pieces’, was printed in quarto by S. and J. Ridge of Newark. Two of the poems, “The Tear” and the “Reply to Some Verses of J. M. B. Pigot, Esq.,” were signed “BYRON;” but the volume itself, which is without a title-page, was anonymous. It numbers sixty-six pages, and consists of thirty-eight distinct pieces. The last piece, “Imitated from Catullus. To Anna,” is dated November 16, 1806. The whole of this issue, with the exception of two or three copies, was destroyed. An imperfect copy, lacking pp. 17-20 and pp. 58-66, is preserved at Newstead. A perfect copy, which had been retained by the Rev. J. T. Becher, at whose instance the issue was suppressed, was preserved by his family (see ‘Life’, by Karl Elze, 1872, p. 450), and is now in the possession of Mr. H. Buxton Forman, C.B. A facsimile reprint of this unique volume, limited to one hundred copies, was issued, for private circulation only, from the Chiswick Press in 1886.

Of the thirty-eight ‘Fugitive Pieces’, two poems, viz. “To Caroline” and “To Mary,” together with the last six stanzas of the lines, “To Miss E. P. [To Eliza],” have never been republished in any edition of Byron’s Poetical Works.

A second edition, small octavo, of ‘Fugitive Pieces’, entitled ‘Poems on Various Occasions’, was printed by S. and J. Ridge of Newark, and distributed in January, 1807. This volume was issued anonymously. It numbers 144 pages, and consists of a reproduction of thirty-six ‘Fugitive Pieces’, and of twelve hitherto unprinted poems–forty-eight in all. For references to the distribution of this issue–limited, says Moore, to one hundred copies–see letters to Mr. Pigot and the Earl of Clare, dated January 16, February 6, 1807, and undated letters of the same period to Mr. William Bankes and Mr. Falkner (‘Life’, pp. 41, 42). The annotated copy of ‘Poems on Various Occasions’, referred to in the present edition, is in the British Museum.

Early in the summer (June–July) of 1807, a volume, small octavo, named ‘Hours of Idleness’–a title henceforth associated with Byron’s early poems–was printed and published by S. and J. Ridge of Newark, and was sold by the following London booksellers: Crosby and Co.; Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme; F. and C. Rivington; and J, Mawman. The full title is, ‘Hours of Idleness; a Series of Poems Original and Translated’. By George Gordon, Lord Byron, a Minor. It numbers 187 pages, and consists of thirty-nine poems. Of these, nineteen belonged to the original ‘Fugitive Pieces’, eight had first appeared in ‘Poems on Various Occasions’, and twelve were published for the first time. The “Fragment of a Translation from the 9th Book of Virgil’s AEneid” (‘sic’), numbering sixteen lines, reappears as “The Episode of Nisus and Euryalus, A Paraphrase from the AEneid, Lib. 9,” numbering 406 lines.

The final collection, also in small octavo, bearing the title ‘Poems Original and Translated’, by George Gordon, Lord Byron, second edition, was printed and published in 1808 by S. and J. Ridge of Newark, and sold by the same London booksellers as ‘Hours of Idleness’. It numbers 174 pages, and consists of seventeen of the original ‘Fugitive Pieces’, four of those first published in ‘Poems on Various Occasions’, a reprint of the twelve poems first published in ‘Hours of Idleness’, and five poems which now appeared for the first time–thirty-eight poems in all. Neither the title nor the contents of this so-called second edition corresponds exactly with the previous issue.

Of the thirty-eight ‘Fugitive Pieces’ which constitute the suppressed quarto, only seventeen appear in all three subsequent issues. Of the twelve additions to ‘Poems on Various Occasions’, four were excluded from ‘Hours of Idleness’, and four more from ‘Poems Original and Translated’.

The collection of minor poems entitled ‘Hours of Idleness’, which has been included in every edition of Byron’s Poetical Works issued by John Murray since 1831, consists of seventy pieces, being the aggregate of the poems published in the three issues, ‘Poems on Various Occasions’, ‘Hours of Idleness’, and ‘Poems Original and Translated’, together with five other poems of the same period derived from other sources.

In the present issue a general heading, “Hours of Idleness, and other Early Poems,” has been applied to the entire collection of Early Poems, 1802-1809. The quarto has been reprinted (excepting the lines “To Mary,” which Byron himself deliberately suppressed) in its entirety, and in the original order. The successive additions to the ‘Poems on Various Occasions’, ‘Hours of Idleness’, and ‘Poems Original and Translated’, follow in order of publication. The remainder of the series, viz. poems first published in Moore’s ‘Life and Journals of Lord Byron’ (1830); poems hitherto unpublished; poems first published in the ‘Works of Lord Byron’ (1832), and poems contributed to J. C. Hobhouse’s ‘Imitations and Translations’ (1809), have been arranged in chronological order. (For an important contribution to the bibliography of the quarto of 1806, and of the other issues of Byron’s Juvenilia, see papers by Mr. R. Edgcumbe, Mr. H. Buxton Forman, C.B., and others, in the ‘Athenaeum’, 1885, vol. ii. pp. 731-733, 769; and 1886, vol. i. p. 101, etc. For a collation of the contents of the four first issues and of certain large-paper copies of ‘Hours of Idleness’, etc., see ‘The Bibliography of the Poetical Works of Lord Byron’, vol. vi. of the present edition.)

[text of facsimile pages of two different editions mentioned above:]





[Greek: Maet ar me mal ainee maete ti neichei.]

HOMER. Iliad, 10.

Virginibus puerisque Canto.


He whistled as he went for want of thought.



Printed and sold by S. and J. RIDGE;



[Greek: Maet ar me mal ainee maete ti neichei.]

HOMER, Iliad, 10.

He whistled as he went for want of thought.



The MS. (‘MS. M.’) of the first draft of Byron’s “Satire” (see Letter to Pigot, October 26, 1807) is now in Mr. Murray’s possession. It is written on folio sheets paged 6-25, 28-41, and numbers 360 lines. Mutilations on pages 12, 13, 34, 35 account for the absence of ten additional lines.

After the publication of the January number of ‘The Edinburgh Review’ for 1808 (containing the critique on ‘Hours of Idleness’), which was delayed till the end of February, Byron added a beginning and an ending to the original draft. The MSS. of these additions, which number ninety lines, are written on quarto sheets, and have been bound up with the folios. (Lines 1-16 are missing.) The poem, which with these and other additions had run up to 560 lines, was printed in book form (probably by Ridge of Newark), under the title of ‘British Bards, A Satire’. “This Poem,” writes Byron [‘MSS. M.’], “was begun in October, 1807, in London, and at different intervals composed from that period till September, 1808, when it was completed at Newstead Abbey.–B., 1808.” A date, 1808, is affixed to the last line. Only one copy is extant, that which was purchased, in 1867, from the executors of R.C. Dallas, by the Trustees of the British Museum. Even this copy has been mutilated. Pages 17, 18, which must have contained the first version of the attack on Jeffrey (see ‘English Bards’, p. 332, line 439, ‘note’ 2), have been torn out, and quarto proof-sheets in smaller type of lines 438-527, “Hail to immortal Jeffrey,” etc., together with a quarto proof-sheet, in the same type as ‘British Bards’, containing lines 540-559, “Illustrious Holland,” etc., have been inserted. Hobhouse’s lines (first edition, lines 247-262), which are not in the original draft, are included in ‘British Bards’. The insertion of the proofs increased the printed matter to 584 lines. After the completion of this revised version of ‘British Bards’, additions continued to be made. Marginal corrections and MS. fragments, bound up with ‘British Bards’, together with forty-four lines (lines 723-726, 819-858) which do not occur in MS. M., make up with the printed matter the 696 lines which were published in March, 1809, under the title of ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’. The folio and quarto sheets in Mr. Murray’s possession (‘MS. M.’) may be regarded as the MS. of ‘British Bards; British Bards’ (there are a few alterations, e.g. the substitution of lines 319-326, “Moravians, arise,” etc., for the eight lines on Pratt, which are to be found in the folio MS., and are printed in ‘British Bards’), with its accompanying MS. fragments, as the foundation of the text of the first edition of ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’.

Between the first edition, published in March, and the second edition in October, 1809, the difference is even greater than between the first edition and ‘British Bards’. The Preface was enlarged, and a postscript affixed to the text of the poem. Hobhouse’s lines (first edition, 247-262) were omitted, and the following additional passages inserted, viz.: (i.) lines 1-96, “Still must I hear,” etc.; (ii.) lines 129-142, “Thus saith the Preacher,” etc.; (iii.) lines 363-417, “But if some new-born whim,” etc.; (iv.) lines 638-706, “Or hail at once,” etc.; (v.) lines 765-798, “When some brisk youth,” etc.; (vi.) lines 859-880, “And here let Shee,” etc.; (vii.) lines 949-960, “Yet what avails,” etc.; (viii.) lines 973-980, “There, Clarke,” etc.; (ix.) lines 1011-1070, “Then hapless Britain,” etc. These additions number 370 lines, and, together with the 680 lines of the first edition (reduced from 696 by the omission of Hobhouse’s contribution), make up the 1050 lines of the second and third editions, and the doubtful fourth edition of 1810. Of these additions, Nos. i., ii., iii., iv., vi., viii., ix. exist in MS., and are bound up with the folio MS. now in Mr. Murray’s possession.

The third edition, which is, generally, dated 1810, is a replica of the second edition.

The first issue of the fourth edition, which appeared in 1810, is identical with the second and third editions. A second issue of the fourth edition, dated 1811, must have passed under Byron’s own supervision. Lines 723, 724 are added, and lines 725, 726 are materially altered. The fourth edition of 1811 numbers 1052 lines.

The suppressed fifth edition, numbering 1070 lines (the copy in the British Museum has the title-page of the fourth edition; a second copy, in Mr. Murray’s possession, has no title-page), varies from the fourth edition of 1811 by the addition of lines 97-102 and 528-539, and by some twenty-nine emendations of the text. Eighteen of these emendations were made by Byron in a copy of the fourth edition which belonged to Leigh Hunt. On another copy, in Mr. Murray’s possession, Byron made nine emendations, of which six are identical with those in the Hunt copy, and three appear for the first time. It was in the latter volume that he inscribed his after-thoughts, which are dated “B. 1816.”

For a complete collation of the five editions of ‘English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers’, and textual emendations in the two annotated volumes, and for a note on genuine and spurious copies of the first and other editions, see ‘The Bibliography of the Poetical Works of Lord Byron’, vol. vi.

[Facsimile of title-page of first edition, including Byron’s signature. To view this and other facsimiles, and the other illustrations mentioned in this text, see the html edition. text Ed.]



Scotch Reviewers.


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


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





Preface to the Poems
Bibliographical Note to “Hours of Idleness and Other Early Poems” Bibliographical Note to “English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers” On Leaving Newstead Abbey
To E—-
On the Death of a Young Lady, Cousin to the Author, and very dear to Him
To D—-
To Caroline
To Caroline [second poem]
To Emma
Fragments of School Exercises: From the “Prometheus Vinctus” of AEschylus
Lines written in “Letters of an Italian Nun and an English Gentleman, by J.J. Rousseau: Founded on Facts” Answer to the Foregoing, Addressed to Miss—- On a Change of Masters at a Great Public School Epitaph on a Beloved Friend
Adrian’s Address to his Soul when Dying A Fragment
To Caroline [third poem]
To Caroline [fourth poem]
On a Distant View of the Village and School of Harrow on the Hill, 1806
Thoughts Suggested by a College Examination To Mary, on Receiving Her Picture
On the Death of Mr. Fox
To a Lady who Presented to the Author a Lock of Hair Braided with his own, and appointed a Night in December to meet him in the Garden
To a Beautiful Quaker
To Lesbia!
To Woman
An Occasional Prologue, Delivered by the Author Previous to the Performance of “The Wheel of Fortune” at a Private Theatre To Eliza
The Tear
Reply to some Verses of J.M.B. Pigot, Esq., on the Cruelty of his Mistress
Granta. A Medley
To the Sighing Strephon
The Cornelian
To M—-
Lines Addressed to a Young Lady. [As the Author was discharging his Pistols in a Garden, Two Ladies passing near the spot were alarmed by the sound of a Bullet hissing near them, to one of whom the following stanzas were addressed the next morning] Translation from Catullus. ‘Ad Lesbiam’ Translation of the Epitaph on Virgil and Tibullus, by Domitius Marsus Imitation of Tibullus. ‘Sulpicia ad Cerinthum’ Translation from Catullus. ‘Lugete Veneres Cupidinesque’ Imitated from Catullus. To Ellen

To M.S.G.
Stanzas to a Lady, with the Poems of Camoens To M.S.G. [second poem]
Translation from Horace. ‘Justum et tenacem’, etc. The First Kiss of Love
Childish Recollections
Answer to a Beautiful Poem, Written by Montgomery, Author of “The Wanderer in Switzerland,” etc., entitled “The Common Lot” Love’s Last Adieu
Lines Addressed to the Rev. J.T. Becher, on his advising the Author to mix more with Society
Answer to some Elegant Verses sent by a Friend to the Author, complaining that one of his descriptions was rather too warmly drawn
Elegy on Newstead Abbey

To George, Earl Delawarr
To Marion
Oscar of Alva
Translation from Anacreon. Ode I
From Anacreon. Ode 3
The Episode of Nisus and Euryalus. A Paraphrase from the ‘AEneid’, Lib. 9
Translation from the ‘Medea’ of Euripides [L. 627-660] Lachin y Gair
To Romance
The Death of Calmar and Orla
To Edward Noel Long, Esq.
To a Lady

When I Roved a Young Highlander
To the Duke of Dorset
To the Earl of Clare
I would I were a Careless Child
Lines Written beneath an Elm in the Churchyard of Harrow

Fragment, Written Shortly after the Marriage of Miss Chaworth. First published in Moore’s ‘Letters and Journals of Lord Byron’, 1830, i. 56
Remembrance. First published in ‘Works of Lord Byron’, 1832, vii. 152
To a Lady Who Presented the Author with the Velvet Band which bound her Tresses. ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 151
To a Knot of Ungenerous Critics. ‘MS. Newstead’ Soliloquy of a Bard in the Country. ‘MS. Newstead’ L’Amitie est L’Amour sans Ailes. ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 161 The Prayer of Nature. ‘Letters and Journals’, 1830, i. 106 Translation from Anacreon. Ode 5. ‘MS. Newstead’ [Ossian’s Address to the Sun in “Carthon.”] ‘MS. Newstead’ [Pignus Amoris.] ‘MS. Newstead’
[A Woman’s Hair.] ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 151 Stanzas to Jessy. ‘Monthly Literary Recreations’, July, 1807 The Adieu. ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 195
To—-. ‘MS. Newstead’
On the Eyes of Miss A—-H—-. ‘MS. Newstead’ To a Vain Lady. ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 199 To Anne. ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 201
Egotism. A Letter to J.T. Becher. ‘MS. Newstead’ To Anne. ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 202
To the Author of a Sonnet Beginning, “‘Sad is my verse,’ you say, ‘and yet no tear.'” ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 202 On Finding a Fan. ‘Works’, 1832, 203
Farewell to the Muse. ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 203 To an Oak at Newstead. ‘Works’, 1832, vii. 206 On Revisiting Harrow. ‘Letters and Journals’, i. 102 To my Son. ‘Letters and Journals’, i. 104 Queries to Casuists. ‘MS. Newstead’
Song. Breeze of the Night. ‘MS. Lovelace’ To Harriet. ‘MS. Newstead’
There was a Time, I need not name. ‘Imitations and Translations’, 1809, p. 200
And wilt Thou weep when I am low? ‘Imitations and Translations’, 1809, p. 202
Remind me not, Remind me not. ‘Imitations and Translations’, 1809, p. 197
To a Youthful Friend. ‘Imitations and Translations’, 1809, p. 185 Lines Inscribed upon a Cup Formed from a Skull. First published, ‘Childe Harold’, Cantos i., ii. (Seventh Edition), 1814 Well! Thou art Happy. ‘Imitations and Translations’, 1809, p. 192 Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog. ‘Imitations and Translations’, 1809, p. 190
To a Lady, On Being asked my reason for quitting England in the Spring. ‘Imitations and Translations’, 1809, p. 195 Fill the Goblet Again. A Song. ‘Imitations and Translations’, 1809, p. 204
Stanzas to a Lady, on Leaving England. ‘Imitations and Translations’, 1809, p. 227








Why dost thou build the hall, Son of the winged days? Thou lookest from thy tower to-day: yet a few years, and the blast of the desart comes: it howls in thy empty court.-OSSIAN. [1]


Through thy battlements, Newstead, [2] the hollow winds whistle: [ii] Thou, the hall of my Fathers, art gone to decay; In thy once smiling garden, the hemlock and thistle Have choak’d up the rose, which late bloom’d in the way.


Of the mail-cover’d Barons, who, proudly, to battle, [iii] Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine’s plain, [3] The escutcheon and shield, which with ev’ry blast rattle, Are the only sad vestiges now that remain.


No more doth old Robert, with harp-stringing numbers, Raise a flame, in the breast, for the war-laurell’d wreath; Near Askalon’s towers, John of Horistan [4] slumbers, Unnerv’d is the hand of his minstrel, by death.


Paul and Hubert too sleep in the valley of Cressy; For the safety of Edward and England they fell: My Fathers! the tears of your country redress ye: How you fought! how you died! still her annals can tell.


On Marston, [5] with Rupert, [6] ‘gainst traitors contending, Four brothers enrich’d, with their blood, the bleak field; For the rights of a monarch their country defending, [iv] Till death their attachment to royalty seal’d. [7]


Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant departing From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu! [v] Abroad, or at home, your remembrance imparting New courage, he’ll think upon glory and you.


Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation, [vi] ‘Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret; [vii] Far distant he goes, with the same emulation, The fame of his Fathers he ne’er can forget. [viii]


That fame, and that memory, still will he cherish; [ix] He vows that he ne’er will disgrace your renown: Like you will he live, or like you will he perish; When decay’d, may he mingle his dust with your own!


[Footnote 1: The motto was prefixed in _Hours of Idleness_.]

[Footnote 2: The priory of Newstead, or de Novo Loco, in Sherwood, was founded about the year 1170, by Henry II. On the dissolution of the monasteries it was granted (in 1540) by Henry VIII. to “Sir John Byron the Little, with the great beard.” His portrait is still preserved at Newstead.]

[Footnote 3: No record of any crusading ancestors in the Byron family can be found. Moore conjectures that the legend was suggested by some groups of heads on the old panel-work at Newstead, which appear to represent Christian soldiers and Saracens, and were, most probably, put up before the Abbey came into the possession of the family.]

[Footnote 4: Horistan Castle, in _Derbyshire_, an ancient seat of the B–R–N family [4to]. (Horiston.–4to.)]

[Footnote 5: The battle of Marston Moor, where the adherents of Charles I. were defeated.]

[Footnote 6: Son of the Elector Palatine, and related to Charles I. He afterwards commanded the Fleet, in the reign of Charles II.]

[Footnote 7: Sir Nicholas Byron, the great-grandson of Sir John Byron the Little, distinguished himself in the Civil Wars. He is described by Clarendon (_Hist, of the Rebellion_, 1807, i. 216) as “a person of great affability and dexterity, as well as martial knowledge.” He was Governor of Carlisle, and afterwards Governor of Chester. His nephew and heir-at-law, Sir John Byron, of Clayton, K.B. (1599-1652), was raised to the peerage as Baron Byron of Rochdale, after the Battle of Newbury, October 26, 1643. He held successively the posts of Lieutenant of the Tower, Governor of Chester, and, after the expulsion of the Royal Family from England, Governor to the Duke of York. He died childless, and was succeeded by his brother Richard, the second lord, from whom the poet was descended. Five younger brothers, as Richard’s monument in the chancel of Hucknall Torkard Church records, “faithfully served King Charles the First in the Civil Wars, suffered much for their loyalty, and lost all their present fortunes.” (See _Life of Lord Byron_, by Karl Elze: Appendix, Note (A), p. 436.)]

[Footnote i: ‘On Leaving N … ST … D.’–[4to] ‘On Leaving Newstead.’–(‘P. on V. Occasions.’)]

[Footnote ii:

‘Through the cracks in these battlements loud the winds whistle For the hall of my fathers is gone to decay; And in yon once gay garden the hemlock and thistle Have choak’d up the rose, which late bloom’d in the way’.


[Footnote iii:

‘Of the barons of old, who once proudly to battle’.


[Footnote iv:

‘For Charles the Martyr their country defending’.

[4to. ‘P. on V. Occasions’.]]

[Footnote v: ‘Bids ye adieu!’ [4to]]

[Footnote vi: ‘Though a tear dims.’ [4to]]

[Footnote vii: ”Tis nature, not fear, which commands his regret’. [4to]]

[Footnote viii: ‘In the grave he alone can his fathers forget’. [4to]]

[Footnote ix: ‘Your fame, and your memory, still will he cherish’. [4to]]

TO E—[1]

Let Folly smile, to view the names
Of thee and me, in Friendship twin’d; Yet Virtue will have greater claims
To love, than rank with vice combin’d.

And though unequal is _thy_ fate,
Since title deck’d my higher birth; Yet envy not this gaudy state,
_Thine_ is the pride of modest worth.

Our _souls_ at least congenial meet, Nor can _thy_ lot _my_ rank disgrace;
Our intercourse is not less sweet, Since worth of rank supplies the place.

_November_, 1802.

[Footnote 1: E—was, according to Moore, a boy of Byron’s own age, the son of one of the tenants at Newstead.]



Hush’d are the winds, and still the evening gloom, Not e’en a zephyr wanders through the grove, Whilst I return to view my Margaret’s tomb, And scatter flowers on the dust I love.


Within this narrow cell reclines her clay, That clay, where once such animation beam’d; The King of Terrors seiz’d her as his prey; Not worth, nor beauty, have her life redeem’d.


Oh! could that King of Terrors pity feel, Or Heaven reverse the dread decree of fate, Not here the mourner would his grief reveal, Not here the Muse her virtues would relate.


But wherefore weep? Her matchless spirit soars Beyond where splendid shines the orb of day; And weeping angels lead her to those bowers, Where endless pleasures virtuous deeds repay.


And shall presumptuous mortals Heaven arraign! And, madly, Godlike Providence accuse! Ah! no, far fly from me attempts so vain;– I’ll ne’er submission to my God refuse.


Yet is remembrance of those virtues dear, Yet fresh the memory of that beauteous face; Still they call forth my warm affection’s tear, Still in my heart retain their wonted place. [i]


[Footnote 1: The author claims the indulgence of the reader more for this piece than, perhaps, any other in the collection; but as it was written at an earlier period than the rest (being composed at the age of fourteen), and his first essay, he preferred submitting it to the indulgence of his friends in its present state, to making either addition or alteration.–[4to]

“My first dash into poetry was as early as 1800. It was the ebullition of a passion for–my first cousin, Margaret Parker (daughter and granddaughter of the two Admirals Parker), one of the most beautiful of evanescent beings. I have long forgotten the verse; but it would be difficult for me to forget her–her dark eyes–her long eye-lashes–her completely Greek cast of face and figure! I was then about twelve–she rather older, perhaps a year. She died about a year or two afterwards, in consequence of a fall, which injured her spine, and induced consumption … I knew nothing of her illness, being at Harrow and in the country till she was gone. Some years after, I made an attempt at an elegy–a very dull one.”–_Byron Diary_, 1821; _Life_, p. 17.

[Margaret Parker was the sister of Sir Peter Parker, whose death at Baltimore, in 1814, Byron celebrated in the “Elegiac Stanzas,” which were first published in the poems attached to the seventh edition of _Childe Harold_.]

[Footnote i: _Such sorrow brings me honour, not disgrace_. [4to]]

TO D—[1]


In thee, I fondly hop’d to clasp
A friend, whom death alone could sever; Till envy, with malignant grasp, [i]
Detach’d thee from my breast for ever.


True, she has forc’d thee from my _breast_, Yet, in my _heart_, thou keep’st thy seat; [ii] There, there, thine image still must rest, Until that heart shall cease to beat.


And, when the grave restores her dead, When life again to dust is given,
On _thy dear_ breast I’ll lay my head– Without _thee! where_ would be _my Heaven?_

February, 1803.

[Footnote 1: George John, 5th Earl Delawarr (1791-1869). (See _note_ 2, p. 100; see also lines “To George, Earl Delawarr,” pp. 126-128.)]

[Footnote i:

_But envy with malignant grasp,
Has torn thee from my breast for ever.


[Footnote ii: _But in my heart_. [4to]]



Think’st thou I saw thy beauteous eyes, Suffus’d in tears, implore to stay;
And heard _unmov’d_ thy plenteous sighs, Which said far more than words can say? [ii]


Though keen the grief _thy_ tears exprest, [iii] When love and hope lay _both_ o’erthrown; Yet still, my girl, _this_ bleeding breast Throbb’d, with deep sorrow, as _thine own_.


But, when our cheeks with anguish glow’d, When _thy_ sweet lips were join’d to mine; The tears that from _my_ eyelids flow’d Were lost in those which fell from _thine_.


Thou could’st not feel my burning cheek, _Thy_ gushing tears had quench’d its flame, And, as thy tongue essay’d to speak,
In _sighs alone_ it breath’d my name.


And yet, my girl, we weep in vain,
In vain our fate in sighs deplore; Remembrance only can remain,
But _that_, will make us weep the more.


Again, thou best belov’d, adieu!
Ah! if thou canst, o’ercome regret, Nor let thy mind past joys review,
Our only _hope_ is, to _forget_!


[Footnote i: _To_—-. [4to]]

[Footnote ii: _than words could say_. [4to]]

[Footnote iii: _Though deep the grief_. [4to]]



You say you love, and yet your eye
No symptom of that love conveys,
You say you love, yet know not why, Your cheek no sign of love betrays.


Ah! did that breast with ardour glow, With me alone it joy could know,
Or feel with me the listless woe,
Which racks my heart when far from thee.


Whene’er we meet my blushes rise,
And mantle through my purpled cheek, But yet no blush to mine replies,
Nor e’en your eyes your love bespeak.


Your voice alone declares your flame, And though so sweet it breathes my name, Our passions still are not the same;
Alas! you cannot love like me.


For e’en your lip seems steep’d in snow, And though so oft it meets my kiss,
It burns with no responsive glow,
Nor melts like mine in dewy bliss.


Ah! what are words to love like _mine_, Though uttered by a voice like thine,
I still in murmurs must repine,
And think that love can ne’er be _true_,


Which meets me with no joyous sign,
Without a sigh which bids adieu;
How different is my love from thine, How keen my grief when leaving you.


Your image fills my anxious breast,
Till day declines adown the West,
And when at night, I sink to rest, In dreams your fancied form I view.


‘Tis then your breast, no longer cold, With equal ardour seems to burn,
While close your arms around me fold, Your lips my kiss with warmth return.


Ah! would these joyous moments last; Vain HOPE! the gay delusion’s past,
That voice!–ah! no, ’tis but the blast, Which echoes through the neighbouring grove.


But when _awake_, your lips I seek,
And clasp enraptur’d all your charms, So chill’s the pressure of your cheek,
I fold a statue in my arms.


If thus, when to my heart embrac’d,
No pleasure in your eyes is trac’d, You may be prudent, fair, and _chaste_, But ah! my girl, you _do not love_.

[Footnote 1: These lines, which appear in the Quarto, were never republished.]

TO EMMA. [1]


Since now the hour is come at last,
When you must quit your anxious lover; Since now, our dream of bliss is past,
One pang, my girl, and all is over.


Alas! that pang will be severe,
Which bids us part to meet no more; Which tears me far from _one_ so dear,
_Departing_ for a distant shore.


Well! we have pass’d some happy hours, And joy will mingle with our tears;
When thinking on these ancient towers, The shelter of our infant years;


Where from this Gothic casement’s height, We view’d the lake, the park, the dell, And still, though tears obstruct our sight, We lingering look a last farewell,


O’er fields through which we us’d to run, And spend the hours in childish play;
O’er shades where, when our race was done, Reposing on my breast you lay;


Whilst I, admiring, too remiss,
Forgot to scare the hovering flies, Yet envied every fly the kiss,
It dar’d to give your slumbering eyes:


See still the little painted _bark_, In which I row’d you o’er the lake;
See there, high waving o’er the park, The _elm_ I clamber’d for your sake.


These times are past, our joys are gone, You leave me, leave this happy vale;
These scenes, I must retrace alone; Without thee, what will they avail?


Who can conceive, who has not prov’d, The anguish of a last embrace?
When, torn from all you fondly lov’d, You bid a long adieu to peace.


_This_ is the deepest of our woes,
For _this_ these tears our cheeks bedew; This is of love the final close,
Oh, God! the fondest, _last_ adieu!


[Footnote 1: To Maria–[4to]]


[Greek: Maedam o panta nem_on, K.T.L_] [1]

Great Jove! to whose Almighty Throne Both Gods and mortals homage pay,
Ne’er may my soul thy power disown, Thy dread behests ne’er disobey.
Oft shall the sacred victim fall, In sea-girt Ocean’s mossy hall;
My voice shall raise no impious strain, ‘Gainst him who rules the sky and azure main.

How different now thy joyless fate, Since first Hesione thy bride,
When plac’d aloft in godlike state, The blushing beauty by thy side,
Thou sat’st, while reverend Ocean smil’d, And mirthful strains the hours beguil’d; The Nymphs and Tritons danc’d around, Nor yet thy doom was fix’d, nor Jove relentless frown’d, [2]

HARROW, December 1, 1804.

[Footnote 1: The Greek heading does not appear in the Quarto, nor in the three first Editions.]

[Footnote 2: “My first Harrow verses (that is, English, as exercises), a translation of a chorus from the ‘Prometheus’ of AEschylus, were received by Dr. Drury, my grand patron (our headmaster), but coolly. No one had, at that time, the least notion that I should subside into poetry.”–‘Life’, p. 20. The lines are not a translation but a loose adaptation or paraphrase of part of a chorus of the ‘Prometheus Vinctus’, I, 528, ‘sq.’]



“Away, away,–your flattering arts
May now betray some simpler hearts; And _you_ will _smile_ at their believing, And _they_ shall _weep_ at your deceiving.”

[Footnote 1: A second edition of this work, of which the title is, _Letters, etc., translated from the French of Jean Jacques Rousseau_, was published in London, in 1784. It is, probably, a literary forgery.]


Dear simple girl, those flattering arts, (From which thou’dst guard frail female hearts,)[ii] Exist but in imagination,
Mere phantoms of thine own creation; [iii] For he who views that witching grace,
That perfect form, that lovely face, With eyes admiring, oh! believe me,
He never wishes to deceive thee:
Once in thy polish’d mirror glance [iv] Thou’lt there descry that elegance
Which from our sex demands such praises, But envy in the other raises.–
Then he who tells thee of thy beauty, [v] Believe me, only does his duty:
Ah! fly not from the candid youth; It is not flattery,–’tis truth. [vi]

July, 1804.

[Footnote i: _Answer to the above._ [4to] ]

[Footnote ii: _From which you’d._ [4to] ]

[Footnote iii:

_Mere phantoms of your own creation; For he who sees_. [4to]]

[Footnote iv:

_Once let you at your mirror glance
You’ll there descry that elegance,_ [4to]]

[Footnote v:

_Then he who tells you of your beauty._ [4to]]

[Footnote vi:

_It is not flattery, but truth_. [4to]]


Where are those honours, IDA! once your own, When Probus fill’d your magisterial throne? As ancient Rome, fast falling to disgrace, Hail’d a Barbarian in her Caesar’s place, So you, degenerate, share as hard a fate, And seat _Pomposus_ where your _Probus_ sate. Of narrow brain, yet of a narrower soul, [i] Pomposus holds you in his harsh controul; Pomposus, by no social virtue sway’d,
With florid jargon, and with vain parade; With noisy nonsense, and new-fangled rules, (Such as were ne’er before enforc’d in schools.) [ii] Mistaking _pedantry_ for _learning’s_ laws, He governs, sanction’d but by self-applause; With him the same dire fate, attending Rome, Ill-fated Ida! soon must stamp your doom: Like her o’erthrown, for ever lost to fame, No trace of science left you, but the name,

HARROW, July, 1805.

[Footnote 1: In March, 1805, Dr. Drury, the Probus of the piece, retired from the Head-mastership of Harrow School, and was succeeded by Dr. Butler, the Pomposus. “Dr. Drury,” said Byron, in one of his note-books, “was the best, the kindest (and yet strict, too) friend I ever had; and I look upon him still as a father.” Out of affection to his late preceptor, Byron advocated the election of Mark Drury to the vacant post, and hence his dislike of the successful candidate. He was reconciled to Dr. Butler before departing for Greece, in 1809, and in his diary he says, “I treated him rebelliously, and have been sorry ever since.” (See allusions in and notes to “Childish Recollections,” pp. 84-106, and especially note I, p. 88, notes I and 2, p. 89, and note I, p. 91.)] ]

[Footnote i:

—-_but of a narrower soul_.–[4to]]

[Footnote ii:

_Such as were ne’er before beheld in schools._–[4to]]


[Greek: Astaer prin men elampes eni tsuoisin hepsos.]

[Plato’s Epitaph (Epig. Graec., Jacobs, 1826, p. 309), quoted by Diog. Laertins.]

Oh, Friend! for ever lov’d, for ever dear! [i] What fruitless tears have bathed thy honour’d bier! What sighs re-echo’d to thy parting breath, Whilst thou wast struggling in the pangs of death! Could tears retard the tyrant in his course; Could sighs avert his dart’s relentless force; Could youth and virtue claim a short delay, Or beauty charm the spectre from his prey; Thou still hadst liv’d to bless my aching sight, Thy comrade’s honour and thy friend’s delight. If yet thy gentle spirit hover nigh
The spot where now thy mouldering ashes lie, Here wilt thou read, recorded on my heart, A grief too deep to trust the sculptor’s art. No marble marks thy couch of lowly sleep, But living statues there are seen to weep; Affliction’s semblance bends not o’er thy tomb, Affliction’s self deplores thy youthful doom. What though thy sire lament his failing line, A father’s sorrows cannot equal mine!
Though none, like thee, his dying hour will cheer, Yet other offspring soothe his anguish here: But, who with me shall hold thy former place? Thine image, what new friendship can efface? Ah, none!–a father’s tears will cease to flow, Time will assuage an infant brother’s woe; To all, save one, is consolation known, While solitary Friendship sighs alone.

HARROW, 1803. [2]

[Footnote i:

_Oh Boy! for ever loved, for ever dear! What fruitless tears have wash’d thy honour’d bier; What sighs re-echoed to thy parting breath, Whilst thou wert struggling in the pangs of death. Could tears have turn’d the tyrant in his course, Could sighs have checked his dart’s relentless force; [iii] Could youth and virtue claim a short delay, Or beauty charm the spectre from his prey, Thou still had’st liv’d to bless my aching sight, Thy comrade’s honour, and thy friend’s delight: Though low thy lot since in a cottage born, No titles did thy humble name adorn,
To me, far dearer, was thy artless love, Than all the joys, wealth, fame, and friends could prove. For thee alone I liv’d, or wish’d to live, (Oh God! if impious, this rash word forgive,) Heart-broken now, I wait an equal doom, Content to join thee in thy turf-clad tomb; Where this frail form compos’d in endless rest, I’ll make my last, cold, pillow on thy breast; That breast where oft in life, I’ve laid my head, Will yet receive me mouldering with the dead; This life resign’d, without one parting sigh, Together in one bed of earth we’ll lie! Together share the fate to mortals given, Together mix our dust, and hope for Heaven._

HARROW, 1803.–[4to. _P. on V. Occasions._]]

[Footnote 1: The heading which appears in the Quarto and _P. on V. Occasions_ was subsequently changed to “Epitaph on a Friend.” The motto was prefixed in ‘Hours of Idleness’. The epigram which Bergk leaves under Plato’s name was translated by Shelley (‘Poems’, 1895, iii. 361)–

“Thou wert the morning star
Among the living,
Ere thy fair light had fled;
Now having died, thou art as
Hesperus, giving
New splendour to the dead.”

There is an echo of the Greek distich in Byron’s exquisite line, “The Morning-Star of Memory.”

The words, “Southwell, March 17,” are added, in a lady’s hand, on p. 9 of the annotated copy of P. ‘on’ V. ‘Occasions’ in the British Museum. The conjecture that the “‘beloved’ friend,” who is of humble origin, is identical with “E—-” of the verses on p. 4, remains uncertain.]

[Footnote ii:
_have bath’d thy honoured bier._

[_P. on V. Occasions._] ]

[Footnote iii:
_Could tears retard,_ [_P. on V. Occasions._] _Could sighs avert._ [_P. on V. Occasions._] ]


Animula! vagula, Blandula,
Hospes, comesque corporis,
Quae nunc abibis in Loca–
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis Jocos?


Ah! gentle, fleeting, wav’ring Sprite, Friend and associate of this clay!
To what unknown region borne,
Wilt thou, now, wing thy distant flight? No more with wonted humour gay,
But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn.



When, to their airy hall, my Fathers’ voice Shall call my spirit, joyful in their choice; When, pois’d upon the gale, my form shall ride, Or, dark in mist, descend the mountain’s side; Oh! may my shade behold no sculptur’d urns, To mark the spot where earth to earth returns! No lengthen’d scroll, no praise-encumber’d stone; [i] My _epitaph_ shall be my name alone: [2] If _that_ with honour fail to crown my clay, [ii] Oh! may no other fame my deeds repay!
_That_, only _that_, shall single out the spot; By that remember’d, or with that forgot. [iii]


[Footnote 1: There is no heading in the Quarto.]

[Footnote 2: In his will, drawn up in 1811, Byron gave directions that “no inscription, save his name and age, should be written on his tomb.” June, 1819, he wrote to Murray: “Some of the epitaphs at the Certosa cemetery, at Ferrara, pleased me more than the more splendid monuments at Bologna; for instance, ‘Martini Luigi Implora pace.’ Can anything be more full of pathos? I hope whoever may survive me will see those two words, and no more, put over me.”–‘Life’, pp. 131, 398.]

[Footnote: i.

‘No lengthen’d scroll of virtue and renown.’

[4to. P. on V. Occ.]]

[Footnote: ii.

‘If that with honour fails,’


[Footnote: iii.

‘But that remember’d, or fore’er forgot’.

[4to. ‘P. on V. Occasions’.]]



Oh! when shall the grave hide for ever my sorrow? Oh! when shall my soul wing her flight from this clay? The present is hell! and the coming to-morrow But brings, with new torture, the curse of to-day.


From my eye flows no tear, from my lips flow no curses, [i] I blast not the fiends who have hurl’d me from bliss; For poor is the soul which, bewailing, rehearses Its querulous grief, when in anguish like this–


Was my eye, ‘stead of tears, with red fury flakes bright’ning, Would my lips breathe a flame which no stream could assuage, On our foes should my glance launch in vengeance its lightning, With transport my tongue give a loose to its rage.


But now tears and curses, alike unavailing, Would add to the souls of our tyrants delight; Could they view us our sad separation bewailing, Their merciless hearts would rejoice at the sight.


Yet, still, though we bend with a feign’d resignation, Life beams not for us with one ray that can cheer; Love and Hope upon earth bring no more consolation, In the grave is our hope, for in life is our fear.


Oh! when, my ador’d, in the tomb will they place me, Since, in life, love and friendship for ever are fled? If again in the mansion of death I embrace thee, Perhaps they will leave unmolested–the dead.


[Footnote 1: [To——.–[4to].]]

[Footnote i: ‘fall no curses’.–[4to. ‘P. on V. Occasions’.]]



When I hear you express an affection so warm, Ne’er think, my belov’d, that I do not believe; For your lip would the soul of suspicion disarm, And your eye beams a ray which can never deceive.


Yet still, this fond bosom regrets, while adoring, That love, like the leaf, must fall into the sear, That Age will come on, when Remembrance, deploring, Contemplates the scenes of her youth, with a tear;


That the time must arrive, when, no longer retaining Their auburn, those locks must wave thin to the breeze, When a few silver hairs of those tresses remaining, Prove nature a prey to decay and disease.


Tis this, my belov’d, which spreads gloom o’er my features, Though I ne’er shall presume to arraign the decree Which God has proclaim’d as the fate of his creatures, In the death which one day will deprive you of me. [i]


Mistake not, sweet sceptic, the cause of emotion, [ii] No doubt can the mind of your lover invade; He worships each look with such faithful devotion, A smile can enchant, or a tear can dissuade.


But as death, my belov’d, soon or late shall o’ertake us, And our breasts, which alive with such sympathy glow, Will sleep in the grave, till the blast shall awake us, When calling the dead, in Earth’s bosom laid low.


Oh! then let us drain, while we may, draughts of pleasure, Which from passion, like ours, must unceasingly flow; [iii] Let us pass round the cup of Love’s bliss in full measure, And quaff the contents as our nectar below.


[Footnote 1: [There is no heading in the Quarto.]]

[Footnote i: _will deprive me of thee_.–[4to]]

[Footnote ii:

_No jargon of priests o’er our union was mutter’d, To rivet the fetters of husband and wife; By our lips, by our hearts, were our vows alone utter’d, To perform them, in full, would ask more than a life_.–[4to]]

[Footnote iii: _will unceasingly flow_.–[4to]]


Oh! mihi praeteritos referat si Jupiter annos.[1]



Ye scenes of my childhood, whose lov’d recollection Embitters the present, compar’d with the past; Where science first dawn’d on the powers of reflection, And friendships were form’d, too romantic to last; [2]


Where fancy, yet, joys to retrace the resemblance Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied; [3] How welcome to me your ne’er fading remembrance, [i] Which rests in the bosom, though hope is deny’d!


Again I revisit the hills where we sported, The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought; [4] The school where, loud warn’d by the bell, we resorted, To pore o’er the precepts by Pedagogues taught.


Again I behold where for hours I have ponder’d, As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone [5] I lay; Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander’d, To catch the last gleam of the sun’s setting ray.


I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded, Where, as Zanga, [6] I trod on Alonzo o’erthrown; While, to swell my young pride, such applauses resounded, I fancied that Mossop [7] himself was outshone.


Or, as Lear, I pour’d forth the deep imprecation, By my daughters, of kingdom and reason depriv’d; Till, fir’d by loud plaudits and self-adulation, I regarded myself as a _Garrick_ reviv’d. [ii]


Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you! Unfaded your memory dwells in my breast; [iii] Though sad and deserted, I ne’er can forget you: Your pleasures may still be in fancy possest.


To Ida full oft may remembrance restore me, [iv] While Fate shall the shades of the future unroll! Since Darkness o’ershadows the prospect before me, More dear is the beam of the past to my soul!


But if, through the course of the years which await me, Some new scene of pleasure should open to view, I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me, “Oh! such were the days which my infancy knew.” [8]


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

[Footnote 2:

“My school-friendships were with me _passions_ (for I was always violent), but I do not know that there is one which has endured (to be sure, some have been cut short by death) till now.”

‘Diary’, 1821; ‘Life’, p. 21.]

[Footnote 3: Byron was at first placed in the house of Mr. Henry Drury, but in 1803 was removed to that of Mr. Evans.

“The reason why Lord Byron wishes for the change, arises from the repeated complaints of Mr. Henry Drury respecting his inattention to business, and his propensity to make others laugh and disregard their employment as much as himself.”

Dr. Joseph Drury to Mr. John Hanson.]

[Footnote 4:

“At Harrow I fought my way very fairly. I think I lost but one battle out of seven.”

‘Diary’, 1821; ‘Life’, p. 21.]

[Footnote 5: A tomb in the churchyard at Harrow was so well known to be his favourite resting-place, that the boys called it “Byron’s Tomb:” and here, they say, he used to sit for hours, wrapt up in thought.–‘Life’, p. 26.]

[Footnote 6: For the display of his declamatory powers, on the speech-days, he selected always the most vehement passages; such as the speech of Zanga over the body of Alonzo, and Lear’s address to the storm.–‘Life’, p. 20, ‘note’; and ‘post’, p. 103, ‘var’. i.]

[Footnote 7: Henry Mossop (1729-1773), a contemporary of Garrick, famous for his performance of “Zanga” in Young’s tragedy of ‘The Revenge’.]

[Footnote 8: Stanzas 8 and 9 first appeared in ‘Hours of Idleness’.]

[Footnote i:
‘How welcome once more’.


[Footnote ii:

‘I consider’d myself’.


[Footnote iii:

‘As your memory beams through this agonized breast; Thus sad and deserted, I n’er can forget you, Though this heart throbs to bursting by anguish possest.


Your memory beams through this agonized breast.–

[P. on V. Occasions.’]

[Footnote iv:

‘I thought this poor brain, fever’d even to madness, Of tears as of reason for ever was drain’d; But the drops which now flow down _this_ bosom of sadness, Convince me the springs have some moisture retain’d’.

‘Sweet scenes of my childhood! your blest recollection, Has wrung from these eyelids, to weeping long dead, In torrents, the tears of my warmest affection, The last and the fondest, I ever shall shed’.

[4to. ‘P. on V. Occasions’.]


High in the midst, surrounded by his peers, Magnus [1] his ample front sublime uprears: [i] Plac’d on his chair of state, he seems a God, While Sophs [2] and Freshmen tremble at his nod; As all around sit wrapt in speechless gloom, [ii] _His_ voice, in thunder, shakes the sounding dome; Denouncing dire reproach to luckless fools, Unskill’d to plod in mathematic rules.

Happy the youth! in Euclid’s axioms tried, Though little vers’d in any art beside; 10 Who, scarcely skill’d an English line to pen, [iii] Scans Attic metres with a critic’s ken.

What! though he knows not how his fathers bled, When civil discord pil’d the fields with dead, When Edward bade his conquering bands advance, Or Henry trampled on the crest of France: Though marvelling at the name of _Magna Charta_, Yet well he recollects the _laws_ of _Sparta_; Can tell, what edicts sage _Lycurgus_ made, While _Blackstone’s_ on the _shelf_, _neglected_ laid; 20 Of _Grecian dramas_ vaunts the deathless fame, Of _Avon’s bard_, rememb’ring scarce the name.

Such is the youth whose scientific pate Class-honours, medals, fellowships, await; Or even, perhaps, the _declamation_ prize, If to such glorious height, he lifts his eyes. But lo! no _common_ orator can hope
The envied silver cup within his scope: Not that our _heads_ much eloquence require, Th’ ATHENIAN’S [3] glowing style, or TULLY’S fire. 30 A _manner_ clear or warm is useless, since [iv] We do not try by _speaking_ to _convince_; Be other _orators_ of pleasing _proud_,– We speak to _please_ ourselves, not _move_ the crowd: Our gravity prefers the _muttering_ tone, A proper mixture of the _squeak_ and _groan_: No borrow’d _grace_ of _action_ must be seen, The slightest motion would displease the _Dean_; Whilst every staring Graduate would prate,