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Title: Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1

Author: Byron

Editor: Ernest Hartley Coleridge

Posting Date: February 22, 2015 [EBook #8861]
Release Date: September, 2005
First Posted: August 15, 2003

Language: English

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Byron's Poetical Works



a new, revised and enlarged edition, with illustrations




Volume 1.


edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge.






Table of Contents

Preface


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.


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, [are included as numerical footnotes to each poem—html Ed.] 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.

Ernest Hartley Coleridge.

Contents




Poems on Various Occasions


facsimile of title page of 'Poems on Various Occasions'facsimile of disclaimer by Byron



Bibliographical Note to 'Hours of Idleness' and Other Early Poems


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 Æneid" (sic), numbering sixteen lines, reappears as The Episode of Nisus and Euryalus, A Paraphrase from the Æneid, 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 Athenæum, 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.)

facsimile of title page of 'Poems, Original and Translated'facsimile of title page of 'Hours of idleness'

Contents




Bibliographical Note to English Bards and Scotch Reviewers


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.:
  1. lines 1-96, "Still must I hear," etc.;
  2. lines 129-142, "Thus saith the Preacher," etc.;
  3. lines 363-417, "But if some new-born whim," etc.;
  4. lines 638-706, "Or hail at once," etc.;
  5. lines 765-798, "When some brisk youth," etc.;
  6. lines 859-880, "And here let Shee," etc.;
  7. lines 949-960, "Yet what avails," etc.;
  8. lines 973-980, "There, Clarke," etc.;
  9. 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 'English Bards', including Byron's signature

Contents




Hours of Idleness and Other Early Poems





Fugitive Pieces





On Leaving Newstead Abbeya


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.-Ossian1.

I.

Through thy battlements, Newstead2, the hollow winds whistleb:
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.


2.

Of the mail-cover'd Barons, who, proudly, to battlec,
Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain3,
The escutcheon and shield, which with ev'ry blast rattle,
Are the only sad vestiges now that remain.


3.

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 Horistan4 slumbers,
Unnerv'd is the hand of his minstrel, by death.


4.

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.


5.

On Marston5, with Rupert6, 'gainst traitors contending,
Four brothers enrich'd, with their blood, the bleak field;
For the rights of a monarch their country defendingd,
Till death their attachment to royalty seal'd7.


6.

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


7.

Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separationf,
'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regretg;
Far distant he goes, with the same emulation,
The fame of his Fathers he ne'er can forgeth.


8.

That fame, and that memory, still will he cherishi;
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!

1803.


Footnote 1: › The motto was prefixed in Hours of Idleness.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:On Leaving N ... ST ... D.--[4to],
On Leaving Newstead.--(P. on V. Occasions.)
return
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.
return
Footnote b:
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.
[4to]
return
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.
return
Footnote c:
Of the barons of old, who once proudly to battle.
[4to]
return
Footnote 4: › Horistan Castle, in Derbyshire, an ancient seat of the B--R--N family [4to]. (Horiston.--4to.)
return
Footnote d:
For Charles the Martyr their country defending.
[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
return
Footnote 5: › The battle of Marston Moor, where the adherents of Charles I. were defeated.
return
Footnote e:Bids ye adieu! [4to]
return
Footnote 6: › Son of the Elector Palatine, and related to Charles I. He afterwards commanded the Fleet, in the reign of Charles II.
return
Footnote f:Though a tear dims. [4to]
return
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.)
return
Footnote g:
'Tis nature, not fear, which commands his regret.
[4to]
return
Footnote h:
In the grave he alone can his fathers forget.
[4to]
return
Footnote i:
Your fame, and your memory, still will he cherish.
[4to]
return


Contents




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.






Footnote 1: › E--- was, according to Moore, a boy of Byron's own age, the son of one of the tenants at Newstead.
return to footnote mark

Contents




On the Death of a Young Lady1, Cousin to the Author, and very dear to Him


1.

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.


2.

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.


3.

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.


4.

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.


5.

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.


6.

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 placea.


1802.


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.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:Such sorrow brings me honour, not disgrace. [4to]
return


Contents




To D——1


1.

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


2.

True, she has forc'd thee from my breast,
Yet, in my heart, thou keep'st thy seatb;
There, there, thine image still must rest,
Until that heart shall cease to beat.


3.

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; see also lines To George, Earl Delawarr)

return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
But envy with malignant grasp,
Has torn thee from my breast for ever.
[4to]
return
Footnote b:But in my heart. [4to]
return


Contents




To Carolinea


1.

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 sayb?


2.

Though keen the grief thy tears exprestc,
When love and hope lay both o'erthrown;
Yet still, my girl, this bleeding breast
Throbb'd, with deep sorrow, as thine own.


3.

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.


4.

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.


5.

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.


6.

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!

1805.






Footnote a:To——. [4to]
return to footnote mark

Footnote b:than words could say. [4to]
return

Footnote c:Though deep the grief. [4to]
return

Contents




To Caroline1


1.

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.


2.

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.


3.

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.


4.

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.


5.

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.


6.

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,


7.

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.


8.

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.


9.

'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.


10.

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.


11.

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.


12.

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.
return to footnote mark

Contents




To Emma1


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.


2.

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.


3.

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;


4.

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,


5.

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;


6.

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:


7.

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.


8.

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?


9.

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.


10.

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]
return to footnote mark

Contents




Fragments of School Exercises: From the Prometheus Vinctus of Æschylus


Greek (transliterated): Maedam o panta nem_on, K.T.L

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'd2.


Harrow, December 1, 1804.






Footnote 1: › The Greek heading does not appear in the Quarto, nor in the three first Editions.
return to footnote mark

Footnote 2:
"My first Harrow verses (that is, English, as exercises), a translation of a chorus from the Prometheus of Æschylus, 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.
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Contents




Lines written in "Letters of an Italian Nun and an English Gentleman, by J.J. Rousseau1: Founded on Facts"


"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.
return to footnote mark

Contents




Answer to the Foregoinga, Addressed to Miss——


Dear simple girl, those flattering arts,
(From which thou'dst guard frail female hearts,)b
Exist but in imagination,
Mere phantoms of thine own creationc;
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 glanced
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 beautye,
Believe me, only does his duty:
Ah! fly not from the candid youth;
It is not flattery, — 'tis truthf.


July, 1804.






Footnote a:
Answer to the above.
[4to]
return to footnote mark


Footnote b:
From which you'd.
[4to]
return


Footnote c:
Mere phantoms of your own creation;
For he who sees.
[4to]
return


Footnote d:
Once let you at your mirror glance
You'll there descry that elegance,
[4to]
return


Footnote e:
Then he who tells you of your beauty.
[4to]
return


Footnote f:
It is not flattery, but truth.
[4to]
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Contents




On a Change of Masters at a Great Public School1


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 Cæsar's place,
So you, degenerate, share as hard a fate,
And seat Pomposus where your Probus sate.
Of narrow brain, yet of a narrower soula,
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.)b
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.)
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
——but of a narrower soul.
[4to]
return
Footnote b:
Such as were ne'er before beheld in schools.
[4to]
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Contents




Epitaph on a Beloved Friend1


Greek(transliterated): Astaer prin men elampes eni tsuoisin hepsos.

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

Oh, Friend! for ever lov'd, for ever deara!
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


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.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Oh Boy! for ever lov'd, for ever dear!
What fruitless tears have wash'd thy honour'd bierb;
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 forcec;
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.]
return
Footnote b:
have bath'd thy honoured bier.
[P. on V. Occasions.]
return
Footnote c:Could tears retard, ›[P. on V. Occasions.] Could sighs avert. ›[P. on V. Occasions.]
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Contents




Adrian's Address to his Soul when Dying


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


Translation:
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.

1806.

Contents




A Fragment1


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 stonea;
My epitaph shall be my name alone2:
If that with honour fail to crown my clayb,
Oh! may no other fame my deeds repay!
That, only that, shall single out the spot;
By that remember'd, or with that forgotc.

1803


Footnote 1: › There is no heading in the Quarto.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
No lengthen'd scroll of virtue and renown.
[4to. P. on V. Occ.]
return
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.
return
Footnote b:
If that with honour fails,
[4to]
return
Footnote c:
But that remember'd, or fore'er forgot.
[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
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Contents




To Caroline1


1.

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.


2.

From my eye flows no tear, from my lips flow no cursesa,
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--


3.

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.


4.

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.


5.

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.


6.

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.

1805.


Footnote 1: ›To—— [4to].
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:fall no curses. [4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
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Contents




To Caroline1


1.

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.


2.

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;


3.

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.


4.

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 mea.


5.

Mistake not, sweet sceptic, the cause of emotionb,
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.


6.

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.


7.

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


1805.


Footnote 1: › There is no heading in the Quarto.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:will deprive me of thee. ›[4to]
return
Footnote b:
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]
return
Footnote c:will unceasingly flow. ›[4to]
return


Contents




On a Distant View of the Village and School of Harrow on the Hill, 1806


Oh! mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos1.

Virgil.




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 last2;


2.

Where fancy, yet, joys to retrace the resemblance
Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied3;
How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrancea,
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is deny'd!


3.

Again I revisit the hills where we sported,
The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought4;
The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we resorted,
To pore o'er the precepts by Pedagogues taught.


4.

Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd,
As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone5 I lay;
Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd,
To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray.


5.

I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded,
Where, as Zanga6, I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown;
While, to swell my young pride, such applauses resounded,
I fancied that Mossop7 himself was outshone.


6.

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'db.


7.

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


8.

To Ida full oft may remembrance restore med,
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!


9.

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

1806.


Footnote 1: › The motto was prefixed in Hours of Idleness.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
How welcome once more.
[4to]
return
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.
return
Footnote b:
I consider'd myself.
[4to]
return
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.)
return
Footnote c:
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.
[4to]
Your memory beams through this agonized breast.
[P. on V. Occasions.]
return
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.
return
Footnote d:
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.]
return
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.
return
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.
return
Footnote 7: › Henry Mossop (1729-1773), a contemporary of Garrick, famous for his performance of "Zanga" in Young's tragedy of The Revenge.
return
Footnote 8: › Stanzas 8 and 9 first appeared in Hours of Idleness.

Contents




Thoughts Suggested by a College Examination


High in the midst, surrounded by his peers,
Magnus1 his ample front sublime uprearsa:
Plac'd on his chair of state, he seems a God,
While Sophs2 and Freshmen tremble at his nod;
As all around sit wrapt in speechless gloomb,
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;
Who, scarcely skill'd an English line to penc,
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;
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's3 glowing style, or Tully's fire.
A manner clear or warm is useless, sinced
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,
Against what--he could never imitate.
The man, who hopes t' obtain the promis'd cup,
Must in one posture stand, and ne'er look up;
Nor stop, but rattle over every word--
No matter what, so it can not be heard:
Thus let him hurry on, nor think to rest:
Who speaks the fastest's sure to speak the best;
Who utters most within the shortest space,
May, safely, hope to win the wordy race.
The Sons of Science these, who, thus repaid,
Linger in ease in Granta's sluggish shade;
Where on Cam's sedgy banks, supine, they lie,
Unknown, unhonour'd live--unwept for die:
Dull as the pictures, which adorn their halls,
They think all learning fix'd within their walls:
In manners rude, in foolish forms precise,
All modern arts affecting to despise;
Yet prizing Bentley's, Brunck's, or Porson's4 notee,
More than the verse on which the critic wrote:
Vain as their honours, heavy as their Ale5,
Sad as their wit, and tedious as their tale;
To friendship dead, though not untaught to feel,
When Self and Church demand a Bigot zeal.
With eager haste they court the lord of powerf,
(Whether 'tis Pitt or Petty6 rules the hour;)
To him, with suppliant smiles, they bend the head,
While distant mitres to their eyes are spreadg;
But should a storm o'erwhelm him with disgrace,
They'd fly to seek the next, who fill'd his place.
Such are the men who learning's treasures guard!
Such is their practice, such is their reward!
This much, at least, we may presume to say--
The premium can't exceed the price they payh.

1806.










10










20










30









40











50









60









70




Footnote 1:
No reflection is here intended against the person mentioned under the name of Magnus. He is merely represented as performing an unavoidable function of his office. Indeed, such an attempt could only recoil upon myself; as that gentleman is now as much distinguished by his eloquence, and the dignified propriety with which he fills his situation, as he was in his younger days for wit and conviviality.
[Dr. William Lort Mansel (1753-1820) was, in 1798, appointed Master of Trinity College, by Pitt. He obtained the bishopric of Bristol, through the influence of his pupil, Spencer Perceval, in 1808. He died in 1820.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
M--us--l.--
[4to]
return
Footnote 2: › Undergraduates of the second and third year.
return
Footnote b:
Whilst all around.
[4to]
return
Footnote 3: › Demosthenes.
return
Footnote c:
Who with scarse sense to pen an English letter,
Yet with precision scans an Attis metre.
[4to]
return
Footnote 4: › The present Greek professor at Trinity College, Cambridge; a man whose powers of mind and writings may, perhaps, justify their preference. [Richard Porson (1759-1808). For Byron's description of him, see letter to Murray, of February 20, 1818. Byron says (Diary, December 17, 18, 1813) that he wrote the Devil's Drive in imitation of Porson's Devil's Walk. This was a common misapprehension at the time. The Devil's Thoughts was the joint composition of Coleridge and Southey, but it was generally attributed to Porson, who took no trouble to disclaim it. It was originally published in the Morning Post, Sept. 6, 1799, and Stuart, the editor, said that it raised the circulation of the paper for several days after. (See Coleridge's Poems (1893), pp. 147, 621.)]
return
Footnote d:
The manner of the speech is nothing, since,
[4to. P, on V. Occasions.]
return
Footnote 5: › Lines 59-62 are not in the Quarto. They first appeared in Poems Original and Translated.
return
Footnote e:
Celebrated critics
[4to. Three first Editions.]
return
Footnote 6: › Since this was written, Lord Henry Petty has lost his place, and subsequently (I had almost said consequently) the honour of representing the University. A fact so glaring requires no comment.
(Lord Henry Petty, M.P. for the University of Cambridge, was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1805; but in 1807 he lost his seat. In 1809 he succeeded his brother as Marquis of Lansdowne. He died in 1863.)
return
Footnote f:
They court the tool of power
[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
return
Footnote g:While mitres, prebends.--[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
return
Footnote h:
The reward's scarce equal to the price they pay.
[4to]
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Contents




To Mary, on Receiving Her Picture1


1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.
Sweet copy! far more dear to me,
Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art,
Than all the living forms could be,
Save her who plac'd thee next my heart.


6.

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


7.

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


Footnote 1: › This "Mary" is not to be confounded with the heiress of Annesley, or "Mary" of Aberdeen. She was of humble station in life. Byron used to show a lock of her light golden hair, as well as her picture, among his friends. (See Life, p. 41, note.)
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
But Where's the beam of soft desire?
Which gave a lustre to its blue,
Love, only love, could e'er inspire.--
[4to. P. on V, Occasions.]
return


Contents




On the Death of Mr. Fox1


the following illiberal impromptu appeared in the Morning Post:

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


to which the author of these pieces sent the following replya for insertion in the Morning Chronicle.

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

(Southwell, Oct., 18062.)


Footnote 1: › The stanza on the death of Fox appeared in the Morning Post, September 26, 1806.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
The subjoined Reply.
[4to]
return
Footnote 2: › This MS. is preserved at Newstead.
return
Footnote b:
Would mangle, still, the dead, in spite of truth.
[4to]
return
Footnote c:
Shall, therefore, dastard tongues assail the name
Of him, whose virtues claim eternal fame?
[4to]
return
Footnote d:
and all his errors.
[4to]
return
Footnote e:
He died, an Atlas bending 'neath the weight
Of cares oppressing our unhappy state.
But lo! another Hercules appeared.
[4to]
return
Footnote f:
He too is dead who still our England propp'd
With him our fast reviving hopes have dropp'd.
[4to]
return
Footnote g:
And give the palm.
[4to]
return
Footnote h:
But let not canker'd Calumny assail
And round.
[4to]
return
Footnote i:
And friends and foes.
[4to]
return
Footnote j:
--would dare to ask.
[4to]
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Contents




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 Garden1


These locks, which fondly thus entwine,
In firmer chains our hearts confine,
Than all th' unmeaning protestations
Which swell with nonsense, love orations.
Our love is fix'd, I think we've prov'd it;
Nor time, nor place, nor art have mov'd it;
Then wherefore should we sigh and whine,
With groundless jealousy repine;
With silly whims, and fancies frantic,
Merely to make our love romantic?
Why should you weep, like Lydia Languish,
And fret with self-created anguish?
Or doom the lover you have chosen,
On winter nights to sigh half frozen;
In leafless shades, to sue for pardon,
Only because the scene's a garden?
For gardens seem, by one consent,
(Since Shakespeare set the precedent;
Since Juliet first declar'd her passion)
To form the place of assignation.
Oh! would some modern muse inspire,
And seat her by a sea-coal fire;
Or had the bard at Christmas written,
And laid the scene of love in Britain;
He surely, in commiseration,
Had chang'd the place of declaration.
In Italy, I've no objection,
Warm nights are proper for reflection;
But here our climate is so rigid,
That love itself, is rather frigid:
Think on our chilly situation,
And curb this rage for imitation.
Then let us meet, as oft we've done,
Beneath the influence of the sun;
Or, if at midnight I must meet you,
Within your mansion let me greet youa:
There, we can love for hours together,
Much better, in such snowy weather,
Than plac'd in all th' Arcadian groves,
That ever witness'd rural loves;
Then, if my passion fail to pleaseb,
Next night I'll be content to freeze;
No more I'll give a loose to laughter,
But curse my fate, for ever after2.


Footnote 1: › These lines are addressed to the same Mary referred to in the lines beginning, "This faint resemblance of thy charms." (Vide ante, p. 32.)
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Oh! let me in your chamber greet you.
[4to]
return
Footnote 2: › In the above little piece the author has been accused by some candid readers of introducing the name of a lady [Julia Leacroft] from whom he was some hundred miles distant at the time this was written; and poor Juliet, who has slept so long in "the tomb of all the Capulets," has been converted, with a trifling alteration of her name, into an English damsel, walking in a garden of their own creation, during the month of December, in a village where the author never passed a winter. Such has been the candour of some ingenious critics. We would advise these liberal commentators on taste and arbiters of decorum to read Shakespeare.

Having heard that a very severe and indelicate censure has been passed on the above poem, I beg leave to reply in a quotation from an admired work, Carr's Stranger in France.--
"As we were contemplating a painting on a large scale, in which, among other figures, is the uncovered whole length of a warrior, a prudish-looking lady, who seemed to have touched the age of desperation, after having attentively surveyed it through her glass, observed to her party that there was a great deal of indecorum in that picture. Madame S. shrewdly whispered in my ear 'that the indecorum was in the remark.'"
[Ed. 1803, cap. xvi. p. 171.
Compare the note on verses addressed To a Knot of Ungenerous Critics, p. 213.]
return
Footnote b:
There if my passion
[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
return


Contents
Contents p.2




To a Beautiful Quaker1


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

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

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

1806.


Footnote 1:
Whom the author saw at Harrowgate.
Annotated copy of P. on V. Occasions, p. 64 (British Museum).
return to footnote mark
Footnote a: › The Quarto inserts the following lines:--
"No jealous passion shall invade,
No envy that pure heart pervade;"
For he that revels in such charms,
Can never seek another's arms.

return
Footnote b:
new joy discover.
[4to]
return

Contents
Contents p.2




To Lesbia1 a


1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

No more we meet in yonder bowers;
Absence has made me prone to rovingd;
But older, firmer hearts than ours
Have found monotony in loving.


8.

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


9.

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


1806.


Footnote 1: › "The lady's name was Julia Leacroft"
(Note by Miss E. Pigot).
The word "Julia" (?) is added, in a lady's hand, in the annotated copy of P. on V. Occasions, p. 52 (British Museum)
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:To Julia. ›[4to]
return
Footnote b:Julia since. ›[4to]
return
Footnote c:And Julia. ›[4to]
return
Footnote d:
Perhaps my soul's too pure for roving.
[4to]
return
Footnote e:
Your eye for conquest comes prepar'd.
[4to]
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Contents
Contents p.2




To Woman


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


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

(The last line is not "almost a literal translation from a Spanish proverb," but an adaptation of part of a stanza from the Diana of Jorge de Montemajor:
"Mirà, el Amor, lo que ordena;
Que os viene a hazer creer
Cosas dichas por muger,
Y escriptas en el arena."
Southey, in his Letters from Spain, 1797, pp. 87-91, gives a specimen of the Diana, and renders the lines in question thus:
"And Love beheld us from his secret stand,
And mark'd his triumph, laughing, to behold me,
To see me trust a writing traced in sand,
To see me credit what a woman told me."
Byron, who at this time had little or no knowledge of Spanish literature, seems to have been struck with Southey's paraphrase, and compressed the quatrain into an epigram.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Surely, experience.
[4to]
return
Footnote b:
A woman's promises are naught.
[4to]
return
Footnote c: › Here follows, in the Quarto, an additional couplet:--
Thou whisperest, as our hearts are beating,
"What oft we've done, we're still repeating,"
return
Footnote d:
A woman's promises are naught.
[4to]
return


Contents
Contents p.2




An Occasional Prologue, Delivered by the Author Previous to the Performance of The Wheel of Fortune at a Private Theatre1


Since the refinement of this polish'd age
Has swept immoral raillery from the stage;
Since taste has now expung'd licentious wit,
Which stamp'd disgrace on all an author writ;
Since, now, to please with purer scenes we seek,
Nor dare to call the blush from Beauty's cheek;
Oh! let the modest Muse some pity claim,
And meet indulgence--though she find not fame.
Still, not for her alone, we wish respecta,
Others appear more conscious of defect:
To-night no vet'ran Roscii you behold,
In all the arts of scenic action old;
No Cooke, no Kemble, can salute you here,
No Siddons draw the sympathetic tear;
To-night you throng to witness the début
Of embryo Actors, to the Drama new:
Here, then, our almost unfledg'd wings we try;
Clip not our pinions, ere the birds can fly:
Failing in this our first attempt to soar,
Drooping, alas! we fall to rise no more.
Not one poor trembler, only, fear betrays,
Who hopes, yet almost dreads to meet your praise;
But all our Dramatis Personæ wait,
In fond suspense this crisis of their fate.
No venal views our progress can retard,
Your generous plaudits are our sole reward;
For these, each Hero all his power displaysb,
Each timid Heroine shrinks before your gaze:
Surely the last will some protection findc?
None, to the softer sex, can prove unkind:
While Youth and Beauty form the female shieldd,
The sternest Censor to the fair must yielde.
Yet, should our feeble efforts nought avail,
Should, after all, our best endeavours fail;
Still, let some mercy in your bosoms live,
And, if you can't applaud, at least forgive.


Footnote 1:
"I enacted Penruddock, in The Wheel of Fortune, and Tristram Fickle, in the farce of The Weathercock, for three nights, in some private theatricals at Southwell, in 1806, with great applause. The occasional prologue for our volunteer play was also of my composition."
--Diary; Life, p. 38. The prologue was written by him, between stages, on his way from Harrogate. On getting into the carriage at Chesterfield, he said to his companion,
"Now, Pigot, I'll spin a prologue for our play;"
and before they reached Mansfield he had completed his task,--interrupting only once his rhyming reverie, to ask the proper pronunciation of the French word début; and, on being told it, exclaiming,
"Aye, that will do for rhyme to 'new.'"
--Life, p. 39.
"The Prologue was spoken by G. Wylde, Esq."
Note by Miss E. Pigot.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
But not for her alone.
[4to]
return
Footnote b:
For them each Hero.
[4to]
return
Footnote c:
Surely these last.
[4to]
return
Footnote d:
Whilst Youth
[4to P. on V. Occasions.]
return
Footnote e:
The sternest critic
[4to]
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Contents
Contents p.2




To Elizaa


1.

Eliza1! what fools are the Mussulman sect,
Who, to woman, deny the soul's future existence;
Could they see thee, Eliza! they'd own their defect,
And this doctrine would meet with a general resistanceb.


2.

Had their Prophet possess'd half an atom of sensec,
He ne'er would have woman from Paradise driven;
Instead of his Houris, a flimsy pretenced,
With woman alone he had peopled his Heaven.


3.

Yet, still, to increase your calamities moree,
Not content with depriving your bodies of spirit,
He allots one poor husband to share amongst fourf!--
With souls you'd dispense; but, this last, who could bear it?


4.

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


5.

This terrible truth, even Scripture has told2,
Ye Benedicks! hear me, and listen with rapture;
If a glimpse of redemption you wish to behold,
Of St. Matt.--read the second and twentieth chapter.


6.

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


7.

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


8.

Distraction and Discord would follow in course,
Nor Matthew, nor Mark, nor St. Paul, can deny it,
The only expedient is general divorce,
To prevent universal disturbance and riot.


9.

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


10.

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


Southwell, October 9, 1806.


Footnote 1: › The letters "E. B. P." are added, in a lady's hand, in the annotated copy of P. on V. Occasions, p. 26 (British Museum). The initials stand for Miss Elizabeth Pigot.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
To Miss E. P.
[4to]
To Miss——
P. on V. Occasions.
return
Footnote 2: › Stanzas 5-10, which appear in the Quarto, were never reprinted.
return
Footnote b:
Did they know but yourself they would bend with respect,
And this doctrine must meet
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote c:
But an atom of sense.
[4to]
return
Footnote d:
But instead of his Houris.
[4to]
return
Footnote e:
But still to increase.
[4to]
return
Footnote f:
He allots but one husband.
[4to]
return
Footnote g:
But I can't--
[4to]
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Contents
Contents p.2




The Tear


O lachrymarum fons, tenero sacros
Ducentium ortus ex animo; quater
Felix! in imo qui scatentem
Pectore te, pia Nympha, sensit1.

Gray, 'Alcaic Fragment'.





1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

Sweet scene of my youth2!
Seat of Friendship and Truth,
Where Love chas'd each fast-fleeting year;
Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd,
For a last look I turn'd,
But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear.


8.

Though my vows I can pour,
To my Mary no more3,
My Mary, to Love once so dear,
In the shade of her bow'r,
I remember the hour,
She rewarded those vows with a Tear.


9.

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


10.

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


11.

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


12.

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

October 26, 1806c.


Footnote 1: › The motto was prefixed in Hours of Idleness.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
When with high-bounding pride,
He returns...
[4to]
return
Footnote 2: › Harrow.
return
Footnote b:
And my body shall sleep on its bier.
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
return
Footnote 3: › Miss Chaworth was married in 1805.
return
Footnote c:
BYRON, October 26, 1806.
[4to]
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Contents
Contents p.2




Reply to some Verses of J.M.B. Pigot, Esq., on the Cruelty of his Mistress1


1.

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


2.

Would you teach her to love?
For a time seem to rove;
At first she may frown in a pet;
But leave her awhile,
She shortly will smile,
And then you may kiss your coquette.


3.

For such are the airs
Of these fanciful fairs,
They think all our homage a debt:
Yet a partial neglectb
Soon takes an effect,
And humbles the proudest coquette.


4.

Dissemble your pain,
And lengthen your chain,
And seem her hauteur to regretc;
If again you shall sigh,
She no more will deny,
That yours is the rosy coquette.


5.

If still, from false prided,
Your pangs she deride,
This whimsical virgin forget;
Some other admire,
Who will melt with your fire,
And laugh at the little coquette.


6.

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


7.

No longer repine,
Adopt this designe,
And break through her slight-woven net!
Away with despair,
No longer forbear
To fly from the captious coquette.


8.

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


October 27, 1806f.


Footnote 1: › The letters "C. B. F. J. B. M." are added, in a lady's hand, in the annotated copy of P. on V. Occasions, p. 14 (British Museum).
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
But believe me
[4to]
return
Footnote b:
But a partial...
[4to]
return
Footnote c:
Nor seem...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
return
Footnote d:
But if from false pride...
[4to]
return
Footnote e:
But form this design...
[4to]
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Footnote f:
BYRON, October 27, 1806..
[4to]
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Contents
Contents p.2




Granta. A Medley


Greek(transliterated): Argureais logchaisi machou kai panta krataese_o.

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


1.

Oh! could Le Sage's2 demon's gift
Be realis'd at my desire,
This night my trembling form he'd lift
To place it on St. Mary's spirea.


2.

Then would, unroof'd, old Granta's halls,
Pedantic inmates full display;
Fellows who dream on lawn or stalls,
The price of venal votes to payb.


3.

Then would I view each rival wight,
Petty and Palmerston survey;
Who canvass there, with all their mightc,
Against the next elective day3.


4.

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


5.

Lord H——4 indeed, may not demur;
Fellows are sage, reflecting men:
They know preferment can occur,
But very seldom,--now and then.


6.

They know the Chancellor has got
Some pretty livings in disposal:
Each hopes that one may be his lot,
And, therefore, smiles on his proposale.


7.

Now from the soporific scenef
I'll turn mine eye, as night grows later,
To view, unheeded and unseeng,
The studious sons of Alma Mater.


8.

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


9.

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


10.

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


11.

Who reads false quantities in Seale5,
Or puzzles o'er the deep triangle;
Depriv'd of many a wholesome mealk;
In barbarous Latin6 doom'd to wrangle:


12.

Renouncing every pleasing page,
From authors of historic use;
Preferring to the letter'd sage,
The square of the hypothenuse7.


13.

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


14.

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


15.

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


16.

Forgetting that their pride of spirit,
Their exultation in their trial0,
Detracts most largely from the merit
Of all their boasted self-denial.


17.

'Tis morn:--from these I turn my sight:
What scene is this which meets the eye?
A numerous crowd array'd in white8,
Across the green in numbers fly.


18.

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

19.

To this is join'd the sacred song,
The royal minstrel's hallow'd strain;
Though he who hears the music longp,
Will never wish to hear again.


20.

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


21.

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


22.

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


23.

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


24.

But if I scribble longer nows,
The deuce a soul will stay to read;
My pen is blunt, my ink is low;
'Tis almost time to stop, indeed.


25.

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


October 28, 1806.


Footnote 1: › The motto was prefixed in Hours of Idleness:
"Fight with silver spears" (i. e. with bribes), "and them shall prevail in all things."

return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
And place it...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
return
Footnote 2: › The Diable Boiteux of Le Sage, where Asmodeus, the demon, places Don Cleofas on an elevated situation, and unroofs the houses for inspection. [Don Cleofas, clinging to the cloak of Asmodeus, is carried through the air to the summit of S. Salvador.]
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Footnote b:
The price of hireling...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 3: › On the death of Pitt, in January, 1806, Lord Henry Petty beat Lord Palmerston in the contest for the representation of the University of Cambridge in Parliament.
return
Footnote c:
Who canvass now...
[4to]
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Footnote 4: › Probably Lord Henry Petty. See variant d.
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Footnote d:
One on his power and place depends,
The other on--the Lord knows what!
Each to some eloquence pretends,
But neither will convince by that.

The first, indeed, may not demur;
Fellows are sage reflecting men,
And know...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 5: ›Scale's publication on Greek Metres displays considerable talent and ingenuity, but, as might be expected in so difficult a work, is not remarkable for accuracy. (An Analysis of the Greek Metres; for the use of students at the University of Cambridge. By John Barlow Seale (1764), 8vo. A fifth edition was issued in 1807.)
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Footnote e:
And therefore smiles at his...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 6: ›The Latin of the schools is of the canine species, and not very intelligible.
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Footnote f:
Now from Corruption's shameless scene...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 7: › The discovery of Pythagoras, that the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides of a right-angled triangle.
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Footnote g:
And view unseen...
[4to]
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Footnote 8: › On a saint's day the students wear surplices in chapel.
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Footnote h:
and early rises...
[4to]
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Footnote i:
And all the...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote j:
And agitates...
[4to]
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Footnote k:
And robs himself of many a meal...
[4to]
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Footnote m:
But harmless are these occupations...
Which...
[4to]
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Footnote n:
When Drunkenness and dice unite.
And every sense...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote o:
And exultation...
[4to]
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Footnote p:
But he...
[4to]
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Footnote q:
But mercy...
[4to]
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Footnote r:
But had they sung...
[4to]
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Footnote s:
But if I write much longer now...
[4to]
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To the Sighing Strephon1


1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

Since the balm-breathing kissb
Of this magical Miss,
Can such wonderful transports producec;
Since the "world you forget,
When your lips once have met,"

My counsel will get but abuse.


5.

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


6.

I will not advancee,
By the rules of romance,
To humour a whimsical fair;
Though a smile may delight,
Yet a frown will affrightf,
Or drive me to dreadful despair.


7.

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


8h

And if I should shun,
Every woman for one,
Whose image must fill my whole breast;
Whom I must prefer,
And sigh but for her,
What an insult 'twould be to the rest!


9.

Now Strephon, good-bye;
I cannot deny,
Your passion appears most absurd;
Such love as you plead,
Is pure love, indeed,
For it only consists in the word.


Footnote 1: › The letters "J. M. B. P." are added, in a lady's hand, in the annotated copy of P. on V. Occasions, p. 17 (British Museum).
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Footnote a:
But still...
[4to]
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Footnote b:
But since the chaste kiss...
[4to]
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Footnote c:
Such wonderful...
[4to]
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Footnote d:
I've kiss'd a good number. But--...
[4to]
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Footnote e:
I ne'er will advance...
[4to]
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Footnote f:
Yet a frown won't affright...
[4to P. on V. Occasions.]
return
Footnote g:
My mistress must think me...
[4to P. on V. Occasions.]
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Footnote h:
Though the kisses are sweet,
Which voluptuously meet,
Of kissing I ne'er was so fond,
As to make me forget,
Though our lips oft have met,
That still there was something beyond....
[4to]
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The Cornelian1


1.

No specious splendour of this stone
Endears it to my memory ever;
With lustre only once it shone,
And blushes modest as the givera.


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

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


8.

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


Footnote 1: › The cornelian was a present from his friend Edleston, a Cambridge chorister, afterwards a clerk in a mercantile house in London. Edleston died of consumption, May 11, 1811. (See letter from Byron to Miss Pigot, October 28, 1811.) Their acquaintance began by Byron saving him from drowning. (MS. note by the Rev. W. Harness.)
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Footnote a:
But blushes modest...
[4to]
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To M——a


1.

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


2.

For thou art form'd so heavenly fair,
Howe'er those orbs may wildly beam,
We must admire, but still despair;
That fatal glance forbids esteem.


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

For did those eyes as planets roll,
Thy sister-lights would scarce appear:
E'en suns, which systems now controul,
Would twinkle dimly through their sphere1.


Friday, November 7, 1806


Footnote 1:
"Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do intreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return."
Shakespeare.
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Footnote a:
To A...
[4to]
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Lines Addressed to a Young Lady1.


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

1.

Doubtless, sweet girl! the hissing lead,
Wafting destruction o'er thy charmsa
And hurtling o'er3 thy lovely head,
Has fill'd that breast with fond alarms.


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

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


8.

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


9.

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


Footnote 1: › This title first appeared in "Contents" to P. on V. Occasions
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Footnote a:
near thy charms...
[4to]
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Footnote 2: › The occurrence took place at Southwell, and the beautiful lady to whom the lines were addressed was Miss Houson, who is also commemorated in the verses To a Vain Lady and To Anne. She was the daughter of the Rev. Henry Houson of Southwell, and married the Rev. Luke Jackson. She died on Christmas Day, 1821, and her monument may be seen in Hucknall Torkard Church.
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Footnote 3: › This word is used by Gray in his poem to the Fatal Sisters:--
"Iron-sleet of arrowy shower
Hurtles in the darken'd air."
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Translation from Catullus. Ad Lesbiam


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


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Translation of the Epitaph on Virgil and Tibullus, by Domitius Marsus


He who, sublime, in epic numbers roll'd,
And he who struck the softer lyre of Love,
By Death's unequal1 hand alike controul'd,
Fit comrades in Elysian regions move!






Footnote 1: › The hand of Death is said to be unjust or unequal, as Virgil was considerably older than Tibullus at his decease.
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Imitation of Tibullus. Sulpicia ad Cerinthum


Lib. Quart.

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






Footnote a:
does this fell disease...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
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Translation from Catullus. Lugete Veneres Cupidinesque


Carm. IIIa

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

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

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






Footnote a:Luctus De Morte Passeris. ›[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
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Footnote b:Which dearer. › [4to]
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Footnote c:But chirrup'd. ›[4to]
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Footnote d:But now he's pass'd.› [4to]
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Imitated from Catullus1. To Ellena


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

November 16, 1806.


Footnote 1: › From a note in Byron's copy of Catullus (now in the possession of Mr. Murray), it is evident that these lines are based on Carm. xlviii., Mellitos oculos tuos, Juventi.
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Footnote a:To Anna. ›[4to]
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Footnote b:
E'en though the number...
[4to. Three first Editions.]
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Poems on Various Occasions





To M. S. G.


1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

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


8.

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


9.

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


10.

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


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Stanzas to a Lady, with the Poems of Camoëns1


1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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






Footnote 1: › Lord Strangford's Poems from the Portüguese by Luis de Camoëns and "Little's" Poems are mentioned by Moore as having been Byron's favourite study at this time (Life, P--39).
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To M. S. G.1


1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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






Footnote 1: › "C. G. B. to E. P."--MS. Newstead.
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Translation from Horace. Justum et tenacem, etc.


"Justum et tenacem propositi virum". Hor. 'Odes', iii. 3. I.


1.

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


2.

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

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The First Kiss of Love


Greek (transliterated): Ha barbitos de chordais / Er_ota mounon aechei.

Anacreon, Ode 1.


1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

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


December 23, 1806.


Footnote 1: › The motto was prefixed in Hours of Idleness.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
MoriahA those air dreams and types has o'er wove...

Those tissues of fancy Moriah has wove...
[MS. Newstead]

Sub-Footnote A:› Moriah is the "Goddess of Folly".
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Footnote b:
Ye rhymers, who sing as if seated on snow...
[4to P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote c:
With what blest inspiration...
[4to MS. P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote d:
Which glows with delight at...
[MS]
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Footnote e:
our shepherds, your pipes...
[MS. P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote f:
Arcadia yields but a legion of dreams...
[MS]
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Footnote g:
that man from his birth...
[MS. P. on V. Occasions]
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Childish Recollections1


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

'Macbeth' 2

"That were most precious to me."

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



When slow Disease, with all her host of Painsa,
Chills the warm tide, which flows along the veins;
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing,
And flies with every changing gale of spring;
Not to the aching frame alone confin'd,
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind:
What grisly forms, the spectre-train of woe,
Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow,
With Resignation wage relentless strife,
While Hope retires appall'd, and clings to life.
Yet less the pang when, through the tedious hour,
Remembrance sheds around her genial power,
Calls back the vanish'd days to rapture given,
When Love was bliss, and Beauty form'd our heaven;
Or, dear to youth, pourtrays each childish scene,
Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been.
As when, through clouds that pour the summer storm,
The orb of day unveils his distant form,
Gilds with faint beams the crystal dews of rain
And dimly twinkles o'er the watery plain;
Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams,
The Sun of Memory, glowing through my dreams,
Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze,
To scenes far distant points his paler rays,
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway,
The past confounding with the present day.
Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought,
Which still recurs, unlook'd for and unsought;
My soul to Fancy's fond suggestion yields,
And roams romantic o'er her airy fields.
Scenes of my youth, develop'd, crowd to view,
To which I long have bade a last adieu!
Seats of delight, inspiring youthful themes;
Friends lost to me, for aye, except in dreams;
Some, who in marble prematurely sleep,
Whose forms I now remember, but to weep;
Some, who yet urge the same scholastic course
Of early science, future fame the source;
Who, still contending in the studious race,
In quick rotation, fill the senior place!
These, with a thousand visions, now unite,
To dazzle, though they please, my aching sight3.
Ida! blest spot, where Science holds her reign,
How joyous, once, I join'd thy youthful train!
Bright, in idea, gleams thy lofty spire,
Again, I mingle with thy playful quire;
Our tricks of mischief4, every childish game,
Unchang'd by time or distance, seem the same;
Through winding paths, along the glade I trace
The social smile of every welcome face;
My wonted haunts, my scenes of joy or woe,
Each early boyish friend, or youthful foe,
Our feuds dissolv'd, but not my friendship past,--
I bless the former, and forgive the last.
Hours of my youth! when, nurtur'd in my breast,
To Love a stranger, Friendship made me blest,--
Friendship, the dear peculiar bond of youth,
When every artless bosom throbs with truth;
Untaught by worldly wisdom how to feign,
And check each impulse with prudential rein;
When, all we feel, our honest souls disclose,
In love to friends, in open hate to foes;
No varnish'd tales the lips of youth repeat,
No dear-bought knowledge purchased by deceit;
Hypocrisy, the gift of lengthen'd years,
Matured by age, the garb of Prudence wearsb:
When, now, the Boy is ripen'd into Man,
His careful Sire chalks forth some wary plan;
Instructs his Son from Candour's path to shrink,
Smoothly to speak, and cautiously to think;
Still to assent, and never to deny--
A patron's praise can well reward the lie:
And who, when Fortune's warning voice is heard,
Would lose his opening prospects for a word?
Although, against that word, his heart rebel,
And Truth, indignant, all his bosom swell.
Away with themes like this! not mine the task,
From flattering friends to tear the hateful mask;
Let keener bards delight in Satire's sting,
My Fancy soars not on Detraction's wing:
Once, and but once, she aim'd a deadly blow,
To hurl Defiance on a secret Foe;
But when that foe, from feeling or from shame,
The cause unknown, yet still to me the same,
Warn'd by some friendly hint, perchance, retir'd,
With this submission all her rage expired.
From dreaded pangs that feeble Foe to save,
She hush'd her young resentment, and forgave.
Or, if my Muse a Pedant's portrait drew,
Pomposus'5 virtues are but known to few:
I never fear'd the young usurper's nod,
And he who wields must, sometimes, feel the rod.
If since on Granta's failings, known to all
Who share the converse of a college hall,
She sometimes trifled in a lighter strain,
'Tis past, and thus she will not sin again:
Soon must her early song for ever cease,
And, all may rail, when I shall rest in peace.
Here, first remember'd be the joyous band,
Who hail'd me chief6, obedient to command;
Who join'd with me, in every boyish sport,
Their first adviser, and their last resort;
Nor shrunk beneath the upstart pedant's frownc,
Or all the sable glories of his gownd;
Who, thus, transplanted from his father's school,
Unfit to govern, ignorant of rule--
Succeeded him, whom all unite to praise,
The dear preceptor of my early days,
Probus7, the pride of science, and the boast--
To Ida now, alas! for ever lost!
With him, for years, we search'd the classic pagee,
And fear'd the Master, though we lov'd the Sage:
Retir'd at last, his small yet peaceful seat
From learning's labour is the blest retreat.
Pomposus fills his magisterial chair;
Pomposus governs,--but, my Muse, forbear:
Contempt, in silence, be the pedant's lotf,
His name and precepts be alike forgot;
No more his mention shall my verse degrade,--
To him my tribute is already paid8.
High, through those elms with hoary branches crown'd9
Fair Ida's bower adorns the landscape round;
There Science, from her favour'd seat, surveys
The vale where rural Nature claims her praise;
To her awhile resigns her youthful train,
Who move in joy, and dance along the plain;
In scatter'd groups, each favour'd haunt pursue,
Repeat old pastimes, and discover new;
Flush'd with his rays, beneath the noontide Sun,
In rival bands, between the wickets run,
Drive o'er the sward the ball with active force,
Or chase with nimble feet its rapid course.
But these with slower steps direct their way,
Where Brent's cool waves in limpid currents stray,
While yonder few search out some green retreat,
And arbours shade them from the summer heat:
Others, again, a pert and lively crew,
Some rough and thoughtless stranger plac'd in view,
With frolic quaint their antic jests expose,
And tease the grumbling rustic as he goes;
Nor rest with this, but many a passing fray
Tradition treasures for a future day:
"'Twas here the gather'd swains for vengeance fought,
And here we earn'd the conquest dearly bought:
Here have we fled before superior might,
And here renew'd the wild tumultuous fight."
While thus our souls with early passions swell,
In lingering tones resounds the distant bell;
Th' allotted hour of daily sport is o'er,
And Learning beckons from her temple's door.
No splendid tablets grace her simple hall,
But ruder records fill the dusky wall:
There, deeply carv'd, behold! each Tyro's name
Secures its owner's academic fame;
Here mingling view the names of Sire and Son,
The one long grav'd, the other just begun:
These shall survive alike when Son and Sire,
Beneath one common stroke of fate expire10;
Perhaps, their last memorial these alone,
Denied, in death, a monumental stone,
Whilst to the gale in mournful cadence wave
The sighing weeds, that hide their nameless grave.
And, here, my name, and many an early friend's,
Along the wall in lengthen'd line extends.
Though, still, our deeds amuse the youthful race,
Who tread our steps, and fill our former place,
Who young obeyed their lords in silent awe,
Whose nod commanded, and whose voice was law;
And now, in turn, possess the reins of power,
To rule, the little Tyrants of an hour;
Though sometimes, with the Tales of ancient day,
They pass the dreary Winter's eve away;
"And, thus, our former rulers stemm'd the tide,
And, thus, they dealt the combat, side by side;
Just in this place, the mouldering walls they scaled,
Nor bolts, nor bars, against their strength avail'd;"
Here Probus came, the rising fray to quell,
And, here, he falter'd forth his last farewell;
And, here, one night abroad they dared to roam,
While bold Pomposus bravely staid at home;"
While thus they speak, the hour must soon arrive,
When names of these, like ours, alone survive:
Yet a few years, one general wreck will whelm
The faint remembrance of our fairy realm.
Dear honest race! though now we meet no more,
One last long look on what we were before--
Our first kind greetings, and our last adieu--
Drew tears from eyes unus'd to weep with you.
Through splendid circles, Fashion's gaudy world,
Where Folly's glaring standard waves unfurl'd,
I plung'd to drown in noise my fond regret,
And all I sought or hop'd was to forget:
Vain wish! if, chance, some well-remember'd face,
Some old companion of my early race,
Advanc'd to claim his friend with honest joy,
My eyes, my heart, proclaim'd me still a boy;
The glittering scene, the fluttering groups around,
Were quite forgotten when my friend was found;
The smiles of Beauty, (for, alas! I've known
What 'tis to bend before Love's mighty throne;)
The smiles of Beauty, though those smiles were dear,
Could hardly charm me, when that friend was near:
My thoughts bewilder'd in the fond surprise,
The woods of Ida danc'd before my eyes;
I saw the sprightly wand'rers pour along,
I saw, and join'd again the joyous throng;
Panting, again I trac'd her lofty grove,
And Friendship's feelings triumph'd over Love.
Yet, why should I alone with such delight
Retrace the circuit of my former flight?
Is there no cause beyond the common claim,
Endear'd to all in childhood's very name?
Ah! sure some stronger impulse vibrates here,
Which whispers friendship will be doubly dear
To one, who thus for kindred hearts must roam,
And seek abroad, the love denied at home.
Those hearts, dear Ida, have I found in thee,
A home, a world, a paradise to me.
Stern Death forbade my orphan youth to share
The tender guidance of a Father's care;
Can Rank, or e'en a Guardian's name supply
The love, which glistens in a Father's eye?
For this, can Wealth, or Title's sound atone,
Made, by a Parent's early loss, my own?
What Brother springs a Brother's love to seek?
What Sister's gentle kiss has prest my cheek?
For me, how dull the vacant moments rise,
To no fond bosom link'd by kindred ties!
Oft, in the progress of some fleeting dream,
Fraternal smiles, collected round me seem;
While still the visions to my heart are prest,
The voice of Love will murmur in my rest:
I hear--I wake--and in the sound rejoice!
I hear again,--but, ah! no Brother's voice.
A Hermit, 'midst of crowds, I fain must stray
Alone, though thousand pilgrims fill the way;
While these a thousand kindred wreaths entwine,
I cannot call one single blossom mine:
What then remains? in solitude to groan,
To mix in friendship, or to sigh alone?
Thus, must I cling to some endearing hand,
And none more dear, than Ida's social band.
Alonzo11! best and dearest of my friendsg,
Thy name ennobles him, who thus commends:
From this fond tribute thou canst gain no praise;
The praise is his, who now that tribute pays.
Oh! in the promise of thy early youth,
If Hope anticipate the words of Truth!
Some loftier bard shall sing thy glorious name,
To build his own, upon thy deathless fameh:
Friend of my heart, and foremost of the list
Of those with whom I lived supremely blest;
Oft have we drain'd the font of ancient lore,
Though drinking deeply, thirsting still the more;
Yet, when Confinement's lingering hour was done,
Our sports, our studies, and our souls were one:
Together we impell'd the flying ball,
Together waited in our tutor's hall;
Together join'd in cricket's manly toil,
Or shar'd the produce of the river's spoil;
Or plunging from the green declining shore,
Our pliant limbs the buoyant billows borej:
In every element, unchang'd, the same,
All, all that brothers should be, but the name.
Nor, yet, are you forgot, my jocund Boy!
Davus12, the harbinger of childish joy;
For ever foremost in the ranks of fun,
The laughing herald of the harmless pun;
Yet, with a breast of such materials made,
Anxious to please, of pleasing half afraid;
Candid and liberal, with a heart of steel
In Danger's path, though not untaught to feel.
Still, I remember, in the factious strife,
The rustic's musket aim'd against my life13:
High pois'd in air the massy weapon hung,
A cry of horror burst from every tongue:
Whilst I, in combat with another foe,
Fought on, unconscious of th' impending blow;
Your arm, brave Boy, arrested his career--
Forward you sprung, insensible to fear;
Disarm'd, and baffled by your conquering hand,
The grovelling Savage roll'd upon the sand:
An act like this, can simple thanks repayk?
Or all the labours of a grateful lay?
Oh no! whene'er my breast forgets the deed,
That instant, Davus, it deserves to bleed.
Lycus14! on me thy claims are justly great:
Thy milder virtues could my Muse relate,
To thee, alone, unrivall'd, would belong
The feeble efforts of my lengthen'd songm.
Well canst thou boast, to lead in senates fit,
A Spartan firmness, with Athenian wit:
Though yet, in embryo, these perfections shine,
Lycus! thy father's fame15 will soon be thine.
Where Learning nurtures the superior mind,
What may we hope, from genius thus refin'd;
When Time, at length, matures thy growing years,
How wilt thou tower, above thy fellow peers!
Prudence and sense, a spirit bold and free,
With Honour's soul, united beam in thee.
Shall fair Euryalus16, pass by unsung?
From ancient lineage, not unworthy, sprung:
What, though one sad dissension bade us part,
That name is yet embalm'd within my heart,
Yet, at the mention, does that heart rebound,
And palpitate, responsive to the sound;
Envy dissolved our ties, and not our will:
We once were friends,--I'll think, we are so still.
A form unmatch'd in Nature's partial mould,
A heart untainted, we, in thee, behold:
Yet, not the Senate's thunder thou shall wield,
Nor seek for glory, in the tented field:
To minds of ruder texture, these be given--
Thy soul shall nearer soar its native heaven.
Haply, in polish'd courts might be thy seat,
But, that thy tongue could never forge deceit:
The courtier's supple bow, and sneering smile,
The flow of compliment, the slippery wile,
Would make that breast, with indignation, burn,
And, all the glittering snares, to tempt thee, spurn.
Domestic happiness will stamp thy fate;
Sacred to love, unclouded e'er by hate;
The world admire thee, and thy friends adore;--
Ambition's slave, alone, would toil for moren.
Now last, but nearest, of the social band,
See honest, open, generous Cleon17 stand;
With scarce one speck, to cloud the pleasing scene,
No vice degrades that purest soul serene.
On the same day, our studious race begun,
On the same day, our studious race was run;
Thus, side by side, we pass'd our first career,
Thus, side by side, we strove for many a year:
At last, concluded our scholastic life,
We neither conquer'd in the classic strife:
As Speakers18, each supports an equal nameo,
And crowds allow to both a partial fame:
To soothe a youthful Rival's early pride,
Though Cleon's candour would the palm divide,
Yet Candour's self compels me now to own,
Justice awards it to my Friend alone.
Oh! Friends regretted, Scenes for ever dear,
Remembrance hails you with her warmest tear!
Drooping, she bends o'er pensive Fancy's urn,
To trace the hours, which never can return;
Yet, with the retrospection loves to dwellp,
And soothe the sorrows of her last farewell!
Yet greets the triumph of my boyish mind,
As infant laurels round my head were twin'd;
When Probus' praise repaid my lyric song,
Or plac'd me higher in the studious throng;
Or when my first harangue receiv'd applause19,
His sage instruction the primeval cause,
What gratitude, to him, my soul possest,
While hope of dawning honours fill'd my breastq!
For all my humble fame, to him alone,
The praise is due, who made that fame my own.
Oh! could I soar above these feeble lays,
These young effusions of my early days,
To him my Muse her noblest strain would give,
The song might perish, but the theme might liver.
Yet, why for him the needless verse essay?
His honour'd name requires no vain display:
By every son of grateful Ida blest,
It finds an echo in each youthful breast;
A fame beyond the glories of the proud,
Or all the plaudits of the venal crowd.
Ida! not yet exhausted is the theme,
Nor clos'd the progress of my youthful dream.
How many a friend deserves the grateful strain!
What scenes of childhood still unsung remain!
Yet let me hush this echo of the past,
This parting song, the dearest and the last;
And brood in secret o'er those hours of joy,
To me a silent and a sweet employ,
While, future hope and fear alike unknown,
I think with pleasure on the past alone;
Yes, to the past alone, my heart confine,
And chase the phantom of what once was mine.
Ida! still o'er thy hills in joy preside,
And proudly steer through Time's eventful tide:
Still may thy blooming Sons thy name revere,
Smile in thy bower, but quit thee with a tear;--
That tear, perhaps, the fondest which will flow,
O'er their last scene of happiness below:
Tell me, ye hoary few, who glide along,
The feeble Veterans of some former throng,
Whose friends, like Autumn leaves by tempests whirl'd,
Are swept for ever from this busy world;
Revolve the fleeting moments of your youth,
While Care has yet withheld her venom'd tooths;
Say if Remembrance days like these endears,
Beyond the rapture of succeeding years?
Say, can Ambition's fever'd dream bestow
So sweet a balm to soothe your hours of woe?
Can Treasures hoarded for some thankless Son,
Can Royal Smiles, or Wreaths by slaughter won,
Can Stars or Ermine, Man's maturer Toys,
(For glittering baubles are not left to Boys,)
Recall one scene so much belov'd to view,
As those where Youth her garland twin'd for you?
Ah, no! amid the gloomy calm of age
You turn with faltering hand life's varied page,
Peruse the record of your days on earth,
Unsullied only where it marks your birth;
Still, lingering, pause above each chequer'd leaf,
And blot with Tears the sable lines of Grief;
Where Passion o'er the theme her mantle threw,
Or weeping Virtue sigh'd a faint adieu;
But bless the scroll which fairer words adorn,
Trac'd by the rosy finger of the Morn;
When Friendship bow'd before the shrine of truth,
And Love, without his pinion20, smil'd on Youth.









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Footnote 1: › The words, "that schoolboy thing," etc. (see letter to H. Drury, Jan. 8, 1808), evidently apply, not as Moore intimates, to this period, but to the lines On a Change of Masters, etc., July, 1805 (see letter to W. Bankes, March 6, 1807).
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Hence! thou unvarying song, of varied loves,
Which youth commends, maturer age reproves;
Which every rhyming bard repeats by rote,
By thousands echo'd to the self-same note!
Tir'd of the dull, unceasing, copious strain,
My soul is panting to be free again.
Farewell! ye nymphs, propitious to my verse,
Some other Damon, will your charms rehearse;
Some other paint his pangs, in hope of bliss,
Or dwell in rapture on your nectar'd kiss.
Those beauties, grateful to my ardent sight,
No more entrance my senses in delight;
Those bosoms, form'd of animated snow,
Alike are tasteless and unfeeling now.
These to some happier lover, I resign;
The memory of those joys alone is mine.
Censure no more shall brand my humble name,
The child of passion and the fool of fame.
Weary of love, of life, devoured with spleen,
I rest a perfect Timon, not nineteen;
World! I renounce thee! all my hope's o'ercast!
One sigh I give thee, but that sigh's the last.
Friends, foes, and females, now alike, adieu!
Would I could add remembrance of you, too!
Yet though the future, dark and cheerless gleams,
The curse of memory, hovering in my dreams,
Depicts with glowing pencil all those years,
Ere yet, my cup, empoison'd, flow'd with tears,
Still rules my senses with tyrannic sway,
The past confounding with the present day.

Alas! in vain I check the maddening thought;
It still recurs, unlook'd for and unsought:
My soul to Fancy's
,
etc., etc., as at line 29.
return
Footnote 2: › The motto was prefixed in Hours of Idleness.
return
Footnote b:
Cunning with age...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote 3: › Lines 43-98 were added in Hours of Idleness
return
Footnote c:
Nor shrunk before...
[Hours of Idleness]
return
Footnote 4: ›Newton Hanson relates that on one occasion he accompanied his father to Harrow on Speech Day to see his brother Hargreaves Hanson and Byron.
"On our arrival at Harrow, we set out in search of Hargreaves and Byron, but the latter was not at his tutor's. Three or four lads, hearing my father's inquiries, set off at full speed to find him. They soon discovered him, and, laughing most heartily, called out, 'Hallo, Byron! here's a gentleman wants you.' And what do you think? He had got on Drury's hat. I can still remember the arch cock of Byron's eye at the hat and then at my father, and the fun and merriment it caused him and all of us whilst, during the day, he was perambulating the highways and byeways of Ida with the hat on. 'Harrow Speech Day and the Governor's Hat' was one of the standing rallying-points for Lord Byron ever after."
return
Footnote d:
Careless to soothe the pedant's furious frown,
Scarcely respecting his majestic gown;
By which, in vain, he gain'd a borrow'd grace,
Adding new terror to his sneering face,...
[P. on V. Occasions]
return
Footnote 5: › Dr. Butler, then Head-master of Harrow. Had Byron published another edition of these poems, it was his intention to replace these four lines by the four which follow:--
"If once my muse a harsher portrait drew,
Warm with her wrongs, and deentd the likeness true,
By cooler judgment taught, her fault she owns,--
With noble minds a fault confess'd, atones."
[MS. M.]

See also allusion in letter to Mr. Henry Drury, June 25, 1809. (Moore's Note).
return
Footnote e:
With him for years I search'd the classic page,
Culling the treasures of the letter'd sage,...
[P. on V. Occasions]
return
Footnote 6: › On the retirement of Dr. Drury, three candidates for the vacant chair presented themselves--Messrs. Drury, Evans, and Butler. On the first movement to which this contest gave rise in the school, young Wildman was at the head of the party for Mark Drury, while Byron held himself aloof from any. Anxious, however, to have him as an ally, one of the Drury faction said to Wildman,
"Byron, I know, will not join, because he does not choose to act second to any one, but, by giving up the leadership to him, you may at once secure him."
This Wildman did, and Byron took the command. (Life, p. 29.)
return
Footnote f:
Contempt, in silence, be the pedant's lot,
Soon shall his shallow precepts be forgot;
No more his mention shall my pen degrade--
My tribute to his name's already paid...


[P. on V. Occasions]
Another variant for a new edition ran--
Another fills his magisterial chair;
Reluctant Ida owns a stranger's care;
Oh! may like honours crown his future name:
If such his virtues, such shall be his fame.


MS. M.

return
Footnote 7: ›Dr. Drury. This most able and excellent man retired from his situation in March, 1805, after having resided thirty-five years at Harrow; the last twenty as head-master; an office he held with equal honour to himself and advantage to the very extensive school over which he presided. Panegyric would here be superfluous: it would be useless to enumerate qualifications which were never doubted. A considerable contest took place between three rival candidates for his vacant chair: of this I can only say--
Si mea cum vestris valuissent vota, Pelasgi!
Non foret ambiguus tanti certaminis hares.
[Byron's letters from Harrow contain the same high praise of Dr. Drury. In one, of November 2, 1804, he says,
"There is so much of the gentleman, so much mildness, and nothing of pedantry in his character, that I cannot help liking him, and will remember his instructions with gratitude as long as I live."
A week after, he adds,
"I revere Dr. Drury. I dread offending him; not, however, through fear, but the respect I bear him makes me unhappy when I am under his displeasure."
Dr. Drury has related the secret of the influence he obtained: the glance which told him that the lad was "a wild mountain colt," told him also that he could be "led with a silken string."]
return
Footnote g:
Joannes! best and dearest of my friends....
[P. on V. Occasions.]
return
Footnote 8: › This alludes to a character printed in a former private edition [P. on V. Occasions] for the perusal of some friends, which, with many other pieces, is withheld from the present volume. To draw the attention of the public to insignificance would be deservedly reprobated; and another reason, though not of equal consequence, may be given in the following couplet:--
"Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a Butterfly upon a wheel?"
(Prologue to the Satires: Pope.)

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

The following lines, attached to the Newstead MS. draft of Childish Recollections, are aimed at Pomposus:--
"Just half a Pedagogue, and half a Fop,
Not formed to grace the pulpit, but the Shop;
The Counter, not the Desk, should be his place,
Who deals out precepts, as if dealing Lace;
Servile in mind, from Elevation proud,
In argument, less sensible than loud,
Through half the continent, the Coxcomb's been,
And stuns you with the Wonders he has seen:
'How in Pompeii's vault he found the page,
Of some long lost, and long lamented Sage,
And doubtless he the Letters would have trac'd,
Had they not been by age and dust effac'd:
This single specimen will serve to shew,
The weighty lessons of this reverend Beau,
Bombast in vain would want of Genius cloke,
For feeble fires evaporate in smoke;
A Boy, o'er Boys he holds a trembling reign,
More fit than they to seek some School again."
return
Footnote h:
Could aught inspire me with poetic fire,
For thee, alone, I'd strike the hallow'd lyre;
But, to some abler hand, the task I wave,
Whose strains immortal may outlive the grave<...
[P. on V. Occasions.]
return
Footnote 9:› Lines 121-243 were added in Hours of Idleness.
return
Footnote j:
Our lusty limbs.

[P. on V. Occasions.]

--the buoyant waters bore.

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

Byron elsewhere thus describes his usual course of life while at Harrow: "always cricketing, rebelling, rowing, and in all manner of mischiefs." One day he tore down the gratings from the window of the hall; and when asked by Dr. Butler his reason for the outrage, coolly answered, "because they darkened the room."--Life, p. 29.
return
Footnote k:
Thus did you save that life I scarcely prize--
A life unworthy such a sacrifice.
Oh! when my breast forgets the generous deed....
[P. on V. Occasions]
return
Footnote 11: › "Lord Clare." (Annotated copy of P. on V. Occasions in the British Museum.)
(Lines 243-264, as the note in Byron's handwriting explains, were originally intended to apply to Lord Clare. In Hours of Idleness "Joannes" became "Alonzo," and the same lines were employed to celebrate the memory of his friend the Hon. John Wingfield, of the Coldstream Guards, brother to Richard, fourth Viscount Powerscourt. He died at Coimbra in 1811, in his twentieth year. Byron at one time gave him the preference over all other friends.)
return
Footnote m:
For ever to possess a friend in thee,
Was bliss unhop'd, though not unsought by me;
Thy softer soul was form'd for love alone,
To ruder passions and to hate unknown;
Thy mind, in union with thy beauteous form,
Was gentle, but unfit to stem the storm;
That face, an index of celestial worth,
Proclaim'd a heart abstracted from the earth.
Oft, when depress'd with sad, foreboding gloom,
I sat reclin'd upon our favourite tomb,
I've seen those sympathetic eyes o'erflow
With kind compassion for thy comrade's woe;
Or, when less mournful subjects form'd our themes,
We tried a thousand fond romantic schemes,
Oft hast thou sworn, in friendship's soothing tone.
Whatever wish was mine, must be thine own.
The next can boast to lead in senates fit,
A Spartan firmness,--with Athenian wit;
Tho' yet, in embryo, these perfections shine,
Clarus! thy father's fame will soon be thine....
[P. on V. Occasions]

A remonstrance which Lord Clare addressed to him at school; was found among his papers (as were most of the notes of his early favourites), and on the back of it was an endorsement which is a fresh testimony of his affection:--
"This and another letter were written at Harrow, by my then and, I hope, ever beloved friend, Lord Clare, when we were both schoolboys; and sent to my study in consequence of some childish misunderstanding,--the only one which ever arose between us. It was of short duration, and I retain this note solely for the purpose of submitting it to his perusal, that we may smile over the recollection of the insignificance of our first and last quarrel."
See, also, Byron's account of his accidental meeting with Lord Clare in Italy in 1821, as recorded in Detached Thoughts, Nov. 5, 1821; in letters to Moore, March 1 and June 8, 1822; and Mme. Guiccioli's description of his emotion on seeing Clare (My Recollections of Lord Byron, ed. 1869, p. 156).]
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Footnote 12: › The Rev. John Cecil Tattersall, B.A., of Christ Church, Oxford, who died December 8, 1812, at Hall's Place, Kent, aged twenty-three.
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Footnote n:
Where is the restless fool, would wish for more?...
[P. on V. Occasions.]
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Footnote 13: › Footnote 13: The "factious strife" was brought on by the breaking up of school, and the dismissal of some volunteers from drill, both happening at the same hour. The butt-end of a musket was aimed at Byron's head, and would have felled him to the ground, but for the interposition of Tattersall.--Life, p. 25.
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Footnote o:
As speakers, each supports a rival name,
Though neither seeks to damn the other's fame,
Pomposus sits, unequal to decide,
With youthful candour, we the palm divide...
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 14: › John Fitzgibbon, second Earl of Clare (1792-1851), afterwards Governor of Bombay, of whom Byron said, in 1822,
"I have always loved him better than any male thing in the world." "I never," was his language in 1821, "hear the word 'Clare' without a beating of the heart even now; and I write it with the feelings of 1803-4-5, ad infinitum."
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Footnote p:
Yet in the retrospection finds relief,
And revels in the luxury of grief...
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 15: › John Fitzgibbon, first Earl of Clare (1749-1802), became Attorney-General and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. In the latter years of the independent Irish Parliament, he took an active part in politics in opposition to Grattan and the national party, and was distinguished as a powerful, if bitter, speaker. He was made Earl of Clare in 1795.
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Footnote q:
When, yet a novice in the mimic art,
I feign'd the transports of a vengeful heart;
When, as the Royal Slave, I trod the stage,
To vent in Zanga, more than mortal rage;
The praise of Probus, made me feel more proud,
Than all the plaudits of the list'ning crowd.

Ah! vain endeavour in this childish strain
To soothe the woes of which I thus complain!
What can avail this fruitless loss of time,
To measure sorrow, in a jingling rhyme!
No social solace from a friend, is near,
And heartless strangers drop no feeling tear.
I seek not joy in Woman's sparkling eye,
The smiles of Beauty cannot check the sigh.
Adieu, thou world! thy pleasure's still a dream,
Thy virtue, but a visionary theme;
Thy years of vice, on years of folly roll,
Till grinning death assigns the destin'd goal,

Where all are hastening to the dread abode,
To meet the judgment of a righteous God;
Mix'd in the concourse of a thoughtless throng,
A mourner, midst of mirth, I glide along;
A wretched, isolated, gloomy thing,
Curst by reflection's deep corroding sting;
But not that mental sting, which stabs within,
The dark avenger of unpunish'd sin;
The silent shaft, which goads the guilty wretch
Extended on a rack's untiring stretch:
Conscience that sting, that shaft to him supplies--
His mind the rack, from which he ne'er can rise,
For me, whatever my folly, or my fear,
One cheerful comfort still is cherish'd here.
No dread internal, haunts my hours of rest,
No dreams of injured innocence infest;
Of hope, of peace, of almost all bereft,
Conscience, my last but welcome guest, is left.
Slander's empoison'd breath, may blast my name,
Envy delights to blight the buds of fame:
Deceit may chill the current of my blood,
And freeze affection's warm impassion'd flood;
Presaging horror, darken every sense,
Even here will conscience be my best defence;
My bosom feeds no "worm which ne'er can die:"
Not crimes I mourn, but happiness gone by.
Thus crawling on with many a reptile vile,
My heart is bitter, though my cheek may smile;
No more with former bliss, my heart is glad;
Hope yields to anguish and my soul is sad;
From fond regret, no future joy can save;
Remembrance slumbers only in the grave....
[P. on V. Occasions.]
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Footnote 16: › George John, fifth Earl of Delawarr.--
"I am happy enough, and comfortable here," says Byron, in a letter from Harrow of Oct. 25, 1804. "My friends are not numerous, but select. Among the principal, I rank Lord Delawarr, who is very amiable, and my particular friend."--
"Nov. 2, 1804. Lord Delawarr is considerably younger than me, but the most good-tempered, amiable, clever fellow in the universe. To all which he adds the quality (a good one in the eyes of women) of being remarkably handsome. Delawarr and myself are, in a manner, connected; for one of my forefathers, in Charles I.'s time, married into their family."
The allusion in the text to their subsequent quarrel, receives further light from a letter which the poet addressed to Lord Clare under date, February 6, 1807. (See, too, lines "To George, Earl Delawarr," p. 126.) The first Lord Byron was twice married. His first wife was Cecilie, widow of Sir Francis Bindlose, and daughter of Thomas, third Lord Delawarr. He died childless, and was succeeded by his brother Richard, the poet's ancestor. His younger brother, Sir Robert Byron, married Lucy, another daughter of the third Lord Delawarr.
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cross reference: return to footnote of "To D——"
cross reference: return to footnote of "To George, Earl Delawarr"
Footnote r:
The song might perish, but the theme must live...
[Hours of Idleness]
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Footnote 17: › Edward Noel Long, who was drowned by the foundering of a transport on the voyage to Lisbon with his regiment, in 1809. (See lines To Edward Noel Long, Esq., post, p. 184.)
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Footnote s:
--his venom'd tooth....
[Hours of Idleness]
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Footnote 18: › This alludes to the public speeches delivered at the school where the author was educated.
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Footnote 19:
"My qualities were much more oratorical than poetical, and Dr. Drury, my grand patron, had a great notion that I should turn out an orator from my fluency, my turbulence, my voice, my copiousness of declamation, and my action. I remember that my first declamation astonished Dr. Drury into some unwonted (for he was economical of such) and sudden compliments, before the declaimers at our first rehearsal."

Byron Diary.

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

Dr. Drury, Life, p. 20.
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Footnote 20: › "L'Amitié est l'Amour sans ailes," is a French proverb. (See the lines so entitled, p. 220.)
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Contents
Contents p.2




Answer to a Beautiful Poem, Written by Montgomery, Author of The Wanderer in Switzerland, etc., entitled The Common Lot 1


1.

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


2.

"Unknown the region of his birth,"
The hero2 rolls the tide of war;
Yet not unknown his martial worth,
Which glares a meteor from afar.


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

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


8.

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


9.

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


10.

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


11.

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


1806.






Footnote 1: › Montgomery (James), 1771-1854, poet and hymn-writer, published etc. (vide post, English Bards, etc., line 418 (click c2 to return here), and note.

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




Love's Last Adieu


Greek (transliterated): Aeì d' aeí me pheugei. [Pseud.] Anacreon, Greek (transliterated): Eis chruson


1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

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


8.

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


9.

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


10.

In this life of probation, for rapture divine,
Astrea1 declares that some penance is due;
From him, who has worshipp'd at Love's gentle shrine,
The atonement is ample, in Love's last adieu!


11.

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


Footnote 1: › The Goddess of Justice.

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Footnote a:
Still, hope-beaming peace...
[P. on V. Occasions.]
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Contents
Contents p.2




Linesa Addressed to the Rev. J.T. Becher1, on his advising the Author to mix more with Society


1.

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


2.

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


3.

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


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

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


8.

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


9.

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


1806.


Footnote 1: › The Rev. John Thomas Becher (1770-1848) was Vicar of Rumpton and Midsomer Norton, Notts., and made the acquaintance of Byron when he was living at Southwell. To him was submitted an early copy of the Quarto, and on his remonstrance at the tone of some of the verses, the whole edition (save one or two copies) was burnt. Becher assisted in the revision of P. on V. Occasions, published in 1807. He was in 1818 appointed Prebendary of Southwell, and, all his life, took an active interest and prominent part in the administration of the poor laws and the welfare of the poor. (See Byron's letters to him of February 26 and March 28, 1808.)
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Footnote a:
To the Rev. J. T. Becher....
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote b:
Oh! such the desire...
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote c:
--the gloom of the grave....
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Contents
Contents p.2




Answer to some Elegant Verses sent by a Friend to the Author, complaining that one of his descriptions was rather too warmly drawn


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

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






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

November 26, 1806.






Footnote a:
the heedless and unworthy cause...
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote b:
For this sole error...
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote c:
The light effusions of an amorous boy...
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Contents
Contents p.2




Elegy on Newstead Abbey1


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

Ossiana.





1.

Newstead! fast-falling, once-resplendent dome!
Religion's shrine! repentant Henry's2 pride!
Of Warriors, Monks, and Dames the cloister'd tomb,
Whose pensive shades around thy ruins glide,


2.

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


3.

No mail-clad Serfs3, obedient to their Lord,
In grim array, the crimson cross4 demand;
Or gay assemble round the festive board,
Their chief's retainers, an immortal band.


4.

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


5.

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


6.

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


7.

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


8.

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


9.

Where, now, the bats their wavering wings extend,
Soon as the gloaming5 spreads her waning shadeb;
The choir did, oft, their mingling vespers blend,
Or matin orisons to Mary6 paid.


10.

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


11.

One holy Henry rear'd the Gothic walls,
And bade the pious inmates rest in peace;
Another Henry7 the kind gift recalls,
And bids devotion's hallow'd echoes cease.


12.

Vain is each threat, or supplicating prayer;
He drives them exiles from their blest abode,
To roam a dreary world, in deep despair--
No friend, no home, no refuge, but their God8.


13.

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


14.

Of changing sentinels the distant hum,
The mirth of feasts, the clang of burnish'd arms,
The braying trumpet, and the hoarser drum,
Unite in concert with increas'd alarms.


15.

An abbey once, a regal fortress9 now,
Encircled by insulting rebel powers;
War's dread machines o'erhang thy threat'ning brow,
And dart destruction, in sulphureous showers.


16.

Ah! vain defence! the hostile traitor's siege,
Though oft repuls'd, by guile o'ercomes the brave;
His thronging foes oppress the faithful Liege,
Rebellion's reeking standards o'er him wave.


17.

Not unaveng'd the raging Baron yields;
The blood of traitors smears the purple plain;
Unconquer'd still, his falchion there he wields,
And days of glory, yet, for him remain.


18.

Still, in that hour, the warrior wish'd to strew
Self-gather'd laurels on a self-sought grave;
But Charles' protecting genius hither flew,
The monarch's friend, the monarch's hope, to save.


19.

Trembling, she snatch'd him10 from th' unequal strife,
In other fields the torrent to repel;
For nobler combats, here, reserv'd his life,
To lead the band, where godlike Falkland11 fell.


20.

From thee, poor pile! to lawless plunder given,
While dying groans their painful requiem sound,
Far different incense, now, ascends to Heaven,
Such victims wallow on the gory ground.


21.

There many a pale and ruthless Robber's corse,
Noisome and ghast, defiles thy sacred sod;
O'er mingling man, and horse commix'd with horse,
Corruption's heap, the savage spoilers trod.


22.

Graves, long with rank and sighing weeds o'erspread,
Ransack'd resign, perforce, their mortal mould:
From ruffian fangs, escape not e'en the dead,
Racked from repose, in search for buried gold.


23.

Hush'd is the harp, unstrung the warlike lyre,
The minstrel's palsied hand reclines in death;
No more he strikes the quivering chords with fire,
Or sings the glories of the martial wreathc.


24.

At length the sated murderers, gorged with prey,
Retire: the clamour of the fight is o'er;
Silence again resumes her awful sway,
And sable Horror guards the massy door.


25.

Here, Desolation holds her dreary court:
What satellites declare her dismal reign!
Shrieking their dirge, ill-omen'd birds resort,
To flit their vigils, in the hoary fane.


26.

Soon a new Morn's restoring beams dispel
The clouds of Anarchy from Britain's skies;
The fierce Usurper seeks his native hell,
And Nature triumphs, as the Tyrant dies.


27.

With storms she welcomes his expiring groans;
Whirlwinds, responsive, greet his labouring breath;
Earth shudders, as her caves receive his bones,
Loathing12 the offering of so dark a death.


28.

The legal Ruler13 now resumes the helm,
He guides through gentle seas, the prow of state;
Hope cheers, with wonted smiles, the peaceful realm,
And heals the bleeding wounds of wearied Hate.


29.

The gloomy tenants, Newstead! of thy cells,
Howling, resign their violated nestd;
Again, the Master on his tenure dwells,
Enjoy'd, from absence, with enraptured zest.


30.

Vassals, within thy hospitable pale,
Loudly carousing, bless their Lord's return;
Culture, again, adorns the gladdening vale,
And matrons, once lamenting, cease to mourn.


31.

A thousand songs, on tuneful echo, float,
Unwonted foliage mantles o'er the trees;
And, hark! the horns proclaim a mellow note,
The hunters' cry hangs lengthening on the breeze.


32.

Beneath their coursers' hoofs the valleys shake;
What fears! what anxious hopes! attend the chase!
The dying stag seeks refuge in the lake;
Exulting shouts announce the finish'd race.


33.

Ah happy days! too happy to endure!
Such simple sports our plain forefathers knew:
No splendid vices glitter'd to allure;
Their joys were many, as their cares were few.


34.

From these descending, Sons to Sires succeed;
Time steals along, and Death uprears his dart;
Another Chief impels the foaming steed,
Another Crowd pursue the panting hart.


35.

Newstead! what saddening change of scene is thine!
Thy yawning arch betokens slow decay;
The last and youngest of a noble line,
Now holds thy mouldering turrets in his sway.


36.

Deserted now, he scans thy gray worn towers;
Thy vaults, where dead of feudal ages sleep;
Thy cloisters, pervious to the wintry showers;
These, these he views, and views them but to weep.


37.

Yet are his tears no emblem of regret:
Cherish'd Affection only bids them flow;
Pride, Hope, and Love, forbid him to forget,
But warm his bosom, with impassion'd glow.


38.

Yet he prefers thee, to the gilded domes14,
Or gewgaw grottos, of the vainly great;
Yet lingers 'mid thy damp and mossy tombs,
Nor breathes a murmur 'gainst the will of Fate.


39.

Haply thy sun, emerging, yet, may shine,
Thee to irradiate with meridian ray;
Hours, splendid as the past, may still be thine,
And bless thy future, as thy former daye.


Footnote 1: › As one poem on this subject is already printed, the author had, originally, no intention of inserting the following. It is now added at the particular request of some friends.
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Footnote a:Hours of Idleness.
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Footnote 2: ›Henry II. founded Newstead soon after the murder of Thomas à Becket.
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Footnote b:
Soon as the twilight winds a waning shade....
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 3: › This word is used by Walter Scott, in his poem, The Wild Huntsman, as synonymous with "vassal."
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Footnote c:
--of the laurel'd wreath...
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 4: › The red cross was the badge of the Crusaders.
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Footnote d:
Howling, forsake--...
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 5: › As "gloaming," the Scottish word for twilight, is far more poetical, and has been recommended by many eminent literary men, particularly by Dr. Moore in his Letters to Burns, I have ventured to use it on account of its harmony.
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Footnote e:
Fortune may smile upon a future line,
And heaven restore an ever-cloudless day,
[P. on V. Occasions]
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Footnote 6: › The priory was dedicated to the Virgin.--[Hours of Idleness].
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Footnote 7: › At the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII. bestowed Newstead Abbey on Sir John Byron.
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Footnote 8: › During the lifetime of Lord Byron's predecessor in the title there was found in the lake a large brass eagle, in the body of which were concealed a number of ancient deeds and documents. This eagle is supposed to have been thrown into the lake by the retreating monks.--Life, p. 2, note. It is now a lectern in Southwell Minster.
return
Footnote 9: › Newstead sustained a considerable siege in the war between Charles I. and his parliament.
return
Footnote 10: › Lord Byron and his brother Sir William held high commands in the royal army. The former was general-in-chief in Ireland, lieutenant of the Tower, and governor to James, Duke of York, afterwards the unhappy James II.; the latter had a principal share in many actions. [Vide ante, p. 3, note 1.]
return
Footnote 11: ›Lucius Cary, Lord Viscount Falkland, the most accomplished man of his age, was killed at the Battle of Newbury, charging in the ranks of Lord Byron's regiment of cavalry.
return
Footnote 12: › This is an historical fact. A violent tempest occurred immediately subsequent to the death or interment of Cromwell, which occasioned many disputes between his partisans and the cavaliers: both interpreted the circumstance into divine interposition; but whether as approbation or condemnation, we leave to the casuists of that age to decide. I have made such use of the occurrence as suited the subject of my poem.
return
Footnote 13: › Charles II.
return
Footnote 14: › An indication of Byron's feelings towards Newstead in his younger days will be found in his letter to his mother of March 6, 1809.
return


Contents
Contents p.3




Hours of Idleness





To George, Earl Delawarra


1.

Oh! yes, I will own we were dear to each other;
The friendships of childhood, though fleeting, are true;
The love which you felt was the love of a brother,
Nor less the affection I cherish'd for you.


2.

But Friendship can vary her gentle dominion;
The attachment of years, in a moment expires:
Like Love, too, she moves on a swift-waving pinion,
But glows not, like Love, with unquenchable fires.


3.

Full oft have we wander'd through Ida together,
And blest were the scenes of our youth, I allow:
In the spring of our life, how serene is the weather!
But Winter's rude tempests are gathering now.


4.

No more with Affection shall Memory blending,
The wonted delights of our childhood retrace:
When Pride steels the bosom, the heart is unbending,
And what would be Justice appears a disgrace.


5.

However, dear George, for I still must esteem youb--
The few, whom I love, I can never upbraid;
The chance, which has lost, may in future redeem you,
Repentance will cancel the vow you have made.


6.

I will not complain, and though chill'd is affection,
With me no corroding resentment shall live:
My bosom is calm'd by the simple reflection,
That both may be wrong, and that both should forgive.



7.
You knew, that my soul, that my heart, my existence,
If danger demanded, were wholly your own;
You knew me unalter'd, by years or by distance,
Devoted to love and to friendship alone.


8.

You knew,--but away with the vain retrospection!
The bond of affection no longer endures;
Too late you may droop o'er the fond recollection,
And sigh for the friend, who was formerly yours.


9.

For the present, we part,--I will hope not for ever1;
For time and regret will restore you at last:
To forget our dissension we both should endeavour,
I ask no atonement, but days like the past.


Footnote 1: › See Byron's Letter to Lord Clare of February 6, 1807, referred to in note 2, p. 100.

return to footnote mark in this poem
Footnote a:
To——...
[P. on V. Occasions, Poems O. and Translated]
return
Footnote b:
However, dear S——...
[P. on V. Occasions, Poems O. and Translated]
return


Contents
Contents p.3
(Cross-reference: return to footnote of "To D——")




Damætas1


In law an infant2, and in years a boy,
In mind a slave to every vicious joy;
From every sense of shame and virtue wean'd,
In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend;
Vers'd in hypocrisy, while yet a child;
Fickle as wind, of inclinations wild;
Woman his dupe, his heedless friend a tool;
Old in the world, though scarcely broke from school;
Damætas ran through all the maze of sin,
And found the goal, when others just begin:
Ev'n still conflicting passions shake his soul,
And bid him drain the dregs of Pleasure's bowl;
But, pall'd with vice, he breaks his former chain,
And what was once his bliss appears his bane.






Footnote 1: › Moore appears to have regarded these lines as applying to Byron himself. It is, however, very unlikely that, with all his passion for painting himself in the darkest colours, he would have written himself down "a hypocrite." Damætas is, probably, a satirical sketch of a friend or acquaintance. (Compare the solemn denunciation of Lord Falkland in English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, lines 668-686.)
return to footnote mark

Footnote 2: › In law, every person is an infant who has not attained the age of twenty-one.
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Contents
Contents p.3




To Marion1


Marion! why that pensive browa?
What disgust to life hast thou?
Change that discontented air;
Frowns become not one so fair.
'Tis not Love disturbs thy rest,
Love's a stranger to thy breast:
He, in dimpling smiles, appears,
Or mourns in sweetly timid tears;
Or bends the languid eyelid down,
But shuns the cold forbidding frown.
Then resume thy former fire,
Some will love, and all admire!
While that icy aspect chills us,
Nought but cool Indiff'rence thrills us.
Would'st thou wand'ring hearts beguile,
Smile, at least, or seem to smile;
Eyes like thine were never meant
To hide their orbs in dark restraint;
Spite of all thou fain wouldst say,
Still in truant beams they play.
Thy lips--but here my modest Muse
Her impulse chaste must needs refuse:
She blushes, curtsies, frowns,--in short She
Dreads lest the Subject should transport me;
And flying off, in search of Reason,
Brings Prudence back in proper season.
All I shall, therefore, say (whate'erb
I think, is neither here nor there,)
Is, that such lips, of looks endearing,
Were form'd for better things than sneering.
Of soothing compliments divested,
Advice at least's disinterested;
Such is my artless song to thee,
From all the flow of Flatt'ry free;
Counsel like mine is as a brother's,
My heart is given to some others;
That is to say, unskill'd to cozen,
It shares itself among a dozen.
Marion, adieu! oh, pr'ythee slight not
This warning, though it may delight not;
And, lest my precepts be displeasingc,
To those who think remonstrance teazing,
At once I'll tell thee our opinion,
Concerning Woman's soft Dominion:
Howe'er we gaze, with admiration,
On eyes of blue or lips carnation;
Howe'er the flowing locks attract us,
Howe'er those beauties may distract us;
Still fickle, we are prone to rove,
These cannot fix our souls to love;
It is not too severe a stricture,
To say they form a pretty picture;
But would'st thou see the secret chain,
Which binds us in your humble train,
To hail you Queens of all Creation,
Know, in a word, 'tis Animation.

Byron, January 10, 1807.


Footnote 1: › The MS. of this Poem is preserved at Newstead. "This was to Harriet Maltby, afterwards Mrs. Nichols, written upon her meeting Byron, and,
"being cold, silent, and reserved to him, by the advice of a Lady with whom she was staying; quite foreign to her usual manner, which was gay, lively, and full of flirtation."
--Note by Miss E. Pigot. (See p. 130, var. ii.)
return to this poem
cross-reference: return to lines "to Harriet"
Footnote a:
Harriet...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote b:
All I shall therefore say of these,
(Thy pardon if my words displease)....
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote c:
And lest my precepts be found fault, by
Those who approved the frown of M--lt-by....
[MS. Newstead]
return to this poem
cross reference: return to footnote of previous lines "To Marion"


Contents
Contents p.3




Oscar of Alva1


1.

How sweetly shines, through azure skies,
The lamp of Heaven on Lora's shore;
Where Alva's hoary turrets rise,
And hear the din of arms no more!


2.

But often has yon rolling moon,
On Alva's casques of silver play'd;
And view'd, at midnight's silent noon,
Her chiefs in gleaming mail array'd:


3.

And, on the crimson'd rocks beneath,
Which scowl o'er ocean's sullen flow,
Pale in the scatter'd ranks of death,
She saw the gasping warrior lowa;


4.

While many an eye, which ne'er againb
Could mark the rising orb of day,
Turn'd feebly from the gory plain,
Beheld in death her fading ray.


5.

Once, to those eyes the lamp of Love,
They blest her dear propitious light;
But, now, she glimmer'd from above,
A sad, funereal torch of night.


6.

Faded is Alva's noble race,
And grey her towers are seen afar;
No more her heroes urge the chase,
Or roll the crimson tide of war.


7.

But, who was last of Alva's clan?
Why grows the moss on Alva's stone?
Her towers resound no steps of man,
They echo to the gale alone.


8.

And, when that gale is fierce and high,
A sound is heard in yonder hall;
It rises hoarsely through the sky,
And vibrates o'er the mould'ring wall.


9.

Yes, when the eddying tempest sighs,
It shakes the shield of Oscar brave;
But, there, no more his banners rise,
No more his plumes of sable wave.


10.

Fair shone the sun on Oscar's birth,
When Angus hail'd his eldest born;
The vassals round their chieftain's hearth
Crowd to applaud the happy morn.


11.

They feast upon the mountain deer,
The Pibroch rais'd its piercing note2,
To gladden more their Highland cheer,
The strains in martial numbers float.


12.

And they who heard the war-notes wild,
Hop'd that, one day, the Pibroch's strain
Should play before the Hero's child,
While he should lead the Tartan train.


13.

Another year is quickly past,
And Angus hails another son;
His natal day is like the last,
Nor soon the jocund feast was done.


14.

Taught by their sire to bend the bow,
On Alva's dusky hills of wind,
The boys in childhood chas'd the roe,
And left their hounds in speed behind.


15.

But ere their years of youth are o'er,
They mingle in the ranks of war;
They lightly wheel the bright claymore,
And send the whistling arrow far.


16.

Dark was the flow of Oscar's hair,
Wildly it stream'd along the gale;
But Allan's locks were bright and fair,
And pensive seem'd his cheek, and pale.


17.

But Oscar own'd a hero's soul,
His dark eye shone through beams of truth;
Allan had early learn'd controul,
And smooth his words had been from youth.


18.

Both, both were brave; the Saxon spear
Was shiver'd oft beneath their steel;
And Oscar's bosom scorn'd to fear,
But Oscar's bosom knew to feel;


19.

While Allan's soul belied his form,
Unworthy with such charms to dwell:
Keen as the lightning of the storm,
On foes his deadly vengeance fell.


20.

From high Southannon's distant tower
Arrived a young and noble dame;
With Kenneth's lands to form her dower,
Glenalvon's blue-eyed daughter came;


21.

And Oscar claim'd the beauteous bride,
And Angus on his Oscar smil'd:
It soothed the father's feudal pride
Thus to obtain Glenalvon's child.


22.

Hark! to the Pibroch's pleasing note,
Hark! to the swelling nuptial song,
In joyous strains the voices float,
And, still, the choral peal prolong.


23.

See how the Heroes' blood-red plumes
Assembled wave in Alva's hall;
Each youth his varied plaid assumes,
Attending on their chieftain's call.


24.

It is not war their aid demands,
The Pibroch plays the song of peace;
To Oscar's nuptials throng the bands
Nor yet the sounds of pleasure cease.


25.

But where is Oscar? sure 'tis late:
Is this a bridegroom's ardent flame?
While thronging guests and ladies wait,
Nor Oscar nor his brother came.


26.

At length young Allan join'd the bride;
"Why comes not Oscar?" Angus said:
"Is he not here?" the Youth replied;
"With me he rov'd not o'er the glade:


27.

"Perchance, forgetful of the day,
'Tis his to chase the bounding roe;
Or Ocean's waves prolong his stay:
Yet, Oscar's bark is seldom slow."


28.

"Oh, no!" the anguish'd Sire rejoin'd,
"Nor chase, nor wave, my Boy delay;
Would he to Mora seem unkind?
Would aught to her impede his way?


29.

"Oh, search, ye Chiefs! oh, search around!
Allan, with these, through Alva fly;
Till Oscar, till my son is found,
Haste, haste, nor dare attempt reply."


30.

All is confusion--through the vale,
The name of Oscar hoarsely rings,
It rises on the murm'ring gale,
Till night expands her dusky wings.


31.

It breaks the stillness of the night,
But echoes through her shades in vain;
It sounds through morning's misty light,
But Oscar comes not o'er the plain.


32.

Three days, three sleepless nights, the Chief
For Oscar search'd each mountain cave;
Then hope is lost; in boundless grief,
His locks in grey-torn ringlets wave.


33.

"Oscar! my son!--thou God of Heav'n,
Restore the prop of sinking age!
Or, if that hope no more is given,
Yield his assassin to my rage.


34.

"Yes, on some desert rocky shore
My Oscar's whiten'd bones must lie;
Then grant, thou God! I ask no more,
With him his frantic Sire may die!


35.

"Yet, he may live,--away, despair!
Be calm, my soul! he yet may live;
T' arraign my fate, my voice forbear!
O God! my impious prayer forgive.


36.

"What, if he live for me no more,
I sink forgotten in the dust,
The hope of Alva's age is o'er:
Alas! can pangs like these be just?"


37.

Thus did the hapless Parent mourn,
Till Time, who soothes severest woe,
Had bade serenity return,
And made the tear-drop cease to flow.


38.

For, still, some latent hope surviv'd
That Oscar might once more appear;
His hope now droop'd and now revived,
Till Time had told a tedious year.


39.

Days roll'd along, the orb of light
Again had run his destined race;
No Oscar bless'd his father's sight,
And sorrow left a fainter trace.


40.

For youthful Allan still remain'd,
And, now, his father's only joy:
And Mora's heart was quickly gain'd,
For beauty crown'd the fair-hair'd boy.


41.

She thought that Oscar low was laid,
And Allan's face was wondrous fair;
If Oscar liv'd, some other maid
Had claim'd his faithless bosom's care.


42.

And Angus said, if one year more
In fruitless hope was pass'd away,
His fondest scruples should be o'er,
And he would name their nuptial day.


43.

Slow roll'd the moons, but blest at last
Arriv'd the dearly destin'd morn:
The year of anxious trembling past,
What smiles the lovers' cheeks adorn!


44.

Hark to the Pibroch's pleasing note!
Hark to the swelling nuptial song!
In joyous strains the voices float,
And, still, the choral peal prolong.


45.

Again the clan, in festive crowd,
Throng through the gate of Alva's hall;
The sounds of mirth re-echo loud,
And all their former joy recall.


46.

But who is he, whose darken'd brow
Glooms in the midst of general mirth?
Before his eyes' far fiercer glow
The blue flames curdle o'er the hearth.


47.

Dark is the robe which wraps his form,
And tall his plume of gory red;
His voice is like the rising storm,
But light and trackless is his tread.


48.

'Tis noon of night, the pledge goes round,
The bridegroom's health is deeply quaff'd;
With shouts the vaulted roofs resound,
And all combine to hail the draught.


49.

Sudden the stranger-chief arose,
And all the clamorous crowd are hush'd;
And Angus' cheek with wonder glows,
And Mora's tender bosom blush'd.


50.

"Old man!" he cried, "this pledge is done,
Thou saw'st 'twas truly drunk by me;
It hail'd the nuptials of thy son:
Now will I claim a pledge from thee.


51.

"While all around is mirth and joy,
To bless thy Allan's happy lot,
Say, hadst thou ne'er another boy?
Say, why should Oscar be forgot?"


52.

"Alas!" the hapless Sire replied,
The big tear starting as he spoke,
"When Oscar left my hall, or died,
This aged heart was almost broke.


53.

"Thrice has the earth revolv'd her course
Since Oscar's form has bless'd my sight;
And Allan is my last resource,
Since martial Oscar's death, or flight."


54.

"'Tis well," replied the stranger stern,
And fiercely flash'd his rolling eye;
"Thy Oscar's fate, I fain would learn;
Perhaps the Hero did not die.


55.

"Perchance, if those, whom most he lov'd,
Would call, thy Oscar might return;
Perchance, the chief has only rov'd;
For him thy Beltane, yet, may burn3.


56.

"Fill high the bowl the table round,
We will not claim the pledge by stealth;
With wine let every cup be crown'd;
Pledge me departed Oscar's health."


57.

"With all my soul," old Angus said,
And fill'd his goblet to the brim:
"Here's to my boy! alive or dead,
I ne'er shall find a son like him."


58.

"Bravely, old man, this health has sped;
But why does Allan trembling stand?
Come, drink remembrance of the dead,
And raise thy cup with firmer hand."


59.

The crimson glow of Allan's face
Was turn'd at once to ghastly hue;
The drops of death each other chace,
Adown in agonizing dew.


60.

Thrice did he raise the goblet high,
And thrice his lips refused to taste;
For thrice he caught the stranger's eye
On his with deadly fury plac'd.


61.

"And is it thus a brother hails
A brother's fond remembrance here?
If thus affection's strength prevails,
What might we not expect from fear?"


62.

Roused by the sneer, he rais'd the bowl,
"Would Oscar now could share our mirth!"
Internal fear appall'd his soulc;
He said, and dash'd the cup to earth.


63.

"'Tis he! I hear my murderer's voice!"
Loud shrieks a darkly gleaming Form.
"A murderer's voice!" the roof replies,
And deeply swells the bursting storm.


64.

The tapers wink, the chieftains shrink,
The stranger's gone,--amidst the crew,
A Form was seen, in tartan green,
And tall the shade terrific grew.


65.

His waist was bound with a broad belt round,
His plume of sable stream'd on high;
But his breast was bare, with the red wounds there,
And fix'd was the glare of his glassy eye.


66.

And thrice he smil'd, with his eye so wild
On Angus bending low the knee;
And thrice he frown'd, on a Chief on the ground,
Whom shivering crowds with horror see.


67.

The bolts loud roll from pole to pole,
And thunders through the welkin ring,
And the gleaming form, through the mist of the storm,
Was borne on high by the whirlwind's wing.


68.

Cold was the feast, the revel ceas'd.
Who lies upon the stony floor?
Oblivion press'd old Angus' breastd,
At length his life-pulse throbs once more.


69.

"Away, away! let the leech essay
To pour the light on Allan's eyes:"
His sand is done,--his race is run;
Oh! never more shall Allan rise!


70.

But Oscar's breast is cold as clay,
His locks are lifted by the gale;
And Allan's barbèd arrow lay
With him in dark Glentanar's vale.


71.

And whence the dreadful stranger came,
Or who, no mortal wight can tell;
But no one doubts the form of flame,
For Alva's sons knew Oscar well.


72.

Ambition nerv'd young Allan's hand,
Exulting demons wing'd his dart;
While Envy wav'd her burning brand,
And pour'd her venom round his heart.


73.

Swift is the shaft from Allan's bow;
Whose streaming life-blood stains his side?
Dark Oscar's sable crest is low,
The dart has drunk his vital tide.


74.

And Mora's eye could Allan move,
She bade his wounded pride rebel:
Alas! that eyes, which beam'd with love,
Should urge the soul to deeds of Hell.


75.

Lo! see'st thou not a lonely tomb,
Which rises o'er a warrior dead?
It glimmers through the twilight gloom;
Oh! that is Allan's nuptial bed.


76.

Far, distant far, the noble grave
Which held his clan's great ashes stood;
And o'er his corse no banners wave,
For they were stain'd with kindred blood.


77.

What minstrel grey, what hoary bard,
Shall Allan's deeds on harp-strings raise?
The song is glory's chief reward,
But who can strike a murd'rer's praise?


78.

Unstrung, untouch'd, the harp must stand,
No minstrel dare the theme awake;
Guilt would benumb his palsied hand,
His harp in shuddering chords would break.


79.

No lyre of fame, no hallow'd verse,
Shall sound his glories high in air:
A dying father's bitter curse,
A brother's death-groan echoes there.


Footnote 1: › The catastrophe of this tale was suggested by the story of "Jeronymo and Lorenzo," in the first volume of Schiller's Armenian, or the Ghost-Seer. It also bears some resemblance to a scene in the third act of Macbeth.--[Der Geisterseher, Schiller's Werke (1819), x. 97, sq.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
She view'd the gasping...
[Hours of Idleness]
return
Footnote 2: › It is evident that Byron here confused the pibroch, the air, with the bagpipe, the instrument.

return to this poem
cross-reference: return to "Lachin y Gair"
Footnote b:
When many an eye which ne'er again
Could view...
[Hours of Idleness]
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Footnote 3: › Beltane Tree, a Highland festival on the first of May, held near fires lighted for the occasion.
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Footnote c:
Internal fears...
[Hours of Idleness]
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Footnote d:
Old Angus prest, the earth with his breast...
[Hours of Idleness]
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Contents
Contents p.3




Translation from Anacreon. Ode 1


Greek (transliteratied): Thel_o legein Atpeidas, k.t.l.


Ode 1

To his Lyre



I wish to tune my quivering lyrea,
To deeds of fame, and notes of fire;
To echo, from its rising swell,
How heroes fought and nations fell,
When Atreus' sons advanc'd to war,
Or Tyrian Cadmus rov'd afar;
But still, to martial strains unknown,
My lyre recurs to Love alone.
Fir'd with the hope of future fameb,
I seek some nobler Hero's name;
The dying chords are strung anew,
To war, to war, my harp is due:
With glowing strings, the Epic strain
To Jove's great son I raise again;
Alcides and his glorious deeds,
Beneath whose arm the Hydra bleeds;
All, all in vain; my wayward lyre
Wakes silver notes of soft Desire.
Adieu, ye Chiefs renown'd in arms!
Adieu the clang of War's alarmsc!
To other deeds my soul is strung,
And sweeter notes shall now be sung;
My harp shall all its powers reveal,
To tell the tale my heart must feel;
Love, Love alone, my lyre shall claim,
In songs of bliss and sighs of flame.


Footnote 1: › The motto does not appear in Hours of Idleness or Poems O. and T.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
I sought to tune...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote b:
The chords resumed a second strain,
To Jove's great son I strike again.
Alcides and his glorious deeds,
Beneath whose arm the Hydra bleeds...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote c:
The Trumpet's blast with these accords
To sound the clash of hostile swords--
Be mine the softer, sweeter care
To soothe the young and virgin Fair...
[MS. Newstead]

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Contents
Contents p.3




From Anacreon. Ode 3


Greek (transliterated): Mesonuktiois poth h_opais, k.t.l.


'Twas now the hour when Night had driven
Her car half round yon sable heaven;
Boötes, only, seem'd to rolla
His Arctic charge around the Pole;
While mortals, lost in gentle sleep,
Forgot to smile, or ceas'd to weep:
At this lone hour the Paphian boy,
Descending from the realms of joy,
Quick to my gate directs his course,
And knocks with all his little force;
My visions fled, alarm'd I rose,--
"What stranger breaks my blest repose?"
"Alas!" replies the wily child
In faltering accents sweetly mild;
"A hapless Infant here I roam,
Far from my dear maternal home.
Oh! shield me from the wintry blast!
The nightly storm is pouring fast.
No prowling robber lingers here;
A wandering baby who can fear?"
I heard his seeming artless taleb,
I heard his sighs upon the gale:
My breast was never pity's foe,
But felt for all the baby's woe.
I drew the bar, and by the light
Young Love, the infant, met my sight;
His bow across his shoulders flung,
And thence his fatal quiver hung
(Ah! little did I think the dart
Would rankle soon within my heart).
With care I tend my weary guest,
His little fingers chill my breast;
His glossy curls, his azure wing,
Which droop with nightly showers, I wring;
His shivering limbs the embers warm;
And now reviving from the storm,
Scarce had he felt his wonted glow,
Than swift he seized his slender bow:--
"I fain would know, my gentle host,"
He cried, "if this its strength has lost;
I fear, relax'd with midnight dews,
The strings their former aid refuse."
With poison tipt, his arrow flies,
Deep in my tortur'd heart it lies:
Then loud the joyous Urchin laugh'd:--
"My bow can still impel the shaft:
'Tis firmly fix'd, thy sighs reveal it;
Say, courteous host, canst thou not feel it?"


Footnote 1: › The motto does not appear in Hours of Idleness or Poems O. and T.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a: ›The Newstead MS. inserts--
No Moon in silver robe was seen
Nor e'en a trembling star between...
return
Footnote b:
Touched with the seeming artless tale
Compassion's tears o'er doubt prevail;
Methought I viewed him, cold and damp,
I trimmed anew my dying lamp,
Drew back the bar--and by the light
A pinioned Infant met my sight;
His bow across his shoulders slung,
And hence a gilded quiver hung;
With care I tend my weary guest,
His shivering hands by mine are pressed:
My hearth I load with embers warm
To dry the dew drops of the storm:
Drenched by the rain of yonder sky
The strings are weak--but let us try.
[MS. Newstead]
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Contents
Contents p.3




The Episode of Nisus and Euryalus1. A Paraphrase from the Æneid, Lib. 9


Nisus, the guardian of the portal, stood,
Eager to gild his arms with hostile blood;
Well skill'd, in fight, the quivering lance to wield,
Or pour his arrows thro' th' embattled field:
From Ida torn, he left his sylvan cavea,
And sought a foreign home, a distant grave.
To watch the movements of the Daunian host,
With him Euryalus sustains the post;
No lovelier mien adorn'd the ranks of Troy,
And beardless bloom yet grac'd the gallant boy;
Though few the seasons of his youthful life,
As yet a novice in the martial strife,
'Twas his, with beauty, Valour's gifts to share--
A soul heroic, as his form was fair:
These burn with one pure flame of generous love;
In peace, in war, united still they move;
Friendship and Glory form their joint reward;
And, now, combin'd they hold their nightly guardb.

"What God," exclaim'd the first, "instils this fire?
Or, in itself a God, what great desire?
My lab'ring soul, with anxious thought oppress'd,
Abhors this station of inglorious rest;
The love of fame with this can ill accord,
Be't mine to seek for glory with my sword.
See'st thou yon camp, with torches twinkling dim,
Where drunken slumbers wrap each lazy limb?
Where confidence and ease the watch disdain,
And drowsy Silence holds her sable reign?
Then hear my thought:--In deep and sullen grief
Our troops and leaders mourn their absent chief:
Now could the gifts and promised prize be thine,
(The deed, the danger, and the fame be mine,)
Were this decreed, beneath yon rising mound,
Methinks, an easy path, perchance, were found;
Which past, I speed my way to Pallas' walls,
And lead Æneas from Evander's halls."

With equal ardour fir'd, and warlike joy,
His glowing friend address'd the Dardan boy:--
"These deeds, my Nisus, shalt thou dare alone?
Must all the fame, the peril, be thine own?
Am I by thee despis'd, and left afar,
As one unfit to share the toils of war?
Not thus his son the great Opheltes taught:
Not thus my sire in Argive combats fought;
Not thus, when Ilion fell by heavenly hate,
I track'd Æneas through the walks of fate:
Thou know'st my deeds, my breast devoid of fear,
And hostile life-drops dim my gory spear.
Here is a soul with hope immortal burns,
And life, ignoble life, for Glory spurnsc.
Fame, fame is cheaply earn'd by fleeting breath:
The price of honour, is the sleep of death."

Then Nisus:--"Calm thy bosom's fond alarmsd:
Thy heart beats fiercely to the din of arms.
More dear thy worth, and valour than my own,
I swear by him, who fills Olympus' throne!
So may I triumph, as I speak the truth,
And clasp again the comrade of my youth!
But should I fall,--and he, who dares advance
Through hostile legions, must abide by chance,--
If some Rutulian arm, with adverse blow,
Should lay the friend, who ever lov'd thee, low,
Live thou--such beauties I would fain preserve--
Thy budding years a lengthen'd term deserve;
When humbled in the dust, let some one be,
Whose gentle eyes will shed one tear for me;
Whose manly arm may snatch me back by force,
Or wealth redeem, from foes, my captive corse;
Or, if my destiny these last deny,
If, in the spoiler's power, my ashes lie;
Thy pious care may raise a simple tomb,
To mark thy love, and signalise my doom.
Why should thy doating wretched mother weep
Her only boy, reclin'd in endless sleep?
Who, for thy sake, the tempest's fury dar'd,
Who, for thy sake, war's deadly peril shar'd;
Who brav'd what woman never brav'd before,
And left her native, for the Latian shore."

"In vain you damp the ardour of my soul,"
Replied Euryalus; "it scorns controul;
Hence, let us haste!"--their brother guards arose,
Rous'd by their call, nor court again repose;
The pair, buoy'd up on Hope's exulting wing,
Their stations leave, and speed to seek the king.

Now, o'er the earth a solemn stillness ran,
And lull'd alike the cares of brute and man;
Save where the Dardan leaders, nightly, hold
Alternate converse, and their plans unfold.
On one great point the council are agreed,
An instant message to their prince decreed;
Each lean'd upon the lance he well could wield,
And pois'd with easy arm his ancient shield;
When Nisus and his friend their leave request,
To offer something to their high behest.
With anxious tremors, yet unaw'd by feare,
The faithful pair before the throne appear;
Iulus greets them; at his kind command,
The elder, first, address'd the hoary band.

"With patience" (thus Hyrtacides began)
"Attend, nor judge, from youth, our humble plan.
Where yonder beacons half-expiring beam,
Our slumbering foes of future conquest dreamf,
Nor heed that we a secret path have trac'd,
Between the ocean and the portal plac'd;
Beneath the covert of the blackening smoke,
Whose shade, securely, our design will cloak!
If you, ye Chiefs, and Fortune will allow,
We'll bend our course to yonder mountain's brow,
Where Pallas' walls, at distance, meet the sight,
Seen o'er the glade, when not obscur'd by night:
Then shall Æneas in his pride return,
While hostile matrons raise their offspring's urn;
And Latian spoils, and purpled heaps of dead
Shall mark the havoc of our Hero's tread;
Such is our purpose, not unknown the way,
Where yonder torrent's devious waters stray;
Oft have we seen, when hunting by the stream,
The distant spires above the valleys gleam."

Mature in years, for sober wisdom fam'd,
Mov'd by the speech, Alethes here exclaim'd,--
"Ye parent gods! who rule the fate of Troy,
Still dwells the Dardan spirit in the boy;
When minds, like these, in striplings thus ye raise,
Yours is the godlike act, be yours the praise;
In gallant youth, my fainting hopes revive,
And Ilion's wonted glories still survive."
Then in his warm embrace the boys he press'd,
And, quivering, strain'd them to his agéd breast;
With tears the burning cheek of each bedew'd,
And, sobbing, thus his first discourse renew'd:--
"What gift, my countrymen, what martial prize,
Can we bestow, which you may not despise?
Our Deities the first best boon have given--
Internal virtues are the gift of Heaven.
What poor rewards can bless your deeds on earth,
Doubtless await such young, exalted worth;
Æneas and Ascanius shall combine
To yield applause far, far surpassing mine."

Iulus then:--" By all the powers above!
By those Penates, who my country love!
By hoary Vesta's sacred Fane, I swear,
My hopes are all in you, ye generous pair!
Restore my father, to my grateful sight,
And all my sorrows, yield to one delight.
Nisus! two silver goblets are thine own,
Sav'd from Arisba's stately domes o'erthrown;
My sire secured them on that fatal day,
Nor left such bowls an Argive robber's prey.
Two massy tripods, also, shall be thine,
Two talents polish'd from the glittering mine;
An ancient cup, which Tyrian Dido gave,
While yet our vessels press'd the Punic wave:
But when the hostile chiefs at length bow down,
When great Æneas wears Hesperia's crown,
The casque, the buckler, and the fiery steed
Which Turnus guides with more than mortal speed,
Are thine; no envious lot shall then be cast,
I pledge my word, irrevocably past:
Nay more, twelve slaves, and twice six captive dames,
To soothe thy softer hours with amorous flames,
And all the realms, which now the Latins sway,
The labours of to-night shall well repay.
But thou, my generous youth, whose tender years
Are near my own, whose worth my heart reveres,
Henceforth, affection, sweetly thus begun,
Shall join our bosoms and our souls in one;
Without thy aid, no glory shall be mine,
Without thy dear advice, no great design;
Alike, through life, esteem'd, thou godlike boy,
In war my bulwark, and in peace my joy."

To him Euryalus:--"No day shall shame
The rising glories which from this I claim.
Fortune may favour, or the skies may frown,
But valour, spite of fate, obtains renown.
Yet, ere from hence our eager steps depart,
One boon I beg, the nearest to my heart:
My mother, sprung from Priam's royal line,
Like thine ennobled, hardly less divine,
Nor Troy nor king Acestes' realms restrain
Her feeble age from dangers of the main;
Alone she came, all selfish fears aboveg,
A bright example of maternal love.
Unknown, the secret enterprise I brave,
Lest grief should bend my parent to the grave;
From this alone no fond adieus I seek,
No fainting mother's lips have press'd my cheek;
By gloomy Night and thy right hand I vow,
Her parting tears would shake my purpose nowh:
Do thou, my prince, her failing age sustain,
In thee her much-lov'd child may live again;
Her dying hours with pious conduct bless,
Assist her wants, relieve her fond distress:
So dear a hope must all my soul enflamei,
To rise in glory, or to fall in fame."
Struck with a filial care so deeply felt,
In tears at once the Trojan warriors melt;
Faster than all, Iulus' eyes o'erflow!
Such love was his, and such had been his woe.
"All thou hast ask'd, receive," the Prince replied;
"Nor this alone, but many a gift beside.
To cheer thy mother's years shall be my aim,
Creusa's2 style but wanting to the dame;
Fortune an adverse wayward course may run,
But bless'd thy mother in so dear a son.
Now, by my life!--my Sire's most sacred oath--
To thee I pledge my full, my firmest troth,
All the rewards which once to thee were vow'dj,
If thou should'st fall, on her shall be bestow'd."
Thus spoke the weeping Prince, then forth to view
A gleaming falchion from the sheath he drew;
Lycaon's utmost skill had grac'd the steel,
For friends to envy and for foes to feel:
A tawny hide, the Moorish lion's spoilk,
Slain 'midst the forest in the hunter's toil,
Mnestheus to guard the elder youth bestowsm,
And old Alethes' casque defends his brows;
Arm'd, thence they go, while all th' assembl'd train,
To aid their cause, implore the gods in vainn.
More than a boy, in wisdom and in grace,
Iulus holds amidst the chiefs his place:
His prayer he sends; but what can prayers avail,
Lost in the murmurs of the sighing galeo?

The trench is pass'd, and favour'd by the night,
Through sleeping foes, they wheel their wary flight.
When shall the sleep of many a foe be o'er?
Alas! some slumber, who shall wake no more!
Chariots and bridles, mix'd with arms, are seen,
And flowing flasks, and scatter'd troops between:
Bacchus and Mars, to rule the camp, combine;
A mingled Chaos this of war and wine.
"Now," cries the first, "for deeds of blood prepare,
With me the conquest and the labour share:
Here lies our path; lest any hand arise,
Watch thou, while many a dreaming chieftain dies;
I'll carve our passage, through the heedless foe,
And clear thy road, with many a deadly blow."
His whispering accents then the youth repress'd,
And pierced proud Rhamnes through his panting breast:
Stretch'd at his ease, th' incautious king repos'd;
Debauch, and not fatigue, his eyes had clos'd;
To Turnus dear, a prophet and a prince,
His omens more than augur's skill evince;
But he, who thus foretold the fate of all,
Could not avert his own untimely fall.
Next Remus' armour-bearer, hapless, fell,
And three unhappy slaves the carnage swell;
The charioteer along his courser's sides
Expires, the steel his sever'd neck divides;
And, last, his Lord is number'd with the dead:
Bounding convulsive, flies the gasping head;
From the swol'n veins the blackening torrents pour;
Stain'd is the couch and earth with clotting gore.
Young Lamyrus and Lamus next expire,
And gay Serranus, fill'd with youthful fire;
Half the long night in childish games was pass'dp;
Lull'd by the potent grape, he slept at last:
Ah! happier far, had he the morn survey'd,
And, till Aurora's dawn, his skill display'dq.
In slaughter'd folds, the keepers lost in sleepr,
His hungry fangs a lion thus may steep;
'Mid the sad flock, at dead of night he prowls,
With murder glutted, and in carnage rolls
Insatiate still, through teeming herds he roamss;
In seas of gore, the lordly tyrant foams.

Nor less the other's deadly vengeance came,
But falls on feeble crowds without a name;
His wound unconscious Fadus scarce can feel,
Yet wakeful Rhæsus sees the threatening steel;
His coward breast behind a jar he hides,
And, vainly, in the weak defence confides;
Full in his heart, the falchion search'd his veins,
The reeking weapon bears alternate stains;
Through wine and blood, commingling as they flow,
One feeble spirit seeks the shades below.
Now where Messapus dwelt they bend their way,
Whose fires emit a faint and trembling ray;
There, unconfin'd, behold each grazing steed,
Unwatch'd, unheeded, on the herbage feedt:
Brave Nisus here arrests his comrade's arm,
Too flush'd with carnage, and with conquest warm:
"Hence let us haste, the dangerous path is pass'd;
Full foes enough, to-night, have breath'd their last:
Soon will the Day those Eastern clouds adorn;
Now let us speed, nor tempt the rising morn."

What silver arms, with various art emboss'd,
What bowls and mantles, in confusion toss'd,
They leave regardless! yet one glittering prize
Attracts the younger Hero's wandering eyes;
The gilded harness Rhamnes' coursers felt,
The gems which stud the monarch's golden belt:
This from the pallid corse was quickly torn,
Once by a line of former chieftains worn.
Th' exulting boy the studded girdle wears,
Messapus' helm his head, in triumph, bears;
Then from the tents their cautious steps they bend,
To seek the vale, where safer paths extend.

Just at this hour, a band of Latian horse
To Turnus' camp pursue their destin'd course:
While the slow foot their tardy march delay,
The knights, impatient, spur along the way:
Three hundred mail-clad men, by Volscens led,
To Turnus with their master's promise sped:
Now they approach the trench, and view the walls,
When, on the left, a light reflection falls;
The plunder'd helmet, through the waning night,
Sheds forth a silver radiance, glancing bright;
Volscens, with question loud, the pair alarms:--
"Stand, Stragglers! stand! why early thus in arms?
From whence? to whom?"--He meets with no reply;
Trusting the covert of the night, they fly:
The thicket's depth, with hurried pace, they tread,
While round the wood the hostile squadron spread.

With brakes entangled, scarce a path between,
Dreary and dark appears the sylvan scene:
Euryalus his heavy spoils impede,
The boughs and winding turns his steps mislead;
But Nisus scours along the forest's maze,
To where Latinus' steeds in safety graze,
Then backward o'er the plain his eyes extend,
On every side they seek his absent friend.
"O God! my boy," he cries, "of me bereftu,
In what impending perils art thou left!"
Listening he runs--above the waving trees,
Tumultuous voices swell the passing breeze;
The war-cry rises, thundering hoofs around
Wake the dark echoes of the trembling ground.
Again he turns--of footsteps hears the noise--
The sound elates--the sight his hope destroys:
The hapless boy a ruffian train surroundv,
While lengthening shades his weary way confound;
Him, with loud shouts, the furious knights pursue,
Struggling in vain, a captive to the creww.
What can his friend 'gainst thronging numbers dare?
Ah! must he rush, his comrade's fate to share?
What force, what aid, what stratagem essay,
Back to redeem the Latian spoiler's prey?
His life a votive ransom nobly give,
Or die with him, for whom he wish'd to live?
Poising with strength his lifted lance on high,
On Luna's orb he cast his frenzied eye:--

"Goddess serene, transcending every starx!
Queen of the sky, whose beams are seen afar!
By night Heaven owns thy sway, by day the grove,
When, as chaste Dian, here thou deign'st to rove;
If e'er myself, or Sire, have sought to grace
Thine altars, with the produce of the chase,
Speed, speed my dart to pierce yon vaunting crowd,
To free my friend, and scatter far the proud."
Thus having said, the hissing dart he flung;
Through parted shades the hurtling weapon sung;
The thirsty point in Sulmo's entrails lay,
Transfix'd his heart, and stretch'd him on the clay:
He sobs, he dies,--the troop in wild amaze,
Unconscious whence the death, with horror gaze;
While pale they stare, thro' Tagus' temples riven,
A second shaft, with equal force is driven:
Fierce Volscens rolls around his lowering eyes;
Veil'd by the night, secure the Trojan liesy.
Burning with wrath, he view'd his soldiers fall.
"Thou youth accurst, thy life shall pay for all!"
Quick from the sheath his flaming glaive he drew,
And, raging, on the boy defenceless flew.
Nisus, no more the blackening shade conceals,
Forth, forth he starts, and all his love reveals;
Aghast, confus'd, his fears to madness rise,
And pour these accents, shrieking as he flies;
"Me, me,--your vengeance hurl on me alone;
Here sheathe the steel, my blood is all your own;
Ye starry Spheres! thou conscious Heaven! attest!
He could not--durst not--lo! the guile confest!
All, all was mine,--his early fate suspend;
He only lov'd, too well, his hapless friend:
Spare, spare, ye Chiefs! from him your rage remove;
His fault was friendship, all his crime was love."
He pray'd in vain; the dark assassin's sword
Pierced the fair side, the snowy bosom gor'd;
Lowly to earth inclines his plume-clad crest,
And sanguine torrents mantle o'er his breast:
As some young rose whose blossom scents the air,
Languid in death, expires beneath the share;
Or crimson poppy, sinking with the shower,
Declining gently, falls a fading flower;
Thus, sweetly drooping, bends his lovely head,
And lingering Beauty hovers round the dead.

But fiery Nisus stems the battle's tide,
Revenge his leader, and Despair his guidez;
Volscens he seeks amidst the gathering host,
Volscens must soon appease his comrade's ghost;
Steel, flashing, pours on steel, foe crowds on foe;
Rage nerves his arm, Fate gleams in every blow;
In vain beneath unnumber'd wounds he bleeds,
Nor wounds, nor death, distracted Nisus heeds;
In viewless circles wheel'd his falchion flies,
Nor quits the hero's grasp till Volscens dies;
Deep in his throat its end the weapon found,
The tyrant's soul fled groaning through the woundA.
Thus Nisus all his fond affection prov'd--
Dying, revenged the fate of him he lov'd;
Then on his bosom sought his wonted placeB,
And death was heavenly, in his friend's embrace!

Celestial pair! if aught my verse can claim,
Wafted on Time's broad pinion, yours is fameC!
Ages on ages shall your fate admire,
No future day shall see your names expire,
While stands the Capitol, immortal dome!
And vanquished millions hail their Empress, Rome!









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Footnote 1: › Lines 1-18 were first published in P. on V. Occasions, under the title of "Fragment of a Translation from the 9th Book of Virgil's Æneid."
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Him Ida sent, a hunter, now no more,
To combat foes, upon a foreign shore;
Near him, the loveliest of the Trojan band,
Did fair Euryalus, his comrade, stand;
Few are the seasons of his youthful life,
As yet a novice in the martial strife:
The Gods to him unwonted gifts impart,
A female's beatify, with a hero's heart.

[P. on V. Occasions.]

From Ida torn he left his native grove,
Through distant climes, and trackless seas to rove.

[Hours of Idleness.]
return
Footnote 2: › The mother of Iulus, lost on the night when Troy was taken.
return
Footnote b:
And now combin'd, the massy gate they guard.

[P. on V. Occasions.]

--they hold the nightly guard.

[Hours of Idleness.]

return
Footnote c:
And Love, and Life alike the glory spurned...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote d:
Then Nisus, "Ah, my friend--why thus suspect
Thy youthful breast admits of no defect."
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote e:
Trembling with diffidence not awed by fear...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote f:
The vain Rutulians lost in slumber dream...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote g:
Hither she came...
[Hours of Idleness.]
return
Footnote h:
Her falling tears...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote i:
With this assurance Fate's attempts are vain;
Fearless I dare the foes of yonder plain....
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote j:
That all the gifts which once to thee were vowed...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote k:
insert...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote m:
Mnestheus presented, and the Warrior's mask
Alethes gave a doubly temper'd casque...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote n:
o glad their journey, follow them in vain...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote o:
Dispersed and scattered on the sighing gale...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote p:
By Bacchus' potent draught weigh'd down at last
Half the long night in childish games was past....
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote q:
--disportive play'd...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote r:
By hunger prest, the keeper lull'd to sleep
In slaughter thus a Lyon's fangs may steep...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote s:
Through teeming herds unchecked, unawed, he roams...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote t:
Heedless of danger on the herbage feed...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote u:
of thee bereft
In what dire perils is my brother left...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote v:
Then his lov'd boy the ruffian band surround
Entangled in the tufted Forest ground....
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote w:
t length a captive to the hostile crew...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote x:
The Goddess bright transcending every star...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote y:
No object meets them but the earth and skies.
He burns for vengeance, rising in his wrath--
Then you, accursed, thy life shall pay for both;
Then from the sheath his flaming brand he drew,
And on the raging boy defenceless flew.
Nisus no more the blackening shade conceals,
Forth forth he rushed and all his love reveals;
Pale and confused his fear to madness grows,
And thus in accents mild he greets his Foes.
"On me, on me, direct your impious steel,
Let me and me alone your vengeance feel--
Let not a stripling's blood by Chiefs be spilt,
Be mine the Death, as mine was all the guilt.
By Heaven and Hell, the powers of Earth and Air.
Yon guiltless stripling neither could nor dare:
Spare him, oh! spare by all the Gods above,
A hapless boy whose only crime was Love."
He prayed in vain; the fierce assassin's sword
Pierced the fair side, the snowy bosom gored;
Drooping to earth inclines his lovely head,
O'er his fair curls, the purpling stream is spread.
As some sweet lily, by the ploughshare broke
Languid in Death, sinks down beneath the stroke;
Or, as some poppy, bending with the shower,
Gently declining falls a waning flower...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote z:
Revenge his object...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote A:
The assassin's soul...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote B:
Then on his breast he sought his wonted place, And Death was lovely in his Friend's embrace...
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote C:
Yours are the fairest wreaths of endless Fame...
[MS. Newstead]
return

Contents
Contents p.3
cross-reference: return to footnote in "Calmar and Orla"




Translation from the Medea of Euripides [L. 627-660]


Greek (transliterated): Erotes hyper men agan, K.T.L.


1.

When fierce conflicting passions urge
The breast, where love is wont to glow,
What mind can stem the stormy surge
Which rolls the tide of human woe?
The hope of praise, the dread of shame,
Can rouse the tortur'd breast no more;
The wild desire, the guilty flame,
Absorbs each wish it felt before.


2.

But if affection gently thrills
The soul, by purer dreams possest,
The pleasing balm of mortal ills
In love can soothe the aching breast:
If thus thou comest in disguisea,
Fair Venus! from thy native heaven,
What heart, unfeeling, would despise
The sweetest boon the Gods have given?


3.

But, never from thy golden bow,
May I beneath the shaft expire!
Whose creeping venom, sure and slow,
Awakes an all-consuming fire:
Ye racking doubts! ye jealous fears!
With others wage internal war;
Repentance! source of future tears,
From me be ever distant far!


4.

May no distracting thoughts destroy
The holy calm of sacred love!
May all the hours be winged with joy,
Which hover faithful hearts above!
Fair Venus! on thy myrtle shrine
May I with some fond lover sigh!
Whose heart may mingle pure with mine,
With me to live, with me to die!


5.

My native soil! belov'd before,
Now dearer, as my peaceful home,
Ne'er may I quit thy rocky shore,
A hapless banish'd wretch to roam!
This very day, this very hour,
May I resign this fleeting breath!
Nor quit my silent humble bower;
A doom, to me, far worse than death.


6.

Have I not heard the exile's sigh,
And seen the exile's silent tear,
Through distant climes condemn'd to fly,
A pensive, weary wanderer here?
Ah! hapless dame2! no sire bewails,
No friend thy wretched fate deplores,
No kindred voice with rapture hails
Thy steps within a stranger's doors.


7.

Perish the fiend! whose iron heart
To fair affection's truth unknown,
Bids her he fondly lov'd depart,
Unpitied, helpless, and alone;
Who ne'er unlocks with silver key3,
The milder treasures of his soul;
May such a friend be far from me,
And Ocean's storms between us roll!






Footnote 1: › The Greek heading does not appear in Hours of Idleness or Poems O. and T.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
If thus thou com'st in gentle guise...
[Hours of Idleness]
return
Footnote 2: › Medea, who accompanied Jason to Corinth, was deserted by him for the daughter of Creon, king of that city. The chorus, from which this is taken, here addresses Medea; though a considerable liberty is taken with the original, by expanding the idea, as also in some other parts of the translation.
return
Footnote 3: › The original is Greek (transliterated): katharan anoixanta klaeda phren_on literally "disclosing the bright key of the mind."

Contents
Contents p.3




Lachin y Gair1


1.

Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses!
In you let the minions of luxury rove:
Restore me the rocks, where the snow-flake reposes,
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love:
Yet, Caledonia, belov'd are thy mountains,
Round their white summits though elements war:
Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains,
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.


2.

Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy, wander'd:
My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid2;
On chieftains, long perish'd, my memory ponder'd,
As daily I strode through the pine-cover'd glade;
I sought not my home, till the day's dying glory
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star;
For fancy was cheer'd, by traditional story,
Disclos'd by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.


3.

"Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?"
Surely, the soul of the hero rejoices,
And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale!
Round Loch na Garr, while the stormy mist gathers,
Winter presides in his cold icy car:
Clouds, there, encircle the forms of my Fathers;
They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.


4.

"Ill starr'd3, though brave, did no visions foreboding
Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause?"
Ah! were you destined to die at Culloden4,
Victory crown'd not your fall with applause:
Still were you happy, in death's earthy slumber,
You rest with your clan, in the caves of Braemar5;
The Pibroch6 resounds, to the piper's loud number,
Your deeds, on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr.


5.

Years have roll'd on, Loch na Garr, since I left you,
Years must elapse, ere I tread you again:
Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you,
Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain:
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic,
To one who has rov'd on the mountains afar:
Oh! for the crags that are wild and majestic,
The steep, frowning glories of dark Loch na Garr7.






Footnote 1:Lachin y Gair, or, as it is pronounced in the Erse, Loch na Garr, towers proudly pre-eminent in the Northern Highlands, near Invercauld. One of our modern tourists mentions it as the highest mountain, perhaps, in Great Britain. Be this as it may, it is certainly one of the most sublime and picturesque amongst our "Caledonian Alps." Its appearance is of a dusky hue, but the summit is the seat of eternal snows. Near Lachin y Gair I spent some of the early part of my life, the recollection of which has given birth to the following stanzas. [Prefixed to the poem in Hours of Idleness and Poems O. and T.]
return to footnote mark


Footnote 2: › This word is erroneously pronounced plad; the proper pronunciation (according to the Scotch) is shown by the orthography.
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Footnote 3: › I allude here to my maternal ancestors, "the Gordons," many of whom fought for the unfortunate Prince Charles, better known by the name of the Pretender. This branch was nearly allied by blood, as well as attachment, to the Stuarts. George, the second Earl of Huntley, married the Princess Annabella Stuart, daughter of James I. of Scotland. By her he left four sons: the third, Sir William Gordon, I have the honour to claim as one of my progenitors.
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Footnote 4: ›Whether any perished in the Battle of Culloden, I am not certain; but, as many fell in the insurrection, I have used the name of the principal action, "pars pro toto."
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Footnote 5: › A tract of the Highlands so called. There is also a Castle of Braemar.
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Footnote 6: › The Bagpipe.--Hours of Idleness. (See note, p. 133.)
return


Footnote 7: ›The love of mountains to the last made Byron
"Hail in each crag a friend's familiar face,
And Loch na Garr with Ida looked o'er Troy."
The Island (1823), Canto II. stanza xii.
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Contents
Contents p.3




To Romance


1.

Parent of golden dreams, Romance!
Auspicious Queen of childish joys,
Who lead'st along, in airy dance,
Thy votive train of girls and boys;
At length, in spells no longer bound,
I break the fetters of my youth;
No more I tread thy mystic round,
But leave thy realms for those of Truth.


2.

And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams
Which haunt the unsuspicious soul,
Where every nymph a goddess seemsa,
Whose eyes through rays immortal roll;
While Fancy holds her boundless reign,
And all assume a varied hue;
When Virgins seem no longer vain,
And even Woman's smiles are true.


3.

And must we own thee, but a name,
And from thy hall of clouds descend?
Nor find a Sylph in every dame,
A Pylades1 in every friend?
But leave, at once, thy realms of airb
To mingling bands of fairy elves;
Confess that woman's false as fair,
And friends have feeling for--themselves?


4.

With shame, I own, I've felt thy sway;
Repentant, now thy reign is o'er;
No more thy precepts I obey,
No more on fancied pinions soar;
Fond fool! to love a sparkling eye,
And think that eye to truth was dear;
To trust a passing wanton's sigh,
And melt beneath a wanton's tear!


5.

Romance! disgusted with deceit,
Far from thy motley court I fly,
Where Affectation holds her seat,
And sickly Sensibility;
Whose silly tears can never flow
For any pangs excepting thine;
Who turns aside from real woe,
To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine.


6.

Now join with sable Sympathy,
With cypress crown'd, array'd in weeds,
Who heaves with thee her simple sigh,
Whose breast for every bosom bleeds;
And call thy sylvan female choir,
To mourn a Swain for ever gone,
Who once could glow with equal fire,
But bends not now before thy throne.


7.

Ye genial Nymphs, whose ready tearsc
On all occasions swiftly flow;
Whose bosoms heave with fancied fears,
With fancied flames and phrenzy glow
Say, will you mourn my absent name,
Apostate from your gentle train?
An infant Bard, at least, may claim
From you a sympathetic strain.


8.

Adieu, fond race! a long adieu!
The hour of fate is hovering nigh;
E'en now the gulf appears in view,
Where unlamented you must lied:
Oblivion's blackening lake is seen,
Convuls'd by gales you cannot weather,
Where you, and eke your gentle queen,
Alas! must perish altogether.


Footnote 1: › It is hardly necessary to add, that Pylades was the companion of Orestes, and a partner in one of those friendships which, with those of Achilles and Patroclus, Nisus and Euryalus, Damon and Pythias, have been handed down to posterity as remarkable instances of attachments, which in all probability never existed beyond the imagination of the poet, or the page of an historian, or modern novelist.
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Footnote a:
here every girl--...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote b:
But quit at once thy realms of air
Thy mingling ...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote c:
Auspicious bards...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote d:
Where you are doomed in death to lie....
[MS. Newstead]
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Contents
Contents p.3




The Death of Calmar and Orla1


An Imitation of Macpherson's Ossian2.

Dear are the days of youth! Age dwells on their remembrance through the mist of time. In the twilight he recalls the sunny hours of morn. He lifts his spear with trembling hand. "Not thus feebly did I raise the steel before my fathers!" Past is the race of heroes! But their fame rises on the harp; their souls ride on the wings of the wind; they hear the sound through the sighs of the storm, and rejoice in their hall of clouds. Such is Calmar. The grey stone marks his narrow house. He looks down from eddying tempests: he rolls his form in the whirlwind, and hovers on the blast of the mountain.

In Morven dwelt the Chief; a beam of war to Fingal. His steps in the field were marked in blood. Lochlin's sons had fled before his angry speara; but mild was the eye of Calmar; soft was the flow of his yellow locks: they streamed like the meteor of the night. No maid was the sigh of his soul: his thoughts were given to friendship,--to dark-haired Orla, destroyer of heroes! Equal were their swords in battle; but fierce was the pride of Orla:--gentle alone to Calmar. Together they dwelt in the cave of Oithona.

From Lochlin, Swaran bounded o'er the blue waves. Erin's sons fell beneath his might. Fingal roused his chiefs to combatb. Their ships cover the ocean! Their hosts throng on the green hills. They come to the aid of Erin.

Night rose in clouds. Darkness veils the armies. But the blazing oaks gleam through the valleyc. The sons of Lochlin slept: their dreams were of blood. They lift the spear in thought, and Fingal flies. Not so the Host of Morven. To watch was the post of Orla. Calmar stood by his side. Their spears were in their hands. Fingal called his chiefs: they stood around. The king was in the midst. Grey were his locks, but strong was the arm of the king. Age withered not his powers. "Sons of Morven," said the hero, "to-morrow we meet the foe. But where is Cuthullin, the shield of Erin? He rests in the halls of Tura; he knows not of our coming. Who will speed through Lochlin, to the hero, and call the chief to arms? The path is by the swords of foes; but many are my heroes. They are thunderbolts of war. Speak, ye chiefs! Who will arise?"

"Son of Trenmor! mine be the deed," said dark-haired Orla, "and mine alone. What is death to me? I love the sleep of the mighty, but little is the danger. The sons of Lochlin dream. I will seek car-borne Cuthullin. If I fall, raise the song of bards; and lay me by the stream of Lubar."

"And shalt thou fall alone?" said fair-haired Calmar. "Wilt thou leave thy friend afar? Chief of Oithona! not feeble is my arm in fight. Could I see thee die, and not lift the spear? No, Orla! ours has been the chase of the roebuck, and the feast of shells; ours be the path of danger: ours has been the cave of Oithona; ours be the narrow dwelling on the banks of Lubar."

"Calmar," said the chief of Oithona, "why should thy yellow locks be darkened in the dust of Erin? Let me fall alone. My father dwells in his hall of air: he will rejoice in his boy; but the blue-eyed Mora spreads the feast for her Son in Morven. She listens to the steps of the hunter on the heath, and thinks it is the tread of Calmar. Let her not say, 'Calmar has fallen by the steel of Lochlin: he died with gloomy Orla, the chief of the dark brow.' Why should tears dim the azure eye of Mora? Why should her voice curse Orla, the destroyer of Calmar? Live Calmar! Live to raise my stone of moss; live to revenge me in the blood of Lochlin. Join the song of bards above my grave. Sweet will be the song of Death to Orla, from the voice of Calmar. My ghost shall smile on the notes of Praise."

"Orla," said the son of Mora, "could I raise the song of Death to my friend? Could I give his fame to the winds? No, my heart would speak in sighs: faint and broken are the sounds of sorrow. Orla! our souls shall hear the song together. One cloud shall be ours on high: the bards will mingle the names of Orla and Calmar."

They quit the circle of the Chiefs. Their steps are to the Host of Lochlin. The dying blaze of oak dim-twinkles through the night. The northern star points the path to Tura. Swaran, the King, rests on his lonely hill. Here the troops are mixed: they frown in sleep; their shields beneath their heads. Their swords gleam, at distance in heaps. The fires are faint; their embers fail in smoke. All is hushed; but the gale sighs on the rocks above. Lightly wheel the Heroes through the slumbering band. Half the journey is past, when Mathon, resting on his shield, meets the eye of Orla. It rolls in flame, and glistens through the shade. His spear is raised on high.

"Why dost thou bend thy brow, chief of Oithona?" said fair-haired Calmar: "we are in the midst of foes. Is this a time for delay?"

"It is a time for vengeance," said Orla of the gloomy brow. "Mathon of Lochlin sleeps: seest thou his spear? Its point is dim with the gore of my father. The blood of Mathon shall reek on mine: but shall I slay him sleeping, Son of Mora? No! he shall feel his wound: my fame shall not soar on the blood of slumber. Rise, Mathon, rise! The Son of Conna calls; thy life is his; rise to combat."

Mathon starts from sleep: but did he rise alone? No: the gathering Chiefs bound on the plain.

"Fly! Calmar, fly!" said dark-haired Orla. "Mathon is mine. I shall die in joy: but Lochlin crowds around. Fly through the shade of night."

Orla turns. The helm of Mathon is cleft; his shield falls from his arm: he shudders in his bloodd. He rolls by the side of the blazing oak. Strumon sees him fall: his wrath rises: his weapon glitters on the head of Orla: but a spear pierced his eye. His brain gushes through the wound, and foams on the spear of Calmar. As roll the waves of the Ocean on two mighty barks of the North, so pour the men of Lochlin on the Chiefs. As, breaking the surge in foam, proudly steer the barks of the North, so rise the Chiefs of Morven on the scattered crests of Lochlin. The din of arms came to the ear of Fingal. He strikes his shield; his sons throng around; the people pour along the heath. Ryno bounds in joy. Ossian stalks in his arms. Oscar shakes the spear. The eagle wing of Fillan floats on the wind. Dreadful is the clang of death! many are the Widows of Lochlin. Morven prevails in its strength.

Morn glimmers on the hills: no living foe is seen; but the sleepers are many; grim they lie on Erin. The breeze of Ocean lifts their locks; yet they do not awake. The hawks scream above their prey.

Whose yellow locks wave o'er the breast of a chief? Bright as the gold of the stranger, they mingle with the dark hair of his friend. 'Tis Calmar: he lies on the bosom of Orla. Theirs is one stream of blood. Fierce is the look of the gloomy Orla. He breathes not; but his eye is still a flame. It glares in death unclosed. His hand is grasped in Calmar's; but Calmar lives! he lives, though low. "Rise," said the king, "rise, son of Mora: 'tis mine to heal the wounds of Heroes. Calmar may yet bound on the hills of Morven."e

"Never more shall Calmar chase the deer of Morven with Orla," said the Hero. "What were the chase to me alone? Who would share the spoils of battle with Calmar? Orla is at rest! Rough was thy soul, Orla! yet soft to me as the dew of morn. It glared on others in lightning: to me a silver beam of night. Bear my sword to blue-eyed Mora; let it hang in my empty hall. It is not pure from blood: but it could not save Orla. Lay me with my friend: raise the song when I am dark!"

They are laid by the stream of Lubar. Four grey stones mark the dwelling of Orla and Calmar. When Swaran was bound, our sails rose on the blue waves. The winds gave our barks to Morven:--the bards raised the song.

"What Form rises on the roar of clouds? Whose dark Ghost gleams on the red streams of tempests? His voice rolls on the thunder. 'Tis Orla, the brown Chief of Oithona. He was unmatched in war. Peace to thy soul, Orla! thy fame will not perish. Nor thine, Calmar! Lovely wast thou, son of blue-eyed Mora; but not harmless was thy sword. It hangs in thy cave. The Ghosts of Lochlin shriek around its steel. Hear thy praise, Calmar! It dwells on the voice of the mighty. Thy name shakes on the echoes of Morven. Then raise thy fair locks, son of Mora. Spread them on the arch of the rainbow, and smile through the tears of the storm3.

Footnote 1: › The MS. is preserved at Newstead.
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Footnote a:
Erin's sons--
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote 2: › It may be necessary to observe, that the story, though considerably varied in the catastrophe, is taken from Nisus and Euryalus, of which episode a translation is already given in the present volume [see pp. 151-168].
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Footnote b:
The horn of Fingal--
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote 3: › I fear Laing's late edition has completely overthrown every hope that Macpherson's Ossian might prove the translation of a series of poems complete in themselves; but, while the imposture is discovered, the merit of the work remains undisputed, though not without faults--particularly, in some parts, turgid and bombastic diction.--The present humble imitation will be pardoned by the admirers of the original as an attempt, however inferior, which evinces an attachment to their favourite author.
[Malcolm Laing (1762-1818) published, in 1802, a History of Scotland, etc., with a dissertation "on the supposed authenticity of Ossian's Poems," and, in 1805, a work entitled The Poems of Ossian, etc., containing the Poetical Works of James Macpherson, Esq., in Prose and Rhyme, with Notes and Illustrations.
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Footnote c:
--the fires gleam--
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote d:
He trembles in his blood. He rolls convulsive...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote e:
-the mountain of Morven.
[MS. Newstead]
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Contents
Contents p.3




To Edward Noel Long, Esq.1 a


"Nil ego contulerim jucundo sanus amico."

Horace.



Dear Long, in this sequester'd sceneb,
While all around in slumber lie,
The joyous days, which ours have been
Come rolling fresh on Fancy's eye;
Thus, if, amidst the gathering storm,
While clouds the darken'd noon deform,
Yon heaven assumes a varied glow,
I hail the sky's celestial bow,
Which spreads the sign of future peace,
And bids the war of tempests cease.
Ah! though the present brings but pain,
I think those days may come again;
Or if, in melancholy mood,
Some lurking envious fear intrudec,
To check my bosom's fondest thought,
And interrupt the golden dream,
I crush the fiend with malice fraught,
And, still, indulge my wonted theme.
Although we ne'er again can trace,
In Granta's vale, the pedant's lore,
Nor through the groves of Ida chase
Our raptured visions, as before;
Though Youth has flown on rosy pinion,
And Manhood claims his stern dominion,
Age will not every hope destroy,
But yield some hours of sober joy.
Yes, I will hope that Time's broad wing
Will shed around some dews of spring:
But, if his scythe must sweep the flowers
Which bloom among the fairy bowers,
Where smiling Youth delights to dwell,
And hearts with early rapture swell;
If frowning Age, with cold controul,
Confines the current of the soul,
Congeals the tear of Pity's eye,
Or checks the sympathetic sigh,
Or hears, unmov'd, Misfortune's groan
And bids me feel for self alone;
Oh! may my bosom never learn
To soothe its wonted heedless flowd;
Still, still, despise the censor stern,
But ne'er forget another's woe.
Yes, as you knew me in the days,
O'er which Remembrance yet delayse,
Still may I rove untutor'd, wild,
And even in age, at heart a childf.
Though, now, on airy visions borne,
To you my soul is still the same.
Oft has it been my fate to mourng,
And all my former joys are tame:
But, hence! ye hours of sable hue!
Your frowns are gone, my sorrows o'er:
By every bliss my childhood knew,
I'll think upon your shade no more.
Thus, when the whirlwind's rage is past,
And caves their sullen roar encloseh
We heed no more the wintry blast,
When lull'd by zephyr to repose.
Full often has my infant Muse,
Attun'd to love her languid lyre;
But, now, without a theme to choose,
The strains in stolen sighs expire.
My youthful nymphs, alas! are flowni;
E---- is a wife, and C---- a mother,
And Carolina sighs alone,
And Mary's given to another;
And Cora's eye, which roll'd on me,
Can now no more my love recall--
In truth, dear Long, 'twas time to flee--j
For Cora's eye will shine on all.
And though the Sun, with genial rays,
His beams alike to all displays,
And every lady's eye's a sun,
These last should be confin'd to one.
The soul's meridian don't become herk,
Whose Sun displays a general summer!
Thus faint is every former flame,
And Passion's self is now a namem n;
As, when the ebbing flames are low,
The aid which once improv'd their light,
And bade them burn with fiercer glow,
Now quenches all their sparks in night;
Thus has it been with Passion's fires,
As many a boy and girl remembers,
While all the force of love expires,
Extinguish'd with the dying embers.
But now, dear Long, 'tis midnight's noon,
And clouds obscure the watery moon,
Whose beauties I shall not rehearse,
Describ'd in every stripling's verse;
For why should I the path go o'er
Which every bard has trod beforeo?
Yet ere yon silver lamp of night
Has thrice perform'd her stated round,
Has thrice retrac'd her path of light,
And chas'd away the gloom profound,
I trust, that we, my gentle Friend,
Shall see her rolling orbit wend,
Above the dear-lov'd peaceful seat,
Which once contain'd our youth's retreat;
And, then, with those our childhood knew,
We'll mingle in the festive crew;
While many a tale of former day
Shall wing the laughing hours away;
And all the flow of souls shall pour
The sacred intellectual shower,
Nor cease, till Luna's waning horn,
Scarce glimmers through the mist of Morn.


Footnote 1: › The MS. of these verses is at Newstead. Long was with Byron at Harrow, and was the only one of his intimate friends who went up at the same time as he did to Cambridge, where both were noted for feats of swimming and diving. Long entered the Guards, and served in the expedition to Copenhagen. He was drowned early in 1809, when on his way to join the army in the Peninsula; the transport in which he sailed being run down in the night by another of the convoy.
"Long's father," says Byron, "wrote to me to write his son's epitaph. I promised--but I had not the heart to complete it. He was such a good, amiable being as rarely remains long in this world; with talent and accomplishments, too, to make him the more regretted."
Diary, 1821; Life, p. 32. See also memorandum (Life, p. 31, col. ii.).
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Footnote a:
To E. N. L. Esq...
[Hours of Idleness. Poems O. and T.]
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Footnote b:
Dear L----.
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote c:
Some daring envious...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote d:
its young romantic flow...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote e:
O'er which my fancy...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote f:
Still may my breast to boyhood cleave,
With every early passion heave;
Still may I rove untutored, wild,
But never cease to seem a child....
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote g:
Since we have met, I learnt to mourn...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote h:
And caves their sullen war...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote i:
--thank Heaven are flown...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote j:
In truth dear L----...
[Hours of Idleness. Poems O. and T.]
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Footnote k:
The glances really don't become her...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote m:
No more I linger on its name...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote n:
And passion's self is but a name...
[MS. Newstead]
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Footnote o:
And what's much worse than this I find
Have left their deepen'd tracks behind
Yet as yon...
[MS. Newstead]
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Contents
Contents p.3
cross-reference: return to "On the Eyes of Miss A—— H——




To a Ladya


1.

Oh! had my Fate been join'd with thine1,
As once this pledge appear'd a token,
These follies had not, then, been mine,
For, then, my peace had not been broken.


2.

To thee, these early faults I owe,
To thee, the wise and old reproving:
They know my sins, but do not know
'Twas thine to break the bonds of loving.


3.

For once my soul, like thine, was pure,
And all its rising fires could smother;
But, now, thy vows no more endure,
Bestow'd by thee upon another1.


4.

Perhaps, his peace I could destroy,
And spoil the blisses that await him;
Yet let my Rival smile in joy,
For thy dear sake, I cannot hate him.


5.

Ah! since thy angel form is gone,
My heart no more can rest with any;
But what it sought in thee alone,
Attempts, alas! to find in many.


6.

Then, fare thee well, deceitful Maid!
'Twere vain and fruitless to regret thee;
Nor Hope, nor Memory yield their aid,
But Pride may teach me to forget thee.


7.

Yet all this giddy waste of years,
This tiresome round of palling pleasures;
These varied loves, these matrons' fears,
These thoughtless strains to Passion's measures--


8.

If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd:--
This cheek, now pale from early riot,
With Passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd,
But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet.


9.

Yes, once the rural Scene was sweet,
For Nature seem'd to smile before thee;
And once my Breast abhorr'd deceit,--
For then it beat but to adore thee.


10.

But, now, I seek for other joys--
To think, would drive my soul to madness;
In thoughtless throngs, and empty noise,
I conquer half my Bosom's sadness.


11.

Yet, even in these, a thought will steal,
In spite of every vain endeavour;
And fiends might pity what I feel--
To know that thou art lost for ever.


Footnote 1: › These verses were addressed to Mrs. Chaworth Musters. Byron wrote in 1822,
"Our meetings were stolen ones. ... A gate leading from Mr. Chaworth's grounds to those of my mother was the place of our interviews. The ardour was all on my side. I was serious; she was volatile: she liked me as a younger brother, and treated and laughed at me as a boy; she, however, gave me her picture, and that was something to make verses upon. Had I married her, perhaps, the whole tenour of my life would have been different."
Medwin's Conversations, 1824, p. 81.
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return to second footnote mark
Footnote a:
To------...
[Hours of Idleness. Poems O. and T.]
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Contents
Contents p.3




Poems Original and Translated





When I Roved a Young Highlandera


1.

When I rov'd a young Highlander o'er the dark heath,
And climb'd thy steep summit, oh Morven of snow1!
To gaze on the torrent that thunder'd beneath,
Or the mist of the tempest that gather'd below2;
Untutor'd by science, a stranger to fear,
And rude as the rocks, where my infancy grew,
No feeling, save one, to my bosom was dear;
Need I say, my sweet Mary3, 'twas centred in you?


2.

Yet it could not be Love, for I knew not the name,--
What passion can dwell in the heart of a child?
But, still, I perceive an emotion the same
As I felt, when a boy, on the crag-cover'd wild:
One image, alone, on my bosom impress'd,
I lov'd my bleak regions, nor panted for new;
And few were my wants, for my wishes were bless'd,
And pure were my thoughts, for my soul was with you.


3.

I arose with the dawn, with my dog as my guide,
From mountain to mountain I bounded along;
I breasted4 the billows of Dee's5 rushing tide,
And heard at a distance the Highlander's song:
At eve, on my heath-cover'd couch of repose.
No dreams, save of Mary, were spread to my view;
And warm to the skies my devotions arose,
For the first of my prayers was a blessing on you.


4.

I left my bleak home, and my visions are gone;
The mountains are vanish'd, my youth is no more;
As the last of my race, I must wither alone,
And delight but in days, I have witness'd before:
Ah! splendour has rais'd, but embitter'd my lot;
More dear were the scenes which my infancy knew:
Though my hopes may have fail'd, yet they are not
forgot,
Though cold is my heart, still it lingers with you.


5.

When I see some dark hill point its crest to the sky,
I think of the rocks that o'ershadow Colbleen6;
When I see the soft blue of a love-speaking eye,
I think of those eyes that endear'd the rude scene;
When, haply, some light-waving locks I behold,
That faintly resemble my Mary's in hue,
I think on the long flowing ringlets of gold,
The locks that were sacred to beauty, and you.


6.

Yet the day may arrive, when the mountains once more
Shall rise to my sight, in their mantles of snow;
But while these soar above me, unchang'd as before,
Will Mary be there to receive me?--ah, no!
Adieu, then, ye hills, where my childhood was bred!
Thou sweet flowing Dee, to thy waters adieu!
No home in the forest shall shelter my head,--
Ah! Mary, what home could be mine, but with you?


Footnote 1: › Morven, a lofty mountain in Aberdeenshire. "Gormal of snow" is an expression frequently to be found in Ossian.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Song...
[Poems O. and T.]
return
Footnote 2: › This will not appear extraordinary to those who have been accustomed to the mountains. It is by no means uncommon, on attaining the top of Ben-e-vis, Ben-y-bourd, etc., to perceive, between the summit and the valley, clouds pouring down rain, and occasionally accompanied by lightning, while the spectator literally looks down upon the storm, perfectly secure from its effects.
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Footnote 3: › Byron, in early youth, was "unco' wastefu'" of Marys.
  • There was his distant cousin, Mary Duff (afterwards Mrs. Robert Cockburn), who lived not far from the "Plain-Stanes" at Aberdeen. Her "brown, dark hair, and hazel eyes--her very dress," were long years after "a perfect image" in his memory (Life, p. 9).
  • Secondly, there was the Mary of these stanzas, "with long-flowing ringlets of gold," the "Highland Mary" of local tradition. She was (writes the Rev. J. Michie, of The Manse, Dinnet) the daughter of James Robertson, of the farmhouse of Ballatrich on Deeside, where Byron used to spend his summer holidays (1796-98). She was of gentle birth, and through her mother, the daughter of Captain Macdonald of Rineton, traced her descent to the Lord of the Isles. "She died at Aberdeen, March 2, 1867, aged eighty-five years."
  • A third Mary (see "Lines to Mary," etc., p. 32) flits through the early poems, evanescent but unspiritual.
  • Last of all, there was Mary Anne Chaworth, of Annesley (see "A Fragment," etc., p. 210; "The Adieu," st. 6, p. 239, etc.), whose marriage, in 1805, "threw him out again--alone on a wide, wide sea" (Life, p. 85).
return
Footnote 4: › "Breasting the lofty surge" (Shakespeare).
return
Footnote 5: › The Dee is a beautiful river, which rises near Mar Lodge, and falls into the sea at New Aberdeen.
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Footnote 6: › Colbleen is a mountain near the verge of the Highlands, not far from the ruins of Dee Castle.
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Contents
Contents p.3




To the Duke of Dorseta 1


Dorset! whose early steps with mine have stray'db,
Exploring every path of Ida's glade;
Whom, still, affection taught me to defend,
And made me less a tyrant than a friend,
Though the harsh custom of our youthful band
Bade thee obey, and gave me to command2;
Thee, on whose head a few short years will shower
The gift of riches, and the pride of power;
E'en now a name illustrious is thine own,
Renown'd in rank, not far beneath the throne.
Yet, Dorset, let not this seduce thy soulc
To shun fair science, or evade controul;
Though passive tutors3, fearful to dispraise
The titled child, whose future breath may raise,
View ducal errors with indulgent eyes,
And wink at faults they tremble to chastise.
When youthful parasites, who bend the knee
To wealth, their golden idol, not to thee,--
And even in simple boyhood's opening dawn
Some slaves are found to flatter and to fawn,--
When these declare, "that pomp alone should wait
On one by birth predestin'd to be great;
That books were only meant for drudging fools,
That gallant spirits scorn the common rules;"
Believe them not,--they point the path to shame,
And seek to blast the honours of thy name:
Turn to the few in Ida's early throng,
Whose souls disdain not to condemn the wrong;
Or if, amidst the comrades of thy youth,
None dare to raise the sterner voice of truth,
Ask thine own heart--'twill bid thee, boy, forbear!
For well I know that virtue lingers there.
Yes! I have mark'd thee many a passing day,
But now new scenes invite me far away;
Yes! I have mark'd within that generous mind
A soul, if well matur'd, to bless mankind;
Ah! though myself, by nature haughty, wild,
Whom Indiscretion hail'd her favourite child;
Though every error stamps me for her own,
And dooms my fall, I fain would fall alone;
Though my proud heart no precept, now, can tame,
I love the virtues which I cannot claim.
'Tis not enough, with other sons of power,
To gleam the lambent meteor of an hour;
To swell some peerage page in feeble pride,
With long-drawn names that grace no page beside;
Then share with titled crowds the common lot--
In life just gaz'd at, in the grave forgot;
While nought divides thee from the vulgar dead,
Except the dull cold stone that hides thy head,
The mouldering 'scutcheon, or the Herald's roll,
That well-emblazon'd but neglected scroll,
Where Lords, unhonour'd, in the tomb may find
One spot, to leave a worthless name behind.
There sleep, unnotic'd as the gloomy vaults
That veil their dust, their follies, and their faults,
A race, with old armorial lists o'erspread,
In records destin'd never to be read.
Fain would I view thee, with prophetic eyes,
Exalted more among the good and wise;
A glorious and a long career pursue,
As first in Rank, the first in Talent too:
Spurn every vice, each little meanness shun;
Not Fortune's minion, but her noblest son.
Turn to the annals of a former day;
Bright are the deeds thine earlier Sires display;
One, though a courtier, lived a man of worth,
And call'd, proud boast! the British drama forth4.
Another view! not less renown'd for Wit;
Alike for courts, and camps, or senates fit;
Bold in the field, and favour'd by the Nine;
In every splendid part ordain'd to shine;
Far, far distinguished from the glittering throng,
The pride of Princes, and the boast of Song5.
Such were thy Fathers; thus preserve their name,
Not heir to titles only, but to Fame.
The hour draws nigh, a few brief days will close,
To me, this little scene of joys and woes;
Each knell of Time now warns me to resign
Shades where Hope, Peace, and Friendship all were mine:
Hope, that could vary like the rainbow's hue,
And gild their pinions, as the moments flew;
Peace, that reflection never frown'd away,
By dreams of ill to cloud some future day;
Friendship, whose truth let Childhood only tell;
Alas! they love not long, who love so well.
To these adieu! nor let me linger o'er
Scenes hail'd, as exiles hail their native shore,
Receding slowly, through the dark-blue deep,
Beheld by eyes that mourn, yet cannot weep.
Dorset, farewell! I will not ask one partd
Of sad remembrance in so young a heart;
The coming morrow from thy youthful mind
Will sweep my name, nor leave a trace behind.
And, yet, perhaps, in some maturer year,
Since chance has thrown us in the self-same sphere,
Since the same senate, nay, the same debate,
May one day claim our suffrage for the state,
We hence may meet, and pass each other by
With faint regard, or cold and distant eye.
For me, in future, neither friend nor foe,
A stranger to thyself, thy weal or woe--
With thee no more again I hope to trace
The recollection of our early race;
No more, as once, in social hours rejoice,
Or hear, unless in crowds, thy well-known voice;
Still, if the wishes of a heart untaught
To veil those feelings, which, perchance, it ought,
If these,--but let me cease the lengthen'd strain,--
Oh! if these wishes are not breath'd in vain,
The Guardian Seraph who directs thy fate
Will leave thee glorious, as he found thee great.
1805.









10










20









30









40









50









60









70









80









90










100








110




Footnote 1: › In looking over my papers to select a few additional poems for this second edition, I found the above lines, which I had totally forgotten, composed in the summer of 1805, a short time previous to my departure from H[arrow]. They were addressed to a young schoolfellow of high rank, who had been my frequent companion in some rambles through the neighbouring country: however, he never saw the lines, and most probably never will. As, on a re-perusal, I found them not worse than some other pieces in the collection, I have now published them, for the first time, after a slight revision.
[The foregoing note was prefixed to the poem in Poems O. and T. George John Frederick, 4th Duke of Dorset, born 1793, was killed by a fall from his horse when hunting, in 1815, while on a visit to his step-father the Earl of Whitworth, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. (See Byron's letter to Moore, Feb. 22, 1815).]
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
o the Duke of D-----...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Footnote 2: › At every public school the junior boys are completely subservient to the upper forms till they attain a seat in the higher classes. From this state of probation, very properly, no rank is exempt; but after a certain period, they command in turn those who succeed.
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Footnote b:
D-r-t -----...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Footnote 3: › Allow me to disclaim any personal allusions, even the most distant. I merely mention generally what is too often the weakness of preceptors.
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Footnote c:
Yet D-r-t-----...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Footnote 4:
"Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, was born in 1527. While a student of the Inner Temple, he wrote his tragedy of Gorboduc, which was played before Queen Elizabeth at Whitehall, in 1561. This tragedy, and his contribution of the Induction and legend of the Duke of Buckingham to the Mirrour for Magistraytes, compose the poetical history of Sackville. The rest of it was political. In 1604, he was created Earl of Dorset by James I. He died suddenly at the council-table, in consequence of a dropsy on the brain."
--Specimens of the British Poets, by Thomas Campbell, London, 1819, ii. 134, sq.
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Footnote d:
D--r--t farewell...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Footnote 5: › Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset [1637-1706], esteemed the most accomplished man of his day, was alike distinguished in the voluptuous court of Charles II. and the gloomy one of William III. He behaved with great gallantry in the sea-fight with the Dutch in 1665; on the day previous to which he composed his celebrated song ("To all you Ladies now at Land"). His character has been drawn in the highest colours by Dryden, Pope, Prior, and Congreve. Vide Anderson's British Poets, 1793, vi. 107, 108.
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Contents
Contents p.3




To the Earl of Clarea


Tu semper amoris
Sis memor, et cari comitis ne abscedat imago.

Val. Flac. 'Argonaut', iv. 36.





1.

Friend of my youth! when young we rov'd,
Like striplings, mutually belov'd,
With Friendship's purest glow;
The bliss, which wing'd those rosy hours,
Was such as Pleasure seldom showers
On mortals here below.


2.

The recollection seems, alone,
Dearer than all the joys I've known,
When distant far from you:
Though pain, 'tis still a pleasing pain,
To trace those days and hours again,
And sigh again, adieu!


3.

My pensive mem'ry lingers o'er,
Those scenes to be enjoy'd no more,
Those scenes regretted ever;
The measure of our youth is full,
Life's evening dream is dark and dull,
And we may meet--ah! never!


4.

As when one parent spring supplies
Two streams, which from one fountain rise,
Together join'd in vain;
How soon, diverging from their source,
Each, murmuring, seeks another course,
Till mingled in the Main!


5.

Our vital streams of weal or woe,
Though near, alas! distinctly flow,
Nor mingle as before:
Now swift or slow, now black or clear,
Till Death's unfathom'd gulph appear,
And both shall quit the shore.


6.

Our souls, my Friend! which once supplied
One wish, nor breathed a thought beside,
Now flow in different channels:
Disdaining humbler rural sports,
'Tis yours to mix in polish'd courts,
And shine in Fashion's annals;


7.

'Tis mine to waste on love my time,
Or vent my reveries in rhyme,
Without the aid of Reason;
For Sense and Reason (critics know it)
Have quitted every amorous Poet,
Nor left a thought to seize on.


8.

Poor Little! sweet, melodious bard!
Of late esteem'd it monstrous hard
That he, who sang before all;
He who the lore of love expanded,
By dire Reviewers should be branded,
As void of wit and moral1.


9.

And yet, while Beauty's praise is thine,
Harmonious favourite of the Nine!
Repine not at thy lot.
Thy soothing lays may still be read,
When Persecution's arm is dead,
And critics are forgot.


10.

Still I must yield those worthies merit
Who chasten, with unsparing spirit,
Bad rhymes, and those who write them:
And though myself may be the next
By critic sarcasm to be vext,
I really will not fight them2.


11.

Perhaps they would do quite as well
To break the rudely sounding shell
Of such a young beginner:
He who offends at pert nineteen,
Ere thirty may become, I ween,
A very harden'd sinner.



12.
Now, Clare, I must return to youb;
And, sure, apologies are due:
Accept, then, my concession.
In truth, dear Clare, in Fancy's flightc
I soar along from left to right;
My Muse admires digression.


13.

I think I said 'twould be your fate
To add one star to royal state;--
May regal smiles attend you!
And should a noble Monarch reign,
You will not seek his smiles in vain,
If worth can recommend you.


14.

Yet since in danger courts abound,
Where specious rivals glitter round,
From snares may Saints preserve you;
And grant your love or friendship ne'er
From any claim a kindred care,
But those who best deserve you!


15.

Not for a moment may you stray
From Truth's secure, unerring way!
May no delights decoy!
O'er roses may your footsteps move,
Your smiles be ever smiles of love,
Your tears be tears of joy!


16.

Oh! if you wish that happiness
Your coming days and years may bless,
And virtues crown your brow;
Be still as you were wont to be,
Spotless as you've been known to me,--
Be still as you are now3.


17.

And though some trifling share of praise,
To cheer my last declining days,
To me were doubly dear;
Whilst blessing your beloved name,
I'd waive at once a Poet's fame,
To prove a Prophet here.


1807.


Footnote 1: › These stanzas were written soon after the appearance of a severe critique in a northern review, on a new publication of the British Anacreon. (Byron refers to the article in the Edinburgh Review, of July, 1807, on "Epistles, Odes, and other Poems, by Thomas Little, Esq.")
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
To the Earl of -----...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Footnote 2: › A bard [Moore] (Horresco referens) defied his reviewer [Jeffrey] to mortal combat. If this example becomes prevalent, our Periodical Censors must be dipped in the river Styx: for what else can secure them from the numerous host of their enraged assailants? [Cf. English Bards, l. 466 (click on c3 to return), note.]
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Footnote b:
Now ---- I must...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Footnote 3:
"Of all I have ever known, Clare has always been the least altered in everything from the excellent qualities and kind affections which attached me to him so strongly at school. I should hardly have thought it possible for society (or the world, as it is called) to leave a being with so little of the leaven of bad passions. I do not speak from personal experience only, but from all I have ever heard of him from others, during absence and distance."
Detached Thoughts, Nov. 5, 1821; Life, p. 540.
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Footnote c:
In truth dear ---- in fancy's flight...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Contents
Contents p.3




I would I were a Careless Childa


1.

I would I were a careless child,
Still dwelling in my Highland cave,
Or roaming through the dusky wild,
Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave;
The cumbrous pomp of Saxon1 pride,
Accords not with the freeborn soul,
Which loves the mountain's craggy side,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll.


2.

Fortune! take back these cultur'd lands,
Take back this name of splendid sound!
I hate the touch of servile hands,
I hate the slaves that cringe around:
Place me among the rocks I love,
Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
I ask but this--again to rove
Through scenes my youth hath known before.


3.

Few are my years, and yet I feel
The World was ne'er design'd for me:
Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal
The hour when man must cease to be?
Once I beheld a splendid dream,
A visionary scene of bliss:
Truth!--wherefore did thy hated beam
Awake me to a world like this?


4.

I lov'd--but those I lov'd are gone;
Had friends--my early friends are fled:
How cheerless feels the heart alone,
When all its former hopes are dead!
Though gay companions, o'er the bowl
Dispel awhile the sense of ill;
Though Pleasure stirs the maddening soul,
The heart--the heart--is lonely still.


5.

How dull! to hear the voice of those
Whom Rank or Chance, whom Wealth or Power,
Have made, though neither friends nor foes,
Associates of the festive hour.
Give me again a faithful few,
In years and feelings still the same,
And I will fly the midnight crew,
Where boist'rous Joy is but a name.


6.

And Woman, lovely Woman! thou,
My hope, my comforter, my all!
How cold must be my bosom now,
When e'en thy smiles begin to pall!
Without a sigh would I resign,
This busy scene of splendid Woe,
To make that calm contentment mine,
Which Virtue knows, or seems to know.


7.

Fain would I fly the haunts of men2--
I seek to shun, not hate mankind;
My breast requires the sullen glen,
Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind.
Oh! that to me the wings were given,
Which bear the turtle to her nest!
Then would I cleave the vault of Heaven,
To flee away, and be at rest3.


Footnote 1: › Sassenach, or Saxon, a Gaelic word, signifying either Lowland or English.
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Footnote a:
Stanzas...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Footnote 2: › Shyness was a family characteristic of the Byrons. The poet continued in later years to have a horror of being observed by unaccustomed eyes, and in the country would, if possible, avoid meeting strangers on the road.
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Footnote 3:
"And I said, O that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
(Psalm iv. 6.) This verse also constitutes a part of the most beautiful anthem in our language.
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Contents
Contents p.3




Lines Written beneath an Elm in the Churchyard of Harrowa 1


Spot of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh,
Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky;
Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod,
With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod;
With those who, scatter'd far, perchance deplore,
Like me, the happy scenes they knew before:
Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill,
Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still,
Thou drooping Elm! beneath whose boughs I lay,
And frequent mus'd the twilight hours away;
Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline,
But, ah! without the thoughts which then were mine:
How do thy branches, moaning to the blast,
Invite the bosom to recall the past,
And seem to whisper, as they gently swell,
"Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell!"

When Fate shall chill, at length, this fever'd breast,
And calm its cares and passions into rest,
Oft have I thought, 'twould soothe my dying hour,--
If aught may soothe, when Life resigns her power,--
To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell,
Would hide my bosom where it lov'd to dwell;
With this fond dream, methinks 'twere sweet to die--
And here it linger'd, here my heart might lie;
Here might I sleep where all my hopes arose,
Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose;
For ever stretch'd beneath this mantling shade,
Press'd by the turf where once my childhood play'd;
Wrapt by the soil that veils the spot I lov'd,
Mix'd with the earth o'er which my footsteps mov'd;
Blest by the tongues that charm'd my youthful ear,
Mourn'd by the few my soul acknowledged here;
Deplor'd by those in early days allied,
And unremember'd by the world beside.

September 2, 1807.


Footnote 1: › On the death of his daughter, Allegra, in April, 1822, Byron sent her remains to be buried at Harrow, "where," he says, in a letter to Murray, "I once hoped to have laid my own." "There is," he wrote, May 26, "a spot in the churchyard, near the footpath, on the brow of the hill looking towards Windsor, and a tomb under a large tree (bearing the name of Peachie, or Peachey), where I used to sit for hours and hours when a boy. This was my favourite spot; but as I wish to erect a tablet to her memory, the body had better be deposited in the church." No tablet was, however, erected, and Allegra sleeps in her unmarked grave inside the church, a few feet to the right of the entrance.
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Footnote a:
Lines written beneath an Elm
In the Churchyard of Harrow on the Hill
September 2, 1807...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Contents
Contents p.3




Early Poems from Various Sources





Fragment, Written Shortly after the Marriage of Miss Chaworth1


First published in Moore's Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, 1830, i. 56

1.

Hills of Annesley, Bleak and Barren,
Where my thoughtless Childhood stray'd,
How the northern Tempests, warring,
Howl above thy tufted Shade!


2.

Now no more, the Hours beguiling,
Former favourite Haunts I see;
Now no more my Mary smiling,
Makes ye seem a Heaven to Me.

1805.






Footnote 1: › Miss Chaworth was married to John Musters, Esq., in August, 1805. The stanzas were first published in Moore's Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, 1830, i. 56. (See, too, The Dream, st. ii. 1. 9.) The original MS. (which is in the possession of Mrs. Chaworth Musters) formerly belonged to Miss E. B. Pigot, according to whom they "were written by Lord Byron in 1804." "We were reading Burns' Farewell to Ayrshire--
Scenes of woe and Scenes of pleasure
Scenes that former thoughts renew
Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure
Now a sad and last adieu, etc.
when he said, ' I like that metre; let me try it,' and taking up a pencil, wrote those on the other side in an instant. I read them to Moore, and at his particular request I copied them for him."-E. B. Pigot, 1859.

On the fly-leaf of the same volume (Poetry of Robert Burns, vol. iv. Third Edition, 1802), containing the Farewell to Ayrshire, Byron wrote in pencil the two stanzas "Oh! little lock of golden hue," in 1806 (vide post, p. 233).

It may be noted that the verses quoted, though included until recently among his poems, were not written by Burns, but by Richard Gall, who died in 1801, aged 25.
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Contents
Contents p.3




Remembrance


First published in Works of Lord Byron, 1832, vii. 152.

'Tis done!--I saw it in my dreams:
No more with Hope the future beams;
My days of happiness are few:
Chill'd by Misfortune's wintry blast,
My dawn of Life is overcast;
Love, Hope, and Joy, alike adieu!
Would I could add Remembrance too!

1806. [First published, 1832.]

Contents
Contents p.3




To a Lady Who Presented the Author with the Velvet Band which bound her Tresses.


Works, 1832, vii. 151.

1.

This Band, which bound thy yellow hair
Is mine, sweet girl! thy pledge of love;
It claims my warmest, dearest care,
Like relics left of saints above.


2.

Oh! I will wear it next my heart;
'Twill bind my soul in bonds to thee:
From me again 'twill ne'er depart,
But mingle in the grave with me.


3.

The dew I gather from thy lip
Is not so dear to me as this;
That I but for a moment sip,
And banquet on a transient blissa:


4.

This will recall each youthful scene,
E'en when our lives are on the wane;
The leaves of Love will still be green
When Memory bids them bud again.

1806. [First published, 1832.]






Footnote a:
on a transient kiss...
[MS. Newstead]
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Contents p.3




To a Knot of Ungenerous Critics1


MS. Newstead

Rail on, Rail on, ye heartless crew!
My strains were never meant for you;
Remorseless Rancour still reveal,
And damn the verse you cannot feel.
Invoke those kindred passions' aid,
Whose baleful stings your breasts pervade;
Crush, if you can, the hopes of youth,
Trampling regardless on the Truth:
Truth's Records you consult in vain,
She will not blast her native strain;
She will assist her votary's cause,
His will at least be her applause,
Your prayer the gentle Power will spurn;
To Fiction's motley altar turn,
Who joyful in the fond address
Her favoured worshippers will bless:
And lo! she holds a magic glass,
Where Images reflected pass,
Bent on your knees the Boon receive--
This will assist you to deceive--
The glittering gift was made for you,
Now hold it up to public view;
Lest evil unforeseen betide,
A Mask each canker'd brow shall hide,
(Whilst Truth my sole desire is nigh,
Prepared the danger to defy,)
"There is the Maid's perverted name,
And there the Poet's guilty Flame,
Gloaming a deep phosphoric fire,
Threatening--but ere it spreads, retire.
Says Truth Up Virgins, do not fear!
The Comet rolls its Influence here;
'Tis Scandal's Mirror you perceive,
These dazzling Meteors but deceive--
Approach and touch--Nay do not turn
It blazes there, but will not burn."--
At once the shivering Mirror flies,
Teeming no more with varnished Lies;
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.
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Soliloquy of a Bard in the Country1


MS. Newstead

'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's2 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 Lloyd3;
From Dryden, Milbourne4 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.
return to footnote mark


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


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."
return


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."
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L'Amitié est L'Amour sans Ailes1


Works, 1832, vii. 161

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 youth2! 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 Lycus3! 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.
return to footnote mark


Footnote 2: › Harrow.
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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.
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The Prayer of Nature1


Letters and Journals, 1830, i. 106

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 alonea,
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 againb
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.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
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]
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Footnote b:
My hope, my God, in thee again
This erring life will fly at last. ...
[Poems O. and T.]
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Contents
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Translation from Anacreon1. Ode 5.


Greek(transliterated): eis rodon

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--
Lyæus! 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.
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Contents
Contents p.3




Ossian's Address to the Sun in Carthon1


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 agèd 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.)
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Contents
Contents p.4




Pignus Amoris1


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 lay2,
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.
return to footnote mark


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).
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Contents p.4




A Woman's Hair1


Works, 1832, vii. 151

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 skya
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.
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Footnote a:
a cloudless morn...
[Ed., 1832]
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Stanzas to Jessy1


Monthly Literary Recreations, July, 1807

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 breasta,--
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 moreb.


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."
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Such thrills of Rapture...
[Knight and Lacy, 1824, v. 56.]
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Footnote b:
And mine, mine only...
[Knight and Lacy, v. 56.]
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Contents
Contents p.4




The Adieu


Works, 1832, vii. 195

written under the impression that the author would soon die.

1.

Adieu, thou Hill1! 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 Fanesa,
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 Æolian wings,
In dying strains may float.


5.

Fields, which surround yon rustic cot2,
While yet I linger here,
Adieu! you are not now forgot,
To retrospection dear.
Streamlet3! 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 Mary4, 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 gift5 I wearb
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 lay6,
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 diec.


1807. [First published, 1832.]


Footnote 1: › Harrow
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
--ye regal Towers...
[MS. Newstead.]
return
Footnote 2: › Mrs. Pigot's Cottage.
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Footnote b:
The gift I wear...
[MS. Newstead.]
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Footnote 3: › The river Grete, at Southwell.
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Footnote c:
And since I must forbear to live,
Instruct me how to die.
[MS. Newstead]
return
Footnote 4: ›Mary Chaworth.
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Footnote 5: › Compare the verses on "The Cornelian," p. 66, and "Pignus Amoris," p. 231.
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Footnote 6: › See note to "Pignus Amoris," st. 3, l. 3, p. 232.
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Contents
Contents p.4
cross-reference: return to footnote of "Pignus Amoris"




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.
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Contents p.4




'

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 Summer2.

January 14, 1807.






Footnote 1: ›Miss Anne Houson. From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.
return to footnote mark


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

Contents
Contents p.4




To a Vain Lady1


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.
return to footnote mark

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To Anne1


Works, 1832, vii. 201

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.
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Egotism. A Letter to J.T. Becher1


Greek (transliterated): 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.
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To Anne1


Works, 1832, vii. 202

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.]





Footnote 1: › Miss Anne Houson.
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To the Author of a Sonnet Beginning, "'Sad is my verse,' you say, 'and yet no tear.'"


Works, 1832, vii. 202

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.]

Contents
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On Finding a Fan1


Works, 1832, 203

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).
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Farewell to the Musea


Works, 1832, vii. 203.

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 soulb,
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 lovec?
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 meetd;
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 a:
Adieu to the Muse...
[MS Newstead]
return


Footnote b:
When cold is the form...
[MS Newstead]
return


Footnote c:
whom I lived but to love...
[MS Newstead]
return


Footnote d:
Since we never can meet...
[MS Newstead]
return

Contents
Contents p.4




To an Oak at Newstead1


Works, 1832, vii. 206

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 shinea,
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.
return
Footnote a:
For ages may shine...
[MS Newstead]
return


Contents
Contents p.4




On Revisiting Harrow1


Letters and Journals, i. 102

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.]






Footnote 1:
"Some years ago, when at Harrow, a friend of the author engraved on a particular spot the names of both, with a few additional words, as a memorial. Afterwards, on receiving some real or imaginary injury, the author destroyed the frail record before he left Harrow. On revisiting the place in 1807, he wrote under it these stanzas."
Moore's Life, etc., i. 102.
return to footnote mark

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To my Son1


Letters and Journals, i. 104

1.

Those flaxen locks, those eyes of blue
Bright as thy mother's in their hue;
Those rosy lips, whose dimples play
And smile to steal the heart away,
Recall a scene of former joy,
And touch thy father's heart, my Boy!


2.

And thou canst lisp a father's name--
Ah, William, were thine own the same,--
No self-reproach--but, let me cease--
My care for thee shall purchase peace;
Thy mother's shade shall smile in joy,
And pardon all the past, my Boy!


3.

Her lowly grave the turf has prest,
And thou hast known a stranger's breast;
Derision sneers upon thy birth,
And yields thee scarce a name on earth;
Yet shall not these one hope destroy,--
A Father's heart is thine, my Boy!


4.

Why, let the world unfeeling frown,
Must I fond Nature's claims disown?
Ah, no--though moralists reprove,
I hail thee, dearest child of Love,
Fair cherub, pledge of youth and joy--
A Father guards thy birth, my Boy!


5.

Oh,'twill be sweet in thee to trace,
Ere Age has wrinkled o'er my face,
Ere half my glass of life is run,
At once a brother and a son;
And all my wane of years employ
In justice done to thee, my Boy!


6.

Although so young thy heedless sire,
Youth will not damp parental fire;
And, wert thou still less dear to me,
While Helen's form revives in thee,
The breast, which beat to former joy,
Will ne'er desert its pledge, my Boy!


1807.

[First published in Moore's Life and Letters, etc., 1830, i. 104.]


Footnote 1: › For a reminiscence of what was, possibly, an actual event, see Don Juan, canto xvi. st. 61. He told Lady Byron that he had two natural children, whom he should provide for.
return to footnote mark

Contents
Contents p.4




Queries to Casuists1


The Moralists tell us that Loving is Sinning,
And always are prating about and about it,
But as Love of Existence itself's the beginning,
Say, what would Existence itself be without it?

They argue the point with much furious Invective,
Though perhaps 'twere no difficult task to confute it;
But if Venus and Hymen should once prove defective,
Pray who would there be to defend or dispute it?

Byron.






Footnote 1: › From an autograph MS. (watermark 1805) at Newstead, now for the first time printed.
return to footnote mark

Contents
Contents p.4




Song. Breeze of the Night1


1.

Breeze of the night in gentler sighs
More softly murmur o'er the pillow;
For Slumber seals my Fanny's eyes,
And Peace must never shun her pillow.


2.

Or breathe those sweet Æolian strains
Stolen from celestial spheres above,
To charm her ear while some remains,
And soothe her soul to dreams of love.


3.

But Breeze of night again forbear,
In softest murmurs only sigh:
Let not a Zephyr's pinion dare
To lift those auburn locks on high.


4.

Chill is thy Breath, thou breeze of night!
Oh! ruffle not those lids of Snow;
For only Morning's cheering light
May wake the beam that lurks below.


5.

Blest be that lip and azure eye!
Sweet Fanny, hallowed be thy Sleep!
Those lips shall never vent a sigh,
Those eyes may never wake to weep.

February 23rd, 1808.






Footnote 1: › From the MS. in the possession of the Earl of Lovelace.
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Contents p.4




To Harriet1


1.

Harriet! to see such Circumspection2,
In Ladies I have no objection
Concerning what they read;
An ancient Maid's a sage adviser,
Like her, you will be much the wiser,
In word, as well as Deed.


2.

But Harriet, I don't wish to flatter,
And really think 't would make the matter
More perfect if not quite,
If other Ladies when they preach,
Would certain Damsels also teach
More cautiously to write.


Footnote 1: › From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.
return to footnote mark


Footnote 2: › See the poem To Marion, and note, p. 129. It would seem that J. T. Becher addressed some flattering lines to Byron with reference to a poem concerning Harriet Maltby, possibly the lines To Marion. The following note was attached by Miss Pigot to these stanzas, which must have been written on another occasion:--
"I saw Lord B. was flattered by John Becher's lines, as he read Apollo, etc., with a peculiar smile and emphasis; so out of fun, to vex him a little, I said,

'Apollo! He should have said Apollyon.'

'Elizabeth! for Heaven's sake don't say so again! I don't mind you telling me so; but if any one else got hold of the word, I should never hear the end of it.' So I laughed at him, and dropt it, for he was red with agitation."


Contents
Contents p.4




There was a Time, I need not name1 a


Imitations and Translations, 1809, p. 200

1.

There was a time, I need not name,
Since it will ne'er forgotten be,
When all our feelings were the same
As still my soul hath been to thee.


2.

And from that hour when first thy tongue
Confess'd a love which equall'd mine,
Though many a grief my heart hath wrung,
Unknown, and thus unfelt, by thine,


3.

None, none hath sunk so deep as this--
To think how all that love hath flown;
Transient as every faithless kiss,
But transient in thy breast alone.


4.

And yet my heart some solace knew,
When late I heard thy lips declare,
In accents once imagined true,
Remembrance of the days that were.


5.

Yes! my adored, yet most unkind!
Though thou wilt never love again,
To me 'tis doubly sweet to find
Remembrance of that love remainb.


6.

Yes! 'tis a glorious thought to me,
Nor longer shall my soul repine,
Whate'er thou art or e'er shall be,
Thou hast been dearly, solely mine.


June 10, 1808. [First published, 1809]


Footnote 1: › This copy of verses, with eight others, originally appeared in a volume published in 1809 by J. C. Hobhouse, under the title of Imitations and Translations, From the Ancient and Modern Classics, Together with Original Poems never before published. The MS. is in the possession of the Earl of Lovelace.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Stanzas to the Same.
[Imit. and Transl., p. 200.]
return
Footnote b:
The memory of that love again...
[MS. L.]
return


Contents
Contents p.4




And wilt Thou weep when I am low?a


Imitations and Translations, 1809, p. 202

1.

And wilt thou weep when I am low?
Sweet lady! speak those words again:
Yet if they grieve thee, say not so--
I would not give that bosom pain.


2.

My heart is sad, my hopes are gone,
My blood runs coldly through my breast;
And when I perish, thou alone
Wilt sigh above my place of rest.


3.

And yet, methinks, a gleam of peace
Doth through my cloud of anguish shine:
And for a while my sorrows cease,
To know thy heart hath felt for mine.


4.

Oh lady! blessèd be that tear--
It falls for one who cannot weep;
Such precious drops are doubly dearb
To those whose eyes no tear may steep.


5.

Sweet lady! once my heart was warm
With every feeling soft as thine;
But Beauty's self hath ceased to charm
A wretch created to repine.


6.c

Yet wilt thou weep when I am low?
Sweet lady! speak those words again:
Yet if they grieve thee, say not so--
I would not give that bosom pain1.


Aug. 12, 1808. [First published, 1809.]


Footnote 1: › It was in one of Byron's fits of melancholy that the following verses were addressed to him by his friend John Cam Hobhouse:--
Epistle To A Young Nobleman In Love.

Hail! generous youth, whom glory's sacred flame
Inspires, and animates to deeds of fame;
Who feel the noble wish before you die
To raise the finger of each passer-by:
Hail! may a future age admiring view
A Falkland or a Clarendon in you.
But as your blood with dangerous passion boils,
Beware! and fly from Venus' silken toils:
Ah! let the head protect the weaker heart,
And Wisdom's Ægis turn on Beauty's dart.
...
But if 'tis fix'd that every lord must pair,
And you and Newstead must not want an heir,
Lose not your pains, and scour the country round,
To find a treasure that can ne'er be found!
No! take the first the town or court affords,
Trick'd out to stock a market for the lords;
By chance perhaps your luckier choice may fall
On one, though wicked, not the worst of all:
...
One though perhaps as any Maxwell free,
Yet scarce a copy, Claribel, of thee;
Not very ugly, and not very old,
A little pert indeed, but not a scold;
One that, in short, may help to lead a life
Not farther much from comfort than from strife;
And when she dies, and disappoints your fears,
Shall leave some joys for your declining years.
But, as your early youth some time allows,
Nor custom yet demands you for a spouse,
Some hours of freedom may remain as yet,
For one who laughs alike at love and debt:
Then, why in haste? put off the evil day,
And snatch at youthful comforts while you may!
Pause! nor so soon the various bliss forego
That single souls, and such alone, can know:
Ah! why too early careless life resign,
Your morning slumber, and your evening wine;
Your loved companion, and his easy talk;
Your Muse, invoked in every peaceful walk?
What! can no more your scenes paternal please,
Scenes sacred long to wise, unmated ease?
The prospect lengthen'd o'er the distant down,
Lakes, meadows, rising woods, and all your own?
What! shall your Newstead, shall your cloister'd bowers,
The high o'erhanging arch and trembling towers!
Shall these, profaned with folly or with strife,
An ever fond, or ever angry wife!
Shall these no more confess a manly sway,
But changeful woman's changing whims obey?
Who may, perhaps, as varying humour calls,
Contract your cloisters and o'erthrow your walls;
Let Repton loose o'er all the ancient ground,
Change round to square, and square convert to round;
Root up the elms' and yews' too solemn gloom,
And fill with shrubberies gay and green their room;
Roll down the terrace to a gay parterre,
Where gravel'd walks and flowers alternate glare;
And quite transform, in every point complete,
Your Gothic abbey to a country seat.
Forget the fair one, and your fate delay;
If not avert, at least defer the day,
When you beneath the female yoke shall bend,
And lose your wit, your temper, and your friendA.
Trin. Coll. Camb., 1808.
Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; In his mother's copy of Hobhouse's volume, Byron has written with a pencil,
"I have lost them all, and shall wed accordingly. 1811. B."
return to main footnote mark
Footnote a:
Stanzas....
[MS Newstead]
To the Same.....
[Imit. and Transl., p. 202.]
return
Footnote b:
For one whose life is torment here, And only in the dust may sleep....
[MS. L.]
return
Footnote c:› The MS. inserts:--
Lady I will not tell my tale
For it would rend thy melting heart;
'Twere pity sorrow should prevail
O'er one so gentle as thou art....
[MS. L.]
return


Contents
Contents p.4




Remind me not, Remind me nota


Imitations and Translations, 1809, p. 197

1.

Remind me not, remind me not,
Of those beloved, those vanish'd hours,
When all my soul was given to thee;
Hours that may never be forgot,
Till Time unnerves our vital powers,
And thou and I shall cease to be.


2.

Can I forget--canst thou forget,
When playing with thy golden hair,
How quick thy fluttering heart did move?
Oh! by my soul, I see thee yet,
With eyes so languid, breast so fair,
And lips, though silent, breathing love.


3.

When thus reclining on my breast,
Those eyes threw back a glance so sweet,
As half reproach'd yet rais'd desire,
And still we near and nearer prest,
And still our glowing lips would meet,
As if in kisses to expire.


4.

And then those pensive eyes would close,
And bid their lids each other seek,
Veiling the azure orbs below;
While their long lashes' darken'd gloss
Seem'd stealing o'er thy brilliant cheek,
Like raven's plumage smooth'd on snow.


5.

I dreamt last night our love return'd,
And, sooth to say, that very dream
Was sweeter in its phantasy,
Than if for other hearts I burn'd,
For eyes that ne'er like thine could beam
In Rapture's wild reality.


6.

Then tell me not, remind me notb,
Of hours which, though for ever gone,
Can still a pleasing dream restorec,
Till thou and I shall be forgot,
And senseless, as the mouldering stone
Which tells that we shall be no more.


Aug. 13, 1808. [First published, 1809.]






Footnote a:
A Love Song. To----...
[Imit. and Transl., p. 197]
return


Footnote b:
Remind me not, remind me not...
[MS L.]
return


Footnote c:
Must still...
[MS L.]
return


Contents
Contents p.4




To a Youthful Frienda


Imitations and Translations, 1809, p. 185

1.

Few years have pass'd since thou and I
Were firmest friends, at least in name,
And Childhood's gay sincerity
Preserved our feelings long the sameb.


2.

But now, like me, too well thou know'stc
What trifles oft the heart recall;
And those who once have loved the most
Too soon forget they lov'd at all.d


3.

And such the change the heart displays,
So frail is early friendship's reigne,
A month's brief lapse, perhaps a day's,
Will view thy mind estrang'd againf.


4.

If so, it never shall be mine
To mourn the loss of such a heart;
The fault was Nature's fault, not thine,
Which made thee fickle as thou art.


5.

As rolls the Ocean's changing tide,
So human feelings ebb and flow;
And who would in a breast confide
Where stormy passions ever glow?


6.

It boots not that, together bred,
Our childish days were days of joy:
My spring of life has quickly fled;
Thou, too, hast ceas'd to be a boy.


7.

And when we bid adieu to youth,
Slaves to the specious World's controul,
We sigh a long farewell to truth;
That World corrupts the noblest soul.


8.

Ah, joyous season! when the mind1
Dares all things boldly but to lie;
When Thought ere spoke is unconfin'd,
And sparkles in the placid eye.


9.

Not so in Man's maturer years,
When Man himself is but a tool;
When Interest sways our hopes and fears,
And all must love and hate by rule.


10.

With fools in kindred vice the sameg,
We learn at length our faults to blend;
And those, and those alone, may claim
The prostituted name of friend.


11.

Such is the common lot of man:
Can we then 'scape from folly free?
Can we reverse the general plan,
Nor be what all in turn must be?


12.

No; for myself, so dark my fate
Through every turn of life hath been;
Man and the World so much I hate,
I care not when I quit the scene.


13.

But thou, with spirit frail and light,
Wilt shine awhile, and pass away;
As glow-worms sparkle through the night,
But dare not stand the test of day.


14.

Alas! whenever Folly calls
Where parasites and princes meet,
(For cherish'd first in royal halls,
The welcome vices kindly greet,)


15.

Ev'n now thou'rt nightly seen to add
One insect to the fluttering crowd;
And still thy trifling heart is glad
To join the vain and court the proud.


16.

There dost thou glide from fair to fair,
Still simpering on with eager haste,
As flies along the gay parterre,
That taint the flowers they scarcely taste.


17.

But say, what nymph will prize the flame
Which seems, as marshy vapours move,
To flit along from dame to dame,
An ignis-fatuus gleam of love?


18.

What friend for thee, howe'er inclin'd,
Will deign to own a kindred care?
Who will debase his manly mind,
For friendship every fool may share?


19.

In time forbear; amidst the throng
No more so base a thing be seen;
No more so idly pass along;
Be something, any thing, but--mean.


August 20th, 1808. [First published, 1809.]


Footnote 1: › Stanzas 8-9 are not in the MS.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
To Sir W. D., on his using the expression, "Soyes constant en amitie."...
[MS L.]
return
Footnote b:
'Twere well my friend if still with thee
Through every scene of joy and woe,
That thought could ever cherish'd be
As warm as it was wont to glow....
[MS L.]
return
Footnote c:
And yet like me...
[MS L.]
return
Footnote d:
Forget they ever...
[MS. L. Imit. and Transl., p. 185.]
return
Footnote e:
So short...
[MS L.]
return
Footnote f:
...a day
Will send my friendship back again...
[MS L.]
return
Footnote g:
Each fool whose vices are the same
Whose faults with ours may blend...
[MS L.]
return


Contents
Contents p.4




Lines Inscribed upon a Cup Formed from a Skull1


First published, Childe Harold, Cantos i., ii. (Seventh Edition), 1814

1.

Start not--nor deem my spirit fled:
In me behold the only skull,
From which, unlike a living head,
Whatever flows is never dull.


2.

I lived, I loved, I quaff'd, like thee:
I died: let earth my bones resign;
Fill up--thou canst not injure me;
The worm hath fouler lips than thine.


3.

Better to hold the sparkling grape,
Than nurse the earth-worm's slimy brood;
And circle in the goblet's shape
The drink of Gods, than reptile's food.


4.

Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone,
In aid of others' let me shine;
And when, alas! our brains are gone,
What nobler substitute than wine?


5.

Quaff while thou canst: another race,
When thou and thine, like me, are sped,
May rescue thee from earth's embrace,
And rhyme and revel with the dead.


6.

Why not? since through life's little day
Our heads such sad effects produce;
Redeem'd from worms and wasting clay,
This chance is theirs, to be of use.


Newstead Abbey, 1808.

[First published in the seventh edition of Childe Harold.]






Footnote 1: › Byron gave Medwin the following account of this cup: --
"The gardener in digging [discovered] a skull that had probably belonged to some jolly friar or monk of the abbey, about the time it was dis-monasteried. Observing it to be of giant size, and in a perfect state of preservation, a strange fancy seized me of having it set and mounted as a drinking cup. I accordingly sent it to town, and it returned with a very high polish, and of a mottled colour like tortoiseshell."
Medwin's Conversations, 1824, p. 87.
return

Contents
Contents p.4




Well! Thou art Happy1 a


Imitations and Translations, 1809, p. 192

1.

Well! thou art happy, and I feel
That I should thus be happy too;
For still my heart regards thy weal
Warmly, as it was wont to do.


2.

Thy husband's blest--and 'twill impart
Some pangs to view his happier lotb:
But let them pass--Oh! how my heart
Would hate him if he loved thee not!


3.

When late I saw thy favourite child,
I thought my jealous heart would break;
But when the unconscious infant smil'd,
I kiss'd it for its mother's sake.


4.

I kiss'd it,--and repress'd my sighs
Its father in its face to see;
But then it had its mother's eyes,
And they were all to love and me.


5c.

Mary, adieu! I must away:
While thou art blest I'll not repine;
But near thee I can never stay;
My heart would soon again be thine.


6.

I deem'd that Time, I deem'd that Pride,
Had quench'd at length my boyish flame;
Nor knew, till seated by thy side,
My heart in all,--save hope,--the same.


7.

Yet was I calm: I knew the time
My breast would thrill before thy look;
But now to tremble were a crime--
We met,--and not a nerve was shook.


8.

I saw thee gaze upon my face,
Yet meet with no confusion there:
One only feeling couldst thou trace;
The sullen calmness of despair.


9.

Away! away! my early dream
Remembrance never must awake:
Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream?
My foolish heart be still, or break.


November, 1808. [First published, 1809.]


Footnote 1: › These lines were written after dining at Annesley with Mr. and Mrs. Chaworth Musters. Their daughter, born 1806, and now Mrs. Hamond, of Westacre, Norfolk, is still (January, 1898) living.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
To Mrs.----[erased]...
[MS L.]
To-----
[Imit. and Transl. Hobhouse, 1809.]
return
Footnote b:
Some pang to see my rival's lot...
[MS L.]
return
Footnote c:› MS. L. inserts--
Poor little pledge of mutual love,
I would not hurt a hair of thee,
Although thy birth should chance to prove
Thy parents' bliss--my misery....
return


Contents
Contents p.4




Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog1


Imitations and Translations, 1809, p. 190

When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe
And storied urns record who rest below:
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been:
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth--
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth:
While Man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive Heaven.
Oh Man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on--it honours none you wish to mourn:
To mark a Friend's remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one,--and here he liesa.

Newstead Abbey, October 30, 1808. [First published, 1809.]


Footnote 1: › This monument is placed in the garden of Newstead. A prose inscription precedes the verses:--
"Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Boatswain, a Dog,
Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803,
And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18, 1808."
Byron thus announced the death of his favourite to his friend Hodgson:--
"Boatswain is dead!--he expired in a state of madness on the 18th after suffering much, yet retaining all the gentleness of his nature to the last; never attempting to do the least injury to any one near him. I have now lost everything except old Murray."
In the will which the poet executed in 1811, he desired to be buried in the vault with his dog, and Joe Murray was to have the honour of making one of the party. When the poet was on his travels, a gentleman, to whom Murray showed the tomb, said,

"Well, old boy, you will take your place here some twenty years hence."

"I don't know that, sir," replied Joe; "if I was sure his lordship would come here I should like it well enough, but I should not like to lie alone with the dog."

Life, pp. 73, 131.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
I knew but one unchang'd--and here he lies.
[Imit. and Transl. p. 191.]
return


Contents
Contents p.4




To a Lady1, On Being asked my reason for quitting England in the Springa


Imitations and Translations, 1809, p. 195

1.

When Man, expell'd from Eden's bowers,
A moment linger'd near the gate,
Each scene recall'd the vanish'd hours,
And bade him curse his future fate.


2.

But, wandering on through distant climes,
He learnt to bear his load of grief;
Just gave a sigh to other times,
And found in busier scenes relief.


3.

Thus, Lady! will it be with meb,
And I must view thy charms no more;
For, while I linger near to thee,
I sigh for all I knew before.


4.

In flight I shall be surely wise,
Escaping from temptation's snare:
I cannot view my Paradise
Without the wish of dwelling there2 c.

December 2, 1808. [First published, 1809.]


Footnote 1: › Byron had written to his mother on November 2, 1808, announcing his intention of sailing for India in the following March. See Childe Harold, canto i. st. 3. See also Letter to Hodgson, Nov. 27, 1808.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
The Farewell To a Lady...
[Imit. and Transl.]
return
Footnote 2: ›In an unpublished letter of Byron to----, dated within a few days of his final departure from Italy to Greece, in 1823, he writes:
"Miss Chaworth was two years older than myself. She married a man of an ancient and respectable family, but her marriage was not a happier one than my own. Her conduct, however, was irreproachable; but there was not sympathy between their characters. I had not seen her for many years when an occasion offered to me, January, 1814. I was upon the point, with her consent, of paying her a visit, when my sister, who has always had more influence over me than any one else, persuaded me not to do it. "For," said she, "if you go you will fall in love again, and then there will be a scene; one step will lead to another, et cela fera un éclat."
return
Footnote b:
Thus Mary!_ (Mrs. Musters)....
[MS]
return
Footnote c:
Without a wish to enter there...
[Imit. and Transl., p. 196.]
return


Contents
Contents p.4




Fill the Goblet Againa. A Song


Imitations and Translations, 1809, p. 204

1.

Fill the goblet again! for I never before
Felt the glow which now gladdens my heart to its core;
Let us drink!--who would not?--since, through life's varied round,
In the goblet alone no deception is found.


2.

I have tried in its turn all that life can supply;
I have bask'd in the beam of a dark rolling eye;
I have lov'd!--who has not?--but what heart can declare
That Pleasure existed while Passion was there?


3.

In the days of my youth, when the heart's in its spring,
And dreams that Affection can never take wing,
I had friends!--who has not?--but what tongue will avow,
That friends, rosy wine! are so faithful as thou?


4.

The heart of a mistress some boy may estrange,
Friendship shifts with the sunbeam--thou never canst change;
Thou grow'st old--who does not?--but on earth what appears,
Whose virtues, like thine, still increase with its years?


5.

Yet if blest to the utmost that Love can bestow,
Should a rival bow down to our idol below,
We are jealous!--who's not?--thou hast no such alloy;
For the more that enjoy thee, the more we enjoy.


6.

Then the season of youth and its vanities past,
For refuge we fly to the goblet at last;
There we find--do we not?--in the flow of the soul,
That truth, as of yore, is confined to the bowl.


7.

When the box of Pandora was open'd on earth,
And Misery's triumph commenc'd over Mirth,
Hope was left,--was she not?--but the goblet we kiss,
And care not for Hope, who are certain of bliss.


8.

Long life to the grape! for when summer is flown,
The age of our nectar shall gladden our own:
We must die--who shall not?--May our sins be forgiven,
And Hebe shall never be idle in Heaven.


[First published, 1809.]






Footnote a:
Song...
[Imit. and Transl., p. 204]
return

Contents
Contents p.4




Stanzas to a Lady, on Leaving Englanda


Imitations and Translations, 1809, p. 227

1.

Tis done--and shivering in the gale
The bark unfurls her snowy sail;
And whistling o'er the bending mast,
Loud sings on high the fresh'ning blast;
And I must from this land be gone,
Because I cannot love but one.


2.

But could I be what I have been,
And could I see what I have seen--
Could I repose upon the breast
Which once my warmest wishes blest--
I should not seek another zone,
Because I cannot love but one.


3.

'Tis long since I beheld that eye
Which gave me bliss or misery;
And I have striven, but in vain,
Never to think of it again:
For though I fly from Albion,
I still can only love but one.


4.

As some lone bird, without a mate,
My weary heart is desolate;
I look around, and cannot trace
One friendly smile or welcome face,
And ev'n in crowds am still alone,
Because I cannot love but one.


5.

And I will cross the whitening foam,
And I will seek a foreign home;
Till I forget a false fair face,
I ne'er shall find a resting-place;
My own dark thoughts I cannot shun,
But ever love, and love but one.


6.

The poorest, veriest wretch on earth
Still finds some hospitable hearth,
Where Friendship's or Love's softer glow
May smile in joy or soothe in woe;
But friend or leman I have noneb,
Because I cannot love but one.


7.

I go--but wheresoe'er I flee
There's not an eye will weep for me;
There's not a kind congenial heart,
Where I can claim the meanest part;
Nor thou, who hast my hopes undone,
Wilt sigh, although I love but one.


8.

To think of every early scene,
Of what we are, and what we've been,
Would whelm some softer hearts with woe--
But mine, alas! has stood the blow;
Yet still beats on as it begun,
And never truly loves but one.


9.

And who that dear lov'd one may be,
Is not for vulgar eyes to see;
And why that early love was cross'd,
Thou know'st the best, I feel the most;
But few that dwell beneath the sun
Have loved so long, and loved but one.


10.

I've tried another's fetters too,
With charms perchance as fair to view;
And I would fain have loved as well,
But some unconquerable spell
Forbade my bleeding breast to own
A kindred care for aught but one.


11.

'Twould soothe to take one lingering view,
And bless thee in my last adieu;
Yet wish I not those eyes to weep
For him that wanders o'er the deep;
His home, his hope, his youth are gonec,
Yet still he loves, and loves but oned.


1809. [First published, 1809.]






Footnote a:
To Mrs. Musters.
[MS]
To----on Leaving England.
[Imit. and Transl., p. 227.]
return


Footnote b:
But friend or lover I have none...
[Imit. and Transl., p. 229.]
return


Footnote c:
Though wheresoever my bark may run,
I love but thee, I love but one...
[Imit. and Transl., p. 230.]
The land recedes his Bark is gone,
Yet still he loves and laves but one
[MS.]
return


Footnote d:
Yet far away he loves but one...
[MS.]
return

Contents
Contents p.4




English Bards and Scotch Reviewers


a satire.

by Lord Byron.

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

(Shakespeare.)

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

(Pope.)






Preface1


All my friends, learned and unlearned, have urged me not to publish this Satire with my name. If I were to be "turned from the career of my humour by quibbles quick, and paper bullets of the brain" I should have complied with their counsel. But I am not to be terrified by abuse, or bullied by reviewers, with or without arms. I can safely say that I have attacked none personally, who did not commence on the offensive. An Author's works are public property: he who purchases may judge, and publish his opinion if he pleases; and the Authors I have endeavoured to commemorate may do by me as I have done by them. I dare say they will succeed better in condemning my scribblings, than in mending their own. But my object is not to prove that I can write well, but, if possible, to make others write better.

As the Poem has met with far more success than I expected, I have endeavoured in this Edition to make some additions and alterations, to render it more worthy of public perusal.

In the First Edition of this Satire, published anonymously, fourteen lines on the subject of Bowles's Pope were written by, and inserted at the request of, an ingenious friend of mine2, who has now in the press a volume of Poetry. In the present Edition they are erased, and some of my own substituted in their stead; my only reason for this being that which I conceive would operate with any other person in the same manner,--a determination not to publish with my name any production, which was not entirely and exclusively my own composition.

With3 regard to the real talents of many of the poetical persons whose performances are mentioned or alluded to in the following pages, it is presumed by the Author that there can be little difference of opinion in the Public at large; though, like other sectaries, each has his separate tabernacle of proselytes, by whom his abilities are over-rated, his faults overlooked, and his metrical canons received without scruple and without consideration. But the unquestionable possession of considerable genius by several of the writers here censured renders their mental prostitution more to be regretted. Imbecility may be pitied, or, at worst, laughed at and forgotten; perverted powers demand the most decided reprehension. No one can wish more than the Author that some known and able writer had undertaken their exposure; but Mr. Gifford has devoted himself to Massinger, and, in the absence of the regular physician, a country practitioner may, in cases of absolute necessity, be allowed to prescribe his nostrum to prevent the extension of so deplorable an epidemic, provided there be no quackery in his treatment of the malady. A caustic is here offered; as it is to be feared nothing short of actual cautery can recover the numerous patients afflicted with the present prevalent and distressing rabies for rhyming.--As to the Edinburgh Reviewers, it would indeed require an Hercules to crush the Hydra; but if the Author succeeds in merely "bruising one of the heads of the serpent" though his own hand should suffer in the encounter, he will be amply satisfied.





Footnote 1: › The Preface, as it is here printed, was prefixed to the Second, Third, and Fourth Editions of English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers. The preface to the First Edition began with the words, "With regard to the real talents," etc. The text of the poem follows that of the suppressed Fifth Edition, which passed under Byron's own supervision, and was to have been issued in 1812. From that Edition the Preface was altogether excluded.

In an annotated copy of the Fourth Edition, of 1811, underneath the note,
"This preface was written for the Second Edition, and printed with it. The noble author had left this country previous to the publication of that Edition, and is not yet returned,"
Byron wrote, in 1816,
"He is, and gone again."
MS. Notes from this volume, which is now in Mr. Murray's possession, are marked--B., 1816.
return to footnote mark


Footnote 2: › John Cam Hobhouse.
return


Footnote 3: › Preface to the First Edition.
return

Contents
Contents p.5




Introduction


The article upon Hours of Idleness "which Lord Brougham ... after denying it for thirty years, confessed that he had written" (Notes from a Diary, by Sir M. E. Grant Duff, 1897, ii. 189), was published in the Edinburgh Review of January, 1808. English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers did not appear till March, 1809. The article gave the opportunity for the publication of the satire, but only in part provoked its composition. Years later, Byron had not forgotten its effect on his mind. On April 26, 1821, he wrote to Shelley:
"I recollect the effect on me of the Edinburgh on my first poem: it was rage and resistance and redress: but not despondency nor despair."
And on the same date to Murray:
"I know by experience that a savage review is hemlock to a sucking author; and the one on me (which produced the English Bards, etc.) knocked me down, but I got up again," etc.
It must, however, be remembered that Byron had his weapons ready for an attack before he used them in defence. In a letter to Miss Pigot, dated October 26, 1807, he says that "he has written one poem of 380 lines to be published in a few weeks with notes. The poem ... is a Satire." It was entitled British Bards, and finally numbered 520 lines. With a view to publication, or for his own convenience, it was put up in type and printed in quarto sheets. A single copy, which he kept for corrections and additions, was preserved by Dallas, and is now in the British Museum. After the review appeared, he enlarged and recast the British Bards, and in March, 1809, the Satire was published anonymously. Byron was at no pains to conceal the authorship of English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, and, before starting on his Pilgrimage, he had prepared a second and enlarged edition, which came out in October, 1809, with his name prefixed. Two more editions were called for in his absence, and on his return he revised and printed a fifth, when he suddenly resolved to suppress the work. On his homeward voyage he expressed, in a letter to Dallas, June 28, 1811, his regret at having written the Satire. A year later he became intimate, among others, with Lord and Lady Holland, whom he had assailed on the supposition that they were the instigators of the article in the Edinburgh Review, and on being told by Rogers that they wished the Satire to be withdrawn, he gave orders to his publisher, Cawthorn, to burn the whole impression. A few copies escaped the flames. One of two copies retained by Dallas, which afterwards belonged to Murray, and is now in his grandson's possession, was the foundation of the text of 1831, and of all subsequent issues. Another copy which belonged to Dallas is retained in the British Museum.

Towards the close of the last century there had been an outburst of satirical poems, written in the style of the Dunciad and its offspring the Rosciad, Of these, Gifford's Baviad and Maviad,.(1794-5), and T. J. Mathias' Pursuits of Literature (1794-7), were the direct progenitors of English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, The Rolliad (1794), the Children of Apollo (circ. 1794), Canning's New Morality (1798), and Wolcot's coarse but virile lampoons, must also be reckoned among Byron's earlier models. The ministry of "All the Talents" gave rise to a fresh batch of political jeux d'esprits, and in 1807, when Byron was still at Cambridge, the air was full of these ephemera. To name only a few, All the Talents, by Polypus (Eaton Stannard Barrett), was answered by All the Blocks, an antidote to All the Talents, by Flagellum (W. H. Ireland); Elijah's Mantle, a tribute to the memory of the R. H. William Pitt, by James Sayer, the caricaturist, provoked Melville's Mantle, being a Parody on ... Elijah's Mantle. The Simpliciad, A Satirico-Didactic Poem, and Lady Anne Hamilton's Epics of the Ton, are also of the same period. One and all have perished, but Byron read them, and in a greater or less degree they supplied the impulse to write in the fashion of the day.

British Bards would have lived, but, unquestionably, the spur of the article, a year's delay, and, above all, the advice and criticism of his friend Hodgson, who was at work on his Gentle Alterative for the Reviewers, 1809 (for further details, see vol. i., Letters, Letter 102, note 1), produced the brilliant success of the enlarged satire. English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers was recognized at once as a work of genius. It has intercepted the popularity of its great predecessors, who are often quoted, but seldom read. It is still a popular poem, and appeals with fresh delight to readers who know the names of many of the "bards" only because Byron mentions them, and count others whom he ridicules among the greatest poets of the century.

Contents
Contents p.5




English Bards and Scotch Reviewers1


Still2 must I hear?--shall hoarse3 Fitzgerald bawl
His creaking couplets in a tavern hall,
And I not sing, lest, haply, Scotch Reviews
Should dub me scribbler, and denounce my Muse?
Prepare for rhyme--I'll publish, right or wrong:
Fools are my theme, let Satire be my songa.

Oh! Nature's noblest gift--my grey goose-quill!
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will,
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen,
That mighty instrument of little men!
The pen! foredoomed to aid the mental throes
Of brains that labour, big with Verse or Prose;
Though Nymphs forsake, and Critics may deride,
The Lover's solace, and the Author's pride.
What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise!
How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise!
Condemned at length to be forgotten quite,
With all the pages which 'twas thine to write.
But thou, at least, mine own especial penb!
Once laid aside, but now assumed again,
Our task complete, like Hamet's4 shall be free;
Though spurned by others, yet beloved by me:
Then let us soar to-day; no common theme,
No Eastern vision, no distempered dream5
Inspires--our path, though full of thorns, is plain;
Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain.

When Vice triumphant holds her sov'reign sway,
Obey'd by all who nought beside obeyc;
When Folly, frequent harbinger of crime,
Bedecks her cap with bells of every Climed;
When knaves and fools combined o'er all prevail,
And weigh their Justice in a Golden Scalee;
E'en then the boldest start from public sneers,
Afraid of Shame, unknown to other fears,
More darkly sin, by Satire kept in awe,
And shrink from Ridicule, though not from Law.

Such is the force of Wit! I but not belong
To me the arrows of satiric song;
The royal vices of our age demand
A keener weapon, and a mightier handf.
Still there are follies, e'en for me to chase,
And yield at least amusement in the race:
Laugh when I laugh, I seek no other fame,
The cry is up, and scribblers are my game:
Speed, Pegasus!--ye strains of great and small,
Ode! Epic! Elegy!--have at you all!
I, too, can scrawl, and once upon a time
I poured along the town a flood of rhyme,
A schoolboy freak, unworthy praise or blame;
I printed--older children do the same.
'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print;
A Book's a Book, altho' there's nothing in't.
Not that a Title's sounding charm can saveg
Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave:
This Lamb6 must own, since his patrician name
Failed to preserve the spurious Farce from shame7.
No matter, George continues still to write8,
Tho' now the name is veiled from public sight.
Moved by the great example, I pursue
The self-same road, but make my own review:
Not seek great Jeffrey's, yet like him will be
Self-constituted Judge of Poesy.

A man must serve his time to every trade
Save Censure--Critics all are ready made.
Take hackneyed jokes from Miller9, got by rote,
With just enough of learning to misquote;
A man well skilled to find, or forge a fault;
A turn for punning--call it Attic salt;
To Jeffrey go, be silent and discreet,
His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet:
Fear not to lie,'twill seem a sharper hith;
Shrink not from blasphemy, 'twill pass for wit;
Care not for feeling--pass your proper jest,
And stand a Critic, hated yet caress'd.

And shall we own such judgment? no--as soon
Seek roses in December--ice in June;
Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff,
Believe a woman or an epitaph,
Or any other thing that's false, before
You trust in Critics, who themselves are sore;
Or yield one single thought to be misled
By Jeffrey's heart, or Lamb's Boeotian head10.
To these young tyrants, by themselves misplaced,
Combined usurpers on the Throne of Taste;
To these, when Authors bend in humble awe,
And hail their voice as Truth, their word as Law;
While these are Censors, 'twould be sin to spare11;
While such are Critics, why should I forbear?
But yet, so near all modern worthies run,
'Tis doubtful whom to seek, or whom to shun;
Nor know we when to spare, or where to strike,
Our Bards and Censors are so much alike.
Then should you ask me12, why I venture o'er
The path which Pope and Gifford13 trod before;
If not yet sickened, you can still proceed;
Go on; my rhyme will tell you as you read.
"But hold!" exclaims a friend,--"here's some neglect:
This--that--and t'other line seem incorrect."
What then? the self-same blunder Pope has got,
And careless Dryden--"Aye, but Pye has not:"--
Indeed!--'tis granted, faith!--but what care I?
Better to err with Pope, than shine with Pye14.

Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days15
Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise,
When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied,
No fabled Graces, flourished side by side,
From the same fount their inspiration drew,
And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew.
Then, in this happy Isle, a Pope's pure strain
Sought the rapt soul to charm, nor sought in vain;
A polished nation's praise aspired to claim,
And raised the people's, as the poet's fame.
Like him great Dryden poured the tide of song,
In stream less smooth, indeed, yet doubly strong.
Then Congreve's scenes could cheer, or Otway's melt16;
For Nature then an English audience felt--
But why these names, or greater still, retrace,
When all to feebler Bards resign their place?
Yet to such times our lingering looks are cast,
When taste and reason with those times are past.
Now look around, and turn each trifling page,
Survey the precious works that please the age;
This truth at least let Satire's self allow,
No dearth of Bards can be complained of nowi.
The loaded Press beneath her labour groansj,
And Printers' devils shake their weary bones;
While Southey's Epics cram the creaking shelvesk,
And Little's Lyrics shine in hot-pressed twelves17.
Thus saith the Preacher: "Nought beneath the sun
Is new,"18 yet still from change to change we run.
What varied wonders tempt us as they pass!
The Cow-pox, Tractors, Galvanism, and Gas19,
In turns appear, to make the vulgar stare,
Till the swoln bubble bursts--and all is air!
Nor less new schools of Poetry arise,
Where dull pretenders grapple for the prize:
O'er Taste awhile these Pseudo-bards prevailm;
Each country Book-club bows the knee to Baal,
And, hurling lawful Genius from the throne,
Erects a shrine and idol of its ownn;
Some leaden calf--but whom it matters not,
From soaring Southey, down to groveling Stott20.

Behold! in various throngs the scribbling crew,
For notice eager, pass in long review:
Each spurs his jaded Pegasus apace,
And Rhyme and Blank maintain an equal race;
Sonnets on sonnets crowd, and ode on ode;
And Tales of Terror21 jostle on the road;
Immeasurable measures move along;
For simpering Folly loves a varied song,
To strange, mysterious Dulness still the friend,
Admires the strain she cannot comprehend.
Thus Lays of Minstrels22--may they be the last!--
On half-strung harps whine mournful to the blast.
While mountain spirits prate to river sprites,
That dames may listen to the sound at nights;
And goblin brats, of Gilpin Horner's23 brood
Decoy young Border-nobles through the wood,
And skip at every step, Lord knows how high,
And frighten foolish babes, the Lord knows why;
While high-born ladies in their magic cell,
Forbidding Knights to read who cannot spell,
Despatch a courier to a wizard's grave,
And fight with honest men to shield a knave.

Next view in state, proud prancing on his roan,
The golden-crested haughty Marmion,
Now forging scrolls, now foremost in the fight,
Not quite a Felon, yet but half a Knighto.
The gibbet or the field prepared to grace;
A mighty mixture of the great and base.
And think'st thou, Scott! by vain conceit perchance,
On public taste to foist thy stale romance,
Though Murray with his Miller may combine
To yield thy muse just half-a-crown per line24?
No! when the sons of song descend to trade,
Their bays are sear, their former laurels fade,
Let such forego the poet's sacred name,
Who rack their brains for lucre, not for fame:
Still for stern Mammon may they toil in vain25!
And sadly gaze on Gold they cannot gain!
Such be their meed, such still the just rewardp
Of prostituted Muse and hireling bard!
For this we spurn Apollo's venal son,
And bid a long "good night to Marmion."26

These are the themes that claim our plaudits now;
These are the Bards to whom the Muse must bow;
While Milton, Dryden, Pope, alike forgot,
Resign their hallowed Bays to Walter Scott.

The time has been, when yet the Muse was young,
When Homer swept the lyre, and Maro sung,
An Epic scarce ten centuries could claim,
While awe-struck nations hailed the magic name:
The work of each immortal Bard appears
The single wonder of a thousand years27.
Empires have mouldered from the face of earth,
Tongues have expired with those who gave them birth,
Without the glory such a strain can give,
As even in ruin bids the language live.
Not so with us, though minor Bards, contentq,
On one great work a life of labour spent:
With eagle pinion soaring to the skies,
Behold the Ballad-monger Southey rise!
To him let Camoëns, Milton, Tasso yield,
Whose annual strains, like armies, take the field.
First in the ranks see Joan of Arc advance,
The scourge of England and the boast of France!
Though burnt by wicked Bedford for a witch,
Behold her statue placed in Glory's niche;
Her fetters burst, and just released from prison,
A virgin Phoenix from her ashes risen.
Next see tremendous Thalaba come on28,
Arabia's monstrous, wild, and wond'rous son;
Domdaniel's dread destroyer, who o'erthrew
More mad magicians than the world e'er knew.
Immortal Hero! all thy foes o'ercome,
For ever reign--the rival of Tom Thumb29!
Since startled Metre fled before thy face,
Well wert thou doomed the last of all thy race!
Well might triumphant Genii bear thee hence,
Illustrious conqueror of common sense!
Now, last and greatest, Madoc spreads his sails,
Cacique in Mexico30, and Prince in Wales;
Tells us strange tales, as other travellers do,
More old than Mandeville's, and not so true.
Oh, Southey! Southey31! cease thy varied song!
A bard may chaunt too often and too long:
As thou art strong in verse, in mercy, spare!
A fourth, alas! were more than we could bear.
But if, in spite of all the world can say,
Thou still wilt verseward plod thy weary way;
If still in Berkeley-Ballads most uncivil,
Thou wilt devote old women to the devil32,
The babe unborn thy dread intent may rue:
"God help thee," Southey33, and thy readers too.

Next comes the dull disciple of thy school34,
That mild apostate from poetic rule,
The simple Wordsworth, framer of a lay
As soft as evening in his favourite May,
Who warns his friend "to shake off toil and trouble,
And quit his books, for fear of growing double;"35
Who, both by precept and example, shows
That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose;
Convincing all, by demonstration plain,
Poetic souls delight in prose insane;
And Christmas stories tortured into rhyme
Contain the essence of the true sublime.
Thus, when he tells the tale of Betty Foy,
The idiot mother of "an idiot Boy;"
A moon-struck, silly lad, who lost his way,
And, like his bard, confounded night with day36
So close on each pathetic part he dwells,
And each adventure so sublimely tells,
That all who view the "idiot in his glory"
Conceive the Bard the hero of the story.

Shall gentle Coleridge pass unnoticed here37,
To turgid ode and tumid stanza dear?
Though themes of innocence amuse him best,
Yet still Obscurity's a welcome guest.
If Inspiration should her aid refuse
To him who takes a Pixy for a muse38,
Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass
The bard who soars to elegize an ass:
So well the subject suits his noble mindr,
He brays, the Laureate of the long-eared kinds.

Oh! wonder-working Lewis39! Monk, or Bard,
Who fain would make Parnassus a church-yardt!
Lo! wreaths of yew, not laurel, bind thy brow,
Thy Muse a Sprite, Apollo's sexton thou!
Whether on ancient tombs thou tak'st thy stand,
By gibb'ring spectres hailed, thy kindred band;
Or tracest chaste descriptions on thy page,
To please the females of our modest age;
All hail, M.P.40! from whose infernal brain
Thin-sheeted phantoms glide, a grisly train;
At whose command "grim women" throng in crowds,
And kings of fire, of water, and of clouds,
With "small grey men,"--"wild yagers," and what not,
To crown with honour thee and Walter Scott:
Again, all hail! if tales like thine may please,
St. Luke alone can vanquish the disease:
Even Satan's self with thee might dread to dwell,
And in thy skull discern a deeper Hell.

Who in soft guise, surrounded by a choir
Of virgins melting, not to Vesta's fire,
With sparkling eyes, and cheek by passion flushed
Strikes his wild lyre, whilst listening dames are hushed?
'Tis Little! young Catullus of his day,
As sweet, but as immoral, in his Lay!
Grieved to condemn, the Muse must still be just,
Nor spare melodious advocates of lust.
Pure is the flame which o'er her altar burns;
From grosser incense with disgust she turns
Yet kind to youth, this expiation o'er,
She bids thee "mend thy line, and sin no more."u

For thee, translator of the tinsel song,
To whom such glittering ornaments belong,
Hibernian Strangford! with thine eyes of blue41,
And boasted locks of red or auburn hue,
Whose plaintive strain each love-sick Miss admires,
And o'er harmonious fustian half expiresv,
Learn, if thou canst, to yield thine author's sense,
Nor vend thy sonnets on a false pretence.
Think'st thou to gain thy verse a higher place,
By dressing Camoëns42 in a suit of lace?
Mend, Strangford! mend thy morals and thy taste;
Be warm, but pure; be amorous, but be chaste:
Cease to deceive; thy pilfered harp restore,
Nor teach the Lusian Bard to copy Moore.

Behold--Ye Tarts!--one moment spare the textw!--
Hayley's last work, and worst--until his next;
Whether he spin poor couplets into plays,
Or damn the dead with purgatorial praise43,
His style in youth or age is still the same,
For ever feeble and for ever tame.
Triumphant first see "Temper's Triumphs" shine!
At least I'm sure they triumphed over mine.
Of "Music's Triumphs," all who read may swear
That luckless Music never triumph'd there44.

Moravians, rise! bestow some meet reward45
On dull devotion--Lo! the Sabbath Bard,
Sepulchral Grahame46, pours his notes sublime
In mangled prose, nor e'en aspires to rhyme;
Breaks into blank the Gospel of St. Lukex,
And boldly pilfers from the Pentateuch;
And, undisturbed by conscientious qualms,
Perverts the Prophets, and purloins the Psalms.

Hail, Sympathy! thy soft idea brings"y
A thousand visions of a thousand things,
And shows, still whimpering thro' threescore of yearsz,
The maudlin prince of mournful sonneteers.
And art thou not their prince, harmonious Bowles47!
Thou first, great oracle of tender souls?
Whether them sing'st with equal ease, and griefA,
The fall of empires, or a yellow leaf;
Whether thy muse most lamentably tells
What merry sounds proceed from Oxford bellsB,
Or, still in bells delighting, finds a friend
In every chime that jingled from Ostend;
Ah! how much juster were thy Muse's hap,
If to thy bells thou would'st but add a capC!
Delightful Bowles! still blessing and still blest,
All love thy strain, but children like it best.
'Tis thine, with gentle Little's moral song,
To soothe the mania of the amorous throng!
With thee our nursery damsels shed their tears,
Ere Miss as yet completes her infant years:
But in her teens thy whining powers are vain;
She quits poor Bowles for Little's purer strain.
Now to soft themes thou scornest to confineD
The lofty numbers of a harp like thine;
"Awake a louder and a loftier strain,"48
Such as none heard before, or will again!
Where all discoveries jumbled from the flood,
Since first the leaky ark reposed in mud,
By more or less, are sung in every book,
From Captain Noah down to Captain Cook.
Nor this alone--but, pausing on the road,
The Bard sighs forth a gentle episode49 E,
And gravely tells--attend, each beauteous Miss!--
When first Madeira trembled to a kiss.
Bowles! in thy memory let this precept dwell,
Stick to thy Sonnets, Man!--at least they sell.
But if some new-born whim, or larger bribe,
Prompt thy crude brain, and claim thee for a scribe:
If 'chance some bard, though once by dunces feared,
Now, prone in dust, can only be revered;
If Pope, whose fame and genius, from the firstF,
Have foiled the best of critics, needs the worst,
Do thou essay: each fault, each failing scan;
The first of poets was, alas! but man.
Rake from each ancient dunghill ev'ry pearl,
Consult Lord Fanny, and confide in Curll50;
Let all the scandals of a former age
Perch on thy pen, and flutter o'er thy page;
Affect a candour which thou canst not feel,
Clothe envy in a garb of honest zeal;
Write, as if St. John's soul could still inspire,
And do from hate what Mallet51 did for hire.
Oh! hadst thou lived in that congenial time,
To rave with Dennis, and with Ralph to rhyme52;
Thronged with the rest around his living head,
Not raised thy hoof against the lion dead,
A meet reward had crowned thy glorious gains,
And linked thee to the Dunciad for thy pains53.

Another Epic! Who inflicts again
More books of blank upon the sons of men?
Boeotian Cottle, rich Bristowa's boast,
Imports old stories from the Cambrian coast,
And sends his goods to market--all alive!
Lines forty thousand, Cantos twenty-five!
Fresh fish from Hippocrene54! who'll buy? who'll buy?
The precious bargain's cheap--in faith, not I.
Your turtle-feeder's verse must needs be flatG,
Though Bristol bloat him with the verdant fat;
If Commerce fills the purse, she clogs the brain,
And Amos Cottle strikes the Lyre in vain.
In him an author's luckless lot behold!
Condemned to make the books which once he sold.
Oh, Amos Cottle!--Phoebus! what a name
To fill the speaking-trump of future fame!--
Oh, Amos Cottle! for a moment think
What meagre profits spring from pen and ink!
When thus devoted to poetic dreams,
Who will peruse thy prostituted reams?
Oh! pen perverted! paper misapplied!
Had Cottle55 still adorned the counter's side,
Bent o'er the desk, or, born to useful toils,
Been taught to make the paper which he soils,
Ploughed, delved, or plied the oar with lusty limb,
He had not sung of Wales, nor I of him.

As Sisyphus against the infernal steep
Rolls the huge rock whose motions ne'er may sleep,
So up thy hill, ambrosial Richmond! heaves
Dull Maurice56 all his granite weight of leaves:
Smooth, solid monuments of mental pain!
The petrifactions of a plodding brain,
That, ere they reach the top, fall lumbering back again.

With broken lyre and cheek serenely pale,
Lo! sad Alcæus wanders down the vale;
Though fair they rose, and might have bloomed at last,
His hopes have perished by the northern blast:
Nipped in the bud by Caledonian gales,
His blossoms wither as the blast prevails!
O'er his lost works let classic Sheffield weep;
May no rude hand disturb their early sleep57!

Yet say! why should the Bard, at once, resignH
His claim to favour from the sacred Nine?
For ever startled by the mingled howl
Of Northern Wolves, that still in darkness prowl;
A coward Brood, which mangle as they prey,
By hellish instinct, all that cross their way;
Aged or young, the living or the dead,"J
No mercy find-these harpies must be fed.
Why do the injured unresisting yield
The calm possession of their native field?
Why tamely thus before their fangs retreat,
Nor hunt the blood-hounds back to Arthur's Seat58?

Health to immortal Jeffrey! once, in name,
England could boast a judge almost the same59;
In soul so like, so merciful, yet just,
Some think that Satan has resigned his trust,
And given the Spirit to the world again,
To sentence Letters, as he sentenced men.
With hand less mighty, but with heart as black,
With voice as willing to decree the rack;
Bred in the Courts betimes, though all that law
As yet hath taught him is to find a flaw,--
Since well instructed in the patriot school
To rail at party, though a party tool--
Who knows? if chance his patrons should restore
Back to the sway they forfeited before,
His scribbling toils some recompense may meet,
And raise this Daniel to the Judgment-Seat60.
Let Jeffrey's shade indulge the pious hope,
And greeting thus, present him with a rope:
"Heir to my virtues! man of equal mind!
Skilled to condemn as to traduce mankind,
This cord receive! for thee reserved with care,
To wield in judgment, and at length to wear."

Health to great Jeffrey! Heaven preserve his life,
To flourish on the fertile shores of Fife,
And guard it sacred in its future wars,
Since authors sometimes seek the field of Mars!
Can none remember that eventful day61 K,
That ever-glorious, almost fatal fray,
When Little's leadless pistol met his eye62,
And Bow-street Myrmidons stood laughing by?
Oh, day disastrous! on her firm-set rock,
Dunedin's castle felt a secret shock;
Dark rolled the sympathetic waves of Forth,
Low groaned the startled whirlwinds of the north;
Tweed ruffled half his waves to form a tear,
The other half pursued his calm career63;
Arthur's steep summit nodded to its base,
The surly Tolbooth scarcely kept her place.
The Tolbooth felt--for marble sometimes can,
On such occasions, feel as much as man--
The Tolbooth felt defrauded of his charms,
If Jeffrey died, except within her arms64:
Nay last, not least, on that portentous morn,
The sixteenth story, where himself was born,
His patrimonial garret, fell to ground,
And pale Edina shuddered at the sound:
Strewed were the streets around with milk-white reams,
Flowed all the Canongate with inky streams;
This of his candour seemed the sable dew,
That of his valour showed the bloodless hue;
And all with justice deemed the two combined
The mingled emblems of his mighty mind.
But Caledonia's goddess hovered o'er
The field, and saved him from the wrath of Moore;
From either pistol snatched the vengeful lead,
And straight restored it to her favourite's head;
That head, with greater than magnetic power,
Caught it, as Danäe caught the golden shower,
And, though the thickening dross will scarce refine,
Augments its ore, and is itself a mine.
"My son," she cried, "ne'er thirst for gore again,
Resign the pistol and resume the pen;
O'er politics and poesy preside,
Boast of thy country, and Britannia's guide!
For long as Albion's heedless sons submit,
Or Scottish taste decides on English wit,
So long shall last thine unmolested reign,
Nor any dare to take thy name in vain.
Behold, a chosen band shall aid thy plan,
And own thee chieftain of the critic clan.
First in the oat-fed phalanx65 shall be seen
The travelled Thane, Athenian Aberdeen66.
Herbert shall wield Thor's hammer67, and sometimes
In gratitude, thou'lt praise his rugged rhymes.
Smug Sydney68 too thy bitter page shall seek,
And classic Hallam69, much renowned for Greek;
Scott may perchance his name and influence lend,
And paltry Pillans70 shall traduce his friend;
While gay Thalia's luckless votary, Lamb71 M,
Damned like the Devil--Devil-like will damn.
Known be thy name! unbounded be thy sway!
Thy Holland's banquets shall each toil repay!
While grateful Britain yields the praise she owes
To Holland's hirelings and to Learning's foes.
Yet mark one caution ere thy next Review
Spread its light wings of Saffron and of Blue,
Beware lest blundering Brougham72 destroy the sale,
Turn Beef to Bannocks, Cauliflowers to Kail."
Thus having said, the kilted Goddess kist
Her son, and vanished in a Scottish mist73.

Then prosper, Jeffrey! pertest of the train74
Whom Scotland pampers with her fiery grain!
Whatever blessing waits a genuine Scot,
In double portion swells thy glorious lot;
For thee Edina culls her evening sweets,
And showers their odours on thy candid sheets,
Whose Hue and Fragrance to thy work adhere--
This scents its pages, and that gilds its rear75.
Lo! blushing Itch, coy nymph, enamoured grown,
Forsakes the rest, and cleaves to thee alone,
And, too unjust to other Pictish men,
Enjoys thy person, and inspires thy pen!

Illustrious Holland! hard would be his lot,
His hirelings mentioned, and himself forgot76!
Holland, with Henry Petty77 at his back,
The whipper-in and huntsman of the pack.
Blest be the banquets spread at Holland House,
Where Scotchmen feed, and Critics may carouse!
Long, long beneath that hospitable roofN
Shall Grub-street dine, while duns are kept aloof.
See honest Hallam78 lay aside his fork,
Resume his pen, review his Lordship's work,
And, grateful for the dainties on his plateP,
Declare his landlord can at least translate79!
Dunedin! view thy children with delight,
They write for food--and feed because they writeQ:
And lest, when heated with the unusual grape,
Some glowing thoughts should to the press escape,
And tinge with red the female reader's cheek,
My lady skims the cream of each critique;
Breathes o'er the page her purity of soul,
Reforms each error, and refines the whole80.

Now to the Drama turn--Oh! motley sight!
What precious scenes the wondering eyes invite:
Puns, and a Prince within a barrel pent81 R,
And Dibdin's nonsense yield complete content82.
Though now, thank Heaven! the Rosciomania's o'er83.
And full-grown actors are endured once more;
Yet what avail their vain attempts to please,
While British critics suffer scenes like these;
While Reynolds vents his "dammes!" "poohs!" and "zounds!"84 S
And common-place and common sense confounds?
While Kenney's85 "World"--ah! where is Kenney's witT?--
Tires the sad gallery, lulls the listless Pit;
And Beaumont's pilfered Caratach affords
A tragedy complete in all but words85a?
Who but must mourn, while these are all the rage
The degradation of our vaunted stage?
Heavens! is all sense of shame and talent gone?
Have we no living Bard of merit?--none?
Awake, George Colman86! Cumberland, awake87!
Ring the alarum bell! let folly quake!
Oh! Sheridan! if aught can move thy pen,
Let Comedy assume her throne againV;
Abjure the mummery of German schools;
Leave new Pizarros to translating fools88;
Give, as thy last memorial to the age,
One classic drama, and reform the stage.
Gods! o'er those boards shall Folly rear her head,
Where Garrick trod, and Siddons lives to tread89W?
On those shall Farce display buffoonery's mask,
And Hook conceal his heroes in a cask90?
Shall sapient managers new scenes produce
From Cherry91, Skeffington92, and Mother Goose93 X?
While Shakespeare, Otway, Massinger, forgot,
On stalls must moulder, or in closets rot?
Lo! with what pomp the daily prints proclaim
The rival candidates for Attic fame!
In grim array though Lewis' spectres rise,
Still Skeffington and Goose divide the prize.
And sure great Skeffington must claim our praise,
For skirtless coats and skeletons of plays
Renowned alike; whose genius ne'er confines
Her flight to garnish Greenwood's gay designs94 Y;
Nor sleeps with "Sleeping Beauties," but anon
In five facetious acts comes thundering on.
While poor John Bull, bewildered with the scene,
Stares, wondering what the devil it can mean;
But as some hands applaud, a venal few!
Rather than sleep, why John applauds it too.

Such are we now. Ah! wherefore should we turn
To what our fathers were, unless to mourn?
Degenerate Britons! are ye dead to shame,
Or, kind to dulness, do you fear to blame?
Well may the nobles of our present race
Watch each distortion of a Naldi's face;
Well may they smile on Italy's buffoons,
And worship Catalani's pantaloons95,
Since their own Drama yields no fairer trace
Of wit than puns, of humour than grimace96.

Then let Ausonia, skill'd in every art
To soften manners, but corrupt the heart,
Pour her exotic follies o'er the town,
To sanction Vice, and hunt Decorum down:
Let wedded strumpets languish o'er Deshayes,
And bless the promise which his form displays;
While Gayton bounds before th' enraptured looks
Of hoary Marquises, and stripling Dukes:
Let high-born lechers eye the lively Presle
Twirl her light limbs, that spurn the needless veil;
Let Angiolini bare her breast of snow,
Wave the white arm, and point the pliant toe;
Collini trill her love-inspiring song,
Strain her fair neck, and charm the listening throng!
Whet97 not your scythe, Suppressors of our Vice!
Reforming Saints! too delicately nice!
By whose decrees, our sinful souls to save,
No Sunday tankards foam, no barbers shave;
And beer undrawn, and beards unmown, display
Your holy reverence for the Sabbath-day.

Or hail at once the patron and the pile
Of vice and folly, Greville and Argyle98!
Where yon proud palace, Fashion's hallow'd fane,
Spreads wide her portals for the motley train,
Behold the new Petronius99 of the dayZ,
Our arbiter of pleasure and of play!
There the hired eunuch, the Hesperian choir,
The melting lute, the soft lascivious lyre,
The song from Italy, the step from France,
The midnight orgy, and the mazy dance,
The smile of beauty, and the flush of wine,
For fops, fools, gamesters, knaves, and Lords combine:
Each to his humour--Comus all allows;
Champaign, dice, music, or your neighbour's spouse.
Talk not to us, ye starving sons of trade!
Of piteous ruin, which ourselves have made;
In Plenty's sunshine Fortune's minions bask,
Nor think of Poverty, except "en masque,"100
When for the night some lately titled ass
Appears the beggar which his grandsire was,
The curtain dropped, the gay Burletta o'er,
The audience take their turn upon the floor:
Now round the room the circling dow'gers sweep,
Now in loose waltz the thin-clad daughters leap;
The first in lengthened line majestic swim,
The last display the free unfettered limb!
Those for Hibernia's lusty sons repair
With art the charms which Nature could not spare;
These after husbands wing their eager flight,
Nor leave much mystery for the nuptial night.

Oh! blest retreats of infamy and ease,
Where, all forgotten but the power to please,
Each maid may give a loose to genial thought,
Each swain may teach new systems, or be taught:
There the blithe youngster, just returned from Spain,
Cuts the light pack, or calls the rattling main;
The jovial Caster's set, and seven's the Nick,
Or--done!--a thousand on the coming trick!
If, mad with loss, existence 'gins to tire,
And all your hope or wish is to expire,
Here's Powell's101 pistol ready for your life,
And, kinder still, two Pagets for your wifeAa:
Fit consummation of an earthly race
Begun in folly, ended in disgrace,
While none but menials o'er the bed of death,
Wash thy red wounds, or watch thy wavering breath;
Traduced by liars, and forgot by all,
The mangled victim of a drunken brawl,
To live like Clodius102, and like Falkland fall103.

Truth! rouse some genuine Bard, and guide his hand
To drive this pestilence from out the land.
E'en I--least thinking of a thoughtless throng,
Just skilled to know the right and choose the wrong,
Freed at that age when Reason's shield is lost,
To fight my course through Passion's countless host104,
Whom every path of Pleasure's flow'ry way
Has lured in turn, and all have led astray--
E'en I must raise my voice, e'en I must feel
Such scenes, such men, destroy the public weal:
Altho' some kind, censorious friend will say,
"What art thou better, meddling fool105, than they?"
And every Brother Rake will smile to see
That miracle, a Moralist in me.
No matter--when some Bard in virtue strong,
Gifford perchance, shall raise the chastening song,
Then sleep my pen for ever! and my voice
Be only heard to hail him, and rejoice,
Rejoice, and yield my feeble praise, though I
May feel the lash that Virtue must apply.

As for the smaller fry, who swarm in shoals
From silly Hafiz up to simple Bowles106,
Why should we call them from their dark abode,
In Broad St. Giles's or Tottenham-Road?
Or (since some men of fashion nobly dare
To scrawl in verse) from Bond-street or the SquareBb?
If things of Ton their harmless lays indite,
Most wisely doomed to shun the public sight,
What harm? in spite of every critic elf,
Sir T. may read his stanzas to himself;
Miles Andrews107 still his strength in couplets try,
And live in prologues, though his dramas die.
Lords too are Bards: such things at times befall,
And 'tis some praise in Peers to write at all.
Yet, did or Taste or Reason sway the times,
Ah! who would take their titles with their rhymes108?
Roscommon109! Sheffield110! with your spirits fled111,
No future laurels deck a noble head;
No Muse will cheer, with renovating smile,
The paralytic puling of Carlisle112 Cc.
The puny schoolboy and his early lay
Men pardon, if his follies pass away;
But who forgives the Senior's ceaseless verse,
Whose hairs grow hoary as his rhymes grow worse?
What heterogeneous honours deck the Peer!
Lord, rhymester, petit-maître, pamphleteer113!
So dull in youth, so drivelling in his age,
His scenes alone had damned our sinking stage;
But Managers for once cried, "Hold, enough!"
Nor drugged their audience with the tragic stuff.
Yet at their judgment let his Lordship laughDd,
And case his volumes in congenial calf;
Yes! doff that covering, where Morocco shines,
And hang a calf-skin on those recreant lines114.

With you, ye Druids! rich in native lead,
Who daily scribble for your daily bread:
With you I war not: Gifford's heavy hand
Has crushed, without remorse, your numerous band.
On "All the Talents" vent your venal spleen115;
Want is your plea, let Pity be your screen.
Let Monodies on Fox regale your crew,
And Melville's Mantle116 prove a Blanket too!
One common Lethe waits each hapless Bard,
And, peace be with you! 'tis your best reward.
Such damning fame; as Dunciads only giveEe
Could bid your lines beyond a morning live;
But now at once your fleeting labours close,
With names of greater note in blest repose.
Far be't from me unkindly to upbraid
The lovely Rosa's prose in masquerade,
Whose strains, the faithful echoes of her mind,
Leave wondering comprehension far behind117.
Though Crusca's bards no more our journals fill118,
Some stragglers skirmish round the columns still;
Last of the howling host which once was Bell'sFf,
Matilda snivels yet, and Hafiz yells;
And Merry's119 metaphors appear anew,
Chained to the signature of O. P. Q.120
When some brisk youth, the tenant of a stall,
Employs a pen less pointed than his awl,
Leaves his snug shop, forsakes his store of shoes,
St. Crispin quits, and cobbles for the Muse,
Heavens! how the vulgar stare! how crowds applaud!
How ladies read, and Literati laud121!
If chance some wicked wag should pass his jest,
'Tis sheer ill-nature--don't the world know best?
Genius must guide when wits admire the rhyme,
And Capel Lofft122 declares 'tis quite sublime.
Hear, then, ye happy sons of needless trade!
Swains! quit the plough, resign the useless spade!
Lo! Burns and Bloomfield, nay, a greater far,
Gifford was born beneath an adverse star,
Forsook the labours of a servile state,
Stemmed the rude storm, and triumphed over Fate:
Then why no more? if Phoebus smiled on you,
Bloomfield! why not on brother Nathan too123?
Him too the Mania, not the Muse, has seized;
Not inspiration, but a mind diseased:
And now no Boor can seek his last abode,
No common be inclosed without an ode.
Oh! since increased refinement deigns to smile
On Britain's sons, and bless our genial Isle,
Let Poesy go forth, pervade the whole,
Alike the rustic, and mechanic soul!
Ye tuneful cobblers! still your notes prolong,
Compose at once a slipper and a song;
So shall the fair your handywork peruse,
Your sonnets sure shall please--perhaps your shoes.
May Moorland weavers124 boast Pindaric skill,
And tailors' lays be longer than their bill!
While punctual beaux reward the grateful notes,
And pay for poems--when they pay for coats.

To the famed throng now paid the tribute dueGg,
Neglected Genius! let me turn to you.
Come forth, oh Campbell! give thy talents scope;
Who dares aspire if thou must cease to hope?
And thou, melodious Rogers! rise at last,
Recall the pleasing memory of the past125;
Arise! let blest remembrance still inspire,
And strike to wonted tones thy hallowed lyre;
Restore Apollo to his vacant throne,
Assert thy country's honour and thine own.
What! must deserted Poesy still weep
Where her last hopes with pious Cowper sleep?
Unless, perchance, from his cold bier she turns,
To deck the turf that wraps her minstrel, Burns!
No! though contempt hath marked the spurious brood,
The race who rhyme from folly, or for food,
Yet still some genuine sons 'tis hers to boast,
Who, least affecting, still affect the mostHh:
Feel as they write, and write but as they feel--
Bear witness Gifford126, Sotheby127, Macneil128.
"Why slumbers Gifford?" once was asked in vain;
Why slumbers Gifford? let us ask again129.
Are there no follies for his pen to purge?
Are there no fools whose backs demand the scourge?
Are there no sins for Satire's Bard to greet?
Stalks not gigantic Vice in every street?
Shall Peers or Princes tread pollution's path,
And 'scape alike the Laws and Muse's wrath?
Nor blaze with guilty glare through future time,
Eternal beacons of consummate crime?
Arouse thee, Gifford! be thy promise claimed,
Make bad men better, or at least ashamed.

Unhappy White130! while life was in its spring,
And thy young Muse just waved her joyous wing,
The Spoiler swept that soaring Lyre away131 Jj,
Which else had sounded an immortal lay.
Oh! what a noble heart was here undone,
When Science' self destroyed her favourite son!
Yes, she too much indulged thy fond pursuit,
She sowed the seeds, but Death has reaped the fruit.
'Twas thine own Genius gave the final blow,
And helped to plant the wound that laid thee low:
So the struck Eagle, stretched upon the plain,
No more through rolling clouds to soar again,
Viewed his own feather on the fatal dart,
And winged the shaft that quivered in his heart;
Keen were his pangs, but keener far to feel
He nursed the pinion which impelled the steel;
While the same plumage that had warmed his nest
Drank the last life-drop of his bleeding breast.

There be who say, in these enlightened days,
That splendid lies are all the poet's praise;
That strained Invention, ever on the wing,
Alone impels the modern Bard to sing:
Tis true, that all who rhyme--nay, all who write,
Shrink from that fatal word to Genius--Trite;
Yet Truth sometimes will lend her noblest fires,
And decorate the verse herself inspires:
This fact in Virtue's name let Crabbe132 attest;
Though Nature's sternest Painter, yet the best.

And here let Shee133 and Genius find a place,
Whose pen and pencil yield an equal grace;
To guide whose hand the sister Arts combine,
And trace the Poet's or the Painter's line;
Whose magic touch can bid the canvas glow,
Or pour the easy rhyme's harmonious flow;
While honours, doubly merited, attendKk
The Poet's rival, but the Painter's friend.

Blest is the man who dares approach the bower
Where dwelt the Muses at their natal hour;
Whose steps have pressed, whose eye has marked afar,
The clime that nursed the sons of song and war,
The scenes which Glory still must hover o'er,
Her place of birth, her own Achaian shore.
But doubly blest is he whose heart expands
With hallowed feelings for those classic lands;
Who rends the veil of ages long gone by,
And views their remnants with a poet's eye!
Wright134! 'twas thy happy lot at once to view
Those shores of glory, and to sing them too;
And sure no common Muse inspired thy pen
To hail the land of Gods and Godlike men.

And you, associate Bards135! who snatched to lightMm
Those gems too long withheld from modern sight;
Whose mingling taste combined to cull the wreath
While Attic flowers Aonian odours breathe,
And all their renovated fragrance flung,
To grace the beauties of your native tongue;
Now let those minds, that nobly could transfuse
The glorious Spirit of the Grecian Muse,
Though soft the echo, scorn a borrowed toneNn:
Resign Achaia's lyre, and strike your own.

Let these, or such as these, with just applausePp,
Restore the Muse's violated laws;
But not in flimsy Darwin's136 pompous chimeQq,
That mighty master of unmeaning rhyme,
Whose gilded cymbals, more adorned than clear,
The eye delighted, but fatigued the ear,
In show the simple lyre could once surpass,
But now, worn down, appear in native brass;
While all his train of hovering sylphs around
Evaporate in similes and sound:
Him let them shun, with him let tinsel die:
False glare attracts, but more offends the eye137.

Yet let them not to vulgar Wordsworth138 stoop,
The meanest object of the lowly group,
Whose verse, of all but childish prattle void,
Seems blessed harmony to Lamb and Lloyd139:
Let them--but hold, my Muse, nor dare to teach
A strain far, far beyond thy humble reach:
The native genius with their being given
Will point the path, and peal their notes to heaven.

And thou, too, Scott140! resign to minstrels rude
The wilder Slogan of a Border feud:
Let others spin their meagre lines for hire;
Enough for Genius, if itself inspire!
Let Southey sing, altho' his teeming museRr,
Prolific every spring, be too profuse;
Let simple Wordsworth141 chime his childish verse,
And brother Coleridge lull the babe at nurseSs
Let Spectre-mongering Lewis aim, at mostTt,
To rouse the Galleries, or to raise a ghost;
Let Moore still sigh; let Strangford steal from MooreUu,
And swear that Camoëns sang such notes of yore;
Let Hayley hobble on, Montgomery rave,
And godly Grahame chant a stupid stave;
Let sonneteering Bowles142 his strains refine,
And whine and whimper to the fourteenth line;
Let Stott, Carlisle143, Matilda, and the rest
Of Grub Street, and of Grosvenor Place the best,
Scrawl on, 'till death release us from the strain,
Or Common Sense assert her rights again;
But Thou, with powers that mock the aid of praise,
Should'st leave to humbler Bards ignoble lays:
Thy country's voice, the voice of all the Nine,
Demand a hallowed harp--that harp is thine.
Say! will not Caledonia's annals yield
The glorious record of some nobler field,
Than the vile foray of a plundering clan,
Whose proudest deeds disgrace the name of man?
Or Marmion's acts of darkness, fitter food
For Sherwood's outlaw tales of Robin HoodVv?
Scotland! still proudly claim thy native Bard,
And be thy praise his first, his best reward!
Yet not with thee alone his name should live,
But own the vast renown a world can give;
Be known, perchance, when Albion is no more,
And tell the tale of what she was before;
To future times her faded fame recall,
And save her glory, though his country fall.

Yet what avails the sanguine Poet's hope,
To conquer ages, and with time to cope?
New eras spread their wings, new nations rise,
And other Victors fill th' applauding skies144;
A few brief generations fleet along,
Whose sons forget the Poet and his song:
E'en now, what once-loved Minstrels scarce may claim
The transient mention of a dubious name!
When Fame's loud trump hath blown its noblest blast,
Though long the sound, the echo sleeps at last;
And glory, like the Phoenix145 midst her fires,
Exhales her odours, blazes, and expires.

Shall hoary Granta call her sable sons,
Expert in science, more expert at puns?
Shall these approach the Muse? ah, no! she flies,
Even from the tempting ore of Seaton's prizeWw;
Though Printers condescend the press to soil
With rhyme by Hoare146, and epic blank by Hoyle147 Xx:
Not him whose page, if still upheld by whist,
Requires no sacred theme to bid us list148.
Ye! who in Granta's honours would surpass,
Must mount her Pegasus, a full-grown ass;
A foal well worthy of her ancient Dam,
Whose Helicon149 is duller than her CamYy.

There Clarke150, still striving piteously "to please,"Zz
Forgetting doggerel leads not to degrees,
A would-be satirist, a hired Buffoon,
A monthly scribbler of some low Lampoon151,
Condemned to drudge, the meanest of the mean,
And furbish falsehoods for a magazine,
Devotes to scandal his congenial mind;
Himself a living libel on mankind.

Oh! dark asylum of a Vandal race152!
At once the boast of learning, and disgrace!
So lost to Phoebus, that nor Hodgson's153 verse
Can make thee better, nor poor Hewson's154 worseaA.
But where fair Isis rolls her purer wave,
The partial Muse delighted loves to lave;
On her green banks a greener wreath she wovebB,
To crown the Bards that haunt her classic grove;
Where Richards wakes a genuine poet's fires,
And modern Britons glory in their Sires155 cC.

For me, who, thus unasked, have dared to tell
My country, what her sons should know too welldD,
Zeal for her honour bade me here engageeE
The host of idiots that infest her age;
No just applause her honoured name shall lose,
As first in freedom, dearest to the Muse.
Oh! would thy bards but emulate thy fame,
And rise more worthy, Albion, of thy name!
What Athens was in science, Rome in power,
What Tyre appeared in her meridian hour,
'Tis thine at once, fair Albion! to have been--
Earth's chief Dictatress, Ocean's lovely QueenfF:
But Rome decayed, and Athens strewed the plain,
And Tyre's proud piers lie shattered in the main;
Like these, thy strength may sink, in ruin hurledgG,
And Britain fall, the bulwark of the world.
But let me cease, and dread Cassandra's fate,
With warning ever scoffed at, till too late;
To themes less lofty still my lay confine,
And urge thy Bards to gain a name like thine156.

Then, hapless Britain! be thy rulers blest,
The senate's oracles, the people's jest!
Still hear thy motley orators dispense
The flowers of rhetoric, though not of sense,
While Canning's colleagues hate him for his wit,
And old dame Portland157 fills the place of Pitt.

Yet once again, adieu! ere this the sail
That wafts me hence is shivering in the gale;
And Afric's coast and Calpe's adverse height158,
And Stamboul's minarets must greet my sight:
Thence shall I stray through Beauty's native clime159,
Where Kaff160 is clad in rocks, and crowned with snows sublime.
But should I back return, no tempting presshH
Shall drag my Journal from the desk's recess;
Let coxcombs, printing as they come from far,
Snatch his own wreath of Ridicule from Carr;
Let Aberdeen and Elgin161 still pursue
The shade of fame through regions of Virtù;
Waste useless thousands on their Phidian freaks,
Misshapen monuments and maimed antiques;
And make their grand saloons a general mart
For all the mutilated blocks of art:
Of Dardan tours let Dilettanti tell,
I leave topography to rapid162 Gell163;
And, quite content, no more shall interpose
To stun the public ear--at least with ProsejJ.

Thus far I've held my undisturbed career,
Prepared for rancour, steeled 'gainst selfish fear;
This thing of rhyme I ne'er disdained to own--
Though not obtrusive, yet not quite unknown:
My voice was heard again, though not so loud,
My page, though nameless, never disavowed;
And now at once I tear the veil away:--
Cheer on the pack! the Quarry stands at bay,
Unscared by all the din of Melbourne house164,
By Lamb's resentment, or by Holland's spouse,
By Jeffrey's harmless pistol, Hallam's rage,
Edina's brawny sons and brimstone page.
Our men in buckram shall have blows enough,
And feel they too are "penetrable stuff:"
And though I hope not hence unscathed to go,
Who conquers me shall find a stubborn foe.
The time hath been, when no harsh sound would fall
From lips that now may seem imbued with gall;
Nor fools nor follies tempt me to despise
The meanest thing that crawled beneath my eyes:
But now, so callous grown, so changed since youth,
I've learned to think, and sternly speak the truth;
Learned to deride the critic's starch decree,
And break him on the wheel he meant for me;
To spurn the rod a scribbler bids me kiss,
Nor care if courts and crowds applaud or hiss:
Nay more, though all my rival rhymesters frown,
I too can hunt a Poetaster down;
And, armed in proof, the gauntlet cast at once
To Scotch marauder, and to Southern dunce.
Thus much I've dared; if my incondite laykK
Hath wronged these righteous times, let others say:
This, let the world, which knows not how to spare,
Yet rarely blames unjustly, now declare165.

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Footnote 1: › "The binding of this volume is considerably too valuable for the contents. Nothing but the consideration of its being the property of another, prevents me from consigning this miserable record of misplaced anger and indiscriminate acrimony to the flames."--B., 1816.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Truth be my theme, and Censure guide my song.
[MS M.]
return
Footnote 2:Imitation:
"Semper ego auditor tantum? nunquamne reponam,
Vexatus toties, rauci Theseide Codri?"
Juvenal, Satire I.l. 1.
return
Footnote b:
But thou, at least, mine own especial quill
Dipt in the dew drops from Parnassus' hill,
Shalt ever honoured and regarded be,
By more beside no doubt, yet still by me....
[MS M.]
return
Footnote 3: › "Hoarse Fitzgerald.--"Right enough; but why notice such a mountebank?"--B., 1816.

Mr. Fitzgerald, facetiously termed by Cobbett the "Small Beer Poet," inflicts his annual tribute of verse on the Literary Fund: not content with writing, he spouts in person, after the company have imbibed a reasonable quantity of bad port, to enable them to sustain the operation.

[William Thomas Fitzgerald (circ. 1759-1829) played the part of unofficial poet laureate. His loyal recitations were reported by the newspapers. He published, inter alia, Nelson's Triumph (1798), Tears of Hibernia, dispelled by the Union (1802), and Nelson's Tomb (1806). He owes his fame to the first line of English Bards, and the famous parody in Rejected Addresses. The following jeux d'esprits were transcribed by R. C. Dallas on a blank leaf of a copy of the Fifth Edition:--

"Written on a copy of English Bards at the 'Alfred' by W. T. Fitzgerald, Esq.--
I find Lord Byron scorns my Muse, Our Fates are ill agreed; The Verse is safe, I can't abuse Those lines, I never read.
Signed W. T. F."

Answer written on the same page by Lord Byron--
"What's writ on me," cries Fitz, "I never read"! What's writ by thee, dear Fitz, none will, indeed. The case stands simply thus, then, honest Fitz, Thou and thine enemies are fairly quits; Or rather would be, if for time to come, They luckily were deaf, or thou wert dumb; But to their pens while scribblers add their tongues. The Waiter only can escape their lungsA.
Sub-Footnote A Compare Hints from Horace, l. 808 (click c12 to return), note 1.
return to main footnote mark
cross-reference: return to Footnote 77 of Hints from Horace
Footnote c:
And men through life her willing slaves obey...
[MS. Second, Third, and Fourth Editions.]
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Footnote 4: › Cid Hamet Benengeli promises repose to his pen, in the last chapter of Don Quixote. Oh! that our voluminous gentry would follow the example of Cid Hamet Benengeli!
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Footnote d:
Unfolds her motley store to suit the time...
[MS. Second, Third, and Fourth Editions.]
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Footnote 5: ›"This must have been written in the spirit of prophecy." (B., 1816.)
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Footnote e:
When Justice halts and Right begins to fail...
[MS. Second, Third, and Fourth Editions.
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Footnote 6: › "He's a very good fellow; and, except his mother and sister, the best of the set, to my mind."--B., 1816. [William (1779-1848) and George (1784-1834) Lamb, sons of Sir Peniston Lamb (Viscount Melbourne, 1828), by Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir Ralph Milbanke, were Lady Byron's first cousins. William married, in 1805, Lady Caroline Ponsonby, the writer of Glenarvon. George, who was one of the early contributors to the Edinburgh Review, married in 1809 Caroline Rosalie Adelaide St. Jules. At the time of the separation, Lady Caroline Lamb and Mrs. George Lamb warmly espoused Lady Byron's cause, Lady Melbourne and her daughter Lady Cowper (afterwards Lady Palmerston) were rather against than for Lady Byron. William Lamb was discreetly silent, and George Lamb declaimed against Lady Byron, calling her a d----d fool. Hence Lord Byron's praises of George. Cf. line 517 of English Bards.
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Footnote f:
A mortal weapon...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 7: ›This ingenuous youth is mentioned more particularly, with his production, in another place. (Vide post, l. 516.)

"Spurious Brat" [see Footnote g], that is the farce; the ingenuous youth who begat it is mentioned more particularly with his offspring in another place. [Note. MS. M.]

[The farce Whistle for It was performed two or three times at Covent Garden Theatre in 1807.
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Footnote g:
Yet Titles sounding lineage cannot save
Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave,
Lamb had his farce but that Patrician name
Failed to preserve the spurious brat from shame....
[MS.]
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cross-reference: return to Footnote 7 of this poem
Footnote 8: › In the Edinburgh Review.
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Footnote h:
a lucky hit....
[Second, Third, and Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 9: › The proverbial "Joe" Miller, an actor by profession (1684-1738), was a man of no education, and is said to have been unable to read. His reputation rests mainly on the book of jests compiled after his death, and attributed to him by John Mottley. (First Edition. T. Read. 1739.)
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Footnote i:
No dearth of rhyme...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 10: › Messrs. Jeffrey and Lamb are the alpha and omega, the first and last of the Edinburgh Review; the others are mentioned hereafter.

[The MS. Note is as follows:--
"Of the young gentlemen who write in the E.R., I have now named the alpha and omega, the first and the last, the best and the worst. The intermediate members are designated with due honour hereafter."]

"This was not just. Neither the heart nor the head of these gentlemen are at all what they are here represented. At the time this was written, I was personally unacquainted with either."--B., 1816.
[Francis Jeffrey (1773-1850) founded the Edinburgh Review in conjunction with Sydney Smith, Brougham, and Francis Horner, in 1802. In 1803 he succeeded Smith as editor, and conducted the Review till 1829. Independence of publishers and high pay to contributors ("Ten guineas a sheet," writes Southey to Scott, June, 1807, "instead of seven pounds for the Annual," Life and Corr., iii. 125) distinguished the new journal from the first. Jeffrey was called to the Scottish bar in 1794, and as an advocate was especially successful with juries. He was constantly employed, and won fame and fortune. In 1829 he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, and the following year, when the Whigs came into office, he became Lord Advocate. He sat as M.P. twice for Malton (1830-1832), and, afterwards, for Edinburgh. In 1834 he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Sessions, when he took the title of Lord Jeffrey. Byron had attacked Jeffrey in British Bards before his Hours of Idleness had been cut up by the Edinburgh, and when the article appeared (Jan. 1808), under the mistaken impression that he was the author, denounced him at large (ll. 460-528) in the first edition of English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers. None the less, the great critic did not fail to do ample justice to the poet's mature work, and won from him repeated acknowledgments of his kindness and generosity. (See Edinburgh Review, vol. xxii. p. 416, and Byron's comment in his Diary for March 20,1814; Life, p. 232. See, too, Hints from Horace, ll. 589-626; and Don Juan, canto x. st. 11-16, and canto xii. st. 16. See also Bagehot's Literary Studies, vol. i. article I.)]
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Footnote j:
The Press oppressed...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 11:Imitation:
"Stulta est dementia, cum tot ubique
----occurras perituræ parcere chartæ."
Juvenal, Sat. I. ll. 17, 18.
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Footnote k:
While Southey's Epics load....
[British Bards]
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Footnote 12:Imitation.
"Cur tamen hoc potius libeat decurrere campo,
Per quem magnus equos Auruncæ flexit alumnus,
Si vacat, et placidi rationem admittitis, edam."
Juvenal, Sat. I. ll. 19-21.
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Footnote m:
O'er taste awhile these Infidels prevail...
[MS.]
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Footnote 13: › William Gifford (1756-1826), a self-taught scholar, first a ploughboy, then boy on board a Brixham coaster, afterwards shoemaker's apprentice, was sent by friends to Exeter College, Oxford (1779-81). In the Baviad (1794) and the Maeviad (1795) he attacked many of the smaller writers of the day, who were either silly, like the Della Cruscan School, or discreditable, like Williams, who wrote as "Anthony Pasquin." In his Epistle to Peter Pindar (1800) he laboured to expose the true character of John Wolcot. As editor of the Anti-Jacobin, or Weekly Examiner (November, 1797, to July, 1798), he supported the political views of Canning and his friends. As editor of the Quarterly Review, from its foundation (February, 1809) to his resignation in September, 1824, he soon rose to literary eminence by his sound sense and adherence to the best models, though his judgments were sometimes narrow-minded and warped by political prejudice. His editions of Massinger (1805), which superseded that of Monck Mason and Davies (1765), of Ben Jonson (1816), of Ford (1827), are valuable. To his translation of Juvenal (1802) is prefixed his autobiography. His translation of Persius appeared in 1821. To Gifford, Byron usually paid the utmost deference.
"Any suggestion of yours, even if it were conveyed," he writes to him, in 1813, "in the less tender text of the Baviad, or a Monck Mason note to Massinger, would be obeyed."
See also his letter (September 20, 1821, Life, p.531):
"I know no praise which would compensate me in my own mind for his censure."
Byron was attracted to Gifford, partly by his devotion to the classical models of literature, partly by the outspoken frankness of his literary criticism, partly also, perhaps, by his physical deformity.
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Footnote n:
Erect and hail an idol of their own....
[MS.]
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Footnote 14: › Henry James Pye (1745-1813), M.P. for Berkshire, and afterwards Police Magistrate for Westminster, held the office of poet laureate from 1790 till his death in 1813, succeeding Thomas Warton, and succeeded by Southey. He published Farringdon Hill in 1774, The Progress of Refinement in 1783, and a translation of Burger's Lenore in 1795. His name recurs in the Vision of Judgment, stanza xcii. Lines 97-102 were inserted in the Fifth Edition.
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Footnote o:
Not quite a footpad...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 15: › The first edition of the Satire opened with this line; and Byron's original intention was to prefix the following argument, first published in Recollections, by R. C. Dallas (1824):--
"Argument.

"The poet considereth times past, and their poesy--makes a sudden transition to times present--is incensed against book-makers--revileth Walter Scott for cupidity and ballad-mongering, with notable remarks on Master Southey--complaineth that Master Southey had inflicted three poems, epic and otherwise, on the public--inveigheth against William Wordsworth, but laudeth Mister Coleridge and his elegy on a young ass--is disposed to vituperate Mr. Lewis--and greatly rebuketh Thomas Little (the late) and Lord Strangford--recommendeth Mr. Hayley to turn his attention to prose--and exhorteth the Moravians to glorify Mr. Grahame--sympathiseth with the Rev. [William Bowles]--and deploreth the melancholy fate of James Montgomery--breaketh out into invective against the Edinburgh Reviewers--calleth them hard names, harpies and the like--apostrophiseth Jeffrey, and prophesieth.--Episode of Jeffrey and Moore, their jeopardy and deliverance; portents on the morn of the combat; the Tweed, Tolbooth, Firth of Forth [and Arthur's Seat], severally shocked; descent of a goddess to save Jeffrey; incorporation of the bullets with his sinciput and occiput.--Edinburgh Reviews en masse.--Lord Aberdeen, Herbert, Scott, Hallam, Pillans, Lambe, Sydney Smith, Brougham, etc.--Lord Holland applauded for dinners and translations.--The Drama; Skeffington, Hook, Reynolds, Kenney, Cherry, etc.--Sheridan, Colman, and Cumberland called upon [requested, MS.] to write.--Return to poesy--scribblers of all sorts--lords sometimes rhyme; much better not--Hafiz, Rosa Matilda, and X.Y.Z.--Rogers, Campbell, Gifford, etc. true poets--Translators of the Greek Anthology--Crabbe--Darwin's style--Cambridge--Seatonian Prize--Smythe--Hodgson--Oxford--Richards--Poeta loquitur--Conclusion."
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Footnote p:
Low may they sink to merited contempt...
[British Bards]
And Scorn reimmerate the mean attempt!
[MS. First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 16: › Lines 115, 116, were a MS. addition to the printed text of British Bards. An alternative version has been pencilled on the margin:--
"Otway and Congreve mimic scenes had wove
And Waller tuned his Lyre to mighty Love."
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Footnote q:
though lesser bards content...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 17: › Thomas Little was the name under which Moore's early poems were published, The Poetical Works of the late Thomas Little, Esq. (1801). "Twelves" refers to the "duodecimo." Sheets, after printing, are pressed between cold or hot rollers, to impart smoothness of "surface." Hot rolling is the more expensive process.
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Footnote r:
How well the subject...
[MS. First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 18: › Eccles. chapter i. verse 9.
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Footnote s:
A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind...
[British Bards, First to Fourth Editions.]
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Footnote 19: › At first sight Byron appears to refer to the lighting of streets by gas, especially as the first shop lighted with it was that of Lardner & Co., at the corner of the Albany (June, 1805), and as lamps were on view at the premises of the Gas Light and Coke Company in Pall Mall from 1808 onwards. But it is almost certain that he alludes to the "sublimating gas" of Dr. Beddoes, which his assistant, Davy, mentions in his Researches (1800) as nitrous oxide, and which was used by Southey and Coleridge. The same four "wonders" of medical science are depicted in Gillray's caricatures, November, 1801, and May and June, 1802, and are satirized in Christopher Caustic's Terrible Tractoration! A Poetical Petition against Galvanising Trumpery and the Perkinistit Institution (in 4 cantos, 1803).

Against vaccination, or cow-pox, a brisk war was still being carried on. Gillray has a likeness of Jenner vaccinating patients.

Metallic "Tractors" were a remedy much advertised at the beginning of the century by an American quack, Benjamin Charles Perkins, founder of the Perkinean Institution in London, as a "cure for all Disorders, Red Noses, Gouty Toes, Windy Bowels, Broken Legs, Hump Backs."

In Galvanism several experiments, conducted by Professor Aldini, nephew of Galvani, are described in the Morning Post for Jan. 6th, Feb. 6th, and Jan. 22nd, 1803. The latter were made on the body of Forster the murderer.

For the allusion to Gas, compare Terrible Tractoration, canto 1--
"Beddoes (bless the good doctor) has
Sent me a bag full of his gas,
Which snuff'd the nose up, makes wit brighter,
And eke a dunce an airy writer."
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Footnote t:
Who fain would'st...
[British Bards, First to Fifth Editions]
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Footnote 20: › Stott, better known in the Morning Post by the name of Hafiz. This personage is at present the most profound explorer of the bathos. I remember, when the reigning family left Portugal, a special Ode of Master Stott's, beginning thus:--(Stott loquitur quoad Hibernia)--
"Princely offspring of Braganza,
Erin greets thee with a stanza," etc.
Also a Sonnet to Rats, well worthy of the subject, and a most thundering Ode, commencing as follows:--
"Oh! for a Lay! loud as the surge That lashes Lapland's sounding shore."
Lord have mercy on us! the "Lay of the Last Minstrel" was nothing to this.

[The lines "Princely Offspring," headed "Extemporaneous Verse on the expulsion of the Prince Regent from Portugal by Gallic Tyranny," were published in the Morning Post, Dec. 30, 1807. (See post, l. 708, and note.)]
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Footnote u:
Mend thy life, and sin no more...
[MS.]
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Footnote 21:See p. 317, note 1
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Footnote v:
And o'er harmonious nonsense...
[MS. First Edition]
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Footnote 22: › See the "Lay of the Last Minstrel," passim. Never was any plan so incongruous and absurd as the groundwork of this production. The entrance of Thunder and Lightning prologuising to Bayes' tragedy [(vide The Rehearsal), British Bards], unfortunately takes away the merit of originality from the dialogue between Messieurs the Spirits of Flood and Fell in the first canto. Then we have the amiable William of Deloraine, "a stark moss-trooper," videlicet, a happy compound of poacher, sheep-stealer, and highwayman. The propriety of his magical lady's injunction not to read can only be equalled by his candid acknowledgment of his independence of the trammels of spelling, although, to use his own elegant phrase, "'twas his neckverse at Harribee," i. e. the gallows.

The biography of Gilpin Horner, and the marvellous pedestrian page, who travelled twice as fast as his master's horse, without the aid of seven-leagued boots, are chefs d'oeuvre in the improvement of taste. For incident we have the invisible, but by no means sparing box on the ear bestowed on the page, and the entrance of a Knight and Charger into the castle, under the very natural disguise of a wain of hay. Marmion, the hero of the latter romance, is exactly what William of Deloraine would have been, had he been able to read and write. The poem was manufactured for Messrs. Constable, Murray, and Miller, worshipful Booksellers, in consideration of the receipt of a sum of money; and truly, considering the inspiration, it is a very creditable production. If Mr. Scott will write for hire, let him do his best for his paymasters, but not disgrace his genius, which is undoubtedly great, by a repetition of Black-Letter Ballad imitations.

[Constable paid Scott a thousand pounds for Marmion, and
"offered one fourth of the copyright to Mr. Miller of Albemarle Street, and one fourth to Mr. Murray of Fleet Street (see line 173). Both publishers eagerly accepted the proposal."
...
"A severe and unjust review of Marmion by Jeffrey appeared in [the Edinburgh Review for April] 1808, accusing Scott of a mercenary spirit in writing for money.
...
Scott was much nettled by these observations"
(Memoirs of John Murray, i. 76, 95). In his diary of 1813 Byron wrote of Scott,
"He is undoubtedly the Monarch of Parnassus, and the most English of Bards."
--Life, p. 206.]
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Footnote w:
In many marble-covered volumes view
Hayley, in vain attempting something new,
Whether he spin his comedies in rhyme,
Or scrawls as Wood and BarclayA walk, 'gainst Time....
[MS Newstead]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; Captain Robert Barclay (1779-1854) of Ury, agriculturalist and pedestrian, came of a family noted for physical strength and endurance. Byron saw him win his walk against Wood at Newmarket. (See Angelo's Reminiscences (1837), vol. ii. pp. 37-44.) In July, 1809, Barclay completed his task of walking a thousand miles in a thousand hours, at the rate of one mile in each and every hour. (See, too, for an account of Barclay, The Eccentric Review (1812), i. 133-150.)
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Footnote 23: › It was the suggestion of the Countess of Dalkeith, that Scott should write a ballad on the old border legend of Gilpin Horner, which first gave shape to the poet's ideas, and led to the Lay of the Last Minstrel.
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Footnote x:
Breaks into mawkish lines each holy Book...
[MS. First Edition.]
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Footnote 24: › In his strictures on Scott and Southey, Byron takes his lead from Lady Anne Hamilton's (1766-1846, daughter of Archibald, ninth Duke of Hamilton, and Lady-in-waiting to Caroline of Brunswick) Epics of the Ton (1807), a work which has not shared the dubious celebrity of her Secret Memories of the Court, etc. (1832). Compare the following lines (p. 9):--
"Then still might Southey sing his crazy Joan,
Or feign a Welshman o'er the Atlantic flown,
Or tell of Thalaba the wondrous matter,
Or with clown Wordsworth, chatter, chatter, chatter.
...
Good-natured Scott rehearse, in well-paid lays,
The marv'lous chiefs and elves of other days."
(For Scott's reference to "my share of flagellation among my betters," and an explicit statement that he had remonstrated with Jeffrey against the "offensive criticism" of Hours of Idleness, because he thought it treated with undue severity, see Introduction to Marmion, 1830.)
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Footnote y:
Thy "Sympathy" that...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 25: ›Lines 179, 180, in the Fifth Edition, were substituted for variant i. p. 3l2.--Leigh Hunt's annotated Copy of the Fourth Edition.
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Footnote z:
And shows dissolved in sympathetic tears.
----in thine own melting tears...
[MS. First to Fourth Editions.]
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Footnote 26: › "Good night to Marmion"--the pathetic and also prophetic exclamation of Henry Blount, Esquire, on the death of honest Marmion.
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Footnote A:
Whether in sighing winds them seek'st relief
Or Consolation in a yellow leaf...
[MS. first to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 27: ›As the Odyssey is so closely connected with the story of the Iliad, they may almost be classed as one grand historical poem. In alluding to Milton and Tasso, we consider the Paradise Lost and Gerusalemme Liberata as their standard efforts; since neither the Jerusalem Conquered of the Italian, nor the Paradise Regained of the English bard, obtained a proportionate celebrity to their former poems. Query: Which of Mr. Southey's will survive?
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Footnote B:
What pretty sounds...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 28:Thalaba, Mr. Southey's second poem, is written in defiance of precedent and poetry. Mr. S. wished to produce something novel, and succeeded to a miracle. Joan of Arc was marvellous enough, but Thalaba was one of those poems "which," in the word of Porson,
"will be read when Homer and Virgil are forgotten, but--not till then."
["Of Thalaba the wild and wondrous song"--Proem to Madoc, Southey's Poetical Works (1838), vol. v. Joan of Arc was published in 1796, Thalaba the Destroyer in 1801, and Madoc in 1805.]
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Footnote C:
Thou fain woulds't----
[British Bards]
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Footnote 29: ›The hero of Fielding's farce, The Tragedy of Tragedies, or the Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great, first played in 1730 at the Haymarket.
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Footnote D:
But to soft themes...
[British Bards, First Edition]
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Footnote 30: ›Southey's Madoc is divided into two parts--Part I., "Madoc in Wales;" Part II., "Madoc in Aztlan." The word "cacique" ("Cacique or cazique... a native chief or 'prince' of the aborigines in the West Indies:" New Engl. Dict., Art. "Cacique") occurs in the translations of Spanish writers quoted by Southey in his notes, but not in the text of the poem.
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Footnote E:
The Bard has wove...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 31: › We beg Mr. Southey's pardon: "Madoc disdains the degraded title of Epic." See his Preface. ["It assumes not the degraded title of Epic."--Preface to Madoc (1805), Southey's Poetical Works (1838), vol. v. p. xxi.] Why is Epic degraded? and by whom? Certainly the late Romaunts of Masters Cottle, Laureat Pye, Ogilvy, HoleA, and gentle Mistress Cowley, have not exalted the Epic Muse; but, as Mr. Southey's poem "disdains the appellation," allow us to ask--has he substituted anything better in its stead? or must he be content to rival Sir Richard Blackmore in the quantity as well as quality of his verse?

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; For "Hole," the MS. and British Bards read "Sir J. B. Burgess; Cumberland."
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Footnote F:
If Pope, since mortal, not untaught to err
Again demand a dull biographer...
[MS.]
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Footnote 32: › See The Old Woman of Berkeley, a ballad by Mr. Southey, wherein an aged gentlewoman is carried away by Beelzebub, on a "high trotting horse."
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Footnote G:
Too much in Turtle Bristol's sons delight
Too much in Bowls of Rack prolong the night....
[MS. Second to Fourth Editions.]
Too much o'er Bowls...
[Second and Third Editions.]
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Footnote 33: › The last line, "God help thee," is an evident plagiarism from the Anti-Jacobin to Mr. Southey, on his Dactylics:--
"God help thee, silly one!"
Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, p. 23.
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Footnote H:
And yet why...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 34: › In the annotated copy of the Fourth Edition Byron has drawn a line down the margin of the passage on Wordsworth, lines 236-248, and adds the word "Unjust." The first four lines on Coleridge (lines 255-258) are also marked "Unjust." The recantation is, no doubt, intended to apply to both passages from beginning to end. "Unjust."--B., 1816. (See also Byron's letter to S. T. Coleridge, March 31, 1815.)
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Footnote J:
Or old or young...
[British Bards.]
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Footnote 35:Lyrical Ballads, p. 4.--"The Tables Turned," Stanza 1.
"Up, up, my friend, and clear your looks,
Why all this toil and trouble?
Up, up, my friend, and quit your books,
Or surely you'll grow double."
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Footnote K:
yes, I'm sure all may...
[Quarto Proof Sheet]
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Footnote: 36 ›Mr. W. in his preface labours hard to prove, that prose and verse are much the same; and certainly his precepts and practice are strictly conformable:--
"And thus to Betty's questions he
Made answer, like a traveller bold.
'The cock did crow, to-whoo, to-whoo,
And the sun did shine so cold.'"
Lyrical Ballads, p. 179.
[Compare The Simpliciad, II. 295-305, and note.
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Footnote M:
While Cloacina's holy pontiff LambeA
As he himself was damned shall try to damn...
[MS Newstead]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; We have heard of persons who "when the Bagpipe sings in the nose cannot contain their urine for affection," but Mr. L. carries it a step further than Shakespeare's diuretic amateurs, being notorious at school and college for his inability to contain--anything. We do not know to what "Pipe" to attribute this additional effect, but the fact is uncontrovertible.--[Note to Quarto Proof bound up with British Bards.
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Footnote: 37 › "He has not published for some years."--British Bards. (A marginal note in pencil.)
[Coleridge's Poems (3rd edit.) appeared in 1803; the first number of The Friend on June 1, 1809.]
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Footnote N:
Lo! long beneath_...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 38:Coleridge's Poems, p. 11, "Songs of the Pixies," i. e. Devonshire Fairies; p. 42, we have "Lines to a Young Lady;" and, p. 52, "Lines to a Young Ass."
[Compare The Simpliciad, ll. 211, 213--
"Then in despite of scornful Folly's pother,
Ask him to live with you and hail him brother."
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Footnote P:
And grateful to the founder of the feast
Declare his landlord can translate at least...
[MS. British Bards. First to Fourth Editions.]
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Footnote 39: › Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775-1818), known as "Monk" Lewis, was the son of a rich Jamaica planter. During a six months' visit to Weimar (1792-3), when he was introduced to Goethe, he applied himself to the study of German literature, especially novels and the drama. In 1794 he was appointed attaché to the Embassy at the Hague, and in the course of ten weeks wrote Ambrosio, or The Monk, which was published in 1795. In 1798 he made the acquaintance of Scott, and procured his promise of co-operation in his contemplated Tales of Terror. In the same year he published the Castle Spectre (first played at Drury Lane, Dec. 14, 1797), in which, to quote the postscript "To the Reader," he meant (but Sheridan interposed) "to have exhibited a whole regiment of Ghosts." Tales of Terror were printed at Weybridge in 1801, and two or three editions of Tales of Wonder, to which Byron refers, came out in the same year. Lewis borrowed so freely from all sources that the collection was called "Tales of Plunder." In the first edition (two vols., printed by W. Bulmer for the author, 1801) the first eighteen poems, with the exception of The Fire King (xii.) by Walter Scott, are by Lewis, either original or translated. Scott also contributed Glenfinlas, The Eve of St. John, Frederick and Alice, The Wild Huntsmen (Der Wilde Jäger). Southey contributed six poems, including The Old Woman of Berkeley (xxiv.). The Little Grey Man (xix.) is by H. Bunbury. The second volume is made up from Burns, Gray, Parnell, Glover, Percy's Reliques, and other sources.

A second edition, published in 1801, which consists of thirty-two ballads (Southey's are not included), advertises "Tales of Terror printed uniform with this edition of Tales of Wonder." Romantic Tales, in four volumes, appeared in 1808. Of his other works, The Captive, A Monodrama, was played in 1803; the Bravo of Venice, A Translation from the German, in 1804; and Timour the Tartar in 1811. His Journal of a West Indian Proprietor was not published till 1834. He sat as M.P. for Hindon (1796-1802).

He had been a favourite in society before Byron appeared on the scene, but there is no record of any intimacy or acquaintance before 1813. When Byron was living at Geneva, Lewis visited the Maison Diodati in August, 1816, on which occasion he "translated to him Goethe's Faust by word of mouth," and drew up a codicil to his will, witnessed by Byron, Shelley, and Polidori, which contained certain humane provisions for the well-being of the negroes on his Jamaica estates. He also visited him at La Mira in August, 1817. Byron wrote of him after his death:
"He was a good man, and a clever one, but he was a bore, a damned bore--one may say. But I liked him."
To judge from his letters to his mother and other evidence (Scott's testimony, for instance), he was a kindly, well-intentioned man, but lacking in humour. When his father condemned the indecency of the Monk, he assured him "that he had not the slightest idea that what he was then writing could injure the principles of any human being." "He was," said Byron, "too great a bore to lie," and the plea is evidently offered in good faith. As a writer, he is memorable chiefly for his sponsorship of German literature. Scott said of him that he had the finest ear for rhythm he ever met with--finer than Byron's; and Coleridge, in a letter to Wordsworth, Jan., 1798 (Letters of S. T. C. (1895), i. 237), and again in Table Talk for March 20, 1834, commends his verses. Certainly his ballad of "Crazy Jane," once so famous that ladies took to wearing "Crazy Jane" hats, is of the nature of poetry. (See Life, 349, 362, 491, etc.; Life and Correspondence of M. G. Lewis (1839), i. 158, etc.; Life of Scott, by J. G. Lockhart (1842), pp. 80-83, 94.)
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cross-reference: return to Footnote 21 of this poem
cross-reference: return to Footnote 22 of Hints from Horace
Footnote Q:
--are fed because they write...
[British Bards.]
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Footnote 40: › "For every one knows little Matt's an M.P."--See a poem to Mr. Lewis, in The Statesman, supposed to be written by Mr. Jekyll.

[Joseph Jekyll (d. 1837) was celebrated for his witticisms and metrical jeux d'esprit which he contributed to the Morning Chronicle and the Evening Statesman. His election as M.P. for Calne in 1787, at the nomination of Lord Lansdowne, gave rise to Jekyll, A Political Eclogue (see The Rottiad (1799), pp. 219-224). He was a favourite with the Prince Regent, at whose instance he was appointed a Master in Chancery in 1815.]
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Footnote R:
Princes in Barrels, Counts in arbours pent...
[British Bards.]
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Footnote 41: › The reader, who may wish for an explanation of this, may refer to "Strangford's Camoëns," p. 127, note to p. 56, or to the last page of the Edinburgh Review of Strangford's Camoëns.

[Percy Clinton Sydney Smythe, sixth Viscount Strangford (1780-1855), published Translations from the Portuguese by Luis de Camoens in 1803. The note to which Byron refers is on the canzonet Naö sei quem assella, "Thou hast an eye of tender blue." It runs thus:
"Locks of auburn and eyes of blue have ever been dear to the sons of song.... Sterne even considers them as indicative of qualities the most amiable.... The Translator does not wish to deem ... this unfounded. He is, however, aware of the danger to which such a confession exposes him--but he flies for protection to the temple of Aurea Venus."
It may be added that Byron's own locks were auburn, and his eyes a greyish-blue.]
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Footnote S:
His "damme, poohs."...
[MS. First Edition]
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Footnote 42: › It is also to be remarked, that the things given to the public as poems of Camoëns are no more to be found in the original Portuguese, than in the Song of Solomon.
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Footnote T:
While Kenny's World just suffered to proceed Proclaims the audience very kind indeed...
[MS. British Bards. First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 43: › See his various Biographies of defunct Painters, etc. [William Hayley (1745-1820) published The Triumphs of Temper in 1781, and The Triumph of Music in 1804. His biography of Milton appeared in 1796, of Cowper in 1803-4, of Romney in 1809. He had produced, among other plays, The Happy Prescription and The Two Connoisseurs in 1784. In 1808 he would be regarded as out of date, "hobbling on" behind younger rivals in the race (see E.B., I. 923). For his life and works, see Southey's article in the Quarterly Review (vol. xxxi. p. 263). The appeal to "tarts" to "spare the text," is possibly an echo of The Dunciad, i. 155, 156--
"Of these twelve volumes, twelve of amplest size,
Redeemed from topers and defrauded pies."
The meaning of the appeal is fixed by such a passage as this from The Blues, where the company discuss Wordsworth's appointment to a Collectorship of Stamps--
"Inkle. I shall think of him oft when I buy a new hat;
There his works will appear.

Lady Bluemount. Sir, they reach to the Ganges.

Inkle. I sha'n't go so far. I can have them at Grange's."
Grange's was a well-known pastry-cook's in Piccadilly. In Pierce Egan's Life in London (ed. 1821), p. 70, note 1, the author writes,
"As I sincerely hope that this work will shrink from the touch of a pastry-cook, and also avoid the foul uses of a trunk-maker,... I feel induced now to describe, for the benefit of posterity, the pedigree of a Dandy in 1820."
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Footnote 44: › Hayley's two most notorious verse productions are Triumphs of Temper and The Triumph of Music. He has also written much Comedy in rhyme, Epistles, etc., etc. As he is rather an elegant writer of notes and biography, let us recommend Pope's advice to Wycherley to Mr. H.'s consideration, viz., "to convert poetry into prose," which may be easily done by taking away the final syllable of each couplet.
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Footnote V:
Resume her throne again...
[MS. British Bards. First to Fourth Editions.]
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Footnote 45: › Lines 319-326 do not form part of the original MS. A slip of paper which contains a fair copy of the lines in Byron's handwriting has been, with other fragments, bound up with Dallas's copy of British Bards. In the MS. this place is taken by a passage and its pendant note, which Byron omitted at the request of Dallas, who was a friend of Pratt's:--
"In verse most stale, unprofitable, flat--
Come, let us change the scene, and 'glean' with Pratt;
In him an author's luckless lot behold,
Condemned to make the books which once he sold:
Degraded man! again resume thy trade--
The votaries of the Muse are ill repaid,
Though daily puffs once more invite to buy
A new edition of thy 'Sympathy.'"
"Mr. Pratt, once a Bath bookseller, now a London author, has written as much, to as little purpose, as any of his scribbling contemporaries. Mr. P.'s Sympathy is in rhyme; but his prose productions are the most voluminous."

Samuel Jackson Pratt (1749-1814), actor, itinerant lecturer, poet of the Cruscan school, tragedian, and novelist, published a large number of volumes. His Gleanings in England, Holland, Wales, and Westphalia attained some reputation. His Sympathy; a Poem (1788) passed through several editions. His pseudonym was Courtney Melmoth. He was a patron of the cobbler-poet, Blacket
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Footnote W:
and Kemble lives to tread
[British Bards. First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 46: › Mr. Grahame has poured forth two volumes of Cant, under the name of Sabbath Walks and Biblical Pictures.
[James Grahame (1765-1811), a lawyer, who subsequently took Holy Orders. The Sabbath, a poem, was published anonymously in 1804; and to a second edition were added Sabbath Walks. Biblical Pictures appeared in 1807.]
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Footnote X:
St. GeorgeA and Goody Goose divide the prize...
[MS. alternative in British Bards.]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; We need not inform the reader that we do not allude to the Champion of England who slew the Dragon. Our St. George is content to draw status with a very different kind of animal.--[Pencil note to British Bards.]
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Footnote 47: › The Rev. W. Lisle Bowles (1768-1850). His edition of Pope's Works, in ten vols., which stirred Byron's gall, appeared in 1807. The Fall of Empires, Tyre, Carthage, etc., is the subject of part of the third book of The Spirit of Discovery by Sea (1805). Lines "To a Withered Leaf," are, perhaps, of later date; but the "sear tresses" and "shivering leaves" of "Autumn's gradual gloom" are familiar images in his earlier poems. Byron's senior by twenty years, he was destined to outlive him by more than a quarter of a century; but when English Bards, etc., was in progress, he was little more than middle-aged, and the "three score years" must have been written in the spirit of prophecy. As it chanced, the last word rested with him, and it was a generous one. Addressing Moore, in 1824, he says (Childe Harold's Last Pilgrimage)--
"So Harold ends, in Greece, his pilgrimage!
There fitly ending--in that land renown'd,
Whose mighty Genius lives in Glory's page,--
He on the Muses' consecrated ground,
Sinking to rest, while his young brows are bound
With their unfading wreath!"
Among his poems are a "Sonnet to Oxford," and "Stanzas on hearing the Bells of Ostend."
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Footnote Y:
Its humble flight to splendid Pantomimes...
[British Bards. MS]
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Footnote 48: › "Awake a louder," etc., is the first line in Bowles's Spirit of Discovery: a very spirited and pretty dwarf Epic. Among other exquisite lines we have the following:--
----"A kiss
Stole on the list'ning silence, never yet
Here heard; they trembled even as if the power," etc., etc.
That is, the woods of Madeira trembled to a kiss; very much astonished, as well they might be, at such a phenomenon.
"Mis-quoted and misunderstood by me; but not intentionally. It was not the 'woods,' but the people in them who trembled--why, Heaven only knows--unless they were overheard making this prodigious smack."
(B., 1816.)
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Footnote Z:
Behold the new Petronius of the times
The skilful Arbiter of modern crimes....
[MS.]
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Footnote 49: › The episode above alluded to is the story of "Robert à Machin" and "Anna d'Arfet," a pair of constant lovers, who performed the kiss above mentioned, that startled the woods of Madeira.
[See Byron's letter to Murray, Feb. 7, 1821, "On Bowies' Strictures," Life, p. 688.]
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Footnote Aa:
a Paget for your wife...
[MS. First to Fourth Editions.]
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Footnote 50:Curll is one of the Heroes of the Dunciad, and was a bookseller. Lord Fanny is the poetical name of Lord Hervey, author of Lines to the Imitator of Horace.
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Footnote Bb:
From Grosvenor Place or Square...
[MS. British Bards]
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Footnote 51: › Lord Bolingbroke hired Mallet to traduce Pope after his decease, because the poet had retained some copies of a work by Lord Bolingbroke--the "Patriot King,"--which that splendid, but malignant genius had ordered to be destroyed.
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Footnote Cc:
On one alone Apollo deigns to smile
And crowns a new Roscommon in Carlisle....
[MS. Addition to British Bards]
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Footnote 52: › Dennis the critic, and Ralph the rhymester:--
"Silence, ye Wolves! while Ralph to Cynthia howls,
Making Night hideous: answer him, ye owls!"

Dunciad.
[Book III. II. 165, 166, Pope wrote, "And makes night," etc.]
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Footnote Dd:
Yet at their fiat----
Yet at their nausea----...
[MS Newstead]
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Footnote 53: › See Bowles's late edition of Pope's works, for which he received three hundred pounds. [Twelve hundred guineas.--British Bards.] Thus Mr. B. has experienced how much easier it is to profit by the reputation of another, than to elevate his own.

["Too savage all this on Bowles," wrote Byron, in 1816, but he afterwards returned to his original sentiments. "Although," he says (Feb. 7, 1821), "I regret having published English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, the part which I regret the least is that which regards Mr. Bowles, with reference to Pope. Whilst I was writing that publication, in 1807 and 1808, Mr. Hobhouse was desirous that I should express our mutual opinion of Pope, and of Mr. Bowles's edition of his works. As I had completed my outline, and felt lazy, I requested that he would do so. He did it. His fourteen lines on Bowles's Pope are in the first edition of English Bards, and are quite as severe, and much more poetical, than my own, in the second. On reprinting the work, as I put my name to it, I omitted Mr. Hobhouse's lines, by which the work gained less than Mr. Bowles.... I am grieved to say that, in reading over those lines, I repent of their having so far fallen short of what I meant to express upon the subject of his edition of Pope's works" (Life, pp. 688, 689). The lines supplied by Hobhouse are here subjoined:--
"Stick to thy sonnets, man!--at least they sell.
Or take the only path that open lies
For modern worthies who would hope to rise:
Fix on some well-known name, and, bit by bit,
Pare off the merits of his worth and wit:
On each alike employ the critic's knife,
And when a comment fails, prefix a life;
Hint certain failings, faults before unknown,
Review forgotten lies, and add your own;
Let no disease, let no misfortune 'scape,
And print, if luckily deformed, his shape:
Thus shall the world, quite undeceived at last,
Cleave to their present wits, and quit their past;
Bards once revered no more with favour view,
But give their modern sonneteers their due;
Thus with the dead may living merit cope,
Thus Bowles may triumph o'er the shade of Pope."
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Footnote Ee:
Such sneering fame....
[British Bards]
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Footnote 54:
"'Helicon' is a mountain, and not a fish-pond. It should have been 'Hippocrene.'"--B., 1816.
[The correction was made in the Fifth Edition.]
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Footnote Ff:
Though Bell has lost his nightingales and owls,
Matilda snivels still and Hafiz howls,
And Crusca's spirit rising from the dead
Revives in Laura, Quiz, and X. Y. Z.<...
[British Bards. First to Third Editions, 1810]
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Footnote 55: › Mr. Cottle, Amos, Joseph, I don't know which, but one or both, once sellers of books they did not write, and now writers of books they do not sell, have published a pair of Epics--Alfred (poor Alfred! Pye has been at him too!)--Alfred and the Fall of Cambria.
"All right. I saw some letters of this fellow (Jh. Cottle) to an unfortunate poetess, whose productions, which the poor woman by no means thought vainly of, he attacked so roughly and bitterly, that I could hardly regret assailing him, even were it unjust, which it is not--for verily he is an ass."--B., 1816.
[Compare Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin--
"And Cottle, not he whom that Alfred made famous,
But Joseph of Bristol, the brother of Amos."
The identity of the brothers Cottle appears to have been a matter beneath the notice both of the authors of the Anti-Jacobin and of Byron. Amos Cottle, who died in 1800 (see Lamb's Letter to Coleridge of Oct. 9, 1800; Letters of C. Lamb, 1888, i. 140), was the author of a Translation of the Edda of Soemund, published in 1797. Joseph Cottle, inter alia, published Alfred in 1801, and The Fall of Cambria, 1807. An Expostulatory Epistle, in which Joseph avenges Amos and solemnly castigates the author of Don Juan, was issued in 1819 (see Lamb's Letter to Cottle, Nov. 5, 1819), and was reprinted in the Memoir of Amos Cottle, inserted in his brother's Early Recollections of Coleridge (London, 1837, i. 119). The "unfortunate poetess" was, probably, Ann Yearsley, the Bristol milk-woman. Wordsworth, too (see Recollections of the Table-Talk of S. Rogers, 1856, p. 235), dissuaded her from publishing her poems. Roughness and bitterness were not among Cottle's faults or foibles, and it is possible that Byron misconceived the purport of the correspondence.]
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Footnote Gg:
None since the past have claimed the tribute due...
[British Bards. MS]
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Footnote 56: › Mr. Maurice hath manufactured the component parts of a ponderous quarto, upon the beauties of "Richmond Hill," and the like:--it also takes in a charming view of Turnham Green, Hammersmith, Brentford, Old and New, and the parts adjacent. [The Rev. Thomas Maurice (1754-1824) had this at least in common with Byron--that his History of Ancient and Modern Hindostan was severely attacked in the Edinburgh Review. He published a vindication of his work in 1805. He must have confined his dulness to his poems (Richmond Hill (1807), etc.), for his Memoirs (1819) are amusing, and, though otherwise blameless, he left behind him the reputation of an "indiscriminate enjoyment" of literary and other society. Lady Anne Hamilton alludes to him in Epics of the Ton (1807), p. 165--
"Or warmed like Maurice by Museum fire,
From Ganges dragged a hurdy-gurdy lyre."
He was assistant keeper of MSS. at the British Museum from 1799 till his death.
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Footnote Hh:
From Albion's cliffs to Caledonia's coast.
Some few who know to write as well as feel...
[MS.]
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Footnote 57: › Poor Montgomery, though praised by every English Review, has been bitterly reviled by the Edinburgh. After all, the Bard of Sheffield is a man of considerable genius. His Wanderer of Switzerland is worth a thousand Lyrical Ballads, and at least fifty Degraded Epics.

[James Montgomery (1771-1854) was born in Ayrshire, but settled at Sheffield, where he edited a newspaper, the Iris, a radical print, which brought him into conflict with the authorities. His early poems were held up to ridicule in the Edinburgh Review by Jeffrey, in Jan. 1807. It was probably the following passage which provoked Byron's note:
"When every day is bringing forth some new work from the pen of Scott, Campbell,... Wordsworth, and Southey, it is natural to feel some disgust at the undistinguishing voracity which can swallow down these... verses to a pillow."
The Wanderer of Switzerland, which Byron said he preferred to the Lyrical Ballads, was published in 1806. The allusion in line 419 is to the first stanza of The Lyre--
"Where the roving rill meand'red
Down the green, retiring vale,
Poor, forlorn Alcæus wandered,
Pale with thoughts--serenely pale."
He is remembered chiefly as the writer of some admirable hymns.
(Vide ante, p. 107, Answer to a Beautiful Poem, and note.)]
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Footnote Jj:
The spoiler came; and all thy promise fair
Has sought the grave, to sleep for ever there....
[First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 58: › Arthur's Seat; the hill which overhangs Edinburgh.
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Footnote Kk:
On him may meritorious honours tend
While doubly mingling,...
[MS. erased]
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Footnote 59: › Lines 439-527 are not in the MS. The first draft of the passage on Jeffrey, which appears to have found a place in British Bards and to have been afterwards cut out, runs as follows:--
"Who has not heard in this enlightened age,
When all can criticise the historic page,
Who has not heard in James's Bigot Reign
Of Jefferies! monarch of the scourge, and chain,
Jefferies the wretch whose pestilential breath,
Like the dread Simoom, winged the shaft of Death;
The old, the young to Fate remorseless gave
Nor spared one victim from the common grave?

"Such was the Judge of James's iron time,
When Law was Murder, Mercy was a crime,
Till from his throne by weary millions hurled
The Despot roamed in Exile through the world.

"Years have rolled on;--in all the lists of Shame,
Who now can parallel a Jefferies' name?
With hand less mighty, but with heart as black
With voice as willing to decree the Rack,
With tongue envenomed, with intentions foul
The same in name and character and soul."
The first four lines of the above, which have been erased, are to be found on p. 16 of British Bards. Pages 17, 18, are wanting, and quarto proofs of lines 438-527 have been inserted. Lines 528-539 appear for the first time in the Fifth Edition.
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Footnote Mm:
And you united Bards...
[MS. Addition to British Bards]
And you ye nameless...
[MS. erased.]
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Footnote 60: › "Too ferocious--this is mere insanity."--B., 1816. [The comment applies to lines 432-453.]
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Footnote Nn:
Translation's servile work at length disown
And quit Achaia's Muse to court your own...
[MS. Addition to British Bards]
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Footnote 61: › "All this is bad, because personal."--B., 1816.
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Footnote Pp:
Let these arise and anxious of applause...
[British Bards. MS]
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Footnote 62: › In 1806, Messrs. Jeffrey and Moore met at Chalk Farm. The duel was prevented by the interference of the Magistracy; and on examination, the balls of the pistols were found to have evaporated. This incident gave occasion to much waggery in the daily prints. [The first four editions read, "the balls of the pistols, like the courage of the combatants."]

[The following disclaimer to the foregoing note appears in the MS. in Leigh Hunt's copy of the Fourth Edition, 1811. It was first printed in the Fifth Edition:--]
"I am informed that Mr. Moore published at the time a disavowal of the statements in the newspapers, as far as regarded himself; and, in justice to him, I mention this circumstance. As I never heard of it before, I cannot state the particulars, and was only made acquainted with the fact very lately. November 4, 1811."
[As a matter of fact, it was Jeffrey's pistol that was found to be leadless.]
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cross-reference: return to footnote of lines "To the Earl of Clare
Footnote Qq:
But not in heavy...
[British Bards. MS]
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Footnote 63: › The Tweed here behaved with proper decorum; it would have been highly reprehensible in the English half of the river to have shown the smallest symptom of apprehension.
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Footnote Rr:
Let prurient Southey cease...
[MS. British Bards]
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Footnote 64: › This display of sympathy on the part of the Tolbooth (the principal prison in Edinburgh), which truly seems to have been most affected on this occasion, is much to be commended. It was to be apprehended, that the many unhappy criminals executed in the front might have rendered the Edifice more callous. She is said to be of the softer sex, because her delicacy of feeling on this day was truly feminine, though, like most feminine impulses, perhaps a little selfish.
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Footnote Ss:
still the babe at nurse...
[MS.]
Let Lewis jilt our nurseries with alarm
With tales that oft disgust and never charm
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Footnote 65: ›Line 508. For "oat-fed phalanx," the Quarto Proof and Editions 1-4 read "ranks illustrious." The correction is made in MS. in the Annotated Edition. It was suggested that the motto of the Edinburgh Review should have been, "Musam tenui meditamur avenâ."
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Footnote Tt:
But thou with powers...
[MS. British Bards]
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Footnote 66: › His Lordship has been much abroad, is a member of the Athenian Society, and reviewer of Gell's Topography of Troy. [George Gordon, fourth Earl of Aberdeen (1784-1860), published in 1822 An Inquiry into the Principles of Beauty in Grecian Architecture. His grandfather purchased Gight, the property which Mrs. Byron had sold to pay her husband's debts. This may have been an additional reason for the introduction of his name.]
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Footnote Uu:
Let Moore be lewd; let Strangford steal from Moore...
[MS. First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 67: › Mr. Herbert is a translator of Icelandic and other poetry. One of the principal pieces is a Song on the Recovery of Thor's Hammer: the translation is a pleasant chant in the vulgar tongue, and endeth thus:--
"Instead of money and rings, I wot,
The hammer's bruises were her lot.
Thus Odin's son his hammer got."
[William Herbert (1778-1847), son of the first Earl of Carnarvon, edited Musæ Etonenses in 1795, whilst he was still at school. He was one of the earliest contributors to the Edinburgh Review. At the time when Byron was writing his satire, he was M.P. for Hampshire, but in 1814 he took Orders. He was appointed Dean of Manchester in 1840, and republished his poetical works, and among them his Icelandic Translations or Horæ Scandicæ (Miscellaneous Works, 2 vols.), in 1842.]
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Footnote Vv:
For outlawed Sherwood's tales...
[MS. Brit. Bards. Eds. 1-4]
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Footnote 68: › The Rev. Sydney Smith, the reputed Author of Peter Plymley's Letters, and sundry criticisms. [Sydney Smith (1771-1845), the "witty Canon of St. Paul's," was one of the founders, and for a short time (1802) the editor, of the Edinburgh Review. His Letters on the Catholicks, from Peter Plymley to his brother Abraham, appeared in 1807-8.]
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Footnote Ww:
And even spurns the great Seatonian prize...
[MS. First to Fourth Editions (a correction in the Annotated Copy).]
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Footnote 69: › Mr. Hallam reviewed Payne Knight's "Taste," and was exceedingly severe on some Greek verses therein. It was not discovered that the lines were Pindar's till the press rendered it impossible to cancel the critique, which still stands an everlasting monument of Hallam's ingenuity.-- [Note added to Second Edition:
Hallam is incensed because he is falsely accused, seeing that he never dineth at Holland House. If this be true, I am sorry--not for having said so, but on his account, as I understand his Lordship's feasts are preferable to his compositions. If he did not review Lord Holland's performance, I am glad; because it must have been painful to read, and irksome to praise it. If Mr. Hallam will tell me who did review it, the real name shall find a place in the text; provided, nevertheless, the said name be of two orthodox musical syllables, and will come into the verse: till then, Hallam must stand for want of a better.]
[Henry Hallam (1777-1859), author of Europe during the Middle Ages, 1808, etc.
"This," said Byron, "is the style in which history ought to be written, if it is wished to impress it on the memory"
(Lady Blessington's Conversations with Lord Byron, 1834, p. 213). The article in question was written by Dr. John Allen, Lord Holland's domestic physician, and Byron was misled by the similarity of sound in the two names (see H. C. Robinson's Diary, i. 277), or repeated what Hodgson had told him (see Introduction, and Letter 102, note i).

For a disproof that Hallam wrote the article, see Gent. Mag., 1830, pt. i. p. 389; and for an allusion to the mistake in the review, compare All the Talents, p. 96, and note.
"Spare me not Chronicles and Sunday News,
Spare me not Pamphleteers and Scotch Reviews"
"The best literary joke I recollect is its [the Edin. Rev.] attempting to prove some of the Grecian Pindar rank non sense, supposing it to have been written by Mr. P. Knight."]
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go to Footnote 78
Footnote Xx:
With odes by SmythA and epic songs by Hoyle,
Hoyle whose learn'd page, if still upheld by whist
Required no sacred theme to bid us list...
[MS. British Bards]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; William Smyth (1766-1849). Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, published his English Lyrics (in 1806), and several other works.
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Footnote 70: › Pillans is a [private, MS.] tutor at Eton.
[James Pillans (1778-1864), Rector of the High School, and Professor of Humanity in the University, Edinburgh. Byron probably assumed that the review of Hodgson's Translation of Juvenal, in the Edinburgh Review, April, 1808, was by him.]
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Footnote Yy:
Yet hold--as when by Heaven's supreme behest,
If found, ten righteous had preserved the Rest
In Sodom's fated town--for Granta's name
Let Hodgson's Genius plead and save her fame
But where fair Isis, etc....
[MS. and British Bards]
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Footnote 71: ›The Honourable G. Lambe reviewed "Beresford's Miseries," and is moreover Author of a farce enacted with much applause at the Priory, Stanmore; and damned with great expedition at the late theatre, Covent Garden. It was entitled Whistle for It. [See note, supra, on line 57.] His review of James Beresford's Miseries of Human Life; or the Last Groans of Timothy Testy and Samuel Sensitive, appeared in the Edinburgh Review for Oct. 1806.
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Footnote Zz:
See Clarke still striving piteously to please
Forgets that Doggrel leads not to degrees...
[MS. Fragment bound up with British Bards]
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Footnote 72: › Mr. Brougham, in No. XXV. of the Edinburgh Review, throughout the article concerning Don Pedro de Cevallos, has displayed more politics than policy; many of the worthy burgesses of Edinburgh being so incensed at the infamous principles it evinces, as to have withdrawn their subscriptions.

[Here followed, in the First Edition:
"The name of this personage is pronounced Broom in the south, but the truly northern and musical pronunciation is Brough-am, in two syllables;"
but for this, Byron substituted in the Second Edition:
"It seems that Mr. Brougham is not a Pict, as I supposed, but a Borderer, and his name is pronounced Broom, from Trent to Tay:--so be it."
The title of the work was "Exposition of the Practices and Machinations which led to the usurpation of the Crown of Spain, and the means adopted by the Emperor of the French to carry it into execution," by Don Pedro Cevallos. The article, which appeared in Oct. 1808, was the joint composition of Jeffrey and Brougham, and proved a turning-point in the political development of the Review.]
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Footnote aA:
So sunk in dullness and so lost in shame
That Smythe and Hodgson scarce redeem thy fame...
[MS. Addition to British Bards. First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 73: ›: I ought to apologise to the worthy Deities for introducing a new Goddess with short petticoats to their notice: but, alas! what was to be done? I could not say Caledonia's Genius, it being well known there is no genius to be found from Clackmannan to Caithness; yet without supernatural agency, how was Jeffrey to be saved? The national "Kelpies" are too unpoetical, and the "Brownies" and "gude neighbours" (spirits of a good disposition) refused to extricate him. A Goddess, therefore, has been called for the purpose; and great ought to be the gratitude of Jeffrey, seeing it is the only communication he ever held, or is likely to hold, with anything heavenly.
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Footnote bB:
is wove...
[MS. British Bards and First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 74: › Lines 528-539 appeared for the first time in the Fifth Edition.
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Footnote cC:
And modern Britons justly praise their sires...
[MS. British Bards and First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 75: › See the colour of the back binding of the Edinburgh Review.
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Footnote dD:
--what her sons must know too well...
[British Bards]
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Footnote 76: › "Bad enough, and on mistaken grounds too."--B., 1816.
[The comment applies to the whole passage on Lord Holland.]

[Henry Richard Vassall, third Lord Holland (1773-1840), to whom Byron dedicated the Bride of Abydos (1813). His Life of Lope de Vega (see note 4) was published in 1806, and Three Comedies from the Spanish, in 1807.]
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Footnote eE:
Zeal for her honour no malignant Rage,
Has bade me spurn the follies of the age....
[MS. British Bards. First Edition]
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Footnote 77: ›Henry Petty (1780-1863) succeeded his brother as third Marquis of Lansdowne in 1809. He was a regular attendant at the social and political gatherings of his relative, Lord Holland; and as Holland House was regarded as one of the main rallying-points of the Whig party and of the Edinburgh Reviewers, the words, "whipper-in and hunts-man," probably refer to their exertions in this respect.
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Footnote fF:
--Ocean's lonely Queen...
[British Bards]
--Ocean's mighty Queen...
[First to Fourth Editions]
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Footnote 78: › See note 1, p. 337.
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Footnote gG:
Like these thy cliffs may sink in ruin hurled
The last white ramparts of a falling world...
[British Bards MS.]
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Footnote 79: › Lord Holland has translated some specimens of Lope de Vega, inserted in his life of the author. Both are bepraised by his disinterested guests.
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Footnote hH:
But should I back return, no lettered rage
Shall drag my common-place book on the stage:
Let vain ValentiaA rival luckless Carr,
And equal him whose work he sought to mar...
[Second to Fourth Editions]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp;. Lord Valentia (whose tremendous travels are forthcoming with due decorations, graphical, topographical, typographical) deposed, on Sir John Carr's unlucky suit, that Mr. Dubois's satire prevented his purchase of The Stranger in Ireland.--Oh, fie, my lord! has your lordship no more feeling for a fellow-tourist?--but "two of a trade," they say, etc.

[George Annesley, Viscount Valentia (1769-1844), published, in 1809, Voyages and Travels to India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia, and Egypt in the Years 1802-6. Byron calls him "vain" Valentia, because his "accounts of ceremonies attending his lordship's interviews with several of the petty princes" suggest the thought "that his principal errand to India was to measure certain rank in the British peerage against the gradations of Asiatic royalty."--Eclectic Review, August, 1809. In August, 1808, Sir John Carr, author of numerous Travels, brought an unsuccessful action for damages against Messrs. Hood and Sharpe, the publishers of the parody of his works by Edward Dubois,--My Pocket Book: or Hints for a Ryghte Merrie and Conceitede Tour, in 4to, to be called "The Stranger in Ireland in 1805," By a Knight Errant, and dedicated to the papermakers. (See Letter to Hodgson, August 6, 1809, and suppressed stanza (stanza Ixxxvii.) of the first canto of Childe Harold.)]
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Footnote 80: › Certain it is, her ladyship is suspected of having displayed her matchless wit in the Edinburgh Review. However that may be, we know from good authority, that the manuscripts are submitted to her perusal--no doubt, for correction.
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Footnote jJ:
To stun mankind, with Poesy or Prose
[Second to Fourth Editions.]
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Footnote 81: › In the melo-drama of Tekeli, that heroic prince is clapt into a barrel on the stage; a new asylum for distressed heroes.
[In the MS. and British Bards the note stands thus:
"In the melodrama of Tekeli, that heroic prince is clapt into a barrel on the stage, and Count Everard in the fortress hides himself in a green-house built expressly for the occasion. 'Tis a pity that Theodore Hook, who is really a man of talent, should confine his genius to such paltry productions as The Fortress, Music Mad, etc. etc."
Theodore Hook (1788-1841) produced Tekeli in 1806. Fortress and Music Mad were played in 1807. He had written some eight or ten popular plays before he was twenty-one.]
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Footnote kK:
Thus much I've dared to do, how far my lay
. [First to Fourth Editions.]
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Footnote 82:Vide post, 1. 591, note 3.
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Footnote 83: › William Henry West Betty (1791-1874) ("the Young Roscius") made his first appearance on the London stage as Selim, disguised as Achmet, in Barbarossa, Dec. 1, 1804, and his last, as a boy actor, in Tancred, and Captain Flash in Miss in her Teens, Mar. 17, 1806, but acted in the provinces till 1808. So great was the excitement on the occasion of his début, that the military were held in readiness to assist in keeping order. Having made a large fortune, he finally retired from the stage in 1824, and passed the last fifty years of his life in retirement, surviving his fame by more than half a century.
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Footnote 84: › All these are favourite expressions of Mr. Reynolds, and prominent in his comedies, living and defunct. [Frederick Reynolds (1764-1841) produced nearly one hundred plays, one of the most successful of which was The Caravan, or the Driver and his Dog. The text alludes to his endeavour to introduce the language of ordinary life on the stage. Compare The Children of Apollo, p. 9--
"But in his diction Reynolds grossly errs;
For whether the love hero smiles or mourns,
'Tis oh! and ah! and ah! and oh! by turns."
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Footnote 85: › James Kenney (1780-1849). Among his very numerous plays, the most successful were Raising the Wind (1803), and Sweethearts and Wives (1823). The World was brought out at Covent Garden, March 30, 1808, and had a considerable run. He was intimate with Charles and Mary Lamb (see Letters of Charles Lamb, ii. 16, 44).
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Footnote 85a: › Mr. T. Sheridan, the new Manager of Drury Lane theatre, stripped the Tragedy of Bonduca [Caratach in the original MS.] of the dialogue, and exhibited the scenes as the spectacle of Caractacus. Was this worthy of his sire? or of himself?
[Thomas Sheridan (1775-1817), most famous as the son of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and father of Lady Dufferin, Mrs. Norton, and the Duchess of Somerset, was author of several plays. His Bonduca was played at Covent Garden, May 3, 1808. The following answer to a real or fictitious correspondent, in the European Magazine for May, 1808, is an indication of contemporary opinion: "The Fishwoman's letter to the author of Caractacus on the art of gutting is inadmissible." For anecdotes of Thomas Sheridan, see Angelo's Reminiscences, 1828, ii. 170-175. See, too, Epics of the Ton, p. 264.
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Footnote 86: › George Colman, the younger (1762-1836), wrote numerous dramas, several of which, e.g. The Iron Chest (1796), John Bull (1803), The Heir-at-Law (1808), have been popular with more than one generation of playgoers. An amusing companion, and a favourite at Court, he was appointed Lieutenant of the Yeomen of the Guard, and examiner of plays by Royal favour, but his reckless mode of life kept him always in difficulties. John Bull is referred to in Hints from Horace, line 166.
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Footnote 87: › Richard Cumberland (1732-1811), the original of Sir Fretful Plagiary in The Critic, a man of varied abilities, wrote poetry, plays, novels, classical translations, and works of religious controversy. He was successively Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and secretary to the Board of Trade. His best known plays are The West Indian, The Wheels of Fortune, and The Jew. He published his Memoirs in 1806-7.
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Footnote 88: › Sheridan's translation of Pizarro, by Kotzebue, was first played at Drury Lane, 1799. Southey wrote of it, "It is impossible to sink below Pizarro. Kotzebue's play might have passed for the worst possible if Sheridan had not proved the possibility of making it worse" (Southey's Letters, i. 87). Gifford alludes to it in a note to The Mæviad as "the translation so maliciously attributed to Sheridan."
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Footnote 89: › In all editions, previous to the fifth, it was, "Kemble lives to tread." Byron used to say, that, of actors,
"Cooke was the most natural, Kemble the most supernatural, Kean the medium between the two; but that Mrs. Siddons was worth them all put together."
Such effect, however, had Kean's acting on his mind, that once, on seeing him play Sir Giles Overreach, he was seized with a fit.
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Footnote 90: › See supra, line 562. (click c4 to return)
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Footnote 91: › Andrew Cherry (1762-1812) acted many parts in Ireland and in the provinces, and for a few years appeared at Drury Lane. He was popular in Dublin, where he was known as "Little Cherry." He was painted as Lazarillo in Jephson's Two Strings to Your Bow. He wrote The Travellers (1806), Peter the Great (1807), and other plays.
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Footnote 92: › Mr. [now Sir Lumley] Skeffington is the illustrious author of The Sleeping Beauty; and some comedies, particularly Maids and Bachelors: Baccalaurii baculo magis quam lauro digni.

[Lumley St. George (afterwards Sir Lumley) Skeffington (1768-1850). Besides the plays mentioned in the note, he wrote The Maid of Honour (1803) and The Mysterious Bride (1808). Amatory Verses, by Tom Shuffleton of the Middle Temple (1815), are attributed to his pen. They are prefaced by a dedicatory letter to Byron, which includes a coarse but clever skit in the style of English Bards. "Great Skeffington" was a great dandy. According to Capt. Gronow (Reminiscences, i. 63), "he used to paint his face so that he looked like a French toy; he dressed à la Robespierre, and practised all the follies;... was remarkable for his politeness and courtly manners... You always knew of his approach by an avant courier of sweet smell." His play The Sleeping Beauty had a considerable vogue.]
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Footnote 93: › Thomas John Dibdin (1771-1841), natural son of Charles Dibdin the elder, made his first appearance on the stage at the age of four, playing Cupid to Mrs. Siddons' Venus at the Shakespearian Jubilee in 1775. One of his best known pieces is The Jew and the Doctor (1798). His pantomime, Mother Goose, in which Grimaldi took a part, was played at Covent Garden in 1807, and is said to have brought the management £20,000.
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cross-reference: return to Footnote 82 of this poem
Footnote 94: › Mr. Greenwood is, we believe, scene-painter to Drury Lane theatre--as such, Mr. Skeffington is much indebted to him.
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Footnote 95: › Naldi and Catalani require little notice; for the visage of the one, and the salary of the other, will enable us long to recollect these amusing vagabonds. Besides, we are still black and blue from the squeeze on the first night of the Lady's appearance in trousers. [Guiseppe Naldi (1770-1820) made his début on the London stage at the King's Theatre in April, 1806. In conjunction with Catalani and Braham, he gave concerts at Willis' Rooms. Angelica Catalani (circ. 1785-1849), a famous soprano, Italian by birth and training, made her début at Venice in 1795. She remained in England for eight years (1806-14). Her first appearance in England was at the King's Theatre, in Portogallo's Semiramide, in 1806. Her large salary was one of the causes which provoked the O. P. (Old Prices) Riots in December, 1809, at Covent Garden. Praed says of his Ball Room Belle--
"She warbled Handel: it was grand; She made the Catalani jealous."
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Footnote 96: › Moore says that the following twenty lines were struck off one night after Lord Byron's return from the Opera, and sent the next morning to the printer. The date of the letter to Dallas, with which the lines were enclosed, suggests that the representation which provoked the outburst was that of I Villegiatori Rezzani, at the King's Theatre, February 21, 1809. The first piece, in which Naldi and Catalani were the principal singers, was followed by d'Egville's musical extravaganza, Don Quichotte, on les Noces de Gamache. In the corps de ballet were Deshayes, for many years master of the ballet at the King's Theatre; Miss Gayton, who had played a Sylph at Drury Lane as early as 1806 (she was married, March 18, 1809, to the Rev. William Murray, brother of Sir James Pulteney, Bart.--Morning Chronicle, December 30, 1810), and Mademoiselle Angiolini, "elegant of figure, petite, but finely formed, with the manner of Vestris." Mademoiselle Presle does not seem to have taken part in Don Quichotte; but she was well known as première danseuse in La Belle Laitière, La Fête Chinoise, and other ballets.
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Footnote 97: ›For "whet" Editions 1-5 read "raise." Lines 632-637 are marked "good" in the Annotated Fourth Edition.
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Footnote 98: › To prevent any blunder, such as mistaking a street for a man, I beg leave to state, that it is the institution, and not the Duke of that name, which is here alluded to.

A gentleman, with whom I am slightly acquainted, lost in the Argyle Rooms several thousand pounds at BackgammonA. It is but justice to the manager in this instance to say, that some degree of disapprobation was manifested: but why are the implements of gaming allowed in a place devoted to the society of both sexes? A pleasant thing for the wives and daughters of those who are blessed or cursed with such connections, to hear the Billiard-Balls rattling in one room, and the dice in another! That this is the case I myself can testify, as a late unworthy member of an Institution which materially affects the morals of the higher orders, while the lower may not even move to the sound of a tabor and fiddle, without a chance of indictment for riotous behaviour.

[The Argyle Institution, founded by Colonel Greville, flourished many years before the Argyll Rooms were built by Nash in 1818. This mention of Greville's name caused him to demand an explanation from Byron, but the matter was amicably settled by Moore and G. F. Leckie, who acted on behalf of the disputants (see Life, pp. 160, 161).]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; "True. It was Billy Way who lost the money. I knew him, and was a subscriber to the Argyle at the time of this event."--B., 1816.
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Footnote 99: › Petronius, "Arbiter elegantiarum" to Nero, "and a very pretty fellow in his day," as Mr. Congreve's "Old Bachelor" saith of Hannibal.
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Footnote 100: › "We are authorised to state that Mr. Greville, who has a small party at his private assembly rooms at the Argyle, will receive from 10 to 12 [p.m.] masks who have Mrs. Chichester's Institution tickets.--Morning Post, June 7, 1809.
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Footnote 101: › See note on line 686 (click c5 to return), infra.
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Footnote 102:Clodius--"Mutato nomine de te Fabula narratur."--[MS] [The allusion is to the well-known incidents of his intrigue with Pompeia, Cæsar's wife, and his sacrilegious intrusion into the mysteries of the Bona Dea. The Romans had a proverb, "Clodius accuset Moechos?" (Juv., Sat. ii. 27). That "Steenie" should lecture on the "turpitude of incontinence!" (The Fortunes of Nigel, cap. xxxii.)]
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Footnote 103: › I knew the late Lord Falkland well. On Sunday night I beheld him presiding at his own table, in all the honest pride of hospitality; on Wednesday morning, at three o'clock, I saw stretched before me all that remained of courage, feeling, and a host of passions. He was a gallant and successful officer: his faults were the faults of a sailor--as such, Britons will forgive them. ["His behaviour on the field was worthy of a better fate, and his conduct on the bed of death evinced all the firmness of a man without the farce of repentance--I say the farce of repentance, for death-bed repentance is a farce, and as little serviceable to the soul at such a moment as the surgeon to the body, though both may be useful if taken in time. Some hireling in the papers forged a tale about an agonized voice, etc. On mentioning the circumstance to Mr. Heaviside, he exclaimed, 'Good God! what absurdity to talk in this manner of one who died like a lion!'--he did more."--[MS] He died like a brave man in a better cause; for had he fallen in like manner on the deck of the frigate to which he was just appointed, his last moments would have been held up by his countrymen as an example to succeeding heroes.

[Charles John Carey, ninth Viscount Falkland, died from a wound received in a duel with Mr. A. Powell on Feb. 28, 1809. (See Byron's letter to his mother, March 6, 1809.) The story of "the agonized voice" may be traced to a paragraph in the Morning Post, March 2, 1809: "Lord Falkland, after hearing the surgeon's opinion, said with a faltering voice and as intelligibly as the agonized state of his body and mind permitted, "I acquit Mr. Powell of all blame; in this transaction I alone am culpable.'"]
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cross-reference: return to Footnote 101
cross-reference: return to Footnote 55 of Hints from Horace
Footnote 104: › "Yes: and a precious chase they led me."--B., 1816.
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Footnote 105: › "Fool enough, certainly, then, and no wiser since."--B., 1816.
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Footnote 106: ›What would be the sentiments of the Persian Anacreon, Hafiz, could he rise from his splendid sepulchre at Sheeraz (where he reposes with Ferdousi and Sadi, the Oriental Homer and Catullus), and behold his name assumed by one Stott of Dromore, the most impudent and execrable of literary poachers for the Daily Prints?
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Footnote 107: › Miles Peter Andrews (d. 1824) was the owner of large powder-mills at Dartford. He was M.P. for Bewdley. He held a good social position, but his intimate friends were actors and playwrights. His Better Late than Never (which Reynolds and Topham helped him to write) was played for the first time at Drury Lane, October 17, 1790, with Kemble as Saville, and Mrs. Jordan as Augusta. He is mentioned in The Baviad, l. 10; and in a note Gifford satirizes his prologue to Lorenzo, and describes him as an "industrious paragraph-monger."
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Footnote 108: › In a manuscript fragment, bound in the same volume as British Bards, we find these lines:--
"In these, our times, with daily wonders big,
A Lettered peer is like a lettered pig;
Both know their Alphabet, but who, from thence,
Infers that peers or pigs have manly sense?
Still less that such should woo the graceful nine;
Parnassus was not made for lords and swine."
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Footnote 109: › Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon (1634-1685), author of many translations and minor poems, endeavoured (circ. 1663) to found an English literary academy.
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Footnote 110: › John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave (1658), Marquis of Normanby (1694), Duke of Buckingham (1703) (1649-1721), wrote an Essay upon Poetry, and several other works.
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Footnote 111: › Lines 727-740 were added after British Bards had been printed, and are included in the First Edition, but the appearance in British Bards of lines 723-726 and 741-746, which have been cut out from Mr. Murray's MS., forms one of many proofs as to the identity of the text of the MS. and the printed Quarto.
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Footnote 112: › Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle, K.G. (1748-1825), Viceroy of Ireland, 1780-1782, and Privy Seal, etc., published Tragedies and Poems, 1801. He was Byron's first cousin once removed, and his guardian. Poems Original and Translated, were dedicated to Lord Carlisle, and, as an erased MS. addition to British Bards testifies, he was to have been excepted from the roll of titled poetasters--
"Ah, who would take their titles from their rhymes?
On one alone Apollo deigns to smile,
And crowns a new Roscommon in Carlisle."
Before, however, the revised Satire was sent to the press, Carlisle ignored his cousin's request to introduce him on taking his seat in the House of Lords, and, to avenge the slight, eighteen lines of castigation supplanted the flattering couplet. Lord Carlisle suffered from a nervous disorder, and Byron was informed that some readers had scented an allusion in the words "paralytic puling." "I thank Heaven," he exclaimed, "I did not know it; and would not, could not, if I had. I must naturally be the last person to be pointed on defects or maladies."

In 1814 he consulted Rogers on the chance of conciliating Carlisle, and in Childe Harold, iii. 29, he laments the loss of the "young and gallant Howard" (Carlisle's youngest son) at Waterloo, and admits that "he did his sire some wrong." But, according to Medwin (Conversations, 1824, p. 362), who prints an excellent parody on Carlisle's lines addressed to Lady Holland in 1822, in which he urges her to decline the legacy of Napoleon's snuff-box, Byron made fun of his "noble relative" to the end of the chapter (vide post, p. 370, note 2).
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Footnote 113: ›The Earl of Carlisle has lately published an eighteen-penny pamphlet on the state of the Stage, and offers his plan for building a new theatre. It is to be hoped his Lordship will be permitted to bring forward anything for the Stage--except his own tragedies. [This pamphlet was entitled Thoughts upon the present condition of the stage, and upon the construction of a new Theatre, anon. 1808.]

Line 732. None of the earlier editions, including the fifth and Murray, 1831, insert "and" between "petit-maître" and "pamphleteer." No doubt Byron sounded the final syllable of "maître," anglicé "mailer."
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Footnote 114:
"Doff that lion's hide,
And hang a calf-skin on those recreant limbs."

Shakespeare, King John.
Lord Carlisle's works, most resplendently bound, form a conspicuous ornament to his book-shelves:--
"The rest is all but [only, MS.] leather and prunella."
"Wrong also--the provocation was not sufficient to justify such acerbity."--B., 1816.
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Footnote 115:All the Blocks, or an Antidote to "All the Talents" by Flagellum (W. H. Ireland), London, 1807:
The Groan of the Talents, or Private Sentiments on Public Occasions, 1807;
"Gr--vile Agonistes, A Dramatic Poem, 1807, etc., etc."
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Footnote 116: › "Melville's Mantle," a parody on Elijah's Mantle, a poem. [Elijah's Mantle, being verses occasioned by the death of that illustrious statesman, the Right Hon. W. Pitt. Dedicated to the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Lincoln (1807), was written by James Sayer. Melville's Mantle, being a Parody on the poem entitled "Elijah's Mantle" was published by Budd, 1807. A Monody on the death of the R. H. C. J. Fox, by Richard Payne Knight, was printed for J. Payne, 1806-7. Another "Monody," Lines written on returning from the Funeral of the R. H. C. J. Fox, Friday Oct. 10, 1806, addressed to Lord Holland, was by M. G. Lewis, and there were others.]
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Footnote 117: › This lovely little Jessica, the daughter of the noted Jew King, seems to be a follower of the Della Crusca school, and has published two volumes of very respectable absurdities in rhyme, as times go; besides sundry novels in the style of the first edition of The Monk.

"She since married the Morning Post--an exceeding good match; and is now dead--which is better."--B., 1816. [The last seven words are in pencil, and, possibly, by another hand. The novelist "Rosa," the daughter of "Jew King," the lordly money-lender who lived in Clarges Street, and drove a yellow chariot, may possibly be confounded with "Rosa Matilda," Mrs. Byrne (Gronow, Rem. (1889), i. 132-136). (See note 1, p. 358.)]
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Footnote 118: ›Lines 759, 760 were added for the first time in the Fourth Edition.
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Footnote 119: › Lines 756-764, with variant ii., refer to the Della Cruscan school, attacked by Gifford in The Baviad and The Mæviad. Robert Merry (1755-1798), together with Mrs. Piozzi, Bertie Greatheed, William Parsons, and some Italian friends, formed a literary society called the Oziosi at Florence, where they published The Arno Miscellany (1784) and The Florence Miscellany (1785), consisting of verses in which the authors "say kind things of each other" (Preface to The Florence Miscellany, by Mrs. Piozzi). In 1787 Merry, who had become a member of the Della Cruscan Academy at Florence, returned to London, and wrote in the World (then edited by Captain Topham) a sonnet on "Love," under the signature of "Della Crusca." He was answered by Mrs. Hannah Cowley, née Parkhouse (1743-1809), famous as the authoress of The Belle's Stratagem (acted at Covent Garden in 1782), in a sonnet called "The Pen," signed "Anna Matilda." The poetical correspondence which followed was published in The British Album (1789, 2 vols.) by John Bell. Other writers connected with the Della Cruscan school were "Perdita" Robinson, née Darby (1758-1800), who published The Mistletoe (1800) under the pseudonym "Laura Maria," and to whom Merry addressed a poem quoted by Gifford in The Baviad (note to line 284); Charlotte Dacre, who married Byrne, Robinson's successor as editor of the Morning Post, wrote under the pseudonym of "Rosa Matilda," and published poems (Hours of Solitude, 1805) and numerous novels (Confessions of the Nun of St. Omer's, 1805; Zofloya; The Libertine, etc.); and "Hafiz" (Robert Stott, of the Morning Post). Of these writers, "Della Crusca" Merry, and "Laura Maria" Robinson, were dead; "Anna Matilda" Cowley, "Hafiz" Stott, and "Rosa Matilda" Dacre were still living. John Bell (1745-1831), the publisher of The British Album, was also one of the proprietors of the Morning Post, the Oracle, and the World, in all of which the Della Cruscans wrote. His "Owls and Nightingales" are explained by a reference to The Baviad (l. 284), where Gifford pretends to mistake the nightingale, to which Merry ("Arno") addressed some lines, for an owl. "On looking again, I find the owl to be a nightingale!--N'importe."]
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Footnote 120: › These are the signatures of various worthies who figure in the poetical departments of the newspapers.
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Footnote 121: › "This was meant for poor Blackett, who was then patronised by A. I. B." (Lady Byron); "but that I did not know, or this would not have been written, at least I think not."--B., 1816.

[Joseph Blacket (1786-1810), said by Southey (Letters, i. 172) to possess "force and rapidity," and to be endowed with "more powers than Robert Bloomfield, and an intellect of higher pitch," was the son of a labourer, and by trade a cobbler. He was brought into notice by S. J. Pratt (who published Blacket's Remains in 1811), and was befriended by the Milbanke family. Miss Milbanke, afterwards Lady Byron, wrote (Sept. 2, 1809), "Seaham is at present the residence of a poet, by name Joseph Blacket, one of the Burns-like and Dermody kind, whose genius is his sole possession. I was yesterday in his company for the first time, and was much pleased with his manners and conversation. He is extremely diffident, his deportment is mild, and his countenance animated melancholy and of a satirical turn. His poems certainly display a superior genius and an enlarged mind...." Blacket died on the Seaham estate in Sept., 1810, at the age of twenty-three. (See Byron's letter to Dallas, June 28, 1811; his Epitaph for Joseph Blackett; and Hints from Horace, l. 734. (click c8 to return))]
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Footnote 122: › Capel Lofft, Esq., the Mæcenas of shoemakers, and Preface-writer-General to distressed versemen; a kind of gratis Accoucheur to those who wish to be delivered of rhyme, but do not know how to bring it forth.

[Capel Lofft (1751-1824), jurist, poet, critic, and horticulturist, honoured himself by his kindly patronage of Robert Bloomfield (1766-1823), who was born at Honington, near Lofft's estate of Throston, Suffolk. Robert Bloomfield was brought up by his elder brothers--Nathaniel a tailor, and George a shoemaker. It was in the latter's workshop that he composed The Farmer's Boy, which was published (1798) with the help of Lofft. He also wrote Rural Tales (1802), Good Tidings; or News from the Farm (1804), The Banks of the Wye (1811), etc. (See Hints from Horace, line 734 (cllck c9 to return), notes 1 and 2.)]
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Footnote 123: › See Nathaniel Bloomfield's ode, elegy, or whatever he or any one else chooses to call it, on the enclosures of "Honington Green." [Nathaniel Bloomfield, as a matter of fact, called it a ballad.--Poems (1803).]
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Footnote 124:Vide Recollections of a Weaver in the Moorlands of Staffordshire. [The exact title is The Moorland Bard; or Poetical Recollections of a Weaver, etc. 2 vols., 1807. The author was T. Bakewell, who also wrote A Domestic Guide to Insanity, 1805.]
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Footnote 125: › It would be superfluous to recall to the mind of the reader the authors of The Pleasures of Memory and The Pleasures of Hope, the most beautiful didactic poems in our language, if we except Pope's Essay on Man: but so many poetasters have started up, that even the names of Campbell and Rogers are become strange.--[Beneath this note Byron scribbled, in 1816,--
"Pretty Miss Jaqueline
Had a nose aquiline,
And would assert rude
Things of Miss Gertrude,
While Mr. Marmion
Led a great army on,
Making Kehama look
Like a fierce Mameluke."
"I have been reading," he says, in 1813, Memory again, and Hope together, and retain all my preference of the former. His elegance is really wonderful--there is no such a thing as a vulgar line in his book." In the annotations of 1816, Byron remarks, "Rogers has not fulfilled the promise of his first poems, but has still very great merit."
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Footnote 126:Gifford, author of the Baviad and Mæviad, the first satires of the day, and translator of Juvenal, [and one (though not the best) of the translators of Juvenal.--British Bards.
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Footnote 127:Sotheby, translator of Wieland's Oberon and Virgil's Georgics, and author of Saul, an epic poem.

[William Sotheby (1757-1833) began life as a cavalry officer, but being a man of fortune, sold out of the army and devoted himself to literature, and to the patronage of men of letters. His translation of the Oberon appeared in 1798, and of the Georgics in 1800. Saul was published in 1807. When Byron was in Venice, he conceived a dislike to Sotheby, in the belief that he had made an anonymous attack on some of his works; but, later, his verdict was, "a good man, rhymes well (if not wisely); but is a bore" (Diary, 1821; Works, p. 509, note). He is "the solemn antique man of rhyme" (Beppo, st. lxiii.), and the "Botherby" of The Blues; and in Don Juan, Canto I. st. cxvi., we read--
"Thou shalt not covet Mr. Sotheby's house
His Pegasus nor anything that's his."
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Footnote 128:Macneil, whose poems are deservedly popular, particularly "Scotland's Scaith," and the "Waes of War," of which ten thousand copies were sold in one month.

[Hector Macneil (1746-1816) wrote in defence of slavery in Jamaica, and was the author of several poems: Scotland's Skaith, or the History of Will and Jean (1795), The Waes of War, or the Upshot of the History of Will and Jean (1796), etc., etc.]
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Footnote 129: › Mr. Gifford promised publicly that the Baviad and Mæviad should not be his last original works: let him remember, "Mox in reluctantes dracones." [Cf. New Morality, lines 29-42.]
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Footnote 130: › Henry Kirke White died at Cambridge, in October 1806, in consequence of too much exertion in the pursuit of studies that would have matured a mind which disease and poverty could not impair, and which Death itself destroyed rather than subdued. His poems abound in such beauties as must impress the reader with the liveliest regret that so short a period was allotted to talents, which would have dignified even the sacred functions he was destined to assume.

[H. K. White (1785-1806) published Clifton Grove and other poems in 1803. Two volumes of his Remains, consisting of poems, letters, etc., with a life by Southey, were issued in 1808. His tendency to epilepsy was increased by over-work at Cambridge. He once remarked to a friend that "were he to paint a picture of Fame, crowning a distinguished undergraduate after the Senate house examination, he would represent her as concealing a Death's head under a mask of Beauty" (Life of H. K. W., by Southey, i. 45). By "the soaring lyre, which else had sounded an immortal lay," Byron, perhaps, refers to the unfinished Christiad, which, says Southey, "Henry had most at heart."]
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Footnote 131: › Lines 832-834, as they stand in the text, were inserted in MS. in both the Annotated Copies of the Fourth Edition.
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Footnote 132: › "I consider Crabbe and Coleridge as the first of these times, in point of power and genius."--B., 1816.
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Footnote 133: › Mr. Shee, author of Rhymes on Art and Elements of Art.

[Sir Martin Archer Shee (1770-1850) was President of the Royal Academy (1830-45). His Rhymes on Art (1805) and Elements of Art (1809), a poem in six cantos, will hardly be regarded as worthy of Byron's praise, which was probably quite genuine. He also wrote a novel, Harry Calverley, and other works.]
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Footnote 134: › Mr. Wright, late Consul-General for the Seven Islands, is author of a very beautiful poem, just published: it is entitled Horæ Ionicæ, and is descriptive of the isles and the adjacent coast of Greece.

[Walter Rodwell Wright was afterwards President of the Court of Appeal in Malta, where he died in 1826. Horæ Ionicæ, a Poem descriptive of the Ionian Islands, and Part of the Adjacent Coast of Greece, was published in 1809. He is mentioned in one of Byron's long notes to Childe Harold, canto ii., dated Franciscan Convent, Mar. 17, 1811.]
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Footnote 135: › The translators of the Anthology have since published separate poems, which evince genius that only requires opportunity to attain eminence.

[The Rev. Robert Bland (1779-1825) published, in 1806, Translations chiefly from the Greek Anthology, with Tales and Miscellaneous Poems. In these he was assisted (see Life of the Rev. Francis Hodgson, vol. i. pp. 226-260) by Denman (afterwards Chief Justice), by Hodgson himself, and, above all, by John Herman Merivale (1779-1844), who subsequently, in 1813, was joint editor with him of Collections from the Greek Anthology, etc.]
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Footnote 136: › Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), the grandfather of Charles Robert Darwin. Coleridge describes his poetry as "nothing but a succession of landscapes or paintings. It arrests the attention too often, and so prevents the rapidity necessary to pathos."--Anima Poetæ, 1895, p. 5. His chief works are The Botanic Garden (1789-92) and The Temple of Nature (1803). Byron's censure of The Botanic Garden is inconsistent with his principles, for Darwin's verse was strictly modelled on the lines of Pope and his followers. But the Loves of the Triangles had laughed away the Loves of the Plants.
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Footnote 137: › The neglect of The Botanic Garden is some proof of returning taste. The scenery is its sole recommendation.
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Footnote 138: › This was not Byron's mature opinion, nor had he so expressed himself in the review of Wordsworth's Poems which he contributed to Crosby's Magazine in 1807 (Life, p. 669). His scorn was, in part, provoked by indignities offered to Pope and Dryden, and, in part, assumed because one Lake poet called up the rest; and it was good sport to flout and jibe at the "Fraternity." That the day would come when the message of Wordsworth would reach his ears and awaken his enthusiasm, he could not, of course, foresee (see Childe Harold, canto iii. stanzas 72, et seqq.).
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Footnote 139: › Messrs. Lamb and Lloyd, the most ignoble followers of Southey and Co.

[Charles Lloyd (1775-1839) resided for some months under Coleridge's roof, first in Bristol, and afterwards at Nether Stowey (1796-1797). He published, in 1796, a folio edition of his Poems on the Death of Priscilla Farmer, in which a sonnet by Coleridge and a poem of Lamb's were included. Lamb and Lloyd contributed several pieces to the second edition of Coleridge's Poems, published in 1797; and in 1798 they brought out a joint volume of their own composition, named Poems in Blank Verse. Edmund Oliver, a novel, appeared also in 1798. An estrangement between Coleridge and Lloyd resulted in a quarrel with Lamb, and a drawing together of Lamb, Lloyd, and Southey. But Byron probably had in his mind nothing more than the lines in the Anti-Jacobin, where Lamb and Lloyd are classed with Coleridge and Southey as advocates of French socialism:--
"Coleridge and Southey, Lloyd and Lamb and Co.,
Tune all your mystic harps to praise Lepaux."
In later life Byron expressed a very different opinion of Lamb's literary merits. (See the preface to Werner, now first published.)]
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Footnote 140: › By the bye, I hope that in Mr. Scott's next poem, his hero or heroine will be less addicted to "Gramarye," and more to Grammar, than the Lady of the Lay and her Bravo, William of Deloraine.
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Footnote 141: ›"Unjust."--B., 1816.

[In Frost at Midnight, first published in 1798, Coleridge twice mentions his "Cradled infant."]
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Footnote 142: › The Rev. W. L. Bowles (vide ante, p. 323, note 2), published, in 1789, Fourteen Sonnets written chiefly on Picturesque Spots during a Journey.
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Footnote 143: › It may be asked, why I have censured the Earl of Carlisle, my guardian and relative, to whom I dedicated a volume of puerile poems a few years ago?--The guardianship was nominal, at least as far as I have been able to discover; the relationship I cannot help, and am very sorry for it; but as his Lordship seemed to forget it on a very essential occasion to me, I shall not burden my memory with the recollection. I do not think that personal differences sanction the unjust condemnation of a brother scribbler; but I see no reason why they should act as a preventive, when the author, noble or ignoble, has, for a series of years, beguiled a "discerning public" (as the advertisements have it) with divers reams of most orthodox, imperial nonsense. Besides, I do not step aside to vituperate the earl: no--his works come fairly in review with those of other Patrician Literati. If, before I escaped from my teens, I said anything in favour of his Lordship's paper books, it was in the way of dutiful dedication, and more from the advice of others than my own judgment, and I seize the first opportunity of pronouncing my sincere recantation. I have heard that some persons conceive me to be under obligations to Lord Carlisle: if so, I shall be most particularly happy to learn what they are, and when conferred, that they may be duly appreciated and publicly acknowledged. What I have humbly advanced as an opinion on his printed things, I am prepared to support, if necessary, by quotations from Elegies, Eulogies, Odes, Episodes, and certain facetious and dainty tragedies bearing his name and mark:--
"What can ennoble knaves, or fools, or cowards?
Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards."
So says Pope. Amen!

"Much too savage, whatever the foundation might be."--B., 1816.
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Footnote 144: › Line 952. Note--
"Tollere humo, victorque virum volitare per ora."
(Virgil.)
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Footnote 145:
"The devil take that 'Phoenix'! How came it there?"
(B., 1816.)
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Footnote 146: ›The Rev. Charles James Hoare (1781-1865), a close friend of the leaders of the Evangelical party, gained the Seatonian Prize at Cambridge in 1807 with his poem on the Shipwreck of St. Paul.
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Footnote 147: › Edmund Hoyle, the father of the modern game of whist, lived from 1672 to 1769. The Rev. Charles Hoyle, his "poetical namesake," was, like Hoare, a Seatonian prizeman, and wrote an epic in thirteen books on the Exodus.
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Footnote 148: › The Games of Hoyle, well known to the votaries of Whist, Chess, etc., are not to be superseded by the vagaries of his poetical namesake ["illustrious Synonime" in MS. and British Bards, whose poem comprised, as expressly stated in the advertisement, all the "Plagues of Egypt."
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Footnote 149: › Here, as in line 391, "Fresh fish from Helicon," etc., Byron confounds Helicon and Hippocrene.
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Footnote 150: › This person, who has lately betrayed the most rabid symptoms of confirmed authorship, is writer of a poem denominated The Art of Pleasing, as "Lucus a non lucendo," containing little pleasantry, and less poetry. He also acts as ["lies as" in MS.] monthly stipendiary and collector of calumnies for the Satirist. If this unfortunate young man would exchange the magazines for the mathematics, and endeavour to take a decent degree in his university, it might eventually prove more serviceable than his present salary.

[Note.--An unfortunate young person of Emanuel College, Cambridge, ycleped Hewson Clarke, has lately manifested the most rabid symptoms of confirmed Authorship. His Disorder commenced some years ago, and the Newcastle Herald teemed with his precocious essays, to the great edification of the Burgesses of Newcastle, Morpeth, and the parts adjacent even unto Berwick upon Tweed. These have since been abundantly scurrilous upon the [town] of Newcastle, his native spot, Mr. Mathias and Anacreon Moore. What these men had done to offend Mr. Hewson Clarke is not known, but surely the town in whose markets he had sold meat, and in whose weekly journal he had written prose deserved better treatment. Mr. H.C. should recollect the proverb "'tis a villainous bird that defiles his own nest." He now writes in the Satirist. We recommend the young man to abandon the magazines for mathematics, and to believe that a high degree at Cambridge will be more advantageous, as well as profitable in the end, than his present precarious gleanings.]

[Hewson Clarke (1787-circ. 1832) was entered at Emmanuel Coll. Camb. circ. 1806 (see Postscript). He had to leave the University without taking a degree, and migrated to London, where he devoted his not inconsiderable talents to contributions to the Satirist, the Scourge, etc. He also wrote: An Impartial History of the Naval, etc., Events of Europe ... from the French Revolution ... to the Conclusion of a General Peace (1815); and a continuation of Hume's History of England, 2 vols. (1832).

The Satirist, a monthly magazine illustrated with coloured cartoons, was issued 1808-1814. Hours of Idleness was reviewed Jan. 1808 (i. 77-81). "The Diary of a Cantab" (June, 1808, ii. 368) contains some verses of "Lord B----n to his Bear. To the tune of Lachin y gair." The last verse runs thus:-
"But when with the ardour of Love I am burning,
I feel for thy torments, I feel for thy care;
And weep for thy bondage, so truly discerning
What's felt by a Lord, may be felt by a Bear."
In August, 1808 (iii. 78-86), there is a critique on Poems Original and Translated, in which the bear plays many parts. The writer "is without his bear and is himself muzzled," etc. Towards the close of the article a solemn sentence is passed on the author for his disregard of the advice of parents, tutors, friends; "but," adds the reviewer, "in the paltry volume before us we think we observe some proof that the still small voice of conscience will be heard in the cool of the day. Even now the gay, the gallant, the accomplished bear-leader is not happy," etc. Hence the castigation of "the sizar of Emmanuel College."
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cross-reference: return to Footnote 19 of Hints from Horace
Footnote 151:
"Right enough: this was well deserved, and well laid on."
(B., 1816.)
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Footnote 152:
"Into Cambridgeshire the Emperor Probus transported a considerable body of Vandals."
(Gibbon's Decline and Fall, ii. 83.) There is no reason to doubt the truth of this assertion; the breed is still in high perfection.

We see no reason to doubt the truth of this statement, as a large stock of the same breed are to be found there at this day.--British Bards.

[Lines 981-984 do not occur in the MS. Lines 981, 982, are inserted in MS. in British Bards.]
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Footnote 153: ›This gentleman's name requires no praise: the man who [has surpassed Dryden and Gifford as a Translator.--MS. British Bards] in translation displays unquestionable genius may be well expected to excel in original composition, of which, it is to be hoped, we shall soon see a splendid specimen.

[Francis Hodgson (1781-1852) was Byron's lifelong friend. His Juvenal appeared in 1807; Lady Jane Grey and other Poems, in 1809; Sir Edgar, a Tale, in 1810. For other works and details, see Life of the Rev. Francis Hodgson, by the Rev. James T. Hodgson (1878).]
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Footnote 154: › Hewson Clarke, Esq., as it is written.
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Footnote 155:The Aboriginal Britons, an excellent ["most excellent" in MS.] poem, by Richards.

[The Rev. George Richards, D.D. (1769-1835), a Fellow of Oriel, and afterwards Rector of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. The Aboriginal Britons, a prize poem, was published in 1792, and was followed by The Songs of the Aboriginal Bards of Britain (1792), and various other prose and poetical works.]
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Footnote 156: › With this verse the satire originally ended.
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Footnote 157: ›A friend of mine being asked, why his Grace of Portland was likened to an old woman? replied, "he supposed it was because he was past bearing." (Even Homer was a punster--a solitary pun.)--[MS.] His Grace is now gathered to his grandmothers, where he sleeps as sound as ever; but even his sleep was better than his colleagues' waking. 1811.

[William Henry Cavendish, third Duke of Portland (1738-1809), Prime Minister in 1807, on the downfall of the Ministry of "All the Talents," till his death in 1809, was, as the wits said, "a convenient block to hang Whigs on," but was not, even in his vigour, a man of much intellectual capacity. When Byron meditated a tour to India in 1808, Portland declined to write on his behalf to the Directors of the East India Company, and couched his refusal in terms which Byron fancied to be offensive.]
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Footnote 158: › "Saw it August, 1809."--B., 1816.

[The following notes were omitted from the Fifth Edition:--
"Calpe is the ancient name of Gibraltar. Saw it August, 1809.--B., 1816.

"Stamboul is the Turkish word for Constantinople. Was there the summer 1810."

To "Mount Caucasus," he adds, "Saw the distant ridge of,--1810, 1811"]
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Footnote 159: › Georgia.
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Footnote 160: › Mount Caucasus.
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Footnote 161: › Lord Elgin would fain persuade us that all the figures, with and without noses, in his stoneshop, are the work of Phidias! "Credat Judæus!"

[R. Payne Knight, in his introduction to Specimens of Ancient Sculpture, published 1809, by the Dilettanti Society, throws a doubt on the Phidian workmanship of the "Elgin" marbles. See the Introduction to The Curse of Minerva.]
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Footnote 162: › Sir William Gell (1777-1836) published the Topography of Troy (1804), the Geography and Antiquities of Ithaca (1807), and the Itinerary of Greece (1808). Byron reviewed the two last works in the Monthly Review (August, 1811), (Life, pp. 670, 676). Fresh from the scenes, he speaks with authority.
"With Homer in his pocket and Gell on his sumpter-mule, the Odysseus tourist may now make a very classical and delightful excursion."
The epithet in the original MS. was "coxcomb," but becoming acquainted with Gell while the satire was in the press, Byron changed it to "classic." In the fifth edition he altered it to "rapid," and appended this note:--
"'Rapid,' indeed! He topographised and typographised King Priam's dominions in three days! I called him 'classic' before I saw the Troad, but since have learned better than to tack to his name what don't belong to it."
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Footnote 163: › Mr. Gell's Topography of Troy and Ithaca cannot fail to ensure the approbation of every man possessed of classical taste, as well for the information Mr. Gell conveys to the mind of the reader, as for the ability and research the respective works display.
"'Troy and Ithaca.' Visited both in 1810, 18ll."--B., 1816.

"'Ithaca' passed first in 1809."--B., 1816.

"Since seeing the plain of Troy, my opinions are somewhat changed as to the above note. Cell's survey was hasty and superficial."--B., 1816.
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Footnote 164:
"Singular enough, and din enough, God knows."
(B., 1816).
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Footnote 165:
"The greater part of this satire I most sincerely wish had never been written-not only on account of the injustice of much of the critical, and some of the personal part of it--but the tone and temper are such as I cannot approve."
Byron. July 14, 1816. Diodati, Geneva.
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Contents
Contents p.5




Postscript to the Second Edition


I have been informed, since the present edition went to the press, that my trusty and well-beloved cousins, the Edinburgh Reviewers, are preparing a most vehement critique on my poor, gentle, unresisting Muse, whom they have already so be-deviled with their ungodly ribaldry;
"Tantæne animis coelestibus Iræ!"
I suppose I must say of Jeffrey as Sir Andrew Aguecheek saith,
"an I had known he was so cunning of fence, I had seen him damned ere I had fought him."
What a pity it is that I shall be beyond the Bosphorus before the next number has passed the Tweed! But I yet hope to light my pipe with it in Persia1.

My Northern friends have accused me, with justice, of personality towards their great literary Anthropophagus, Jeffery; but what else was to be done with him and his dirty pack, who feed by "lying and slandering," and slake their thirst by "evil speaking"? I have adduced facts already well known, and of Jeffrey's mind I have stated my free opinion, nor has he thence sustained any injury:--what scavenger was ever soiled by being pelted with mud? It may be said that I quit England because I have censured there "persons of honour and wit about town;" but I am coming back again, and their vengeance will keep hot till my return. Those who know me can testify that my motives for leaving England are very different from fears, literary or personal: those who do not, may one day be convinced. Since the publication of this thing, my name has not been concealed; I have been mostly in London, ready to answer for my transgressions, and in daily expectation of sundry cartels; but, alas! "the age of chivalry is over," or, in the vulgar tongue, there is no spirit now-a-days.

There is a youth ycleped Hewson Clarke (subaudi esquire), a sizer of Emanuel College, and, I believe, a denizen of Berwick-upon-Tweed, whom I have introduced in these pages to much better company than he has been accustomed to meet; he is, notwithstanding, a very sad dog, and for no reason that I can discover, except a personal quarrel with a bear, kept by me at Cambridge to sit for a fellowship, and whom the jealousy of his Trinity contemporaries prevented from success, has been abusing me, and, what is worse, the defenceless innocent above mentioned, in the Satirist for one year and some months. I am utterly unconscious of having given him any provocation; indeed, I am guiltless of having heard his name, till coupled with the Satirist. He has therefore no reason to complain, and I dare say that, like Sir Fretful Plagiary, he is rather pleased than otherwise. I have now mentioned all who have done me the honour to notice me and mine, that is, my bear and my book, except the editor of the Satirist, who, it seems, is a gentleman--God wot! I wish he could impart a little of his gentility to his subordinate scribblers. I hear that Mr. Jerningham2 is about to take up the cudgels for his Mæcenas, Lord Carlisle. I hope not: he was one of the few, who, in the very short intercourse I had with him, treated me with kindness when a boy; and whatever he may say or do, "pour on, I will endure." I have nothing further to add, save a general note of thanksgiving to readers, purchasers, and publishers, and, in the words of Scott, I wish
"To all and each a fair good night,
And rosy dreams and slumbers light."





Footnote 1: › The article never appeared, and Lord Byron, in the Hints from Horace, taunted Jeffrey with a silence which seemed to indicate that the critic was beaten from the field.
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Footnote 2: › Edward Jerningham (1727-1812), third son of Sir George Jerningham, Bart., was an indefatigable versifier. Between the publication of his first poem, The Nunnery, in 1766, and his last, The Old Bard's Farewell, in 1812, he sent to the press no less than thirty separate compositions. As a contributor to the British Album, Gifford handled him roughly in the Baviad (lines 21, 22); and Mathias, in a note to Pursuits of Literature, brackets him with Payne Knight as "ecrivain du commun et poëte vulgaire." He was a dandy with a literary turn, who throughout a long life knew every one who was worth knowing. Some of his letters have recently been published (see Jerningham Letters, two vols., 1896).
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Contents
Contents p.5
cross-reference: return to Footnote 19 of Hints from Horace




Hints from Horacea


being An Allusion in English Verse to the Epistle "ad Pisones, de Arte Poeticâ," and Intended as a Sequel to English Bards, And Scotch Reviewers.

----"Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
Reddere quæ ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi."

Hor. De Arte Poet., II. 304 and 305.


"Rhymes are diftlcult things--they are stubborn things, Sir."

Fielding's Amelia, Vol. iii. Book; and Chap. v.





Footnote a:
Hints from Horace (Athens, Capuchin Convent, March 12, 1811); being an Imitation in English Verse from the Epistle, etc.
[MS. M.]
Hints from Horace: being a Partial Imitation, in English Verse, of the Epistle Ad Pisones, De Arte Poeticâ; and intended as a sequel to English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers.

Athens, Franciscan Convent, March 12, 1811.
[Proof b.]
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Introduction to Hints from Horace


Three MSS. of Hints from Horace are extant, two in the possession of Lord Lovelace (MSS. L. a and b), and a third in the possession of Mr. Murray (MS. M.).

Proofs of lines 173-272 and 1-272 (Proofs a, b), are among the Egerton MSS. in the British Museum. They were purchased from the Rev. Alexander Dallas, January 12, 1867, and are, doubtless, fragments of the proofs set up in type for Cawthorn in 1811. They are in "book-form," and show that the volume was intended to be uniform with the Fifth Edition of English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, of 1811. The text corresponds closely but not exactly with that adopted by Murray in 1831, and does not embody the variants of the several MSS. It is probable that complete proofs were in Moore's possession at the time when he included the selections from the Hints in his Letters and Journals, pp. 263-269, and that the text of the entire poem as published in 1831 was derived from this source. Selections, numbering in all 156 lines, had already appeared in Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, by R. C. Dallas, 1824, pp. 104-113. Byron, estimating the merit by the difficulty of the performance, rated the Hints from Horace extravagantly high. He only forbore to publish them after the success of Childe Harold, because he felt, as he states, that he should be "heaping coals of fire upon his head" if he were in his hour of triumph to put forth a sequel to a lampoon provoked by failure. Nine years afterwards, when he resolved to print the work with some omissions, he gravely maintained that it excelled the productions of his mature genius.
"As far," he said, "as versification goes, it is good; and on looking back at what I wrote about that period, I am astonished to see how little I have trained on. I wrote better then than now; but that comes of my having fallen into the atrocious bad taste of the times"
[September 23, 1820]. The opinion of J. C. Hobhouse that the Hints would require "a good deal of slashing" to adapt them to the passing hour, and other considerations, again led Byron to suspend the publication. Authors are frequently bad judges of their own works, but of all the literary hallucinations upon record there are none which exceed the mistaken preferences of Lord Byron. Shortly after the appearance of The Corsair he fancied that English Bards was still his masterpiece; when all his greatest works had been produced, he contended that his translation from Pulci was his "grand performance,--the best thing he ever did in his life;" and throughout the whole of his literary career he regarded these Hints from Horace with a special and unchanging fondness.

Contents
Contents p.5




Hints from Horace


Athens: Capuchin Convent, March. 12, 1811a.

Who would not laugh, if Lawrence1, hired to graceb
His costly canvas with each flattered face,
Abused his art, till Nature, with a blush,
Saw cits grow Centaurs underneath his brush?
Or, should some limner join, for show or sale,
A Maid of Honour to a Mermaid's tailc?
Or low Dubost2--as once the world has seen--
Degrade God's creatures in his graphic spleen?
Not all that forced politeness, which defends
Fools in their faults, could gag his grinning friends.
Believe me, Moschus, like that picture seemsd
The book which, sillier than a sick man's dreams,
Displays a crowd of figures incomplete,
Poetic Nightmares, without head or feet.
Poets and painters, as all artists know3,
May shoot a little with a lengthened bow;
We claim this mutual mercy for our task,
And grant in turn the pardon which we ask;
But make not monsters spring from gentle dams--
Birds breed not vipers, tigers nurse not lambs.
A laboured, long Exordium, sometimes tends
(Like patriot speeches) but to paltry endsf;
And nonsense in a lofty note goes down,
As Pertness passes with a legal gowng:
Thus many a Bard describes in pompous strainh
The clear brook babbling through the goodly plain:
The groves of Granta, and her Gothic halls,
King's Coll-Cam's stream-stained windows, and old walls:
Or, in adventurous numbers, neatly aims
To paint a rainbow, or the river Thames3.
You sketch a tree, and so perhaps may shinej--
But daub a shipwreck like an alehouse sign;
You plan a vase--it dwindles to a pot;
Then glide down Grub-street--fasting and forgot:
Laughed into Lethe by some quaint Review,
Whose wit is never troublesome till--true.
In fine, to whatsoever you aspire,
Let it at least be simple and entire.
The greater portion of the rhyming tribek
(Give ear, my friend, for thou hast been a scribe)
Are led astray by some peculiar lurem.
I labour to be brief--become obscure;
One falls while following Elegance too fast;
Another soars, inflated with Bombast;
Too low a third crawls on, afraid to fly,
He spins his subject to Satiety;
Absurdly varying, he at last engraves
Fish in the woods, and boars beneath the wavesn!
Unless your care's exact, your judgment nice,
The flight from Folly leads but into Vice;
None are complete, all wanting in some part,
Like certain tailors, limited in art.
For galligaskins Slowshears is your mano
But coats must claim another artisan4.
Now this to me, I own, seems much the same
As Vulcan's feet to bear Apollo's frame;
Or, with a fair complexion, to expose
Black eyes, black ringlets, but--a bottle nose!
Dear Authors! suit your topics to your strength,
And ponder well your subject, and its length;
Nor lift your load, before you're quite aware
What weight your shoulders will, or will not, bear.
But lucid Order, and Wit's siren voicep,
Await the Poet, skilful in his choice;
With native Eloquence he soars along,
Grace in his thoughts, and Music in his song.
Let Judgment teach him wisely to combine
With future parts the now omitted line:
This shall the Author choose, or that reject,
Precise in style, and cautious to select;
Nor slight applause will candid pens afford
To him who furnishes a wanting wordq.
Then fear not, if 'tis needful, to produce
Some term unknown, or obsolete in use,
(As Pitt has furnished us a word or two5,
Which Lexicographers declined to do;)
So you indeed, with care,--(but be content
To take this license rarely)--may invent.
New words find credit in these latter days,
If neatly grafted on a Gallic phraser;
What Chaucer, Spenser did, we scarce refuse
To Dryden's or to Pope's maturer Muse.
If you can add a little, say why not,
As well as William Pitt, and Walter Scott?
Since they, by force of rhyme and force of lungss,
Enriched our Island's ill-united tongues;
'Tis then--and shall be--lawful to present
Reform in writing, as in Parliament.
As forests shed their foliage by degrees,
So fade expressions which in season please;
And we and ours, alas! are due to Fate,
And works and words but dwindle to a date.
Though as a Monarch nods, and Commerce callst,
Impetuous rivers stagnate in canals;
Though swamps subdued, and marshes drained, sustainu
The heavy ploughshare and the yellow grain,
And rising ports along the busy shore
Protect the vessel from old Ocean's roar,
All, all, must perish; but, surviving last,
The love of Letters half preserves the past.
True, some decay, yet not a few revive;6 v
Though those shall sink, which now appear to thrive,
As Custom arbitrates, whose shifting swayw
Our life and language must alike obey.
The immortal wars which Gods and Angels wage,
Are they not shown in Milton's sacred page?
His strain will teach what numbers best belong
To themes celestial told in Epic songx.
The slow, sad stanza will correctly paint
The Lover's anguish, or the Friend's complaint.
But which deserves the Laurel--Rhyme or Blanky?
Which holds on Helicon the higher rank?
Let squabbling critics by themselves dispute
This point, as puzzling as a Chancery suit.
Satiric rhyme first sprang from selfish spleen.
You doubt--see Dryden, Pope, St. Patrick's Dean7.
Blank verse is now, with one consent, allied
To Tragedy, and rarely quits her side.
Though mad Almanzor8 rhymed in Dryden's days,
No sing-song Hero rants in modern plays;
Whilst modest Comedy her verse foregoes
For jest and pun9 in very middling prose.
Not that our Bens or Beaumonts show the worse,
Or lose one point, because they wrote in verse.
But so Thalia pleases to appearz,
Poor Virgin! damned some twenty times a year!
Whate'er the scene, let this advice have weight:--
Adapt your language to your Hero's state.
At times Melpomene forgets to groan,
And brisk Thalia takes a serious tone;
Nor unregarded will the act pass by
Where angry Townly10 "lifts his voice on high."
Again, our Shakespeare limits verse to Kings,
When common prose will serve for common things;
And lively Hal resigns heroic ireA,--
To "hollaing Hotspur"11 and his sceptred sireB.
'Tis not enough, ye Bards, with all your art,
To polish poems; they must touch the heart:
Where'er the scene be laid, whate'er the song,
Still let it bear the hearer's soul along;
Command your audience or to smile or weep,
Whiche'er may please you--anything but sleep.
The Poet claims our tears; but, by his leave,
Before I shed them, let me see him grieve.
If banished Romeo feigned nor sigh nor tear,
Lulled by his languor, I could sleep or sneerC.
Sad words, no doubt, become a serious face,
And men look angry in the proper place.
At double meanings folks seem wondrous sly,
And Sentiment prescribes a pensive eye;
For Nature formed at first the inward man,
And actors copy Nature--when they can.
She bids the beating heart with rapture bound,
Raised to the Stars, or levelled with the ground;
And for Expression's aid, 'tis said, or sungD,
She gave our mind's interpreter--the tongue,
Who, worn with use, of late would fain dispense
(At least in theatres) with common sense;
O'erwhelm with sound the Boxes, Gallery, Pit,
And raise a laugh with anything--but Wit.
To skilful writers it will much import,
Whence spring their scenes, from common life or Court;
Whether they seek applause by smile or tear,
To draw a Lying Valet,12 or a Lear,13
A sage, or rakish youngster wild from school,
A wandering Peregrine, or plain John Bull;
All persons please when Nature's voice prevails,
Scottish or Irish, born in Wilts or Wales.
Or follow common fame, or forge a plot;E
Who cares if mimic heroes lived or not!
One precept serves to regulate the scene:
Make it appear as if it might have been.
If some Drawcansir14 you aspire to draw,
Present him raving, and above all law:
If female furies in your scheme are planned,
Macbeth's fierce dame is ready to your hand;
For tears and treachery, for good and evil,
Constance, King Richard, Hamlet, and the Devil!
But if a new design you dare essay,
And freely wander from the beaten way,
True to your characters, till all be past,
Preserve consistency from first to last.
Tis hard15 to venture where our betters fail, [xxx]
Or lend fresh interest to a twice-told tale;
And yet, perchance,'tis wiser to prefer
A hackneyed plot, than choose a new, and err;
Yet copy not too closely, but record,
More justly, thought for thought than word for word;
Nor trace your Prototype through narrow ways,
But only follow where he merits praise.
For you, young Bard! whom luckless fate may lead16
To tremble on the nod of all who read,
Ere your first score of cantos Time unrolls,F
Beware--for God's sake, don't begin like Bowles!
"Awake a louder and a loftier strain,"17--
And pray, what follows from his boiling brain?--
He sinks to Southey's level in a trice,
Whose Epic Mountains never fail in mice!
Not so of yore awoke your mighty Sire
The tempered warblings of his master-lyre;
Soft as the gentler breathing of the lute,
"Of Man's first disobedience and the fruit"
He speaks, but, as his subject swells along,
Earth, Heaven, and Hades echo with the song."G
Still to the "midst of things" he hastens on,
As if we witnessed all already done;H
Leaves on his path whatever seems too mean
To raise the subject, or adorn the scene;
Gives, as each page improves upon the sight,
Not smoke from brightness, but from darkness--light;
And truth and fiction with such art compounds,
We know not where to fix their several bounds.
If you would please the Public, deign to hear
What soothes the many-headed monster's ear:J
If your heart triumph when the hands of all
Applaud in thunder at the curtain's fall,
Deserve those plaudits--study Nature's page,
And sketch the striking traits of every age;
While varying Man and varying years unfold
Life's little tale, so oft, so vainly told;
Observe his simple childhood's dawning days,
His pranks, his prate, his playmates, and his plays:
Till time at length the mannish tyro weans,
And prurient vice outstrips his tardy teens!K
Behold him Freshman! forced no more to groanM
O'er Virgil's18 devilish verses and his own;
Prayers are too tedious, Lectures too abstruse,
He flies from Tavell's frown to "Fordham's Mews;"
(Unlucky Tavell!19 doomed to daily caresN
By pugilistic pupils, and by bears,)
Fines, Tutors, tasks, Conventions threat in vain,
Before hounds, hunters, and Newmarket Plain.
Rough with his elders, with his equals rash,
Civil to sharpers, prodigal of cash;
Constant to nought--save hazard and a whore,P
Yet cursing both--for both have made him sore:
Unread (unless since books beguile disease,
The P----x becomes his passage to Degrees);
Fooled, pillaged, dunned, he wastes his terms away,Q
And unexpelled, perhaps, retires M.A.;
Master of Arts! as hells and clubs20 proclaim,R
Where scarce a blackleg bears a brighter name!
Launched into life, extinct his early fire,
He apes the selfish prudence of his Sire;
Marries for money, chooses friends for rank,
Buys land, and shrewdly trusts not to the Bank;
Sits in the Senate; gets a son and heir;
Sends him to Harrow--for himself was there.
Mute, though he votes, unless when called to cheer,
His son's so sharp--he'll see the dog a Peer!
Manhood declines--Age palsies every limb;
He quits the scene--or else the scene quits him;
Scrapes wealth, o'er each departing penny grieves,S
And Avarice seizes all Ambition leaves;
Counts cent per cent, and smiles, or vainly frets,
O'er hoards diminished by young Hopeful's debts;
Weighs well and wisely what to sell or buy,
Complete in all life's lessons--but to die;
Peevish and spiteful, doting, hard to please,
Commending every time, save times like these;
Crazed, querulous, forsaken, half forgot,
Expires unwept--is buried--Let him rot!
But from the Drama let me not digress,
Nor spare my precepts, though they please you less.T
Though Woman weep, and hardest hearts are stirred,U
When what is done is rather seen than heard,
Yet many deeds preserved in History's page
Are better told than acted on the stage;
The ear sustains what shocks the timid eye,
And Horror thus subsides to Sympathy,
True Briton all beside, I here am French--
Bloodshed 'tis surely better to retrench:
The gladiatorial gore we teach to flow
In tragic scenes disgusts though but in show;
We hate the carnage while we see the trick,
And find small sympathy in being sick.
Not on the stage the regicide Macbeth
Appals an audience with a Monarch's death;V
To gaze when sable Hubert threats to sear
Young Arthur's eyes, can ours or Nature bear?
A haltered heroine21 Johnson sought to slay--
We saved Irene, but half damned the play,
And (Heaven be praised!) our tolerating times
Stint Metamorphoses to Pantomimes;
And Lewis'22 self, with all his sprites, would quake
To change Earl Osmond's negro to a snake!
Because, in scenes exciting joy or grief,
We loathe the action which exceeds belief:
And yet, God knows! what may not authors do,
Whose Postscripts prate of dyeing "heroines blue"?23
Above all things, Dan Poet, if you can,
Eke out your acts, I pray, with mortal man,
Nor call a ghost, unless some cursed scrapeW
Must open ten trap-doors for your escape.
Of all the monstrous things I'd fain forbid,
I loathe an Opera worse than Dennis did;24
Where good and evil persons, right or wrong,
Rage, love, and aught but moralise--in song.
Hail, last memorial of our foreign friends,X
Which Gaul allows, and still Hesperia lends!
Napoleon's edicts no embargo lay
On whores--spies--singers--wisely shipped away.
Our giant Capital, whose squares are spreadY
Where rustics earned, and now may beg, their bread,
In all iniquity is grown so nice,
It scorns amusements which are not of price.
Hence the pert shopkeeper, whose throbbing ear
Aches with orchestras which he pays to hear,Z
Whom shame, not sympathy, forbids to snore,
His anguish doubling by his own "encore;"Aa
Squeezed in "Fop's Alley,"25 jostled by the beaux,
Teased with his hat, and trembling for his toes;
Scarce wrestles through the night, nor tastes of ease,
Till the dropped curtain gives a glad release:
Why this, and more, he suffers--can ye guess?--
Because it costs him dear, and makes him dress!26
So prosper eunuchs from Etruscan schools;
Give us but fiddlers, and they're sure of fools!
Ere scenes were played by many a reverend clerk,27 Bb
(What harm, if David danced before the ark?)Cc
In Christmas revels, simple country folks
Were pleased with morrice-mumm'ry and coarse jokes.
Improving years, with things no longer known,
Produced blithe Punch and merry Madame Joan,
Who still frisk on with feats so lewdly low,Dd
'Tis strange Benvolio28 suffers such a show;
Suppressing peer! to whom each vice gives place,Ee
Oaths, boxing, begging--all, save rout and race.
Farce followed Comedy, and reached her prime,
In ever-laughing Foote's fantastic time:29
Mad wag! who pardoned none, nor spared the best,
And turned some very serious things to jest.
Nor Church nor State escaped his public sneers,
Arms nor the Gown--Priests--Lawyers--Volunteers:
"Alas, poor Yorick!" now for ever mute!
Whoever loves a laugh must sigh for Foote.
We smile, perforce, when histrionic scenes
Ape the swoln dialogue of Kings and Queens,
When "Crononhotonthologos must die,"30
And Arthur struts in mimic majesty.
Moschus! with whom once more I hope to sit,Ff
And smile at folly, if we can't at wit;
Yes, Friend! for thee I'll quit my cynic cell,
And bear Swift's motto, "Vive la bagatelle!"
Which charmed our days in each Ægean clime,
As oft at home, with revelry and rhyme.
Then may Euphrosyne, who sped the past,
Soothe thy Life's scenes, nor leave thee in the last;
But find in thine--like pagan Plato's bed,31 Gg
Some merry Manuscript of Mimes, when dead.
Now to the Drama let us bend our eyes,
Where fettered by whig Walpole low she lies;32
Corruption foiled her, for she feared her glance;
Decorum left her for an Opera dance!
Yet Chesterfield,33 whose polished pen inveighs
'Gainst laughter, fought for freedom to our Plays;
Unchecked by Megrims of patrician brains,
And damning Dulness of Lord Chamberlains.
Repeal that act! again let Humour roam
Wild o'er the stage--we've time for tears at home;
Let Archer34 plant the horns on Sullen's brows,
And Estifania gull her "Copper"35 spouse;
The moral's scant--but that may be excused,
Men go not to be lectured, but amused.
He whom our plays dispose to Good or Ill
Must wear a head in want of Willis' skill;36
Aye, but Macheath's example--psha!--no more!
It formed no thieves--the thief was formed before;37
And spite of puritans and Collier's curse,Hh
Plays make mankind no better, and no worse.38
Then spare our stage, ye methodistic men!
Nor burn damned Drury if it rise again.39
But why to brain-scorched bigots thus appeal?
Can heavenly Mercy dwell with earthly Zeal?
For times of fire and faggot let them hope!
Times dear alike to puritan or Pope.
As pious Calvin saw Servetus blaze,
So would new sects on newer victims gaze.
E'en now the songs of Solyma begin;
Faith cants, perplexed apologist of Sin!
While the Lord's servant chastens whom he loves,
And Simeon kicks,40 where Baxter only "shoves."41
Whom Nature guides, so writes, that every dunce,Jj
Enraptured, thinks to do the same at once;
But after inky thumbs and bitten nails,Kk
And twenty scattered quires, the coxcomb fails.
Let Pastoral be dumb; for who can hope
To match the youthful eclogues of our Pope?
Yet his and Philips'42 faults, of different kind,
For Art too rude, for Nature too refined,Mm
Instruct how hard the medium 'tis to hit
'Twixt too much polish and too coarse a wit.
A vulgar scribbler, certes, stands disgraced
In this nice age, when all aspire to taste;
The dirty language, and the noisome jest,
Which pleased in Swift of yore, we now detest;
Proscribed not only in the world polite,Nn
But even too nasty for a City Knight!
Peace to Swift's faults! his wit hath made them pass,
Unmatched by all, save matchless Hudibras!
Whose author is perhaps the first we meet,
Who from our couplet lopped two final feet;
Nor less in merit than the longer line,
This measure moves a favourite of the Nine.
Though at first view eight feet may seem in vain
Formed, save in Ode, to bear a serious strain,Pp
Yet Scott has shown our wondering isle of late
This measure shrinks not from a theme of weight,
And, varied skilfully, surpasses far
Heroic rhyme, but most in Love and War,
Whose fluctuations, tender or sublime,
Are curbed too much by long-recurring rhyme.
But many a skilful judge abhors to see,
What few admire--irregularity.
This some vouchsafe to pardon; but 'tis hard
When such a word contents a British Bard.
And must the Bard his glowing thoughts confine,Qq
Lest Censure hover o'er some faulty line?
Remove whate'er a critic may suspect,
To gain the paltry suffrage of "Correct"?
Or prune the spirit of each daring phrase,
To fly from Error, not to merit Praise?
Ye, who seek finished models, never cease,Rr
By day and night, to read the works of Greece.
But our good Fathers never bent their brains
To heathen Greek, content with native strains.
The few who read a page, or used a pen,
Were satisfied with Chaucer and old Ben;
The jokes and numbers suited to their taste
Were quaint and careless, anything but chaste;
Yet, whether right or wrong the ancient rules,
It will not do to call our Fathers fools!
Though you and I, who eruditely know
To separate the elegant and low,
Can also, when a hobbling line appears,
Detect with fingers--in default of ears.
In sooth I do not know, or greatly care
To learn, who our first English strollers were;
Or if, till roofs received the vagrant art,
Our Muse, like that of Thespis, kept a cart;
But this is certain, since our Shakespeare's days,
There's pomp enough--if little else--in plays;
Nor will Melpomene ascend her ThroneSs
Without high heels, white plume, and Bristol stone.
Old Comedies still meet with much applause,
Though too licentious for dramatic laws;
At least, we moderns, wisely, 'tis confest,
Curtail, or silence, the lascivious jest.Tt
Whate'er their follies, and their faults beside,
Our enterprising Bards pass nought untried;
Nor do they merit slight applause who choose
An English subject for an English Muse,
And leave to minds which never dare invent
French flippancy and German sentiment.
Where is that living language which could claim
Poetic more, as philosophic, fame,
If all our Bards, more patient of delay,
Would stop, like Pope, to polish by the way?43
Lords of the quill, whose critical assaults
O'erthrow whole quartos with their quires of faults,Uu
Who soon detect, and mark where'er we fail,
And prove our marble with too nice a nail!
Democritus himself was not so bad;
He only thought--but you would make us--mad!
But truth to say, most rhymers rarely guard
Against that ridicule they deem so hard;
In person negligent, they wear, from sloth,
Beards of a week, and nails of annual growth;
Reside in garrets, fly from those they meet,
And walk in alleys rather than the street.

With little rhyme, less reason, if you please,
The name of Poet may be got with ease,
So that not tuns of helleboric juiceVv
Shall ever turn your head to any use;
Write but like Wordsworth--live beside a lake,
And keep your bushy locks a year from Blake;44
Then print your book, once more return to town,
And boys shall hunt your Bardship up and down.45
Am I not wise, if such some poets' plight,
To purge in spring--like Bayes46--before I write?
If this precaution softened not my bile,
I know no scribbler with a madder style;
But since (perhaps my feelings are too nice)
I cannot purchase Fame at such a price,
I'll labour gratis as a grinders' wheel,Ww
And, blunt myself, give edge to other's steel,
Nor write at all, unless to teach the art
To those rehearsing for the Poet's part;
From Horace show the pleasing paths of song,Xx
And from my own example--what is wrong.
Though modern practice sometimes differs quite,
'Tis just as well to think before you write;
Let every book that suits your theme be read,
So shall you trace it to the fountain-head.
He who has learned the duty which he owes
To friends and country, and to pardon foes;
Who models his deportment as may best
Accord with Brother, Sire, or Stranger-guest;
Who takes our Laws and Worship as they are,
Nor roars reform for Senate, Church, and Bar;
In practice, rather than loud precept, wise,
Bids not his tongue, but heart, philosophize:
Such is the man the Poet should rehearse,
As joint exemplar of his life and verse.
Sometimes a sprightly wit, and tale well told,
Without much grace, or weight, or art, will hold
A longer empire o'er the public mind
Than sounding trifles, empty, though refined.
Unhappy Greece! thy sons of ancient days
The Muse may celebrate with perfect praise,
Whose generous children narrowed not their hearts
With Commerce, given alone to Arms and Arts.Yy
Our boys (save those whom public schools compel
To "Long and Short" before they're taught to spell)
From frugal fathers soon imbibe by rote,
"A penny saved, my lad, 's a penny got."
Babe of a city birth! from sixpence takeZz
The third, how much will the remainder make?--
"A groat."--"Ah, bravo! Dick hath done the sum!aA
He'll swell my fifty thousand to a Plum."47
They whose young souls receive this rust betimes,
'Tis clear, are fit for anything but rhymes;
And Locke will tell you, that the father's right
Who hides all verses from his children's sight;
For Poets (says this Sage48, and many more,)
Make sad mechanics with their lyric lore:bB
And Delphi now, however rich of old,
Discovers little silver, and less gold,
Because Parnassus, though a Mount divine,
Is poor as Irus,49 or an Irish mine.50 cC
Two objects always should the Poet move,
Or one or both,--to please or to improve.
Whate'er you teach, be brief, if you design
For our remembrance your didactic line;
Redundance places Memory on the rack,
For brains may be o'erloaded, like the back.dD
Fiction does best when taught to look like Truth,
And fairy fables bubble none but youth:
Expect no credit for too wondrous tales,
Since Jonas only springs alive from Whales!
Young men with aught but Elegance dispense;
Maturer years require a little Sense.
To end at once:--that Bard for all is fiteE
Who mingles well instruction with his wit;
For him Reviews shall smile; for him o'erflow
The patronage of Paternoster-row;
His book, with Longman's liberal aid, shall pass
(Who ne'er despises books that bring him brass);
Through three long weeks the taste of London lead,
And cross St. George's Channel and the Tweed.
But every thing has faults, nor is't unknown
That harps and fiddles often lose their tone,
And wayward voices, at their owner's call,
With all his best endeavours, only squall;
Dogs blink their covey, flints withhold the spark,
And double-barrels (damn them!) miss their mark.51 fF
Where frequent beauties strike the reader's view,
We must not quarrel for a blot or two;
But pardon equally to books or men,
The slips of Human Nature, and the Pen.
Yet if an author, spite of foe or friend,
Despises all advice too much to mend,
But ever twangs the same discordant string,
Give him no quarter, howsoe'er he sing.
Let Havard's52 fate o'ertake him, who, for once,
Produced a play too dashing for a dunce:
At first none deemed it his; but when his name
Announced the fact--what then?--it lost its fame.
Though all deplore when Milton deigns to doze,gG
In a long work 'tis fair to steal repose.
As Pictures, so shall Poems be; some stand
The critic eye, and please when near at hand;hH
But others at a distance strike the sight;
This seeks the shade, but that demands the light,
Nor dreads the connoisseur's fastidious view,
But, ten times scrutinised, is ten times new.
Parnassian pilgrims! ye whom chance, or choice,jJ
Hath led to listen to the Muse's voice,
Receive this counsel, and be timely wise;
Few reach the Summit which before you lies.
Our Church and State, our Courts and Camps, concede
Reward to very moderate heads indeed!
In these plain common sense will travel far;
All are not Erskines who mislead the Bar:53 kK
But Poesy between the best and worst
No medium knows; you must be last or first;
For middling Poets' miserable volumes
Are damned alike by Gods, and Men, and Columns.mM
Again, my Jeffrey--as that sound inspires,54
How wakes my bosom to its wonted fires!
Fires, such as gentle Caledonians feel
When Southrons writhe upon their critic wheel,
Or mild Eclectics,55 when some, worse than Turks,
Would rob poor Faith to decorate "Good Works."
Such are the genial feelings them canst claim--
My Falcon flies not at ignoble game.
Mightiest of all Dunedin's beasts of chase!
For thee my Pegasus would mend his pace.
Arise, my Jeffrey! or my inkless pen
Shall never blunt its edge on meaner men;
Till thee or thine mine evil eye discerns,
"Alas! I cannot strike at wretched kernes."56
Inhuman Saxon! wilt thou then resign
A Muse and heart by choice so wholly thine?
Dear d--d contemner of my schoolboy songs,
Hast thou no vengeance for my Manhood's wrongs?
If unprovoked thou once could bid me bleed,
Hast thou no weapon for my daring deed?
What! not a word!--and am I then so low?
Wilt thou forbear, who never spared a foe?
Hast thou no wrath, or wish to give it vent?
No wit for Nobles, Dunces by descent?
No jest on "minors," quibbles on a name,57
Nor one facetious paragraph of blame?
Is it for this on Ilion I have stood,
And thought of Homer less than Holyrood?
On shore of Euxine or Ægean sea,
My hate, untravelled, fondly turned to thee.
Ah! let me cease! in vain my bosom burns,
From Corydon unkind Alexis turns:58
Thy rhymes are vain; thy Jeffrey then forego,
Nor woo that anger which he will not show.
What then?--Edina starves some lanker son,
To write an article thou canst not shun;
Some less fastidious Scotchman shall be found,
As bold in Billingsgate, though less renowned.
As if at table some discordant dish,59
Should shock our optics, such as frogs for fish;
As oil in lieu of butter men decry,
And poppies please not in a modern pie'nN
If all such mixtures then be half a crime,
We must have Excellence to relish rhyme.
Mere roast and boiled no Epicure invites;
Thus Poetry disgusts, or else delights.
Who shoot not flying rarely touch a gun:
Will he who swims not to the river run?
And men unpractised in exchanging knocks
Must go to Jackson60 ere they dare to box.
Whate'er the weapon, cudgel, fist, or foil,
None reach expertness without years of toil;
But fifty dunces can, with perfect ease,
Tag twenty thousand couplets, when they please.
Why not?--shall I, thus qualified to sit
For rotten boroughs, never show my wit?
Shall I, whose fathers with the "Quorum" sate,pP
And lived in freedom on a fair estate;
Who left me heir, with stables, kennels, packs,qQ
To all their income, and to--twice its tax;
Whose form and pedigree have scarce a fault,
Shall I, I say, suppress my Attic Salt?
Thus think "the Mob of Gentlemen;" but you,
Besides all this, must have some Genius too.
Be this your sober judgment, and a rule,
And print not piping hot from Southey's school,
Who (ere another Thalaba appears),
I trust, will spare us for at least nine years.
And hark'ye, Southey!61 pray--but don't be vexed--
Burn all your last three works--and half the next.
But why this vain advice? once published, books
Can never be recalled--from pastry-cooks!rR
Though "Madoc," with "Pucelle,"62 instead of Punk,
May travel back to Quito--on a trunk!63
Orpheus, we learn from Ovid and Lempriere,
Led all wild beasts but Women by the ear;
And had he fiddled at the present hour,
We'd seen the Lions waltzing in the Tower;64
And old Amphion, such were minstrels then,
Had built St. Paul's without the aid of Wren.
Verse too was Justice, and the Bards of Greece
Did more than constables to keep the peace;
Abolished cuckoldom with much applause,
Called county meetings, and enforced the laws,
Cut down crown influence with reforming scythes,
And served the Church--without demanding tithes;
And hence, throughout all Hellas and the East,
Each Poet was a Prophet and a Priest,
Whose old-established Board of Joint Controls65
Included kingdoms in the cure of souls.
Next rose the martial Homer, Epic's prince,
And Fighting's been in fashion ever since;
And old Tyrtæus, when the Spartans warred,
(A limping leader, but a lofty bard)sS
Though walled Ithome had resisted long,
Reduced the fortress by the force of song.
When Oracles prevailed, in times of old,
In song alone Apollo's will was told.tT
Then if your verse is what all verse should be,
And Gods were not ashamed on't, why should we?
The Muse, like mortal females, may be wooed;66
In turns she'll seem a Paphian, or a prude;
Fierce as a bride when first she feels affright,
Mild as the same upon the second night;
Wild as the wife of Alderman or Peer,
Now for His Grace, and now a grenadier!
Her eyes beseem, her heart belies, her zone--
Ice in a crowd--and Lava when alone.
If Verse be studied with some show of Art.
Kind Nature always will perform her part;
Though without Genius, and a native vein
Of wit, we loathe an artificial strain,
Yet Art and Nature joined will win the prize,
Unless they act like us and our allies.
The youth who trains to ride, or run a race,
Must bear privations with unruffled face,
Be called to labour when he thinks to dine,
And, harder still, leave wenching and his wine.
Ladies who sing, at least who sing at sight,
Have followed Music through her farthest flight;uU
But rhymers tell you neither more nor less,
"I've got a pretty poem for the Press;"
And that's enough; then write and print so fast;--
If Satan take the hindmost, who'd be last?
They storm the Types, they publish, one and all,67 vV
They leap the counter, and they leave the stall.
Provincial Maidens, men of high command,
Yea! Baronets have inked the bloody hand!
Cash cannot quell them; Pollio played this prank,wW
(Then Phoebus first found credit in a Bank!)
Not all the living only, but the dead,
Fool on, as fluent as an Orpheus' Head;68
Damned all their days, they posthumously thrive,
Dug up from dust, though buried when alive!
Reviews record this epidemic crime,
Those Books of Martyrs to the rage for rhyme.
Alas! woe worth the scribbler! often seen
In Morning Post, or Monthly Magazine.
There lurk his earlier lays; but soon, hot pressed,xX
Behold a Quarto!--Tarts must tell the rest.
Then leave, ye wise, the Lyre's precarious chords
To muse-mad baronets, or madder lords,yY
Or country Crispins, now grown somewhat stale,
Twin Doric minstrels, drunk with Doric ale!
Hark to those notes, narcotically soft!
The Cobbler-Laureats69 sing to Capel Lofft!70
Till, lo! that modern Midas, as he hears,zZ
Adds an ell growth to his egregious ears!AA
There lives one Druid, who prepares in time71
'Gainst future feuds his poor revenge of rhyme;
Racks his dull Memory, and his duller Muse,
To publish faults which Friendship should excuse.
If Friendship's nothing, Self-regard might teach
More polished usage of his parts of speech.
But what is shame, or what is aught to him?BB
He vents his spleen, or gratifies his whim.
Some fancied slight has roused his lurking hate,
Some folly crossed, some jest, or some debate;
Up to his den Sir Scribbler hies, and soon
The gathered gall is voided in Lampoon.
Perhaps at some pert speech you've dared to frown,
Perhaps your Poem may have pleased the Town:
If so, alas! 'tis nature in the man--
May Heaven forgive you, for he never can!
Then be it so; and may his withering Bays
Bloom fresh in satire, though they fade in praise
While his lost songs no more shall steep and stink
The dullest, fattest weeds on Lethe's brink,
But springing upwards from the sluggish mould,
Be (what they never were before) be--sold!
Should some rich Bard (but such a monster now,72
In modern Physics, we can scarce allow),CC
Should some pretending scribbler of the Court,
Some rhyming Peer--there's plenty of the sort--73 DD
All but one poor dependent priest withdrawn,
(Ah! too regardless of his Chaplain's yawn!)
Condemn the unlucky Curate to recite
Their last dramatic work by candle-light,
How would the preacher turn each rueful leaf,
Dull as his sermons, but not half so brief!
Yet, since 'tis promised at the Rector's death,
He'll risk no living for a little breath.
Then spouts and foams, and cries at every line,
(The Lord forgive him!) "Bravo! Grand! Divine!"
Hoarse with those praises (which, by Flatt'ry fed,EE
Dependence barters for her bitter bread),
He strides and stamps along with creaking boot;
Till the floor echoes his emphatic foot,
Then sits again, then rolls his pious eye,FF
As when the dying vicar will not die!
Nor feels, forsooth, emotion at his heart;--
But all Dissemblers overact their part.
Ye, who aspire to "build the lofty rhyme,"74
Believe not all who laud your false "sublime;"
But if some friend shall hear your work, and say,
"Expunge that stanza, lop that line away,"
And, after fruitless efforts, you return
Without amendment, and he answers, "Burn!"
That instant throw your paper in the fire,
Ask not his thoughts, or follow his desire;
But (if true Bard!) you scorn to condescend,GG
And will not alter what you can't defend,
If you will breed this Bastard of your Brains,75
We'll have no words--I've only lost my pains.
Yet, if you only prize your favourite thought,
As critics kindly do, and authors ought;
If your cool friend annoy you now and then,
And cross whole pages with his plaguy pen;
No matter, throw your ornaments aside,--
Better let him than all the world deride.
Give light to passages too much in shade,
Nor let a doubt obscure one verse you've made;
Your friend's a "Johnson," not to leave one word,
However trifling, which may seem absurd;
Such erring trifles lead to serious ills,
And furnish food for critics, or their quills.76
As the Scotch fiddle, with its touching tune,
Or the sad influence of the angry Moon,
All men avoid bad writers' ready tongues,
As yawning waiters fly77 Fitzscribble's lungs;HH
Yet on he mouths--ten minutes--tedious each78 JJ
As Prelate's homily, or placeman's speech;
Long as the last years of a lingering lease,
When Riot pauses until Rents increase.
While such a minstrel, muttering fustian, strays
O'er hedge and ditch, through unfrequented ways,
If by some chance he walks into a well,
And shouts for succour with stentorian yell,
"A rope! help, Christians, as ye hope for grace!"
Nor woman, man, nor child will stir a pace;
For there his carcass he might freely fling,KK
From frenzy, or the humour of the thing.
Though this has happened to more Bards than one;
I'll tell you Budgell's story,--and have done.
Budgell, a rogue and rhymester, for no good,
(Unless his case be much misunderstood)
When teased with creditors' continual claims,
"To die like Cato,"79 leapt into the Thames!
And therefore be it lawful through the town
For any Bard to poison, hang, or drown.
Who saves the intended Suicide receives
Small thanks from him who loathes the life he leaves;MM
And, sooth to say, mad poets must not lose
The Glory of that death they freely choose.
Nor is it certain that some sorts of verseNN
Prick not the Poet's conscience as a curse;
Dosed80 with vile drams on Sunday he was found,
Or got a child on consecrated ground!
And hence is haunted with a rhyming rage--
Feared like a bear just bursting from his cage.
If free, all fly his versifying fit,
Fatal at once to Simpleton or Wit:
But him, unhappy! whom he seizes,--him
He flays with Recitation limb by limb;
Probes to the quick where'er he makes his breach,
And gorges like a Lawyer--or a Leech.









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The last page of MS. M. is dated--
Byron,

Capuchin Convent,

Athens. March 14th, 1811.
The following memorandum, in Byron's handwriting, is also inscribed on the last page:
"722 lines, and 4 inserted after and now counted, in all 726.--B.
Since this several lines are added.--B. June 14th, 1811.

Copied fair at Malta, May 3rd, 1811.--B."


Byron

March 11th and 12th,
Athens. 1811.,
[MS. L. (a).]
Byron,
March 14th, 1811.
Athens, Capuchin Convent.
.[MS. L. (b).]

Footnote 1: › Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) succeeded West as P.R.A. in 1820. Benjamin West (1738-1820) had been elected P.R.A. in 1792, on the death of Sir Joshua Reynolds.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Athens, March 2nd, 1811.
[MS. L. (a).]
Athens, March 12th, 1811.
[MS. L. (i), MS. M.]
return
Footnote 2: › In an English newspaper, which finds its way abroad wherever there are Englishmen, I read an account of this dirty dauber's caricature of Mr. H--- as a "beast," and the consequent action, etc. The circumstance is, probably, too well known to require further comment.
[Thomas Hope (1770-1831) was celebrated for his collections of pictures, sculpture, and bric-à-brac. He was the author of Anastasius, or Memoirs of a Greek, etc., which was attributed to Byron, and, according to Lady Blessington, excited his envy. "Low Dubost" was a French painter, who, in revenge for some fancied injustice, caricatured Hope and his wife as Beauty and the Beast. An exhibition of the sketch is said to have brought in from twenty to thirty pounds a week. A brother of Mrs. Hope (Louisa Beresford, daughter of Lord Decies, Archbishop of Tuam) mutilated the picture, and, an action having been brought, was ordered to pay a nominal sum of five pounds. Dubost's academy portrait of Mrs. Hope did not please Peter Pindar.
"In Mistress Hope, Monsieur Dubost! Thy Genius yieldeth up the Ghost."
Works (1812), v. 372.]
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Footnote b:
IfA West or Lawrence, (take whichever you will)
Sons of the Brush, supreme in graphic skill,
Should clap a human head-piece on a mare,
How would our Exhibition's loungers stare!
Or should some dashing limner set to sale
My Lady's likeness with a Mermaid's tail.
[MS. L. (a).]
The features finished, should superbly deck
My Lady's likeness with a Filly's neck;
Or should some limner mad or maudlin group
A Mermaid's tail and Maid of Honour's Hoop.
[MS. L.(b).]


Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; I have been obliged to dive into the "Bathos" for the simile, as I could not find a description of these Painters' merits above ground.
"Si liceat parvis
Componere magna"--

"Like London's column pointing to the skies
Like a tall Bully, lifts its head and lies"
I was in hopes might bear me out, if the monument be like a Bully. West's glory may be reduced by the scale of comparison. If not, let me have recourse to Tom Thumb the Great [Fielding's farce, first played 1730] to keep my simile in countenance.--[MS. L. (b) erased]
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Footnote 3:
"While pure Description held the place of Sense."
Pope, Prol. to the Sat., L. 148.
"While Mr. Sol decked out all so glorious
Shines like a Beau in his Birthday Embroidery."
[Fielding, Tom Thumb, act i. sc. I.] [MS. M.] "Fas est et ab Hoste doceri." In the 7th Art. of the 31st No. of the Edinburgh Review (vol. xvi. Ap. 1810) the "Observations" of an Oxford Tutor are compared to "Children's Cradles" (page 181), then to a "Barndoor fowl flying" (page 182), then the man himself to "a Coach-horse on the Trottoir" (page 185) etc., etc., with a variety of other conundrums all tending to prove that the ingenuity of comparison increases in proportion to the dissimilarity between the things compared.--[MS. L. (b) erased.]
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Footnote c: › After line 6, the following lines (erased) were inserted:--
Or patch a Mammoth up with wings and limbs,
And fins of aught that flies or walks or swims.
[MS. M.]

Another variant ran--
Or paint (astray from Truth and Nature led)
A Judge with wings, a Statesman with a Head!
[MS. M.]
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Footnote 4: › Mere common mortals were commonly content with one Taylor and with one bill, but the more particular gentlemen found it impossible to confide their lower garments to the makers of their body clothes. I speak of the beginning of 1809: what reform may have since taken place I neither know, nor desire to know.--[MSS. L. (b), M.]]
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Footnote d:
Believe me, Hobhouse...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 5: › Mr. Pitt was liberal in his additions to our Parliamentary tongue; as may be seen in many publications, particularly the Edinburgh Review.
[The reference may be to financial terms, such as sinking fund (a phrase not introduced by Pitt), the English equivalent of caisse d'amortissement, or income tax (impôt sur le revenu), or to actual French words such as chouannerie, projet, etc. But Pitt's "additions" are unnoticed by Frere and other reporters and critics of his speeches. For a satirical description of Pitt's words, "which are finer and longer than can be conceived," see Rolliad, 1799; Political Miscellanies, p. 421; and Political Eclogues, p. 195.
"And Billy best of all things loves--a trope."
Compare, too, Peter Pindar, "To Sylvanus Urban," Works (1812), ii. 259.
"Lycurgus Pitt whose penetrating eyes
Behold the fount of Freedom in excise,
Whose patriot logic possibly maintains
The identity of liberty and chains."
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Footnote e:
as we scribblers...
[MSS. L. (a and b), MS. M.]
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Footnote 6: › Old ballads, old plays, and old women's stories, are at present in as much request as old wine or new speeches. In fact, this is the millennium of black letter: thanks to our Hebers, Webers, and Scotts!
[Richard Heber (1773-1833), book-collector and man of letters, was half-brother of the Bishop of Calcutta. He edited, inter alia, Specimens of the Early English Poets, by George Ellis, 3 vols., London: 1811.

W. H. Weber (1783-1818), a German by birth, was employed by Sir Walter Scott as an amanuensis and "searcher." He edited, in 1810, Metrical Romances of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Centuries, a work described by Southey (Letters, ii. 308) as "admirably edited, exceedingly curious, and after my own heart." He also published editions of Ford, and Beaumont and Fletcher, which were adversely criticized by Gifford. For an account of his relations to Scott and of his melancholy end, see Lockhart's Life of Scott (1871), p. 251.]
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Footnote f:
Like Wardle'sA speeches.
[MS. L. (a).] Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; Gwyllim Lloyd Wardle (1762-1834), who served in Ireland in 1798, as Colonel of the Welsh Fusiliers, known as "Wynne's lambs," was M.P. for Okehampton 1807-12. In January, 1809, he brought forward a motion for a parliamentary investigation into the exercise of military patronage by the Duke of York, and the supposed influence of the Duke's mistress, Mary Anne Clarke.
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Footnote 7:Mac Flecknoe, the Dunciad, and all Swift's lampooning ballads. Whatever their other works may be, these originated in personal feelings, and angry retort on unworthy rivals; and though the ability of these satires elevates the poetical, their poignancy detracts from the personal character of the writers.
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Footnote g:
As pertness lurks beneath a legal gown.
And nonsense in a lofty note goes down.
[MS. L. (a).]

or,
Which covers all things like a Prelate's gown.
[MS. L. (a).]]

or,
Which wraps presumption.
[MS. M. erased.]
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Footnote 8:Almanzor: or the Conquest of Granada by the Spaniards, a Tragedy by John Dryden. The bombastic character of the hero was severely criticized in Dryden's own time, and was defended by him thus:
"'Tis said that Almanzor is no perfect pattern of heroic virtue, that he is a contemner of kings, and that he is made to perform impossibilities. I must therefore avow, in the first place, from whence I took the character. The first image I had of him was from the Achilles of Homer: the next from Tasso's Rinaldo, and the third from the Artaban of Mons. Calprenède.... He talks extravagantly in his passion, but if I would take the trouble to quote from Ben Jonson's Cethegus, I could easily show you that the rhodomontades of Almanzor are neither so irrational as his nor so impossible to be put in execution."
An Essay on Heroic Plays. Works of John Dryden (1821), iv. 23-25.
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Footnote h:
As when the poet to description yields
Of waters gliding through the goodly fields;
The Groves of Granta and her Gothic Halls,
Oxford and Christchurch, London and St. Pauls,
Or with a ruder flight he feebly aims
To paint a rainbow or the River Thames.
Perhaps you draw a fir tree or a beech,
But then a landscape is beyond your reach;
Or, if that allegory please you not,
Take this--you'ld form a vase, but make a pot...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 9: › With all the vulgar applause and critical abhorrence of puns, they have Aristotle on their side; who permits them to orators, and gives them consequence by a grave disquisition.
["Cicero also," says Addison, "has sprinkled several of his works with them; and in his book on Oratory, quotes abundance of sayings as pieces of wit, which, upon examination, prove arrant puns."
Essay on Wit, Works (1888), ii. 354.]]
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Footnote j:
Although you sketch a tree which Taste endures,
Your ill-daubed Shipwreck shocks the Connoisseurs....
[MS M.]
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Footnote 1: › In Vanbrugh and Gibber's comedy of The Provoked Husband, first played at Drury Lane, January 10, 1728.
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Footnote k:
The greater portion of the men of rhyme
Parents and children or their Sires sublime...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 11:
"And in his ear I'll holla--Mortimer!"
[I Henry IV., act i. sc. 3.]
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Footnote m:
But change the malady they strive to cure...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 12: ›Garrick's Lying Valet was played for the first time at Goodman's Fields, November 30, 1741.

["Peregrine" is a character in George Colman's John Bull, or An Englishman's Fire-Side, Covent Garden. March 5, 1803.]
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Footnote n:
Fish in the woods and wild-boars in the waves...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 13: › I have Johnson's authority for making Lear a monosyllable--
"Perhaps where Lear rav'd or Hamlet died
On flying cars new sorcerers may ride."

["Perhaps where Lear has rav'd, and Hamlet dy'd."
Prologue to Irene. Johnson's Works (1806), i. 168.] and (if it need be mentioned) the authority of the epigram on Barry and Garrick. [Note erased, Proof b, British Museum.]
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Footnote o:
For Coat and waistcoat Slowshears is your man,
But Breeches claim another Artisan;
Now this to me I own seems much the same
As one leg perfect and the other lame
.
[MSS. M., L. (a).]
Sweitzer is your man.
[MS. M. erased.]
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Footnote 14:
"Johnson: Pray, Mr. Bayes, who is that Drawcansir?

Bayes. Why, Sir, a great [fierce] hero, that frights his mistress, snubs up kings, baffles armies, and does what he will, without regard to numbers, good sense, or justice [good manners, justice, or numbers]."
The Rehearsal, act iv. sc. I.

The Rehearsal, by George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham (1627-1688), appeared in 1671. Sprat and others are said to have shared the authorship. So popular was the play that "Drawcansir" passed into a synonime for a braggadocio. It is believed that "Bayes" (that is, of course, "laureate") was meant for a caricature of Dryden: "he himself complains bitterly that it was so." (See Lives of the Poets (1890), i. 386; and Boswell's Life of Johnson (1876), p. 235, and note.)
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Footnote p:
Him who hath sense to make a skilful choice
Nor lucid Order, nor the Siren Voice
Of Eloquence shall shun, and Wit and Grace
(Or I'm deceived) shall aid him in the Race:
These too will teach him to defer or join
To future parts the now omitted line:
This shall the Author like or that reject,
Sparing in words and cautious to select:
Nor slight applause will candid pens afford
To him who well compounds a wanting word,
And if, by chance, 'tis needful to produce
Some term long laid and obsolete in use...
[MSS. M., L. (a and b). The last line partly erased.]
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Footnote 15:
"Difficile est proprie communia dicere; tuque
Rectius Iliacum carmen deducis in actus,
Quam si proferres ignota indictaque primus."
Hor: De Arte Poet: 128-130.

Mons. Dacier, Mons. de Sévigné, Boileau, and others, have left their dispute on the meaning of this sentence in a tract considerably longer than the poem of Horace. It is printed at the close of the eleventh volume of Madame de Sévigné's Letters, edited by Grouvelle, Paris, 1806. Presuming that all who can construe may venture an opinion on such subjects, particularly as so many who can't have taken the same liberty, I should have held "my farthing candle" as awkwardly as another, had not my respect for the wits of Louis 14th's Augustan "Siècle" induced me to subjoin these illustrious authorities. I therefore offer
  1. Boileau: "Il est difficile de trailer des sujets qui sont à la portée de tout le monde d'une maniere qui vous les rende propres, ce qui s'appelle s'approprier un sujet par le tour qu'on y donne."
  2. Batteux: "Mais il est bien difficile de donner des traits propres et individuels aux etres purement possibles."
  3. Dacier: "Il est difficile de traiter convenablement ces caractères que tout le monde peut inventer."
Mr. Sévigné's opinion and translation, consisting of some thirty pages, I omit, particularly as Mr. Grouvelle observes,
"La chose est bien remarquable, aucune de ces diverses interpretations ne parait être la veritable."
But, by way of comfort, it seems, fifty years afterwards, "Le lumineux Dumarsais" made his appearance, to set Horace on his legs again, "dissiper tous les nuages, et concilier tous les dissentiments;" and I suppose some fifty years hence, somebody, still more luminous, will doubtless start up and demolish Dumarsais and his system on this weighty affair, as if he were no better than Ptolemy or Copernicus and comments of no more consequence than astronomical calculations. I am happy to say, "la longueur de la dissertation" of Mr. D. prevents Mr. G. from saying any more on the matter. A better poet than Boileau, and at least as good a scholar as Mr. de Sévigné, has said,
"A little learning is a dangerous thing."
And by the above extract, it appears that a good deal may be rendered as useless to the Proprietors.
[Byron chose the words in question, Difficile, etc., as a motto for the first five cantos of Don Juan]
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Footnote q:
The dextrous Coiner of a wanting word...
[Proof b, British Museum]
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Footnote 16: › About two years ago a young man named Townsend was announced by Mr. Cumberland, in a review (since deceased) [the London Review], as being engaged in an epic poem to be entitled "Armageddon." The plan and specimen promise much; but I hope neither to offend Mr. Townsend, nor his friends, by recommending to his attention the lines of Horace to which these rhymes allude. If Mr. Townsend succeeds in his undertaking, as there is reason to hope, how much will the world be indebted to Mr. Cumberland for bringing him before the public! But, till that eventful day arrives, it may be doubted whether the premature display of his plan (sublime as the ideas confessedly are) has not,--by raising expectation too high, or diminishing curiosity, by developing his argument,--rather incurred the hazard of injuring Mr. Townsend's future prospects. Mr. Cumberland (whose talents I shall not depreciate by the humble tribute of my praise) and Mr. Townsend must not suppose me actuated by unworthy motives in this suggestion. I wish the author all the success he can wish himself, and shall be truly happy to see epic poetry weighed up from the bathos where it lies sunken with Southey, Cottle, Cowley (Mrs. or Abraham), Ogilvy, Wilkie, Pye, and all the "dull of past and present days." Even if he is not a Milton, he may be better than Blackmore; if not a Homer, an Antimachus. I should deem myself presumptuous, as a young man, in offering advice, were it not addressed to one still younger. Mr. Townsend has the greatest difficulties to encounter; but in conquering them he will find employment; in having conquered them, his reward. I know too well "the scribbler's scoff, the critic's contumely;" and I am afraid time will teach Mr. Townsend to know them better. Those who succeed, and those who do not, must bear this alike, and it is hard to say which have most of it. I trust that Mr. Townsend's share will be from envy; he will soon know mankind well enough not to attribute this expression to malice.
[This note was written [at Athens] before the author was apprised of Mr. Cumberland's death [in May, 1811].--MS. (See Byron's letter to Dallas, August 27, 1811.) The Rev. George Townsend (1788-1857) published Poems in 1810, and eight books of his Armageddon in 1815. They met with the fate which Byron had predicted. In later life he compiled numerous works of scriptural exegesis. He was a Canon of Durham from 1825 till his death.]
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Footnote r:
Adroitly grafted...
[Proof b, British Museum]
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Footnote 17: ›The first line of A Spirit of Discovery by Sea, by the Rev. W. Lisle Bowles, first published in 1805.
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Footnote s:
Since they enriched our language in their time
In modern speeches or Black letter rhyme....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 18: ›Harvey, the circulator of the circulation of the blood, used to fling away Virgil in his ecstasy of admiration and say, "the book had a devil." Now such a character as I am copying would probably fling it away also, but rather wish that "the devil had the book;" not from dislike to the poet, but a well-founded horror of hexameters. Indeed, the public school penance of "Long and Short" is enough to beget an antipathy to poetry for the residue of a man's life, and, perhaps, so far may be an advantage.
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Footnote t:
Though at a Monarch's nod, and Traffic's call
Reluctant rivers deviate to Canal...
[MSS M., L. (a and b).]
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Footnote 19:
"Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem."
I dare say Mr. Tavell (to whom I mean no affront) will understand me; and it is no matter whether any one else does or no.--To the above events, "quæque ipse miserrima vidi, et quorum pars magna fui," all times and terms bear testimony.

[The Rev. G.F. Tavell was a fellow and tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge, during Byron's residence, and owed this notice to the "zeal with which he protested against his juvenile vagaries." During a part of his residence at Trinity, Byron kept a tame bear in his rooms in Neville's Court. (See English Bards, l. 973, note, and postscript to the Second Edition, ante, p. 383. See also letter to Miss Pigot, October 26, 1807.)

The following copy of a bill (no date) tells its own story:--
The Honble. Lord Byron.

To John Clarke.

To Bread & Milk for the Bear deliv'd. to Haladay ... ... ... £ 1 9 7

Cambridge Reve. A Clarke.]
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Footnote u:
marshes dried, sustain...
[Proof b, British Museum]
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Footnote 20:
  • "Hell," a gaming-house so called, where you risk little, and are cheated a good deal.
  • "Club," a pleasant purgatory, where you lose more, and are not supposed to be cheated at all.
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Footnote v:
Thus--future years dead volumes shall revive...
[Proof b, British Museum]
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Footnote 21:
"Irene had to speak two lines with the bowstring round her neck; but the audience cried out ['Murder!'] 'Murder!' and she was obliged to go off the stage alive."
Boswell's Johnson [1876, p. 60].

[Irene (first played February 6, 1749) for the future was put to death behind the scenes. The strangling her, contrary to Horace's rule, coram populo, was suggested by Garrick. (See Davies' Life of Garrick (1808), i. 157.)]
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Footnote w:
As Custom fluctuates whose Iron Sway
Though ever changing Mortals must obey...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 22: › Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775-1818). (Vide English Bards, etc., l. 265, n. 8.) The character of Hassan, "my misanthropic negro," as Lewis called him, was said by the critics of the day to have been borrowed from Zanga in Young's Revenge. Lewis, in his "Address to the Reader," quoted by Byron (in note 3), defends the originality of the conception.
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Footnote x:
To mark the Majesty of Epic song...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 23: › In the postscript to The Castle Spectre, Mr. Lewis tells us, that though blacks were unknown in England at the period of his action, yet he has made the anachronism to set off the scene: and if he could have produced the effect "by making his heroine blue,"--I quote him--"blue he would have made her!" [The Castle Spectre, by M.G. Lewis, Esq., M.P., London, 1798, page 102.]
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cross-reference: return to Footnote 22 of this poem
Footnote y:
But which is preferable rhyme or blank
Which holds in poesy...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 24: › In 1706 John Dennis, the critic (1657-1734), wrote an Essay on the Operas after the Italian manner, which are about to be established on the English Stage; to show that they were more immoral than the most licentious play.
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Footnote z:
ventures to appear...
[MS. Corr. in Proof b, British Museum]
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Footnote 25: › One of the gangways in the Opera House, where the young men of fashion used to assemble. (See letter to Murray, Nov. 9, 1820; Life, p. 62.)
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Footnote A:
And Harry Monmouth, till the scenes require,
Resigns heroics to his sceptred Sire....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 26: › In the year 1808, happening at the opera to tread on the toes of a very well-dressed man, I turned round to apologize, when, to my utter astonishment, I recognized the face of the porter of the very hotel where I then lodged in Albemarle Street. So here was a gentleman who ran every morning forty errands for half a crown, throwing away half a guinea at night, besides the expense of his habiliments, and the hire of his "Chapeau de Bras."--[MS. L. (a).]]
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Footnote B:
To "hollaing Hotspur" and the sceptred sire...
[MS. Corr. in Proof b, British Museum]
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Footnote 27: › The first theatrical representations, entitled "Mysteries and Moralities," were generally enacted at Christmas, by monks (as the only persons who could read), and latterly by the clergy and students of the universities. The dramatis personae were usually Adam, Pater Coelestis, Faith, Vice, and sometimes an angel or two; but these were eventually superseded by Gammer Gurton's Needle.--Vide Warton's History of English Poetry [passim].--[MSS. M., L. (b).
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Footnote C:
Dull as an Opera, I should sleep or sneer...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 28:Benvolio [Lord Grosvenor, MS. L. (b)] does not bet; but every man who maintains racehorses is a promoter of all the concomitant evils of the turf. Avoiding to bet is a little pharisaical. Is it an exculpation? I think not. I never yet heard a bawd praised for chastity, because she herself did not commit fornication.

[Robert, second Earl Grosvenor (1767-1845), was created Marquis of Westminster in 1831. Like his father, Gifford's patron, the first Earl Grosvenor, he was a breeder of racehorses, and a patron of the turf. As Lord Belgrave, he brought forward a motion for the suppression of Sunday newspapers, June 11, 1799, denouncing them in a violent speech. The motion was lost; but many years after, in a speech delivered in the House of Lords, January 2, 1807, he returned to the charge. (See Parl. Hist., 34. 1006, 1010; and Parl. Deb., 8. 286.) (For a skit on Lord Belgrave's sabbatarian views, see Peter Pindar, Works (1812), iv. 519.)]
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Footnote D:
And for Emotion's aid 'tis said and sung...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 29: › Samuel Foote (1720-1777), actor and playwright. His solo entertainments, in The Dish of Tea, An Auction of Pictures, 1747-8 (see his comedy Taste), were the precursors of Mathews at Home, and a long line of successors. His farces and curtain-pieces were often "spiced-up" with more or less malicious character-sketches of living persons. Among his better known pieces are The Minor (1760), ridiculing Whitefield and the Methodists, and The Mayor of Garratt (1763), in which he played the part of Sturgeon (Byron used this piece, for an illustration in his speech on the Frame-workers Bill, February 27, 1812). The Lyar, first played at Covent Garden, January 12, 1762, was the latest to hold the stage. It was reproduced at the Opera Comique in 1877.
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Footnote E:
or form a plot...
[Proof b, British Museum]
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Footnote 30: ›Henry Carey, poet and musician (d. 1743), a natural son of George Savile, Marquis of Halifax, was the author of Chrononhotonthologos, "the most tragical tragedy ever yet tragedised by any company of tragedians," which was first played at the Haymarket, February 22, 1734. The well-known lines, "Go, call a coach, and let a coach be called," etc., which Scott prefixed to the first chapter of The Antiquary, are from the last scene, in which Bombardinion fights with and kills the King Chrononhotonthologos. But his one achievement was Sally in our Alley, of which he wrote both the words and the music. The authorship of "God Save the King" has been attributed to him, probably under a misapprehension.
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Footnote F:
What'eer the critic says or poet sings
'Tis no slight task to write on common things...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 31: ;nbsp Under Plato's pillow a volume of the Mimes of Sophron was found the day he died.--Vide Barthélémi, De Pauw, or Diogenes Laërtius, [Lib. iii. p. 168--Chouet 1595] if agreeable. De Pauw calls it a jest-book. Cumberland, in his Observer, terms it moral, like the sayings of Publius Syrus.
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Footnote G:
Ere o'er our heads your Muse's Thunder rolls....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 32: › In 1737 the manager of Goodman's Fields Theatre having brought Sir Robert Walpole a farce called The Golden Rump, the minister detained the copy. He then made extracts of the most offensive passages, read them to the house, and brought in a bill to limit the number of playhouses and to subject all dramatic writings to the inspection of the Lord Chamberlain. Horace Walpole ascribed The Golden Rump to Fielding, and said that he had found an imperfect copy of the play among his father's papers. But this has been questioned. (See A Book of the Play, by Dutton Cook (1881), p. 27.)
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Footnote H:
Earth, Heaven and Hell, are shaken with the Song....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 33: › His speech on the Licensing Act [in which he opposed the Bill], is reckoned one of his most eloquent efforts.

[The following sentences have been extracted from the speech which was delivered:--
"The bill is not only an encroachment upon liberty, it is likewise an encroachment on property. Wit, my lords, is a sort of property; it is the property of those who have it, and too often the only property they have to depend on...

"Those gentlemen who have any such property are all, I hope, our friends; do not let us subject them to any unnecessary or arbitrary restraint...

"The stage and the press, my lord, are two of our out-sentries; if we remove them, if we hoodwink them, if we throw them into fetters, the enemy may surprise us. Therefore I must now look upon the bill before us as a step for introducing arbitrary power into this kingdom."
Lord Chesterfield's sentiments with regard to laughter are contained in an apophthegm, repeated more than once in his correspondence:
"The vulgar laugh aloud, but never smile; on the contrary, people of fashion often smile, but seldom or never laugh aloud."
Chesterfield's Letters to his Godson, Oxford, 1890, p. 27.]
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Footnote J:
Through deeds we know not, though already done,...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 34: › Archer and Squire Sullen are characters in Farquhar's play (1678-1707), The Beaux' Stratagem, March 8, 1707.
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Footnote K:
What soothes the people's, Peer's, and Critic's ear....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 35: › Michael Perez, the "Copper Captain," in [Fletcher's] Rule a Wife and Have a Wife [licensed October 19, 1624].
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Footnote M:
And Vice buds forth developed with his Teens....
[MS M.]
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Footnote 36: › The Rev. Dr. Francis Willis died in 1807, in the 90th year of his age. He attended George III. in his first attack of madness in 1788. The power of his eye on other persons is illustrated by a story related by Frederick Reynolds (Life and Times, ii. 23), who describes how Edmund Burke quailed under his look. His son, John Willis, was entrusted with the entire charge of the king in 1811. Compare Shelley's Peter Bell the Third, part vi.--
"Let him shave his head:
Where's Dr. Willis?"
(See, too, Bland-Burges Papers (1885), pp. 113-115, and Life of George IV., by Percy Fitzgerald (1881), ii. 18.)
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Footnote N:
The beardless Tyro freed at length from school.
[MSS. L. (b), M. erased.]
And blushing Birch disdains all College rule.
[MS. M. erased.]
And dreaded Birch.
[MS. L. (a and b).]
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Footnote 37: › Dr. Johnson was of the like opinion.
"Highwaymen and housebreakers," he says, in his Life of Gay, "seldom frequent the playhouse, or mingle in any elegant diversion; nor is it possible for any one to imagine that he may rob with safety, because he sees Macheath reprieved upon the stage."
Lives of the Poets, by Samuel Johnson (1890), ii. 266. It was asserted, on the other hand, by Sir John Fielding, the Bow-street magistrate, that on every run of the piece, The Beggar's Opera, an increased number of highwaymen were brought to his office; and so strong was his conviction, that in 1772 he remonstrated against the performance with the managers of both the houses.
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Footnote P:
Unlucky Tavell! damned to daily cares
By pugilistic Freshmen, and by Bears....
[MS. M. erased]
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Footnote 38: › Jerry Collier's controversy with Congreve, etc., on the subject of the drama, is too well known to require further comment.

[Jeremy Collier (1650-1756), non-juring bishop and divine. The occasion of his controversy with Congreve was the publication of his Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1697-8). Congreve, who had been attacked by name, replied in a tract entitled Amendments upon Mr. Collier's false and imperfect citations from the Old Batcheleur, etc.]
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Footnote Q:
Ready to quit whatever he loved before,
Constant to nought, save hazard and a whore....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 39: ›A few months after lines 370-381 were added to The Hints, in September, 1812, Byron, at the request of Lord Holland, wrote the address delivered on the opening of the theatre, which had been rebuilt after the fire of February 24, 1809. He subsequently joined the Committee of Management
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Footnote R:
The better years of youth he wastes away....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 40: › Mr. Simeon is the very bully of beliefs, and castigator of "good works." He is ably supported by John Stickles, a labourer in the same vineyard:--but I say no more, for, according to Johnny in full congregation,"No hopes for them as laughs."

[The Rev. Charles Simeon (1758-1836) was the leader of the evangelical movement in Cambridge. The reference may be to the rigour with which he repelled a charge brought against him by Dr. Edwards, the Master of Sidney Sussex, that a sermon which he had preached in November, 1809, savoured of antinomianism. It may be noted that a friend (the Rev. W. Parish), to whom he submitted the MS. of a rejoinder to Pearson's Cautions, etc., advised him to print it, "especially if you should rather keep down a lash or two which might irritate." Simeon was naturally irascible, and, in reply to a friend who had mildly reproved him for some display of temper, signed himself, in humorous penitence, "Charles proud and irritable." (See Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Mr. Simeon, by Rev. W. Carus (1847), pp. 195, 282, etc.)]
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Footnote S:
Master of Arts, as all the Clubs proclaim...
[MS L. (b)]
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Footnote 41:Baxter's Shove to heavy-a--d Christians, the veritable title of a book once in good repute, and likely enough to be so again.

["Baxter" is a slip of the pen. The tract or sermon, An Effectual Shove to the heavy-arse Christian, was, according to the title-page, written by William Bunyan, minister of the gospel in South Wales, and "printed for the author" in London in 1768.]
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Footnote T:
Scrapes wealth, o'er Grandam's endless jointure grieves...
[MS. erased.]
O'er Grandam's mortgage, or young hopeful's debts...
[MS. L. (a).]
O'er Uncle's mortgage...
[MS. L. (b).]
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Footnote 42: › Ambrose Philips (1675?-1749) published hisEpistle to the Earl of Dorset and his Pastorals in 1709. It is said that Pope attacked him in his satires in consequence of an article in the Guardian, in which the Pastorals were unduly extolled. His verses, addressed to the children of his patron, Lord Carteret, were parodied by Henry Carey, in Namby Pamby, or a Panegyric on the New Versification.
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Footnote U:
Your plot is told or acted more or less...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 43: › See letters to Murray, Sept. 15, 1817; Jan. 25, 1819; Mar. 29, 1820; Nov. 4, 1820; etc. See also the two Letters against Bowles, written at Ravenna, Feb. 7 and Mar. 21, 1821, in which Byron's enthusiastic reverence for Pope is the dominant note.
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Footnote V:
To greater sympathy our feelings rise When what is done is done before our eyes....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 44: ›As famous a tonsor as Licinus himself, and better paid [and may be like him a senator, one day or other: no disparagement to the High Court of Parliament.--MS.L. (b)], and may, like him, be one day a senator, having a better qualification than one half of the heads he crops, viz.-- Independence.

[According to the Scholiast, Cassar made his barber Licinus a senator, "quod odisset Pompeium." Blake (see Letter to Murray, Nov. 9, 1820) was, presumably, Benjamin Blake, a perfumer, who lived at 46, Park Street, Grosvenor Square.]
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Footnote W:
Appalls an audience with the work of Death-- To gaze when Hubert simply threats to sere....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 45: › There was some foundation for this. When Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy called on Daniel Stuart, editor of the Courier, at his fine new house in Harley Street, the butler would not admit them further than the hall, and was not a little taken aback when he witnessed the deference shown to these strangely-attired figures by his master.-- Personal Reminiscence of the late Miss Stuart, of 106, Harley Street.
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Footnote X:
Nor call a Ghost, unless some cursed hitch
Requires a trapdoor Goblin or a Witch....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 46:
"Bayes: If I am to write familiar things, as sonnets to Armida, and the like, I make use of stewed prunes only; but when I have a grand design in hand, I ever take physic and let blood; for when you would have pure swiftness of thought, and fiery flights of fancy, you must have a care of the pensive part. In fine, you must purge."
Rehearsal, act ii. sc. 1.

This passage is instanced by Johnson as a proof that "Bayes" was a caricature of Dryden.
"Bayes, when he is to write, is blooded and purged; this, as Lamotte relates, ... was the real practice of the poet."
Lives of the Poets 1890), i. 388.
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Footnote Y:
This comes from Commerce with our foreign friends
These are the precious fruits Ausonia sends....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 47: › Cant term for £100,000.
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Footnote Z:
Our Giant Capital where streets still spread
Where once our simpler sins were bred....
[MS L. (a)]
Our fields where once the rustic earned his bread....
[MS L. (b)] return
Footnote 48: › I have not the original by me, but the Italian translation runs as follows:--
"E una cosa a mio credere molto stravagante, che un Padre desideri, o permetta, che suo figliuolo coltivi e perfezioni questo talento."
A little further on: "
Si trovano di rado nel Parnaso le miniere d' oro e d' argento,"
Educazione dei Fanciulli del Signer Locke (Venice, 1782), ii. 87.
["If the child have a poetic vein, it is to me the strangest thing in the world, that the father should desire or suffer it to be cherished or improved."
...
"It is very seldom seen, that any one discovers mines of gold or silver on Parnassus."
Some Thoughts concerning Education, by John Locke (1880), p. 152.]
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Footnote Aa:
Aches with the Orchestra he pays to hear...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 49: › "Iro pauperior:" a proverb: this is the same beggar who boxed with Ulysses for a pound of kid's fry, which he lost and half a dozen teeth besides. (See Odyssey, xviii. 98.)
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Footnote Bb:
Scarce kept awake by roaring out encore...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 50: › The Irish gold mine in Wicklow, which yields just ore enough to swear by, or gild a bad guinea.
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Footnote Cc:
Ere theatres were built and reverend clerks
Wrote plays as some old book remarks...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 51: › As Mr. Pope took the liberty of damning Homer, to whom he was under great obligations--"And Homer (damn him!) calls"--it may be presumed that anybody or anything may be damned in verse by poetical licence [I shall suppose one may damn anything else in verse with impunity.--MS. L. (b)]; and, in case of accident, I beg leave to plead so illustrious a precedent.
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Footnote Dd:
Who did what Vestris--yet, at least,--cannot,
And cut his kingly capers "Sans culotte."...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 52: › For the story of Billy Havard's tragedy, see Davies's Life of Garrick. I believe it is Regulus, or Charles the First [Lincoln's Inn Fields, March 1, 1737]. The moment it was known to be his the theatre thinned, and the book-seller refused to give the customary sum for the copyright. [See Life of Garrick, by Thomas Davies (1808), ii. 205.]
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Footnote Ee:
Who yet squeaks on nor fears to be forgot
If good Earl Grosvenor supersede them not...
[MS L. (a)]
Who still frisk on with feats so vastly low
'Tis strange Earl Grosvenor suffers such a show...
[MS M.] return
Footnote 53: ›: Thomas Erskine (third son of the fifth Earl of Buchan) afterwards Lord Erskine (1750-1823), Lord Chancellor (1806-7), an eloquent orator, a supremely great advocate, was, by comparison, a failure as a judge. His power over a jury, "his little twelvers," as he would sometimes address them, was practically unlimited. (See Recollections of the Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers (1856), p. 126.)
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Footnote Ff:
Suppressing Peer! to whom all vice gives place,
Save Gambling--for his Lordship loves a Race...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 54: › Lines 589-626 are not in the Murray MS., nor in either of the Lovelace MSS.
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Footnote Gg:
Hobhouse, since we have roved through Eastern climes,
While all the Ægean echoed to our rhymes,
And bound to Momus by some pagan spell
Laughed, sang and quaffed to "Vive la Bagatelle!...
[MS L. (a)]
Hobhouse, with whom once more I hope to sit And smile at what our Stage retails for wit. Since few, I know, enjoy a laugh so well Sardonic slave to "Vive la Bagatelle" So that in your's like Pagan Plato's bed They'll find some book of Epigrams when dead
[MS L. (b)] return
Footnote 55: ›To the Eclectic or Christian Reviewers I have to return thanks for the fervour of that charity which, in 1809, induced them to express a hope that a thing then published by me might lead to certain consequences, which, although natural enough, surely came but rashly from reverend lips. I refer them to their own pages, where they congratulated themselves on the prospect of a tilt between Mr. Jeffrey and myself, from which some great good was to accrue, provided one or both were knocked on the head. Having survived two years and a half those "Elegies" which they were kindly preparing to review, I have no peculiar gusto to give them "so joyful a trouble," except, indeed, "upon compulsion, Hal;" but if, as David says in The Rivals, it should come to "bloody sword and gun fighting," we "won't run, will we, Sir Lucius?"

[Byron, writing at Athens, away from his books, misquotes The Rivals. The words, "Sir Lucius, we--we--we--we won't run," are spoken by Acres, not by David.]

I do not know what I had done to these Eclectic gentlemen: my works are their lawful perquisite, to be hewn in pieces like Agag, if it seem meet unto them: but why they should be in such a hurry to kill off their author, I am ignorant. "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong:" and now, as these Christians have "smote me on one cheek," I hold them up the other; and, in return for their good wishes, give them an opportunity of repeating them. Had any other set of men expressed such sentiments, I should have smiled, and left them to the "recording angel;" but from the pharisees of Christianity decency might be expected. I can assure these brethren, that, publican and sinner as I am, I would not have treated "mine enemy's dog thus." To show them the superiority of my brotherly love, if ever the Reverend Messrs. Simeon or Ramsden should be engaged in such a conflict as that in which they requested me to fall, I hope they may escape with being "winged" only, and that Heaviside may be at hand to extract the ball.--
["If, however, the noble Lord and the learned advocate have the courage requisite to sustain their mutual insults, we shall probably soon hear the explosions of another kind of paper war, after the fashion of the ever-memorable duel which the latter is said to have fought, or seemed to fight, with 'Little' Moore. We confess there is sufficient provocation, if not in the critique, at least in the satire, to urge a 'man of honour' to defy his assailant to mortal combat, and perhaps to warrant a man of law to declare war in Westminster Hall. Of this we shall no doubt hear more in due time"
(Eclectic Review, May, 1809).

Byron pretends to believe that the "Christian" Reviewers, actuated by stern zeal for piety, were making mischief in sober earnest.

"Heaviside" (see last line of Byron's note) was the surgeon in attendance at the duel between Lord Falkland and Mr. A. Powell. (See English Bards, 1. 686, note 2.)
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Footnote Hh:
My wayward Spirit weakly yields to gloom,
But thine will waft thee lightly to the Tomb,
So that in thine, like Pagan Plato's, bed
They'll find some Manuscript of Mimes, when dead...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 56:Macbeth, act v. sc. 7.
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Footnote Jj:
And spite of Methodism and Collier's curse...
[MS M.]
He who's seduced by plays must be a fool

If boys want teaching let them stay at school...
[MS L. (a)] return
Footnote 57: ›See the critique of the Edinburgh Review on Hours of Idleness, January, 1808.
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Footnote Kk:
Whom Nature guides so writes that he who sees
Enraptured thinks to do the same with ease...
[MS M.]
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Footnote 58:
"Invenies alium, si te hic fastidit, Alexin."
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Footnote Mm:
But after toil-inked thumbs and bitten nails
Scratched head, ten quires--the easy scribbler fails...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 59: ›Here MS. L. (a) recommences.
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Footnote Nn:
The one too rustic, t'other too refined...
[MS L. (a and b)]
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Footnote 60: ›John Jackson (1769-1845), better known as "Gentleman" Jackson, was champion of England from 1795 to 1803. His three fights were against Fewterel (1788), George Ingleston, nicknamed "the Brewer" (1789), and Mendoza (1795). In 1803 he retired from the ring. His rooms at 13, Bond Street, became the head-quarters of the Pugilistic Club. (See Pierce Egan's Life in London, pp. 252-254, where the rooms are described, and a drawing of them by Cruikshank is given.) Jackson's character stood high.
"From the highest to the lowest person in the Sporting World, his decision is law."
He was Byron's guest at Cambridge, Newstead, and Brighton; received from him many letters; and is described by him, in a note to Don Juan (xi. 19), as
"my old friend and corporeal pastor and master."
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Footnote Pp:
Offensive most to men with house and land
Possessed of Pedigree and bloody hand...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 61: › Mr. Southey has lately tied another canister to his tail in The Curse of Kehama, maugre the neglect of Madoc, etc., and has in one instance had a wonderful effect. A literary friend of mine, walking out one lovely evening last summer, on the eleventh bridge of the Paddington canal, was alarmed by the cry of "one in jeopardy:" he rushed along, collected a body of Irish haymakers (supping on butter-milk in an adjacent paddock), procured three rakes, one eel-spear and a landing net, and at last (horresco referens) pulled out--his own publisher. The unfortunate man was gone for ever, and so was a large quarto wherewith he had taken the leap, which proved, on inquiry, to have been Mr. Southey's last work. Its "alacrity of sinking" was so great, that it has never since been heard of; though some maintain that it is at this moment concealed at Alderman Birch's pastry premises, Cornhill. Be this as it may, the coroner's inquest brought in a verdict of "Felo de bibliopolâ" against a "quarto unknown;" and circumstantial evidence being since strong against The Curse of Kehama (of which the above words are an exact description), it will be tried by its peers next session, in Grub-street--Arthur, Alfred, Davideis, Richard Coeur de Lion, Exodus, Exodiad, Epigoniad, Calvary, Fall of Cambria, Siege of Acre, Don Roderick, and Tom Thumb the Great, are the names of the twelve jurors. The judges are Pye, Bowles, and the bell-man of St. Sepulchre's.

The same advocates, pro and con, will be employed as are now engaged in Sir F. Burdett's celebrated cause in the Scotch courts. The public anxiously await the result, and all live publishers will be subpoenaed as witnesses.--But Mr. Southey has published The Curse of Kehama,--an inviting title to quibblers. By the bye, it is a good deal beneath Scott and Campbell, and not much above Southey, to allow the booby Ballantyne to entitle them, in the Edinburgh Annual Register (of which, by the bye, Southey is editor) "the grand poetical triumvirate of the day." But, on second thoughts, it can be no great degree of praise to be the one-eyed leaders of the blind, though they might as well keep to themselves "Scott's thirty thousand copies sold," which must sadly discomfort poor Southey's unsaleables. Poor Southey, it should seem, is the "Lepidus" of this poetical triumvirate. I am only surprised to see him in such good company.
"Such things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil he came there."
The trio are well defined in the sixth proposition of Euclid:--
"Because, in the triangles D B C, A C B; D B is equal to A C; and B C common to both; the two sides D B, B C, are equal to the two A C, C B, each to each, and the angle D B C is equal to the angle A C B: therefore, the base D C is equal to the base A B, and the triangle D B C (Mr. Southey) is equal to the triangle A C B, the less to the greater, which is absurd" etc.
The editor of the Edinburgh Register will find the rest of the theorem hard by his stabling; he has only to cross the river; 'tis the first turnpike t' other side Pons AsinorumA.
  • [The Curse of Kehama, by Robert Southey, was published 1810;
  • Arthur, or The Northern Enchantment, by the Rev. Richard Hole, in 1789;
  • Alfred, by Joseph Cottle, in 1801;
  • Davideis`, by Abraham Cowley, in 1656;
  • Richard the First, by Sir James Bland Surges, in 1801;
  • Exodiad, by Sir J. Bland Surges and R. Cumberland, in 1808;
  • Exodus, by Charles Hoyle, in 1802;
  • Epigoniad, by W. Wilkie, D.D., in 1757;
  • Calvary, by R. Cumberland, in 1792;
  • Fall of Cambria, by Joseph Cottle, in 1809;
  • Siege of Acre, by Hannah Cowley, in 1801;
  • The Vision of Don Roderick, by Sir Walter Scott, in 1811;
  • Tom Thumb the Great, by Henry Fielding, in 1730.
The Courier of July 16, 1811, reports in full the first stage of the case Sir F. Burdett v. William Scott (vide supra), which was brought before Lord Meadowbank as ordinary in the outer court. Jeffrey was counsel for the pursuer, who sought to recover a sum of £5000 lent under a bond. For the defence it was alleged that the money had been entrusted for a particular purpose, namely, the maintenance of an infant. Jeffrey denied the existence of any such claim, and maintained that whatever was scandalous or calumnious in the defence was absolutely untrue. The case, which was not included in the Scottish Law Reports, was probably settled out of court. Evidently the judge held that on technical grounds an action did not lie. Burdett's enemies were not slow in turning the scandal to account. (See a contemporary pamphlet, Adultery and Patriotism, London, 1811.)]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; This Latin has sorely puzzled the University of Edinburgh. Ballantyne said it meant the "Bridge of Berwick," but Southey claimed it as half English; Scott swore it was the "Brig o' Stirling:" he had just passed two King James's and a dozen Douglasses over it. At last it was decided by Jeffrey, that it meant nothing more nor less than the "counter of Archy Constable's shop."
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return to poem
cross-reference: return to Footnote 63 of this poem
Footnote Qq:
Composed for any but the lightest strain...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 62: ›Voltaire's Pucelle is not quite so immaculate as Mr. Southey's Joan of Arc, and yet I am afraid the Frenchman has both more truth and poetry too on his side--(they rarely go together)--than our patriotic minstrel, whose first essay was in praise of a fanatical French strumpet, whose title of witch would be correct with the change of the first letter.
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Footnote Rr:
And must I then my...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 63: › Like Sir Bland Burges's Richard; the tenth book of which I read at Malta, on a trunk of Eyre's, 19, Cockspur-street. If this be doubted, I shall buy a portmanteau to quote from.

[Sir James Bland Burges (1752-1824), who assumed, in 1821, the name of Lamb, married, as his first wife, the Hon. Elizabeth Noel, daughter of Lord Wentworth, and younger sister of Byron's mother-in-law, Lady Milbanke. He was called to the bar in 1777, and in the same year was appointed a Commissioner in Bankruptcy. In 1787 he was returned M.P. for the borough of Helleston; and from 1789 to 1795 held office as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. In 1795, at the instance of his chief, Lord Grenville, he vacated his post, and by way of compensation was created a baronet with a sinecure post as Knight-Marshal of the Royal Household. Thenceforth he devoted himself to literature. In 1796 he wrote the Birth and Triumph of Love, by way of letter-press to some elegant designs of the Princess Elizabeth. (For Richard the First and the Exodiad, see note, p. 436.) His plays, Riches and Tricks for Travellers, appeared in 1810, and there were other works. In spite of Wordsworth's testimony (Wordsworth signed, but Coleridge dictated and no doubt composed, the letter: see Thomas Poole and His Friends, ii. 27) "to a pure and unmixed vein of native English" in Richard the First (Bland-Burges Papers, 1885, p. 308), Burges as a poet awaits rediscovery. His diaries, portions of which were published in 1885, are lively and instructive. He has been immortalized in Person's Macaronics--
"Poetis nos lætamur tribus,
Pye, Petro Pindar, parvo Pybus.
Si ulterius ire pergis,
Adde his Sir James Bland Burges!"
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Footnote Ss:
Ye who require Improvement...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 64: › [Charles Lamb, in "Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago" (Prose Works, 1836, ii. 30), records his repeated visits, as a Blue Coat boy, "to the Lions in the Tower--to whose levée, by courtesy immemorial, we had a prescriptive title to admission."
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Footnote Tt:
And Tragedy, whatever stuff he spoke
Now wants high heels, long sword and velvet cloak...
[MS L. (a) erased]
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Footnote 65: › Lines 677, 678 are not in MS. L. (a).
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Footnote Uu:
Curtail or silence the offensive jest...
[MS M.]
Curtail the personal or smutty jest...
[MS L. (a) erased] return
Footnote 66: › Lines 689-696 are not in MS. L. (a) or MS. L. (b).
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Footnote Vv:
Overthrow whole books with all their hosts of faults...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 67:MS. L. (a and b) continue at line 758.
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Footnote Ww:
So that not Hellebore with all its juice...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 68:
"Tum quoque marmorea caput a cervice revulsum,
Gurgite cum medio portans OEagrius Hebrus,
Volveret Eurydicen vox ipsa, et frigida lingua;
Ah, miseram Eurydicen! animâ fugiente vocabat;
Eurydicen toto referebant flumine ripæ."
[Georgic, iv. 523-527.]
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Footnote Xx:
I'll act instead of whetstone--blunted, but
Of use to make another's razor cut...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 69: › I beg Nathaniel's pardon: he is not a cobbler; it is a tailor, but begged Capel Lofft to sink the profession in his preface to two pair of panta--psha!--of cantos, which he wished the public to try on; but the sieve of a patron let it out, and so far saved the expense of an advertisement to his country customers--Merry's "Moorfields whine" was nothing to all this. The "Delia Cruscans" were people of some education, and no profession; but these Arcadians ("Arcades ambo"--bumpkins both) send out their native nonsense without the smallest alloy, and leave all the shoes and small-clothes in the parish unrepaired, to patch up Elegies on Enclosures, and Pæans to Gunpowder. Sitting on a shop-board, they describe the fields of battle, when the only blood they ever saw was shed from the finger; and an "Essay on War" is produced by the ninth part of a "poet;"
"And own that nine such poets made a Tate."
Did Nathan ever read that line of Pope? and if he did, why not take it as his motto?

[An Essay on War; Honington Green, a Ballad,. . . an Elegy and other Poems, was published in 1803.]
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Footnote Yy:
From Horace show the better arts of song...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 70: › This well-meaning gentleman has spoiled some excellent shoemakers, and been accessory to the poetical undoing of many of the industrious poor. Nathaniel Bloomfield and his brother Bobby have set all Somersetshire singing; nor has the malady confined itself to one county. Pratt too (who once was wiser) has caught the contagion of patronage, and decoyed a poor fellow named Blackett into poetry; but he died during the operation, leaving one child and two volumes of "Remains" utterly destitute. The girl, if she don't take a poetical twist, and come forth as a shoemaking Sappho, may do well; but the "tragedies" are as ricketty as if they had been the offspring of an Earl or a Seatonian prize poet. The patrons of this poor lad are certainly answerable for his end; and it ought to be an indictable offence. But this is the least they have done: for, by a refinement of barbarity, they have made the (late) man posthumously ridiculous, by printing what he would have had sense enough never to print himself. Certes these rakers of "Remains" come under the statute against "resurrection men." What does it signify whether a poor dear dead dunce is to be stuck up in Surgeons' or in Stationers' Hall? Is it so bad to unearth his bones as his blunders? Is it not better to gibbet his body on a heath, than his soul in an octavo? "We know what we are, but we know not what we may be;" and it is to be hoped we never shall know, if a man who has passed through life with a sort of eclat is to find himself a mountebank on the other side of Styx, and made, like poor Joe Blackett, the laughing-stock of purgatory. The plea of publication is to provide for the child; now, might not some of this Sutor ultra Crepidaitis friends and seducers have done a decent action without inveigling Pratt into biography? And then his inscription split into so many modicums!-- "To the Duchess of Somuch, the Right Hon. So-and-So, and Mrs. and Miss Somebody, these volumes are," etc. etc.-- why, this is doling out the "soft milk of dedication" in gills,-- there is but a quart, and he divides it among a dozen. Why, Pratt, hadst thou not a puff left? Dost thou think six families of distinction can share this in quiet? There is a child, a book, and a dedication: send the girl to her grace, the volumes to the grocer, and the dedication to the devil.

[For Robert Bloomfield, see English Bards, ll. 774-786 (click c6 to return), and note 2. For Joseph Blacket, see English Bards, ll. 765-770 (click c7 to return), and note 1. Blacket's Remains, with Life by Pratt, appeared in 1811. The work was dedicated "To Her Grace the Duchess of Leeds, Lady Milbanke and Family, Benevolent Patrons of the Author," etc.]
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Footnote Zz:
To Trade, but gave their hours to arms and arts...
[MS L. (a)]
With traffic...
[MS L. (b)] return
Footnote 71: › Lines 737-758 are not in either of the three original MSS. of Hints from Horace, and were probably written in the autumn of 1811. They appear among a sheet of "alterations to English Bards, and S. Reviewers, continued with additions" (MSS. L.), drawn up for the fifth edition, and they are inserted on a separate sheet in MS. M. A second sheet (MSS. L.) of "scraps of rhyme,... principally additions and corrections for English Bards, etc." (for the fifth edition), some of which are dated 1810, does not give the whole passage, but includes the following variants (erased) of lines 753-756:--
(i.)

"Then let thy ponderous quarto steep and stink,
The dullest fattest weed on Lethe's brink.
Down with that volume to the depths of hell!
Oblivion seems rewarding it too well."


(ii.)

"Yet then thy quarto still may," etc.
A "Druid" (see English Bards, line 741 (click c10 to return)) was Byron's name for a scribbler who wrote for his living. In MS. M., "scribbler" has been erased, and "Druid" substituted. It is doubtful to whom the passage, in its final shape, was intended to apply, but it is possible that the erased lines, in which "ponderous quarto" stands for "lost songs," were aimed at Southey (see ante, line 657, note 1).
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Footnote aA:
Babe of old ThelussonA--...
[MS L. (a) and (b)]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; Peter Isaac Thellusson, banker (died July 21, 1797), by his will directed that his property should accumulate for the benefit of the unborn heir of an unborn grandson. The will was, finally, upheld, but, meanwhile, on July 28, 1800, an act (39 and 40 Geo. III.c.98) was passed limiting such executory devises.] return to poem
Footnote 72:MS. L. (a) recommences at line 758.
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Footnote bB:
A groat--ah bravo! Dick's the boy for sums
He'll swell my fifty thousand into plums...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 73: › Here will Mr. Gifford allow me to introduce once more to his notice the sole survivor, the ultimus Romanorum, the last of the Cruscanti--"Edwin" the "profound" by our Lady of Punishment! here he is, as lively as in the days of "well said Baviad the Correct." I thought Fitzgerald had been the tail of poesy; but, alas! he is only the penultimate. A Familiar Epistle to the Editor of the Morning Chronicle.
"What reams of paper, floods of ink,"
Do some men spoil, who never think!
And so perhaps you'll say of me,
In which your readers may agree.
Still I write on, and tell you why;
Nothing's so bad, you can't deny,
But may instruct or entertain
Without the risk of giving pain, etc., etc.

On Some Modern Quacks and Reformists.
In tracing of the human mind
Through all its various courses,
Though strange, 'tis true, we often find
It knows not its resources:

And men through life assume a part
For which no talents they possess,
Yet wonder that, with all their art,
They meet no better with success, etc., etc.
[A Familiar Epistle, etc., by T. Vaughan, Esq., was published in the Morning Chronicle, October 7, 1811. Gifford, in the Baviad (l. 350), speaks of "Edwin's mewlings," and in a note names "Edwin" as the "profound Mr. T. Vaughan." Love's Metamorphoses, by T. Vaughan, was played at Drury Lane, April 15, 1776. He also wrote The Hotel, or Double Valet, November 26, 1776, which Jephson rewrote under the title of The Servant with Two Masters. Compare Children of Apollo, p. 49:--
"Jephson, who has no humour of his own,
Thinks it no crime to borrow from the town;
The farce (almost forgot) of The Hotel
Or Double Valet seems to answer well.
This and his own make Two Strings to his Bow."]
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Footnote cC:
Are idle dogs and (damn them!) always poor...
[MS L. (a) and (b)]
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Footnote 74: › See Milton's Lycidas.
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Footnote dD:
Unlike Potosi holds no silver mine...
[MS L. (a)]
Keeps back his ingots like/Is rather costive--like/Is no Potosi, but...an Irish Mine
[MS L. (b)] return
Footnote 75: › Minerva being the first by Jupiter's head-piece, and a variety of equally unaccountable parturitions upon earth, such as Madoc, etc. etc.
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Footnote eE:
Write but recite not, e'en Apollo's song
Mouthed in a mortal ear would seem too long,
Long as the last year of a lingering lease,
When Revel pauses until Rents increase...
[MS M. erased]
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Footnote 76:
A crust for the critics....
[Bayes, in "the Rehearsal", [act ii. sc. 2]]
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Footnote fF:
To finish all...
[MS L. (b )]
That Bard the mask will fit...
[MS L. (b)] return
Footnote 77: › And the "waiters" are the only fortunate people who can "fly" from them; all the rest, viz. the sad subscribers to the "Literary Fund," being compelled, by courtesy, to sit out the recitation without a hope of exclaiming, "Sic" (that is, by choking Fitz. with bad wine, or worse poetry) "me servavit Apollo!"

[See English Bards, line 1 and note 3.]
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Footnote gG:
Revenge defeats its object in the dark
And pistols (courage bullies!) miss their mark...
[MS L. (a)]
And pistols (courage duellists!) miss their mark...
[MS L. (b)] return
Footnote 78: ›Lines 813-816 not in MS. L. (a) or MS. L. (b).
return
Footnote hH:
Though much displeased...
[MS L. (a) and (b)]
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Footnote 79: ›On his table were found these words:--"What Cato did, and Addison approved, cannot be wrong." But Addison did not "approve;" and if he had, it would not have mended the matter. He had invited his daughter on the same water-party; but Miss Budgell, by some accident, escaped this last paternal attention. Thus fell the sycophant of "Atticus," and the enemy of Pope!

[Eustace Budgell (1686-1737), a friend and relative of Addison's, "leapt into the Thames" to escape the dishonour which attached to him in connection with Dr. Tindal's will, and the immediate pressure of money difficulties. He was, more or less, insane.
"We talked (says Boswell) of a man's drowning himself. I put the case of Eustace Budgell.

'Suppose, sir,' said I, 'that a man is absolutely sure that, if he lives a few days longer, he shall be detected in a fraud, the consequence of which will be utter disgrace, and expulsion from society?'

Johnson. 'Then, sir, let him go abroad to a distant country; let him go to some place where he is not known. Don't let him go to the devil, where he is known.'"
Boswell's Life of Johnson (1886), p. 281.]
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Footnote jJ:
The The scrutiny....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote 80: › If "dosed with," etc. be censured as low, I beg leave to refer to the original for something still lower; and if any reader will translate "Minxerit in patrios cineres," etc. into a decent couplet, I will insert said couplet in lieu of the present.
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Footnote kK:
Oh ye aspiring youths whom fate or choice...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote mM:
All are not Erskines who adorn the bar...
[MS M.]
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Footnote nN:
With very middling verses to offend
The Devil and Jeffrey grant but to a friend....
[MS L. (a)]
Though what "Gods, men, and columns" interdict,
The Devil and JeffreyA pardon--in a Pict....
[MS M.]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; "The Devil and Jeffrey are here placed antithetically to gods and men, such being their usual position, and their due one--according to the facetious saying, 'If God won't take you, the Devil must;' and I am sure no one durst object to his taking the poetry, which, rejected by Horace, is accepted by Jeffrey. That these gentlemen are in some cases kinder,--the one to countrymen, and the other from his odd propensity to prefer evil to good,--than the 'gods, men, and columns' of Horace, may be seen by a reference to the review of Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming; and in No. 31 of the Edinburgh Review (given to me the other day by the captain of an English frigate off Salamis), there is a similar concession to the mediocrity of Jamie Graham's British Georgics. It is fortunate for Campbell, that his fame neither depends on his last poem, nor the puff of the Edinburgh Review. The catalogues of our English are also less fastidious than the pillars of the Roman librarians. A word more with the author of Gertrude of Wyoming. At the end of a poem, and even of a couplet, we have generally 'that unmeaning thing we call a thought;' so Mr. Campbell concludes with a thought in such a manner as to fulfil the whole of Pope's prescription, and be as 'unmeaning' as the best of his brethren:--
'Because I may not stain with grief
The death-song of an Indian chief.'
"When I was in the fifth form, I carried to my master the translation of a chorus in Prometheus, wherein was a pestilent expression about 'staining a voice,' which met with no quarter. Little did I think that Mr. Campbell would have adopted my fifth form 'sublime'--at least in so conspicuous a situation. 'Sorrow' has been 'dry' (in proverbs), and 'wet' (in sonnets), this many a day; and now it 'stains,' and stains a sound, of all feasible things! To be sure, death-songs might have been stained with that same grief to very good purpose, if Outalissi had clapped down his stanzas on wholesome paper for the Edinburgh Evening Post, or any other given hyperborean gazette; or if the said Outalissi had been troubled with the slightest second sight of his own notes embodied on the last proof of an overcharged quarto; but as he is supposed to have been an improvisatore on this occasion, and probably to the last tune he ever chanted in this world, it would have done him no discredit to have made his exit with a mouthful of common sense. Talking of 'staining' (as Caleb Quotem says) 'puts me in mind' of a certain couplet, which Mr. Campbell will find in a writer for whom he, and his school, have no small contempt:--
'E'en copious Dryden wanted, or forgot,
The last and greatest art--the art to blot!' "
[MS. M.]
return to this footnote return to poem
Footnote pP:
And mustard rarely pleases in a pie...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote qQ:
At the Sessions...
[MS L. (b) in pencil]
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Footnote rR: › Lines 647-650--
Whose character contains no glaring fault...
Shall I, I say...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote sS: › After 660--
But why this hint-what author e'er could stop
His poems' progress in a Grocers shop....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote tT:
As lame as I am, but a better bard...
[MS M.]
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Footnote uU:
Apollo's song the fate of men foretold...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote vV:
Have studied with a Master day and night...
[MS L. (a, b)]
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Footnote wW:
They storm Bolt Court, they publish one and all...
[MS M. erased]
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Footnote xX:
Rogers played this prank...
[MS M.]
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Footnote yY:
There see their sonnets first--but Spring--hot prest
Beholds a Quarto--Tarts must tell the Rest....
[MS M. erased]
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Footnote zZ:
To fuddled Esquires or to flippant Lords...
[MS M.]
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Footnote AA:
Till lo! that modern Midas of the swains--
Feels his ears lengthen--with the lengthening strains...
[MS M. erased]
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Footnote BB:
Adds a week's growth to his enormous ears...
[MS M. erased]
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Footnote CC:
But what are these? Benefits might bind
Some decent ties about a manly mind...
[MS M.]
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Footnote DD:
Our modern sceptics can no more allow....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote DD:
Some rhyming peer--Carlisle or CarysfortA...
[MS Newstead]


Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; [To variant ii. (p. 444) (this footnote) is subjoined this note:
"Of 'John Joshua, Earl of Carysfort,' I know nothing at present, but from an advertisement in an old newspaper of certain Poems and Tragedies by his Lordship, which I saw by accident in the Morea. Being a rhymer himself, he will forgive the liberty I take with his name, seeing, as he must, how very commodious it is at the close of that couplet; and as for what follows and goes before, let him place it to the account of the other Thane; since I cannot, under these circumstances, augur pro or con the contents of his 'foolscap crown octavos.'"
[John Joshua Proby, first Earl of Carysfort, was joint postmaster-general in 1805, envoy to Berlin in 1806, and ambassador to Petersburgh in 1807. Besides his poems (Dramatic and Miscellaneous Works, 1810), he published two pamphlets (1780,1783), to show the necessity of universal suffrage and short parliaments. He died in 1828.] return to poem
Footnote EE:
Hoarse with bepraising, and half choaked with lies,
Sweat on his brow and tear drops in his eyes...
[MS L. (a)]
return
Footnote FF:
hen sits again, then shakes his piteous head
As if the Vicar were already dead....
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote GG:
But if you're too conceited to amend...
[MS L. (a)]
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Footnote HH:
On pain of suffering from their pen or tongues...
[MS M. erased]
fly Fitzgerald's lungs...
[MS M.] return
Footnote JJ:
Ah when Bards mouth! how sympathetic Time
Stagnates, and Hours stand still to hear their rhyme...
[MS M. erased]
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Footnote KK:
Besides how know ye? that he did not fling
Himself there--for the humour of the thing....
[MS M.]
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Footnote MM:
Small thanks, unwelcome life he quickly leaves;
And raving poets--really should not lose...
[MS M.]
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Footnote NN:
Nor is it clearly understood that verse
Has not been given the poet for a curse;
Perhaps he sent the parson's pig to pound,
Or got a child on consecrated ground;
But, be this as it may, his rhyming rage
Exceeds a Bear who strives to break his cage.
If free, all fly his versifying fit;
The young, the old, the simpleton and wit...
[MS L. (a)]
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Contents
Contents p.5




The Curse of Minerva


--"Pallas te hoc vulnere, Pallas
Immolat, et poenam scelerato ex sanguine sumit."

Æneid, lib. xii. 947, 948.



Notes to this edition


Note 1

In The Malediction of Minerva (New Monthly Magazine, vol. iii. p. 240) additional footnotes are appended
  1. to line 106, recording the obliteration of Lord Elgin's name, "which had been inscribed on a pillar of one of the principal temples," while that of Lady Elgin had been left untouched; and
  2. to line 196, giving quotations from pp. 158, 269, 419 of Eustace's Classical Tour in Italy.
After line 130, which reads, "And well I know within that murky land" (i.e. Caledonia), the following apology for a hiatus was inserted:
"Here follows in the original certain lines which the editor has exercised his discretion by suppressing; inasmuch as they comprise national reflections which the bard's justifiable indignation has made him pour forth against a people which, if not universally of an amiable, is generally of a respectable character, and deserves not in this case to be censured en masse for the faults of an individual."

Note 2

The text of The Curse of Minerva is based on that of the quarto printed by T. Davison in 1813. With the exception of the variants, as noted, the text corresponds with the MS. in the possession of Lord Stanhope. Doubtless it represents Byron's final revision. The text of an edition of The Curse, etc., Philadelphia, 1815, 8vo [printed by De Silver and Co.], was followed by Galignani (third edit., 1818, etc.). The same text is followed, but not invariably, in the selections printed by Hone in 1816 (111 lines); Wilson, 1818 (112 lines); and Knight and Lacy, 1824 (111 lines). It exhibits the following variants from the quarto of 1813:--
Line Variant
56 ---- lands and main.
81 Her helm was deep indented and her lance.
94 Seek'st thou the cause? O mortal, look around.
102 That Hadrian ----
116 The last base brute ----
143 Ten thousand schemes of petulance and pride.
152 ----victors o'er the grave.
162 ----Time shall tell the rest.
199 Loath'd throughout life--scarce pardon'd in the dust.
203 Erostratus and Elgin, etc.
206 ----viler than the first.
222 Shall shake your usurpation to its base.
233 While Lusitania ----
273 Then in the Senates ----
290 ---- decorate his fall.


The following variants may also be noted:--
Line Variant Publisher
1 Slow sinks now lovely, etc.-- Hone
110 The Gothic monarch and the British----. Hone
110 ----and his fit compeer Wilson
131 And well I know within that murky land.
...
Dispatched her reckoning children far and wide.
Hone
131 And well I know, albeit afar, the land,
Where starving Avarice keeps her chosen band;
Or sends their hungry numbers eager forth.
...
And aye accursed, etc.
Wilson

Contents
Contents p.5




Introduction to The Curse of Minerva


The Curse of Minerva, which was written at Athens, and is dated March 17, 1811, remained unpublished, as a whole, in this country, during Byron's life-time. The arrangement which had been made with Cawthorn, to bring out a fifth edition of English Bards, included the issue of a separate volume, containing Hints from Horace and The Curse of Minerva; and, as Moore intimates, it was the withdrawal of the latter, in deference to the wishes of Lord Elgin or his connections, which led to the suppression of the other satires.

The quarto edition of The Curse of Minerva, printed by T. Davison in 1812, was probably set up at the same time as Murray's quarto edition of Childe Harold, and reserved for private circulation. With or without Byron's consent, the poem as a whole was published in Philadelphia by De Silver and Co., 18l5, 8vo (for variants, see p. 453, note). In a letter to Murray, March 6, 1816, he says that he "disowns" The Curse, etc., "as stolen and published in a miserable and villainous copy in the magazine." The reference is to The Malediction of Minerva, or The Athenian Marble-Market, which appeared in the New Monthly Magazine for April, 1818, vol. iii. 240. It numbers 111 lines, and is signed "Steropes" (The Lightner, a Cyclops). The text of the magazine, with the same additional footnotes, but under the title of The Curse, etc., was republished in the eighth edition of Poems on His Domestic Circumstances, W. Hone, London, 1816, 8vo, and, thenceforth, in other piratical issues. Whatever may have been his feelings or intentions in 1812, four years later Byron was well aware that The Curse of Minerva would not increase his reputation as a poet, while the object of his satire--the exposure and denunciation of Lord Elgin--had been accomplished by the scathing stanzas (canto ii. 10-15), with their accompanying note, in Childe Harold. "Disown" it as he might, his words were past recall, and both indictments stand in his name.

Byron was prejudiced against Elgin before he started on his tour. He had, perhaps, glanced at the splendid folio, Specimens of Ancient Sculpture, which was issued by the Dilettanti Society in 1809. Payne Knight wrote the preface, in which he maintains that the friezes and metopes of the Parthenon were not the actual work of Phidias, "but ... architectural studies ... probably by workmen scarcely ranked among artists." So judged the leader of the cognoscenti, and, in accordance with his views, Elgin and Aberdeen are held up to ridicule in English Bards (second edition, October, 1809, l. 1007 (click c13 to return), and note) as credulous and extravagant collectors of "maimed antiques." It was, however, not till the first visit to Athens (December, 1809-March, 1810), when he saw with his own eyes the "ravages of barbarous and antiquarian despoilers" (Lord Broughton's Travels in Albania, 1858, i. 259), that contempt gave way to indignation, and his wrath found vent in the pages of Childe Harold.

Byron cared as little for ancient buildings as he did for the authorities, or for patriotic enterprise, but he was stirred to the quick by the marks of fresh and, as he was led to believe, wanton injury to "Athena's poor remains." The southern side of the half-wrecked Parthenon had been deprived of its remaining metopes, which had suffered far less from the weather than the other sides which are still in the building; all that remained of the frieze had been stripped from the three sides of the cella, and the eastern pediment had been despoiled of its diminished and mutilated, but still splendid, group of figures; and, though five or six years had gone by, the blank spaces between the triglyphs must have revealed their recent exposure to the light, and the shattered edges of the cornice, which here and there had been raised and demolished to permit the dislodgment of the metopes, must have caught the eye as they sparkled in the sun. Nor had the removal and deportation of friezes and statues come to an end. The firman which Dr. Hunt, the chaplain to the embassy, had obtained in 1801, which empowered Elgin and his agents to take away qualche pezzi di pietra, still ran, and Don Tita Lusieri, the Italian artist, who remained in Elgin's service, was still, like the canes venatici (Americané, "smell-dogs") employed by Verres in Sicily (see Childe Harold, canto ii. st. 12, note), finding fresh relics, and still bewailing to sympathetic travellers the hard fate which compelled him to despoil the temples malgré lui. The feelings of the inhabitants themselves were not much in question, but their opinions were quoted for and against the removal of the marbles. Elgin's secretary and prime agent, W.R. Hamilton, testifies, from personal knowledge, that, "so far from exciting any unpleasant sensations, the people seemed to feel it as the means of bringing foreigners into the country, and of having money spent there" (Memoir on the Earl of Elgin's Pursuits in Greece, 1811). On the other hand, the traveller, Edward Daniel Clarke, with whom Byron corresponded (see Childe Harold, canto ii. st. 12, note), speaks of the attachment of the Turks to the Parthenon, and their religious veneration for the building as a mosque, and tells a pathetic story of the grief of the Disdar when "a metope was lowered, and the adjacent masonry scattered its white fragments with thundering noise among the ruins" (Travels in Various Countries, part ii. sect. ii. p. 483).

Other travellers of less authority than Clarke--Dodwell, for instance, who visited the Parthenon before it had been dismantled, and, afterwards, was present at the removal of metopes; and Hughes, who came after Byron (autumn, 18l3)--make use of such phrases as "shattered desolation," "wanton devastation and avidity of plunder." Even Michaelis, the great archaeologist, who denounces The Curse of Minerva as a "libellous poem," and affirms "that only blind passion could doubt that Lord Elgin's act was an act of preservation," admits that "the removal of several metopes and of the statue from the Erechtheion had severely injured the surrounding architecture" (Ancient Marbles in Great Britain, by A. Michaelis, translated by C.A.M. Fennell, 1882, p. 135). Highly coloured and emotional as some of these phrases may be, they explain, if they do not justify, the sæva indignatio of Byron's satire.

It is almost, if not quite, unnecessary to state the facts on the other side. History regards Lord Elgin as a disinterested official, who at personal loss (at least thirty-five thousand pounds on his own showing), and in spite of opposition and disparagement, secured for his own country and the furtherance of art the perishable fragments of Phidian workmanship, which, but for his intervention, might have perished altogether. If they had eluded the clutches of Turkish mason and Greek dealer in antiquities--if, by some happy chance, they had escaped the ravages of war, the gradual but gradually increasing assaults of rain and frost would have already left their effacing scars on the "Elgin marbles." As it is, the progress of decay has been arrested, and all the world is the gainer. Byron was neither a prophet nor an archaeologist, and time and knowledge have put him in the wrong. But in 1810 the gaps in the entablature of the Parthenon were new, the Phidian marbles were huddled in a "damp dirty penthouse" in Park Lane (see Life of Haydon, i. 84), and the logic of events had not justified a sad necessity.

Contents
Contents p.5




The Curse of Minerva


Pallas te hoc Vulnere Pallas
Immolat et poenam scelerato ex Sanguine Sumit.


Athens: Capuchin Convent, March 17, 1811.





Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run1,
Along Morea's hills the setting Sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O'er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throwsa,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows;
On old Ægina's rock and Hydra's isle2
The God of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O'er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divineb.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Thy glorious Gulf, unconquered Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expansec,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleepd.

On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage's3 latest day!
Not yet--not yet--Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes;
Gloom o'er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frowned before;
But ere he sunk below Cithaeron's head,
The cup of Woe was quaffed--the Spirit fled;
The soul of Him that scorned to fear or flye,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.

But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;4 f
No murky vapour, herald of the stormg,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o'er the Minaret;
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk5,
And sad and sombre 'mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus' fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by6.
Again the Ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war:
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle
That frown, where gentler Ocean deigns to smileh.

As thus, within the walls of Pallas' fane,
I marked the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets' lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turned to scan,
Sacred to Gods, but not secure from Man,
The Past returned, the Present seemed to cease,
And Glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!

Hour rolled along, and Dian's orb on high
Had gained the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O'er the vain shrine of many a vanished Godj:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate's glare
Checked by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O'er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant-form before me strode,
And Pallas hailed me in her own Abode!

Yes,'twas Minerva's self; but, ah! how changed,
Since o'er the Dardan field in arms she ranged!
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias' plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle Ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seemed weak and shaftless e'en to mortal glance;
The Olive Branch, which still she deigned to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch, and withered in her grasp;
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimmed her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourned his mistress with a shriek of woe!

"Mortal!"--'twas thus she spake--"that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the freek,
Now honoured less by all, and least by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek'st thou the cause of loathing!--look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
'Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Gothm,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
These Cecrops placed, this Pericles adorned7,
That Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest--
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name8:
For Elgin's fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name--above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peern:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal lasto:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the Gods are just, and crimes are crossed:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian's beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva's shame."9

She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye:
"Daughter of Jove! in Britain's injured namep,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask'st thou the difference? From fair Phyles' towers
Survey Boeotia;--Caledonia's ours.
And well I know within that bastard land10
Hath Wisdom's goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature's germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth,
Emblem of all to whom the Land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mistq.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each wat'ry head o'erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows:
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide;
Some East, some West, some--everywhere but North!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus--accursed be the day and year!
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth11,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race."

"Mortal!" the blue-eyed maid resumed, "once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.12
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas' stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.

"First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,--on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him bastard of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly's praise repay for Wisdom's hate;
Long of their Patron's gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is--to sell:
To sell, and make--may shame record the day!--
The State--Receiver of his pilfered prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe's worst dauber, and poor Britain's best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o'er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.13
Be all the Bruisers culled from all St. Giles',
That Art and Nature may compare their stylesr;
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare,
And marvel at his Lordship's 'stone shop' there.14
Round the thronged gate shall sauntering coxcombs creep
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh,
On giant statues casts the curious eye;
The room with transient glance appears to skim,
Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb;
Mourns o'er the difference of now and then;
Exclaims, 'These Greeks indeed were proper men!'
Draws slight comparisons of these with those,s
And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux.
When shall a modern maid have swains like these?t
Alas! Sir Harry is no Hercules!
And last of all, amidst the gaping crew,
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.
Oh, loathed in life, nor pardoned in the dust,
May Hate pursue his sacrilegious lust!
Linked with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb,15
And Eratostratus16 and Elgin shine
In many a branding page and burning line;
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed,
Perchance the second blacker than the first.

"So let him stand, through ages yet unborn,
Fixed statue on the pedestal of Scorn;
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate:
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son
To do what oft Britannia's self had done.
Look to the Baltic--blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.17
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled--but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.

"Look to the East,18 where Ganges' swarthy race
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead;
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood.
So may ye perish!--Pallas, when she gave
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave.

"Look on your Spain!--she clasps the hand she hates,
But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates.
Bear witness, bright Barossa!19 thou canst tell
Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell.
But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Oh glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat?

"Look last at home--ye love not to look there
On the grim smile of comfortless despair:
Your city saddens: loud though Revel howls,
Here Famine faints, and yonder Rapine prowls.
See all alike of more or less bereft;
No misers tremble when there's nothing left.
'Blest paper credit;'20 who shall dare to sing?
It clogs like lead Corruption's weary wing.
Yet Pallas pluck'd each Premier by the ear,
Who Gods and men alike disdained to hear;
But one, repentant o'er a bankrupt state,
On Pallas calls,--but calls, alas! too late:
Then raves for '——'; to that Mentor bends,
Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
So, once of yore, each reasonable frog,
Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign 'log.'
Thus hailed your rulers their patrician clod,
As Egypt chose an onion21 for a God.

"Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
Go, grasp the shadow of your vanished power;
Gloss o'er the failure of each fondest scheme;
Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream.
Gone is that Gold, the marvel of mankind.
And Pirates barter all that's left behind.22
No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war.
The idle merchant on the useless quay
Droops o'er the bales no bark may bear away;
Or, back returning, sees rejected stores
Rot piecemeal on his own encumbered shores:
The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom,
And desperate mans him 'gainst the coming doom.
Then in the Senates of your sinking state
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight.
Vain is each voice where tones could once command;
E'en factions cease to charm a factious land:
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister Isle,
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile.

"'Tis done, 'tis past--since Pallas warns in vain;
The Furies seize her abdicated reign:
Wide o'er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,u
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear her chains,
The bannered pomp of war, the glittering files,v
O'er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum,
That bid the foe defiance ere they come;
The hero bounding at his country's call,
The glorious death that consecrates his fall,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms.
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught,
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought;
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight,
His day of mercy is the day of fight.
But when the field is fought, the battle won,
Though drenched with gore, his woes are but begun:
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name;
The slaughtered peasant and the ravished dame,
The rifled mansion and the foe-reaped field,
Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield.
Say with what eye along the distant down
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town?
How view the column of ascending flames
Shake his red shadow o'er the startled Thames?
Nay, frown not, Albion! for the torch was thine
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine:
Now should they burst on thy devoted coast,
Go, ask thy bosom who deserves them most?
The law of Heaven and Earth is life for life,
And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife."










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Footnote 1: › The lines (1-54) with which the Satire begins, down to "As thus, within the walls of Pallas' fane," first appeared (1814) as the opening stanza of the Third Canto of The Corsair. At that time the publication of The Curse of Minerva had been abandoned. (See Byron's note to The Corsair, Canto III. st. i. line i.)
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Footnote a:
O'er the blue ocean way his...
[MS.A]

Sub-Footnote A: nbsp; The only MS. of The Curse of Minerva which the editor has seen, is in the possession of the Earl of Stanhope. A second MS., formerly in the possession of the Duke of Newcastle, is believed to have perished in a fire which broke out at Clumber in 1879.
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Footnote 2: › Idra; The Corsair, III. st. i. line 7. Hydra, or Hydrea, is an island on the east coast of the Peloponnese, between the gulfs of Nauplia and Ægina. As an "isle of Greece" it had almost no history until the War of Independence, when its chief town became a "city of refuge" for the inhabitants of the Morea and Northern Greece. Byron was, perhaps, the first poet to give it a name in song.
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Footnote b:
Nor yet forbears each long-abandoned shrine...
[MS.]
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Footnote 3: › Socrates drank the hemlock a short time before sunset (the hour of execution), notwithstanding the entreaties of his disciples to wait till the sun went down.
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Footnote c:
Their varying azure mingled with the sky
Beneath his rays assumes a deeper dye...
[MS.]
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Footnote 4: ›The twilight in Greece is much shorter than in our own country; the days in winter are longer, but in summer of less duration.
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Footnote d:
Behind his Delphian cliff...
[Corsair, III. st. i. l. 18.]
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Footnote 5: › The kiosk is a Turkish summer-house; the palm is without the present walls of Athens, not far from the temple of Theseus, between which and the tree the wall intervenes. Cephisus' stream is indeed scanty, and Ilissus has no stream at all.
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Footnote e:
The soul of him who...
[Corsair, III. st. i. 1. 31.
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Footnote 6:
"The Temple of Theseus is the most perfect ancient edifice in the world. In this fabric, the most enduring stability, and a simplicity of design peculiarly striking, are united with the highest elegance and accuracy of workmanship."
Travels in Albania, etc., by Lord Broughton (1858), i. 259.
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Footnote f:
silver reign...
[MS.]
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Footnote 7: › This is spoken of the city in general, and not of the Acropolis in particular. The temple of Jupiter Olympius, by some supposed the Pantheon, was finished by Hadrian; sixteen columns are standing, of the most beautiful marble and architecture.
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Footnote g:
How sweet and Silent, not a passing cloud
Hides her fair face with intervening shroud...
[MS.]
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Footnote 8: › The following lines, of which the first two were written on the original MS., are in Byron's handwriting:--
"Aspice quos Scoto Pallas concedit honores;
Subter stat nomen, facta superque vide.
Scote miser! quamvis nocuisti Palladis ædi,
Infandum facinus vindicat ipsa Venus.
Pygmalion statuam pro sponsâ arsisse refertur;
Tu statuam rapias, Scote, sed uxor abest."
Compare Horace in London, by the authors of Rejected Addresses (James and Horace Smith), London, 1813, ode xv., "The Parthenon," "Pastor quum traheret per freta navibus."
"And Hymen shall thy nuptial hopes consume,
Unless, like fond Pygmalion, thou canst wed
Statues thy hand could never give to bloom.
In wifeless wedlock shall thy life be led,
No marriage joys to bless thy solitary bed."
[Lord Elgin's first marriage with Mary, daughter of William Hamilton Nisbet, was dissolved by Act of Parliament in 1808.]
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Footnote h:
seems to smile...
[Corsair, III. st. i. 1. 54.]
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Footnote 9: › His lordship's name, and that of one who no longer bears it, are carved conspicuously on the Parthenon; above, in a part not far distant, are the torn remnants of the bassorelievos, destroyed in a vain attempt to remove them.

[On the Erechtheum there was deeply cut in a plaster wall the words--
"Quod Non Fecerunt Goti,
Hoc Fecerunt Scoti
."]
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Footnote j:
Sad shrine...
[MS.]
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Footnote 10: ›"Irish bastards," according to Sir Callaghan O'Brallaghan. ["A wild Irish soldier in the Prussian Army," in Macklin's Love-à-la-Mode (first played December 12, 1759).]
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Footnote k:
Welcome to slaves, and foremost...
[MS.]
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Footnote 11: ›Lines 149-156 not in original MS.
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Footnote m:
Ah, Athens! scarce escaped from Turk and Goth,
Hell sends a paltry Scotchman worse than both....
[MS.]
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Footnote 12: › Compare Horace in London, ode xv.:--
"All who behold my mutilated pile,
Shall brand its ravages with classic rage;
And soon a titled bard from Britain's isle
Thy country's praise and suffrage shall engage,
And fire with Athens' wrongs an angry age."
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Footnote n:
British peer...
[MS.]
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Footnote 13: › Mr. West, on seeing the "Elgin Collection," (I suppose we shall hear of the "Abershaw" and "Jack Shephard" collection) declared himself a "mere tyro" in art.

[Compare Letters of Benjamin West to the Earl of Elgin, February 6, 1809, March 20, 1811, published in W.R. Hamilton's Memorandum, 1811.]
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Footnote o:
Sneaking Jackal...
[MS.]
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Footnote 14: ›Poor Crib was sadly puzzled when the marbles were first exhibited at Elgin House; he asked if it was not "a stone shop?"--He was right; it is a shop.
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Footnote p:
guilty name...
[MS.]
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Footnote 15: › Lines 202-265 are not in the MS.
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Footnote q:
A land of liars, mountebanks, and Mist...
[MS.]
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Footnote 16: › Herostratus or Eratostratus fired the temple of Artemis on the same night that Alexander the Great was born. (See Plut., Alex., 3, etc.)
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Footnote r:
That Art may measure old and modern styles...
[MS.]
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Footnote 17: ›The affair of Copenhagen. Copenhagen was bombarded by sea by Admiral Lord Gambier (1756-1833), and by land by General Lord Cathcart (1755-1843), September 2-8, 1807. The citadel was given up to the English, and the Danes surrendered their fleet, with all the naval stores, and their arsenals and dockyards. The expedition was "promptly and secretly equipped" by the British Government "with an activity and celerity," says Koch (Hist. of Europe, p. 214), "such as they had never displayed in sending aid to their allies," with a view to anticipate the seizure and appropriation of the Danish fleet by Napoleon and Alexander (Green's Hist. English People (1875), p. 799).
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Footnote s:
shy comparisons...
[MS.]
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Footnote 18: ›"The East" is brought within range of Minerva's curse, symmetriae causâ, and it is hard to say to which "rebellion" she refers. A choice lies between the mutiny which broke out in 1809, during Sir George Barlow's presidency of Madras, among the officers of the Company's service, and which at one time threatened the continuance of British sway in India; and later troubles, in 1810, arising from the Pindárí hordes, who laid waste the villages of Central India and Hindostan, and from the Pathans, who invaded Berar under Ameer Khan. But here, as in lines 245-258 (click on c13 to return) (vide infra, p. 470, note i), Byron is taking toll of a note to Epics of the Ton, pp. 246, 247, which enlarges on the mutiny of native soldiers which took place at Vellore in 1806, where several "European officers and a considerable portion of the 69th Regiment were massacred," in consequence of "an injudicious order with respect to the dress of the Sepoys."--Gleig's History of the British Empire in India (1835), iii. 233, note.x
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Footnote t:
In sooth the Nymph 'twere no slight task to please
Since young Sir Harry, etc....
[MS.]
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Footnote 19: › The victory of "bright Barossa," March 5, 1811, was achieved by the sudden determination--"an inspiration rather than a resolution," says Napier--of the British commander, General Graham (Thomas, Lord Lynedoch, 1750-1843), to counter-march his troops, and force the eminence known as the Cerro de Puerco, or hill of Barosa, which had fallen into the hands of the French under Ruffin. Graham was at this time second in command to the Spanish Captain-general, La Peña, and at his orders, but under the impression that the hill would be guarded by the Spanish troops, was making his way to a neighbouring height. Meantime La Peña had withdrawn the corps of battle to a distance, and left the hill covered with baggage and imperfectly protected. Graham recaptured Barosa, and repulsed the French with heavy loss, in an hour and a half. Napier affirms that La Peña "looked idly on, neither sending his cavalry nor his horse artillery to the assistance of his ally;" and testifies "that no stroke in aid of the British was struck by a Spanish sabre that day."

"Famine" may have raised the devil in the English troops, but it prevented them from following up the victory. A further charge against the Spaniards was that, after Barosa had been won, the English were left for hours without food, and, as they had marched through the night before they came into action, they could only look on while the French made good their retreat.

Two companies of the 20th Portuguese formed part of the British contingent, and took part in the engagement. The year before, at Busaco (September 27, 1810), the Portuguese had displayed signal bravery; but at Gebora (February 19, 1811) "Madden's Portuguese, regardless of his example and reproaches, shamefully turned their backs" (Napier's History of the Peninsular War (1890), iii. 26, 98, 102-107).
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Footnote u:
Fallen is each dear bought friend on Foreign Coast
Or leagued to add you to the world you lost...
[MS.]
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Footnote 20:
"Blest paper credit! last and best supply,
That lends Corruption lighter wings to fly."

(Pope.)
[In February, 1811, a select committee of the House of Commons "on commercial credit" recommended an advance of £6,000,000 to manufacturers who were suffering from over-speculation.
"Did they not know," asked Lord Grenville, in the House of Lords, March 21, "that they were adding to the mass of paper at this moment in existence a sum of £6,000,000, as if there was not paper enough already in the country, in order to protect their commerce and manufactures from destruction?"
Nevertheless, the measure passed. The year before (February 19, 1810), a committee which had sat under the presidency of Francis Horner, to inquire into the cause of the high price of gold bullion (gold was worth £4. 10s. an ounce), returned (June 10) a report urging the resumption of cash payment at the end of two years.

It has been suggested to the editor that the asterisks ('——') in line 251 (which are not filled up in Lord Stanhope's MS. of The Curse of Minerva) stand for "Horner," and that Byron, writing at Athens in March, 1811, was under the impression that Perceval would adopt sound views on the currency question, and was not aware that he was strongly anti-bullionist. On that supposition the two premiers are Portland and Perceval, Horner is the Mentor, and Perceval (line 257) the "patrician clod." To what extent Byron was au courant with home politics when he wrote the lines, it is impossible to say, and without such knowledge some doubt must rest on any interpretation of the passage. But of its genesis there is no doubt. Lady Ann Hamilton, in her estimate of Lord Henry Petty, in Epics of the Ton (p. 139), has something to say on budget "figures"--
"Those imps which make the senses reel, and zounds!
Mistake a cypher for a thousand pounds;"
and her note-writer comments thus: "It somewhat hurts the feelings to see a minister stand up in his place, and after a very pretty exordium to the budget, take up a bundle of papers from the table, gaze at the incomprehensible calculations before him, stammer out a few confused numbers, and then, with a rueful face, look over his shoulder to V--ns--rt for assistance. How often have I grieved to see unhappy A--d--g--n in this lamentable predicament!" Again, on Thellusson being raised to the peerage as Lord Rendlesham, she asks--
"Say, shall we bend to titles thus bestowed,
And like the Egyptians, hail the calf a god?
With toads, asps, onions, ornament the shrine,
And reptiles own and pot-herbs things divine?"
It is evident that Byron, uninspired by Pallas, turned to the Epics of the Ton for "copy," but whether he left a blank on purpose because "Vansittart" (to whom Perceval did turn) would not scan, or, misled by old newspapers, would have written "Horner," must remain a mystery.
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Footnote v:
---the glittering file
The martial sounds that animate the while...
[MS.]
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Footnote 21: › See the portrait of Spencer Perceval in the National Portrait Gallery.
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cross-reference: return to Footnote 18 of this poem
Footnote 22: ›The Deal and Dover traffickers in specie.
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Contents
Contents p.5




The Waltz





Introduction


Byron spent the autumn of 1812 "by the waters of Cheltenham," and, besides writing to order his Song of Drury Lane (the address spoken at the opening of the theatre, Oct. 10, 1812), he put in hand a Satire on Waltzing. It was published anonymously in the following spring; but, possibly, because it was somewhat coolly received, he told Murray (April 21, 1813) "to contradict the report that he was the author of a certain malicious publication on waltzing." In his memoranda "chiefly with reference to my Byron," Moore notes "Byron's hatred of waltzing," and records a passage of arms between "the lame boy" and Mary Chaworth, which arose from her "dancing with some person who was unknown to her." Then, and always, he must have experienced the bitter sense of exclusion from active amusements; but it is a hasty assumption that Byron only denounced waltzing because he was unable to waltz himself. To modern sentiment, on the moral side, waltzing is unassailable; but the first impressions of spectators, to whom it was a novelty, were distinctly unfavourable.

In a letter from Germany (May 17, 1799) Coleridge describes a dance round the maypole at Rübeland.
"The dances were reels and the waltzes, but chiefly the latter; this dance is in the higher circles sufficiently voluptuous, but here the motions of it were far more faithful interpreters of the passions."
A year later, H.C. Robinson, writing from Frankfort in 1800 (Diary and Letters, i. 76), says, "The dancing is unlike anything you ever saw. You must have heard of it under the name of waltzing, that is rolling and turning, though the rolling is not horizontal but perpendicular. Yet Werther, after describing his first waltz with Charlotte, says, and I say so too, 'I felt that if I were married my wife should waltz (or roll) with no one but myself.'" Ten years later, Gillray publishes a caricature of the waltz, as a French dance, which he styles, "Le bon Genre." It is not a pretty picture. By degrees, however, and with some reluctance, society yielded to the fascinations of the stranger.
"My cousin Hartington," writes Lady Caroline Lamb, in 1812 (Memoirs of Viscount Melbourne, by W.T. McCullagh Torrens, i. 105), "wanted to have waltzes and quadrilles; and at Devonshire House it could not be allowed, so we had them in the great drawing-room at Whitehall. All the bon ton assembled there continually. There was nothing so fashionable."
"No event," says Thomas Raikes (Personal Reminiscences, p. 284), ever produced so great a sensation in English society as the introduction of the German waltz.... Old and young returned to school, and the mornings were now absorbed at home in practising the figures of a French quadrille or whirling a chair round the room to learn the step and measure of the German waltz. The anti-waltzing party took the alarm, cried it down; mothers forbad it, and every ballroom became a scene of feud and contention. The foreigners were not idle in forming their élèves; Baron Tripp, Neumann, St. Aldegonde, etc., persevered in spite of all prejudices which were marshalled against them. It was not, however, till Byron's "malicious publication" had been issued and forgotten that the new dance received full recognition. "When," Raikes concludes, "the Emperor Alexander was seen waltzing round the room at Almack's with his tight uniform and numerous decorations," or [Gronow, Recollections, 1860, pp. 32, 33] "Lord Palmerston might have been seen describing an infinite number of circles with Madame de Lieven," insular prejudices gave way, and waltzing became general.

Contents
Contents p.5




Note to this edition


The title-page of the first edition (4to.) of The Waltz bears the imprint:
London:
Printed by S. Gosnell,
Little Queen Street, Holborn.
For Sherwood, Neely and Jones,
Paternoster Row. 1813.
(Price Three Shillings.)
Successive Revises had run as follows:--
  1. London: Printed for John Murray, Albemarle Street, Piccadilly. By S. Gosnell, Little Queen Street. 1813.
  2. Cambridge: Printed by G. Maitland. For John Murray, etc.
  3. Cambridge: Printed by G. Maitland. For Sherwood, Neely and Jones, Paternoster Row. 1813.
For the Bibliography of The Waltz, see vol. vi. of the present issue.

Contents
Contents p.5




Preface


To the Publisher.

Sir,


I am a country Gentleman of a midland county. I might have been a Parliament-man for a certain borough; having had the offer of as many votes as General T. at the general election in 18121. But I was all for domestic happiness; as, fifteen years ago, on a visit to London, I married a middle-aged Maid of Honour. We lived happily at Hornem Hall till last Season, when my wife and I were invited by the Countess of Waltzaway (a distant relation of my Spouse) to pass the winter in town. Thinking no harm, and our Girls being come to a marriageable (or, as they call it, marketable) age, and having besides a Chancery suit inveterately entailed upon the family estate, we came up in our old chariot,--of which, by the bye, my wife grew so ashamed in less than a week, that I was obliged to buy a second-hand barouche, of which I might mount the box, Mrs. H. says, if I could drive, but never see the inside--that place being reserved for the Honourable Augustus Tiptoe, her partner-general and Opera-knight. Hearing great praises of Mrs. H.'s dancing (she was famous for birthnight minuets in the latter end of the last century), I unbooted, and went to a ball at the Countess's, expecting to see a country dance, or, at most, Cotillons, reels, and all the old paces to the newest tunes, But, judge of my surprise, on arriving, to see poor dear Mrs. Hornem with her arms half round the loins of a huge hussar-looking gentleman I never set eyes on before; and his, to say truth, rather more than half round her waist, turning round, and round, to a d----d see-saw up-and-down sort of tune, that reminded me of the "Black Joke," only more "affettuoso"2 till it made me quite giddy with wondering they were not so. By and by they stopped a bit, and I thought they would sit or fall down:--but no; with Mrs. H.'s hand on his shoulder, "Quam familiariter"3 (as Terence said, when I was at school,) they walked about a minute, and then at it again, like two cock-chafers spitted on the same bodkin. I asked what all this meant, when, with a loud laugh, a child no older than our Wilhelmina (a name I never heard but in the Vicar of Wakefield, though her mother would call her after the Princess of Swappenbach,) said, "L--d! Mr. Hornem, can't you see they're valtzing?" or waltzing (I forget which); and then up she got, and her mother and sister, and away they went, and round-abouted it till supper-time. Now that I know what it is, I like it of all things, and so does Mrs. H. (though I have broken my shins, and four times overturned Mrs. Hornem's maid, in practising the preliminary steps in a morning). Indeed, so much do I like it, that having a turn for rhyme, tastily displayed in some election ballads, and songs in honour of all the victories (but till lately I have had little practice in that way), I sat down, and with the aid of William Fitzgerald, Esq., and a few hints from Dr. Busby, (whose recitations I attend, and am monstrous fond of Master Busby's manner of delivering his father's late successful "Drury Lane Address,")4 I composed the following hymn, wherewithal to make my sentiments known to the Public; whom, nevertheless, I heartily despise, as well as the critics.

I am, Sir, yours, etc., etc.

Horace Hornem.




Footnote 1: › State of the poll (last day) 5.

[General Tarleton (1754-1833) contested Liverpool in October, 1812. For three days the poll stood at five, and on the last day, eleven. Canning and Gascoigne were the successful candidates.]
return to footnote mark


Footnote 2: › More expressive.--[MS.]
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Footnote 3: › My Latin is all forgotten, if a man can be said to have forgotten what he never remembered; but I bought my title-page motto of a Catholic priest for a three-shilling bank token, after much haggling for the even sixpence. I grudged the money to a papist, being all for the memory of Perceval and "No popery," and quite regretting the downfall of the pope, because we can't burn him any more.--[Revise No. 2.]
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cross-reference: return to Footnote 17 of The Waltz


Footnote 4: › See Rejected Addresses.
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Contents
Contents p.5




The Waltz


an Apostrophic Hymn.

by Horace Hornem, Esq.



"Qualis in Eurotæ ripis, aut per juga Cynthi,
Exercet Diana choros."

Virgil, Æn. i. 502.


"Such on Eurotas's banks, or Cynthus's height,
Diana seems: and so she charms the sight,
When in the dance the graceful goddess leads
The quire of nymphs, and overtops their heads."

Dryden's Virgil.




Muse of the many-twinkling feet1! whose charms
Are now extended up from legs to arms;
Terpsichore!--too long misdeemed a maid--
Reproachful term--bestowed but to upbraid--
Henceforth in all the bronze of brightness shinea,
The least a Vestal of the Virgin Nine.
Far be from thee and thine the name of Prude:
Mocked yet triumphant; sneered at, unsubdued;
Thy legs must move to conquer as they fly,
If but thy coats are reasonably high!
Thy breast--if bare enough--requires no shield;
Dance forth--sans armour thou shalt take the field
And own--impregnable to most assaults,
Thy not too lawfully begotten "Waltz."
Hail, nimble Nymph! to whom the young hussar2,
The whiskered votary of Waltz and War,
His night devotes, despite of spur and boots;
A sight unmatched since Orpheus and his brutes:
Hail, spirit-stirring Waltz!--beneath whose banners
A modern hero fought for modish manners;
On Hounslow's heath to rival Wellesley's3 fame,
Cocked, fired, and missed his man--but gained his aim;
Hail, moving muse! to whom the fair one's breast
Gives all it can, and bids us take the rest.
Oh! for the flow of Busby4, or of Fitz,
The latter's loyalty, the former's wits,
To "energise the object I pursue,"
And give both Belial and his Dance their dueb!
Imperial Waltz! imported from the Rhine
(Famed for the growth of pedigrees and wine),
Long be thine import from all duty free,
And Hock itself be less esteemed than thee;
In some few qualities alike--for Hock
Improves our cellar--thou our living stock.
The head to Hock belongs--thy subtler art
Intoxicates alone the heedless heart:
Through the full veins thy gentler poison swims,
And wakes to Wantonness the willing limbs.
Oh, Germany! how much to thee we owe,
As heaven-born Pitt can testify below,
Ere cursed Confederation made thee France's,
And only left us thy d--d debts and dances5!
Of subsidies and Hanover bereft,
We bless thee still--George the Third is left!
Of kings the best--and last, not least in worth,
For graciously begetting George the Fourth.
To Germany, and Highnesses serene,
Who owe us millions--don't we owe the Queen?
To Germany, what owe we not besides?
So oft bestowing Brunswickers and brides;
Who paid for vulgar, with her royal blood,
Drawn from the stem of each Teutonic stud:
Who sent us--so be pardoned all her faults--
A dozen dukes, some kings, a Queen--and Waltz.
But peace to her--her Emperor and Diet,
Though now transferred to Buonapartè's "fiat!"
Back to my theme--O muse of Motion! say,
How first to Albion found thy Waltz her way?
Borne on the breath of Hyperborean gales,
From Hamburg's port (while Hamburg yet had mails),
Ere yet unlucky Fame--compelled to creep
To snowy Gottenburg-was chilled to sleep;
Or, starting from her slumbers, deigned arise,
Heligoland! to stock thy mart with liesc;
While unburnt Moscow6 yet had news to send,
Nor owed her fiery Exit to a friend,
She came--Waltz came--and with her certain sets
Of true despatches, and as true Gazettes;
Then flamed of Austerlitz the blest despatch7,
Which Moniteur nor Morning Post can match
And--almost crushed beneath the glorious news--
Ten plays, and forty tales of Kotzebue's8;
One envoy's letters, six composer's airs,
And loads from Frankfort and from Leipsic fairs:
Meiners' four volumes upon Womankind9,
Like Lapland witches to ensure a wind;
Brunck's heaviest tome for ballast,10 and, to back it,
Of Heynè,11 such as should not sink the packetd.
Fraught with this cargo--and her fairest freight,
Delightful Waltz, on tiptoe for a Mate,
The welcome vessel reached the genial strand,
And round her flocked the daughters of the land.
Not decent David, when, before the ark,
His grand Pas-seul excited some remark;
Not love-lorn Quixote, when his Sancho thought
The knight's Fandango friskier than it ought;
Not soft Herodias, when, with winning tread,
Her nimble feet danced off another's head;
Not Cleopatra on her Galley's Deck,
Displayed so much of leg or more of neck,
Than Thou, ambrosial Waltz, when first the Moon
Beheld thee twirling to a Saxon tune!

To You, ye husbands of ten years! whose brows
Ache with the annual tributes of a spouse;
To you of nine years less, who only bear
The budding sprouts of those that you shall wear,
With added ornaments around them rolled
Of native brass, or law-awarded gold;
To You, ye Matrons, ever on the watch
To mar a son's, or make a daughter's match;
To You, ye children of--whom chance accords--
Always the Ladies, and sometimes their Lords;
To You, ye single gentlemen, who seek
Torments for life, or pleasures for a week;
As Love or Hymen your endeavours guide,
To gain your own, or snatch another's bride;--
To one and all the lovely Stranger came,
And every Ball-room echoes with her name.
Endearing Waltz!--to thy more melting tune
Bow Irish Jig, and ancient Rigadoon.12
Scotch reels, avaunt! and Country-dance forego
Your future claims to each fantastic toe!
Waltz--Waltz alone--both legs and arms demands,
Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands;
Hands which may freely range in public sight
Where ne'er before--but--pray "put out the light."
Methinks the glare of yonder chandelier
Shines much too far--or I am much too near;
And true, though strange--Waltz whispers this remark,
"My slippery steps are safest in the dark!"
But here the Muse with due decorum halts,
And lends her longest petticoat to "Waltz."
Observant Travellers of every time!
Ye Quartos published upon every clime!
0 say, shall dull Romaika's heavy round,
Fandango's wriggle, or Bolero's bound;
Can Egypt's Almas13--tantalising group--
Columbia's caperers to the warlike Whoop--
Can aught from cold Kamschatka to Cape Horn
With Waltz compare, or after Waltz be born?
Ah, no! from Morier's pages down to Galt's,14
Each tourist pens a paragraph for "Waltz."
Shades of those Belles whose reign began of yore,
With George the Third's--and ended long before!--
Though in your daughters' daughters yet you thrivee,
Burst from your lead, and be yourselves alive!
Back to the Ball-room speed your spectred host,
Fool's Paradise is dull to that you lostf.
No treacherous powder bids Conjecture quake;
No stiff-starched stays make meddling fingers acheg;
(Transferred to those ambiguous things that ape
Goats in their visage,15 women in their shape;)
No damsel faints when rather closely pressed,
But more caressing seems when most caressed;
Superfluous Hartshorn, and reviving Salts,
Both banished by the sovereign cordial "Waltz."
Seductive Waltz!--though on thy native shore
Even Werter's self proclaimed thee half a whore;
Werter--to decent vice though much inclined,
Yet warm, not wanton; dazzled, but not blind--
Though gentle Genlis,16 in her strife with Staël,
Would even proscribe thee from a Paris ball;
The fashion hails--from Countesses to Queens,
And maids and valets waltz behind the scenes;
Wide and more wide thy witching circle spreads,
And turns--if nothing else--at least our heads;
With thee even clumsy cits attempt to bounce,
And cockney's practise what they can't pronounce.
Gods! how the glorious theme my strain exalts,
And Rhyme finds partner Rhyme in praise of "Waltz!"
Blest was the time Waltz chose for her début!
The Court, the Regent, like herself were new;17
New face for friends, for foes some new rewards;
New ornaments for black-and royal Guardsh;
New laws to hang the rogues that roared for bread;
New coins (most new)18 to follow those that fled;
New victories--nor can we prize them less,
Though Jenky19 wonders at his own success;
New wars, because the old succeed so well,
That most survivors envy those who fell;
New mistresses--no, old--and yet 'tis true,
Though they be old, the thing is something new;
Each new, quite new--(except some ancient tricks),20
New white-sticks--gold-sticks--broom-sticks--all new sticks!
With vests or ribands--decked alike in hue,
New troopers strut, new turncoats blush in blue:
So saith the Muse: my----,21 what say you?
Such was the time when Waltz might best maintain
Her new preferments in this novel reign;
Such was the time, nor ever yet was such;
Hoops are more, and petticoats not much;
Morals and Minuets, Virtue and her stays,
And tell-tale powder--all have had their days.
The Ball begins--the honours of the house
First duly done by daughter or by spouse,
Some Potentate--or royal or serene--
With Kent's gay grace, or sapient Gloster's mienj,
Leads forth the ready dame, whose rising flush
Might once have been mistaken for a blush.
From where the garb just leaves the bosom free,
That spot where hearts22 were once supposed to be;
Round all the confines of the yielded waist,
The strangest hand may wander undisplaced:
The lady's in return may grasp as much
As princely paunches offer to her touch.
Pleased round the chalky floor how well they trip
One hand reposing on the royal hip!23
The other to the shoulder no less royal
Ascending with affection truly loyal!
Thus front to front the partners move or stand,
The foot may rest, but none withdraw the hand;
And all in turn may follow in their rank,
The Earl of--Asterisk--and Lady--Blank;
Sir--Such-a-one--with those of fashion's host,24 k
For whose blest surnames--vide "Morning Post."
(Or if for that impartial print too late,
Search Doctors' Commons six months from my date)--
Thus all and each, in movement swift or slow,
The genial contact gently undergo;
Till some might marvel, with the modest Turk,
If "nothing follows all this palming work?"25
True, honest Mirza!--you may trust my rhyme--
Something does follow at a fitter time;
The breast thus publicly resigned to man,
In private may resist him--if it can.
O ye who loved our Grandmothers of yore,
Fitzpatrick,26 Sheridan, and many more!
And thou, my Prince! whose sovereign taste and willm
It is to love the lovely beldames still!
Thou Ghost of Queensberry!27 whose judging Sprite
Satan may spare to peep a single night,
Pronounce--if ever in your days of bliss
Asmodeus struck so bright a stroke as this;
To teach the young ideas how to rise,
Flush in the cheek, and languish in the eyes;
Rush to the heart, and lighten through the frame,
With half-told wish, and ill-dissembled flame,
For prurient Nature still will storm the breast--
Who, tempted thus, can answer for the rest?
But ye--who never felt a single thought
For what our Morals are to be, or ought;
Who wisely wish the charms you view to reap,
Say--would you make those beauties quite so cheap?
Hot from the hands promiscuously applied,
Round the slight waist, or down the glowing side,
Where were the rapture then to clasp the form
From this lewd grasp and lawless contact warmn?
At once Love's most endearing thought resign,
To press the hand so pressed by none but thine;
To gaze upon that eye which never met
Another's ardent look without regret;
Approach the lip which all, without restraint,
Come near enough--if not to touch--to taint;
If such thou lovest--love her then no more,
Or give--like her--caresses to a score;
Her Mind with these is gone, and with it go
The little left behind it to bestow.
Voluptuous Waltz! and dare I thus blaspheme?
Thy bard forgot thy praises were his theme.
Terpsichore forgive!--at every Ball
My wife now waltzes--and my daughters shall;
My son--(or stop--'tis needless to inquire--
These little accidents should ne'er transpire;
Some ages hence our genealogic treep
Will wear as green a bough for him as me)--
Waltzing shall rear, to make our name amends
Grandsons for me--in heirs to all his friends.










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Footnote 1: › "Glance their many-twinkling feet."--Gray.
return to footnote mark
Footnote a:
Henceforth with due unblushing brightness shine...
[MS.]
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Footnote 2: › Lines 15-28 do not appear in the MS., but ten lines (omitting lines 21-24) were inserted in Proof No. 1.
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Footnote b:
And weave a couplet worthy them and you...
[Proof]
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Footnote 3: › To rival Lord Wellesley's, or his nephew's, as the reader pleases:--the one gained a pretty woman, whom he deserved, by fighting for; and the other has been fighting in the Peninsula many a long day, "by Shrewsbury clock," without gaining anything in that country but the title of "the Great Lord," and "the Lord;" which savours of profanation, having been hitherto applied only to that Being to whom "Te Deums" for carnage are the rankest blasphemy.--It is to be presumed the general will one day return to his Sabine farm: there
"To tame the genius of the stubborn plain,
Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain!"
The Lord Peterborough conquered continents in a summer; we do more--we contrive both to conquer and lose them in a shorter season. If the "great Lord's" Cincinnatian progress in agriculture be no speedier than the proportional average of time in Pope's couplet, it will, according to the farmer's proverb, be "