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Yet all this giddy waste of years,
Hare made, though neither friends nor foes, This tiresome round of palling pleasures;
Associates of the festive hour.
And I will fly the midnight crew,
Where boist’rous joy is but a name.
And woman! lovely woman, thou,
My hope, my comforter, my all!
How cold must be my bosom now, Yes, once this rural scene was sweet,
When e'en thy smiles begin to pall. For nature seem'd to smile before thee,
Without a sigh would'I resign And once my breast abhorr'd deceit,
This busy scene of splendid wo, For then it beat but to adore thee.
To make that calm contentment mine, But now I seek for other joys;
Which virtue knows, or seems to know. To think would drive my soul to madness;
Fain would I fly the haunts of menIn thoughtless throngs and empty noise
I seek to shun, not hate mankind; I conquer half my bosom's sadness.
My breast requires the sullen glen,
Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind. Yet, even in these a thought will steal,
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 rest.*
WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM IN THE CHURCH.YARD I WOULD I were a careless child,
OF HARROW ON THE HILL, SEPTEMBER 2, 1807. Still dwelling in my Highland cave, Or roaming through the dusky wild,
Spot of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh, Or bounding o’er the dark-blue wave; Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky; The cumbrous pomp of Saxont pride
Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod, Accords not with the freeborn soul,
With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod; Which loves the mountain's craggy side, With those who, scatter'd far, perchance deplore, And seeks the rocks where billows roll. Like me, the happy scenes they knew before:
Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill, Fortune! take back these cultured lands,
Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still, Take back this name of splendid sound,
Thou drooping Elm' beneath whose boughs I lay, I hate the touch of servile hands,
And frequent mused the twilight hours away; I hate the slaves that cringe around.
Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline, Place me along the rocks I love,
But, ah! without the thoughts which then were mine. Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
How do thy branches, moaning to the blast, I ask but this again to rove
Invite the bosom to recall the past, Through scenes my youth hath known before. And seem to whisper, as they gently swell.
“ Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell!” Few are my years, and yet I feel
When fate shall chill. at length, this fever'd breast, The world was ne'er design'd for me:
And calm its cares and passions into rest. Ah! why do dark’ning shades conceal
Oft have I thought 'twould soothe my dying hour, The hour when man must cease to be ? Onoe I beheld a splendid dream,
If aught may soothe when life resigns ner power,
To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell, A visionary scene of bliss :
Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell : Truth !—wherefore did thy hated beam
With this fond dream methinks 'twere sweet to die Awake me to a world like this?
And here it linger'd, here my heart might lie; I loved—but those I loved are gone;
Here might I sleep where all my hopes arose, Had friends--my early friends are fled: Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose; How cheerless feels the heart alone,
For ever stretch'd beneath this mantling shade, When all its former hopes are dead? Press'd by the turf where once my childhood play'd; Though gay companions o'er the bowl
Wrapt by the soil that veils the spot I loved, Dispel awhile the sense of ill;
Mix'd with the earth o'er which my footsteps moved; Though pleasure stirs the maddening soul, Blest by the tongues that charm'd my youthful ear, The heart-the heart is lonely still.
Mourn'd by the few my soul acknowledged here;
Deplored by those, in early days allied, How dull! to hear the voice of those
And unremember'd by the world beside. Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power,
• Psalm iv. ver. 6.-" And I said, Oh! that I had wings like a dove ; for • First published in the second edition of Hours of Idleness.
then would I fly away, and be at rest." This verse also constititen a part † Buwenage, or Saxon, a Gaelic word, signifying either Lowland or of the most beautiful anthem in our language.
I t First published in the second edition of the Hount of Idleneu.
EXTRACTED FROM THE EDINBURGH REVIEW, FOR JANUARY, 1808.
Hours of Idleness ; a Series of Poems, original and however, does allude frequently to his family and
translated. By George Gordon, Lord Byron, a ancestors-sometimes in poetry, sometimes in notes; Minor. 8vo. pp. 200.--Newark, 1807.
and while giving up his claim on the score of rank,
The takes care to remember us of Dr. Johnson's THE poesy of this young lord belongs to the class saying, that when a nobleman appears as an author, which neither gods nor men are said to permit. his merit should be handsomely acknowledged. In Indeed, we do not recollect to have seen a quantity truth, it is this consideration only that induces us of verse with so few deviations in either direction to give Lord Byron's poems a place in our review, from that exact standard. His effusions are spread beside our desire to counsel him, that he do forth over a dead flat, and can no more get above or below with abandon poetry, and turn his talents, which the level, than if they were so much stagnant water. are considerable, and his opportunities, which are As an extenuation of this offence, the noble author great, to better account. is peculiarly forward in pleading minority. We With this view, we must beg leave seriously to have it in the titlepage, and on the very back of the assure him, that the mere rhyming of the final volume; it follows his name like a favorite part of syllable, even when accompanied by the presence of his style. Much stress is laid upon it in the pre- a certain number of feet,-nay, although (which face; and the poems are connected with this general does not always happen) those feet should scan statement of his case, by particular dates, substan- regularly, and have been all counted accurately tiating the age at which each was written. Now, upon the fingers, --is not the whole art of poetry. the law upon the point of minority we hold to be We would entreat him to believe, that a certain perfectly clear. It is a plea available only to the portion of liveliness, somewhat of fancy, is necesdefendant; no plaintiff can offer it as a supplement- sary to constitute a poem, and that a poem in the ary ground of action. Thus, if any suit could be present day, to be read, must contain as least one brought against Lord Byron, for the purpose of thought, either in a little degree different from the compelling him to put into court a certain quantity ideas of former writers, or differently expressed. of poetry, and if judgment were given against him, We put it to his candor, whether there is any thing it is highly probable that an exception would be so deserving the name of poetry in verses like the taken, were he to deliver for poetry the contents of following, written in 1806; and whether, if a youth this volume. To this he might plead minority; of eighteen could say any thing so uninteresting to but, as he now makes voluntary tender of the his ancestors, a youth of nineteen should publish it: article, he hath no right to sue, on that ground, for
“ Shades of heroes, farewell ! your descendant, departing the price in good current praise, should the goods
From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu ! be unmarketable. This is our view of the law on
Abroad or at home, your remenbrance imparting
New courage, he'll think upon glory and yoii. the point, and, we dare to say, so will it be ruled. Perhaps, however, in reality, all that he tells us
" Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation,
"Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret : about his youth is rather with a view to increase our
Far distant he goes, with the same emulation; wonder than to soften our censures. He possibly
The fame of his father's he ne'er can forget. means to say, “See how a minor can write! This
" That fame, and that memory, still will he cherish poem was actually composed by a young man of
He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown;
Like you will he live, or like you will he perish; eighteen, and this by one of only sixteen!"-But,
When decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your own." alas! we all remember the poetry of Cowley at ten, and Pope at twelve; and so far from hearing, with Now we positively do assert, that there is nothing any degree of surprise, that very poor verses were better than these stanzas in the whole compass of written by a youth from his leaving school to his the noble minor's volume. leaving college, inclusive, we really believe this to Lord Byron should also have a care of attempting be the most common of all occurrences; that it what the greatest poets have done before him, for happens in the life of nine men in ten who are comparisons (as he must have had occasion to see educated in England; and that the tenth man at his writing-master's) are odious.-Gray's Ode on writes better verse than Lord Byron.
Eton College should really have kept out the ten His other plea of privilege our author rather hobbling stanzas “On a distant View of the Village brings forward in order to waive it. He certainly, and School of Harrow."
" Where fancy yet joys to retrace the resemblance
bard,"-(" The artless Helicon I boast is youth', Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied ;
-should either not know, or should seem not te How welcome to me your ne'er-fading remembrance, Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied."
know, so much about his own ancestry. Besides a
poem above cited, on the family seat of the Byrons, In like manner, the exquisite lines of Mr. Rogers,
we have another of eleven pages, on the self-samo "On a Tear,” might have warned the noble author
subject, introduced with an apology, “he certainly off those premises, and spared us a whole dozen
had no intention of inserting it,” but really “the such stanzas as the following:
particular request of some friends," &c. &c. It “ Mild Charity's glow,
concludes with five stanzas on himself, “ the last To us mortals below,
and youngest of a noble line.” There is a good Shows the soul from barbarity clear; Compassion will melt
deal also about his maternal ancestors, in a poem on Where this virtue is felt,
Lachin y Gair, a mountain where he spent part of And its dew is diffused in a Tear.
his youth, and might have learned that pibroch is " The man doom'd to sail
not a bagpipe, any more than duet means a fiddle. With the blast of the gale,
As the author has dedicated so large a part of his
volume to immortalize his employments at school Which may soon be his grave,
and at college, we cannot possibly dismiss it withThe green sparkles bright with a Tear."
out presenting the reader with a specimen of these And so of instances in which former poets had singenious effusions. In an ode with a Greek motto, failed. Thus, we do not think Lord Byron was called Granta, we have the following magnificent made for translating, during his nonage, “ Adrian's stanzas:
“ There, in apartments small and damp, Address to his Soul,” when Pope succeeded so
The candidate for college prizes indifferently in the attempt. If our readers, how
Sits poring by the midnight lamp, ever, are of another opinion, they may look at it.
Goes late to bed, yet early rises.
" Who reads false quantities in Sele,
Or puzzles o'er the deep triangle,
Deprived of many a wholesome meal,
In barbarous Latin doom'd to wrangle:
“ Renouncing every pleasing page,
From authors of historic use,
Preferring to the letter'd sage However, be this as it may, we fear his transla
The square of the hypothenuse. tions and imitations are great favorites with Lord
" Still harmless are these occupations, Byron. We have them of all kinds, from Anacreon
That hurt none but the hapless student, to Ossian; and, viewing them as school exercises,
Compared with other recreations,
Which bring together the imprudent." they may pass. Only, why print them after they nave had their day and served their turn? And We are sorry to hear so bad an account of the why call the thing in p. 79* a translation, where college psalmody as is contained in the following two words (Jelw deyelv) of the original are expanded Attic stanzas: into four lines, and the other thing in p. 81,+ where
« Our choir would hardly be excused MEDOVUKTIALS Tot doans is rendered by means of six
Even as a band of raw begiwuers; hobbling verses ? As to his Ossianic poesy, we are
All mercy now must be refiksed not very good judges, being, in truth, so moderately
To such a set of croaking sinners. skilled in that species of composition, that we
" If David, when his toils were ended, should, in all probability, be criticising some bit of
Had heard these blockheads sing before him,
To us his psalms had ne'er descended : the genuine Macpherson itself, were we to express
In furious mood he would have tore 'emi" our opinion of Lord Byron's rhapsodies. If, then, the following beginning of a “Song of Bards” is! But whatever judgment may be passed on the by his his lordship, we venture to object to it, as far poems of this noble minor, it seems we must take as we can comprehend it. “What form rises on them as we find them, and be content; for they are the roar of clouds, whose dark ghost gleams on the the last we shall ever have from him. He is, at red stream of tempests ? His voice rolls on the best, he says, but an intruder into the groves of thunder; 'tis Orla, the brown chief of Oithona. Parnassus; he never lived in a garret, like thoroughHe was,” &c. After detaining this “ brown chief” bred poets; and “though he once roved a careless some time, the bards conclude by giving him their mountaineer in the Highlands of Scotland,” he advice to “raise his fair locks;" then to “spread has not of late enjoyed this advantage. Moreover, them on the arch of the rainbow;” and “to smile he expects no profit from his publication; and, through the tears of the storm.” Of this kind of whether it succeeds or not, “it is highly improbathing there are no less than nine pages; and we can ble, from his situation and pursuits hereafter,” that so far venture an opinion in their favor, that they he should again condescend to become an author. look very like Macpherson; and we are positive Therefore, let us take what we get, and be thankful. they are pretty nearly as stupid and tiresome. What right have we poor devils to be nic
It is a sort of privilege of poets to be egotists: are well off to have got so much from a man of this but they should “use it as not abusing it;" and lord's station, who does not live in a garret, but particularly one who piques himself (though indeed " has the sway” of Newstead Abbey. Again, we at the ripe age of nineteen) of being “an infant say, let us be thankful; and, with honest Sancho,
- bid God bless the giver, nor look the gift horse in • See page 431.
| Page 431.
" I had rather be a kitten, and cry mew !
A FIYTH edition of the “ English Bards and am not to be terrified by abuse, or bullied by review Scotch Reviewers,” in which Lord Byron intro- ers, with or without arms. I can safely say that I duced several alterations and corrections, was pre- have attacked none personally who did not compared in 1812, but was, at his desire, destroyed on mence on the offensive. An author's works are the eve of publication. One copy of this edition public property: he who purchases may judge, and alone escaped, from which the satire has been printed publish his opinion if he pleases; and the authors in the present volume. The Author re-perused the I have endeavored to commemorate may do by me poem in the latter part of the summer in 1816, after as I have done by them: I dare say they will his final departure from England. He at that time succeed better in condemning my scribblings than also corrected the text in several places, and added in mending their own. But my object is not to a few notes and observations in the margin, which prove that I can write well, but, if possible, to make the reader will find inserted. On the blank leaf others write better. preceding the title-page of the copy from which he As the poem has met with far more success than read, Lord Byron has written—"The binding of I expected, I have endeavored in this edition to this volume is considerably too valuable for the make some additions and alterations, to render it contents; and nothing but the consideration of its more worthy of public perusal. . being the property of another prevents me from In the first edition of this satire, published anonyconsigning this miserable record of misplaced anger mously, fourteen lines on the subject of Bowles's and indiscriminate acrimony to the flames.” Pope were written by, and inserted at the request
of, an ingenious friend of mine, 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 PREFACE.
which I conceive would operate with any other
person in the same manner, a determination not to ALL my friends, learned and unlearned, have urged publish with my name any production which was me not to publish this satire with my name. If I not entirely and exclusively my own composition. were to be " turned from the career of my humor! With * regard to the real talents of many of the by quibbles quick.'and paper bullets of the brain," poetical persons whose performances are mentioned I should have complied with their counsel. But I 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 • In the original manuscript, the title was " THE BRITISH BARDS, A SATIRE."
sectaries, each has his separate tabernacle of proseThis preface was written for the second edition, and printed with it. lytes, by whom his abilities are overrated, his faulte The noble anthor had left this country previous to the publication of that ediLon, and is not yet returned.--Note to the fourth edition, 1811. He han, anu gone sgain. 1816.- MS. note by Lord Byron.
* The preface to the first edition began bero.
overlooked, and his metrical canons received without|Inspires-our path, though full of "horns, is plain
Ode, epic, elegy, have at you all!
I printed-older children do the same.
A book's a book, although there's nothing in't. And I not sing, lest, haply, Scotch reviews Not that a title's sounding charm can save Should dub me scribbler, and denounce my muse? Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave: Prepare for rhyme I'll publish, right or wrong: This Lambe must own,* since his patrician name Fools are my theme, let satire be my song. Fail'd to preserve the spurious farce from shame.
No matter, George continues still to write, I Oh! nature's noblest gift-my gray goose-quill! Though now the name is veil'd from public sight Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will, Moved by the great example, I pursue Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen,
The self-same road, but make my own review: That mighty instrument of little men!
Not seek great Jeffrey's, yet, like him, will be The pen foredoom'd to aid the mental throes Self-constituted judge of poesy. Of brains that labor, big with verse or prose, Though nymphs forsake, and critics may deride, A man must serve his time to ev'ry trade The lover's solace, and the author's pride.
Save censure-critics all are ready made.
A mind well skill'd to find or forge a fault;
His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet:
And stand a critic, hated yet caress'd.
• The first ninety-six lines were prefixed to the second edition : the original And shall we own such judgment? no-as soon pened with
Seek roses in December—ice in June;
Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff;
Or any other thing that's false, before
You trust in critics, who themselves are sore,
Or yield one single thought to be misled
Juvenal, Satire I. By Jeffrey's heart or Lambe's Baotian head. Mr. Fitzgerald, faceuously termed by Cobkett the "Small Beer Poet." nflicts his annual tribute of verse on the "Literary Fund : " not content with writing, he spouts in person, after the company have imbibed a reason • This Lambe must own.--He's a very good fellow, and except his mother able quantity of bad port, to enable them to sustain the operation.
and sister, the best of the set, to my m.ind.-MS. note of Lord Byron. $ Cid Hamet Benengeli promises repose to his pen in the last chapter of † This ingenuous youth is mentioned more particularly, with his produc Don Quixote. Oh! that our voluminous gentry would follow the example tions, in another place. of Cid Hamet Benengeli.
| I In the Edinburgh Review. No eastern vision, no distemper'd dream...This must have been writ! S By Jeffrey's heart or Lambe's Baotian head. This was not juiste ten in th• spirit of prophecy.-MS. note by Lord Byron.
Neither the heart nor the head of these gentlemen are at all what they an