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By all, save one, perchance forgot,
i. By many a land —.—[MS.]
solution, and the allusions in the verses in some respects disagree with things said by Lord Byron later. According to the poems, Thyrza had met him
“... many a day In these, to me, deserted towers.'
(Newstead, October 11, 1811.)
"When stretched on fever's sleepless bed.'
Prepared a light and pangless dart.'
When sailing o'er the Agean wave, "Now Thyrza gazes on that moon' Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave!'
(One struggle more, and I am free.) "Finally, in the verses of October 11, 1811"The pledge we wore-I wear it still,
But where is thine?-Ah! where art thou?'
"There can be no doubt that Lord Byron referred to Thyrza in conversation with Lady Byron, and probably also with Mrs. Leigh, as a young girl who had existed, and the date of whose death almost coincided with Lord Byron's landing in England in 1811. On one occasion he showed Lady Byron a beautiful tress of hair, which she understood to be Thyrza's. He said he had never mentioned her name, and that now she was gone his breast was the sole depository of that secret. I took the name of Thyrza from Gesner. She was Abel's wife.'
"Thyrza is mentioned in a letter from Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire, to Augustus Foster (London, May 4, 1812): Your little friend, Caro William (Lady Caroline Lamb), as usual, is doing all sorts of imprudent things for him (Lord Byron) and with him; he admires her very much, but is supposed by some to admire our Caroline (the Hon. Mrs. George Lamb) more; he says she is like Thyrsa, and her singing is enchantment to him.' From this extract it is obvious that Thyrza is alluded to in the following lines, which, with the above quotation, may be reproduced, by kind permission of Mr. Vere Foster, from his most interesting book, The Two Duchesses (1898, pp. 362-374).
The Past, the Future fled to thee,
To bid us meet-no-ne'er again!
""VERSES ADDRESSED BY LORD BYRON IN THE YEAR 1812 TO THE HON. MRS. GEORGE Lamb.
That both had been recalled from Heaven.
And though I never can redeem
The vision thus endeared to me,
(It may be noted that the name Thirza, or Thyrza, a variant of Theresa, had been familiar to Byron in his childhood. In the Preface to Cain he writes, "Gesner's Death of Abel! I have never read since I was eight years of age at Aberdeen. The general impression of my recollection is delight; but of the contents I remember only that Cain's wife was called Mahala, and Abel's Thirza." Another and more immediate suggestion of the name may be traced to the following translation of Meleager's Epitaphium In Heliodoram, which one of the "associate bards," Bland, or Merivale, or Hodgson, contributed to their Translations chiefly from the Greek Anthology, 1806, p. 4, a work which Byron singles out for commendation in English Bards, etc. (lines 881-890) :
"Tears o'er my parted Thyrza's grave I shed,
Break, break my heart, o'ercharged with bursting woe
Ah, plant regretted! Death's remorseless power,
The MSS. of "To Thyrza," "Away, away, ye notes of Woe!" "One struggle more, and I am free," and, "And thou art dead, as young and fair,” which belonged originally to Mrs. Leigh, are now in the possession of Sir Theodore Martin, K.C.B.-Editor.)]
3. [For the substitution in the present issue of continuous lines for stanzas, Byron's own authority and mandate may be quoted. "In reading the 4th vol. . . . I perceive that piece 12 (Without a Stone') is made nonsense of (that is, greater nonsense than usual) by dividing it into stanzas 1, 2, etc."-Letter to John Murray, August 26, 1815, Letters, 1899, iii. 215.]
Could this have been-a word, a look,
With fainter sighs, thy soul's release.
Prepared a light and pangless dart,
Who held, and holds thee in his heart?
Or sadly marked thy glazing eye,
Had flowed as fast-as now they flow.
In these, to me, deserted towers,
Affection's mingling tears were ours?
The smile none else might understand;
That Love each warmer wish forbore;
i. And shall they not
iii. (a) The kiss that left no sting behind
So guiltless Passion thus forhore;
That Love forgot to
the walk aside.-[MS.]
The tone, that taught me to rejoice,
But sweet to me from none but thine;
But where is thine ?-Ah ! where art thou? Oft have I borne the weight of ill,
But never bent beneath till now!
I would not wish thee here again :
Thy virtues seek a fitter sphere, Impart some portion of thy bliss,
To wean me from mine anguish here.
October 11, 1811. [First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]
(b) The kiss that left no sting behind,
So guiltless Love each wish forebore; Those eyes proclaimed so pure a mind, That Passion blushed to smile for more.[Pencilled alternative stanzas.] -[MS. erased.]
i. Well hast thou fled
If judging from my present pain
iii. So let it be my hope in Heaven.-[MS. erased.]
AWAY, AWAY, YE NOTES OF WOE!11
AWAY, away, ye notes of Woe !
Be silent, thou once soothing Strain,
I dare not trust those sounds again."
But lull the chords, for now, alas! ill
The voice that made those sounds more sweet
A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead!
'Tis silent all !—but on my ear vi.
The well remembered Echoes thrill;
I hear a voice I would not hear,
A voice that now might well be still:
ii. I dare not hear
iii. But hush the chords -.
· I dare not gaze.—[MS. erased.]
The voice that made that song more sweet.-[MS.] vi. 'Tis silent now
1. ["I wrote it a day or two ago, on hearing a song of former days."--Letter to Hodgson, December 8, 1811, Letters, 1898, ii. 82.]