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WEEP, daughter of a royal line,
A Sire's disgrace, a realm's decay;
Ah! happy if each tear of thine

Could wash a Father's fault away!

i. Sympathetic Address to a Young Lady.

[Morning Chronicle, March 7, 1812.]

1. [The scene which begat these memorable stanzas was enacted at a banquet at Carlton House, February 22, 1812. On March 6 the following quatrain, entitled, "Impromptu on a Recent Incident," appeared in the Morning Chronicle:

"Blest omens of a happy reign,

In swift succession hourly rise,

Forsaken friends, vows made in vain

A daughter's tears, a nation's sighs."

Byron's lines, headed, "Sympathetic Address to a Young Lady," were published anonymously in the Morning Chronicle of March 7, but it was not till March 10 that the Courier ventured to insert a report of "The Fracas at Carlton House on the 22nd ult.," which had already been communicated to the Caledonian Mercury.

"The party consisted of the Princess Charlotte, the Duchess of York, the Dukes of York and Cambridge, Lords Moira, Erskine, Lauderdale, Messrs. Adams and Sheridan.

"The Prince Regent expressed 'his surprise and mortification' at the conduct of Lords Grey and Grenville [who had replied unfavourably to a letter addressed by the P.R. to the Duke of York, suggesting an united administration]. Lord Lauderdale thereupon, with a freedom unusual in courts, asserted that the reply did not express the opinions of Lords Grey and Grenville only, but of every political friend of that way of thinking, and that he had been present at and assisted in the drawing-up, and that every sentence had his cordial assent. The Prince was suddenly and deeply affected by Lord Lauderdale's reply, so much so, that the Princess, observing his agitation, dropt her head and burst into tears-upon which the Prince turned round and begged the female part of the company to withdraw."

In the following June, at a ball at Miss Johnson's, Byron was "presented by order to our gracious Regent, who honoured me with some conversation," and for a time he ignored and perhaps regretted his anonymous jeu d'esprit. But early in 1814, either out

Weep-for thy tears are Virtue's tears-
Auspicious to these suffering Isles;
And be each drop in future years

Repaid thee by thy People's smiles !

March, 1812.

[MS. M. First published, Morning Chronicle, March 7, 1812 (Corsair, 1814, Second Edition).]



If sometimes in the haunts of men

Thine image from my breast may fade,

The lonely hour presents again

The semblance of thy gentle shade:

And now that sad and silent hour

Thus much of thee can still restore,

And sorrow unobserved may pour

The plaint she dare not speak before.

i. Stanzas. [1812.]

of mere bravado or in an access of political rancour, he determined to republish the stanzas under his own name. The first edition of the Corsair was printed, if not published, but in accordance with a peremptory direction (January 22, 1814), "eight lines on the little Royalty weeping in 1812," were included among the poems printed at the end of the second edition.

The "newspapers were in hysterics and town in an uproar on the avowal and republication" of the stanzas (Diary, February 18), and during Byron's absence from town "Murray omitted the Tears in several of the copies "—that is, in the Third Edition-but yielding to force majeure, replaced them in a Fourth Edition, which was issued early in February. (See Letters of July 6, 1812, January 22, February 2, and February 10, 1814 (Letters, 1898, ii. 134, etc.); and for "Newspaper Attacks upon Byron," see Letters, 1898, ii. Appendix VII. pp. 463-492.)]


Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile

I waste one thought I owe to thee,
And self-condemned, appear to smile,
Unfaithful to thy memory:

Nor deem that memory less dear,
That then I seem not to repine;
I would not fools should overhear
One sigh that should be wholly thine.


If not the Goblet pass unquaffed,
It is not drained to banish care;
The cup must hold a deadlier draught
That brings a Lethe for despair.
And could Oblivion set my soul

From all her troubled visions free,
I'd dash to earth the sweetest bowl
That drowned a single thought of thee.


For wert thou vanished from my mind,
Where could my vacant bosom turn?
And who would then remain behind

To honour thine abandoned Urn?
No, no-it is my sorrow's pride
That last dear duty to fulfil ;
Though all the world forget beside,
'Tis meet that I remember still.


For well I know, that such had been

Thy gentle care for him, who now

Unmourned shall quit this mortal scene,

Where none regarded him, but thou:
And, oh! I feel in that was given

A blessing never meant for me;
Thou wert too like a dream of Heaven,

For earthly Love to merit thee.

March 14, 1812.

[First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition).]




ILL-FATED Heart! and can it be,

That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain ?
Have years of care for thine and thee
Alike been all employed in vain?


Yet precious seems each shattered part,
And every fragment dearer grown,
Since he who wears thee feels thou art
A fitter emblem of his own.

March 16, 1812.

[First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (Second Edition).]

1. [For allusion to the "Cornelian," see "The Cornelian," ["Pignus Amoris"], and "The Adieu," stanza 7, Poetical Works, 1898, i. 66, 231, 240. See, too, Letters, 1898, i. 130, note 3.]




THE chain I gave was fair to view,
The lute I added sweet in sound;
The heart that offered both was true,
And ill deserved the fate it found.


These gifts were charmed by secret spell,
Thy truth in absence to divine;

And they have done their duty well,-
Alas! they could not teach thee thine.


That chain was firm in every link,

But not to bear a stranger's touch;

That lute was sweet-till thou couldst think
In other hands its notes were such.


Let him who from thy neck unbound
The chain which shivered in his grasp,

Who saw that lute refuse to sound,
Restring the chords, renew the clasp.


When thou wert changed, they altered too;
The chain is broke, the music mute,

'Tis past-to them and thee adieu

False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.

[MS. M. First published, Corsair, 1814 (Second Edition).]



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