Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Then to the things whose bliss or woe,

Like mine, is wild and worthless all, That world resign--such scenes forego,

Where those who feel must surely fall.
Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness,

Thy soul from long seclusion pure ;
From what even here hath pass'd, may guess

What there thy bosom must endure.
Oh! pardon that imploring tear,

Since not by Virtue shed in vain, My frenzy drew from eyes so dear ;

For me they shall not weep again. Though long and mournful must it be,

The thought that we no more may meet; Yet I deserve the stern decree,

And almost deem the sentence sweet.
Still, had I loved thee less, my heart

Had then less sacrificed to thine ;
It felt not half so much to part,
As if its guilt had made thee mine.

1813.

And, were it lawfully thine own,

Does Rogers want it most, or thou
Keep to thyself thy wither'd bough,

Or send it back to Doctor Donne:
Were justice done to both, I trow,
He'd have but little, and thou - none.

Then thus to form Apollo's croun."
A crown! why, twist it how you will,
Thy chaplet must be foolscap still.
When next you visit Delphi's town,

Inquire amongst your fellow-lodgers,
They'll tell you Phrebus gave his crowr.,
Some years before your birth, to Rogers.

Let every other bring his own."
When coals to Newcastle are carried,

And owls sent to Athens, as wonders,
From his spouse when the Regent's unmarried,

Or Liverpool weeps o'er his blunders ;
When Tories and Whigs cease to quarrel,

When Castlereagh's wife has an heir,
Then Rogers shall ask us for laurel,

And thou shalt have plenty to spape.

TO THOMAS MOORE.

ON LORD THURLOW'S POEMS. 1
When Thurlow this damnd nonsense sent,
(I hope I am not violent)
Nor inen nor gods knew what he meant.
And since not ev'n our Rogers' praise
To common sense his thoughts could raise -
Why would they let him print his lays ?

WRITTEN THE EVENING BEFORE HIS VISIT TO MR. LEIGN HUNT

IN HORSEMONGER-LANE GAOL, MAY 19. 1813.

Oh you, who in all names can tickle the town,
Anacreon, Tom Little, Tom Moore, or Tom Brown,
For hang me if I know of which you may most brag,
Your Quarto two-pounds, or your Two-penny Post

Bag;

To me, divine Apollo, grant-0!
Hermilda's first and second canto,
I'm fitting up a new portmanteau ;
And thus to furnish decent lining,
My own and others' bays I'm twining-
So, gentle Thurlow, throw me thine in.

But now to my letter - to yours 't is an answer -
To-morrow be with me, as soon as you can, sir,
All ready and dress'd for proceeding to spunge on
(According to compact) the wit in the dungeon
Pray Phæbus at length our political malice
May not get us lodgings within the same palace !
I suppose that to-night you 're engaged with some

codgers,
And for Sotheby's Blues have deserted Sam Rogers;
And I, though with cold I have nearly my death got,
Must put on my breeches, and wait on the Heathcote,
But to-morrow, at four, we will both play the Scurta,
And you 'll be Catullus, the Regent Mamurra. 8

(First published, 1830.]

TO LORD THURLOW.
“ I lay my branch of laurel down,

Then thus to form Apollo's crown
Let every other bring his own."

Lord Thurlow's lines to Mr.' rogers. I luy my branch of laurel down.” THOU " lay thy branch of laurel down!”

Why, what thou 'st stole is not enow;

I (" Among the many gay hours we passed together in the Our laughter had now increased to such a pitch that nothing spring of 1813, I remember particularly the wild flow of his could restrain it. Two or three times he began; but no spirits one evening, when we had accompanied Mr. Rogers sooner had the words When Rogers' passed his lips, than home from some early assembly. It happened that our host our fit burst forth uresh, - till even Mr. Rogers himself, with had just received a presentation copy of a volume of poems, all his feeling of our injustice, found it impossible not to join written professedly in imitation of the old English writers, us. A day or two after, Lord Byron sent me the following:and containing, like many of these models, a good deal that My dear Moore, 'When Rogers' must not see the enclosed, was striking and beautiful, mixod up with much that was tri. which I send for your perusal. Moore.) fling, fantastic, and absurd. In vain did Mr. Rogers, in justice to the author, endeavour to direct our attention to some of

? [The reader who wishes to understand the full force of the beauties of the work. In this sort of hunt through the

this scandalous insinuation is referred to Muretus's notes on volume, we at length lighted on the discovery that our host, a celebrated poem of Catullus, entitled In Cesarem; but in addition to his sincere approbation of some of its contents, consisting, in iact, of savagely scornful abuse of the favourite had also the motive of gratitude for standing by its author, as

Manurra:one of the poems was a warm and, I need not adu, well

“Quis hoc potest videre ? quis potest pati, deserved panegyric on himself. The opening line of the

Nisi impudicus et vorax et helluo? poem was, as well as I can recollect, When Rogers o'er this

Munurram habere quod comata Gallia labour bent:' and Lord Byron undertook to read it aloud ;

Habebat unctum, et ultima Britannia ?" &c. but he found it impossible to get beyond the first two words

IMPROMPTU, IN REPLY TO A FRIEND.

When, from the heart where Sorrow sits,

Her dusky shadow mounts too high, And o'er the changing aspect flits,

And clouds the brow, or fills the eye; Heed not that gloom, which soon shall sink :

My thoughts their dungeon know too well ; Back to my breast the wanderers shrink, And droop within their silent cell, 1

September, 1813.

SONNET, TO GENEVRA.

THINE eyes' blue tenderness, thy long fair hair,

And the wan lustre of thy features - caught

From contemplation - where serenely wrought, Seems Sorrow's softness charm'd from its despair Have thrown such speaking sadness in thine air,

That — but I know thy blessed busom fraught

With mines of unalloy'd and stainless thought I should have deem'd thee doom'd to earthly care. With such an aspect, by his colours blent,

When from his beauty-breathing pencil born, (Except that thou hast nothing to repent)

The Magdalen of Guido saw the morn Such seem'st thou – but how much more excellent ! With nought Remorse can claim — nor Virtue scorn.

December 17. 1813. ?

SONNET, TO THE SAME.

The cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,

And yet so lovely, that if Mirth could flush

Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush, My heart would wish away that ruder glow : And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes — but, oh!

While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush,

And into mine my mother's weakness rush, Soft as the last drops round heaven's airy bow. For, through thy long dark lashes low depending,

The soul of melancholy Gentleness
Gleams like a seraph from the sky descending,

Above all pain, yet pitying all distress ;
At once such majesty with sweetness blending,
I worship more, but cannot love thee less.

December 17. 1813.

1

(These verses are said to have dropped from the Poet's pen, to excuse a transient expression of melancholy which orerclouded the general gaiety. It was impossible to observe his interesting countenance, expressive of a dejection belonging neither to his rank, his age, nor his success, without feeling an indefinable curiosity to ascertain whether it had a deeper cause than habit or constitutional temperament. It was obviously of a degree incalculably more serious than that alluded to by Prince Arthur

I remember when I was in France
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,

Only for wantonness.' But, howsoever derived, this, joined to Lord Byron's air of mingling in amusements and sports as if he conteinned them, and felt that his sphere was far above the frivolous crowd which surrounded hin, gave a strong effect of colouring to a

FROM THE PORTUGUESE.

" TU MI CRAMAS." In moments to delight devoted,

“ My life !” with tenderest tone, you cry ; Dear words ! on which my heart had doted,

If youth could neither fade nor die.
To death even hours like these must roll,

Ah ! then repeat those accents never ;
Or change “ my life!" into “ my soul ! "

Which, like my love, exists for ever.

ANOTHER VERSION.
You call me still your life.--Oh! change the word -

Life is as transient as the inconstant sigh :
Say rather I'm your soul; more just that name,

For, like the soul, my love can never die.

THE DEVIL'S DRIVE ;

AN UNFINISHED RHAPSODY. 3 The Devil return'd to hell by two,

And he stay'd at home till five ; When he dined on some homicides done in ragout,

And a rebel or so in an Irish stew, And sausages made of a self-slain Jew And bethought himself what next to do,

“ And," quoth he, “ I'll take a drive. I walk'd in the morning, I'll ride to-night; In darkness my children take most delight,

And I'll see how my favourites thrive. “ And what shall I ride in ?" quoth Lucifer then

“ If I follow'd my taste, indeed,
I should mount in a waggon of wounded men,

And smile to see them bleed.
But these will be furnish'd again and again,

And at present my purpose is speed ;
To see my manor as much as I may,
And watch that no souls shall be poach'd away.
“ I have a state-coach at Carlton House,

A chariot in Seymour Place ;
But they 're lent to two friends, who make me amends

By driving my favourite pace :
And they handle their reins with such a grace,
I have something for both at the end of their race.
“ So now for the earth to take my chance."

Then up to the earth sprung he ;
And making a jump from Moscow to France,

He stepp'd across the sea,
And rested his hoof on a turnpike road,
No very great way from a bishop's abode.

character whose tints were otherwise romantic, - SIR WALTER Scott.)

2 [“ Redde some Italian, and wrote two sonnets. I never wrote but one sonnet before, and that was not in carnest, and many years ago, as an exercise -- and I will never write another. They are the most puling, petrifying, stupidly pla. tonic compositions.” Byron Diary, 1813.)

3 ["I have lately written a wild, rambling, unfinished rhapsody, called. The Devil's Drive,' the notion of which I took froin Porson's Devil's Walk. Byron Diary, 1812. this strange, wild poem,” says Moore, " the only copy that Lord Byron, I believe, ever wrote, he presented to Lord Holland. Though with a good deal of vigour and imagination, it is, for the most part, rather clumsily executed, wanting the point and condensation of those clever verses of Mr. Coleridge, which Lord Byron, adopting a notion long prevalent, has attributed to Professor Porson."]

" Of

But first as he flew, I forgot to say,
That he hover'd a moment upon his way

To look upon Leipsic plain ;
And so sweet to his eye was its sulphury glare,
And so soft to his ear was the cry of despair,

That he perch'd on a mountain of slain ;
And he gazed with delight from its growing height,
Nor often on earth had he seen such a sight,

Nor his work done half as well : For the field ran so red with the blood of the dead,

That it blush'd like the waves of hell ! Then loudly, and wildly, and long laugh'd hc : “ Methinks they have here little need of me !"

But the softest note that soothed his car

Was the sound of a widow sighing : And the sweetest sight was the icy tear, Which horror froze in the blue eye clear

Of a maid by her lover lyingAs round her fell her long fair hair ; And she look'd to heaven with that frenzied air, Which seem'd to ask if a God were there ! And, stretch'd by the wall of a ruin'd hut, With its hollow cheek, and eyes half shut,

A child of famine dying : And the carnage begun, when resistance is done,

And the fall of the vainly flying !

But the Devil has reach'd our cliffs so white,

And what did he there, I pray ?
If bis eyes were good, he but saw by night

What we see every day :
But he made a tour, and kept a journal
Of all the wondrous sights nocturnal,
And he sold it in shares to the Men of the Row,
Who bid pretty well — but they cheated him, though!
The Devil first saw, as he thought, the Mail,

Its coachman and his coat ;
So instead of a pistol he cock'd his tail,

And seized him by the throat :
“ Aha!” quoth he, “ what have we here?
'T is a new barouche, and an ancient peer!”
So he sat him on his box again,

And bade him have no fear,
But be true to his club and stanch to his rein,

His brothel, and his beer;
“ Next to seeing a lord at the council board,
I would rather see him here."

The Devil gat next to Westminster,

And he turn'd to “ the room of the Commons ; But he heard, as he purposed to enter in there,

That “ the Lords" had received a summons ; And he thought, as a “ quondam aristocrat,” [filat; He might peep at the peers, though to hear them were And he walk'd up the house so like one of our own, That they say that he stood pretty near the throne. He saw the Lord Liverpool seemingly wise,

The Lord Westmoreland certainly silly, And Johnny of Norfolk -a man of some size

And Chatham, so like his friend Billy ;

(“I cannot conceive how the l'ault has got about ; but so it is. It is too farouche ; but truth to say, ing sallies are not very playful." - Lord Byron to Mr. Moore, March 12. 1814.)

And he saw the tears in Lord Eldon's eyes,

Because the Catholics would not rise,

In spite of his prayers and his prophecies ; And he heard – which set Satan himself a staringA certain Chief Justice say something like swearing. And the Devil was shock'd — and quoth he, “ I must For I find we have much better manners below: (60, If thus he harangues when he passes my border, I shall hint to friend Moloch to call him to order."

WINDSOR POETICS. Lines composed on the occasion of his Royal Highness the

Prince Regent being seen standing between the coins of

Henry Vill. and Charles I., in the royal vault at Windsor. Famed for contemptuous breach of sacred ties, By headless Charles see heartless Henry lies ; Between them stands another sceptred thing It moves, it reigns — in all but name, a king:

Charles to his people, Henry to his wife,

In him the double tyrant starts to life : Justice and death have mix'd their dust in vain, Each royal vampire wakes to life again. Ah, what can tombs avail !-- since these disgorge The blood and dust of both — to mould a George. !

STANZAS FOR MUSIC. 3 I SPEAK not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name, There is grief in the sound, there is guilt in the fame : But the tear which now burns on my cheek may impart The deep thoughts that dwell in that silence of heart Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace Were those hours — can their joy or their bitterness cease ?

(chain, We repent

- we abjure - we will break from our
We will part, - we will fly to unite it again !
Oh! thine be the gladness, and mine be the guilt!
Forgive me, adored one !—forsake, if thou wilt; -
But the heart which is thine shall expire undebased,
And man shall not break it - whatever thou may'st.
And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee,
This soul, in its bitterest blackness, shall be ;
And our days seem as swift, and our moments more

sweet,
With thee by my side, than with worlds at our feet.
One sigh of thy sorrow, one look of thy love,
Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove ;
And the heartless may wonder at all resign -
Thy lip shall reply, not to them, but to mine.

May, 1814.

ADDRESS INTENDED TO BE RECITED AT

THE CALEDONIAN MEETING. Who hath not glow'd above the page where fame Hath fix'd high Caledon's unconquer'd name ; The mountain-land which spurn') the Roman chain, And baffled back the fiery-crested Dane,

2 (“Thou hast asked me for a song, and I enclose you an experiment, which has cost me something more than trouble, and is, therefore, less likely to be worth your taking iny in your proposed setting. Now, if it be so, throw it into the fire without phrase." - Lord Byron to Mr. Moore, May 10. 1814.)

I saw him, last week, at two balls and a party,For a prince, his demeanour was rather too hearty, You know, we are used to quite different graces,

The Czar's look, I own, was much brighter and brisker,
But then he is sadly deficient in whisker ;
And wore but a starless blue coat, and in kersey-
-mere breeches whisk'd round, in a waltz with the

Jersey,
Who, lovely as ever, seem'd just as delighted
With majesty's presence as those she invited.

June, 1814.

Whose bright claymore and hardihood of hand
No foe could tame. - no tyrant could command ?
That race is gone -- but still their children breathe,
And glory crowns them with redoubled wreath :
O'er Gael and Saxon mingling banners shine,
And, England ! add their stubborn strength to thine.
The blood which flow'd with Wallace flows as free,
But now 't is only shed for fame and thee !
Oh! pass not by the northern veteran's claim,
But give support the world hath given him fame !

The humbler ranks, the lowly brave, who bled
While cheerly following where the mighty led
Who sleep beneath the undistinguish'd sod
Where happier comrades in their triumph trod,
To us bequeath - 't is all their fate allows
The sireless offspring and the lonely spouse :
She on high Albyn's dusky hills may raise
The tearful eye in melancholy gaze,
Or view, while shadowy auguries disclose
The Highland seer's anticipated woes,
The bleeding phantom of each martial form
Dim in the cloud, or darkling in the storm ;
While sad, she chants the solitary song,
The soft lament for him who tarrics long-
For him, whose distant relics vainly crave
The Coronach's wild requiem to the brave !

'Tis Heaven-not nian - must charm away the woe,
Which bursts when Nature's feelings newly flow;
Yet tenderness and time may rob the tear
Of half its bitterness for one so dear;
A nation's gratitude perchance may spread
A thornless pillow for the widow'd head;
May lighten well her heart's maternal care,
And wcan from penury the soldier's heir.

May, 1814.

CONDOLATORY ADDRESS

FRAGMENT OF AN EPISTLE TO THOMAS

MOORE. “ What say I?" - not a syllable further in prose; I'm your man “ of all measures," dear Tom, - s0

here goes! Here goes, for a swim on the stream of old Time, On those buoyant supporters, the bladders of rhyme. If our weight breaks them down, and we sink in the

flood, We are smother'd, at least, in respectable mud, Where the Divers of Bathos lie drown'd in a heap, And Southey's last Pæan has pillow'd his sleep; That “ Felo de se" who, half drunk with his malmsey, Walk'd out of his depth and was lost in a calm sca, Singing " Glory to God” in a spick and span stanza, The like (since Tom Sternhold was choked) never

TO SARAH COUNTESS OF JERSEY, ON THE PRINCE

REGENT'S RETURNING HER PICTURE TO MRS. JEE, ? When the vain triumph of the imperial lord, Whom servile Rome obey'd, and yet abhorr'd, Gave to the vulgar gaze each glorious bust, That left a likeness of the brave, or just; What most admired each scrutinising eye Of all that deck'd that passing pageantry? What spread from face to face that wondering air ? The thought of Brutus - for his was not there ! That absence proved his worth, — that absence fix'd His memory on the longing inind, unmix'd ; And more decreed his glory to endure, Than all a gold Colossus could secure.

If thus, fair Jersey, our desiring gaze
Search for thy form, in vain and mute amaze,
Amidst those pictured charms, whose loveliness,
Bright though they be, thine own had render'd less;
If he, that vain old man, whom truth admits
Heir of his father's crown, and of his wits,
If his corrupted eye, and wither'd heart,
Could with thy gentle image bear depart;
That tasteless shame be his, and ours the grief,
To gaze on Beauty's band without its chief:
Yet comfort still one selfish thought imparts,
We lose the portrait, but preserve our hearts.

What can his vaulted gallery now disclose ?
A garden with all flowers — except the rose; -
A fount that only wants its living stream;
A night, with every star, save Dian's beam.
Lost to our eyes the present forms shall be,
That turn from tracing them to dream of thee;
And more on that recall'd resemblance pause,
Than all he shall not force on our applause,

Long may thy yet meridian lustre shine,
With all that Virtue asks of Homage thine:
The symmetry of youth — the grace of mien
The eye that gladdens — and the brow serene;
The glossy darkness of that clustering hair,
Which shades, yet shows that forehead more than fair !
Each glance that wins us, and the life that throws
A spell which will not let our looks repose,

man saw.

The papers have told you, no doubt, of the fusses, The fêtes, and the gapings to get at these Russes, ' Of his Majesty's suite, up from coachman to Het

man, — And what dignity decks the flat face of the great man.

[“ The newspapers will tell you all that is to be told of emperors, &c. They have dined and supped, and shown their flat faces in all thoroughfares and several saloons. Their uniforms are very becoming, but rather short in the skirts; and their conversation is a catechism, for which, and the answers, I refer you to those who liave heard it." - Lord Byron to Jr. Joore, June 14. 1914.]

? (" The newspapers have got hold (I know not how) of the Condolatory Address to Lady Jersey on the picture-ab. duction by our "Regent, and have published them — with my name, too, smack — without even asking leave, or inquiring whether or no ! D-n their impudence, and d-11 every thing. It has put me out of patience, and so- I shall say no more about it." -- Byron Litters.)

But turn to gaze again, and find anew
Some charm that well rewards another view.
These are not lessen'd, these are still as bright,
Albeit too dazzling for a dotard's sight;
And those must wait till ev'ry charm is gone,
To please the paltry heart that pleases none: -
That dull cold sensualist, whose sickly eye
In envious dimness pass'd thy portrait by ;
Who rack'd his little spirit to combine
Its hate of Freedom's loveliness, and thine.

August, 1814.

For them the voice of festal mirth

Grows hush'd, their name the only sound; While decp Remembrance pours to Worth

The goblet's tributary round.
A theme to crowds that knew them not,

Lamented by admiring foes,
Who would not share their glorious lot ;

Who would not die the death they chose ?

TO BELSHAZZAR.

And, gallant Parker! thus enshrined

Thy life, thy fall, thy fame shall be ; And early valour, glowing, find

A model in thy memory. But there are breasts that bleed with thee

In woe, that glory cannot quell; And shuddering hear of victory,

Where one so dear, so dauntless, fell.

Where shall they turn to mourn thee less ?

When cease to hear thy cherish'd name ? Time cannot teach forgetfulness,

While Grief's full heart is fed by Fame.

BELSHAZZAR! from the banquet turn,

Nor in thy sensual fulness fall; Bchold! while yet before thee burn

The graven words, the glowing wall. Many a despot men miscall

Crown'd and anointed from on high; But thou, the weakest, worst of all

Is it not written, thou must die ? Go! dash the roses from thy brow

Grey hairs but poorly wreathe with them; Youth's garlands misbecome thee now,

More than thy very diadein,
Where thou hast tarnish'd every gem :-

Then throw the worthless bauble by, Which, worn by thee, ev'n slaves contemn;

And learn like better men to die ! Oh! early in the balance weigh'd,

And ever light of word and worth,
Whose soul expired ere youth decay'd,

And left thee but a mass of earth.
To see thee moves the scorner's mirth :

But tears in Hope's averted eye
Lament that even thou hadst birth

Unfit to govern, live, or die.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

ELEGLAC STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF

SIR PETER PARKER, BART. 1
THERE is a tear for all that die,

A mourner o'er the humblest grave;
But nations swell the funeral cry,

And Triumph weeps above the brave.
For them is Sorrow's purest sigh

O'er Ocean's heaving bosom sent:
In vain their bones unburied lie,

All earth becomes their monument !

Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of

happiness Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt or ocean of ex

cess : The magnet of their course is gone, or only points in

vain The shore to which their shiver'd sail shall never

stretch again.

A tomb is theirs on every page,

An epitaph on every tongue : The present hours, the future age,

For them bewail, to them belong.

Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death

itself comes down ; It cannot feel for others' woes, it dare not dream its

OY ;

[This gallant officer fell in August, 1814, in his twentyninth year, whilst commanding, on shore, a party belonging to his ship, the Menelaus, and animating them, in storming the American camp near Baltimore. Hie was Lord Byron's first cousin ; but they had never met since boyhood.)

? [These verses were giver br Lord Byron to Mr. Power, of the Strand, who has published them, with very beautiful music by Sir John Stevenson, -"I feel merry enough to send you a sad song, An event, the death of poor Dorset, (see antè, p. 384.) and the recollection of what I once felt, and

ought to have felt now, but could not — set me pondering, and finally into the train of thought which you have in your hands. I wrote them with a view to your setting them, and as a present to Power, if he would accept the words, and you did not think yourself degraded, for once in a way, by mar. rying them to music. I don't care what Power sars to secure the property of the song, so that it is not complimentary to me, nor any thing about 'condescending' or 'nobie author"

both “vile phrases,' as Polonius says." - Lord Byron to Wr. Voorc.)

« AnteriorContinuar »