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THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS OF LORD BYRON

POETICAL WORKS OF LORD BYRON

HOURS OF IDLENESS AND OTHER EARLY POEMS.1

ON LEAVING NEWSTEAD
ABBEY.

"Why dost thou build (he hall, Son of the TBs&d days? Thou lookest from thy tower ic-cav: ret a few years, and the blast of the desart comes: it howls in thy empty court."

Ossian.

I.

Theouch thy battlements, Newstead,2 the hollow winds whistle: Thou, the hall of my Fathers, art gone to decay;

lr. thy once smiling garden, the hemlock and thistle Have choak'd up the rose which late bloom'd in the way.

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

tfTbere were four distinct issues of Byron's T-Vfaik poems, (i.) Fugitive Pieces, which was ;ra!td lor private circulation in December, (L) Poems on Various Occasions, printed It private circulation in January, 1807; (iii.) Heart el Idleness, published in June, 1807,

(it.) Poems Original and Translated, blasted in 1808. The whole of the first

(the Quarto) was destroyed with the ex^fpticfl of (wo or three copies. In the present

a general heading, "Hours of idleness, -i^tther Earlv Poems," has been applied to the "at collection of Early Poems, 1802-1800.) . JJ)x prion- of Newstead, or de Novo Loco, f ^f'wd, was founded about the year 1170, ^ Henry II, On the dissolution of the monit was granted (in 1 S40) by Henry VIII. J° "Sr John Byron the Little, with the great >.ri" His portrait is still preserved at Nested. ]

3

No more doth old Robert, with harpstringing numbers, Raise a flame, in the breast, for the war-laurell'd wreath; Near Aska Ion's towers, John of Horistan 1 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 I still her annals can tell.

S

On Marston,2 with Rupert,3 'gainst traitors contending, Four brothers enrich'd, with their blood, the bleak field; For the rights of a monarch their country defending, Till death their attachment to royalty seal'd.*

1 Horistan Castle, in Derbyshire, an ancient seat of the Byron family.

2 The Battle of Marston Moor, where (he adherents of Charles I. were defeated.

3 Son of the Elector Palatine, and related to Charles I. He afterwards commanded the Fleet, in the reign of Charles II.

•[Sir Nicholas Byron, the great-grandson of Sir John Byron the Little, distinguished himself in the Civil Wars. He was Governor of Carlisle, and afterwards Governor of Chester. His nephew and heir-at-law. Sir John Byron, of Clayton, K.B. (1500-1652), was raised to the peerage as Baron Byron of Rochdale, after the Battle of Newbury, October 26, 1643. He died childless, and was sua cc-ded 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 loyaltv, and lost all their present fortunes." (See Life o\ I^rd Byron, by Karl Elze: Appendix, Note (A), p. 436)! 6.

Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant departing From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu! 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 separation, 'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret;

Far distant he goes, with the same emulation,

The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget.

8.

That fame, and that memory, still will

he cherish; He vows that he ne'er will disgrace

your renown: Like you will he live, or like you will he

perish;

When decav'd, may he mingle his dust with your own! 1803. [First printed, December, 1806.]

TO E .'

Let Folly smile, to view the names
Of thee and me, in Friendship tvvin'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 mv 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.

November, 1802. [First printed, December, 1806.]

1 [E was, according to Moore, a boy

of Byron's own age, the son of one of the tenants at Newstead.]

ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY,'

COUSIN TO THE AUTHOR, A>TD VERY DEAR TO HIM.

I.

Hush'd are the winds, and still the evening gloom, Not e'en a zephyr wanders through the grove,

Whilst 1 return to view my Margaret'= tomb,

And scatter flowers on the dust I love. 2.

Within this narrow cell reclines her clay, That clay, where once such animation b.'am'd;

The King of Terrors seiz'd her as hi.prey;

Not worth, nor beauty, have her lift redeem'd.

3

Oh! could that King of Terrors piti feel,

Or Heaven reverse the dread decree oi fate,

1 The author claims the indulgence of lh< reader more for this piece than, perhaps, an? other in the collection; but as it was writter at an earlier period than the rest (being com posed at the age of fourteen), and his firs essay, he preferred submitting it to the indul gence of his friends in its present stale, t. making either addition or alteration.

[" My first dash into poetry was as carl' as 1800. It was the ebullition of a passi'jc for my first cousin, Margaret Parker (daughte: and granddaughter of the two Admirals Parker: one of the most beautiful of evanescent beings I have long forgotten the verse; but it wouk be difficult for me to forget her — her dart eyes — her long eye-lashes — her complete/. Greek cast of face and figure! I was ihet about twelve — she rather older, perhaps . year. She died about a year or two after wards. . . . Some years after I made ai attempt at an elegy — a very dull one." Litters, 1901, v. 449.

[Margaret Parker was the sister of Sir Pete Farker, whose death at Baltimore, in 1814 Bvron celebrated in the "Elegiac Stanzas,' which were first published in the poems at tached to the tenth edition of ChiiBe HaroL (iSis)-]

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