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The choir did, oft, their mingling vespers blend,
Or matin orisons to Mary 1 paid.
Years roll on years; to ages, ages yield;
Abbots to Abbots, in a line, succeed: Religion's charter their protecting shield,
Till royal sacrilege their doom decreed.
One holy Henry rearM the Gothic walls,
And hade the pious inmates rest in peace;
Another Henry 1 the kind gift recalls, And bids Devotion's ballow'd echoes
Vain is each threat, or supplicating prayer;
He drives them exiles from their blest abode,
To roam a dreary world in deep despair — No friend, no home, no refuge, but their God.*
Hark! bow the hall, resounding to the strain,
Shakes with the martial music's novel din!
The heralds of a warrior's haughty reign,
High crested banners wave thy walls within.
rsendrd by many eminent literary men, particularly by Dr Moore in his Letters to Burns, I hare ventured to use it on account of its harmony.
1 The priory was dedicated to the Virgin. 'Ax the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII. bestowed Newstead Abbey on Sir John Byron.
- [During the lifetime of lord Byron's predecessor in the title there was found in the lake a large hrus eagle, in the body of which were concealed a number of ancient deeds and docuraents. This eagle is supposed to have been thrown into the lake by the retreating monks. — /-■'' p. 2. maU. It b now a lectern in Southwell Master]
Of changing sentinels the distant hum, The mirth of feasts, the clang of
burnish'd arms, The braying trumpet, and the hoarser
Unite in concert with increas'd alarms.
An abbey once, a regal fortress 1 now, Encircled by insulting rebel powers; War's dread machines o'erhang thy threat'ning brow, And dart destruction, in sulphureous showers.
Ah I vain defence I the hostile traitor's siege,
Though oft repuls'd, by guile o'ercomes the brave; His thronging foes oppress the faithful Liege,
Rebellion's reeking standards o'er him wave.
Not unaveng'd the raging Baron yields; The blood of traitors smears the
purple plain; Unconquer'd still, his falchion there he
And days of glory yet for him remain.
Still, in that hour, the warrior wish'd to strew
Self-gathered laurels on a self-sought grave;
But Charles' protecting genius hither flew,
The monarch's friend, the monarch's hope, to save.
Trembling, she snatch'd him,1 from th" unequal strife, In other fields the torrent to repel;
1 Newstead sustained a considerable siege in the war between Charles I. and his Parliament.
* Lord Byron and his brother Sir William held high commands in the royal army. The
For nobler combats, here reserv'd his life,
To lead the band, where godlike Falkland 1 fell.
From thee, poor pilel to lawless plunder given, While dying groans their painful requiem sound,
Far different incense, now, ascends to Heaven,
Such victims wallow on the gory ground.
There many a pale and ruthless Robber's corse, Noisome and ghast, defiles thy sacred sod;
O'er mingling man, and horse commix'd with horse, Corruption's heap, the savage spoilers
Graves, long with rank and sighing
weeds o'erspread, Ransack'd resign, perforce, their
mortal mould: From ruffian fangs, escape not e'en the
Racked from repose, in search for buried gold.
Hush'd is the harp, unstrung the warlike lyre, The minstrel's palsied hand reclines in death;
No more he strikes the quivering chords with fire, Or sings the glories of the martial wreath.
farmer was General-in-Chief in Ireland, Lieutenant of the Tower, and Governor to James, Duke of York, afterwards the unhappv James II. j the latter had a principal share in many actions.
1 Lucius Gary, Lord Viscount Falkland, the most accomplished man of his age, was killed at the battle of Newbury, charging in the ranks of Lord Byron's regiment of cavalry.
At length the sated murderers, gorg with prey, Retire: the clamour of the fight iso't Silence again resumes her awful swi And sable Horror guards the mas door.
Here, Desolation holds her dreary cou What satellites declare her disn reign!
Shrieking their dirge, ill-omen'd bii
To flit their vigils, in the hoary far 26.
Soon a new Morn's restoring bear
The clouds of Anarchy from Britait skies;
The fierce Usurper seeks his native he And Nature triumphs, as the Tyra dies.
With storms she welcomes his expirii groans;
Whirlwinds, responsive, greet b labouring breath; Earth shudders, as her caves receive h bones,
Loathing 1 the offering of so dark death.
The legal Ruler2 now resumes tl helm,
He guides through gentle seas, tl
prow of state; Hope cheers, with wonted smiles, tl
peaceful realm, And heals the bleeding wounds
1 This is an Historical fact. A violent te pest occurred immediately subsequent _ to t death or interment of Cromwell, _ which t casioned many^ disputes between his porti&a and the cavaliers: both interpreted the c cumstance into divine interposition; but whell as approbation or condemnation, we leave the casuists of that age to decide. I have ma such use of the occurrence as suited the subjof my poem. * Charles XL
The gloomv tenants, Newstead I of thy
Howling, resign their violated nest; Again, the Master on his tenure dwells, Enjoy'd, from absence, with enraptur'd zest.
Vassals, within thy hospitable pale, Loudly carousing, bless their Lord's return;
Culture, again, adorns the gladdening vale.
And matrons, once lamenting, cease to mourn.
A thousand songs, on tuneful echo, float,
Unwonted foliage mantles o'er the trees;
And, hark! the horns proclaim a mellow note, The hunters' cry hangs lengthening on the breeze.
Beneath their coursers' hoofs the valleys shake; What fears! what anxious hopes! attend the chase! The dying stag seeks refuge in the lake; Exalting shouts announce the finish'd race.
Ah happy days! too happy to endure! Such simple sports our plain forefathers knew: No splendid vices glittet^d to allure; Their joys were many, as their cares were few.
From these descending, Sons to Sires succeed;
Time steals along, and Death uprears his dart;
Aiwtber Chief impels the foaming steed, .Another Crowd pursue the panting hart.
Newstead! what saddening change of scene is thine! Thy yawning arch betokens slow decay;
The last and youngest of a noble line, Now holds thy mouldering turrets in his sway.
Deserted now, he scans thy grey worn towers;
Thy vaults, where dead of feudal ages sleep; Thy cloisters, pervious to the wintry showers;
These, these he views, and views them but to weep.
Yet are his tears no emblem of regret: Cherish'd Affection only bids them flow;
Pride, Hope, and Love forbid him to forget,
But warm his bosom with impassion'd glow.
Yet he prefers thee to the gilded domes, Or gewgaw grottos, of the vainly great;
Yet lingers 'mid thy damp and mossy tombs,
Nor breathes a murmur 'gainst the will of Fate.
Haply thy sun, emerging yet may shine, Thee to irradiate with meridian ray; Hours, splendid as the past, may still be thine,
And bless thy future as thy former day.
[First printed, January, 1807.]
TO GEORGE, EARL DELAWARR. 1.
Oh I yes, I will own we were dear to each other; The friendships of childhood, though fleeting, are true;
The love which you felt was the love of a brother, Nor less the affection I cherish'd for you.
But Friendship can vary her gentle dominion; The attachment of years, in a moment expires:
Like Love, too, she moves on a swiftwaving pinion, , But glows not, like Love, with unquenchable fires.
Full oft have we wander'd through Ida together,
And blest were the scenes of our
youth, I allow: In the spring of our life, how serene is
the weather! But winter's rude tempests are
No more with Affection shall Memory blending,
The wonted delights of our childhood retrace: When Pride steels the bosom, the heart is unbending,
And what would be Justice appears a disgrace.
However, dear George, for I still must esteem you — The few, whom I love, I can never upbraid;
The chance, which has lost, may in future redeem you, Repentance will cancel the vow you have made.
I will not complain, and though chill'd is affection, With me no corroding resentment shall live: My bosom is calm'd by the simple reflection, That both may be wrong, and that both should forgive.
You knew, that my soul, that my hes my existence, If danger demanded, were whe your own; You knew me unalter'd, by years by distance, Devoted to love and to friends) alone.
You knew, — but away with the v retrospection! The bond of affection no Ion; endures;
Too late you may droop o'er the fo recollection, And sigh for the friend, who » formerly yours.
For the present, we part, — I will he not for ever;1 For time and regret will restore y at last:
To forget our dissension we both shot endeavour, I ask no atonement, but days like t past.
[First published, June, 1807.]
In law an infant,' and in years a tx In mind a slave to every vicious jc From every sense of shame and vin wean'd,
In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend; Vers'd in hypocrisy, while yet a chi! Fickle as wind, of inclinations will Woman his dupe, his heedless frient tool;
Old in the world, though scarcely bro
from school; Damcetas ran through all the maze
And found the goal, when others ji begin:
1 [See Byron's Letter to Lord Clare of Feb ary 6, 1807.]
1 In law, every person is an infant who' not attained the age of twenty-oac.
Ev'n still conflicting passions shake his soul,
And bid him drain the dregs of Pleasure's bowl;
But, pall'd with vice, he breaks his former chain,
And what was once his bliss appears his bane.
[First published, June, 1807.]
Mawon! why that pensive brow?
short She I>reads lest the Subject should transport me;
And flying off, in search of Reason,
1 [The MS. of this poem is preserved at New«aA '"Tlii> was to Harriet Maltby, after*~**3s Mrs. Nichols, written upon her meeting avroB. and "being cold, silent, and reserved to HcB.by the advice of a Lady with whom she was **yiaf: quilt foreign to her usual manner, Mn was zav, lively, and full of flirtation." — ** tj Miss E. Pigot.)]
Of soothing compliments divested,
Marion, adieu! oh, pr'ythee slight
This warning, though it may delight not;
And, lest my precepts be displeasing, To those who think remonstrance teasing,
At once I'll tell thee our opinion,
Byron, January 10, 1807.
OSCAR OF ALVA.1
How sweetly shines, through azure
The lamp of Heaven on Lora's shore; Where Alva's hoary turrets rise,
And hear the din of arms no morel
But often has yon rolling moon,
And view'd, at midnight's silent noon,
1 The catastrophy of this tale was suggested by the story of "Jeronymo and Lorenzo," in the first volume of Schiller's Armenian, or the Ghost-Seer. It also bears some resemblance to a scene in the third act of Macbeth.