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Thus might the record now have been;
But, ah, in spite of Hope's endeavour, Or Friendship's tears, Pride rush'd between, And blotted out the line for ever.
September, 1807. [First published, 1830.]
TO MY SON.1
Those flaxen locks, those eyes of blue
.And thou canst lisp a father's name — Ah, William, were thine own the same,— No self-reproach — but, let me cease — My care for thee shall purchase peace; Thy mother's shade shall smile in joy, And pardon all the past, my Boy!
Her lowly grave the turf has prest,
Derision sneers upon thy birth,
Why, let the world unfeeling frown:
Oh, 'twill be sweet in thee to trace,
1 fFor a reminiscence of what was, possibly, in Mlual event, see Don Juan, Canto XVI. st. ixi- Bjtoo told his wife that he had two natural children, whom he should provide for.]
Ere half my glass of life is run,
Although so young thy heedless sire,
[First published, 1830.]
QUERIES TO CASUISTS.
The Moralists tell us that Loving is Sinning,
And always are prating about and about it,
But as Love of Existence itself's the beginning, Say, what would Existence itself be without it?
They argue the point with much furious Invective, Though perhaps 'twere no difficult task to confute it; But if Venus and Hymen should once prove defective, Pray who would there be to defend or dispute it? —Bykon.
[First published, 1808.]
Breeze of the night, in gentler sighs, More softly murmur o'er the billow;
For Slumber seals my Fanny's eyes, And Peace must never shun her pillow.
Or breathe those sweet /Eolian strains Stolen from celestial spheres above,
To charm her ear while some remains, And soothe her soul to dreams of love.
And yet, methinks, a gleam of peace Doth through my cloud of anguish shine:
And for a while my sorrows cease, To know thy heart hath felt for mine.
0 lady! blessed be that tear —
Such precious drops are doubly dear To those whose eyes no tear may steep.
Sweet lady! once my heart was warm
With every feeling soft as thine; But Beauty's self hath ceas'd to charm
A wretch created to repine. 6.
Yet wilt thou weep when I am low?
Sweet lady! speak those words again:
August 12, 1808.
REMIND ME NOT, REMIND ME NOT.
Remind me not, remind me not,
When all my soul was given to thee;
Till Time unnerves our vital powers, And thou and I shall cease to be.
Can I forget — canst thou forget,
Oh! by my soul, I see thee yet,
When thus reclining on my breast, Those eyes threw back a glance so sweet,
As half reproach'd yet rais'd desire, And still we near and nearer prest, And still our glowing lips would meet, As if in kisses to expire.
And then those pensive eyes would close And bid their lids each other seek, Veiling the azure orbs below; While their long lashes' darken'd gloss Seem'd stealing o'er thy brilliant cheek,
Like raven's plumage smooth'd on snow.
I dreamt last night our love return'd,
In Rapture's wild reality.
Then tell me not, remind me not,
Of hours which, though for ever gone, Can still a pleasing dream restroe, Till thou and I shall be forgot,
And senseless, as the mouldering stone
Which tells that we shall be no more. August 13, 1808.
[First published, 1809.]
TO A YOUTHFUL FRIEND.
Few years have pass'd since thou and I Were firmest friends, at least in name,
And Childhood's gay sincerity
Preserv'd our feelings long the same.
But now, like me, too well thou know'st What trifles oft the heart recall;
And those who once have lov'd the most Too soon forget they lov'd at all.
And such the change the heart displays, So frail is early friendship's reign,
A month's brief lapse, perhaps a day's, Will view thy mind estrang'd again.
If so, it never shall be mine
The fault was Nature's fault, not thine,
As rolls the Ocean's changing tide,
And who would in a breast confide
It boots not that, together bred,
My spring of life has quickly fled;
And when we bid adieu to youth, Slaves to the specious World's controul,
We sigh a long farewell to truth;
Ah! joyous season 1 when the mind
When Thought ere spoke is unconfin'd,
Not so in Man's maturer years,
When Man himself is but a tool; When Interest sways our hopes and fears,
And all must love and hate by rule. Io.
With fools in kindred vice the same, We learn at length our faults to blend;
And those, and those alone, may claim The prostituted name of friend.
Such is the common lot of man:
Can we then 'scape from folly free?
Can we reverse the general plan,
No; for myself, so dark my fate
Through every turn of life hath been;
Man and the World so much I hate,
But thou, with spirit frail and light,
Wilt shine awhile, and pass away; As glow-worms sparkle through the night,
But dare not stand the test of day.
Alas! whenever Folly calls
Where parasites and princes meet, (For cherish'd first in royal halls
The welcome vices kindly greet,)
Ev'n now thou'rt nightly seen to add
And still thy trifling heart is glad
To join the vain and court the proud
There dost thou glide from fair to fair Still simpering on with eager haste.
As flics, .along the gay parterre,
That taint the flowers they scared taste.
But say, what nymph will prise th
Which seems, as marshy vapour
To flit along from dame to dame,
What friend for thee, howe'er inclin'd Will deign to own a kindred care?
Who will debase his manly mind
For friendship every fool may share
Quaff while thou canst: another race, When thou and thine, like me, are sped,
May rescue thee from Earth's embrace, And rhyme and revel with the dead.
'[Bjrron gave Medwin the following account d vm cap:—"The gardener in digging [diso*tred] a skull that had probably belonged to ■on* jojy friar or monk of the abbey, about the tea a was duwnonasteried. Observing it to .be <i giant sue, and in a perfect state of prcsffvUKA, a strange fancy seized me of having I Kt and mounted as a drinking-cup. I accordingly sent it to town, and it returned with t Ittj high poush. and of a mottled colour like ta"i'«sheil. — Mcdwin's Conwrstilions, i&?4.
Why not? since through life's little day
Newstead Abbey, 1808.
WELL! THOU ART HAPPY.1 1.
Well! thou art happy, and I feel
For still my heart regards thy weal
Thy husband's blest — and 'twill impart
Some pangs to view his happier lot: But let them pass — Oh! how my heart Would hate him if he lov'd thee not!
When late I saw thy favourite child, I thought my jealous heart would break;
But when the unconscious infant smil'd, I kiss'd it for its mother's sake.
I kiss'd it, — and repress'd my sighs Its father in its face to see;
But then it had its mother's eyes, And they were all to love and me.
Mary, adieu! I must away:
While thou art blest I'll not repine; But near thee I can never stay;
My heart would soon again be thine.
I deem'd that Time, I deem'd that Pride, Had quench'd at length my boyish flame;
Nor knew, till seated by thy side, My heart in all, — save hope, — the same.
1 [These lines were written after dining at Anncsley with Mr and Mrs Chawurth Musters.]