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Yet was I calm: I knew the time My breast would thrill before thy look;
But now to tremble were a crime — We met, —and not a nerve was shook.
I saw thee gaze upon my face,
Yet meet with no confusion there:
One only feeling could'st thou trace;
Away! away! my early dream,
Remembrance never must awake: Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream? My foolish heart be still, or break.
November 2, 1808. [First published, 1809.]
INSCRIPTION ON THE MONUMENT OF A NEWFOUNDLAND DOG.1
When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth, The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe
And storied urns record who rest below:
1 [This monument is placed in the garden of Ncwstcad. A prose inscription precedes the
"Near this spot Are deposited the Remains of one Who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices. This Praise, which would t«r unmeaning flattery If inscribed over human ashes, la but a just tribute to the Memory of BOATSWAIN, a Dog, Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803, And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18, 1808:"
Uvron thus announced the death of his favourite to his friend Hodgson: — " Mnatswain is dead! — he expired in a state of madness on the iKth after suffering much, yet retaining all the gentleness of his nature to the last; never attempting to do the least injury to any one near him. I have now lost everything except old Murray." In the will which the poet executed
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should
have been: But the poor dog, in life the firmest
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls unnotie'd all his worth —
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth:
While Man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive Heaven.
Oh Man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debas'd by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee
with disgust, Degraded mass of animated dust! Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit! By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who perchance behold its simple urn,
Pass on — it honours none you wish lo mourn:
To mark a Friend's remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one — and here he lies.
Newstead Abbey, October 30, 180S.
in 1811, he desired to be buried in the vault with his dog, and Joe Murray was to have thr honour of making one of the party. When the poet was on his travels, a gentleman, to whom Murr;.v showed the tomb, said, "Well, oltl boy, you will take your place here some twenty year* henft-" "I don't know that, sir." replied Joe; "if I wis sure his lordship would come here- 1 should like it well enough, but I should not like to lie alone with the dog." — Lijt. pp. 73, 131.]
TO A LADY — FILL THE GOBLET AGAIN
TO A LADY,
ON BEING ASKED. MY REASON FOR QUITTING ENGLAND IN THE SPRING.
When Man, expell'd from Eden's bowers,
A moment linger'd near the gate, Each scene recall'd the vanish'd hours, And bade him curse his future fate.
But, wandering on through distant climes,
He learnt to bear his load of grief;
Thus, Lady! will it be with me,
For, while I linger near to thee,
In flight I shall be surely wise,
Escaping from temptation's snare;
December 2, 1808.
FILL THE GOBLET AGAIN.
Fill the goblet again! for I never before
Felt the glow which now gladdens my
heart to its core; Let us drink ! — who would not ? —
since, through life's varied round, In the goblet alone no deception is
I have tried in its turn all that life can supply;
I have bask'd in the beam of a dark rolling eye;
I have Iov'd! — who has not ? — but
what heart can declare That Pleasure existed while Passion
In the days of my youth, when the heart's
in its spring, And dreams that Affection can never
take wing, I had friends! — who has not? — but
what tongue will avow, That friends, rosy wine! are so faithful
The heart of a mistress some boy may estrange,
Friendship shifts with the sunbeam —
thou never canst change; Thou grow'st old — who does not ? —
but on earth what appears, Whose virtues, like thine,'Still increase
with its years?
Yet if blest to the utmost that Love can bestow,
Should a rival bow down to our idol below,
We are jealous! — who's not ? — thou
hast no such alloy; For the more that enjoy thee, the more
Then the season of youth and its vanities past,
For refuge we fly to the goblet at last; There we find — do we not ? — in the
flow of the soul, That truth, as of yore, is confined to the
When the box of Pandora was open'd on earth,
And Misery's triumph commene'd over Mirth,'
Hope was left, — was she not ? — but
the goblet we kiss, And care not for Hope, who are certain
Long life to the grape! for when summer is flown,
The age of our nectar shall gladden our own:
We must die — who shall not ? — May
our sins be forgiven, And Hebe shall never be idle in Heaven.
[First published, 1809.]
STANZAS TO A LADY,
ON LEAVING ENGLAND.
'Tis done — and shivering in the gale
But could I be what I have been,
'Tis long since I beheld that eye
As some lone bird, without a mate,
And I will cross the whitening foam,
The poorest, veriest wretch on earth
May «mile in joy or soothe in woe;
I go — but whercsoe'er I flee
To think of every early scene,
But mine, alas! has stood the blow;
And who that dear lov'd one may be,
I've tried another's fetters too,
'Twould soothe to take one lingering
And bless thee in my last adieu;
[First published, 1809.]
SCOTCH REVIEWERS;2 A SATIRE,
"I bad rather be a kitten, and cry, mew! Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers."
"Such shameless Bards we have; and yet 'tis true.
There are as mad, abandon'd Critics, too."
A LL myfriends, learned and unlearned, k.2vt urged me not to publish this Satire with my name. If I were to be "turned from the career of my humour by quibUes quick, and paper bullets of the brain" I should have complied with their counsel. But I am not to be terrified by abuse, or bullied by reviewers, -with or without arms. I can safely say that I have attacked none personally, who did not commence on tlie offensive. An author's works are public property: he who purchases may judge, and publish his
1 [A first draft of English Bards and Scotch Reiicwtrs, then entitled British Bards, was begun Otvier, 1807. The First Edition was published astsaymousJy, March 1, 1800. A Fifth Edition, grimed in 1812, was suppressed, and was not published till 1831. The text of the present Hue is based on that of the Fifth Edition.)
1 "The binding of this volume is considerably too valuable for the contents. Nothing but the consideration of its being the property of another, prevents me from consigning this miserable record of misplaced anger and indiscriminate acrimony to the flames."—B., 1816.
'[The Preface, as it is here printed, was prefixed to the Second, Third, and Fourth Editions <A English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. The preface to the First Edition began with the words, With regard to the real talents," etc. (see next coiomn, line 28). The text of the poem follows that of the suppressed Fifth Edition, which pissed under Byron's own supervision, and was to hare been issued in 1812. From that Edition the TYef^ce was altogether excluded.]
opinion if he pleases; and the Authors I have endeavoured to commemorate may do by me as I have done by them. I dare say they will succeed better in condemning my scribblings, than in mending their own. But my object is not to prove that I can write well, but, if possible, to make others write better.
As the Poem has met with far more success than I expected, I have endeavoured in this Edition to make some additions and alterations, to render it more worthy of public perusal.
In the First Edition of this Satire, published anonymously, fourteen lines on the subject of Bowles's Pope were written by, and inserted at the request of, an ingenious friend of mine,1 who has now in the press a volume of Poetry. In the present Edition they are erased, and some of my own substituted in their stead; my only reason for this being that which I conceive would operate with any other person in the same manner, — a determination not to publish with my name any production, which was not entirely and exclusively my own composition.
With1 regard to the real talents of many of the poetical persons whose performances are mentioned or alluded to in the following pages, it is presumed by the Author that there can be little difference of opinion in the Public at large; though, like other sectaries, each has his separate tabernacle of proselytes, by whom his abilities are over-rated, his faults overlooked, and his metrical canons received without scruple and without consideration. But the unquestionable possession of considerable genius by several of the writers here censured renders their mental prostitution more to be regretted. Imbecility may be pitied, or, at worst, laughed at and forgotten; perverted powers demand the most decided reprehension. No one can wish more than the Author that some known and able writer had undertaken their exposure; but Mr Gifford has devoted himself to Massinger, and, in the absence of tlie regular physician, a country practitioner
1 Tohn Cam Hobhouse.
3 [Preface to the First Edition.]
may, in cases of absolute necessity, be allowed to prescribe his nostrum to prevent the extension of so deplorable an epidemic, provided there be no quackery in his treatment of the malady. A caustic is here offered; as it is to be feared nothing short of actual cautery can recover the numerous patients afflicted with the present prevalent and distressing rabies for rhyming. — As to the Edinburgh Reviewers, it would indeed require an Hercules to crush the Hydra; but if the A uthor succeeds in merely "bruising one of the heads of the serpent," though his own hand should suffer in the encounter, he will be amply satisfied.
Still 1 must I hear ? — shall hoarse
Fitzgerald bawl His creaking couplets in a tavern hall,' And I not sing, lest, haply, Scotch Reviews
Should dub me scribbler, and denounce
my Muse f Prepare for rhyme — I'll publish, right
or wrong: Fools are my theme, let Satire be my
Oh! Nature's noblest gift — my grey goose-quill 1 Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will,
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen, That mighty instrument of little men! The pen! foredoomed to aid the mental
Or brains that labour, big with Verse or
"Semper ego auditor tantum? nunquamne re
Vexatus toties rauci Theseide Codri?"
— Juvenal. Satire I. 1. i 1" Hoarse Fitsgerald." — "Right enou but why notice such a mountebank?" — 1816.
Mr. Fitzgerald, facetiously termed by Cobbett the "Small Beer Poet," inflicts his annual tribute of verse on the Literary Fund: not content with writing he spouts in person, after the company have imbibed a reasonable quantity of bad port, to enable them to sustain the operation. [William Thomas Fitxgerald (circ. 1750-1820) published, inter alia. Nelson's Triumph (1798) and Nelson's Tomb (1806).]
Though Nymphs forsake, and Critics
may deride, The Lover's solace, and the Author's
What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise!
How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise!
Condemned at length to be forgotten quite,
With all the pages which 'twas thine to write.
But thou, at least, mine own especial pen!
Once laid aside, but now assumed again, 20
Our task complete, like Hamet's 1 shall be free;
Though spurned by others, yet beloved
Then let us soar to-day; no common theme,
No Eastern vision, no distempered dream 1
Inspires — our path, though full of
thorns, is plain; Smooth be the verse, and easy be the
When Vice triumphant holds her
sov'reign sway, Obeyed by all who nought beside obey: When Folly, frequent harbinger of
Bedecks her cap with bells of every Clime; 30
When knaves and fools combined o'er a ll prevail,
And weigh their Justice in a Golden Scale;
E'en then the boldest start from public
Afraid of Shame, unknown to othtr fears,
More darkly sin, by Satire kept in awe,
And shrink from Ridicule, though net from Law.
1 Cid Hamet Bencngeli promises repose to h a pen, in the last chapter of Don Quixote. OI 5 that our voluminous gentry would follow U 0 example of Cid Hamet Bcnengeli!
'"This must have been written in the spir of prophecy." — B., 1816.