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What can his friend 'gainst thronging num

bers dare ? Ah! must he rush his comrade's fate to

share ? What force, what aid, what stratagem essay, Back to redeein the Latian spoiler's prey ? His life a votive ransom nobly give, Or die with him for whom he wish'd to live? Poising with strength his lifted lance on

high, On Luna's orb he cast his frenzied eye: •Goddess serene, transcending every star ! Queen of the sky, whose beams are seen afar! By night heaven owns thy sway, by day the

grove, When, as chaste Dian, here thou deign'st to

rove; If e'er myself or sire have sought to grace Thine altars with the produce of the chase, Speed, speed my dart to pierce yon vaunt

ing crowd, To free my friend, and scatter far the proud.' Thus having said, the hissing dart he flung; Through parted shades the hurtling weapon

sung; The thirsty point in Sulmo's entrails lay, Transfix'd his heart, and stretch'd him on

the clay: He sobs, he dies, the troop in wild amaze, Unconscious whence the death, with horror

gaze: While pale they stare, through Tagus' tem

ples riven, A second shaft with equal force is driven. Fierce Volscens rolls around his lowering

eyes; Veil'd by the night, secure the Trojan lies. Burning with wrath, he view'd his soldiers

fall:

He could not -durst not — lo! the guile

confest! All, all was mine, - his early fate suspend; He only loved too well his hapless friend: Spare, spare, ye chiefs ! from him your rage

remove; His fault was friendship, all his crime was

love.' He pray'd in vain; the dark assassin's sword Pierced the fair side, the snowy bosom

gored; Lowly to earth inclines his plume-clad crest, And sanguine torrents mantle o'er his breast. As some young rose, whose blossom scents

the air, Languid in death, expires beneath the share; Or crimson poppy, sinking with the shower, Declining gently, falls a fading flower; Thus, sweetly drooping, bends his lovely

head, And lingering beauty hovers round the dead.

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But fiery Nisus stems the battle's tide, Revenge his leader, and despair his guide; Volscens he seeks amidst the gathering host, Volscens must soon appease his comrade's

ghost; Steel, flashing, pours on steel, foe crowds on

foe; Rage nerves his arm, fate gleams in every

blow; In vain beneath unnumber'd wounds he

bleeds, Nor wounds, nor death, distracted Nisus

heeds; In viewless circles wheeld, his falchion flies, Nor quits the hero's grasp till Volscens dies: Deep in his throat its end the weapon found, The tyrant's soul fled groaning through the

wound. Thus Nisus all his fond affection proved – Dying, revenged the fate of him he loved; Then on his bosom sought his wonted place, And death was heavenly in his friend's em

brace.

Thou youth accurst, thy life shall pay for

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all !'

360 Quick from the sheath his flaming glaive he

drew, And, raging, on the boy defenceless flew. Nisus no more the blackening shade conceals, Forth, forth, he starts, and all his love re

veals; Aghast, confused, his fears to madness rise, And pour these accents, shrieking as he flies: Me, me,

your vengeance hurl on me alone; Here sheathe the steel, my blood is all your Ye starry spheres ! thou conscious Heaven!

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Celestial pair, if aught my verse can

claim, Wafted on Time's broad pinion, yours is

fame ! Ages on ages shall your fate admire, No future day shall see your names expire, While stands the Capitol, immortal dome ! And vanquish'd millions hail their empress,

Rome!

attest!

own.

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But if affection gently thrills

The soul by purer dreams possest, The pleasing balm of mortal ills

In love can soothe the aching breast: If thus thou comest in disguise,

Fair Venus ! from thy native heaven, What heart unfeeling would despise

The sweetest boon the gods have given ?

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May no distracting thoughts destroy

The holy calm of sacred love !
May all the hours be wing'd with joy,

Which hover faithful hearts above !
Fair Venus, on thy myrtle shrine

May I with some fair lover sigh, Whose heart may mingle pure with mine

With me to live, with me to die !

High in the midst, surrounded by his

peers, Magnus his ample front sublime uprears: Placed on his chair of state, he seems a

god, While Sophs and Freshmen tremble at his

nod. As all around sit wrapt in speechless

gloom, His voice in thunder shakes the sounding

dome; Denouncing dire reproach to luckless fools, Unskill'd to plod in mathematic rules. Happy the youth in Euclid's axioms

tried, Though little versed in any art beside; Who, scarcely skill'd an English line to

pen, Scans Āttic metres with a critic's ken. What though he knows not how his fathers

bled, When civil discord piled the fields with

dead, When Edward bade his conquering bands

advance, Or Henry trampled on the crest of France; Though marvelling at the name of Magna

Charta, Yet well he recollects the laws of Sparta; Can tell what edicts sage Lycurgus made, While Blackstone's on the shelf neglected

laid; Of Grecian dramas vaunts the deathless

fame, Of Avon's bard remembering scarce the

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Have I not heard the exile's sigh ?

And seen the exile's silent tear, Through distant climes condemn'd to fly,

A pensive, weary wanderer here ?

name,

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mised cup

Such is the youth whose scientific pate With eager haste they court the lord of Class-honours, medals, fellowships, await;

power, Or even, perhaps, the declamation prize, Whether 't is Pitt or Petty rules the hour; If to such glorious height he lifts his eyes. To him, with suppliant smiles, they bend But lo! no common orator can hope

the head, The envied silver cup within his scope.

While distant mitres to their eyes are Not that our heads much eloquence require, .spread. Th' ATHENIAN's glowing style, or Tully's But should a storm o'erwhelm him with fire.

disgrace, A manner clear or warm is useless, since They'd fly to seek the next who filld his We do not try by speaking to convince.

place. Be other orators of pleasing proud:

Such are the men who learning's treasures We speak to please ourselves, not move the guard ! crowd:

Such is their practice, such is their reward ! Our gravity prefers the muttering tone, This much, at least, we may presume to A proper mixture of the squeak and groan:

sayNo borrow'd grace of action must be seen; The premium can't exceed the price they The slightest motion would displease the

pay. Dean,

1806. Whilst every staring graduate would prate Against what he could never imitate.

TO A BEAUTIFUL QUAKER The man who hopes t'obtain the pro

Sweet girl! though only once we met, Must in one posture stand, and ne'er look That meeting I shall ne'er forget; up;

And though we ne'er may meet again, Nor stop, but rattle over every word Remembrance will thy form retain. No matter what, so it can not be heard. I would not say, 'I love, but still Thus let him hurry on, nor think to rest: My senses struggle with

my

will: Who speaks the fastest 's sure to speak the In vain, to drive thee from my breast, best;

My thoughts are more and more represt; Who utters most within the shortest space In vain I check the rising sighs, May safely hope to win the wordy race. Another to the last replies :

Perhaps this is not love, but yet The sons of science these, who, thus re- Our meeting I can ne'er forget.

paid, Linger in ease in Granta's sluggish shade; What though we never silence broke, Where on Cam's sedgy banks supine they lie, Our eyes a sweeter language spoke. Unknown, unhonour'd live, unwept for die: The tongue in flattering falsehood deals, Dull as the pictures which adorn their And tells a tale it never feels; halls,

Deceit the guilty lips impart, They think all learning fix'd within their And hush the mandates of the heart; walls:

But soul's interpreters, the eyes, In manners rude, in foolish for precise, Spurn such restraint and scorn disguise. 20 All modern arts affecting to despise; As thus our glances oft conversed, Yet prizing Bentley's, Brunck's, or Porson's And all our bosoms felt, rehearsed, note,

No spirit, from within, reproved us, More than the verse on which the criticSay rather, “'t was the spirit moved us.' wrote:

Though what they utter'd I repress, Vain as their honours, heavy as their ale, Yet I conceive thou ’lt partly guess; Sad as their wit, and tedious as their tale; For as on thee my memory ponders, To friendship dead, though not untaught to Perchance to me thine also wanders. feel

This for myself, at least, I 'll say, When Self and Church demand a bigot | Thy form appears through night, through zeal.

day:

IO

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Awake, with it my fancy teems;
In sleep, it smiles in fleeting dreams;
The vision charms the hours away,
And bids me curse Aurora's ray
For breaking slumbers of delight
Which make me wish for endless night:
Since, oh! whate'er my future fate,
Shall joy or woe my steps await,
Tempted by love, by storms beset,
Thine image I can ne'er forget.
Alas ! again no more we meet,
No more our former looks repeat;
Then let me breathe this parting prayer,
The dictate of my bosom's care:
May Heaven so guard my lovely quaker,
That anguish never can o'ertake her;
That peace and virtue ne'er forsake her,
But bliss be aye her heart's partaker !
Oh, may the happy mortal, fated
To be by dearest ties related,
For her each hour new joys discover,
And lose the husband in the lover !
Mar that fair bosom never know
What 't is to feel the restless woe
Which stings the soul with vain regret,
Of him who never can forget!'

August, 1806.

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AN OCCASIONAL PROLOGUE

DELIVERED PREVIOUS TO

THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE' AT A PRIVATE THEATRE

THE CORNELIAN

(The cornelian was given him by the Cambridge chorister, Edleston.] No specious splendour of this stone

Endears it to my memory ever; With lustre only once it shone,

And blushes modest as the giver.

[This prologue was written by Byron, between stages, on his way from Harrowgate tc Southwell, in 1806, where he took part in private theatricals.] SINCE the refinement of this polish'd age Has swept immoral raillery from the stage; Since taste has now expunged licentious wit, Which stamp'd disgrace on all an author

writ; Since now to please with purer scenes we

seek, Nor dare to call the blush from Beauty's

cheek; Oh ! let the modest Muse some pity claim, And meet indulgence, though she find not

fame. Still, not for her alone we wish respect, Others appear more conscious of defect: 10 To-night no veteran Roscii In all the arts of scenic action old; No Cooke, no Kemble, can salute you here, No Siddons draw the sympathetic tear; To-night you throng to witness the début Of embryo actors, to the Drama new. Here, then, our almost unfledged wings we

try; Clip not our pinions ere the birds can fly: Failing in this our first attempt to soar,

Some, who can sneer at friendship’s ties, Have, for my weakness, oft reproved

me; Yet still the simple gift I prize,

For I am sure the giver loved me. He offer'd it with downcast look,

As fearful that I might refuse it; I told him when the gift I took,

My only fear should be to lose it. This pledge attentively I view'd,

And sparkling as I held it near, Methought one drop the stone bedew'd,

And ever since I've loved a tear.

you behold,

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must weep,

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Drooping, alas ! we fall to rise no more. 20 Pity her dewy wings before him spread, Not one poor trembler only fear betrays, For noble spirits war not with the dead:' Who hopes, yet almost dreads, to meet His friends, in tears, a last sad requiem your praise;

gave, But all our dramatis personæ wait

As all his errors slumber'd in the grave. In fond suspense this crisis of their fate. He sunk, an Atlas bending 'neath the No venal views our progress can retard,

weight Your generous plaudits are our sole re- Of cares o'erwhelming our conflicting state: ward;

When, lo! a Hercules in Fox appear'd, For these, each Hero all his power displays,

Who for a time the ruin'd fabric rear'd. 20 Each timid Heroine slurinks before your He, too, is fall’n, who Britain's loss supplied, gaze.

With him our fast-reviving hopes have Surely the last will some protection find;

died; None to the softer sex can prove unkind: Not one great people only raise his urn, While Youth and Beauty form the female All Europe's far-extended regions mourn. shield,

• These feelings wide, let sense and truth The sternest censor to the fair must yield.

unclue, Yet, should our feeble efforts nought avail, To give the palm where Justice points its Should, after all, our best endeavours fail,

due; Still let some mercy in your bosoms live, Yet let not canker'd Calumny assail, And, if you can't applaud, at least forgive. Or round our statesman wind her gloomy

veil.

Fox ! o'er whose corse a mourning world ON THE DEATH OF MR. FOX

Whose dear remains in honour'd marble THE FOLLOWING ILLIBERAL IMPROMPTU

sleep; APPEARED IN A MORNING PAPER For whom, at last, e'en hostile nations

groan, [The 'illiberal impromptu ' appeared in the While friends and foes alike his talents Morning Post, and Byron's reply, which was

own; written at Southwell, October, 1806, appeared Fox shall in Britain's future annals shine, in the Morning Chronicle.]

Nor e'en to Pitt the patriot's palm resign; Our nation's foes lament on Fox's death, Which Envy, wearing Candour's sacred But bless the hour when Pitt resign'd his

mask, breath:

For Pitt, and Pitt alone, has dared to ask. These feelings wide, let sense and truth

unclue,
We give the palm where Justice points its
due.'

THE TEAR
O lachrymarum fons, tenero sacros

Ducentium ortus ex animo; quater
TO WHICH THE AUTHOR OF THESE PIECES

Felix ! in imo qui scatentem
SENT THE FOLLOWING REPLY

Pectore te, pia Nympha, sensit. — GRAY. On factious viper ! whose envenom'd tooth WHEN Friendship or Love our sympathies Would mangle still the dead, perverting

move, truth;

When Truth in a glance should appear, What though our nation's foes' lament The lips may beguile with a dimple or the fate,

smile, With generous feeling, of the good and But the test of affection's a Tear.

great, Shall dastard tongues essay to blast the Too oft is a smile but the hypocrite's wile

To mask detestation or fear; Of him whose meed exists in endless fame? Give me the soft sigh, whilst the soul-tellWhen Pitt expired in plenitude of power, ing eye Though ill success obscured his dying hour, Is dimm'd for a time with a Tear,

name

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