Sidor som bilder

Shall be resolved to something less than

this Its wretched essence; and to dream of

fame, And wipe the dust from off the idle

And Freedom's heart, grown heavy, cease

to hoard Her many griefs for ONE; for she had

pour'd Her orisons for thee, and o'er thy head Beheld her Iris. — Thou, too, lonely lord, And desolate consort — vainly wert thou

wed! The husband of a year! the father of the






We never more shall hear,— but never

more, Oh, happier thought I can we be made

the saine: It is enough in sooth that once we bore These fardels of the heart the heart whose sweat was gore.

Hark! forth from the abyss a voice pro-

A long low distant murmur of dread

sound, Such as arises when a nation bleeds With some deep and immedicable wound; Through storm and darkness yawns the

rending ground; The gulf is thick with phantoms, but the

chief Seems royal still, though with her head

discrown'd; And pale, but lovely, with maternal

grief She clasps a babe to whom her breast yields

no relief.

CLXX Of sackcloth was thy wedding garment

made; Thy bridal's fruit is ashes; in the dust The fair-hair'd Daughter of the Isles is

laid, The love of millions ! How we did in

trust Futurity to her! and, though it must Darken above our bones, yet fondly

deem'd Our children should obey her child, and

bless'd Her and her hoped-for seed, whose pro

mise seem'd Like stars to shepherds' eyes:

't was but a meteor beam'd.



CLXVIII Scion of chiefs and monarchs, where art

thou? Fond hope of many nations, art thou

dead ? Could not the grave forget thee, and lay

low Some less majestic, less beloved head ? In the sad midnight, while thy heart still

bled, The mother of a moment, o'er thy boy, Death hush'd that pang

thee fled The present happiness and promised joy Which "fill’d the imperial isles so full it

seem'd to cloy.

CLXXI Woe unto us, not her; for she sleeps

well: The fickle reek of popular breath, the

tongue Of hollow counsel, the false oracle, Which from the birth of monarchy hath

rung Its knell in princely ears till the o'er

stung Nations have arm'd in madness, the

strange fate Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns, and

hath fung Against their blind omnipotence a weight Within the opposing scale which crushes

soon or late,

ever; with





Peasants bring forth in safety. – Can it

be, Oh thou that wert so happy, so adored ! Those who weep not for kings shall weep

for thee,

These might have been her destiny; but

no, Our hearts deny it: and so young, so

fair, Good without effort, great without a foe; But now a bride and mother


and now

[blocks in formation]

Ob that the Desert were my dwelling

place, With one fair Spirit for my minister, That I might all forget the human race, And, hating no one, love but only her! Ye Elements, in whose ennobling stir I feel myself exalted, can ye not Accord me such a being ? Do I err In deeming such inhabit many a spot, Though with them to converse can rarely

be our lot?


CLXXIV And near Albano's scarce divided waves Shine from a sister valley; and afar The Tiber winds, and the broad ocean laves

1560 The Latian coast where sprung the Epic

war, · Arms and the Man,' whose re-ascend

ing star Rose o'er an empire: but beneath thy

right Tully reposed from Rome; and where yon

bar Of girdling mountains intercepts the

sight The Sabine farm was till'd, the weary bard's delight.

CLXXV But I forget. — My Pilgrim's shrine is

won, And he and I must part

so let it be: His task and mine alike are nearly done; Yet once more let us look upon the sea; The midland ocean breaks on him and

me, And from the Alban Mount we now be


[blocks in formation]







Man marks the earth with ruin, his con- The stranger, slave, or savage; their trol

decay Stops with the shore; upon the watery Has dried


realms to deserts: — not so plain

thou, The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' remain

play; A shadow of man's ravage, save his own, Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,

brow; He sinks into thy depths with bubbling Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest

groan, Without a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin'd, and unknown.

Thou glorious mirror, where the Al

mighty's form His steps are not upon thy paths, thy Glasses itself in tempests; in all time, fields

Calm or convulsed – in breeze, or gale, Are not a spoil for him, – thou dost arise

or storm,

1641 And shake him from thee; the vile Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime strength he wields

Dark-heaving; — boundless, endless, and For earth's destruction thou dost all de

sublime spise,

The image of Eternity – the throne Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies, Of the Invisible; even from out thy And send'st him, shivering in thy playful

slime spray

The monsters of the deep are made; each And howling, to his Gods, where haply lies

Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathHis petty hope in some near port or bay, omless, alone. And dashest him again to earth: - there let him lay.

And I have loved thee, Ocean ! and my CLXXXI The armaments which thunderstrike the Of youthful sports was on thy breast to walls

be Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake Borne, like thy bubbles, onward. From And monarchs tremble in their capitals,

a boy

1650 The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs I wanton'd with thy breakers — they to

make Their clay creator the vain title take Were a delight; and if the freshening sea Of lord of thee and arbiter of war,

Made them a terror — 't was a pleasing These are thy toys, and, as the snowy

fear, flake,

For I was as it were a child of thee, They melt into thy yeast of waves, which And trusted to thy billows far and near,

And laid my hand upon thy mane — as I Alike the Armada's pride or spoils of Tra

do here.


My task is done

- my song hath ceased Thy shores are empires, changed in all

my theme save thee

1630 Has died into an echo; it is fit Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what The spell should break of this protracted are they?

dream. Thy waters wash'd them power while they The torch shall be extinguish'd which hath were free,

lit And many a tyrant since; their shores My midnight lamp - and what is writ, obey

is writ,






1660 scene

Would it were worthier! but I am not now Ye, who have traced the Pilgrim to the
That which I have been - and my visions

Which is his last, if in your memories
Less palpably before me - and the glow

dwell Which in my spirit dwelt is fluttering, A thought which once was his, if on ye faint, and low.


1670 A single recollection, not in vain CLXXXVI

He wore his sandal-shoon and scallopFarewell! a word that must be, and bath

shell; been

Farewell! with him alone may rest the pain, A sound which makes us linger; — yet If such there were with you, the moral of – farewell !

his strain !

SHORTER POEMS [It has seemed advisable to the present editor to change the order in which Byron's works have always been printed, and to bring together in one general section all the Shorter Poems. This arrangement, it is believed, will facilitate considerably the use of the volume in reference. Nor is any real offence committed against the chronological ordering of the works, desirable as that may be for obvious reasons. As these miscellaneous and occasional pieces were written in many cases while the composition of the longer poems was in process, any absolute arrangement by dates is, indeed, impossible. Here we have, in this section, a continuous and personal record in verse, so to speak, of Byron's life. The greatness and versatility of his lyrical powers are also made more apparent by the coup d'ạil thus afforded.]


A SERIES OF POEMS, ORIGINAL AND TRANSLATED [The title Hours of Idleness is really applied to a miscellaneous collection of Byron's juvenile poems. His first book, Fugitive Pieces, was printed anonymously by S. and J. Ridge, of Newark, in 1806. This edition, which contained thirty-eight pieces, was soon suppressed, and only a single cops, in the possession of Mr. H. Buxton Fornian, is known to exist. A second edition, containing forty-eight poems and entitled Poems on Various Occasions, was printed by the same firm in the next year.. Again in the same year this firm published Byron's Hours of Idleness, with his name now attached. This volume included nineteen from the Fugitive Pieces, eight from the Poems on Various Occasions, and twelve now first printed, – thirty-nine in all. A fourth edition was issued, in 1808, by the same house, under the title Poems Original and Translated, containing thirty-eight pieces. The name, Hours of Idleness, first made famous by the review in the Edin burgh, has in all later editions been attached to the general collection of Byron's earlier poems.]

Virginibus puerisque canto. – Horace, lib. ii. Ode 1.
Μήτ' άρμα μάλ' αινες, μήτε τι νείκει. - HoMER, Iliad, x. 249.
He whistled as he went, for want of thought. - DRYDEN.




[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

hours of a young man who has lately com- their numerous faults, on the other hand, canpleted his nineteenth year. As they bear the not expect that favour which has been denied to internal evidence of a boyish mind, this is, per- others of maturer years, decided character, and haps, unnecessary inforniation. Some few were far greater ability. written during the disadvantages of illness and I have not aimed at exclusive originality, still depression of spirits: under the former influ- less have I studied any particular model for ence, Childish Recollections, in particular, were imitation: some translations are given, of composed. This consideration, though it can- which many are paraphrastie. In the original not excite the voice of praise, may at least arrest pieces there may appear a casual coincidence the arm of censure. A considerable portion with authors whose works I have been accusof these poems has been privately printed, tomed to read ; but I have not been guilty at the request and for the perusal of my of intentional plagiarism. To produce anyfriends. I am sensible that the partial and thing entirely new, in an age so fertile in frequently injudicious admiration of a social rhyme, would be an Herculean task, as every circle is not the criterion by which poetical subject has already been treated to its utmost genius is to be estimated, yet, to do greatly' extent. Poetry, however, is not my primary we must · dare greatly; ' and I have hazarded vocation; to divert the dull moments of indismy reputation and feelings in publishing this position, or the monotony of a vacant hour, volume. I have passed the Rubicon, and urged me to this sin:' little can be expected must stand or fall by the 'cast of the die. In from so unpromising a muse. My wreath, the latter event, I shall submit without a mur- scanty as it must be, is all I shall derive from mur; for, though not without solicitude for the these productions; and I shall never attempt fate of these effusions, my expectations are by to replace its fading leaves, or pluck a single no means sanguine. It is probable that I may additional sprig from groves where I am, at have dared much and done little ; for, in the best, an intruder. Though accustomed, in my. words of Cowper, “it is one thing to write what younger days, to rove a careless mountaineer may please our friends, who, because they are on the Highlands of Scotland, I have not, of such,

are apt to be a little biassed in our favour, late years, had the benefit of such pure air, or and another to write what may please every- so elevated a residence, as might enable me to body; because they who have no connection, enter the lists with genuine bards, who have or even knowledge of the author, will be sure enjoyed both these advantages. But they deto find fault if they can.' To the truth of this, rive considerable fame, and a few not less profit, however, I do not wholly subscribe ; on the from their productions; while I shall expiate contrary, I feel convinced that these trifles

my rashness as an interloper, certainly without will not be treated with injustice. Their merit, the latter, and in all probability with a very if they possess any, will be liberally allowed; / slight share of the former.



The King of Terrors seized her as his

prey, Not worth, nor beauty, have her life



DEAR TO HIM ['My first dash into poetry was as early as 1800. It was the ebullition of a passion for my first cousin, Margaret Parker.' - Diary, 1821. In a note, however, he says he was fourteen when the poem was composed.] Hush'd are the winds, and still the evening

gloom, Not e’en a zephyr wanders through the

Whilst I return, to view my Margaret's

And scatter flowers on the dust I love.
Within this narrow cell reclines her clay,
That clay, where once such animation


[blocks in formation]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »