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TO M. S. G.
Think'st thou I saw thy beauteous eyes,
Suffused in tears, implore to stay;
Which said far more than words can say ? Though keen the grief thy tears exprest,
When love and hope lay both o'erthrown; Yet still, my girl, this bleeding breast
Throbb’d with deep sorrow as thine own. But when our cheeks with anguish glow'd,
When thy sweet lips were join’d to mine, The tears that from my eyelids flow'd
Were lost in those which fell from thine. Thou couldst not feel my burning cheek,
Thy gushing tears had quench'd its flame; And as thy tongue essay'd to speak,
In sighs alone it breathed my name. And yet, my girl, we weep in vain,
In vain our fate in sighs deplore; Remembrance only can remain,
But that will make us weep the more.
Ah! if thou canst, o'ercome regret;
I ne'er have told my love, yet thou
Hast seen my ardent flame too well; And shall I plead my passion now,
To make thy bosom's heaven a hell ?
No! for thou never canst be mine,
United by the priest's decree: By any ties but those divine,
Mine, my beloved, thou ne'er shalt be. 20
Then let the secret fire consume,
Let it consume, thou shalt not know: With joy I court a certain doom,
Rather than spread its guilty glow.
You say you love, and yet your eye
No symptom of that love conveys;
Your cheek no sign of love betrays.
Which racks my heart when far from thee. Whene'er we meet my blushes rise,
And mantle through my purpled cheek; But yet no blush to mine replies,
Nor e'en your eyes your love bespeak.
Alas ! you can not love like me.
And though so oft it meets my kiss,
Nor melts like mine in dewy bliss.
That the time must arrive, when, no longer
retaining Their auburn, those locks must wave thin
to the breeze, When a few silver hairs of those tresses
remaining Prove nature a prey to decay and disease.
Ah! what are words to love like mine,
And think that love can ne'er be true,
Without a sigh which bids adieu; –
How keen my grief when leaving you.
In dreams your fancied form I view.
With equal ardour seems to burn, While close your arms around me fold,
Your lips my kiss with warmth return. Ab! would these joyous moments last; Vain HOPE ! the gay delusion 's past, That voice ! - ah, no, 't is but the blast Which echoes through the neighbouring
grove. But when awake, your lips I seek,
And clasp enraptured all your charms, So chill 's the pressure of your cheek,
I fold a statue in my arms.
But ah ! my girl, you do not love.
This votive pledge of fond esteem, Perhaps, dear girl! for me thou 'lt
prize; It sings of Love's enchanting dream,
A theme we never can despise.
Your shepherds, your flocks, those fantasti
cal themes, Perhaps may amuse, yet they never can
Arcadia displays but a region of dreams; TO THE DUKE OF DORSET
DORSET! whose early steps with mine have
stray'd, Oh! cease to affirm that man, since his Exploring every path of Ida's glade; birth,
Whom still affection taught me to defend, From Adam till now, has with wretched- And made me less a tyrant than a friend, ness strove;
Though the harsh custom of our youthful Some portion of paradise still is on earth,
band And Eden revives in the first kiss of Bade thee obey, and gave me to command, love.
Thee, on whose head a few short years will
shower When age chills the blood, when our plea- The gift of riches and the pride of power; sures are past —
E'en now a name illustrious is thine own, For years fleet away with the wings of the Renown'd in rank, not far beneath the dove –
throne. The dearest remembrance will still be the Yet, Dorset, let not this seduce thy soul last,
To shun fair science, or evade control, Our sweetest memorial the first kiss of Though passive tutors, fearful to dispraise love.
The titled child whose future breath may
And wink at faults they tremble to chastise.
To wealth, their golden idol, not to thee, (In March, 1805, Dr. Drury retired from his And even in simple boyhood's opening situation of head-master at Harrow, and was
dawn succeeded by Dr. Butler. Byron, before his
Some slaves are found to flatter and to departure for Greece, in 1809, became recon
fawn, ciled with Dr. Butler.]
When these declare, “that pomp alone WHERE are those honours, Ida ! once your
should wait own,
On one by birth predestined to be great; When Probus filled your magisterial throne? That books were only meant for drudging As ancient Rome, fast falling to disgrace,
fools, Hail'd a barbarian in her Cæsar's place, That gallant spirits scorn the common So you, degenerate, share as hard a fate,
were ne'er before enforced in None dare to raise the sterner voice of schools.
truth, Mistaking pedantry for learning's laws, Ask thine own heart; 't will bid thee, boy, He governs, sanction'd but by self-applause.
Yes! I have mark'd thee many a passing
Yes! I have mark'd within that generous
mind July, 1805.
A soul, if well matured, to bless mankind.
Ah! though myself, by nature haughty, Such were thy fathers; thus preserve their wild,
name, Whom Indiscretion hail'd her favourite Not heir to titles only, but to fame. child;
The hour draws nigh, a few brief days will Though every error stamps me for her
To me, this little scene of joys and woes; And dooms my fall, I fain would fall alone; Each knell of Time now warns me to resign Though my proud heart no precept now Shades where Hope, Peace, and Friendship can tame,
all were mine: I love the virtues which I cannot claim. Hope, that could vary like the rainbow's 'T is not enough, with other sons of
And gild their pinions as the moments flew; To gleam the lambent meteor of an hour; Peace, that reflection never frown'd away, To swell some peerage page in feeble pride, By dreams of ill to cloud some future day; With long-drawn names that grace no page Friendship, whose truth let childhood only beside;
tell, Then share with titled crowds the common Alas ! they love not long, who love so well. lot
To these adieu ! nor let me linger o'er In life just gazed at, in the grave forgot; Scenes hail'd, as exiles hail their native While naught divides thee from the vulgar
Receding slowly through the dark-blue Except the dull cold stone that hides thy deep,
Beheld by eyes that mourn yet cannot weep. The mouldering 'scutcheon, or the herald's Dorset, farewell ! I will not ask one part roll,
Of sad remembrance in so young a heart; That well-emblazon'd but neglected scroll, The coming morrow from thy youthful Where lords, unhonour'd, in the tomb may
Will sweep my name, nor leave a trace beOne spot, to leave a worthless name behind.
hind. There sleep, unnoticed as the gloomy vaults And yet, perhaps, in some maturer year, That veil their dust, their follies, and their Since chance has thrown us in the self-same faults,
sphere, A race, with old armorial lists o'erspread, Since the same senate, nay, the same debate, In records destined never to be read. May one day claim our suffrage for the Fain would I view thee, with prophetic
We hence may meet, and pass each other by, Exalted more among the good and wise, 60 With faint regard, or cold and distant eye. A glorious and a long career pursue, For me, in future, neither friend nor foe, 101 As first in rank, the first in talent too: A stranger to thyself, thy weal or woe, Spurn every vice, each little meanness shun; With thee no more again I hope to trace Not Fortune's minion, but her noblest son. The recollection of our early race;
Turn to the annals of a former day; No more, as once, in social hours rejoice, Bright are the deeds thine earlier sires Or hear, unless in crowds, thy well-known display.
voice. One, though a courtier, lived a man of Still, if the wishes of a heart untaught worth,
To veil those feelings which perchance it And call’d, proud boast! the British drama ought, forth.
If these, — but let me cease the lengthen'd Another view, not less renown'd for wit; 69
strain, Alike for courts, and camps, or senates fit; Oh! if these wishes are not breathed in Bold in the field, and favour'd by the Nine; vain, In every splendid part ordain’d to shine; The guardian seraph who directs thy fate Far, far distinguish'd from the glittering Will leave thee glorious, as he found thee throng,
great. The pride of princes, and the boast of song. 1805.