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But vain the wish — for Beauty still
Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath ; And woman's tears, produced at will,
Deceive in life, unman in death. Then lonely be my latest hour,
Without regret, without a groan ; For thousands Death hath ceased to lower,
And pain been transient or unknown. “ Ay, but to die, and go,” alas !
Where all have gone, and all must go ! To be the nothing that I was
Ere born to life and living woe ! Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen,
Count o'er thy days from anguish free, And know, whatever thou hast been.
'Tis something better not to be.
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To see thy beauties fade ;
Had worn a deeper shade:
Extinguish'd, not decay'd;
My tears might well be shed,
One vigil o'er thy bed ;
Uphold thy drooping head;
Though thou hast left me free,
Than thus remember thee!
Returns again to me,
AND THOU ART DEAD, AS YOUNG AS FAIR. “ Heu, quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quam tui
As aught of mortal birth ;
Too soon return'd to Earth!
In carelessness or mirth,
Nor gaze upon the spot;
So I behold them not:
Like common earth can rot;
As fervently as thou,
And canst not alter now.
Nor falsehood disavow :
The worst can be but mine :
Shall never more be thine.
Nor need I to repine
Must fall the earliest prey ;
The leaves mist drop away :
Than see it pluck'd to-day;
IF SOMETIMES IN THE HAUNTS OF MEN.
If sometimes in the haunts of men
Thine image from my breast may fade,
The semblance of thy gentle shade:
Thus much of thee can still restore,
The plaint she dare not speak before.
I waste one thought I owe to thee,
Unfaithful to thy memory!
That then I seem not to repine ;
One sigh that should be wholly thine.
It is not drain'd to banish care ;
That brings a Lethe for despair,
From all her troubled visions free,
That drown'd a single thought of thee.
Where could my vacant bosom turn ?
To honour thine abandon'd Urn ?
That last dear duty to fulfil;
For well I know, that such had been
Tliy gentle care for him, who now Unmoun'd shall quit this mortal scene,
Where none regarded him, but thou : And, oh! I feel in that was given
A blessing never meant for me ; Thou wert too like a dream of Heaven, For earthly Love to merit thee.
March 14. 1812.
These gifts were charm'd by secret spell,
Thy truth in absence to divine; And they have done their duty well,
Alas ! they could not teach thee thine. That chain was firm in every link,
But not to bear a stranger's touch; That lute was sweet - till thou could'st think
In other hands its notes were such. Let him, who from thy neck unbound
The chain which shiver'd in his grasp, Who saw that lute refuse to sound,
Restring the chords, renew the clasp. When thou wert changed, they alter'd too;
The chain is broke, the music mute. 'Tis past — to them and thee adieu
False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.
OY A CORNELIAN HEART WHICH WAS
That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain ? Have years of care for thine and thee
Alike been all employ'd in vain ?
And every fragment dearer grown,
March 16. 1812.
LINES WRITTEN ON A BLANK LEAF OF
THE “ PLEASURES OF MEMORY."
(We know not whether the reader should understand the cornelian heart of these lines to be the same with that of which some notices are given at p. 398.)
? (This impromptu owed its birth to an on dit, that the late Princess Charlotte of Wales burst into tears on hearing that the Whigs had found it impossible to put together a cabinet, at the period of Mr. Perceval's death. They were appended to the first edition of " The Corsair,” and excited a sensation, as it is called, marvellously disproportionate to their length, - or, we may add, their merit. The ministerial prints raved for two months on end, in the most foul. mouthed vituperation of the poet, and all that belonged to him - the Mornin Post even announced a motion in the House of Lords "and all this," Lord Byron writes to Mr. Moore, “as Bedreddin in the Arabian Nights remarks, for making a cream tart with pepper: how odd, that eight lincs should have given birth, I really think, to eight thousand!")
3 [" The 'Lines to a Lady weeping' must go with 'The Corsair.' I care nothing for consequences on this point. My politics are to me like a young mistress to an old man ; the worse they grow, the fonder I become of them." - Lord Byron to Mr. Murray, Jan. 22. 1814. “ On my return. I find all the newspapers in hysterics, and town in an uproar, on the avowal and republication of two stanzas on Princess Charlotte's seeping at Regency's speech to Landerdale in
1812. They are daily at it still: - some of the abuse good, - all of it hearty. They talk of a motion in our House upon it - be it so." Byron Diary, 1814.)
* (** When Rogers does talk, he talks well; and, on all subjects of taste, his delicacy of expression is pure as his poetry. If you enter his house -- his drawing-rooni - his library - you of yourself say, this is not the dwelling of a cominon mind. There is not a gom, a coin, a book thrown aside on his chimney-piece, his sofi, his table, that does not bespeak an almost fastidious elegance in the possessor." Byron Diary, 1813.)
5 [The reader will recall Collins's exquisite lines on the tomb of Thomson: “In yonder grave a bruid lies," &c.]
6 ('The theatre in Drury Lane, which was opened, in 1747, with Dr. Johnson's masterly address, beginning, " When Learning's triumph o'er her barbarous foes
First rear'd the Stage, immortal Shakspeare rose,' and witnessed the last glories of Garrick, having fallen into decay, was rebuilt in 1794. The new building perished by fire in 1811; and the Managers, in their anxiety that the opening of the present euitice should be distinguished by some composition of at least equal merit, advertised in the newspapers for a general competition. Scorcs of auldrosses, not one tolerable, showered on their desk, and they wore in sad despair, when Lord Holland interfered, and, not without
Ye who beheld, (oh! sight admired and mourn'd, Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn'd!) Through clouds of fire the massy fragments riven, Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven; Saw the long column of revolving flames Shake its red shadow o'er the started Tharnes, 1 While thousands, throng'd around the burning dome, Shrank back appall'd, and trembled for their home, As glared the volumed blaze, and ghastly shone The skies, with lightnings awful as their own, Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall Usurp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall; Say — shall this new, nor less aspiring pile, Rear'd where once rose the mightiest in our isle, Know the same favour which the former knew, A shrine for Shakspeare — worthy him and you ?
Yes - it shall be the magic of that name Defies the scythe of time, the torch of flame; On the same spot still cousecrates the scene, And bids the Drama be where she hath been : This fabric's birth attests the potent spell Indulge our honest pride, and say, How well !
As soars this fane to emulate the last, Oh! might we draw our omens from the past, Some hour propitious to our prayers may boast Names such as hallow still the dome we lost. On Drury first your Siddions' thrilling art O'erwhelm'd the gentlest, storm'd the sternest heart. On Drury, Garrick's latest laurels grew; Here your last tears retiring Roscius drew, Sigh'd his last thanks, and wept his last adieu : But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom, That only waste their odours o'er the tomb. Such Drury claim'd and claims — nor you refuse One tribute to revive his slumbering muse ; With garlands deck your own Menander's head ! Nor hoard your honours idly for the dead !
Dear are the days which made our annals bright, Ere Garrick fled, or Brinsley 2 ceased to write. Heirs to their labours, like all high-born heirs, Vain of our ancestry as they of theirs ; While thus Remembrance borrows Banquo's glass To claim the sceptred shadows as they pass, And we the mirror hold, where imaged shine Immortal names, emblazon'd on our line,
Pause--ere their feebler offspring you condemn,
Friends of the stage! to whom both Players and Plays
This greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd, The Drama's homage by her herald paid, Receive our welcome too, whose every tone Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own. The curtain rises — may our stage unfold Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old ! Britons our judges, Nature for our guide, Still may we please — long, long may you preside ! 4
PARENTHETICAL ADDRESS 5
BY DR. PLAGIARY, Half stolen, with acknowledgments, to be spoken in an inarticulate voice by Master P. at the opening of the next new theatre. Stolen parts marked with the inverted ccmmas of quotation - thus“ “ When energising objects men pursue," Then Lord knows what is writ by Lord knows who. “ A modest monologue you here survey,” Hiss'd from the theatre the “other day," As if Sir Fretful wrote “ the slumberous" verse, And gave his son “ the rubbish” to rehearse. “ Yet at the thing you'd never be amazed,” Knew you the rumpus which the author raised; “ Nor even here your smiles would be represt,” Knew you these lines — the badness of the best. “ Flame ! fire! and flame !!" (words borrow'd from
Lucretius,) “ Dread metaphors which open wounds” like issues !
difficulty, prevailed on Lord Byron to write these verses " at the risk," as he said, " of offending a hundred scribblers and a discerning public." The admirable jeu d'esprit of the Messrs. Smith' will long preserve the memory of the " Rejected Addresses.")
C" By the hye, the best view of the said fire (which I myself saw from a house-top in Covent Garden) was at Westminster Bridge, from the reflection of the Thames." — Lord Byron lo Lord Holland.]
? (Originally, “ Ere Garrick died," &c.—“ By the bye, one of my corrections in the copy sent yesterday has dived into the bathos some sixty fathom –
• When Garrick died, and Brinsley ceased to write.' Ceasing to live is a much more serious concern, and ought not to be tirst. Second thoughts in every thing are best ; but, in rhyme, third and fourth don't come amiss. I always scrawl in this way, and smooth as fast as I can, but never sufficiently; and, latterly, I can weave a nine-line stanza faster than a couplet, for which measure I have not the cunning. When I began Childe Harold,' I had never tried Spenser's measure, and now I cannot scribble in any other."
Lord Byron to Lord Holland.)
That late she deign'd to crawl ipon all-fours.
If you decree, the stage must condescend
Nor shift from man to babe, from babe to brute.” " Is Whitbread," said Lord Byron, " determined to castrate all my cavalry lines ? I do implore, for my own gratification, one lash on those accursed quadrupeds — a long shot, Sir Lucius, if you love me.' "]
4 ľ“ Soon after the • Rejected Addresses' scene in 1812, I met Sheridan. In the course of dinner, he said, 'Lord Byron, did you know that amongst the writers of addresses was Whitbread himself ?' I answered by an inquiry of what sort of an address he had made. Of that,' replied Sheridan, 'I remember little, except that there was a phoenix in it.'-'A phenix!! Well, how did he describe it?'
Like a poulterer,' answered Sheridan: it was green, and yellow, and red, and blue: he did not let us off for a single fcather.'” – Byron Letters, 1821.]
5 [Among the addresses sent in to the Drury Lane Committee was one by Dr. Busby, entitled " A Monologue," of which the above is a parody. It began as follows:
" When energising objects men pursue,
What are the prodigies they cannot do ?
" And sleeping pangs awake---and — but away' (Confound me if I know what next to say). “ Lo Hope reviving re-expands her wings," And Master Grecites what Doctor Busby sings ! “ If mighty things with small we may compare,” (Translated from the grammar for the fair!) Dramatic “ spirit drives a conquering car," And burn'd poor Moscow like a tub of “ tar." “ This spirit Wellington has shown in Spain," To furnish melodrames for Drury Lane. “ Another Marlborough points to Blenheim's story," And George and I will dramatise it for yc. “ In arts and sciences our isle hath shone" (This deep discovery is mine alone). “ Oh British poesy, whose powers inspire" My verse — or I'ın a fool —and Fame's a liar, “ Thee we invoke, your sister arts implore" With "smiles," and "lyres,” and “pencils," and much
These, if we win the Graces, too, we gain Disgraces, too! “ inseparable train ! ” (Cupid" “ Three who have stolen their witching airs from (You all know what I mean, unless you 're stupid): “ Harmonious throng" that I have kept in petto, Now to produce in a " divine sestetto"!!
While Poesy," with these delightful doxies, “ Sustains her part" in all the “ upper" boxes ! “ Thus lifted gloriously, you'll soar along,” Borne in the vast balloon of Busby's song; “ Shine in your farce, masque, scenery, and play" (For this last line George had a holiday). “ Old Drury never, never soar'd so high," So says the manager, and so say I. “ But hold, you say, this self-complacent boast;' Is this the poem which the public lost? (pride ;” “ True-true that lowers at once our mounting But lo!- the papers print what you deride. “ 'T is ours to look on you — you hold the prize," 'Tis twenty guineas, as they advertize ! “ A double blessing your rewards impart"I wish I had them, then, with all my heart. “ Our twofold feeling owns its twofold cause,” Why son and I both beg for your applause. “ When in your fostering beams you bid us live," My next subscription list shall say how much you give !
VERSES FOUND IN A SUMMER HOUSE AT
HALES-OWEN. 1 When Dryden's fool, unknowing what he sought," His hours in whistling spent, “ for want of thought,” ? This guiltless oaf his vacancy of sense Supplied, and amply too, by innocence ; Did modern swains, possess'd of Cymon's powers, In Cymon's manner waste their leisure hours, Th' offended guests would not, with blushing, see These fair green walks disgraced by infamy. Severe the fate of modern fools, alas ! When vice and folly mark them as they pass. Like noxious reptiles o'er the whiten'd wall, The filth they leave still points out where they crawl.
REMEMBER THEE! REMEMBER THEE !
REMEMBER thee I remember thee!
Til Letbe quench life's burning stream
And haunt thee like a feverish drean!
Thy husband too shall think of thee :
Thou false to him, thou fiend to me! S
Time: on whose arbitrary wing
The varying hours must flag or fly,
But drag or drive us on to die —
Those boons to all that know thee known;
For now I bear the weight alone,
The bitter moments thou hast given;
All that I loved, to peace or heaven.
Thy future ills shall press in vain :
A debt already paid in pain.
It felt, but still forgot thy power :
Retards, but never counts the hour.
In joy I've sigh'd to think thy flight
Would soon subside from swift to slow;
But could not add a night to woe;
My soul was suited to thy sky;
To prove thee — not Eternity.
A blank; a thing to count and curse,
Which all regret, yet all rebearse.
The limit of thy sloth or speed
Which we shall sleep too sound to heed:
And I can smile to think how weak
Thine efforts shortly shall be shown,
Must fall upon-a nameless stone.
morning at her quondam lorer's apartments. His Lordship was from home ; but tinding lathek' on the table, the kids wrote in the first page of the volume the words 'Remember me!' Byron immediately wrote under the ominous warning these two stanzas." - NIEDWIN.)
To dream of joy and wake to sorrow
Is doom'd to all who love or live ; And if, when conscious on the morrow,
We scarce our fancy can forgive, That cheated us in slumber only, To leave the waking soul more lonely,
What must they feel whom no false vision,
But truest, tenderest passion warm'd ? Sincere, but swift in sad transition ;
As if a dream alone had charm'd ? Ah! sure such grief is fancy's scheming, And all thy change can be but dreaming !
ON BEING ASKED WHAT WAS THE “ ORIGIN
TRANSLATION OF A ROMAIC LOVE SONG.
AH! Love was never yet without
THE “ Origin of Love !"—Ah, why
That cruel question ask of me, When thou may'st read in many an eye
He starts to life on seeing thee ? And shouldst thou seek his end to know:
My heart forebodes, my fears foresee, He 'll linger long in silent woe;
But live - until I cease to be.
REMEMBER HIM, WHOM PASSION'S POWER. REMEMBER him, whom passion's power
Severely, deeply, vainly proved : Remember thou that dangerous hour
When neither fell, though both were loved. That yielding breast, that melting eye,
Too much invited to be bless'd : That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh,
The wilder wish reproved, repress'd.
Oh ! let me feel that all I lost
But saved thee all that conscience fears ; And blush for every pang it cost
To spare the vain remorse of years. Yet think of this when many a tongue,
Whose busy accents whisper blame, Would do the heart that loved thee wrong,
And brand a nearly blighted name.
THOU ART NOT FALSE, BUT THOU ART
To those thyself so fondly sought;
Are doubly bitter from that thought:
And spurns deceiver and deceit;
Whose love is as sinccre as sweet, — When she can change who loved so truly, It feels what mine has felt so newly.
Think that, whate'er to others, thou
Hast seen each selfish thought subdued : I bless thy purer soul even now,
Even now, in midnight solitude. Oh, God! that we had met in time,
Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free; When thou hadst loved without a crime,
And I been less unworthy thee ! Far may thy days, as heretofore,
From this our gaudy world be past ! And that too bitter moment o'er,
Oh! may such trial be thy last ! This heart, alas! perverted long,
Itself destroy'd might there destroy ; To meet thee in the glittering throng,
Would wake Presumption's hope of joy.