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EPITAPH ON A FRIEND
And shall presumptuous mortals Heaven
arraign, And, madly, godlike Providence accuse ? Ah! no, far ty from me attempts so vain;
I'll ne'er submission to my God refuse.
Yet is remembrance of those virtues dear, Yet fresh the memory of that beauteous
face; Still they call forth my warm affection's
tear, Still in my heart retain their wonted
[To the son of one of Byron's tenants at Newstead.) LET Folly smile, to view the names
Of thee and me in friendship twined; Yet Virtue will have greater claims
To love, than rank with vice combined.
'Αστήρ πρίν μεν έλαμπες ένι ζωοίσιν έφος. - LAERTIos. (Quoted from Plato's epigram.] Oh, Friend, for ever loved, for ever dear! What fruitless tears have bathed thy hon
our'd bier ! What sighs re-echo'd to thy parting breath, Whilst thou wast struggling in the pangs
of death! Could tears retard the tyrant in his course; Could sighs avert his dart's relentless force; Could youth and virtue claim a short delay, Or beauty charm the spectre from his prey; Thou still hadst lived to bless my aching
sight, Thy comrade's honour and thy friend's de
light. If yet thy gentle spirit hover nigh The spot where now thy mouldering ashes lie, Here wilt thou read, recorded on my heart, A grief too deep to trust the sculptoris art. No marble marks thy couch of lowly sleep, But living statues there are seen to weep; Affliction's semblance bends not o'er thy
tomb, Affliction's self deplores thy youthful doom. What though thy sire lament his failing
line, A father's sorrows cannot equal mine ! Though none, like thee, his dying hour will
cheer, Yet other offspring soothe his anguish here: But, who with me shall hold thy former
place? Thine image, what new friendship can ef
face ? Ah, none ! - a father's tears will cease to
flow, Time will assuage an infant brother's woe; To all, save one, is consolation known, While solitary friendship sighs alone.
And though unequal is thy fate,
Since title deck'd my higher birth!
Our souls at least congenial meet,
Nor can thy lot my rank disgrace; Our intercourse is not less sweet, Since worth of rank supplies the place. November, 1802.
TO D[To George John, fifth Earl Delawarr.] In thee, I fondly hoped to clasp
A friend, whom death alone could sever; Till envy, with malignant grasp,
Detach'd thee from my breast for ever.
True, she has forced thee from my breast,
Yet in my heart thou keep'st thy seat; There, there thine image still must rest,
Until that heart shall cease to beat.
And, when the grave restores her dead,
When life again to dust is given, On thy dear breast I 'll lay my head Without thee, where would be my heaven? February, 1803.
WHEN, to their airy hall, my fathers' voice Shall call my spirit, joyful in their choice; When, poised upon the gale, my form shall
ride, Or, dark in mist, descend the mountain's
side; Oh I may my shade behold no sculptured To mark the spot where earth to earth
returns ! No lengthen'd scroll, no praise-encumber'd
stone; My epitaph shall be my name alone; If that with honour fail to crown my clay, Oh may no other fame
! That, only that, shall single out the spot; By that remember'd, or with that forgot.
On Marston, with Rupert, 'gainst traitors
contending, Four brothers enrich'd with their blood
the bleak field; For the rights of a inonarch their country
defending, Till death their attachment to royalty
ON LEAVING NEWSTEAD
Shades of heroes, farewell ! your descend
ant, departing From the seat of his ancestors, bids you
adieu ! Abroad, or at home, your remembrance
courage, he 'll think upon glory and you.
“Why dost thou build the hall, son of the winged days ? Thou lookest from thy tower to-day: yet a few years, and the blast of the desert comes, it howls in thy empty court.' OSSIAN. Through thy battlements, Newstead, the
hollow winds whistle; Thou, the hall of my fathers, art gone to
decay; In thy once smiling garden, the hemlock
and thistle Have choked up the rose which late
bloom'd in the way. Of the mail-cover'd Barons, who proudly
to battle Led their vassals from Europe to Pales
tine's plain, The escutcheon and shield, which with
every blast rattle, Are the only sad vestiges now that re
WRITTEN IN 'LETTERS TO AN ITALIAN
NUN AND AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN: BY
J. J. ROUSSEAU: FOUNDED ON FACTS'
ANSWER TO THE FOREGOING, ADDRESSED
Paul and Hubert, too, sleep in the valley
of Cressy; For the safety of Edward and England
they fell: My fathers ! the tears of your country reHow you fought, how you died, still her
annals can tell.
DEAR, simple girl, those flattering arts, From which thou ’dst guard frail female
hearts, Exist but in imagination,
Mere phantoms of thine own creation;
Cold dews my pallid face o'erspread,
TRANSLATION OF THE EPITAPH
ON VIRGIL AND TIBULLUS
BY DOMITIUS MARSUS
TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS
[Catullus's translation of the famous ode of Sappho.) EQUAL to Jove that youth must be — Greater than Jove he seems to me — Who, free from Jealousy's alarms, Securely views thy matchless charms. That cheek, which ever dimpling glows, That mouth, from whence such music flows, To him, alike, are always known, Reserved for him, and him alone. Ah, Lesbia! though 't is death to me, I cannot choose but look on thee; Bat at the sight my senses fly; I needs must
gaze, but, gazing, die; Whilst trembling with a thousand fears, Parch'd to the throat my tongue adheres, My pulse beats quick, my breath heaves
short, My limbs deny their slight support,
Lugete, Veneres, Cupidinesque, etc. YE Cupids, droop each little head, Nor let your wings with joy be spread, My Lesbia's favourite bird is dead, Whom dearer than her
she loved: For he was gentle, and so true, Obedient to her call he flew, No fear, no wild alarm he knew,
But lightly o’er her bosom moved.
And softly fluttering here and there, He never sought to cleave the air, But chirup'd oft, and, free from care,
Tuned to her ear his grateful strain. Now having pass'd the gloomy bourne From whence he never can return, His death and Lesbia's grief I mourn,
Who sighs, alas ! but sighs in vain.
[An imitation of ‘Mellitos oculos tuos, Juventi.'] Oh! might I kiss those eyes of fire, A million scarce would quench desire: Still would I steep my lips in bliss, And dwell an age on every kiss; Nor then my soul should sated be, Still would I kiss and cling to thee: Nought should my kiss from thine dissever; Still would we kiss, and kiss for ever, E’en though the numbers did exceed The yellow harvest's countless seed. To part would be a vain endeavour: Could I desist? - ah! never -- never !
November 16, 1806.
Θέλω λέγειν Ατρείδας, κ. τ. λ. I wish to tune my quivering lyre To deeds of fame and notes of fire; To echo, from its rising swell, How heroes fought and nations fell, When Atreus' sons advanced to war, Or Tyrian Cadmus roved afar; But still, to martial strains unknown, My lyre recurs to love alone. Fired with the hope of future fame, I seek some nobler hero's name; The dying chords are strung anew, To war, to war, my harp is due. With glowing strings, the epic strain To Jove's great son I raise again; Alcides and his glorious deeds, Beneath whose arm the Hydra bleeds. All, all in vain; my wayward lyre Wakes silver notes of soft desire. Adieu, ye chiefs renown'd in arms ! Adieu the clang of war's alarms ! To other deeds my soul is strung, And sweeter notes shall now be sung; My harp shall all its powers reveal, To tell the tale my heart must feel; Love, Love alone, my lyre shall claim, In songs of bliss and sighs of flame.
TRANSLATION FROM HORACE
Justum et tenacem propositi virum, etc.
Can swerve him from his just intent:
By Auster on the billows spent, To curb the Adriatic main, Would awe his fix'd determined mind in vain.
Μεσονυκτίοις ποθ' ωραις, κ. τ. λ. 'T WAS now the hour when Night had
driven Her car half round yon sable heaven; Bootes, only, seem'd to roll His arctic charge around the pole; While mortals, lost in gentle sleep, Forgot to smile, or ceased to weep. At this lone hour the Paphian boy, Descending from the realms of joy, Quick to my gate directs his course, And knocks with all his little force. My visions fled, alarm'd I rose, What stranger breaks my blest repose ?' • Alas !' replies the wily child, In faltering accents sweetly mild, • A hapless infant here I roam, Far from my dear maternal home. Oh, shield me from the wintry blast! The nightly storm is pouring fast.
Ay, and the red right arm of Jove,
He would, unmoved, unawed behold.
Again in crashing chaos rolld, In vast promiscuous ruin hurld, Might light his glorious funeral pile: Still dauntless 'midst the wreck of earth
No prowling robber lingers here.
SINCE now the hour is come at last,
When you must quit your anxious lover; Since now our dream of bliss is past,
One pang, my girl, and all is over. Alas! that pang will be severe,
Which bids us part to meet no more; Which tears me far from one so dear,
Departing for a distant shore. Well ! we have pass'd some happy hours,
And joy will mingle with our tears; When thinking on these ancient towers,
The shelter of our infant years; Where from this Gothic casement's height,
We view'd the lake, the park, the dell, And still, though tears obstruct our sight,
We lingering look a last farewell,
FROM THE PROMETHEUS VINC
TUS OF ÆSCHYLUS
Μηδαμό πάντα νέμων, κ. τ. λ. GREAT Jove, to whose almighty throne
Both gods and mortals homage pay, Ne'er may my soul thy power disown,
Thy dread behests ne'er disobey.
My voice shall raise no impious strain Gainst him who rules the sky and azure main.
These times are past our joys are
gone, You leave me, leave this happy vale; 30 These scenes I must retrace alone:
Without thee what will they avail ?
How different now thy joyless fate,
Since first Hesione thy bride, When placed aloft in godlike state,
The blushing beauty by thy side, Thou sat'st, while reverend Ocean smiled, And mirthful strains the hours beguiled, The Nymphs and Tritons danced around, Nor yet thy doom was fix'd, nor Jove re
lentless frown'd. HARROW, December 1, 1804.
Who can conceive, who has not proved,
The anguish of a last embrace ? When, torn from all you fondly loved,
You bid a long adieu to peace. This is the deepest of our woes, For this these tears our cheeks be
dew; This is of love the final close,
Oh, God ! the fondest, last adieu !