Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

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

place. 1802.

ΤΟ E

[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.

1803,

And though unequal is thy fate,

Since title deck'd my higher birth!
Yet envy not this gaudy state;
Thine is the pride of modest worth.

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.

A FRAGMENT

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

urns

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

my

! That, only that, shall single out the spot; By that remember'd, or with that forgot.

1803.

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

seal'd.

deeds repay

20

ON LEAVING NEWSTEAD

ABBEY

Shades of heroes, farewell ! your descend

ant, departing From the seat of his ancestors, bids you

adieu ! Abroad, or at home, your remembrance

imparting New

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

main.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small]

WRITTEN IN 'LETTERS TO AN ITALIAN

NUN AND AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN: BY

J. J. ROUSSEAU: FOUNDED ON FACTS'
AWAY, away, your flattering arts
May now betray some simpler hearts;
And you will smile at their believing,
And they shall weep at your deceiving.'

ANSWER TO THE FOREGOING, ADDRESSED

TO MISS

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.

dress ye;

DEAR, simple girl, those flattering arts, From which thou ’dst guard frail female

hearts, Exist but in imagination,

Mere phantoms of thine own creation;
For he who views that witching grace,
That perfect form, that lovely face,
With eyes admiring, oh, believe me,
He never wishes to deceive thee!
Once in thy polish'd mirror glance,
Thou 'lt there descry that elegance,
Which from our sex demands such praises,
But envy in the other raises:
Then he who tells thee of thy beauty,
Believe me, only does his duty:
Ah! fly not from the candid youth;
It is not flattery,– 't is truth.

July, 1804.

Cold dews my pallid face o'erspread,
With deadly languor droops my head,
My ears with tingling echoes ring,
And life itself is on the wing;
My eyes refuse the cheering light,
Their orbs are veil'd in starless night:
Such pangs my nature sinks beneath,
And feels a

porary death.

TRANSLATION OF THE EPITAPH

ON VIRGIL AND TIBULLUS

BY DOMITIUS MARSUS

[blocks in formation]

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

eyes

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.

FROM ANACREON

[blocks in formation]

[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

FROM ANACREON

Justum et tenacem propositi virum, etc.
The man of firm and noble soul
No factious clamours can control;
No threat’ning tyrant's darkling brow

Can swerve him from his just intent:
Gales the warring waves which plough,

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.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Ay, and the red right arm of Jove,
Hurtling his lightnings from above,
With all his terrors there unfurl'd,

He would, unmoved, unawed behold.
The flames of an expiring world,

Again in crashing chaos rolld, In vast promiscuous ruin hurld, Might light his glorious funeral pile: Still dauntless 'midst the wreck of earth

he'd smile.

TO EMMA

20

30

No prowling robber lingers here.
A wandering baby who can fear?'
I heard his seeming artless tale,
I heard his sighs upon the gale:
My breast was never pity's foe,
But felt for all the baby's woe.
I drew the bar, and by the light
Young Love, the infant, met my sight;
His bow across his shoulders flung,
And thence his fatal quiver hung
(Ah ! little did I think the dart
Would rankle soon within my heart).
With care I tend my weary guest,
His little fingers chill my breast;
His glossy curls, his azure wing,
Which droop with nightly showers, I wring;
His shivering limbs the embers warm;
And now reviving from the storm,
Searce had he felt his wonted glow,
Than swift he seized his slender bow:
"I fain would know, my gentle host,'
He cried, “ if this its strength has lost;
I fear, relax'd with midnight dews,
The strings their former aid refuse.'
With poison tipt, his arrow flies,
Deep in my tortured heart it lies;
Then loud the joyous urchin laugh’d: -
My bow can still impel the shaft:
'Tis firmly fix'd, thy sighs reveal it;
Say, courteous host, canst thou not feel it?'

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,

10

40

[blocks in formation]

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.
Oft shall the sacred victim fall
In sea-girt Oceau's mossy hall;

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 !

40

« FöregåendeFortsätt »