Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

If I should meet thee

After long years, How should I greet thee?

With silence and tears.

These lips are mute, these eyes are dry;

But in my breast and in my brain Awake the pangs that pass not by,

The thought that ne'er shall sleep again.
My soul nor deigns nor dares complain,

Though grief and passion there rebel:
I only know we loved in vain-
I only feel—Farewell !-Farewell!

1808.

1806.

BRIGHT BE THE PLACE OF THY SOUL.
Bright be the place of thy soul !

No lovelier spirit than thine
E'er burst from its mortal control,

In the orbs of the blessed to shine.
On earth thou wert all but divine,

As thy soul shall immortally be;
And our sorrow may cease to repine,

When we know that thy God is with thee.
Light be the turf of thy tomb!

May its verdure like emeralds be:
There should not be the shadow of gloom

In aught that reminds us of thee.
Young flowers and an evergreen tree

May spring from the spot of thy rest:
But nor cypress nor yew let us see;

For why should we mourn for the blest?

1808.

WHEN WE TWO PARTED.

When we two parted

In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted,

To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold,

Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold

Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning

Sunk chill on my brow-
It felt like the warning

Of what I feel now. Thy vows are all broken,

And light is thy fame; I hear thy name spoken,

And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,

A knell to mine ear;
A shudder coines o'er me-

Why wert thou so dear?
They knew not I knew thee,

Who knew thee too well;Long, long shall I rue thee,

Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met-

In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,

Thy spirit deceive.

TO A YOUTHFUL FRIEND.(1) Few years have pass'd since thou and I

Were firmest friends, at least in name, And childhood's gay sincerity

Preserved our feelings long the same. But now, like me, too well thou know'st

What trifles oft the heart recall;
And those who once have loved the most

Too soon forget they loved at all.
And such the change the heart displays,

So frail is early friendship's reign,
A month's brief lapse, perhaps a day's,

Will view thy mind estranged again.
If so, it never shall be mine

To mourn the loss of such a heart;
The fault was Nature's fault, not thine,

Which made thee fickle as thou art. As rolls the ocean's changing tide,

So human feelings ebb and flow; And who would in a breast confide

Where stormy passions ever glow? It boots not that, together bred,

Our childish days were days of joy: My spring of life bas quickly fled;

Thou, too, hast ceased to be a boy. And when we bid adieu to youth,

Slaves to the specious world's control,
We sigh a long farewell to truth;

That world corrupts the noblest soal.
Ah, joyous season! when the mind

Dares all things boldly but to lie;
When thought, ere spoke, is unconfined,

And sparkles in the placid eye. Not so in man's maturer years,

When man himself is but a tool! When interest sways our hopes and fears,

And all must love and hate by rule. With fools, in kindred vice the same,

We learn at length our faults to blend; And, those, and those alone, may claim

The prostituted name of friend. Such is the common lot of man:

Can we then 'scape from fully free? Can we reverse the general plan,

Nor be what all in turn must be ? No! for myself, so dark my fate

Through every turn of life hath been; Man and the world so much I hate,

I care not when I quit the scene. But thou, with spirit frail and light,

Wilt shine a while, and pass away;

(1) This copy of verses, and that which follows, originally | tions, together with Original Poems, and bearing the model appeared in the volume published, in 1809, by Mr. (now Sir epigraph-“Nos hac novimus esse nihil.”-L.E. Johu, Hobhouse, under the title of Imitations and Transla.

And when, alas! our brains are gone,

What nobler substitute than wine ?
Quaff while thou canst: another race,

When thou and thine, like me, are sped,
May rescue thee from earth's embrace,

And rhyme and revel with the dead.
Why no—since through life's little day

Our heads such sad effects produce?
Redeem'd from worms and wasting clay,
This chance is theirs, to be of use.

Newstead Abbey, 1808.

As glow-worms sparkle through the night,

But dare not stand the test of day. Alas! wherever Folly calls,

Where parasites and princes meet (For, cherish'd first in royal balls,

The welcome vices kindly greet), Ev'n now thou’rt nightly seen to add

One insect to the fluttering crowd; And still thy trifling heart is glad

To join the vain, and court the proud. There dost thou glide from fair to fair,

Still simpering on with eager haste; As flies along the gay parterre,

That taint the flowers they scarcely taste. But say, what nymph will prize the flame

Which seems, as marshy vapours move, To flit along, from dame to dame,

An ignis-fatuus gleam of love? What friend for thee, howe'er inclined,

Will deign to own a kindred care? Who will debase his manly mind,

For friendship every fool may share?
In time forbear; amidst the throng

No more so base a thing be seen;
No more so idly pass along:
Be something, any thing, but-mean.

1808.

LINES INSCRIBED UPON A CUP FORMED

FROM A SKULL.(1) Start not-nor deem my spirit fled :

In me behold the only skull
From which, unlike a living head,

Whatever flows is never dull.
I lived, I loved, I quaff”d, like thee;

I died: let earth my bones resign:
Fill up—thou canst not injure me;

The worm hath fouler lips than thine. Better to hold the sparkling grape,

Than nurse the earth-worm's slimy brood; And circle in the goblet's shape

The drink of gods, than reptiles' food. Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone,

In aid of others' let me shine;

WELL! THOU ART HAPPY. (2)
Well! thou art happy, (3) and I feel

That I should thus be happy too;
For still my heart regards thy weal

Warmly, as it was wont to do.
Thy husband's blest—and 't will impart

Some pangs to view his happier lot:
But let them pass-Oh! how my heart

Would hate him, if he loved thee not!
When late I saw thy favourite child,

I thought my jealous heart would break;
But when the unconscious infant smiled,

I kiss'd it for its mother's sake.
I kiss'd it, -and repress'd my sighs

Its father in its face to see;
But then it had its mother's eyes,

And they were all to love and me.
Mary, adieu! I must away :

While thou art blest I 'll not repine;
But near thee I can never stay;

My heart would soon again be thine.
I deem'd that time, I deem'd that pride

Had quench'd at length my boyish flame;
Nor knew, till seated by thy side,

My heart in all, -save hope, -the same. Yet was I calm: I knew the time

My breast would thrill before thy look ;
But now to tremble were a crime

We met, and not a nerve was shook.
I saw thee gaze upon my face,

Yet meet with no confusion there:
One only feeling couldst thou trace;

The sullen calmness of despair.

(1) Lord Byron gives the following account of this cup: | and placed on light stands round the room. He also esta-“The gardener, in digging, discovered a skull that had blished, at Newstead Abbey, a new order. “The members," probably belonged to some jolly friar or monk of the abbey, says he, “consisted of twelve, and I elected myself Grand about the time it was demonasteried. Observing it to be Master, or Abbot of the Skull: a grand heraldic title. A of giant size, and in a perfect state of preservation, a set of black gowns, mine distinguished from the rest, was strange fancy seized me of having it set and mounted as a ordered, and, from time to time, when a particularly hard drinking-cap. I accordingly sent it to town, and it returned day was expected, a chapter was beld, the crane was filled with a very high polish, and of a mottled colour like tor with claret, and, in imitation of the Goths of old, passed toiseshell." It is now in the possession of Colonel Wildman, about to the Gods of the Consistory, wbilst many a grim joke the proprietor of Newstead Abbey. In several of our elder was cut at its expense.” Medwin.-P. E. dramatists, mention is made of the custom of quaffing wine (2) These lines were printed originally in Mr. Hobhouse's out of similar cops. For example, in Dekker's Wonder of a Miscellany. A few days before they were written, the Kingdom, Torrenti says:

poet had been invited to dine at Annesley. On the infant * Would I had ten thousand soldiers' heads,

daughter of his fair hostess being brought into the room, Their skulls set all in silver; to drink healths

he started involuntarily, and with the utmost difficulty supTo his confusion who first invented war."-LE.

pressed his emotion. To the sensations of that moment we

are indebted for these beautiful stanzas-and for several of Byron appears to have had a singular predilection the following pieces.-L.E. for skulls. Moore, in his Life, states that among the orna (3) The contrary, however, appears to have been the ments of his study were a number of skulls, highly polished. I fact. The lady's marriage was an unhappy one.-P. E.

Away! away! my early dream

Remembrance never must awake: Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream? My foolish heart! be still, or break.

November 2, 1808. (1)

By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who perchance behold this simple um,
Pass on-it honours none you wish to mourn:
To mark a friend's remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one,—and here he lies. (3)

INSCRIPTION ON THE MONUMENT OF A

NEWFOUNDLAND DOG.(2) When some proud son of man returns to earth, Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth, The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe, And storied urns record who rests below; When all is done, upon the tomb is seen, Not what he was, but what he should have been : But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend, The first to welcome, foremost to defend, Whose honest heart is still his master's own, Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone, Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth, Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth : While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven, And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven. O man! thou feeble tenant of an hour, Debased by slavery, or corrupt hy power, Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust, Degraded mass of animated dust! Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat, Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!

TO A LADY,
ON BEING ASKED MY REASON FOR QUITTING

ENGLAND IN TBE SPRING.
WHEN man, expell’d from Eden's bowers

A moment linger'd near the gate,
Each scene recallid the vanish'd hours,

And bade him curse his future fate.
But, wandering on through distant climes,

He learn’d to bear his load of grief;
Just gave a sigh to other times,

And found in busier scenes relief.
Thus, lady!(4) will it be with me,

And I must view thy charms no more;
For, while I linger near to thee,

I sigh for all I knew before.
In flight I shall be surely wise,

Escaping from temptation's snare;
I cannot view my paradise
Without the wish of dwelling there. (5)

December 2, ISHI

(1) Lord Byron wrote to his mother on this same 2d No. vember, announcing his intention of sailing for India in March 1809.-L. E.

(2) This monument is still a conspicuons ornament in the garden of Newstead. The following is the inscription by which the verses are preceded :

« Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,

Strength without Insolence,

Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery

If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of

BOATSWAIN, a Dog,
Who was born in Newfoundland, May, 1803 ;
And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18. 1808."

Lord Byron thus announced the death of his favourite to Mr. Hodgson :-"Boatswain is dead !-he expired in a state of madness, on the 18th, after suffering much, yet re. taining all the gentleness of his nature to the last ; never attempting to do the least injury to any one near him. I have now lost every thing except old Murray,” By the will, which he executed in 1811, be directed that his own body should be buried in a vault in the garden, near his faithful dog.-LE.

“Of this favourite," says Moore, “some traits are told indicative not only of intelligence, but of a generosity of spirit, which might well win for him the affections of such a master as Byron." It seems that a deadly feud having long existed between Boatswain and a fox terrier called Gilpin, belonging to Mrs. Byron, that lady prudently sent her favourite out of the way of his more powerful antagonist. One morning the servant, to whose guardian. ship Boatswain was confided, was much alarmed by the disappearance of his charge, and throughout the whole of the day no tidings could be heard of him. “At last, to. wards evening, the stray dog arrived, accompanied by Gilpin, whom he led immediately to the kitchen fire, licking him, and lavishing upon him every possible demonstration of joy. The fact was, he had been all the way to New. stead to fetch him, and having now established his former foe under the roof once more, agreed so perfectly well with him ever after, that he even protected him against the in sults of other dogs,-a task which the quarrelsomeness of the little terrier rendered no sinecare."

It is worthy of remark that the poet Pope, when aberg the same age as Lord Byron, passed a similar ealogy be dog, at the expense of human nature, adding that is tories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dage the of friends." He had also at one time, as appears from a anecdote preserved by Spence, some thoughts of being to dog in his garden, and placing a monument ovet, the inscription, “O rare Bounce."

In speaking of the members of Rousseau's danrskotablishment, Hume says: “She (Thérèse) governs in ' absolutely as a nurse does a child. In ber absenre, lis dog has acquired that ascendant, His affection for that cretture is beyond all expression of conception." Pricate Cora gpondence.

In Burns's elegy on the death of his favourite Mailie, find the friendship even of a sheep set on a level with tog of man: “Wi' kindly blent, when sbe did spy him,

She ran wi' speed:
A friend mair faithful ne'er came nigh him

Than Mailie dead." In speaking of the favourite dogs of great poets, we not forget Cowper's little spaniel “ Beau, nor will po' terity fail to add to the list the name of Sir Walter Scott " Maida.” See Moore's Life of Buron. P.E.

(3) In Mr. Hobhouse's Miscellany, in which the epitap was first published, the last line ran thus:

"I knew but one unchanged—and here be lies." The reader will not fail to observe, that this inscripsins was written at a time when the poet's early feelings with respect to the lady of Annesley had been painfully revived - L. E.

(4) In the first copy, "Thus, Mary! -(Mrs. Masters!! The reader will find a portrait of this lady in Finder Nlustrations of Lord Byron's Works, No. iii.LE

(5) In Mr. Hobhouse's volume, the line stood,-"With a wish to enter there. The following is an extract from an unpublished letter of Lord Byron, written in 1883, * three days previous to his leaving Italy for Greece Chaworth was two years older than myself. She be a man of an ancient and respectable family, but here riage was not a happier one than my own. Her sale! however, was irreproachable; but there was not sponsor between their characters. I had not seen ber fur ! years, when an occasion offered. I was upon the po with her consent, of paying ber a visit ; when by sister,

To think of every early scene,
Of what we are, and what we've been,
Would whelm some softer hearts with woe-
But mine, alas! has stood the blow;
Yet still beats on as it begun,
And never truly loves but one.
And who that dear loved one may be
Is not for vulgar eyes to see,
And why that early love was cross'd,
Thou know'st the best, I feel the most;
But few that dwell beneath the sun
Have loved so long, and loved but one.

I've tried another's fetters too,
With charms perchance as fair to view;
And I would fain have loved as well,
But some unconquerable spell
Forbade my bleeding breast to own
A kindred care for aught but one.
"Twould soothe to take one lingering view,
And bless thee in my last adieu ;
Yet wish I not those eyes to weep
For him that wanders o'er the deep;
His home, his hope, his youth are gone,
Yet still he loves, and loves but one. (1)

Now our boatmen quit their mooring,

And all hands must ply the oar;
Baggage from the quay is lowering,

We're impatient-push from shore.
“Have a care! that case holds liquor

Stop the boat-I'm sick-oh Lord!" "Sick, ma'am, damme, you'll be sicker Ere you've been an hour on board."

Thus are screaming

Men and women,
Gemmen, ladies, servants, Jacks;

Here entangling,

All are wrangling,
Stuck together close as wax.-
Such the general noise and racket,
Ere we reach the Lisbon Packet.
Now we've reach'd her, lo! the captain,

Gallant Kidd, (2) commands the crew;
Passengers their berths are clapt in,

Some to grumble, some to spew.
“Heyday! call you that a cabin?

Why 'tis hardly three feet square;
Not enough to stow Queen Mab in
Who the deuce can harbour there?

“Who, sir? plenty

Nobles twenty
Did at once my vessel Gill." -

“Did they? Jesus,

How you squeeze us!
Would to God they did so still:
Then I'd scape the heat and racket
Of the good ship, Lisbon Packet.”

1809.

LINES TO MR. HODGSON.
WRITTEN ON BOARD THE LISBON PACKET.
Hozza! Hodgson, we are going,

Our embargo's off at last;
Favourable breezes blowing

Bend the canvass o'er the mast.
From aloft the signal's streaming,

Hark! the farewell gun is fired;
Women screeching, tars blaspheming,
Tell us that our time's expired.

Here's a rascal

Come to task all,
Prying from the custom-house;

Trunks unpacking,

Cases cracking;
Not a corner for a mouse
'Scapes unsearch'd amid the racket,
Ere we sail on board the Packet.

Fletcher! Murray! Bob!(3) where are you?

Stretch'd along the deck like logs--
Bear a hand, you jolly tar, you!

Here's a rope's-end for the dogs.
Hobhouse, muttering fearful curses

As the hatchway down he rolls,
Now bis breakfast, now his verses,
Vomits forth-and damns our souls.

“Here's a stanza

On Braganza-
Help!"_"A couplet ?" No, a cup

Of warm water”

" What's the matter?"
“ Zounds! my liver 's coming up;

(1) Thus corrected by himself, in his mother's copy of the Indian seas. Of the supernatural character of this apMr. Hobhouse's Miscellany; the two last lines being ori- | pearance, Captain Kidd himself did not appear to bave the ginally

slightest doubt.”--P. E.
“Though wheresoe'er my bark may run,
I love but thee, I love but one." -L. E.

(3) Lord Byron's three servants.-L.E.

Of the veteran Joe Murray's attachment to his master, Moore, in his Life, mentions a strange story which Moore in his Life makes frequent and honourable mention. this officer related to Lord Byron on the passage. He stated The following anecdote is characteristic :“ In 1810, there that "being asleep one night in his berth, he was awakened

bad been an execution on Newstead for a debt of 1500L. by the pressure of something heavy on his limbs, and there

To the faithful old servant, jealous of the ancient honour being a faint light in the room, could see, as he thought, of the Byrons, the sight of the notice of sale, pasted up distinctly, the figure of his brother, who was at that time on the Abbey door, could not be otherwise than an unin the naval service in the East Indies, dressed in his uni. sightly and intolerable nuisance. Having enough, however, form and stretched across the bed. Concluding it to be an of the fear of the law before his eyes, not to tear the writillusion of the senses, he shut his eyes and made an effort ing down, he was at last forced, as his only consolatory to sleep. But still the same pressure continued, and still, expedient, to paste a large piece of brown paper over it." as often as he ventured to take another look, he saw the -In proof of the kindly feeling which Lord Byron ever Ggure lying across in the same position. To add to the entertained towards “Ola Joe Murray,” Moore also states wonder, on putting his band forth to touch this form, he that a constant visiter at Newstead has often "seen Lord found the uniform, in which it appeared to be dressed, Byron, at the dinner-table, fill out a tumbler of madeira dripping wet. On the entrance of one of his brother officers, and hand it over his shoulder to Joe Murray, who stood to whom he called out in alarm, the apparition vanished; / behind his chair, saying, with a cordiality that brightened but in a few months after he received the startling intelli his whole countenance, Here, my old fellow.'1-P. E. gence that, on that night, his brother had been drowned in

I shall not survive the racket
of this brutal Lisbon Packet."
Now at length we're off for Turkey,

Lord knows when we shall come back!
Breezes foul and tempests murky

May unship us in a crack.
But, since life at most a jest is,

As philosophers allow,
Still to laugh by far the best is,
Then laugh on-as I do now.

Laugh at all things,

Great and small things,
Sick or well, at sea or Shore;

While we're quaffing,

Let's have laughing -
Who the devil cares for more?
Some good wine! and who would lack it,
Even on board the Lisbon Packet?(1)

Falmouth Roads, June 30, 1809.

A few, brief, rolling seasons o'er,

Perchance I view her cliffs again ;
But wheresoe'er I now may roam,

Through scorching clime, and varied sea,
Though Time restore me to my home,

I ne'er shall bend mine eyes on thee:
On thee, in whom at once conspire

All charms which heedless hearts can move,
Whom but to see is to admire,

And, oh! forgive the word—to love.
Forgive the word, in one who ne'er

With such a word can more offend;
And since thy heart I cannot share,

Believe me, what I am, thy friend.
And who so cold as look on thee,

Thou lovely wanderer, and be less?
Nor be, what man should ever be,

The friend of Beauty in distress?
Ah! who would think that form had pass'd

Through Danger's most destructive path,
Had braved the death-wing'd tempest's blast,

And 'scaped a tyrant's fiercer wrath?
Lady! when I shall view the walls

Where free Byzantium once arose,
And Stamboul's Oriental halls

The Turkish tyrants now enclose;
Though mightiest, in the lists of fame,

That glorious city still shall be;
On me 't will hold a dearer claim,

As spot of thy nativity:
And, though I bid thee now farewell,

When I behold that wondrous scene,
Since where thou art I may not dwell,
"T will soothe to be where thou hast beca.

September, 18

LINES WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM, AT MALTA.

As o'er the cold sepulchral stone

Some name arrests the passer-by;
Thus, when thou view'st this page alone,

May mine attract thy pensive eye!
And when by thee that name is read,

Perchance in some succeeding year,
Reflect on me as on the dead,
And think my heart is buried here.

September 14, 1809.

TO FLORENCE. (2) Ou Lady! when I left the shore,

The distant shore which gave me birth, I hardly thought to grieve once more,

To quit another spot on earth: Yet here, amidst this barren isle,

Where panting Nature droops the head, Where only thou art seen to smile,

I view my parting hour with dread. Though far from Albin's craggy shore,

Divided by the dark-blue main ;

STANZAS
COMPOSED DURING A THUNDER-STORM. (3)
Carll and mirk is the nightly blast,

Where Pindus' mountains rise,
And angry clouds are pouring fast

The vengeance of the skies.

(1) In the letter in which these lively verses were enclosed, I rival bere I have had scarcely any other companion. I bat? Lord Byron says:"I leave England without regret--I shall found her very pretty, very accomplished, and extreme return to it without pleasure. I am like Adam, the first eccentric. Bonaparte is even now so incensed against bei convict sentenced to transportation; but I have no Eve, that her life would be in danger if she were taken priseda and have eaten no apple but what was sour as a crab; and

at was sour as a crab; and a second time."-L. B. thus ends my first chapter."--L. E.

(3) This thunder-storm occurred during the night of the (2) These lines were written at Malta. The lady to whom I1th October 1809, when Lord Byron's guides had lost the they were addressed, and whom he afterwards apostrophises road to Zitza, near the range of mountains formerly cause in the stanzas on the thunder-storm of Zitza, and in Childe Pindus, in Albania. Mr. Hobhouse, who had rode on keluar Harold, is thus mentioned in a letter to his mother:-" This the rest of party, and arrived at Zitza just as the evenit letter is committed to the charge of a very extraordinary set in, describes the thunder as “roaring without interne lady, whom you have doubtless heard of, Mrs. Spencer Smith, sion, the echoes of one peal not ceasing to roll in a of whose escape the Marquis de Salvo published a narrative mountains, before another tremendous crash hurst over our a few years ago. She has since been shipwrecked ; and her heads; whilst the plains and the distant hills appeared a 4 life has been from its commencement so fertile in remark. perpetual blaze.” “The tempest," he says, was altogether able incidents, that in a romance they would appear im. terrific, and worthy of the Grecian Jove. My friesd, probable. She was born at Constantinople, where her father, the priest and the servants, did not enter our hut till three Baron Herbert, was Austrian ambassador; married unbap in the morning. I now learnt from him that they had kus! pily, yet has never been impeached in point of character; their way, and that, after wandering up and dowa ia excited the vengeance of Bonaparte, by taking a part in ignorance of their position, they had stopped at last some conspiracy; several times risked her life; and is not some Turkish tomb-stones and a torrent, which they yet five-and-twenty. She is here on her way to England to the flasbes of lightning. They had been thus cepases join her husband, being obliged to leave Trieste, where she nine hours. It was long before we ceased to talle was paying a visit to her mother, by the approach of the thunder-storm in the plain of Zitza."-L.E. French, and embarks soon in a ship of war. Since my ar.

« ElőzőTovább »