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For the man,“ poor and shrewd," (2)
With whom you'd conclude
Perhaps some such pen is
Still extant in Venice;
VENICE, January 8, 1818.
The Quarterly—Ah, sir, if you
A party dines with me to-day,
TO MR. MURRAY.
VENICE, March 25, 1818.
EPISTLE TO MR. MURRAY.
You're in a damn'd hurry
But (if they don't rob us)
You'll see Mr. Hobhouse
For the Journal you hint of,
As ready to print off,
But as yet I have writ off
The devil a bit of
Then you've ***'s Tour,
No great things, to be sure, -
For the pompous rascallion,
Who don't speak Italian
You can make any loss up
Then Queen Mary's Epistle-craft,
With the new “Fytte of Whistlecraft, Must make people purchase and read.
Then you've General Gordon,
Who girded his sword on,
And help him to polish
A nation so owlish, They thought shaving their beards a disaster.
ON THE BIRTH OF JOHN WILLIAM RIZZO
In him, I hope, will always fit so;
The health and appetite of Rizzo.(3)
NEW DUET. (To the tune of “Why, how now, saucy jade ?")
Wuy, how now, saucy Tom?
If you thus must ramble,
Remarks on Mister Campbell.
Sure the priest is maudlin! (To the public) How can you, d-n your
Listen to his twaddling? (souls!
(1) The fourth Canto of Childe Harold.-L. E.
Allusion is here made to a phrase contained in a previous letter from Mr. Murray.-P. E.
(3) On the birth of this child, the son of the British viceconsul at Venice, Lord Byron wrote these lines. They are in no other respect remarkable, than that they were thought
worthy of being metrically translated into no less than ten different languages; namely, Greek, Latin, Italian (also in tbe Venetian dialect), German, French, Spanish, Illyrian, Hebrew, Armenian, and Samaritan. The original lines, with the different versions above mentioned, were printed, in a small neat volume, in the seminary of Padua.- L.E.
ODE ON VENICE.(1)
Are of as high an order—they must go Ou Venice! Venice! when thy marble walls
Even where their driver goads them, though to slaughter. Are level with the waters, there shall be
Ye men, who pour your blood for kings as water, A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,
What have they given your children in return? A loud lament along the sweeping sea!
A heritage of servitude and woes, If I, a northern wanderer, weep for thee
A blindfold bondage, where your hire is blows. What should thy sons do ?-any thing but weep:
What! do not yet the red-hot ploughshares bum, And yet they only murmur in their sleep.
O'er which you stumble in a false ordeal, In contrast with their fathers—as the slime,
And deem this proof of loyalty the real; The dull green ooze of the receding deep,
Kissing the hand that guides you to your scars, Is with the dashing of the spring-lide foam,
And glorying as you tread the glowing bars? That drives the sailor shipless to his home,
All that your sires have left you, all that Time Are they to those that were; and thus they creep,
Bequeaths of free, and History of sublime, Crouching and crab-like, through their sapping streets. Spring from a different theme!-Ye see and read. Oh! agony-that centuries should reap
Admire and sigh, and then succumb and bleed! No mellower harvest! Thirteen hundred years
Save the few spirits, who, despite of all, Of wealth and glory turn'd to dust and tears;
And worse than all, the sudden crimes engender'd And every monument the stranger meets,
By the down-thundering of the prison-wall, Church, palace, pillar, as a mourner greets;
And thirst to swallow the sweet waters tenderd, And even the Lion all subdued appears,
Gushing from Freedom's fountains-when the crowd, And the harsh sound of the barbarian drum,
Madden'd with centuries of drought, are loud, With dull and daily dissonance, repeats
And trample on each other to obtain The echo of thy tyrant's voice along
The cup which brings oblivion of a chain The soft waves, once all musical to song,
Heavy and sore, -in which long yoked they plough'd That heaved beneath the moonlight with the throng
The sand, -or if there sprung the yellow grain, Of gondolas—and to the busy hum
'T was not for them, their necks were too much bow'd, of cheerful creatures, whose most sinful deeds
And their dead palates chew'd the cud of pain : i Were but the overbeating of the heart,
Yes! the few spirits—who, despite of deeds And flow of too much happiness, which needs
Which they abhor, confound not with the cause The aid of age to turn its course apart
Those momentary starts from Nature's laws, From the luxuriant and voluptuous food
Which, like the pestilence and earthquake, smite Of sweet sensations, battling with the blood.
But for a term, then pass, and leave the earth But these are better than the gloomy errors,
With all her seasons to repair the blight The weeds of nations in their last decay,
With a few summers, and again put forth When Vice walks forth with her unsoften'd terrors,
Cities and generations-fair, when freeAnd Mirth is madness, and but smiles to slay;
For, Tyranny, there blooms no bud for thee! And Hope is nothing but a false delay,
Glory and Empire! once upon these towers The sick man's lightning half an hour ere death,
| With Freedom-godlike Triad! how ye sate! When Faintness, the last mortal birth of Pain,
The league of mightiest nations, in those hours | And apathy of limb, the dull beginning
When Venice was an envy, might abate, of the cold staggering race which Death is winning, But did not quench, her spirit-in her fate Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away;
All were enwrapp'd: the feastcd monarchs knew | Yet so relieving the o'er-tortured clay,
And loved their hostess, nor could learn to hate, To him appears renewal of his breath,
Although they humbled-with the kingly few And freedom the mere numbness of his chain ; The many felt, for from all days and climes And then he talks of life, and how again
She was the voyager's worship;--even her crimes He feels his spirits soaring--albeit weak,
Were of the softer order-born of Love, And of the fresher air, which he would seek;
She drank no blood, nor fattend on the dead, And as he whispers knows not that he gasps, But gladden'd where her harmless conquests spread; That bis thin finger feels not what it clasps,
For these restored the Cross, that from above And so the film comes o'er him and the dizzy Hallow'd her sheltering banners, which incessant Chamber swims round and round—and shadows busy, Flew between earth and the unholy Crescent, At which he vainly catches, fit and gleam,
Which, if it waned and dwindled, Earth may thank Till the last rattle chokes the strangled scream, The city it has clothed in chains, which clank And all is ice and blackness,--and the earth
Now, creaking in the ears of those who owe That which it was the moment ere our birth. | The name of Freedom to her glorious struggles; There is no hope for nations!-- Search the page
Yet sbe but shares with them a common woe, Of many thousand years—the daily scene,
And call'd the kingdom” of a conquering foe, The flow and ebb of each recurring age,
But knows what all-and, most of all, we knowThe everlasting to be which hath been,
With what set gilded terms a tyrant juggles! Hath taught us nought or little: still we lean The name of Commonwealth is past and gone On things that rot beneath our weight, and wear O'er the three fractions of the groaning globe; Our strength away in wrestling with the air;
Venice is crush'd, and Holland deigns to own For 't is our nature strikes us down : the beasts
A sceptre, and endures the purple robe; Slaughter'd in hourly hecatombs for feasts
If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone (1) This Ode was transmitted from Venice, along with to Mr. Murray, was completed in July, 1818. Mr. Galt has Mazeppa.-L. E.
justly designated it as "a spirited and indignant effusion, The Ode on Venice, as Lord Byron states in a letter rich in a variety of impressive and original images. "--P.E.
His chainless mountains, 'tis but for a time;
But left long wrecks behind : and now again, For Tyranny of late is cunning grown,
Borne in our old unchanged career, we move; And in its own good season tramples down
Thou tendest wildly onwards to the main,
And 1-to loving one I should not love.
The current I behold will sweep beneath
Her native walls and murmur at her feet;
Her eyes will look on thee, when she shall breathe And proud distinction from each other land,
The twilight air, unharm’d by summer's heat. Whose sons must bow them at a monarch's motion, She will look on thee, I have look'd on thee, As if his senseless sceptre were a wand
Full of that thought; and, from that moment, ne'er Full of the magic of exploded science
Thy waters could I dream of, name, or see,
Without the inseparable sigh for her!
Her bright eyes will be imaged in thy stream,
Yes! they will meet the wave I gaze on now: The floating fence of Albion's feebler crag,
Mine cannot witness, even in a dream, May strike to those whose red right hands have bought | That happy wave repass me in its flow! Rights cheaply earn'd with blood.-Still, still, for ever The wave that bears my tears returns no more: Better, though each man's life-blood were a river,
Will she return by whom that wave shall sweep? That it should flow, and overflow, than creep
Both tread thy banks, both wander on thy shore, Through thousand lazy channels in our veins,
I by thy source, she by the dark-blue deep. Damm'd like the dull canal with locks and chains, | And moving, as a sick man in his sleep,
But that which keepeth us apart is not Three paces, and then faltering :- better be
Distance, nor depth of wave, nor space of earth, Where the extinguish'd Spartans still are free,
But the distraction of a various lot,
As various as the climates of our birth.
Born far beyond the mountains, but his blood One spirit to the souls our fathers had,
Is all meridian, as if never fann'd One freeman more, America, to thee!
By the black wind that chills the polar flood.
My blood is all meridian ; were it not,
I had not left my clime, nor should I be,
In spite of tortures, ne'er to be forgot, Where dwells the lady of my love, when she
A slave again of love,—at least of thee. Walks by thy brink, and there perchance recalls "Tis vain to struggle— let me perish youngA faint and fleeting memory of me;
Live as I lived, and love as I have loved; What if thy deep and ample stream should be
To dust if I return, from dust I sprung, A mirror of my heart, where she may read
And then, at least, my heart can ne'er be moved. The thousand thoughts I now betray to thee,
Wild as thy wave, and headlong as thy speed! What do I say-a mirror of my heart?
EPIGRAM, Are not thy waters sweeping, dark, and strong ?
FROM THE FRENCH OF RULHIÈRES. Such as my feelings were and are, thou art;
If, for silver or for gold, And such as thou art were my passions long.
You could melt ten thousand pimples Time may have somewhat tamed them,--not for ever;
Into half-a-dozen dimples, Thou overflow'st thy banks, and not for aye
Then your face we might behold, Thy bosom overboils, congenial river!
Looking, doubtless, much more snugly; Thy floods subside, and mine have sunk away
Yet even then't would be
d d ugly.
spoken of as a piece of public good fortune, and his departure as a public calamity." In the third Canto of Don Juan, Lord Byron has pictured the tranquil life which, at this time, he was leading :
) About the middle of April, 1819, Lord Byron travelled from Venice to Ravenna, at which last city be expected to find the Countess Guiccioli. These stanzas, which bave been as much admired as any of the kind be ever wrote, were com posed, according to Madame Guiccioli's statement, during this journey, and while Lord Byron was actually sailing on the Po. In transmitting them to England, in May, 1820, be says,-“ They must not be published: pray recollect this, as they are mere verses of society, and written upon private feelings and passions.” They were first printed in 1824.-LE.
(2) Ravenna-a city to which Lord Byron afterwards declared himself more attached than to any other place, except Greece. He resided in it rather more than two years, “and quitted it,” says Madame Guiccioli,“ with the deepest regret, and with a presentiment that his departare would be the forerunner of a thousand evils: he was continually performing generous actions : many families owed to him the few prosperous days they ever enjoyed; his arrival was
"Sweet hour of twilight-in the solitude
or the pine forest, and the silent sbore
Rooted where once the Adrian wave flow'd o'er,
Evergreen forest! which Boccaccio's lore
“The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,
Making their summer lives one ceaseless song,
And vesper bells that rose the boughs among ;
His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the fair throng,
SONNET TO GEORGE THE FOURTH,(1) ON THE REPEAL OF LORD EDWARD FITZGERALD's
FORFEITURE. To be the father of the fatherless,
To stretch the hand from the throne's height, and
His offspring, who expired in other days (raise To make thy sire's sway by a kingdom less, This is to be a monarch, and repress
Envy into unutterable praise.
Dismiss thy guard, and trust thee to such traits, For who would lift a hand, except to bless?
Were it not easy, sir, and is't not sweet
To make thyself beloved ? and to be Omnipotent by mercy's means ? for thus
Thy sovereignty would grow but more complete; A despot thou, and yet thy people free, And by the heart, not hand, enslaving us.
BOLOGNA, August 12, 1819.
Obscures his glory;
Quits with disdain.
He must move on-
Retreat destroys him, Love brooks not a degraded throne.
Wait not, fond lover!
As from a dream.
All hideous seem
All passion blight:
Love's reign is finish'd
Be tried in vain-
We'd hug the chain.
Love plumes his wing;
Let's love a season;
When lovers parted
Expect to die;
For whom they sigh!
From out his wing-
But sadly shiver
Like chiefs of faction,
That curbs his reign,
So shall affection
Bring back with joy:
Began to cloy.
As through the past;
of your sweet errors Reflect but rapture—not least though last.
From such have risen!
Beat 'gainst their prison?
Is but for boys
Though sharper, shorter,
(1) “So the prince has been repealing Lord Fitzgerald's forfeiture? Ecco un' sonetto? There, you dogs! there's a sonnet for you: you won't have such as that in a hurry from Fitzgerald. You may publish it with my name, an ye wool. He deserves all praise, bad and good: it was a very noble piece of principality.” Lord B. to Mr. Murray. -L.E.
(2) A friend of Lord Byron's, who was with him at Ra. venna when he wrote these Stanzas, says,-“They were
composed, like many others, with no view of publicaties, but merely to relieve himself in a moment of suffering. He had been painfully excited by some circumstances which appeared to make it necessary that he should immediately quit Italy; and in the day and the bour that he wrote the song, was labouring under an access of fever.-LE
(3) “That sped his spring."-L E.
(4) V. L._"One last embrace, then, and bid good-night. -L. E.
ON MY WEDDING-DAY.(1)
I beg you 'll permit me to say-
January 2, 1820.
Beneath this cold slab, he
Now lies in the Abbey.
Will. Cobbett has done well:
He'll visit you in hell. (2)
EPIGRAM. The world is a bundle of hay,
Mankind are the asses who pull; Each tugs it a different way,
And the greatest of all is John Bull.
THE IRISH AVATAR.(4)
And her ashes still float to their home o'er the tide,
The rainbow-like epoch where freedom could pause
The Castle still stands, and the senate's no more,
Is extending its steps to her desolate shore.
For a moment to gaze ere he flies from his hearth;
For the dungeon be quits is the place of his birth. But he comes! the Messiah of royalty comes !
Like a goodly Leviathan roll'd from the waves! Then receive, liim as best such an advent becomes,
With a legion of cooks, and an army of slaves! He comes, in the promise and bloom of threescore,
To perforut in the pageant the sovereign's partBut long live the shamrock which shadows him o'er ; Could the green in his hat be transferr'd to his
And a new spring of noble affections arise-
Were he God-as he is but the commonest clay, With scarce fewer wrinkles than sins on bis brow
Such servile devotion might shame him away.
Their fanciful spirits to pamper his pride
His soul o'er the freedom implored and denied.
So simple in heart, so sublime in the rest!
ON SOME BROTHER POETS.
What news of scribblers five?
All damn'd though yet alive!
The reclaim'd Paradise
But if the new Eve
For an apple should grieve,
TO MR. MURRAY.
(1) This quatrain is extracted from a letter of Lord Byron | had been applied by the Genoese wits to himself. Taking to Mr. Moore, bearing the above date. The lines are pre it into their heads that this villa (which was also, I believe, faced by those which follow, taken from Cowper's John a casa saluzzo), had been the one fixed on for his own Gilpin:
residence, they said n Diavolo e ancora entrato in PaTo-day it is my wedding-day,
radiso.'” Moore.-P. E.
(4) “In one copy, the following sentence (taken from a And I should dine at Ware."-P.E.
letter of Curran, in the able life of that true Irishman, (2) In the MS.
written by his son) is prefixed as a motto to the poem :"You come to him on earth again,
And Ireland like a bastinadoed elephant, kneeling to reHe'll go with you to bell."-LE.
ceive the paltry rider.'-At the end of the verses are these These lines, together with the “Epitaph for William words ;-* (Signed) W. L. B*, M. A., and written with a Pitt" were enclosed in a letter to Mr. Moore, Jan. 2, 1820, view to a bishoprick
view to a bishoprick.'” Moore, Life.-P.E. in which the author thus alludes to them :-“ Pray let not
" I will show you my Irish Avatara. Moore tells me that these versiculi go forth with my name, except among the
it has saved him from writing on the same subject: he initiated, because my friend H. bas foumed into a reformer,
would have done it much better." Medwin.-P. E. and I greatly fear will subside into Newgate."-PE.
(5) The stanzas referring to Grattan, appear to have been (3) “ With the view of inducing his friends (the Earl
additions made to the poem as it was originally composed. and Countess of Blessington) to prolong their stay at Genoa,
In a letter of Lord B. to Mr. Moore, we find the following: Byron suggested their taking a pretty villa, called n Para
-“ After the stanza on Grattan, concluding with His soul diso, in the neighbourhood of his own, and accompanied
o'er the freedom implored and denied,' will it please you them to look at it. Upon that occasion it was, that, on the
to cause insert the following addenda,' which I dreamed lady expressing some intentions of residing there, he pro
of during to-day's siosta: duced the above impromptu. The jest which it contains
• Ever glorious Grattan,' ete, etc. etc."-P. E.'