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Since your beautiful maid your flame bas repaid, Yet still, to increase your calamities more,
Not content with depriving your bodies of spirit, She's now most divine, and I bow at the shrine He allots one poor husband to share amongst four ! of this quickly-reform'd coquette.
With souls you'd dispense; but this last, who could
bear it? Yet still, I must own, I should never have known
From your verses, what else she deserved; His religion to please neither party is made; Your pain seem'd so great, I pitied your fate,
On husbands 't is hard, to the wives most uncivil: As your fair was so devilish reserved.
Still I can't contradict, what so oft has been said, Since the balm-breathing kiss of this magical miss
“ Though women are angels, yet wedlock's the
devil.” Can such wonderful transports produce; Since the “world you forget, when your lips once
have met," My counsel will get but abuse.
LACHIN Y GAIR. (2) You say, when “I rove, I know nothing of love;" Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses! 'Tis true, I am given to range:
In you let the minions of luxury rove; If I rightly remember, I've loved a good number, Restore me the rocks, where the snow-flake reposes, Yet there's pleasure, at least, in a change.
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love : I will not advance, by the rules of romance,
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains, To humour a whimsical fair;
Round their white summits though elements war; Though a smile may delight, yet a frown won't affright,
Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing foun
tains, Or drive me to dreadful despair.
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.
Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wander'd; Of this I am sure, was my passion so pure,
My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid;(3) Thy mistress would think me a fool.
On chieftains long perish'd my memory ponder'd,
As daily I strode through the pine-cover'd glade: And if I should shan every woman for one,
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory Whose image must fill my whole breast
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star; Whom I must prefer, and sigh but for her
For fancy was cheer'a by traditional story, What an insult 't would be to the rest!
Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr. Now, Strephon, good bye; I cannot deny
"Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices Your passion appears most absurd;
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale ?" Such love as you plead is pure love indeed,
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices, For it only consists in the word.
And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale.
Round Loch na Garr while the stormy mist gathers, TO ELIZA.(1)
Winter presides in his cold icy car:
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers; Eliza, what fools are the Mussalman sect,
They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr. Who to woman deny the soul's future existence! Could they see thee, Eliza, they'd own their defect,
| Ill starr’d, (4) though brave, did no visions foreboding
Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause ?" And this doctrine would meet with a general re
| Ab! were you destined to die at Culloden, (5) sistance.
Victory crown'd not your fall with applanse: Had their Propbet possess'd half an atom of sense, Still were you happy in death's earthy slumber,
He ne'er would have women from paradise driven; You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar;(6) Instead of his houris, a flimsy pretence!
The pibroch resounds, to the piper's loud number, With women alone he had peopled his heaven. I Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr.
(1) Miss Elizabeth Pigot, of Southwell, to whom several
or Southwell, to whom several pendous precipice extends upwards of a mile and a half in of Lord Byron's earliest letters were addressed.-L. E.
length, and its height is from 950 to 1300 feet." Robson's (2) Lachin y Gair, or, as it is pronounced in the Erse, Scenery of the Grampians.-P. ELoch-na-Carr, towers proudly pre-eminent in the Northern (3) This word is erroneously pronounced plad: the proper Highlands, near Invercauld. One of our modern tourists pronunciation (according to the Scotch) is shown by the mentions it as the highest mountain, perhaps, in Great orthography. Britain. Be this as it may, it is certainly one of the most (4) I allude here to my maternal ancestors, "the Gor sublime and picturesque amongst our Caledonian Alps."
dons," many of wbom fought for the unfortunate Prince Its appearance is of a dusky hue, but the summit is the seat
Charles, better known by the name of the Pretender. This of eternal snows. Near Lachin y Gair I spent some of the
branch was nearly allied by blood, as well as attachment, to early part of my life, the recollection of which has given
the Stuarts. George, the second Earl of Huntly, married birth to these stanzas.
the Princess Annabella Stuart, daughter of James the First (“As a picturesque object, few mountains in the Grampian of Scotland. By ber he left four sons; the third, Sir range are more interesting than Lachin y Gair. Though its William Gordon, I bave the honour to claim as one of my summit stretches horizontally to a great extent, it is far from progenitors. presenting a heavy or inelegant contour, for even where its (6) Whether any perished in the battle of Culloden, broad front is displayed to the spectator, the brow of it is
am not certain; but, as many fell in the insurrection, I diversified by gentle inflections or pointed asperities. The I have used the name of tbe principal action, para pro most sublime feature of Lachin y Gair consists in those im toto." mense perpendicular cliffs of granite which give such im. (6) A tract of the Highlands so called. There is also a pressive grandeur to its north-eastern aspect. This stu- Castle of Braemar.
Years have roll'd on, Luch na Garr, since I left you, 1 Years must elapse ere I tread you again : Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you,
Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain. England! thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved on the mountains afar: Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic!
The steep frowning glories of dark Loch na Garr!(1)
TO ROMANCE. PARENT of golden dreams, Romance!
Auspicious queen of childish joys, Who lead'st along, in airy dance,
Thy votive train of girls and boys; At length, in spells no longer bound,
I break the fetters of my youth; No more I tread thy mystic round,
But leave thy realms for those of Truth. And yet 't is hard to quit the dreams
Which haunt the unsuspicious soul, Where every nymph a goddess seems,
Whose eyes through rays immortal roll; While Fancy holds her boundless reign,
And all assume a varied hue; When virgins seem no longer vain,
And even woman's smiles are true. And must we own thee but a name,
And from thy hall of clouds descend? Nor find a sylph in every dame,
A Pylades (2) in every friend? But leave at once thy realms of air
To mingling bands of fairy elves; Confess that woman 's false as fair,
And friends have feeling for themselves ? With shame I own I've felt thy sway;
Repentant, now thy reign is o'er: No more thy precepts I obey,
No more on fancied pinions soar. Fond fool! to love a sparkling eye,
And think that eye to truth was dear; To trust a passing wanton's sigh,
And mell beneath a wanton's tear! Romance! disgusted with deceit,
Far from thy motley court I fly, Where Affectation holds her seat,
And sickly Sensibility:
Whose silly tears can never flow
For any pangs excepting thine; Who turns aside from real woe,
To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine. Now join with sable Sympathy,
With cypress crown'd, array'd in weeds, Who heaves with thee her simple sigh,
Whose breast for every bosom bleeds; And call thy sylvan female choir,
To mourn a swain for ever gone, Who once could glow with equal fire,
But bends not now before thy throne.
On all occasions swiftly flow;
With fancied flames and frenzy glow;
Apostate from your gentle train ? An infant bard at least may claim
From you a sympathetic strain. Adieu, fond race! a long adieu !
The hour of fate is hovering nigh; E'en now the gulf appears in view,
Where unlamented you must lie: Oblivion's blackening lake is seen,
Convulsed by gales you cannot weather ; Where you, and eke your gentle queen,
Alas! must perish altogether.
ANSWER TO SOME ELEGANT VERSES SENT BY A FRIEND TO THE AUTHOR, COMPLAINING
THAT ONE OF HIS DESCRIPTIONS WAS RATHER TOO
New Bath Guide.
(1) In The Island, a poem written a year or two before Lord Byron's death, we bave these lines :
"He who first met the Highland's swelling blue
Will love each peak that shows a kindred hue,
And Highland lions with Castalie's clear fount.' "Wher very young," (he adds in a note) “about eight years of age, after an attack of the scarlet fever at Aberdeen, I was removed, by medical advice, into the Highlands, and from this period I date my love of mountainous countries. I can never forget the effect, a few years afterwards, in England, of the only thing I had long seen, even in miniaature, of a mountain, in the Malvern Hills. After I returned to Cheltenham, I used to watch them every afternoon, at masct, with a sensation which I cannot describe."--L.E.
In The Adieu” (published among his occasional pieces). Lord Byron again mentions Lachin y Gair, or Loch-na-Garr, in a manner that marks the impressions made upon his feelings by the scenes of his boyhood :
“Adieu, ye mountains of the clime,
Where grew my youthful years;
His giant summit rears."-P.E. It is hardly necessary to add, that Pylades was the companion of Orestes, and a partner in one of those friendships which, with those of Acbilles and Patroclus, Nisus and Euryalus, Damon and Pythias, have been handed down to posterity as reinarkable instances of attachments which, in all probability, never existed beyond the imagination of the poet, or the page of an historian, or modern novelist.
(3) The Rev. John Becher, prebendary of Southwell, the well-known author of several philanthropic plans for the amelioration of the condition of the poor. In this gentleman the youthful poet found not only an honest and judi. cious critic, but a sincere friend. To his care the superintendence of the second edition of Hours of Idleness, during its progress through a country press, was intrusted, and at his suggestion several corrections and omissions were made.
Precepts of prudence curb, but can't control, Proudly majestic frowns thy vaulted hall,
Scowling defiance on the blasts of fate.
No mail-clad serfs (3), obedient to their lord,
In grim array the crimson cross (4) demand; Outstript and vanquish'd in the mental chase.
Or gay assemble round the festive board
Their chief's retainers, an immortal band :
Retrace their progress through the lapse of time,
Marking each ardent youth, ordain'd to die Oh! how I hate the nerveless frigid song,
A votive pilgrim in Judea's clime. The ceaseless echo of the rhyming throng, Whose labour'd lines in chilling numbers flow, But not from thee, dark pile! departs the chief; To paint a pang the author ne'er can know !
His feudal realm in other regions lay:
In thee the wounded conscience courts relief,
Yes! in thy gloomy cells and shades profound
The monk abjured a world he ne'er could view; Whose wishes dimple in a modest smile,
Or blood-stain'd guilt repenting solace found, Whose downcast eye disdains the wanton leer,
Or innocence from stern oppression flew.
A monarch bade thee from that wild arise,
Where Sherwood's outlaws once were wont to prowl;
And Superstition's crimes, of various dyes, But for the nymph whose premature desires
Sought shelter in the priest's protecting cow). Torment her bosom with unholy fires, No net to snare her willing heart is spread ; Where now the grass exhales a murky dew, She would have fallen, though she ne'er had read. The humid pall of life-extinguish'd clay, For me, I fain would please the chosen few,
In sainted fame the sacred fathers grew,
Nor raised their pious voices but to pray.
Where now the bats their wavering wings extend, I seek not glory from the senseless crowd;
Soon as the gloaming (5) spreads her waning shade, Of fancied laurels I shall ne'er be proud :
The choir did oft their mingling vespers blend, Their warmest plaudits I would scarcely prize,
Or matin orisons to Mary (6) paid. Their sneers or censures I alike despise.
November 26, 1800. Years roll on years; to ages, ages yield;
Abbots to abbots, in a line, succeed:
Religion's charter their protecting shield ELEGY ON NEWSTEAD ABBEY. (1) Till royal sacrilege their doom decreed. "It is the voice of years that are gone! they roll before One holy HENRY reard the gothic walls, me with all their deeds."--Ossian.
And bade the pious inmates rest in peace; NEWSTEAD! fast-falling, once-resplendent dome! | Another HENRY (7) the kind gift recalls, Religion's shrine! repentant HENKY'S (2) pride!
And bids devotion's hallow'd echoes cease. Of warriors, monks, and dames the cloister'd tomb,
| Vain is each threat or supplicating prayer; Whose pensive shades around thy ruius glide:
He drives them exiles from their blest abode, Hail to thy pile! more honour'd in thy fall
To roam a dreary world in deep despairThan modern mansions in their pillar'd state; No friend, no home, no refuge, but their God.
“I must return you,” says Lord Byron, in a letter written in February, 1808, “my best acknowledgments for the interest you have taken in me and my poetical bantlings, and I shall ever be proud to show how much I esteem the advice and the adviser."-L. E.
To Mr. Becher, as we learn from Moore's Life, was presented the first copy of Lord Byron's early poetical effusions, printed for private circulation amongst his friends. The Reverend gentleman, in looking over its pages, among many things to commend and admire, as well as some almost too boyish to criticise, found one poem in which, as it appeared to him, the imagination of the yonng bard had in. dulged itself in a luxuriousness of colouring beyond what even youth could excuse. Immediately, as the most gentle mode of conveying his opinion, he sat down and addressed to Lord Byron some expostulatory verses on the subject, to which the poetical "answer" now before the reader was as promptly returned by the noble poet, with, at the same time, a note in plain prose, to say that he felt tully the jnstice of his friend's censore, and that, rather than allow the poem in question to be circulated, he would instantly recall all the copirs that had been sent out, and cancel the whole
impression. On the very same evening, this prompt sacrifice was carried into effect. Mr. Becher saw every copy of the edition burned, with the exception of that which he retained in his own possession, and another which had been dc. spatched to Edinburgh, and could not be recalled.-P. E.
(1) As one poem on this subject is already printed, the author had, originally, no intention of inserting the following. It is now added, at the particular request of somno friends.
(2) Henry II. founded Newstead soon after the murder of Thomas à Becket. (See ante, p. 3. c. I. note 2.-P. E.)
(3) This word is used by Walter Scott, in his poem, “The Wild Huntsman," as synonymous with vassal.
(4) The red cross was the badge of the crusaders.
(5) As gloaming,” the Scottish word for twilight, is far more poetical, and has been recommended by many eminent literary men, particularly by Dr. Moore in his Letters to Burns, I have ventured to use it on account of its harmony.
(6) The priory was dedicated to the Virgin.
(7) At the dissolution of the monasteries. Henry VIII. bestowed Newstead Abbey on Sir John Byron. (Sce ante, p. 3. c. I. note 2.-P. ET
Hark how the hall, resounding to the strain, Here Desolation holds her dreary court:
What satellites declare her dismal reign!
Shrieking their dirge, ill-omened birds resort,
Soon a new morn's restoring beams dispel
The fierce usurper seeks his native hell,
And Nature triumphs as the tyrant dies. An abbey once, a regal fortress (1) now,
With storms she welcomes his expiring groans; Encircled by insulting rebel powers,
Whirlwinds, responsive, greet his labouring breath; War's dread machines o'erhang thy threatening brow, | Earth shudders as her caves receive his bones, And dart destruction in sulphureous showers.
Loathing (4) the offering of so dark a death. Ab vain defence! the hostile traitor's siege,
The legal ruler (5) now resumes the helm, Though oft repulsed, by guile o'ercomes the brave; He guides through gentle seas the prow of state; His thronging foes oppress the faithful liege, | Hope cheers, with wonted smiles, the peaceful realm, Rebellion's reeking standards o'er him wave.
And heals the bleeding wounds of wearied hate. Not unavenged the raging baron yields;
The gloomy tenants, Newstead! of thy cells,
Enjoy'd, from absence, with enraptured zest. Still in that hour the warrior wished to strew
Vassals, within thy hospitable pale, Self-gather'd laurels on a self-sought grave;
Loudly carousing, bless their lord's return; Bat Charles' protecting genius bither flew,
Culture again adorns the gladdening vale, The monarch's friend, the monarch's hope, to save. And matrons, once lamenting, cease to mourn. Trembling, she snatched him (2) from the unequal A thousand songs on tuneful echo float,
In other fields the torrent to repel; (strife, Unwonted foliage mantles o'er the trees; For nobler combats, here, reserved his life,
And hark! the horns proclaim a mellow note, To lead the band where godlike FALKLAND (3) fell. The hunters' cry hangs lengthening on the breeze. From thee, poor pile! to lawless plunder given, Beneath their coursers' hoofs the valleys shake:
While dying groans their painful requiem sound, What fears, what anxious hopes, attend the chase! Far different incense now ascends to heaven,
The dying stag seeks refuge in the Lake; (6) Such victims wallow on the gory ground.
Exulting shouts announce the finish'd race. There many a pale and ruthless robber's corse, Ah happy days! too happy to endure ! Noisome and ghast, defiles thy sacred sod;
Such simple sports our plain forefathers knew : O’er mingling man, and horse commix'd with horse, No splendid vices glitter'd to allure; Corruption's heap, the savage spoilers trod.
Their joys were many, as their cares were few. Graves, long with rank and sighing weeds o'erspread, From these descending, sons lo sires succeed;
Ransack'd, resign perforce their mortal mould: Time steals along, and Death uprears his dart; From ruffian fangs escape not e'en the dead,
Another chief impels the foaming steed, Raked from repose in search for buried gold.
Another crowd pursue the panting hart.
Thy yawning arch betokens slow decay;
Now holds thy mouldering turrets in his sway. At length the sated murderers, gorged with pray, Deserted now, he scans thy grey worn towers ; Retire; the clamour of the fight is o'er;
Thy vaults, where dead of feudal ages sleep; Silence again resumes her awful sway,
Thy cloisters, pervious to the wintry showers; And sable Horror guards the massy door.
These, these he views, and views them but to weep. Yet are his tears no emblem of regret :
(1) Newstead sustained a considerable siege in the war divine interposition; but whether as approbation or conbetween Charles I. and his parliament.
demnation, we leave to the casuists of that age to decide. Lord Byron, and his brother Sir William, held high
I have made such use of the occurrence as suited the subject commands in the royal army. The former was general in
of my poem. chief in Ireland, lieutenant of the Tower, and governor to
(5) Charles II. James, Duke of York, afterwards the unhappy James II.;
(6) During the lifetime of the fifth Lord Byron, there was the latter had a principal share in many actions.
found in this Lake- where it is supposed to have been (3) Lucius Carey, Lord Viscount Falkland, the most
thrown for concealment by the Monks- a large brass eagle,
in the body of which, on its being sent to be cleaned, was I accomplished man of his age, was killed at the battle of
discovered a secret aperture, concealing within it a number Newbury, charging in the ranks of Lord Byron's regiment
of ancient documents connected with the rights and privi. of cavalry.
leges of the foundation. At the sale of the old Lord's effects, (4) This is an historical fact. A violent tempest occurred in 1776, this eagle was purchased by a watchmaker of immediately subsequent to the death or interment of Crom Nottingham; and it now forms, through the liberality of well, which occasioned many disputes between his partisans | Sir Richard Kaye, an appropriate ornament of the fine old and the Cavaliers: both interpreted the circumstance into church of Southwell.-L. E. .
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway, Cherish'd affection only bids them flow.
The past confounding with the present day. Pride, hope, and love, forbid him to forget, But warm his bosom with impassion'd glow. Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought,
| Which still recurs, unlook'd for and unsought; Yet he prefers thee to the gilded domes
My soul to Fancy's fond suggestion yields, Or gewgaw grottos of the vainly great;
And roams romantic o'er her airy fields; Yet lingers 'mid thy damp and mossy tombs,
Scenes of my youth, developed, crowd to view, Nor breathes a murmur 'gainst the will of fate.(1 1
To which I long have bade a last adieu ! Haply thy sun, emerging, yet may shine,
Seats of delight, inspiring youthful themes; Thee to irradiate with meridian ray;(2)
Friends lost to me for aye, except in dreams; Hours splendid as the past may still be thine,
Some who in marble prematurely sleep,
Some who yet urge the same scholastic course
Of early science, future fame the source;
Who, still contending in the studious race,
In quick rotation fill the senior place.
These with a thousand visions now unite,
To dazzle, though they please, my aching sight.(5)
Our tricks of mischief, every childish game, Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind: Unchanged by time or distance, seem the same; What grisly forms, the spectre-train of woe,
Through winding paths along the glade, I trace Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow, The social smile of every welcome face; With Resignation wage relentless strife,
My wonted haunts, my scenes of joy and woe, While hope retires appallid, and clings to life! Each early boyish friend, or youthful foe, Yet less the pang when, through the tedious hour, Our feuds dissolved, but not my friendship past :-Remembrance sheds around her genial power, I bless the former, and forgive the last. Calls back the vanish'd days to rapture given, Hours of my youth! when, nurtured in my breast, When love was bliss, and beauty forind our heaven; To love a stranger, friendship made me blest ;Or, dear to youth, portrays each childish scene, Friendship, the dear peculiar bond of youth, Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been. When every artless bosom throbs with truth; As when through clouds that pour the summer storm Untaught by worldly wisdom how to feign, The orb of day unveils his distant form,
| And check each impulse with prudential rein; Gilds with faint beams the crystal dews of rain, When all we feel, our honest souls disclose--And dimly twinkles o'er the watery plain;
In love to friends, in open hate to foes; Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams, No varnish'd tales the lips of youth repeat, The sun of memory, glowing through my dreams, No dear-bought knowledge purchased by deceit. Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze, Hypocrisy, the gift of lengthen'd years, To scenes far distant points his paler rays;
Matured by age, the garb of prudence wears.
(1) “Come what may," wrote Byron to his mother, in March 1809, “Newstead and I stand or fall together. I have now lived on the spot; I have fixed my heart upon it; and no pressure, present or future, shall induce me to barter the last vestige of our inheritance. I have that pride within me which will enable me to support difficulties. I can endure privations; but could I obtain, in exchange for Newstead Abbey, the first fortune in the country, I would reject the proposition. Set your mind at ease on that score; I feel like a man of honour, and I will not sell Newstead."-LE.
(2) “We cannot,” said the Critical Review for September, 1807, “but hail with something of prophetic rapture, the Lope conveyed in the closing stanza
“Haply thy sun, emerging, yet may shine, etc!-L. E. (3) The reader who turns from this Elegy to the stanzas descriptive of Newstead Abbey and the surrounding scenery, in the thirteenth canto of Don Juan, cannot fail to remark how frequently the leading thoughts in the two pieces are the same; or to be delighted and instructed, in comparing the juvenile sketch with the bold touches and mellow co. louring of the master's picture.-L.E.
(6) These verses were composed while Lord Byron was suffering under severe illness and depression of spirits. "I was laid," he says, "on my back, when that schoolboy thing was written, or rather dictated-expecting to rise no more, my physician having taken his sixteenth fee.” In the private volume the poem opened with the following lines :
Hence! thou unvarying song of varied loves.
Which every rhyming bard repeats by rote,
" Alas! in vain I check the maddening thought;
My soul to Fancy's," etc. etc., as at line 29.-L. E. (5) The next fifty-six lines to
"Here first remember'd be the joyous band," were added in the first edition of Hours of Idleness. -L E.