« PreviousContinue »
FROM THE FRENCH.
For wert thou vanish'd from my mind,
Where could my vacant bosom turn? And who would then remain behind
To honour thine abandon'd urn ? No, no—it is my sorrow's pride
That last dear duty to fulfil; Though all the world forget beside,
'T is meet that I remember still.
EGLÉ, beauty and poet, has two little crimes;
THE CHAIN I GAVE.
FROM THE TURKISH.
For well I know, that such had been
Thy gentle care for him, who now Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene,
Where none regarded him, but thou: And, oh! I feel in that was given
A blessing never meant for me; Thou wert too like a dream of heaven, For earthly Love to merit thee.
March 14, 1812.
ON A CORNELIAN HEART WHICH WAS
The chain I gave was fair to view,
The lute I added sweet in sound;
And ill deserved the fate it found.
Thy truth in absence to divine;
Alas! they could not teach thee thine.
But not to bear a stranger's touch;
In other hands its notes were such.
The chain which shiver'd in his grasp,
Restring the chords, renew the clasp.
The chain is broke, the music mute. 'T is past-to them and thee adieu
False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.
ILL-FATED Heart! and can it be
That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain ? Have years of care for thine and thee
Alike been all employ'd in vain!
Yet precious seems each shatter'd part,
And every fragment dearer grown, Since he who wears thee feels thou art A fitter emblem of his own.
March 16, 1812.
LINES WRITTEN ON A BLANK LEAF OF THE
“PLEASURES OF MEMORY.”
LINES TO A LADY WEEPING. (1)
WEEP, daughter of a royal line,
A sire's disgrace, a realm's decay; Ah! happy if each tear of thine
Could wash a father's fault away!
ABSENT or present, still to thee,
My friend, what magic spells belong! As all can tell, who share, like me,
In turn thy converse, and thy song.
By friendship ever deem'd too nigh,
Shall weep that aught of thee can die,
Thy homage offer'd at her shrine,
Weep-for thy tears are Virtue's tears
Auspicious to these suffering isles; And be each drop in fulure years Repaid thee by thy people's smiles !
(1) This impromptu owed its birth to an on dit, that the late should have given birth, I really think, 10 eight thousand!" Princess Charlolle of Wales burst inlo lears on hearing that the -E. Whigs had found it impossible to put together a cabinet, at the “The 'Lines to a Lady weeping' must go wilh the Corsair. period of Mr. Perceval's death. They were appended to the first I care nothing for consequences on this point. My politics are edition of the Corsair, and excited a sensalion, as it is called, to me like a young mistress to an old man; the worse they grow, marvellously disproportionate to their length,-or, we may add, the fonder I become of them.” Lord A. lo Mr. Murray, Jan. 2.their merit. The ministerial prints raved for two months on 1814. “On my return, I find all the newspapers in bysteries
, end, in the most soul-mouthed vituperation of the poet, and all and town in an uproar, on the avowal and republication of two that belonged to him-the Morning Post even announced a slanzas on Princess Charlotte's weeping at Regency's speech to motion in the House of Lords—"and all this;" Lord Byron writes Lauderdale in 1812. They are daily at it still:-some of the lo Mr. Moore," as Bedreddin in the Arabian Nighis remarks, abuse good, -all of it hearly. They Lalk of a motion in our House for making a cream lart with pepper; how odd, that eight lines upon it- be it so.” Byron's Diary, 1814.
And blend, while ages roll away,
Names such as hallow still the dome we lost. Her name immortally with thine!
On Drury first your Siddons' thrilling art [heart. April 19, 1812.
O’erwhelm'd the gentlest, storm’d the sternest
On Drury Garrick's latest laurels grew;
Her your last tears retiring Roscius drew,
Sigh’d his last thanks, and wept his last adieu : SPOKEN AT THE OPENING OF DRURY-LANE THEATRE, But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1812.(1)
That only waste their odours o'er the tomb. In one dread night our city saw, and sigh’d, Such Drury claim'd and claims-nor you refuse Bow'd to the dust, the Drama's lower of pride; One tribute to revive his slumbering Muse; In one short hour beheld the blazing fane, With garlands deck your own Menander's head, Apollo sink, and Shakspeare cease to reign. Nor hoard your honours idly for the dead!
Ye who beheld (ch! sight admired and mourn'd, Dear are the days which made our annals bright, Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn'd!) Ere Garrick fled, or Brinsley (3) ceased to write. Through clouds of fire the massy fragments riven, Heirs to their labours, like all high-born heirs, Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven; Vain of our ancestry as they of theirs; Saw the long column of revolving flames
While thus remembrance borrows Banquo's glass Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames,(2) To claim the sceptred shadows as they pass, While thousands, throng’d around the burning and we the mirror hold, where imaged shine dome,
Immortal names, emblazon'd on our line, Shrank back appalld, and trembled for their home, Pause-ere their feebler offspring you condemn, As glared the volumed blaze and ghastly shone Reflect how hard the task to rival them! The skies, with lightnings awful as their own,
Friends of the stage! to whom both players and Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall
Must sue alike for pardon or for praise ;
plays Usurp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall;
Whose judging voice and eye alone direct
The boundless power to cherish or reject;
And made us blush that you forbore to blame; A shrine for Shakspeare-worthy him and you?
If e'er the sinking Stage could condescend Yes-it shall be the magic of that name To soothe the sickly taste it dare not mend, Defies the scythe of time, the torch of Hame; All past reproach may present scenes refute, On the same spot still consecrates the scene, And censure, wisely loud, be justly mute!(4) And bids the Drama be where she hath been: Oh! since your fiat stamps the Drama's laws, This fabric's birth attests the potent spell
Forbear to mock us with misplaced applause; Indulge our honest pride, and say, How well! So pride shall doubly nerve the actor's powers, As soars this fane to emulate the last,
And reason's voice be echo'd back by ours ! Oh! might we draw our omens from the past, This greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd, Some hour propitious to our prayers may boast The Drama's homage by her herald paid,
(1) The theatre in Drury Lane, which was opened, in 1747, "When Garrick died, and Brinsley ceased to write.' with Dr. Johnson's masterly address, beginning,
Ceasing to live is a much more serious concern, and ought not " When Learning's triumph o'er ber barbarous foes,
to be first. Second thoughts in every thing are best; but, in First rear'd the Stage, immortal Shakspeare rose,'
rhyme, third and fourth don't come amiss. I always scrawlin and witnessed the last glories of Garrick, having fallen into this way, and smooth as fast as I can, but never sufficiently; decay, was rebuilt in 1794. The new building perished by fire and latterly, I can weave a nine-line stanza faster than a couplet, in 1811; and the managers, in their anxiety that the opening for which measure I have not the cunning. When I began of the present edifice should be distinguished by some compo- Childe Harold, I had never tried Spenser's measure, and now sition of at least equal merit, advertised in the newspapers for
I cannot scribble in any other. B. to Lord 11.-E. a general competition. Scores of addresses, not one tolerable
(4) The following lines were omitted by the Committee:showered on their desk, and they were in sad despair, when
“ Nay, lower still, the Drama yet deplores Lord Holland interfered, and, not without difficulty, prevailed
That late she deiga'd to crawl upon all-lours,
When Richard roars at Boswcrth for a horse, on Lord Byron lo write these verses—"at the risk," as he said,
If command, the steed must come in course. * of offending a hundred scribblers and a discerning public.” If you decree, the stage must condescend The admirable jeu d'esprit of the Messrs. Smith will long pre
To soothe the sickly taste we dare not mend. serve the memory of the Rejected Addresses.-E.
Blame not our judgment should we arquiesce, (2) “By the by, the best view of the said fire (which I myself
And gratily you more by showing less;
The past reproach let present scenes refute, saw from a house-lop in Covent Garden) was at Westminster Nor shift from man to babe, from babe to brute." Bridge, from the reflection of the Thames.” B. to Lord H.-E. " Is Whitbread," said Lord Byron, “determined to castrale
(3) Originally, “Ere Garrick died,” etc.-"By the by, one of all my cavalry lines? I do implore, for my own gratification, my corrections in the copy sent yesterday has dived into the one lash on those accursed quadrupeds-- a long shot, Sir bathos some sixty fathom
Lucius, if you love me.'”-E.
Receive our welcome too, whose every tone (own. "
“Three who have stolen their witching airs from Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your
Cupid" The curtain rises-may our stage unfold
(You all know what I mean, unless you ’re stupid): Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old!
“Harmonious throng” that I have kept in pello, Britons our judges, Nature for our guide, Now to produce in a “divine sestetto!!" Still may we please-long, long may you preside!(1) “While Poesy,” with these delightful doxies,
“Sustains her part” in all the “upper” boxes! PARENTHETICAL ADDRESS(2)
“Thus lifted gloriously, you 'll soar along,"
Borne in the vast balloon of Busby's song;
“Shine in your farce, masque, scenery, and play" Half stolen, with acknowledgments, to be spoken in an inarti- (For this last line George had a holiday). culale voice by Master B. at the opening of the next new
“Old Drury never, never soar'd so high," theatre. Stolen parts marked with the inverted commas of quotation-tbus “__
So says the manager, and so say I. “WHEN energising objects men pursue,"
“But hold, you say, this self-complacent boast;" Then Lord knows what is writ by Lord knows who.
Is this the poem which the public lost ? (pride;" “A modest monologue you here survey,”
"True-true—that lowers at once our mounting Hiss'd from the theatre the “other day,”
But lo!-the papers print what you deride. As if Sir Fretful wrote “the slumberous” verse,
“’T is ours to look on you-you hold the prize," And gave his son “the rubbish” to rehearse.
’T is twenty guineas, as they advertise! “Yet at the thing you'd never be amazed,"
“A double blessing your rewards imparı”— Knew you the rumpus which the author raised;
I wish I had them, then, with all my heart! “Nor even here your smiles would be represt,"
“Our twofold feeling owns its twofold cause," Knew you these lines—the badness of the best.
Why son and I both beg for your applause. " Flame! fire! and flame!!"(words borrow'd from “When in your fostering beams you bid us live," Lucretius)
[issues! My next subscription-list shall say how much you “Dread metaphors, which open wounds” like
October, 1819. "And sleeping pangs awake-and-but away!” (Confound me if I know what next to say).
VERSES FOUND IN A SUMMER-HOUSE AT "Lo, Hope veviving re-expands her wings," And Master G-- recites what Doctor Busby
HALES-OWEN.(3) sings !
WHEN Dryden's fool, "unknowing what he “If mighty things with small we may compare,"
sought,”(6) (Translated from the grammar for the fair!) His hours in whistling spent," for wantofthought," Dramatic“spirit drives a conquering car," This guiltless oaf his vacancy of sense And burn'd poor Moscow like a tub of “tar.” Supplied, and amply too, by innocence; “This spirit Wellington has shown in Spain," Did modern swains, possess'd of Cymon's powers, To furnish melo-drames for Drury-Lane.
In Cymon's manner waste their leisure hours, “Another Marlborough points to Blenheim's story," The offended guests would not, with blushing, see And George and I will dramatise it for ye. These fair green walks disgraced by infamy. “In arts and sciences our isle hath shone"
Severe the fate of modern fools, alas! (This deep discovery is mine alone).
When vice and folly mark them as they pass. "O British poesy, whose powers inspire" Like noxious reptiles o’er the whiten'd wall, My verse-or I'm a fool—and Fame's a liar, The filth they leavestill points out where they crawl. “ Thee we invoke, your sister arts implore" With" smiles," and "lyres" and "pencils," and
VERSES. (5) much more. These, if we win the Graces, too, we gain
REMEMBER thee! remember thee! Disgraces, too!“inseparable train!"
Till Lethe quench life's burning stream (1) “Soon after the Rejecled Addresses scene in 1812, I met was one by Dr. Busby, entitled "A Monologue," of which the Sheridan. In the course of dinner, he said, “Lord Byron, did above is a parody. It began as follows:you know that amongst the writers of addresses was Whitbread
" When energising objects men pursue, himself?' I answered by an inquiry of what sort of an address
What are the prodigies they canpot do? he had made. Of that,' replied Sheridan, 'I remember little,
A magic edifice you bere survey, except that there was a phanix in it.'-'A phenix!! Well,
Shot from the ruins of the other day!" elc.-E. how did he describe it?'— Like a poulterer,' answered Sheri- (5) In Warwickshire.-E. dan: it was green, and yellow, and red, and blue: he did not (4) See Cymon and Iphigenia.-E. let us off for a single feather.'” B. Letters, 1821.
(5) “ The sequel of a temporary liaison, formed by Lord BỊ (2) Among the addresses sent in to the Drury Lane Committee, ron during his gay but brief career in London, occasioned the
And I can smile to think how weak
Thine efforts shortly shall be shown, When all the vengeance thou canst wreak
Must fall upon-a nameless stone.
TRANSLATION OF A ROMAIC LOVE-SONG.
Ah! Love was never yet without
Remorse and shame shall cling to thee,
And haunt thee like a feverish dream! Remember thee! Ay, doubt it not,
Thy husband too shall think of thee: By neither shalt thou be forgot,
Thou false to him, thou fiend to me!
ON LORD ELGIN.(1)
TIME! on whose arbitrary wing
The varying hours must Nag or fly,
But drag or drive us on to die-
Those boons to all that know thee known;
For now I bear the weight alone.
The bilter moments thou hast given;
All that I loved, to peace or heaven.
Thy fulure ills shall press in vain;
A debt already paid in pain..
It felt, but still forgot, thy power:
Retards, but never counts the hour. In joy l’ve sigh’d to think thy flight
Would soon subside from swift to slow; Thy cloud could overcast the light,
But could not add a night lo woe; For then, however drear and dark,
My soul was suited to thy sky;
To prove thee-not Eternity.
A blank; a thing to count and curse
Which all regret, yel ali rehearse.
The limit of thy sloth or speed
Which we shall sleep too sound to heed :
composition of this Impromptu, On the cessation of the con first page of the volume the words. Remember me!' Byron
Alas! too late, I dearly know That joy is harbinger of woe.
Tuou art not false, but thou art fickle,
To those thyself so fondly sought;
Are doubly bitter from that thought:
. And spurns deceiver and deceit; But she who not a thought disguises,
Whose love is as sincere as sweet,
Is doom'd to all who love or live:
We scarce our fancy can forgive,
But truest tenderest passion, warm’d ?
As if a dream alone had charmd ?
ON BEING ASKED WHAT WAS THE ORIGIN
THE“Origin of Love!”—Ah, why
That cruel question ask of me, When thou mayst read in many an eye
He starts to life on seeing thee? And shouldst thou seek his end to know:
My heart forebodes, my fears foresee, He 'll linger long in silent woe;
But live-until I cease lo be.
Severely, deeply, vainly proved :
When neither fell, though both were loved. That yielding breast, that melting eye,
Too much invited to be bless'd :
The wilder wish reproved, repress’d.
Oh! let me feel that all I lost
But saved thee all that conscience fears: And blush for every pang it cost
To spare the vain remorse of years. Yet think of this when many a longue,
Whose busy accents whisper blame, Would do the heart that loved thee wrong,
And brand a nearly blighted name. Think that, whale'er to others, thou
Hast seen each selfish thought subdued: I bless thy purer soul even now,
Even now, in midnight solitude. Oh, God! that we had met in time,
Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free; When thou hadst loved without a crime,
And I been less unworthy thee! Far may thy days, a, heretofore,
From this our gaudy world be pass'd! And that too bitter moment o'er,
such trial be thy last! This heart, alas! perverted long,
Itself destroy'd might there destroy; To meet thee in the glittering throng,
Would wake Presumption's hope of joy. Then to the things whose bliss or woe,
Like mine, is wild and worthless all, That world resign-such scenes forego,
Where those who feel must surely fall. Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness,
Thy soul from long seclusion pure; From what even here bath pass'd, may guess
What there ihy bosom must endure. Oh! pardon that imploring tear,
Since not by Virtue shed in vain, My frenzy drew from eyes so dear;
for me they shall not weep again. Though long and mournful must it be,
The thought that we no more may meet; Yet I deserve the stern decree,
And almost deem the sentence sweet.
Had then less sacrificed to thine;
ON LORD THURLOW'S POEMS. (1)
(1} “Lord Thurlow's poems were written prosessedly in imita- with much that was trilling, fantastic, and absurd. In vain di tion of the old English writers, and contained, like many of these Mr. Rogers (10 whom a copy of the work had been presented models, a good deal that was striking and beautiful, mixed up in justice to the author, endeavour to direct our attention to