Page images

By thy side for years I dared

Death; and envied those who fell, When their dying shout was heard,

Blessing him they served so well. (1) Would that I were cold with those,

Since this hour I live to see; When the doubts of coward foes

Scarce dare trust a man with thee, Dreading each should set thee free!

Oh! although in dungeons pent, All their chains were light to me,

Gazing on thy soul unbent. Would the sycophants of him

Now so deaf to duty's prayer, Were his borrow'd glories dim,

In his native darkness share?
Were that world this hour his own,

All thou calmly dost resign,
Could he purchase with that throne

Hearts like those which still are thine? My chief, my king, my friend, adieu !

Never did I droop before; Never to my sovereign sue,

As his foes I now implore: All Task is to divide

Every peril he must brave; Sharing by the hero's side

His fall, his exile, and his grave.

Before thee rose, and with thee grew, A rainbow of the loveliest hue Of three bright colours, (2) each divine, And fit for that celestial sign; For Freedom's band had blended them, Like tints in an immortal gem. One tint vas of the sunbeani’s dyes; One, the blue depth of seraph's eyes; One, the pure spirits' veil of white Had robed in radiance of its light: The three so mingled did brsrem The texture of a heavenly dream. Star of the brave! thy ray is pale, And darkness must again prevail! But, oh thou Rainbow of the free! Our tears and blood must flow for thee. When thy bright promise fades away, Our life is but a load of clay. And Freedom hallows with her tread The silent cities of the dead; For beautiful in death are they Who proudly fall in her array; And soon, oh goddess! may we be For evermore with them or thee!




(FROM THE FRENCH.] Star of the brave!- whose beam hath shed Such glory o'er the quick and deadThou radiant and adored deceit! Which millions rush'd in arms to greet,Wild meteor of immortal birth! Why rise in heaven to set on earth ? Souls of slain heroes form'd thy rays; Eternity flash'd through thy blaze; The music of thy martial sphere Was fame on high and honour here; And thy light broke on human eyes, Like a yolcano of the skies. Like lava rollid thy stream of blood, And swept down empires with its flood; Earih rock'd beneath thee to her base, As thou didst lighten through all space; And the shorn sun grew dim in air, And sel while thou wert dwelling there.

[FROM THE FRENCH.] FAREWELL to the land where the gloom of my glory Arose and o'ershadow'd the earth with her nameShe abandons me now-but the page of her story, The brightest or blackest, is filld with my fame. I have warrd with a world which vanquish'd me

only When the meteor of conquest allured me too far; I have coped with the nations which dread me thus The last single Caplive to millions in war. [lonely, Farewell to thee, France! when ihy diadem

crown'd me, I made thee the gem and the wonder of earth,But thy weakness decrees I should leave as I found Decay'd in thy glory, and sunk in thy worth. (thee, Oh! for the veteran hearts that were wasted In strife with the storm, when their ballles were


Then the Eagle, whose gaze in that moment was

blasted, Had still soard with eyes fix'd on victory's sun! Farewell to thee, France !—but when Liberty ra

lies Once more in thy regions, remember me then,

(1) “At Waterloo, one man was seen, whose left arm was of the like : this you may, however depend on as true."- Pr shallered by a cannon-ball, lo wrench it off with the other, and vale Leller from Brussels throwing it up in the air, exclaimed to his comrades, “Vive (2) The tricolour. I l'Empereur, jusqu'à la mort!' There were many other instances

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

But never either found another
To free lhe hollow heart from paining-
They stood aloor, the scars remaining,
Like cliffs, which had been rent asunder;
A dreary sea now flows belween,
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once hath been."

Coleridge's Christabel. (1)
FARE thee well! and if for ever,

Still for ever, fare thee well: Even though unforgiving, nev

'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel. Would that breast were bared before thee

Where thy head so oft hath lain, While that placid sleep came o’er thee

Which thou ne'er canst know again: Would that breast, by thee glanced over,

Every inmost thought could show! Then thou wouldst at last discover

'Twas not well to spurn it so. Though the world for this commend thee

Though it smile upon the blow, Even its praises must offend thee,

Founded on another's woe: Though my many faults defaced me,

Could no other arm be found, Than the one which once embraced me, • To infiict a cureless wound?

Yet, oh yet, thyself deceive not;

Love may sink by slow decay,
But by sudden wrench, believe not

Hearls can thus be torn away :
Still thine own its life retaineth-

Still must mine, though bleeding, beat;
And the undying thought which paineth

Is that we no more may meet.
These are words of deeper sorrow

Than the wail above the dead;
Both shall live, but every morrow

Wake us from a widow'd bed.
And when thou wouldst solace gather,

When our child's first accents flow,
Wilt thou teach her to say “Father!”

Though his care she must forego ?
When her little hands shall press thee,

When her lip to thine is press’d,
Think of him whose prayer shall bless thee,

Think of him thy love had bless'd!
Should her lineaments resemble

Those thou never more mayst see,
Then the heart will softly tremble

With a pulse yet true lo me.
All my faults perchance thou knowest,

All my madness none can know;
All my hopes, where'er thou goest;

Wither, yet with thee they go.
Every feeling hath been shaken;

Pride, which not a world could bow,
Bows to thee- by thee forsaken,

Even my soul forsakes me now:
But 'lis done-all words are idle-

Words from me are vainer still;
But the thoughts we cannot bridle

Force their way without the will.
Fare thee well!- thus disunited,

Turn from every nearer lie,
Sear'd in heart, and lone, and blighted,
More than this I scarce can die.

March 17, 1816 (2).

(1) This motto was not prefixed to these lines until several Tbe saddest period of Lord Byron's life was also, we see. editions had been printed. Mr. Coleridge's poem was, in fact, one of the busiest. His resuge and solace were ever in the pracpablished in June, 1816, and reached Lord Byron after be had tice of his art; and the rapidity with which he continued to pour crossed the Alps, in September. It was then that be signified out verses at this melancholy time, if it tended to prolong sone his wish to have the extract in question astixed to all future of his personal annoyances, by giving malevolent critics fresh copies of his stanzas; and the reader, who might have doubted pretences for making his privale affairs the subject of palli, Mr Moore's assertion in his life, that Lord Byron's hopes of an discussion, has certainly been in no respect injurious to his ultimate reconciliation with bis Lady survived even the unsuc- poetical reputation.-E. cessful negotiation prompted by the kind interference of Madame (2) “It was about the middle of April that his two celebrated de Staël, when he visited her at Copet, will probably now con- copies of verses, “Fare thee well," and "A Sketch," made their sider the selection and date of this motto, as circumstances appearance in the newspapers; and while the latter poem was strongly corroborative of the biographer's statement:- generally, and, it must be owned, just ly condemned, as a sort

of literary assault on an obscure female, whose situation oogt A dreary sea now flows betweenRut neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,

to have placed her as much beneath his salire, as the undignified Shall wholly do away, I ween,

mode of his allack certainly raised her above it, with regard 10 The marks of that which once hath been!"

the other poem, opinions were good deal more disided. To .

[ocr errors]


If mothers-none know why-before her quake;

If daughiers dread her for the mothers' sake; "Honest-honest Iago! If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee.”-Shakspeare.

If early habits—those false links, which bind

At times the lofliest to the meanest mindBORN in the garret, in the kitchen bred,

Have given her power too deeply lo instil Promoted thence to deck her mistress' head;

The angry essence of her deadly will; Next-for some gracious service unexpress’d,

If like a snake she steal within your walls, And from its wages only to be guess’d

Till the black slime betrays her as she crawls; Raised from the toilet to the table, --where

It like a viper to the heart she wind, Her wondering betters wait behind her chair.

And leave the venom there she did not find; With eye unmoved, and forehead unabashid,

What marvel that this hag of hatred works She dines from off the plate she lately wash’d.

Eternal evil latent as she lurks, Quick with the tale, and ready with the lie

To make a Pandemonium where she dwells, The genial confidante, and general spy

And reign the Hecale of domestic hells ? Who could, ye gods! her next employment guess-Skill'd by a touch to deepen scandal's tints An only infant's earliest governess!

With all the kind mendacity of hints, She taught the child to read, and taught so well,

While mingling truth with falsehood-sneers with That she herself, by teaching, learn’d to spell.

smilesAn adept next in penmanship she grows,

A thread of candour with a web of wiles; As many a nameless slander deftly shows:

A plain blunt show of briefly-spoken seeming, What she had made the pupil of her art,

To hide her bloodless heart's soul-harden'd schemNone know—but that high Soul secured the heart, A lip of lies—a face form'd io conceal; [ing; And panied for the truth it could not hear,

And, without feeling, mock at all who feel: With longing breast and undeluded car.

With a vile mask the Gorgon would disown; Foil'd was perversion by that youthful mind,

A cheek of parchment-and an eye of stone. Which Flattery fool'd not-Baseness could not Mark, how the channels of her yellow blood blind,

Ooze to her skin, and stagnate there to mud, Deceit infect not-nor Contagion soil

Cased like the centipede in saffron mail, Indulgence weaken-nor example spoil

Or darker greenness of the scorpion's scaleNor master'd Science tempt her to look down

(For drawn from reptiles only may we trace On humbler talents with a pitying frown

Congenial colours in that soul or face)-
Nor Genius swell-nor Beauty render vain- Look on her features! and behold her mind
Nor Envy ruffle to retaliate pain-

As in a mirror of itself defined: Nor fortune change-Pride raise–nor Passion Look on the picture! deem it not o'erchargedbow,

There is no trait which might not be enlarged: Nor Virtue teach austerity- till now.

Yet true lo “Nature's journeymen,” who made Serenely purest of her sex that live,

This monster when their mistress left off tradeBut wanting one sweet weakness—to, forgive. This female doy-star of her little sky, Too shock'd at faults her soul can never know, Where all beneath her influence droop or die. She deems that all could be like her below: Foe to all vice, yet hardly Virtue's friend,

Oh! wretch without a tear-without a thought, For Virtue pardons those she would amend.

Śave joy above the ruin thou hast wrought-
But to the theme-now laid aside too long, The time shall come, nor long remote, when thou
The baleful burihen of this honest song-

Shalt feel far more than thou inflictest now;
Though all her former functions are no more, Feel for thy vile self-loving self in vain,
She rules the circle which she served before. And turn thee howling in unpitied pain.

many it appeared a strain of true conjugal tenderness,-a kind him injustice. He there described, and in a manner whose of appeal which no woman with a heart could resist; while, by sincerity there was no doubting, the swell of tender recollections others, on the contrary, it was considered to be a mere showy under the influence of which, as he sat one night musing in his ellusion of sentiment, as disticult for real feeling to have pro study, these stanzas were produced, —the lears, as he said, sallduced as it was easy for fancy and art, and altogether unworthy ing fast over the paper as he wrote them.' Neither did it appear, of the deep interests involved in the subject. To this latter opi- from that account, to have been srom any wish or intention of nion I confess my own to have been, at first, strongly inclined; his own, but through the injudicious zeal of a friend whom he and suspicious as I could not help thinking the sentiment that suffered to take a copy, that the verses met the public eye." could, al such a moment, indulge in such verses, the taste that Moore. prompted or sanctioned their publication appeared to me even (1) “I send you my last night's dream, and request to have still more questionable. On reading, however, bis own account of all the circumstances in the Memoranda, I found that on both

. The appearance of the US, confirms, and more than confirms points I had, in common with a large portion of the public, done this. It is blotted all over with the marks of tears,"

May the strong curse of crush'd affections light
Back on thy bosom with reflected blight!
And make thee, in thy leprosy of mind,
As loathsome to thyself as to mankind!
Till all thy self-thoughts curdle into hate,
Black—as thy will for others would create:
Till thy hard heart be calcined into dust,
And thy soul welter in its hideous crust.
Oh, may thy grave be sleepless as the bell, -
The widow'd couch of fire, that thou hast spread!
Then, when thou fain wouldst weary leaven with

Look on thine earthly victims—and despair!
Down to the dust!-and, as thou rolt'st away,
Even worms shall perish on thy poisonous clay.
But for the love I bore, and still must bear,
To her thy malice from all lies would lear-
Thy name—thy human name—to every eye
The climax of all scorn should hang on high,
Exalted o'er thy less abhorrd compeers-
And festering(1) in the infamy of years.

March 29, 1816.

Thou wert the solitary star

Which rose and set not to the last.
0! blest be thine unbroken light!

That watch'd me as a seraph's eye,
And stood between me and the night,

For ever shining sweetly nigh.
And when the cloud upon us came,

Which strove to blacken o'er thy ray-
Then purer spread its gentle flame,

And dash'd the darkness all away.
Still may thy spirit dwell on mine,

And teach it what to brave or brook-
There's more in one soft word of thine

Than in the world's defied rebuke.
Thou stoodst, as stands a lovely tree,

That still unbroke, though gently bent,
Still waves with fond fidelity

Its boughs above a monument.
The winds might rend—the skies might pour,

But there thou wert-and still wouldst be
Devoted in the stormiest hour

To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me.
But thou and thine shall know no blight,

Whatever fate on me may fall;
For Heaven in sunshine will requile

The kind-and thee the most of all.
Then let the lies of baffled love

Be broken-.thine will never break;
Thy heart can feel-but will not move;

Thy soul, though soft, will never shake.
And these, when all was lost heside,

Were found and still are fix'd in thee;And bearing still a breast so tried,

Earth is no desert-even to me.



A YEAR ago you swore, fond she!

“To love, to honour,” and so forth: Such was the vow you pledged to me,

•And here's exactly what 't is worth.


When all around grew drear and dark,

And reason half withheld her rayAnd hope but shed a dying spark

Which more misled my lonely way: In that deep midnight of the mind,

And that internal strife of heart, When, dreading to be deem'd too kind,

The weak despair-the cold depart; When fortune changed-and love feil far,

And hatred's sha!ts flew thick and fast,

Though the day of my destiny's over,

Anıl the star of my fate hath declined, (5)
Thy soft heart refused to discover

The faults which so many could find;

Grly copies struék off, for private distribution. I wish Mr. Gir- were, we believe, the last verses written by Lord Byron in, ford to look at them. They are from life. Lord B. 10 Mr.M.England. In a note to Mr. Rogers, dated April 16th, he says.March 30, 1816.-E.

* My sister is now with me, and leaves town 10-morrov: we (1) In first draughi—"weltering."-"I doubt about weller- shall not meet again for some time at all events,-if ever! and, ing.' We say " weltering in blood;' but do not they also use under these circumstances, I trust to stand excused to you • weltering in the wind,''wellering on a gibbel?' I have no and Mr. Sheridan, for being unable to wait upon him this evendictionary, so look. In the mean time, I have put ' sestering;' ing." On the 25th, the poel look a last leave of his nalive couli which, perhaps, in any case is the best word of the two. Shaks- try.-E. peare has it often, and I do not think it 100 strong for the figure (4) These beautiful verses, so expressive of the writer's in this thing. Quick! quick! quick! quick!” Lord B. to Mr. wounded feelings at the moment, were written in July, at the M. April 2.

Campagne Diodali, near Geneva, and transmitted to England (2) “The lawyers objected to it as superfluous. It was written for publication, with some other pieces. “* Be careful," he as we were getting up the signing and sealing.” Lord B. to says, “in printing the stanzas beginning, “Though the day of Mr. Moore. Ravenna, 1820.

my destiny's,' etc., which I think well of as a composition."-E. (3) His sister, the Honourable Mrs. Leigh.—These stanzas, the is. In the MS.parting tribute to her, whose upshaken tenderness had been the

Though the days of my glory are over, author's sole consolation during:he crisis of domes:ic misery

And the sun of my faine hath declined."-E

Though thy soul with my grief was acquainted,

It shrunk not to share it with me,
And the love which my spirit hath painted

It never hath found but in thee,

And a bird in the solitude singing,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee.

July 24, 1816.

Then when nature around me is smiling,

The last smile which answers to mine,
I do not believe it beguiling,

My sister! my sweet sister! if a name
Because it reminds me of thine :

Dearer and purer were, it should be thine. And when winds are at war with the ocean, Mountains and seas divide us, but it claim As the breasts I believed in with me,

No tears, but tenderness to answer mine: If their billows excile an emotion,

Go where I will, to me thou art the same It is that they bear me from thee.

A loved regret which I would not resign.

There yet are two things in my destiny,Though the rock of my last hope is shiverid,

A world to roam through, and a home with thee. And its fragments are sunk in the wave, Though I feel that my soul is deliver'd

There first were nothing-had I still the last, To pain-it shall not be its slave.

It were the haven of my happiness; There is many a pang to pursue me:

But other claims and other ties thou hast,

And mine is not the wish to make them less. They may crush, but they shall not condemnThey may torture, but shall not subdue me- A strange doom is thy father's son's, and past 'Tis of thee that I think-not of them.(1)

Recalling, as it lies beyond redress;

Reversed for him our grandsire's (4) fate of yore,-Though human, thou didst not deceive me,

He had no rest at sea, nor I on shore.
Though woman, thou didst not forsake,
Though loved, thou forborest to grieve me,

If my inheritance of storms hath been
Though slander'd, thou never couldst shake,--

'In other elements, and on the rocks Though trusted, thou didst not disclaim me,

Of perils, overlook'd or unforeseen, 'Though párted, it was not to fly,

I have sustain'd my share of worldly shocks,' Though watchful, 't was not to defame me,

The fault was mine; nor do I seek to screen Nor, mute, that the world might belie.(2)

My errors with defensive paradox;

I have been cunning in mine overthrow,
Yet I blame not the world, nor despise it,

The careful pilot of my proper woe.
Nor the war of the many with one-
If my soul was not fitted to prize it,

Mine were my faults, and mine be their reward. 'T was folly not sooner to shun:

My whole life was a contest, since the day And if dearly that error hath cost me,

That gave me being, gave me that which marr'd And more than I once could foresee,

The gift,-a fate, or will, that walk'd astray; I have found that, whatever it lost me.

And I at times have found the struggle hard, It could not deprive me of thee.

And thought of shaking off my bonds of clay:

But now I fain would for a time survive,
From the wreck of the past, which hath perish'd, If but to see what next can well arrive.

Thus much I at least may recall,
It hath taught me that what I most cherish'd Kingdoms and empires in my little day
Deserved to be dearest of all:

I have outlived, and yet I am not old;
In the desert a fountain is springing,

And when I look on this, the petty spray In the wide waste there still is a tree,

Of my own years of trouble, which have rollid

(1) In the MS.

have no copy of them, I request that you will preserve one for "There is many a pang 10 pursue me,

me in MS.; for I never can remember a line of that nor any other And many a peril to stem ;

composition of mine. God help me! if I proceed in this scribThay may torture, but shall not subdue me;

bling, I shall have frillered away my mind before I am thirty; They may crush, but they shall not contenın."-E

but poetry is al times a real relief to me. To-morrow I am for (2) In the MS.

Italy.” The Epistle was first given to the world in 1830.-E. Though watchful,'t was but to reclaim me,

(4) Admiral Byron was remarkable for never making a voyage Nor, silent, lo sanction a lie."-E.

without a tempest. He was known to the sailors by the face(3) These slapzas were also written al Diodali; and sent home tious name of "Foul-weather Jack." at the time for publication, in case Mrs. Leigh should sanction it.

“But, though it were tempest-lossed, "There is," he says, “ amongst the manuscripts an Epistle to my

Still bis bark could not be lost." Sister, on which I should wish her opinion to be consulted before

He returned safely from the wreck of the Wager (in Ansor's publication; if she objects, of course omit it.” On the 5th or voyage), and subsequently circumnavigaled the morld, mang October be writes,~"My sister has decided on the omission of years after, as commander of a similar expedition. the lines. Upon this point, ber option will be followed. As I

« PreviousContinue »