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The flashes fell upon them; some lay down Ships sailorless lay rolting on the sea, [droppi
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave, Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up The Moon, their mistress, had expired before; With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air, The pall of a past world; and then again
And the clouds perish’d; Darkness had no need With curses cast them down upon the dust, Of aid from them--She was the Universe. And gnash'd their teeth and howl’d: the wild birds
DIODATI, July, 1816.
A FACT LITERALLY RENDERED. (1)
The comet of a season, and I saw
The humblest of all sepulchres, and gazed Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
With not the less of sorrow and of awe All earth was but one thought-and that was On that neglected turf and quiet stone, Immediate and inglorious; and the pang [death, With name no clearer than the names unknown, Of famine fed upon all entrails—men
Which lay unread around it; and I ask'd Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; The gardener of that ground, why it might be The meagre by the meagre were devour'd, That for this plant strangers his memory task'd Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one, Through the thick deaths of half a century; And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
And thus he answer'd—“Well, I do not know The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay, Why frequent travellers turn to pilgrims so; Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead He died before my day of sextonship, Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food, And I had not the digging of this grave.” But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And is this all ? I thought,-and do we rip And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
The veil of Immortality, and crave Which answer'd not with a caress-he died. I know not what of honour and of light The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but Iwo Through unborn ages, to endure this blight? Of an enormous city did survive,
So soon, and so successless ? As I said, And they were enemies: they met beside
The architect of all on which we tread, The dying embers of an altar-place,
for Earth is but a tomb-stone, did essay Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things l'o extricate remembrance from the clay,[thought, For an unholy usage; they raked up,
Whose minglings might confuse a Newton's And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton Were it not that all life must end in one, The seeble ashes, and their feeble breath [hands of which we are but dreamers;-as he caught Blew for a little life, and made a flame
As 'twere the twilight of a former sun, Which was a mockery; then they lifted up Thus spoke he,-“I believe the man of whom Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld [died - You wot, who lies in this selected tomb, Each other's aspects—saw, and shriek’d, and was a most famous writer in his day, Even of their mutual hideousness they died, And therefore travellers step from out their way Unknowing who he was upon whose brow To pay him honour,--and myself whate'er Famine had written Fiend. The world was bid, Your honour pleases,” – then most pleased I The populous and the powerful was a lump, From out my pocket's avaricious nook (shook(3) Seasonless, herbless, ireeless, manless, lifeless- Some certain coins of silver, which as ’lwere A lump of death--a chaos of hard clay.
Perforce 1 gave this man, though I could spare The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still, So much but inconveniently :-Ye smile, And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths; I see ye, ye profane ones! all the while,
(1) On the sheet containing the original draughl of these lines, blended what I would deem to be the beauties as well as defects Lord Byron has wrillen:-“The following poem (as most that I of his style ; and it ought to be remembered, that in such things, bave endeavoured to write) is founded on a fact; and this delail is whether there be prate or dispraise, there is always what is an attempt at a serious imitation of the style of a great poel- called a compliment, however unintentional.”—E. Its beauties and its defects : I say, the s'yle; for the thoughts I (2) Originallylaim as my own. In this, if there be any thing ridiculous, let it
"then most pleased, I shook b.attributed to me, at least as much as to Mr. Wordsworth, of
My inward pockel's most relired nook, whom there can exist sew greater admirers than myself. I have
and out fell five and sixpence."-E.
Because my homely phrase the truth would tell.
In the endurance, and repulse
Of thine impenetrable spirit, Which Earth and Heaven could not conyulse,
A mighly lesson we inherit: Thou art a symbol and a sign
To mortals of their fale and force;
A troubled stream from a pure source ;
And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Its own concentred recompense, Triumphant where it dares defy, And making death a victory.
DIODATI, July, 1816.
Titan! to whose immortal eyes
The sufferings of mortality,
Seen in their sad reality,
Which speaks but in its loneliness,
Until ils voice is echoless.
Between the suffering and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill; And the inexorable Heaven, And the deaf tyranny of Fate, The ruling principle of Hate, Which for its pleasure doch create The things it may annihilate, Refused thee even the boon to die : The wretched gift eternity Was thine and thou hast borne it well. All that the Thunderer wrung from thee Was but the menace which flung back On him the torments of thy rack; The fate thou didst so well foresee, But would not to appease him tell; And in thy silence was his sentence, And in his soul a vain repentance, And evil dread so ill dissembled That in his hand the lightnings trembled. Thy godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness, And strengthen man with his own mind; But baffled as thou wert from bigh Still in thy patient energy,
What is this Death ?- a quiet of the heart?
The absent are the dead-for they are cold,
The under-earth inhabitants—are they But mingled millions decomposed to clay? The ashes of a thousand ages spread Wherever man has trodden or shall tread?
(1) "The Grave of Churchill might have called from Lord both were followed by the fame and popularity wbich they Byron a deeper commemoration; for, though they generally seemed to despise. The writings of both exhibit an inborn, differed in character and genius, there was a resemblance be-though sometimes ill-regulated, generosity of mind, and a spirit Tweep their history and character. The satire of Churchill of proud independence, frequently pushed 10 extremes. Bob Nowed with a more profuse, though not a more embillered, carried their balred of hypocrisy beyond the verge of prudence, stream; while, on the other hand, he cannot be compared to and indulged their vein of satire lo the borders of licentiousness. Lord Byron in point of tenderness or imagination. But both Both died in the power of their age in a foreign land." Walter These poels beld themselves above the opinion of the world, and Scoll.-E.
Or do they in their silent cities dwell
But thou in safe implacability
[shielded, Each in his incommunicative cell ?
Hadst nought to dread-in thy own weakness Or have they their own language ? and a sense And in my love, which hath but too much yielded, Of breathless being ?-darken’d and intense
And spared, for thy sake, some I should not As midnight in her solitude 2-0 Earth!
On things that were not, and on things that areOf thy profundity is in the grave,
Even upon such a basis hast thou built The ebon portal of thy peopled cave,
A monument, whose cement hath been guilt! Where I would walk in spirit, and behold
The moral Clytemnestra of thy lord, Our elements resolved to things untold,
And hew'd down, with an unsuspected sword, And fathom hidden wonders, and explore
Fame, peace, and hope-and all ihe better life The essence of great bosoms now no more.
Which, but for this cold treason of thy heart,
Might still have risen from out the grave of strife,
But of thy virtues didst thou make a vice
Trafficking with them in a purpose cold,
For present anger, and for future gold ON HEARING THAT LADY BYRON WAS ILL.(1) And buying other’s grief at any price.
And thus once enter'd into crooked ways, AND thou wert sad-yet I was not with thee :
l'he early truth, which was thy proper praise, And thou wert sick, and yet I was not near;
Did not still walk beside thee-but at times,
And with a breast unknowing its own crimes,
Deceit, averments incompatible,
Equivocations, and the thoughts which dwell
In Janus-spirits-the significant eye
Which learns to lie with silence—the pretext
Of Prudence, with advantages annex'd-
The acquiescence in all things which tend, But in the after-silence on the shore,
No matter how, to the desired end
All found a place in thy philosophy. When all is lost, except a little life.
The means were worthy, and the end is wonI am too well avenged !--but 'twas my right;
I would not do by thee as thou hast done!(2) Whate'er my sins might be, thou wert not sent
September, 1816. To be the Nemesis who should requite
Nordid Heaven choose so near an instrumcnt. Mercy is for the merciful!-if thou
STANZAS TO HER WHO CAN BEST UNDERHast been of such, 't will be accorded now.
STAND THEM. Thy nights are banish'd from the realms of sleep!
Be it so !-we part for ever! Yes! they may flatter thee, but thou shalt feel
Let the past as nothing be: A hollow agony which will not heal,
Had I only loved thee, never
Hadst thou been thus dear to me.
Had I loved, and thus been slighted,
That I belter could have borne: For 'gainst the rest myself I could defend,
Love is quell'd-when unrequitedAnd be avenged, or turn them into friend;
By the rising pulse of scorn.
(1) These verses, written immediately after the failure of the which cannot but heal the wound it causes: 10 him, because > #rillen negotiation alluded to, ante, p. 926, were not intended for who, in the shattered seelings they betray, will not acknowledge ihe public eye: as, however, they have found their way into circu- the grief that hurries into error, and (may we add in charity!) lation, we must reluctantly include them in this collection.-E. atones for it!”– Lady Blessington.
" These lines were written with deep seelings of pain, and (2) “Lord Byron had at least this much to say for himself, should be judged as the outpourings of a wounded spirit de chat he was not the first to make his domestic differences a lopic manding pily more than anger. While to the public they are of public discussion. On the contrary, he saw bimself, ere any of that value that any reasons for their suppression ought to (act but the one undisguised and tangible one was or could be be extremely strong; so, on the other hand, I trust, they cannot known, held up every where, and every art of malice, as the nurt either her feelings to whom they are addressed, or bis me- most infamous of men,-because he had parted from his wise." nory by whom they are wrillen:-10 her, because the very -Lockhari. bitterness of reproach proyes that unconquerable affection
Thou mayst then too late discover,
By thy feelings, all my wrong. When thy beauties all are faded
When thy flatterers fawn no more-Ere the solemn shroud hath shaded
Some regardless reptile's storeEre that hour-false syren! hear me!
Thou mayst feel what I do now, While my spirit, hovering near thee,
Whispers friendship's broken vow! But—'t is useless to upbraid thee,
With thy past or present state : What thou wast-my fancy made thee;
What thou arl-I know too late!
Pride may cool what passion heated,
'Time will tame the wayward will; But the heart in friendship cheated
Throbs with woe's most maddening thrill: Had I loved-I now might hate thee,
In that hatred solace seek, Might exult to execrate thee,
And, in words, my vengeance wreak. But there is a silent sorrow
Which can find no vent in speech, Which disdains relief to borrow
From the heights that song can reach. Like a clankless chain enthralling
Like the sleepless dreams that mockLike the frigid ice-drops falling
From the surf-surrounded rockSuch the cold and sickening feeling
Thou hast caused this heart to know; Stabb'd the deeper by concealing
From the world its bitter woe! Once it fondly, proudly, deem'd thee
All that fancy's self could paint;
As its idol and its saint!
Not as man I look'd on thee:
Why heap man's worst curse on me? Wast thou but a fiend, assuming
Friendship's smile and woman's art,
Trifling with a trusting heart ?
With opposing glance to me;
To each tale I told to thee;
Which could soften sorrow's gush,
With pure friendship's well-feign'd blush: By all those false charms united,
Thou hast wrought thy wanton will, And, without compunction, blighted
What thou wouldst not kindly kill! Yet I curse thee not-in sadness
Still I feel how dear thou wert; Oh! I could not-e'en in madness
Doom thee to thy just desert! Live! and when my life is over,
Should thine own be lengthen'd long,
SONNET TO LAKE LEMAN. ROUSSEAU-Voltaire-our Gibbon-and De Staël
Leman! (1) these names are worthy of thy shore, Thy shore of names like these! wert thou no
more, l'heir memory thy remembrance would recall: To them thy banks were lovely as to all,
But they have maile them lovelier, for the lore
Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core Of human hearts the ruin of a wall
Where dwelt the wise and wondrous; but by thee How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel,
In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea,
Which of the heirs of immortality
DIODATI, July 1816.
EPIGRAM FROM MARTIAL. PIERIOS yatis Theodori flamma Penates Abstulit: hoc Musis, hoc tibi, Phæbe, placet ? O scelus, o magnum facinus, crimenque deorum, Non arsit pariter quod domus et dominus !
Lib. xi. Epig. 91. Che Laureale's house hath been on fire: the Nine All smiling saw that pleasant bonfire shine. But, cruel fale! O damnable disaster! The house-lhe house is burnt, and not the master,
TO MR. HOBHOUSE.
“ Mors Janua vitæ." Would you get to the House through the true gate
Much quicker than ever Whig Charley went, Let Parliament send you to—Newgate
And Newgate will send you 10–Parliament.
(1) Geneva, Ferney, Copet, Lausanne-(See ante, p. 133.]– cannot express, with the force and accuracy of his descriptions, "I have,” says, Lord Byron, “traversed all Rousseau's ground and the beauty of their reality. I enclose you a sprig of Gibwith the Véloïse before me, and am struck, to a degree that I bon's acacia and some rose-leaves from bis garden, wbich, with
ON THE SIEGE AND CONQUEST OF ALHAMA. Which, in the Arabic language, is to the following purport (The effect of the original ballad—which existed both in Spanish and Arabic-was such, that it was forbidden to be sung by the Moors, on pain of death, within Granada.)
The Moorish King rides up and down
Woe is me, Alhama!
Woe is me, Alhama !
Woe is me, Alhama!
Woe is me, Alhama !
Woe is me, Alhama !
Woe is me, Alhama!
'SITIO Y TOMA DE ALHAMA.
El qual dezia en Aravigo assi.
PASSEAVASE el Rey Moro
Ay de mi, Alhama!
Ay de mi, Alhama!
Ay de mí, Alhama !
Ay de mi, Alhama !
Ay de mi, Alhama!
Ay de mi, Alhama!
part of his house, I have just seen. You will find honourable made Copel as agreeable as society can make any place on earth.” mention, in bis Life, made of this acacia, when he walked out B. Lelters, 1816.-E. on the night of concluding bis history. Madame de Staël has