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He feels his spirits soaring—albeit weak,
And of the fresher air, which he would seek;
And as he whispers knows not that he gasps,
That his thin finger feels not what it clasps,
And so the film comes o'er him-and the dizzy
At which he vainly catches, flit and gleam,
Till the last rattle chokes the strangled scream,
And all is ice and blackness,—and the earth
That which it was the moment ere our birth.
There is no hope for nations!-Search the page A loud lament along the sweeping sea!
Of many thousand years—the daily scene, Ifl. a northern wanderer, weep for thee
The flow and ebb of each recurring age, What should thy sons do ?-any thing but weep :
The everlasting to be which hath been, And yet they only murmur in their sleep.
Haih taught us nought or little: still we lean In contrast with their fathers—as the slime,
On things that rot beneath our weight, and wear The dull green ooze of the receding deep,
Our strength away in wrestling with the air; Is with the dashing of the spring-tide foam,
For 't is our nature strikes us down: the beasts That drives the sailor shipless to his home,
Slaughter'd in hourly hecatombs for feasts Are they to those what were; and thus they creep, Are of as high an order—they must go Crouching and crab-like, through their sapping Even where their driver goads them, though to streets.
slaughter. Oh! agony-that centuries should reap
Ye men, who pour your blood for kings as water, No mellower harvest! Thirteen hundred years
What have they given your children in return? Of wealth and glory turn’d to dust and tears;
A heritage of servitude and woes, And every monument the stranger meets,
A blindfold bondage, where your hire is blows. Church, palace, pillar, as a mourner greets; What! do not yet the red-hot ploughshares burn, And even the Lion all subdued appears,
O'er which you stumble in a false ordeal, And the harsh sound of the barbarian drum,
And deem this proof of loyalty the real; With dull and daily dissonance, repeats
Kissing the hand that guides you to your scars, The echo of thy tyranl's voice along
And glorying as you tread the glowing bars? The soft waves, once all musical to song,
All that your sires have left you, all that Time That heaved beneath the moonlight with the throng Bequeaths of free, and History of sublime, Of gondolas—and to the busy hum
Spring from a different theme!-Ye see and read, Of cheerful creatures, whose most sinful deeds
Admire and sigh, and then succumb and bleed ! Were but the overbeating of the heart,
Save the few spirits, who, despite of all, And flow of too much happiness, which needs And worse than all, the sudden crimes engender'd The aid of age to turn its course apart
By the down-thundering of the prison-wall, From the luxuriant and voluptuous flood
And thirst to swallow the sweet walers tender'd, Of sweet sensations, ballling with the blood.
Gushing from Freedom's fountains - when the But these are better than the gloomy errors,
crowd, The weeds of nations in their last decay,
Madden'd with centuries of drought, are loud, When Vice walks forth with her unsoften’ıl terrors, And trample on each other to obtain And Mirth is madness, and but smiles to slay;
The cup which brings oblivion of a chain And Hope is nothing but a false delay,
Heavy and sore,-in which long yoked they plough'd The sick man's lightning half an hour ere death,
The sand,-or if there sprung the yellow grain, When Faintness, the last mortal birth of Pain,
’T was not for them, their necks were too much And apathy of limb, the dull beginning
bow'd, of the cold staggering race which Death is winning, and their dead palates chew'd the cud of pain :Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away;
Yes! the few spirits-who, despite of deeds Yet so relieving the o'er-tortured clay,
Which they abhor, confound not with the cause To him appears renewal of his breath,
Those momentary starts from Nature's laws, And freedom the mere numbness of his chain;.~
Which, like the pestilence and earthquake, smite And then he talks of life, and how again
But for a term, then pass, and leave the earth
With all her seasons to repair the blight (1) Transmitted from Venice, along with Mazeppa.-E. With a few summers, and again put forth
Cities and generalions—fair, when free
Rights cheaply earn’d with blood.-Still, still, for For, Tyranny, there blooms no bud for thee!
Beller, though each man's life-blood were a river, Glory and Empire! once upon these towers Thal it should flow, and overflow, than creep
With Freedom-godlike Triad! how ye sate! Through thousand lazy channels in our veins, The league of mightiest nations, in those hours Damm'd like the dull canal with locks and chains. When Venice was an envy, might abate,
And moving, as a sick man in his sleep, But did not quench, her spirit-in her fate Three paces, and then faltering:-betler be All were enwrapp'd: the feasted monarchs knew Where the extinguish'd Spartans still are free,
And loved their hostess, nor could learn to hate, In their proud charnel of Thermopylæ,
One freeman more, America, to thee!
STANZAS TO THE PO.(1)
RIVER, that rollest by the ancient walls,(2)
Where dwells the lady of my love, when she thank
A faint and fleeting memory of me; The city it has clothed in chains, which clank Now, creaking in the ears of those who owe What if thy deep and ample stream should be The name of Freedom to her glorious struggles; A mirror of my heart, where she may read Yet she but shares with them a common woe, The thousand thoughts I now betray to thee, And call’d the “kingdom” of a conquering foe, Wild as thy wave, and headlong as thy speed! But knows what all—and, most of all, we know What do I say—a mirror of my heart? With what set gilded terms a tyrant juggles !
Are not thy waters sweeping, dark, and strong? The name of Commonwealth is past and gone
Such as my feelings were and are, thou art;
And such as thou art were my passions long. O'er the three fractions of the groaning globe; Venice is crush'd, and Holland deigns to own Time may have somewhat lamed them,-not for A sceptre, and endures the purple robe;
ever; If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone
Thou overflow'st thy banks, and not for aye His chainless mountains, 'tis but for a time: Thy bosom overboils, congenial river! For Tyranny of late is cunning grown,
Thy floods subside, and mine have sunk awayAnd in its own good season tramples down The sparkles of our ashes. One great clime,
But left long wrecks behind: and now again,
Borne in our old unchanged career, we move; Whose vigorous offspring by dividing ocean
Thou lendest wildly onwards to the main, Are kept apart and nursed in the devotion
And 1-to loving one I should not love. Of Freedom, which their fathers fought for, and Bequeath'd-a heritage of heart and hand, The current I behold will sweep beneath And proud distinction from each other land, Her native walls and murmur al-her feet; Whose sons must bow them at a monarch's motion, Her eyes will look on thee, when she shall breathe As if his senseless sceptre were a wand
The twilight air, unharm’d by summer's heat. Full of the magic of exploded science
She will look on thee,- I have look'd on thee, Still one great clime, in full and free defiance,
Full of that thought; and, from that moment, ne'er Yet rears her crest, unconquer'd aud sublime,
Thy waters could I dream of, name, or see, Above the far Atlantic!-She has taught
Without the inseparable sigh for her! Her Esau-brethren that the haughty flag, The floating fence of Albion's feebler crag, [bought Her bright eyes will be imaged in thy stream,May strike to those whose red right hands have Yes! they will meet the wave I gaze on now :
(1) About the middle of April, 1819, Lord Byron travelled from mitting them to England, in May, 1820, he says, "They must Venice to Ravenna, at yhich last city he expected to find the not be published: pray recollect this, as they are mere verses of Countess Guiccioli. These stanzas, which has been as much society, and written upon private feelings and passions." They admired as any of the kind he ever wrote, were composed, ac were first printed in 1824.-E. cording to Madame Guiccioli's statement, during tbis journey, (2) He resided in the city of Ravenna rather more than two and while Lord Byron was actually sailing on the Po. in trans- years, “and quilled it,” says Madame Guiccioli,“ with the deep
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.
Mine cannot witness, even in a dream,
That happy wave repass me in its flow! The wave that bears my tears returns no more;
Will she return by whom that waveshallsweep?— Both tread thy banks, both wander on thy shore,
I by thy source, she by the dark-blue deep. But that which keepeth us apart is not
Distance, nor depth of wave, nor space of earth, But the distraction of a various lot,
As various as the climates of our birth. A stranger loves the lady of the land,
Born far beyond the mountains, but his blood Is all meridian, as if never fannid
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,
A slave again of love,-at least of thee. 'Tis vain to struggle-let me perish young
Live as I lived, and love as I have loved; To dust if I return, from dust I sprung,
And then, at least, my heart can ne'er be moved.
You could melt ten thousand pimples
Into half-a-dozen dimples, Then your face we might behold,
Looking, doubtless, much more snugly; Yet even then't would be d-d ugly.
COULD Love for ever
Be tried in vain
Wo'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,
SONNET TO GEORGE THE FOURTH,(1)
ON THE REPEAL OF LORD EDWARD FITZGERALD'S
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 ?
est regret, and with a presentiment that his departure would be (2) A friend of Lord Byron's, who was with him a: Ravenna the forerunner of a thousand evils: he was continually perform-when he wrote these Stanzas, says,—“They were composed, ing generous actions : many families owed to him the few pros-like many others, with no view of publication, but merely 10 perous days they ever enjoyed; his arrival was spoken us as a relieve himself in a moment of suffering. He had been painsully piece of public good fortune, and his departure as a public ca-excited by some circumstances which appeared to make it nelamity."-E.
cessary that he should immediately quit Italy; and in the day (1) “So the prince has been repealing Lord Fitzgerald's for and the hour that he wrote the song, was labouring under an leiture! Ecco un' sonello? There, you dogs! there's a sonnet access of sever."-E. for you : you won't have such as that in a hurry from Fitzgerald. (3) “That sped his spring."-E 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. lo Mr. Murray.-E.
And use destroy love:
Is but for boys-
Though sharper, shorter,
ON MY WEDDING-DAY.(2)
Here's a happy new year! but with reason
I beg you 'll permit me to say-
January 2, 1820.
EPITAPH FOR WILLIAM PITT.
With death doom'd to grapple,
Beneath this cold slab, he Who lied in the Chapel
Now lies in the Abbey.
Quits with disdain.
With banners glancing,
He must move on
Retreat destroys him,
Wait not, fond lover!
As from a dream.
All hideous seem-
All passion blight:
Love's reign is finish'd-
So shall affection
Bring back with joy:
Began lo cloy.
As through the past;
Of your sweet errors
From such have risen!
Beat 'gainst their prison ?
(1) V. L.-"One last embrace, then, and bid good-night."-E.
(2) These lines are extracted from a le!ter of Byron 10 Moore, bearing the above date, and preceded by the following from Cowper's John Gilpin :
(3) la lhe MS.
“ You come to him on earth again.
He'll go with you to hell.".-E. (4) “With the view of inducing his friends (the Earl and Countess of Blessinglon) to prolong their stay at Genoa, Byron suggested their taking a pretty villa, called Il Paradiso, in the neighbourhood of his own, and accompanied them to look at it Upon that occasion it was, that, on the lady expressing some intentions of residing there, he produced the above imprompiu.
To-day it is my wedding day,
And all the folks would stare, If wife should dine at Edmonton,
And I sbould dine at Ware."--E.
Should be free as the former from evil; Could that long-wither'd spot but be verdant again,
And a new spring of noble affections arise-
Then might freedom forgive thee this dance in thy What mortal would not play the Devil?
[skies. And this shout of thy slavery which saddens the
Isit madness or meanness which clings to thee now! TO MR. MURRAY.
Were he God-as he is but the commonest clay, I'm thankful for your books, dear Murray, With scarce fewer wrinkles than sins on his browBut why not send Scott's Monastery?,
Such servile devotion might shame him away. Ay, roar in his train! let thine orators lash
Their fanciful spirits to pamper his prideTHE JRISH AVATAR.(1)
Not thus did thy Grattan indignantly flash
His soul o'er the freedom implored and denied. ERE the daughter of Brunswick is cold in her grave,
And her ashes still float to their home o'er the tide, Ever-glorious Grattan!(2) the best of the good! Lo! George the triumphant speeds over the wave, So simple in heart, so sublime in the rest! To the long-cherish’d isle wbich he loved like With all which Demosthenes wanted endued, his-bride.
And his rival or victor in all he possess'd. True, the great of her bright and brief era are gone, Ere Tully arose in the zenith of Rome, (begunThe rainbow-like epoch where freedom could Though unequall'd, preceded, the task was
But Grattan sprung up like a god from the tomb pause For the few little years, out of centuries won, Of ages, the first, last, the saviour, the one ! Which betray'd not, or crush'd not, or wept not with the skill of an Orpheus to soften the brute ; her cause.
With the fire of Prometheus to kindle mankind; True, the chains of the Catholic clank o'er his rags;
Even Tyranny listening sate melted or mute, The Castle still stands, and the senate's no more,
And Corruplion shrunk scorch'd from the glance
of his mind. And the famine which dwelt on her freedomless crags
But back to our theme ! Back to despots and slaves! Is extending its steps to her desolate shore.
Feasts furnish’d by Famine! rejoicings by Pain! To her desolate shore-where the emigrant stands True freedom but welcomes, while slavery still
raves, Fora moment to gaze ere he flies from his hearth;
When a week's saturnalia hath loosen'd her chain. Tears fall on his chain, though it drops from bis hands,
Let the poor squalid splendour thy wreck can afford For the dungeon he quits is the place of his birth. (As the bankrupt's profusion his ruin would hide)
Gild over the palace, Lo! Erin, thy lord! But he comes! the Messiah of royalty comes !
Kiss his foot with thy blessing, bis blessings Like a goodly Leviathan roll'd from the waves!
denied! Then receive him as best such an advent becomes, With a legion of cooks, and an army of slaves ! Or if freedom past hope be extorted at last,
If the idol of brass find his feet are of clay, He comes, in the promise and bloom of threescore, Must what terror or policy wring forth be class'd To perform in the pageant the sovereign's part
With what monarchs ne'er give, but as wolves But long live the shamrock which shadows him
yield their prey ? o'er; Could the green in his hat be transferr'd to his Each brute hath its nature, a king's is to reign! heart !
To reign! in that word see, ye ages, comprised
The jest which it contains had been applied by the Genoese wits M. A., and written with a view to a bishoprick.'” Moore. lo bimself. Taking it into their heads that this villa (which was “I will show you my Irish Avatara. Moore tells me that it also, I believe, a casa saluzzo), bad been the one fised on for bis has saved him from writing on the same subject: be would have own residence, they said, 'Il Diavolo è ancora entralo in Para. done it much better." Medwin, diso.'" Moore.
(2) "Aller the stanza on Gratlan, concluding with • His soul (1) “In one copy, the following sentence (taken from a letler o'er the freedom implored and denied,' will it please you to of Curran, in the able life of that true Irishman, written by his cause insert the following addenda,' which I dreamed of during son) is prefixed as a mollo to the poem :-—And Ireland like a 10-day's siesta – bastinadoed elephant, kneeling to receive ibo paltry rider,'-AL
• Ever glorious Grattan,' etc. etc. etc."the end of tbe verses are these words ;-*(Sijaed) W. L. B**
Letter from Byron to Moore.