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same time, under the circumstances in which they were published, I have considered it better to give them bere.
THE IRISH AVATARA.
TROE, the great of her bright and brief era are gone,
The rainbow-like epoch when freedom could pause,
That betray'd not, and crush'd not, and wept not her cause.
True, the chains of the catholic clank o'er his rags,
The castle still stands, and the senate 's no more;
Is extending its steps to her desolate shore :
To her desolate shore, where the emigrant stands
For a moment to pause ere he flies from his hearth :
For the dungeon he quits is the place of his birth.
Ay! roar in his train; let thine orators lash
Their fanciful spirits to pamper his pride :
His soul on the freedom implored and denied !
Ever-glorious Grattan! the best of the good!
So simple in heart, so sublime in the rest,
And his victor, or rival in all he possess’d;
With the skill of an Orpheus to soften the brute,
With the fire of Prometheus to kindle mankind; Even tyranny, listening, sat melted or mute,
And corruption sank scorch'd from the glare of his inind.
Ay! back to our theine-back to despots and slaves,
Feasts furnish'd by famine-rejoicings by pain : True freedom but welcomes, while slavery still raves,
When a week's saturnalia have loosen'd her chain.
Let the poor squalid splendour thy wreck can afford
(As the bankrupt's profusion his ruin would hide), Gild over the palace-lo! Erin, thy lord,
Kiss his foot, with thy blessing, for blessings denied !
And if freedom past hope be extorted at last,
If the idol of brass find his feet are of clay,Must what terror or policy wrung forth be class'd
With what monarchs ne'er give but as wolves yield their prey?
But let not his name be thine idol alone!
On his right hand behold a Sejanus appears Thine own C. ...! Let him still be thine own!
A wretch never named but with curses and jeers,
Till now, when this isle, that should blush for his birth,
Deep, deep as the gore which he shed on her soil, Seems proud of the reptile that crawld from her earth,
And for murder repays him with shouts and a smile!
Without one single ray of her genius, --without
The fancy, the manhood, the fire of her race,The miscreant who well might plunge Erin in doubt
If she ever gave birth to a being so base!
If she did may her long-boasted proverb be hush'd,
Which proclaims that from Erin no reptile can spring! See the cold-blooded serpent, with venom full flush’d,
Still warming its folds in the heart of a king!
Shout, drink, feast, and flatter! Oh, Erin how low
till Thy welcome of tyrants hath plunged thee below
The depth of thy deep in a deeper gulph still!
My voice, though but humble, was raised in thy right;
My vote,' as a freeman's still voted thee free;
And this heart, though outworn, had a throb still for thee!
Yes! I loved thee and thine, though thou wert not my land;
I have known noble hearts and brave souls in thy sons: And I wept with delight on thy patriot band
Who are gone,—but I weep them no longer as once!
For happy are they now reposing afar
Thy Curran, thy Grattan, thy Sheridan,all Who for years were the chiefs in this eloquent war,
And redeem'd, if they have not retarded, thy fall!
Yes! happy are they in their cold English graves!
Their shades cannot start at thy shouts of to-day; Nor the steps of enslavers and slave-kissing slaves
Be damp'd in the turf o'er their fetterless clay!
Till now I had envied thy sons and thy shore!
Though their virtues are blasted, their liberties fled, There is something so warm and sublime in the core
Of an Irishman's heart, that I envy—their dead !
* See his Speech on the Catholic Question, in vol. vii. of this edition.
Or if aught in any bosom can quench for an hour
My contempt for a nation so servile, though sore,
'T is the glory of Grattan,—the genius of Moore !
The attachment which the noble bard, when in Italy, formed with the Countess Guiccioli' gave rise to several effusions of his muse. His description of the Georgioni in the Manfrini palace at Venice is meant for that lady. The beautiful sonnet prefixed to the Prophecy of Dante was addressed to her; and the following stanzas, written when he was about to quit Venice to join her at Ravenna, will describe the state of his feelings at that period:
River,” that rollest by the ancient walls
Where dwells the lady of my love, when she
A faint and fleeting memory of me:
What if thy deep and ample stream should be
Wild as thy wave, and headlong as thy speed!
What do I say—a mirror of my heart?
Are not thy waters sweeping, dark, and strong?
And such as thou art were my passions long.
Sec Medwin's «Conversations of Lord Byron, » to be had at the publishers of this edition.
2 The Po.
NOTICE ON LORD BYRON.
Thou overflow'st thy banks and not for aye;
But left long wrecks behind them, and again,
Borne on our old unchanged career, we move; Thou tendest wildly onwards to the main,
And I to loving one I should not love.
The current I behold will sweep beneath
Her native walls, and murmur at her feet;
The twilight air, unharm’d by summer's heat.
She will look on thee; I have look'd on thee,
Full of that thought; and from that moment ne'er Thy waters could I dream of, name or see,
Without the inseparable sigh for her.
Her bright eyes will be imaged in thy stream,
Yes! they will meet the wave I gaze on now: 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 wave shall sweep? 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.