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A stranger loves a lady of the land
Born far beyond the inountains, but his blood
By the black wind that chills the polar flood.
My blood is all meridian; were it not,
I had not left my clime;-I shall not be,
A slave again of love, at least of thee.
"T is vain to struggle-let me perish young
Live as I lived, and love as I have loved :
And then at least my heart can ne'er be moved.
The following drinking song is stated to have been composed by Lord Byron after one of his dinner parties :
Fill the goblet again! for I never before
I have tried in its turn all that life can supply;
In the days of our youth, when the heart 's in its spring,
The breast of a mistress some boy may estrange;
Yet if blest to the utmost that life can bestow,
When the season of youth and its jollities past,
When the box of Pandora was open'd on earth,
Long life to the grape! and when summer is flown,
To expatiate upon the noble motives which induced Lord Byron to join, with his heart, and hand, and fortune, the cause of the gallant Greeks, would be perfectly superfluous here. Every man who bears a heart within his bosom, of whatever sect, party, or nation, he may be, must warmly sympathize with the struggles of the regenerated children of Greece; and even the most callous and ceaseless detractors of the lamented bard are compelled to pay a late but proud homage to this redeeming, this more than redeeming, and latest act of his life. The following particulars of his departure from Genoa' for the shores of Greece, till his lamented death, are gathered and compiled from authentic sources.
Lord Byron had once intended fixing his residence in Italy, but the political state of that country gave rise to feelings of disgust. He likewise had some thoughts of going to the United States of America, where he was known and esteemed—indeed he was once on the point of departure.
He often felt the want of some other occupation than
' During Lord Byron's residence at Genoa, he proposed to me, in a letter, to undertake an edition of his works at Paris; and offered, in that flattering and kind manner peculiar to himself, to write a preface to it, for my advantage. He states therein that he had formed this intention « because both the London and Paris editions are so ex tremely incorrect, probably owing to my long residence abroad and distance from the
press.» In naming this, I cannot forbear quoting a remarkable, and, as it struck me at the time, fatally foreboding passage
in a letter which I received from him, and have still in my possession, dated Genoa, June 25, 1823—« In a week or two I sail for Greece.
I am extreinely obliged to you personally for
your kind offers, of which I may one day (if I ever return) avail myself. » Alas! he returned no more! J. W. L.
that of writing; and frequently said, that the public must be tired of his compositions, and that he was certainly more so.
Towards the end of February, 1823, he turned his thoughts towards Greece. No one could accuse him of being a blind enthusiast. In his travels, during his younger days, he had imbibed a greater personal esteem for the character of the Turks than for that of their slaves. He may have persuaded himself that his personal endeavours and his pecuniary resources might probably contribute to the liberation of Greece. No undertaking could interest him more strongly; the object, the scene, the danger, were powerful incentives.
It appeared that no Christian power was likely to take part in the struggle of the Greeks. Most of the Europeans who went to their assistance, had either perished, or, discontented, had abandoned them. It was generally believed that a powerful expedition was preparing on the part of the Turks; the eyes of all Europe were then turned not towards the east, but the west. Spain alone occupied the public attention.
Such a state of things would have made others desist; it stimulated Lord Byron.
In the mean time he received a letter from his friend Mr Hobhouse, informing him of the interest that the English were beginning to take in favour of the Greeks; that a committee had been formed, many of whom were his friends; that Mr Blaquiere had been sent into Greece to learn more exactly the state of affairs, and that he would touch at Genoa, to communicate with his lordship. In the middle of April, Mr Blaquiere arrived, in company with Mr Luriotti, afterwards Greek deputy in London.
They begged his lordship to concur with his other friends: he replied that he was fully disposed so to do, and to assist the cause, not only with his means, but personally, if the Greeks would accept of his services, and if his going to Greece would be of any advantage to that country. He then decided on as early a departure as possible; and, on the 13th of July, embarked at Genoa with his suite and several friends, on board the English brig the Hercules, Captain Scott. At sunrise on the following morning the vessel cleared the port; they remained in sight of Genoa during the whole day. Towards midnight a strong westerly wind arose, which in the end obliged the captain to steer back to the harbour, where they re-entered at six in the morning. Lord Byron had passed nearly the whole night on deck. Those of his suite, who were not affected with sea-sick ness, assisted him in his endeavours to prevent mischief