« PreviousContinue »
This Volume contains Lord Byron's Miscellaneous Pieces in verse, produced between January 1811, when the first two Cantos of “ Childe Harold” were finally prepared for the press, and January 1814. Among the shorter effusions at the beginning, are the beautiful Songs dedicated to the real, or imaginary, Thyrza; perhaps the most exquisitely graceful, as well as pathetic, of his love poems. These are followed by the satirical pieces, entitled, “ Hints from Horace," " The Curse of Minerva,” and “ The Waltz:” in which the
progress of Lord Byron's skill in this widely different species of composition may be distinctly, and instructively, traced ; and which are now for the first time rendered generally intelligible, by the substitution of names for initials or asterisks, and the accompaniment of explanatory notes.
The reader passes to the three earliest specimens of the Author's romantic narrative
- The Giaour," written in April, and published in May; -“ The Bride of Abydos," written in November, and published early in December, 1813; - and “ The Corsair,” composed during the last thirteen days of the same month, and published in January, 1814. These vigorous performances, so rapidly following each other, kept the public attention rivetted on Lord Byron at this, the most brilliant, and, perhaps, the happiest period of his short career. He was enjoying the steady blaze of fame, and exulting in a strength, which now, in general estimation, knew no rival. By a careful comparison of the original MSS. and successive Editions of these splendid poems, the Editor has been enabled to collect a rich harvest of various readings, many of them curious, and not a few important; and the margin continues to present a running series of historical, biographical, and critical annotations.
The Appendix consists of the poet's Remarks on the Romaic, or Modern Greek Language; with Specimens and Translations, all produced during his residence in the Capuchin Convent, at Athens, in 1811.
July 20. 1832.