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THE FIRST KISS OF LOVE.
Ao-av with your fictions of flimsy romance;
Those tissues of falsehood which folly has wove I Give me the mild beam of the soul-breathing glance,
Or the rapture which dwells on the first kiss of love.
Te rhymers, whose bosoms with phantasy glow, 'Whose pastoral passions are made for the grove; From what blest inspiration your sonnets would flow, Could you ever have tasted the first kiss of love '.
If Apollo should e'er his assistance refuse,
Or the Nine be disposed from your service to rove,
Invoke them no more, bid adieu to the muse,
I hate you, ye cold compositions of art!
Though prudes may condemn me, and bigots reprove,
I court the effusions that spring from the heart. Which throbs with delight to the first kiss of love.
Tour shepherds, your flocks, those fantastical themes, Perhaps may amuse, yet they never can move:
Arcadia displays but a region of dreams:
What are visions like these to the first kiss of love?
Oh ! cease to affirm that man, since his birth,
From Adam till now, has with wretchedness strove;
Some portion of paradise still is on earth,
When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past—
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove— The dearest remembrance will still be the last, Our sweetest memorial the first kiss of love.
ON A CHANGE OF MASTERS AT A GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOL. I
Where are those honours, Ida I once your own, When Probus * filled your magisterial throne?
Antonio, his slave, a native of Java, who had accompanied las to Europe, after having rescued him from the when shipwrecked at the mouth of the Mecon. This i attendant was wont to seek alms throughout Lisbon, I at night shared the produce of the day with his poor and broken-hearted master. But his friendship was employed in vain- Camoens sank beneath the pressure of penurv and disease, and died in an alms-house early in the year 1&79—
1 [In March, 1805, Dr. Drury retired from his situation of head-master at Harrow, and was succeeded by Dr. Butler.]
■ [M Dr. Drury, whom I plagued sufficiently, was the best, the kindest (and yet strict, tool friend I evernad; and 1 look upon him still as a father."— Byron Diary.\
3 [" At Harrow I was a most unpopular boy, but led latterly, and have retained many of my school friendships, and all ray dislikes — except to Dr. Butler, whom I treated rebellious!;, and have been sorry ever since." —Byron Diary. — The reconciliation which took place between him and Dr. Butter, before his departure for Greece, in 1809, Is, says Mr. Moore, " one of those Instances of placability and pliableaess with which his life abounded. Not content with this
Crate atonement to the Doctor, it was his intention, had published another edition of the Hours of Idleness, to substitute, for the offensive verses against that gentleman.
As ancient Rome, fast falling to disgrace,
TO THE DUKE OF DORSET. *
Dorset 5! whose early steps with mine have stray'd,
When youthful parasites, who bend the knee
a frank avowal of the wrong he had been guilty of in giving vent to them."]
* In looking over my papers to select a few additional poems for this second edition, I found the above lines, which I had totally forgotten, composed in the summer of 1805, a short time previous to my departure from Harrow. They were addressed to a young schoolfellow of high rank, who had been my frequent companion in some rambles through the neighbouring country: however, he never saw the lines, and most probably never will. As, on a re-perusal, 1 found them not worse than some other pieces in the collection, I have now published them, for the first time, after a slight revision.
1 [George-John-Frederick, fourth Duke of Dorset, born November 15, 1793. This amiable nobleman was killed by a fall from his horse, while hunting near Dublin, February 22, 1815, being on a visit at the time to his mother, the duchessdowager, and her second husband, Charles Karl of Whitworth, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.]
6 At every public school the junior boys are completely subservient to the upper forms till they attain a seat In the higher classes. From this state of probation, very properly, no rank is exempt; but after a certain period, they command in turn those who succeed.
"Allow me to disclaim any personal allusions, even the most distant: I merely mention generally what is too often the weakness of preceptors.
| Turn to the few in Ida's early.throng, j Whose souls disdain not to condemn the wrong; I Or if, amidst the comrades of thy youth, None dare to raise the sterner voice of truth, Ask thine own heart;'t will bid thee, boy, forbear; For well I know that virtue lingers there.
Tes I I have mark'd thee many a passing day, But now new scenes invite me far away; Yes! I have mark'd within that generous mind A soul, if well matured, to bless mankind. Ah I though myself, by nature haughty, wild, Whom Indiscretion hail'd her favourite child; Though every error stamps me for her own, And dooms my fall, I fain would fall alone; Though my proud heart no precept now can tame, I love the virtues which I cannot claim.
'T is not enough, with other sons of power, To gleam the lambent meteor of an hour; To swell some peerage page in feeble pride, With long-drawn names that grace no page beside; Then share with titled crowds the common lot— In life just gazed at, in the grave forgot; While nought divides thee from the vulgar dead, Except the dull cold stone that hides thy head. The mouldering 'scutcheon, or the herald's roll, That well-cmblazon'd but neglected scroll, Where lords, unhonour'd, in the tomb may find One spot, to leave a worthless name behind. There sleep, unnoticed as the gloomy vaults That veil their dust, their follies, and their faults, A race, with old armorial lists o'erspread, In records destined never to be read. Fain would I view thee, with prophetic eyes, Exalted more among the good and wise, A glorious and a long career pursue, As first in rank, the first in talent too: Spurn every vice, each little meanness shun j Not Fortune's minion, but her noblest son.
Turn to the annals of a former day; Bright are the deeds thine earlier sires display. One, though a courtier, lived a man of worth, And call'd, proud boast! the British drama forth.1 Another view, not less renown'd for wit; Alike for courts, and camps, or senates fit; Bold in the field, and favour'd by the Nine; In every splendid part ordaln'd to shine; Far, far distinguish^ from the glittering throng, The pride of princes, and the boast of song.8 Such were thy fathers j thus preserve their name; Not heir to titles only, but to fame. The hour draws nigh, a few brief days will close, To me, this little scene of joys and woes;
1 [" Thomai Sackville, Lord Buckhurit, was born in 1527. i While a student of the Inner Temple, ho wrote his tragedy
of Gorboduc, which was played before Queen Elisabeth at i Whitehall, in 1961. His tragedy, and his contribution of the
Induction and legend of the Duke of Buckingham to the
"Mirror for Magistrates," compose the poetical history of I Sackvllle. The rest of It was political. In 1604, he was I created Earl of Dorset by James I. He died suddenly at the
council table, in consequence of a dropsy on the brain." —
■ (Charles Sackrille, Earl of Dorset, was born In 1G37, and died in 1706. He was esteemed the most accomplished man of his day, and alike distinguished in the voluptuous court of Charles 11. and the gloomy one of William III. He behaved 'with considerable gallantry In the sea-fight with the Dutch I m 1665; on the day previous to which he is said to have comi posed his celebrated song. To all you Ladies now at Land. j His character has been drawn in the highest colours by Drydcn, Pope, Prior, and Congreve.] 1 [" I have just been, or rather ought to be, very much
Each knell of Time now warns me to resign
Hope, that could vary like the rainbow's hue,
Dorset, farewell.' I will not ask one part
For me, in future, neither friend nor foe, A stranger to thyself, thy weal or woe. With thee no more again I hope to trace The recollection of our early race; No more, as once, in social hours rejoice, Or hear, unless In crowds, thy well-known voice: Still, if the wishes of a heart untaught To veil those feelings which perchance it ought, If these,—but let me cease the lengthen'd strain,— Oh I if these wishes arc not breathed in vain, The guardian seraph who directs thy fate Will leave thee glorious, as he found thee great'
WRITTEN SHORTLY AFTER THE MARRIACE Or JIIS1 CHA WORTH.
Hills of Annesley I bleak and barren,
How the northern tempests, warring,
Now no more, the hours beguiling,
Former favourite haunts I see g
Makes ye seem a heaven to me. *
shocked by the death of the Duke of Dorset. We were at school together, and there 1 was passionately attached u him. Since, we have never met, but ouoe, ' think, since 1605 — and It would be a paltry affectation to pretend that I had any feeling for him worth the name. But there vat s time in my life when this event would have broken my bear!; and all I can say for It now Is — that It is not worth breaking. The recollection of what I once felt, and ought to have fe!t now, but could not, set me pondering, and finally into tho train of thought which you nave in your hands. — Byre* Letteri, 1815. — The Verses referred to were those rocUicholy ones, beginning, —" There *s not a joy the world caa give, tike those it takes away."]
4 [The circumstances which lent so peculiar an Interest to Lord Byron's Introduction to the family of Chawortb, are sufficiently explained In the " Notices of his Life." ** The young lady herself combined," says Mr. Moore, " with the many worldly advantages that encircled her, much pe.-icnal beauty, and a disposition the most amiable and attaching Though already fully alive to her charms, it was at this period
GRANTA. A Medley.
Oh! could Lc Sage's1 demon's gift
Be realised at my desire. This night my trembling form he'd lift
To place it on St. Mary's spire.
Then would, unroofd, old Granta's halls
Fellows who dream on lawn or stalls,
Then would I view each rival wight,
Who canvass there with all their might,
Lo! candidates and voters lie 3
A race renown'd for piety,
Lord H *, indeed, may not demur;
Fellows are sage reflecting men:
But very seldom,—now and then.
They know the Chancellor has got
Some pretty livings in disposal:
And therefore smiles on his proposal.
Now from the soporific scene
111 turn mine eye, as night grows later, To view, unheeded and unseen,
The studious sons of Alma Mater.
There, in apartments small and damp
The candidate for college prizes
Goes late to bed, yet early rises.
He surely well deserves to gain them,
Who, striving hardly to obtain them,
Who sacrifices hours of rest
To scan precisely metres attic;
In solving problems mathematic:
<1S04> that the young poet seems to have drunk deepest of that fascination whose effects were to be so lasting: six short vedu which he passed in her company being sufficient to la? the foundation of a feeling for all life. With the summer ^ itidayj ended this dream of his youth. He saw Miss Chavorth once more in the succeeding year, and took his last farewell of her on that hill near Annesley, which, in his Pons of The Dream,' he describes so happily as * crowned *kb a peculiar diadem.'" In August, 1805, she was married [ J John Musters, Esq.; and died at Wiverton Hall, in February, 1832, In consequence, it is believed, of the alarm and fc^er to which she had been exposed during the sack of Ulwick Hall by a party of rioters from Nottingham. The unfortunate lady had been in a feeble state of health for *5*enl rears, and she and her daughter were obliged to take *?lter from the violence of the mob in a shrubbery, where, Tartly from cold, partly from terror, *her constitution sustained a shock which it wanted vigour to resist.]
1 The Diable Bolteux of Le Sage, where Asmodeus, the 'tanoa, places Don Cleofas on an elevated situation, and unroofs the houses for inspection.
1 [On the death of Mr. Titt, In January, 1806, Lord Henry
Who reads false quantities in Scale, *
Or puzzles o'er the deep triangle; Deprived of many a wholesome meal;
In barbarous Latin9 doom'd to wrangle:
Renouncing every pleasing page
From authors of historic use; Preferring to the lctter'd sage
The square of the hypothenuse.'
Still, harmless are these occupations.
Compared with other recreations,
Which bring together the imprudent;
whose daring revels shock the sight,
When vice and infamy combine, When drunkenness and dice invite.
As every sense is steep'd in wine.
Not so the methodistic crew,
Who plans of reformation lay: In humble attitude they sue,
And for the sins of others pray:
Forgetting that their pride of spirit,
Their exultation in their trial. Detracts most largely from the merit
Of all their boasted self-denial.
'T is morn : —from these I turn my sight
A numerous crowd, array'd in white,8
Loud rings in air the chapel bell j
'Tis hush'd ; —what sounds are these I hear? The organ's soft celestial swell
Rolls deeply on the list'ning ear.
To this is join'd the sacred song,
Though he who hears the music long
Our choir would scarcely be excused,
Even as a band of raw beginners; All mercy now must be refused
To such a set of croaking sinners.
Petty and Lord Palmerston were candidates to represent the University of Cambridge in parliament.]
3 [In the private volume, the fourth and fifth stanzas ran thus: —
"One on his power and place depends.
"The first, indeed, may not demur;
Fellows are sage reflecting men," &c]
4 [Edward-Harvey Hawke, third Lord Hawkc. His lordship died in 1824.]
5 Seale's publication on Greek Metres displays considerable talent and ingenuity, but, as might be expected in so difficult a work, is not remarkable for accuracy.
s The Latin of the schools is of the canine species, and not very intelligible.
7 The discovery of Pythagoras, that the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides of a right-angled triangle.
8 On a saint's day, the students wear surplices in chapel.
If David, when his toils were ended,
Had heard these blockheads sing before him,
To us his psalms had ne'er descended, —
The luckless Israelites, when taken
Were ask'd to sing, by joy forsaken.
Oh! had they sung in notes like these,
Inspired by stratagem or fear.
The devil a soul had stay'd to hear.
But if I scribble longer now,
The deuce a soul will stay to read:
My pen Is blunt, my ink is low;
Therefore, farewell, old Granta's spires!
No more, like Cleofas, I fly;
The reader's tired, and so am I.
ON A DISTANT VIEW OF THE VILLAGE AND SCHOOL OF HARROW ON THE HILL.
Oh ! mihl prseterltos referat si Jupiter annos Virgil.
Y« scenes of my childhood, whose loved recollection Embitters the present, compared with the past;
Where science first dawn'd on the poweit of reflection.
Where fancy yet joys to trace the resemblance
How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrance,
Again I revisit the hills where we sported.
The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought; 2 [sorted,
The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we re-
Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd.
Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd,
I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded,
Where, as Zanga 4,1 trod on Alonzo o'crthrown;
1 [" My school-friendships were with me passion* (for I was always violent); but I do not know that there is one which has endured (to be sure some have been cut short by death) till now." — Byron Diary, 1821.]
3 [" At Harrow I fought my way Tory fairly. 1 think 1 lost but one battle out of seven." — Ibid.}
3 [They show a tomb in the churchyard at Harrow, commanding a view over Windsor, which was so well known to be his favourite resting-place, that the boys called it " Byron's Tomb;" and here, they say, he used to sit for hours, wrapt up in thought.]
4 [For the display of his declamatory powers, on the specch-days. he selected always the most vehement passages; such as the speech of Zanga over the body of Alonzo, and Lear's address to the storm.]
While, to swell my young pride, such applauses resounded,
I fancied that Mossop s himself was outshone:
Or, as Lear, I pour'd forth the deep imprecation,
Till, fired by loud plaudits 8 and self-adulation,
Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret yon!
TJnfaded your memory dwells in my breast; Though sad and deserted, I ne'er can forget you:
Your pleasures may still be in fancy possest
To Ida full oft may remembrance restore me,7 While fate shall the shades of the future unroll I
Since darkness o'ershadows the prospect before me, More dear is the beam of the past to my soul
But if, through the course of the years which await roe, Some new scene of pleasure should open to view,
I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me, "Oh! such were the days which my infancy knew."
Oh 1 did those eyes, instead of Are.
With bright but mild affection shine, Though they might kindle less desire,
Love, more than mortal, would be thine.
For thou art form'd so heavenly fair,
We must admire, but still despair;
When Nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth,
She fear'd that, too divine for earth,
The skies might claim thee for their own:
Therefore, to guard her dearest work.
She bade a secret lightning lurk
These might the boldest sylph appal.
Thy beauty must enrapture all;
But who can dare thine ardent gaze?
'T is said that Berenice's hair
In stars adorns the vault of heaven;
But they would ne'er permit thee there,
5 Mossop, a cotemporary of Garrick, famous for fail pff' lbrmanoe of Zanga.
6 [" My grand patron. Dr. Drury, had a frreat notion ths: 1 should turn out an orator, from my fluency, my turhu.eorf. my voice, my copiousness of dccLamation, and my action. Byron Diary.']
"[In the private volume the two last stanzas ran — "I thought this poor brain, fever'd even to madness, Of tears, as of reason, for ever was drain'd; But the drops which now flow down this bosom of sa.J:« Conviuce me the springs have some moisture rctau! a.
For did those eyes as planets roll,
Thy sister-lights would scarce appear:
E'en sons, which systems now control,
Would twinkle dimly through their sphere. 1
Voxix 1 experience might have told me,
That all must love thee who behold thee:
Sorely experience might have taught
Thy firmest promises are nought:
But, placed in all thy charms before me,
AH I forget, but to adore thee.
Oh memory! thou choicest blessing
When join'd with hope, when still possessing;
But how much cursed by every lover
When hope is fled and passion's over.
Woman, that fair and fond deceiver,
How prompt are striplings to believe her!
Bow throbs the pulse when first we view
The eye that rolls in glossy blue,
Or sparkles black, or mildly throws
A beam from under hazel brows!
How quick we credit every oath,
And hear her plight the willing troth!
Fondly we hope 'twill last for aye,
When lo I she changes in a day.
This record will for ever stand,
"Woman, thy vows arc traced in sand."
Wars I dream that you love me, youH surely forgive;
Extend not your anger to sleep;
I rise, and it leaves me to weep.
Then, Morpheus ! envelope my faculties fast,
Shed o'er me your languor benign; Should the dream of to-night but resemble the last,
What rapture celestial is mine!
They tell us that slumber, the sister of death,
Mortality's emblem is given;
If this be a foretaste of heaven 1
Ah ! frown not, sweet lady, unbend your soft brow,
Nor deem me too happy in this;
Thus doom'd but to gaze upon bliss.
Though in visions, sweet lady, perhaps you may smile, Oh! think not my penance deficient!
When dreams of your presence my slumbers beguile, To awake will be torture sufficient
* " Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven. Having some business, do intreat her eyes, To twinkle in their spheres till they return."—Shaks.
1 The last line Is almost a literal translation from a Spanish proverb.
3 [Of this " Mary," who is not to be confounded with the heiress of Annesley, or " Mary" of Aberdeen, all that has been ascertained is, that she was of an humble, if not equi
ON RECEIVING HER PICTURE. 5
This faint resemblance of thy charms,
My constant heart of fear disarms,
Here I can trace the locks of gold
Which round thy snowy forehead wave,
The cheeks which sprung from beauty's mould,
Here I can trace—ah, no! that eye,
Whose azure floats in liquid Arc, Must all the painter's art defy,
And bid him from the task retire.
Here I behold its beauteous hue;
But where's the beam so sweetly straying,4 Which gave a lustre to its blue,
Like Luna o'er the ocean playing?
Sweet copy ! far more dear to me.
Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art, Than all the living forms could be,
Save her who placed thee next my heart.
She placed it, sad, with needless fear,
Unconscious that her image there
Through hours, through years, through time, 'twill
In life's last conflict't will appear,
Lesbia! since far from you I've ranged,
You say 'tis I, not you, have changed,
Tour polish'd brow no cares have crost;
And, Lesbia! we are not much older Since, trembling, first my heart I lost,
Or told my love, with hope grown bolder.
Sixteen was then our utmost age,
Two years have lingering pass'd away, love! And now new thoughts our minds engage,
At least I feel disposed to stray, love!
'T is I that am alone to blame,
I, that am guilty of love's treason; Since your sweet breast is still the same,
Caprice must be my only reason.
vocal, station in life, — and that she had long light golden hair, " of which," says Mr. Moore, " the Poet used to show a lock, as well as her p'icture, among his friends."]
* [la the private volume —
But where's the beam of soft desire?