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FARE THEE TOLL. *
"Alas I they hare been friends in youth;
» • * • •
But never either found another
Fa Tie thee well! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well:
'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.
Would that breast were bared before thee
While that placid sleep came o'er thee
Would that breast, by thee glanced over,
Then thou wouldst at last discover
Though the world for this commend thee —
Though it smile upon the blow,
Founded on another's woe:
Though my many faults defaced me,
Could no other arm be found,
To inflict a cureless wound?
1 [The Hebrew Melodies, though obviously inferior to Lord Byron's other works, display a skill in versification and a mastery in diction, which would have raised an inferior artist to the very summit of distinction. — Jeffrey.]
2 [It was about the middle of April that his two celebrated copies of verses, "Faro thee well," and "A Sketch," made their appearance in the newspapers; and while the latter poem was generally, and, it must be owned, justly condemned, as a sort of literary assault on an obscure female, whose situation ought to have placed her as much beneath his satire, as the undignified mode of his attack certainly raised her above it, with regard to the other poem, opinions were a good deal more divided. To many it appeareti a strain of true conjugal tenderness, — a kind of appeal which no woman with a heart could resist; while, by others, on the contrary, It was considered to be a mere showy effusion of sentiment, as difficult for real feeling to have produced as it was easy for faacy and
, art, and altogether unworthy of the deep interests Involved in
Yet, oh yet, thyself deceive not;
Love may sink by slow decay,
Hearts can thus be torn away:
Still thine own its life retaineth—
Still must mine, though bleeding, beat;
And the undying thought which paint th
These are words of deeper sorrow
Than the wail above the dead;
Wake us from a widow'd bed.
And when thou would solace gather,
Wilt thou teach her to say " Father!"
When her little hands shall press thee,
When her lip to thine is press'd,
Think of him thy love had bless'd!
Should her lineaments resemble
Then thy heart will softly tremble
All my faults perchance thou kuowest,
All my hopes, where'er thou goest.
Every feeling hath been shaken;
Pride, which not a world could bow,
Even my soul forsakes me now:
the subject. To this latter opinion I confess ray own to hare, at first, strongly inclined ; and suspicious as I could not betp thinking the sentiment that could, at such a moment, indulge In such verses, the taste that prompted or sanctioned their publication appeared to me even still more questionable. Ob reading, however, his own account of all the drrumstanrrs hi the Memoranda, 1 found that on both points I bad, tn common with a large portion of the public, done him injmice. He there described, and in a manner whose sinceritr there was no doubting, the swell of tender recollections under the influence of which, as he sat one night musing in bU study, these stanzas were produced, — the tears, as he said, faUtasr fast over the paper as he wrote them. Neither did It appear, from that account, to have been from any wish or intention of his own, but through the injudicious leal of a friend whom he had suffered to take a copy, that the verse* met the pur-bc eye. — Moore. The appearance of the MS. confirms thss account of the circumstances under which It was written. It is blotted all over with the marks of tears ]
But 'tii done—all words are idle —
Words from me are vainer still, But the thoughts we cannot bridle
Force their way without the will.
Fare thee well!—thus disunited,
Torn from every nearer tic,
More than this I scarce can die.
A SKETCH. >
"Honest — honest Iago!
Boas In the garret, in the kitchen bred,
I She dines from off the plate she lately wash'd.
1 Who could, ye gods I her next employment guess —
J Deceit Infect not—near Contagion soil—
| On humbler talents with a pitying frown—
! Xor Genius swell—nor Beauty render vain—
| Serenely purest of her sex that live,
] Too shock'd at faults her soul can never know,
1 Foe to all vice, yet hardly Virtue's friend. For Virtue pardons those she would amend.
j Bn*. to the theme:—now laid aside too long,
I If mothers — none know why — before her quake;
1 1 f" I send Tou my but night's dream, and request to have tftv antes struck off, for private distribution. I wish Mr. CiaVd u, look at them. They are from life." — Lord .Byron \ ss Mr. Hurray. March 30, 1816.]
* f la irvt draught — " weltering." — " I doubt about • wel■ We say • weltering in blood;' but do not they also
Have given her power too deeply to instil
The angry essence of her deadly will;
If like a snake she steal within your walk.
Till the black slime betray her as she crawls j
If like a viper to the heart she wind,
And leave the venom there she did not find;
What marvel that this hag of hatred works
Eternal evil latent as she lurks,
To make a Pandemonium where she dwells,
And reign the Hecate of domestic hells?
Skill'd by a touch to deepen scandal's tints
With all the kind mendacity of hints, [smiles—
While mingling truth with falsehood—sneers with
A thread of candour with a web of wiles;
A plain blunt show of briefly-spoken seeming,
To hide her bloodless heart's soul-harden'd scheming;
A lip of lies—a face form'd to conceal;
And, without feeling, mock at all who feel:
With a vile mask the Gorgon would disown;
A cheek of parchment—and an eye of stone.
Mark, how the channels of her yellow blood
Ooze to her skin, and stagnate there to mud,
Cased like the centipede in saffron mail,
Or darker greenness of the scorpion's scale—
(For drawn from reptiles only may we trace
Congenial colours in that soul or face) —
Look on her features! and behold her mind
As in a mirror of itself defined:
Look on the picture 1 deem it not o'ercharged —
There is no trait which might not be enlarged:
Yet true to " Nature's journeymen," who made
This monster when their mistress left off trade —
This female dog-star of her little sky,
Where all beneath her influence droop or die.
Oh! wretch without a tear—without a thought.
Look on thine earthly victims—and despair!
March 29. 1816.
use 1 weltering In the wind,' 'weltering on a gibbet?' I have no dictionary, so look. In the mean time, f have put 1 festering;' which, perhaps, in any case Is the best word of the two. Shakspeare has it often, and I do not think It too strong for the figure in this thing. Quick ! quick I quick I quick!' — Lord Byron to Mr. Murray. April 2.] Hh 3
STANZAS TO AUGUSTA. I When all around grew drear and dark,
And reason half withheld her ray — And hope but shed a dying spark
Which more misled my lonely way;
In that deep midnight of the mind,
And that internal strife of heart. When dreading to be deem'd too kiud,
The weak despair—the cold depart;
When fortune changed—and love fled far.
Thou wert the solitary star
Which rose and set not to the last.
Oh 1 blest be thine unbroken light!
That watch'd me as a seraph's eye, And stood between me and the night,
For ever shining sweetly nigh.
And when the cloud upon us came,
Then purer spread its gentle flame,
Still may thy spirit dwell on mine,
There's more in one soft word of thine
Thou stood'st, as stands a lovely tree,
Still waves with fond fidelity
The winds might rend — the skies might pour,
Devoted in the stormiest hour
To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me.
But thou and thine shall know no blight,
Whatever fate on me may fall; For heaven in sunshine will requite
The kind—and thee the most of all.
Then let the ties of baffled love
Thy heart can feel—but will not move;
And these, when all was lost beside,
Were found and still are flx'd in thee; —
And bearing still a breast so tried,
STANZAS TO AUGUSTA * Though the day of my destiny's over, And the star of my fate hath declined, s
< [The Poet'i sister, the Honourable Mrs. Leigh. — These stanzas—the parting tribute to her, whose unshaken tenderness had been the author's sole consolation during the crisis or domestic misery — were, we believe, the last verses written by Lord Byron in England. In a note to Mr. Rogers, dated April 16th, he says. — " My sister is now with me, and leaves town to-morrow: we shall not meet again for some time at all events,— if ever! and, under these circumstances, 1 trust to stand excused to you and Mr. Sheridan, for being unable to wait upon him this evening." On the 25th, the Poet took a last leave of his native country.]
* [These beautiful verses, so expressive of the writer's wounded feelings at the moment, were written in July, at the Campagne Diodatt, near Geneva, and transmitted to England for publication, with some other pieces. "Be careful, he
Thy soft heart refused to discover
Though thy soul with my grief was acqi
And the love which my spirit hath painted
Then when nature around me is smiling,
The last smile which answers to mine, I do not believe It beguiling,
Because it reminds me of thine; And when winds are at war with the
As the breasts I believed in with rr If their billows excite an emotion,
It is that they bear mc from thee.
Though the rock of my last hope is shiver'd.
And its fragments are sunk in the wave. Though I feel that my soul is deliver'd
To pain—it shall not be its slave. There is many a pang to pursue me:
They may crush, but they shall not contemn — They may torture, but shall not subdue me —
'Tis of thee that I think—not of them.'
Though human, thou didst not deceive me,
Though woman, thou didst not forsake. Though loved, thou forborest to grieve me,
Though slandcr'd, thou never couldst shake. Though trusted, thou didst not disclaim me.
Though parted, it was not to fly,
Nor, mute, that the world might belie.»
Yet I blame not the world, nor despise it.
Nor the war of the many with one; If mj soul was not fitted to prize it,
'T was folly not sooner to shun: And if dearly that error hath cost me,
And more than I once could foresee, I have found that, whatever it lost me,
It could not deprive me of thee.
From the wreck of the past, which hath perish'd.
Thus much I at least may recall,
Deserved to be dearest of all:
In the wide waste there still is a tree,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee.
July U. ISIS.
EPISTLE TO AUGUSTA.*
says, " in printing the stanzas
3 [" Though the days of my glory are over.
And the sun of my fame hath declined." — MS.j
Go where I will, to me thou art the same —
The first were nothing — had I still the last,
If my inheritance of storms hath been
Mine were my faults, and mine be their reward,
Kingdoms and empires in my little day
Perhaps the workings of defiance stir
I feel almost at times as I have felt
tent home at the time for publication, in case Mrs. Leigh should sanction it. "There is," he says, " amongst the manuscripts an Epistle to my Sister, on which I should wish her opinion to be consulted before publication ; if she objects, of course omit it." On the 5th of October lie writes, — "My sister has decided on the omission of the lines. Upon this point, ber option will be followed. As 1 have no copv ,f them, I request that you will preserve one for me in MS."; for I never can remember a line of that nor any other composition of mine. God help me! if I proceed in this scribbling, I shall have frittered away my mind before I am thirty ; but poetry is at times a real relief to me. To-morrow 1 am for Italy." The Epistle was first given to the world in 1830.]
'[Admiral Byron was remarkable for never making a voyage without a tempest. He was known to the sailors by the facetious name of " Foul-weather Jack."
Here are the Alpine landscapes which create
Oh that thou wert but with me ! — but I grow
I did remind thee of our own dear Lake, -
The world is all before me ; I but ask
I can reduce all feelings but this one;
With false Ambition what had I to do?
And for the future, this world's future may
11 But, though it were tempest-toss'd. Still his bark could not be lost." He returned safely from the wreck of the Wager (in Anson's voyage), and circumnavigated the world, many years after, as commander of a similar expedition.]
3 The Lake of Newstead Abbey. [Thus described in Don Juan: —
"Before the mansion lay a lucid lake,
Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed
By a river, which its soften d way did take
Around: the wild fowl nestled In the I rake
The woods sloped downwards to its brink, and stood
With their green faces fix'd upon the Hood." ]
My years have been no slumber, but the prey Of ceaseless vigils; for I had the share Of life which might have fill'd a century, Before its fourth in time had pass'd me by.
And for the remnant which may be to come I am content; and for the past I feel Not thankless,—for within the crowded sum Of struggles, happiness at times would steal, And for the present, I would not benumb My feelings further. —Nor shall I conceal That with all this I stOl can look around, And worship Nature with a thought profound.
For thee, my own sweet sister, In thy heart I know myself secure, as thou in mine; We were and are—I am, even as thou art— Beings who ne'er each other can resign; It is the same, together or apart, From life's commencement to its slow decline We are entwined — let death come slow or fast, The tie which bound the first endures the last!
ON HEARING THAT LADT BYRON WAS ILL. 1
And thou wert sad—yet I was not with thee;
And thou wert sick, and yet I was not near; Methought that joy and health alone could be
Where I was not—and pain and sorrow here! And is it thus ? —it is as I foretold,
And shall be more so; for the mind recoils Upon itself, and the wreck'd heart lies cold.
While heaviness collects the shatter'd spoils. It is not in the storm nor in the strife
We feel benumb'd, and wish to be no more,
But in the after-silence on the shore, When all Is lost, except a little life.
I am too well avenged !—but 'twas my right;
Whate'er my sins might be, thou wert not sent
Nor did Heaven choose so near an instrument.
1 [These verses were written Immediately after the failure of the negotiation for a reconciliation before Lord Byron left Switzerland for Italy, but were not intended for the public
S'e: aa, however, they have recently found their way into rculation, we include them in this collection.] 4 [" Lord Byron had at least this much to say for himself, that he was not tho first to make his domestic differences a topic of public discussion. On the contrary, he saw himself, ere any fact but the one undisguised and tangible one was, or could be known, held up everywhere, and by every art of malice, as the most Infamous of men, — because he had parted from his wife. He was exquisftively sensitive: he was wounded at once by a thousand arrows; and ail this with the most perfect and indignant knowledge, that of all who were assailing bim not one knew anything of the real merits of the case. Did he right, then,in publishing those squibs and tirades? No, certainly: it would have been nobler, better, wiser far, to have utterly scorned the assaults of such enemies, and taken no notice, of any kind, of them. But, because this young, hot-blooded, proud, patrician poet did not, amidst the exacerbation of feelings which he could not control, act in precisely the most dignified and wisest of all possible manners of action, ■— are we entitled, is the world at large entitled, to issue a broad sentence of vituperative condemnation? Do we know all that he had suffered ? — hare ice Imagination enough to comprehend what he suffered, under circumstances such as these i — have we been tried In similar circumstances, whether we could feel the wound unflinchingly, and keep the weapon quiescent in the hand that trembled with all the excitements of insulted privacy, honour, and faith? Let people consider for a moment what It is that they demand when they insist upon a poet of Byron's class
Thy nights are banish'd from the realms of sleep !—
For thou art pillbw'd on a curse too deep;
Thou hast sown in my sorrow, and must reap
I have had many foes, but none like thee;
But thou in safe implacability
Hadst nought to dread — in thy own weakness shielded,
And in my love, which hath but too much yielded.
And spared, for thy sake, some I should not spare; And thus upon the world— trust in thy truth, And the wild fame of my ungovem'd youth—
On things that were not, and on things that areEven upon such a basis hast thou built A monument, whose cement hath been guilt 1
The moral Clytemnestra of thy lord,
And hew'd down, with an unsuspected sword. Fame, peace, and hope—and all the better life
Which, but for this cold treason of thy heart. Might still have risen from out the grave of strife,
And found a nobler duty than to part. But of thy virtues didst thou make a vice.
Trafficking with them in a purpose cold.
For present anger, and for future gold—
In Janus-spirits—the significant eye
All found a place in thy philosophy.
abstaining altogether from expressing In his works anytfcltt of his own feelings In regard to anything; tbax immediately concerns his own history. We tell him in every possible ton and shape, that the great and distinguishing merit of his
foetry is the Intense truth with which that poetry expresses is own personal feelings. We encourage Dim in every Risible way to dissect his own heart for our entertainment — we tempt him by every bribe most likely to act powerfullv (■o a young and imaginative man, to plunge into the dartest depths of self-knowledge; to madden his brain with eternal self-scrutinies, to find his pride and his pleasure la what others shrink from as torture — we tempt him to indulge u these dangerous exercises, until they obviously acquire the
Eower of leading him to the very Drink of frensy — we tempt tm to find, and to see In this perilous vocation, the of his existence, the food of his ambition, the very essence of his glory, — and the moment that, by habits of our on creating, at least of our own encouraging and confirming. b< n carried one single step beyond what we happen to approv t we turn round with all the bitterness of spleen, and rrpro* a him with the unmanlincss of. entertaining the public with :j> feelings in regard to his separation from his wile. This nt truly the conduct of a fair and liberal public I To our rttm of the matter. Lord Byron, treated as he had been, tetnptffl as he had been, and tortured and insulted as he was it the moment, did no more forfeit his character by writing: »t.«: he did write upon that unhappy occasion, than another rnj-.. under circumstances of the same nature, would have dooe, by telling something of his mind about It to an uuimitr friend across the fire. The public had forced hint into the habits of familiarity, and they received his confidence wa» nothing but anger and scorn. — Lockhabt.j