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And / have acted well my part,
But let this pass — I'll whine no more,
Newstead Abbey. Oct. 11, l«l|.< [hirst published, 1830.]
Without a stone to mark the spot.
And say, what Truth might well have said,
By all, save one, perchance forgot,
By many a shore and many a sea
Divided, yet beloved in vain;
To bid us meet— no— ne'er again!
Could this have been — a word, a look,
Had taught my bosom how to brook,
And didst thou not, since Death for thee
Once long for him thou ne'er shalt see,
1 [These lines will show with what gloomy fidelity, even while under the pressure of recent sorrow, Lord Byron reverted to the disappointment of hit early affection, as the chief source of all his sufferings and errors, present and to
3 [The anticipations of his own future career in these concluding lines are of a nature, it must be owned, to awaken more of horror than of interest, were we not prepared, by so many instances of his exaggeration in this respect, not to be startled at any lengths to whlrh tho spirit of self-llhelling would carry him. It seemed as if, with the power of painting fierce and gloomy personages, he had also the ambition to be, himself, the dark ■ sublime he drew,' and that, in his fondness for the delineation of heroic crime, he endeavoured to fancy, where he could not find in his own character, fit subjects for his pencil— Moorb.]
s [Two days after, in another letter to Mr. Hodgson, Lord Byron says,—11 1 am growing nervous (how you will laugh !) — but it Is true, — really, wretchedly, ridiculously, fineladlcally nervous. Your climate kills me; I can neither read, write, nor amuse myself, or any one else. My days are listless, and my nights restless: I have seldom any society, and, when 1 have,T run out of it. I don't know that I sha'n't end with insanity; for I find a want of method in arranging my thoughts that perplexes me strangely."] * [Mr. Moore considers " Thyrxa" as if she were a mere
Oh ! who like him had watch'd thee here?
Or sadly mark'd thy glazing eye, In that dread hour ere death appear.
When silent sorrow fears to sigh,
Till all was past! But when no more
Affection's heart-drops, gushing o'er,
Shall they not flow, when many a day
In these, to me, deserted towers. Ere call'd but for a time away,
Affection's mingling tears were ours?
Ours too the glance none saw beside;
The smile none else might understand; The whlspcr'd thought of hearts allied,
The pressure of the thrilling hand;
The kiss, so guiltless and refined.
That Love each warmer wish forbore;
Those eyes proclaim'd so pure a mind,
The tone, that taught me to rejoice,
The song, celestial from thy voice,
The pledge wc wore—I wear it still,
Oft have I borne the weight of ill,
Well hast thou left in life's best bloom
The cup of woe for me to drain. If rest alone be in the tomb,
I would not wish thee here again;
But if in worlds more blest than this
Thy virtues seek a fitter sphere, Impart some portion of thy bliss,
To wean me from mine anguish here.
Teach me — too early taught by thee:
To bear, forgiving and forgiven: On earth thy love was such to me;
It fain would form my hope in heaven 1
. October 11, 1811.<
creature of the Poet's brain. "It was," he says, " about the time when he was thus bitterly feeling, and expressing, the blight which his heart had suffered from a real object of affection, that his poems on the death of an imaginary one were written ;— nor is it any wonder, when we consider the peculiar circumstances under which these beautiful effusions flowed from his fancy, that, of all his strains of pathos, they should be the most touching and most pure. They were, indeed, the essence, the abstract spirit, as it were, of many griefs ;— a confluence of sad thoughts from many sources of sorrow, refined and warmed in their passage through his fancy, and forming thus one deep reservoir of mournful feeling." It is a pity to disturb a sentiment thus beautifully expressed ; but Lord Byron, in a letter to Mr. Dallas, bearing the exact date of these lines, viz. Oct. 11th, 1811, writes as follows :—" 1 have been again shocked with a death, and have lost one very* dear to me hi happier times: but1 1 have almost forgot the tastu of grief,' and * supped full of horrors,' till I have become callous ; nor have I a tear left for an event which, five years ago, would have bowed my head to tho earth." In his reply to this letter, Mr, Dallas says, —" I thank you for your confidential communication, iiow truly do 1 wish that that being had bved. and lived yours! What yoor obligations to her would have been in that case is biconceivable. Several years after the series of poems on Thyrxa were written, Lord Byron, on being asked to whom they referred, by a person tu whose tenderness he never ceased to N n 3
AWAY, AWAY, YE NOTES OF WOE.
Away, away, ye notes of woe!
Be silent, thou once soothing strain, Or I must flee from hence — for, oh!
I dare not trust those sounds again. To me they speak of brighter days —
But lull the chords, for now, alas I I must not think, I may not gaze,
On what I am—on what I was.
The voice that made those sounds more sweet .
Is hush'd, and all their charms are fled; And now their softest notes repeat
A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead! Yes, Thyrza! yes, they breathe of thee,
Beloved dust! since dust thou art; And all that once was harmony
Is worse than discord to my heart!
'T is silent all 1—but on my ear
The well remember'd echoes thrill; I hear a voice I would not hear,
A voice that now might well be still: Yet oft my doubting soul't will shake;
Even slumber owns its gentle tone, Till consciousness will vainly wake
To listen, though the dream be flown.
Sweet Thyrza! waking as in sleep,
Thou art but now a lovely dream; A star that trembled o'er the deep,
Then turn'd from earth its tender beam. But he who through life's dreary way
Must pass, when heaven is veil'd in wrath, Will long lament the vanlsh'd ray
That scatter'd gladness o'er his path.
December 6, 1S11.'
ONE STRUGGLE MORE, AND I AM FREE.
One struggle more, and I am free
From pangs that rend my heart in twain;
Then back to busy life again.
With things that never pleased before:
What future grief can touch me more?
Then bring me wine, the banquet bring;
Man was not form'd to live alone:
That smiles with all, and weeps with none.
It never would have been, but thou
Thou'rt nothing — ail are nothing now.
In vain my lyre would lightly breathe 1
But mocks the woe that lurks beneath,
confide, refuted to answer, with marks of painful agitation, such ai rendered any farther recurrence to the subject Impossible. The reader must be left to form his own conclusion. The fir* following pieces are all devoted to Thyrza.]
Thougn gay companions o'er the bowl
Dispel awhile the sense of ill:
The heart—the heart is lonely still!
On many a lone and lovely night
It soothed to gaze upon the sky; For then I deem'd the heavenly light
Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye -. And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon.
When sailing o'er the JEgean wave, "Now Thyrza gazes on that moon —"
Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave!
When stretch'd on fever's sleepless bed,
And sickness shrunk my throbbing veins, "'Tis comfort still," I faintly said,
"That Thyrza cannot know my pains:" Like freedom to the time-worn slave,
A boon 'tis idle then to give, Relenting Nature vainly gave
My life, when Thyrza ceased to live!
My Thyrza's pledge in better days.
When love and life alike were new! How different now thou meet'st my gaze!
How tinged by time with sorrow's hue! The heart that gave itself with thee
Is silent—ah, were mine as still! Though cold as e'en the dead can be,
It feels, It sickens with the chllL
Thou bitter pledge 1 thou mournful token!
Though painful, welcome to my breast! Still, still, preserve that love unbroken.
Or break the heart to which thou 'rt press'd! Time tempers love, but not removes.
More hallow'd when its hope is fled: Oh ! what are thousand living loves
To that which cannot quit the dead?
Whin Time, or soon or late, shall bring
Oblivion ! may thy languid wing
No band of friends or heirs be there,
No maiden, with disbevell'd hair,
But silent let me sink to earth.
I would not mar one hour of mirth.
Yet Love, if Love In such an hour
Could nobly check its useless sighs.
'T were sweet, my Psyche! to the last
Thy features still serene to see:
E'en Pain Itself should smile on thee.
1 [" I wrote this a day or two ago. on hearing a soag «f former days." — Lord Byron to -Vr. Hodgivm, December *■ 1811.]
But vain the wish—for Beauty still
And woman's tears, produced at will,
Then lonely be my latest hour.
For thousands Death hath ceased to lower,
"Ay, but to die, and go," alas!
Where all have gone, and all must go! To be the nothing that I was
Ere bom to life and living woe!
Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen,
And know, whatever thou hast been,
AND THOU ABT DEAD, AS YOUNG AS FAIR.
14 Heu, quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quara tui meminiise 1
| And thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
Too soon return'd to Earth I
In carelessness or mirth,
I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;
So I behold them not:
Like common earth can rot;
Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
And canst not alter now.
Nor falsehood disavow:
The better days of life were ours;
The worst can be but mine:
Shall never more be thine.
Nor need I to repine
The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd
Must fall the earliest prey;
The leaves must drop away:
Since earthly eye but 111 can bear
I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
Had worn a deeper shade:
Extinguished, not decay'd;
As once I wept, if I could weep,
My tears might well be shed,
One vigil o'er thy bed;
Uphold thy drooping head;
Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
Than thus remember thee I
Returns again to me,
IF SOMETIMES IN THE HAUNTS OF MEN.
If sometimes in the haunts of men
Thine image from my breast may fade,
The semblance of thy gentle shade:
Thus much of thee can still restore,
The plaint she dare not speak before.
Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile
I waste one thought I owe to thee,
Unfaithful to thy memory:
That then I seem not to repine;
One sigh that should be wholly (aim.
If not the goblet pass unquaff'd,
It is not drain'd to banish care;
That brings a Lethe for despair.
From all her troubled visions free,
That drown'd a single thought of thee.
For wert thou vanish'd from my mind,
Where could my vacant bosom turn?
To honour thine abandon'd Urn?
That last dear duty to fulfil:
'T is meet that I remember still.
For well I know, that such had been
Thy gentle care for him, who now Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene,
Where none regarded him, but thou: And, oh I I feel in that was given
A blessing never meant for me; Thou wert too like a dream of Heaven,
For earthly Love to merit thee.
March 14, 1812.
OX A CORNELIAN HEART WHICH WAS
That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain?
Vet precious seems each shatter'd part.
Since he who wears thee feels thou art
March 10, 1812.
FROM THE FRENCH. Jeoli, beauty and poet, has two little crimes; She makes her own face, and does not make her rhymes.
LINES TO A LADY WEEPING. « Weep, daughter of a royal line,
A Sire's disgrace, a realm's decay; Ab ! happy if each tear of thine
Could wash a father's fault away!
Weep — for thy tears are Virtue's tears —
And be each drop in future years
THE CHAIN I GAVE.
The lute I added sweet in sound;
1 [Wo know not whether the render should understand the cornelian heart of these lines tn Ite the same with that of which some notices are given at p. 339.]
* [This impromptu owed its birth to an on dit, that the late Princess Charlotte of Wales burst into tears on hearing that the Whigs had found ft impossible to put together a cabinet, at the period of Mr. Perceval's death. They were appended to the first edition of " The Corsair," and excited a sensation, As it is called, marvellously disproportionate to their length, — or, we may add. their merit. The ministerial prints raved for two months on end, in the most foulmouthed vituperation of the poet, and alt that belonged to him — the Morning Post even announced a motion in the House of Lords — "and all this," l^ord Bvron writes to Mr. Moore, " as Bedreddin In the Arabian flights remarks, for making a cream tart with pepper: how odd, that eight lines should have given birth, I really think, to eight thousand IM]
1 [" The * Lines to a Lady weeping' must go with 1 The Corsair.' 1 care nothing for consequences on this point. My politics are to me like a young mistress to an old man; I the worse they grow, the fonder I become of them."—Lord I Bvron to Mr. Murray, Jan. 22. 1814. "On my return, I find all the newspapers in hysterica, and town in an uproar, on the avowal and republication of two stanzas on Princess Charlotte's weeping at Regency's speech to Lauderdale in
These gifts were charm'd by secret spell.
And they have done their duty well,—
That chain was firm in every link,
That lute was sweet.— till thou could'st think
Let him who from thy neck unbound
Who saw that lute refuse to sound,
When thou wert changed, they alter'd too;
The chain is broke, the music mute. 'T is past — to them and thee adieu —
False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.
LINES WRITTEN ON A BLANK LEAF OF "THE PLEASURES OF MEMORY."
Absent or present, still to thee,
My friend, what magic spells belong!
As all can tell, who share, like me.
But when the dreaded hour shall come
And " Memory" o'er her Druid's tomb s
How fondly will she then repay
And blend, while ages roll away,
April 19, H12.
SPOKEN AT THE OPENING OE DRCRY-LA.NZ tUtW
In one dread night our city saw, and sigh'il,
1812. They are daily at it still: — some of the abuse goal — all of It hearty. They talk of a motion in our House opec it—belt so." — Byron Diary, 1814.]
* t" When Rogers does talk, he talks well; and, on all subjects of taste, his delicacy of expression Is pure as Wis poetry. If you enter his house — his drawing-room — ais library — you of yourself say, this Is not the dwelling of a common mind. "There is not a gem, a coin, a book thrown aside on his chimney-piece, his sofa, his table, that dor) cot bespeak an almost fastidious elegance in the possessor-" — Byron Diary, 1813.]
* [The reader will recall Collins's exquisite lines on ta* tomb of Thomson: "In yonder grave a Druid Ilea," ax.]
* [The theatre In Drury Lane, which was opened, in I74Twith Dr. Johnson's masterly address, beginning, —
"When Learning's triumph o'er her barbarous foes First rear'd the Stage, immortal Shakspeare rose,"
and witnessed the last glories of Garrfck, having fallen into decay, was rebuilt in 17'J4. The new building perished hf fire In 1811; and the Managers, In their anxiety that the opening of the present edifice should be dUtuvuislfcd ey some composition of at least equal merit, advertmd in ttr news]
,-spapers for a general competiUon. Scores ol add not one tolerable, showered on their desk, and they wrrc ■ sad despair, w hen Lord Holland Interfered, and. not wkho*
Ye who beheld, (oh 1 sight admired and moum'd, Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn'd !) Through clouds of fire the massy fragments riven, Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven; Saw the long column of revolving flames Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames,1 While thousands, throng'd around the burning dome, Shrank back appall'd, and trembled for their home, As glared the volumed blaze, and ghastly shone The skies, with lightnings awful as their own, Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall Umrp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall; Say—shall this new, nor less aspiring pile, Bear'd where once rose the mightiest in our isle, Know the same favour which the former knew, A shrine for Shakspearc — worthy him and you'
Tes—it shall be—the magic of that name Defies the scythe of time, the torch of flame; On the same spot still consecrates the scene, And bids the Drama be where she hath been: This fabric's birth attests the potent spell — Indulge our honest pride, and say, How well!
As soars this fane to emulate the last, Oh! might we draw our omens from the past, Some hour propitious to our prayers may boast Names such as hallow still the dome we lost. On Drary first your Siddons' thrilling art O'erwhelm'd the gentlest, storm'd the sternest heart. On Drury, Garrick's latest laurels grew; Here your last tears retiring Rosclus drew, Siirh'tl his last thanks, and wept his last adieu: But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom, That only waste their odours o'er the tomb. Such Drury claim'd and claims—nor you refuse One tribute to revive his slumbering muse; With garlands deck your own Menander's head, Nor hoard your honours Idly for the dead.
Dear are the clays which made our annals bright. Ere Garrick fled, or Brinsley' ceased to write. Heirs to their labours, like all high-born heirs, ^ain of our ancestry as they of theirs; While thus Remembrance borrows Banquo's glass To claim the sceptred shadows as they pass, And we the mirror hold, where imaged shine Immortal names, emblazon'd on our line,
dinVulty, prevailed on Lord Byron to write these verses — "at the risk," as he said, " of offending a hundred scribblers and a discerning public." The admirable jeu d'esprit of the Mc*«rs. Smith will long preserve the memory of the "Rejected Addresses."] 1 [" By the bye, the best view of the said fire (which 1 ~" saw from a house-top in Covent Garden) was at —nster Bridge, from the reflection of the Thames." — Lord Byron to Lord Holland.]
1 [Originally,'» Ere Garrick died," kc. —" By the bye, ono of my corrections in the copy sent yesterday has dived luto die bathos some sixty fathom —
'When Garrick died, and Brinsley ceased to write.' Ceasing lalive is a much more serious concern, and ought not to be first. Second thoughts In every thing are best; but, in thyme, third and fourth don't come amiss. I always scrawl in this way, and smooth as fast as I can, but never sufficiently; and, latterly, 1 can weave a nine-line stanza faster than a couplet, for which measure 1 have not the cunning. When I began 'Childe Harold,' I had never tried Spenser's measure, and now I cannot scribble in any other." — Lord Byron to Lord Holland.] 1 [The following lines were omitted by the "Kay, lower still, the Drama yet deplores That late she delgn'd to crawl upon all-fours. When Richard roart In Boswortn for a h If you command, the steed must come In
Pause—ere their feebler offspring you condemn.
Friends of the stage! to whom both Players and Plays
This greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd, The Drama's homage by her herald paid. Receive our welcome too, whose every tone Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own. The curtain rises—may our stage unfold Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old! Britons our judges. Nature for our guide, Still may we please—long, long may you preside I *
BV DU. PLAGIARY,
Half stolen, with acknowledgments, to be spoken in an in* articulate voice by Master P. at the opening of the next new theatre. Stolen parts marked with the inverted commas of quotation — thus" ".
"When energising objects men pursue," Then Lord knows what Is writ by Lord knows who. "A modest monologue you here survey," Hlss'd from the theatre the " other day," As if Sir Fretful wrote " the slumberous" verse, And gave his son " the rubbish" to rehearse. "Yet at the thing you'd never be amazed," Knew you the rumpus which the author raised; '* Nor even here your smiles would be represt," Knew you these lines—the badness of the best. "Flame I fire 1 and flame!!" (words borrow'd from Lucretius,)
"Dread metaphors which open wounds" like issues I
If you decree, the stage must condescend
"Is Whltbread," said Lord Byron, " determined to castrate ay cavalry lines? I do impli one lash on those accursed quadrupeds —' a long shot, Sir
Nor shift from man to babe, from babe to brute.'
lines? I do implore, for my own gratification, lose accursed Lucius, If you love me.' "]
4 [" Soon after the ' Rejected Addresses' scene in 1812, I met Sheridan. In the course of dinner, he said,' Lord Byron, did you know that amongst the writers of addresses was Whltbread himself r* I answered by an inquiry of what sort of an address be had made. 'Of that,' replied Sheridan, ' I remember little, except that there was a phaniz In It.' —' A phoenix I 1 Well, how did he describe it ?' — 'Like a poulterer* answered Sheridan: ' it was green, and yellow, and red, and blue: he did not let Iu off for a single feather.' "— Byron Letters, 1821.]
* [Among the addresses sent In to the Drury Lane Committee was one by Dr. Busby, entitled "A Monologue," of which the above is a parody. It began as follows: — "When energising objects men pursue. What are the prodigies they cannot do? A magic edifice you here survey, Shot from the ruins of the other day," &c]