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With stern and anxious glance gazed back upon
Sieg. Oh God of fathers :
Gab. I beheld his features As I see yours—but yours they were not, though Resembling them—behold them in Count Ulric's 1 Distinct, as I beheld them, though the expression Is not now what it then was ; — but it was so When I first charged him with the crime—so lately.
Sieg. This is so [the end
Gab. (interrupting him). Nay—but hear me to Now you must do so. —I conceived myself Betray'd by you and him (for now I saw There was some tie between you) into this Pretended den of refuge, to become The victim of your guilt; and my first thought Was vengeance: but though arm'd with a short poniard (Having left my sword without) I was no match For him at any time, as had been proved That morning—either in address or force. I turn'd, and fled — i' the dark : chance rather than Skill made me gain the secret door of the hall, And thence the chamber where you slept : if I Had found you waking, Heaven alone can tell What vengeance and suspicion might have prompted; But ne'er slept guilt as Werner slept that night.
Sieg. And yet I had horrid dreams 1 and such brief The stars had not gone down when I awoke. [sleep, Why didst thou spare me? I dreamt of my father— And now my dream is out !
Gab. 'T is not my fault, If I have read it. —Well ! I fled and hid me — Chance led me here after so many moons— And show'd me Werner in Count Siegendorf Werner, whom I had sought in huts in vain, Inhabited the palace of a sovereign You sought me and have found me—now you know My secret, and may weigh its worth.
Sieg. (after a pause). Indeed :
Gab. Is it revenge or justice which inspires Your meditation ?
Sieg. Neither—I was weighing The value of your secret.
Gab. You shall know it At once: —When you were poor, and I, though poor, Rich enough to relieve such poverty As might have envied mine, I offer'd you My purse—you would not share it: — I'll be franker With you: you are wealthy, noble, trusted by The imperial powers—you understand me 7
Gab. Not quite. You think me venal, and scarce "T is no less true, however, that my fortunes [true: Have made me both at present. You shall aid me ; I would have aided you—and also have Been somewhat damaged in my name to save Yours and your son's. Weigh well what I have said.
Sieg. Dare you await the event of a few minutes' Deliberation ?
Gab. (custs his eyes on ULRic, who is leaning
against a pillar). If I should do so?
Sieg. I pledge my life for yours. Withdraw into This tower. [ Opens a turret door.
Gab. (hesitatingly). This is the second safe asylum You have offer'd me.
! [“Gab. I have yet an additional security — I did not enter Prague a solitary individual ; and there are tongucs without that will speak for me, although I should even share the fate
Sieg. And was not the first so *
Gab. I know not that even now—but will approve
Sieg. I will be so. —
Gab. I'll take it for so much.
Sieg. (points to Ulric's sabre still upon the ground).
Take also that—
I saw you eye it eagerly, and him
Gab. (takes up the sabre).
[GAbon goes into the turret, which SIEGENDorf closes.
Sieg. (adrances to Ulric). Now, Count Ulric For son I dare not call thee—What say'st thou ?
Ulr. His tale is true.
Sieg. True, monster :
Ulr. Most true, father I And you did well to listen to it: what
I will ; and so provide
We know, we can provide against. He must
And with the other half, could he and thou
Ulr. It is no time
Sieg. How so 7
Ulr. As Stralenheim is. As never to have hit on this before ? When we met in the garden, what except Discovery in the act could make me know His death 7 Or had the prince's household been Then summon'd, would the cry for the police Been left to such a stranger ? Or should I Have loiter'd on the way ? Or could you, Werner, The object of the baron's hate and fears, Have fled, unless by many an hour before Suspicion woke 2 I sought and fathom'd you, Doubting if you were false or feeble : I Perceived you were the latter; and yet so Confiding have I found you, that I doubted At times your weakness
Sieg. Parricide no less
Ulr. Father, do not raise
Sieg. Oh! my dead father's curse 'tis working now.
Ulr. Let it work on the grave will keep it down : Ashes are feeble foes: it is more easy To baffle such, than countermine a mole,
Are you so dull
Which winds its blind but living path beneath you.
And prosper; but delay not, or you are lost 1
Gab. You pledged your honour for my safety :
Sieg. And Must thus redeem it. Fly! I am not master, It seems, of my own castle—of my own Retainers—may, even of these very walls, Or I would bid them fall and crush me ! Or you will be slain by
Gab. Is it even so? Farewell, then I Recollect, however, Count, You sought this fatal interview
Sieg. I did : Let it not be more fatal still – Begone :
Gab. By the same path I enter'd 2
Sieg. Yes; that's safe still . But loiter not in Prague; —you do not know With whom you have to deal.
Gab. I know too well– And knew it ere yourself, unhappy sire | Farewell I [Erit Gabon.
Sieg. (solus and listening). He hath clear'd the staircase. Ah I hear
The door sound loud behind him . He is safe :
of the tower, in a drooping posture.
Enter Ulric, with others armed, and with weapons drawn. Ulr. Despatch 1–he's there ! Lud. The count, my lord : Ulr. (recognising SIEGENDoRF). Pou here, sir! Sieg. Yes: if you want another victim, strike : Ulr. (seeing him stript of his jewels). Where is the ruffian who hath plunder'd you? Vassals, despatch in search of him You see | 'Twas as I said—the wretch hath stript my father Of jewels which might form a prince's heir-loom Away ! I'll follow you forthwith. [Ereunt all but SIEGENDory and ULRoc. What's this 2 Where is the villain 7
Sieg. There are two, sir : which Are you in quest of 2
UTr. Let us hear no more Of this : he must be found. You have not let him Escape 2
Sieg. He's gone.
UTr. With your connivance
Sieg. With My fullest, freest aid.
Tr. Then fare you well
[Ulsic is going. Sieg. Stop . I command—entreat—implore : Oh, Ulric :
Will you then leave me?
UTr. What : remain to be Denounced —dragg'd, it may be, in chains; and all By your inherent weakness, half-humanity, Selfish remorse, and temporising pity, That sacrifices your whole race to save A wretch to profit by our ruin : No, count, Henceforth you have no son :
Sieg. I never had one : | And would you ne'er had borne the useless name :
Gub. What am I to do |
With these ? Stey. Whate'er you will : sell them, or hoard,
IN submitting to the public eye the following collection, I have not only to combat the difficulties that writers of verse generally encounter, but may incur the charge of presumption for obtruding myself on the world, when, without doubt, I might be, at my age, more usefully employed. These productions are the fruits of the lighter hours of a young man who has lately completed his nineteenth year. As they bear the internal evidence of a boyish mind, this is, perhaps, unnecessary information. Some few were written during the disadvantages of
• [First published in 1807.]
* [Isabella, the daughter of William, fourth Lord Byron (great-great uncle of the Poet) became, in 1742, the wife of Henry, fourth Earl of Carlisle, and was the mother of the fisth Earl, to whom this dedication was addressed. This
illness and depression of spirits: under the former influence, “CHILDish RE.collections,” in particular, were composed. This consideration, though it cannot excite the voice of praise, may at least arrest the arm of censure. A considerable portion of these poems has been privately printed, at the request and for the perusal of my friends. I am sensible that the partial and frequently injudicious admiration of a social circle is not the criterion by which poetical genius is to be estimated, yet, “to do greatly,” we must “dare greatly;” and I have hazarded my reputation and feelings in publishing this volume. “I have passed the Rubicon,” and must stand or fall by the “cast of
lady was a poetess in her way. The Fairy's Answer to Mrs. Greville's “Prayer of Indifference,” in Pearch's Collection, is usually ascribed to her.)
* [This Preface was omitted in the second edition.]
the die.” In the latter event, I shall submit without a murmur ; for, though not without solicitude for the fate of these effusions, my expectations are by no means sanguine. It is probable that I may have dared much and done little; for, in the words of Cowper, “it is one thing to write what may please our friends, who, because they are such, are apt to be a little biassed in our favour, and another to write what may please every body; because they who have no connection, or even knowledge of the author, will be sure to find fault if they can.” To the truth of this, however, I do not wholly subscribe : on the contrary, I feel convinced that these trifles will not be treated with injustice. Their merit, if they possess any, will be liberally allowed : their numerous faults, on the other hand, cannot expect that favour which has been denied to others of maturer years, decided character, and far greater ability. I have not aimed at exclusive originality, still less have I studied any particular model for imitation: some translations are given, of which many are paraphrastic. In the original pieces there may appear a casual coincidence with authors whose works I have been accustomed to read ; but I have not been guilty of intentional plagiarism. To produce any thing entirely new, in an age so fertile in rhyme, would be a Herculean task, as every subject has already been treated to its utmost extent. Poetry, however, is not my primary vocation; to divert the dull moments of indisposition, or the monotony of a vacant hour, urged me “to this sin: ” little can be expected from so unpromising a muse. My wreath, scanty as it must be, is all I shall derive from these productions; and I shall never attempt to replace its fading leaves, or pluck a single additional sprig from groves where I am, at best, an intruder. Though accustomed, in my younger days, to rove a careless mountaineer on the Highlands of Scotland, I have not, of late years, had the benefit of such pure air, or so elevated a residence, as might enable me to enter the lists with genuine bards, who have enjoyed both these advantages. But they derive considerable fame, and a few not less profit, from their productions; while I shall expiate my rashness as an interloper, certainly without the latter, and in all probability with a very slight share of the former. I leave to others “virum volitare per ora.” I look to the few who will hear with patience “dulce est desipere in loco.” To the former worthies I resign, without repining, the hope of immortality, and content myself with the not very magnificent prospect of ranking amongst “the mob of gentlemen who write; ”— my readers must determine whether I dare say “with ease,” or the honour of a posthumous page in “The Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors,”—a work to which the Peerage is under infinite obligations, inasmuch as many names of considerable length, sound, and antiquity, are thereby rescued from the obscurity which unluckily overshadows several voluminous productions of their illustrious bearers. With slight hopes, and some fears, I publish this
* The Earl of Carlisle, whose works have long received the meed of public applause, to which, by their intrinsic worth, they were well entitled.
't [The assage referred to by Lord Byron occurs in Boswell's |. of Johnson, vol. viii. p. 91. ed. 1835. I’r. Johnson's letter to Mrs. Chapone, criticising, on the whole favourably, the Earl's tragedy of “ The Father's Revenge,” is inscrted in the same volume, p. 242.]
first and last attempt. To the dictates of young ambition may be ascribed many actions more criminal and equally absurd. To a few of my own age the contents may afford amusement: I trust they will, at least, be found harmless. It is highly improbable, from my situation and pursuits hereafter, that I should ever obtrude myself a second time on the public; nor, even, in the very doubtful event of present indulgence, shall I be tempted to commit a future trespass of the same nature. The opinion of Dr. Johnson on the Poems of a noble relation of mine 1, “That when a man of rank appeared in the character of an author, he deserved to have his mcrit handsomely allowed 8," can have little weight with verbal, and still less with periodical censors; but were it otherwise, I should be loth to avail myself of the privilege, and would rather incur the bitterest censure of anonymous criticism, than triumph in honours granted solely to a title.
(daughter and grand-daughter of the two Admirals Parker), one of the most beautiful of evanescent beings. I have long forgotten the verse ; but it would be difficult for me to forget her — her dark eyes – her long eye-lashes — her completely Greek cast of face and figure was then about twelve — she rather older, perhaps a year. She died about a year or two afterwards, in consequence of a fall, which injured her spine, and induced consumption. Her sister Augusta (by some thought still more beautiful,) died of the same malady: and it was, indeed, in attending her, that Margaret met with the accident which occasioned her death. My sister told me, that when she went to see her, o before her death, upon accidentally mentioning my name, Margaret coloured, throughout the paleness of mortality, to the eyes, to the great astonishment of my sister, who knew nothing of our attachment, nor could conceive why my name should affect her at such a time. I knew nothing of her illness — being at Harrow and in the country – till she was gone. Some years after. I made an attempt at an elegy – a very dull one. I do not recollect scarcely any thing equal to the transparent beauty of my cousin. or to the sweetness of her temper, during the Hoo period of our intimacy. She looked as if she had been made out of a rainbow — all beauty and peace.” — Byron Drary, 1821.]
1 r This little ... and some others in the collection, refer to ... of Lord Byron's own age, son of one of his tenants at Newstead, for whom he had formed a romantic attachment, of earlier date than any of his school friendships.]
2 [Lord Delawarr. The idea of printing a collection of his Poems first occurred to Lord Byron in the parlour of that cottage. which, during his visit to Southwell. had become his adopted home. Miss Pigot, who was not before aware of his turn for versifying, had been reading aloud thc Poems of Burns, when young Byron said, that “he, too. was a poet sometimes, and would write down for her some verses of his own which he remembered." He then, with a pencil, wrote these lines." To D —." A fac-simile of the first four innes of this pericalling fronts p. 1.]
3 [This poem appears to have been, in its original state, intended to commemorate the death of the same lowly-born youth, to whom the affectionate verses given in the opposite column were addressed: –
Oh, Friend for ever loved, for ever dear !
“Though low thy lot, since in a cottage born,” &c.
But, in the altered form of the Epitaph, not only this passage,
but every other containing an allusion to the low rank of his oung companion, is omitted ; while, in the added parts, the
introduction of such language as—
“What though thy sire lament his failing line,”
seems calculated to give an idea of the youth's station in life, wholly different from that which the whole tenour of the original Epitaph warrants. “That he grew more conscious,” says, Mr. Moore, “ of his high station, as he approached to manhood, is not improbable, and this wish to sink his early friendship with the young cottager may have been a result of that feeling." . The following is a copy of the lines as they first appeared in the private volume: —
“Oh, Boy! for ever loved, for ever dear !