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In vain, to drive thee from my breast,
My thoughts are more and more represt;
In vain I check the rising sighs,
Another to the last replies :
Perhaps this is not love, but yet
Our meeting I can ne'er forget.
What though we never silence broke,
Our eyes a sweeter language spoke ;
The tongue in flattering falsehood deals,
And tells a tale it never feels:
Deceit the guilty lips impart;
And hush the mandates of the heart;
But soul's interpreters, the eyes,
Spurn such restraint, and scorn disguise.
As thus our glances oft conversed,
And all our bosoms felt rehearsed,
No spirit, from within, reproved us,
Say rather, “t' was the spirit moved
Though what they utter'd I repress,
Yet I conceive thou "lt partly guess;
For as on thee my memory ponders,
Perchance to me thine also wanders.
This for myself, at least, I'll say,
Thy form appears through night, through day:
Awake, with it my fancy teems;
In sleep, it smiles in fleeting dreams:
The vision charms the hours away,
And bids me curse Aurora's ray,
For breaking slumbers of delight,
Which make me wish for endless night.
Since, oh whate'er my future fate,
Shall joy or woe my steps await,
Tempted by love, by storms beset,
Thine image I can ne'er forget.
Alas! again no more we meet,
No more our former looks repeat;
Then let me breathe this parting prayer,
The dictate of my bosom's care :
“May Heaven so guard my lovely quaker,
That anguish never can o'ertake her;
That peace and virtue ne'er forsake her,
But bliss be aye her heart's partaker :
Oh I may the happy mortal, fated
To be, by dearest ties, related,
For her each hour new joys discover,
And lose the husband in the lover :
May that fair bosom never know
What 'tis to feel the restless woe,
Which stings the soul with vain regret,
Of him who never can forget !” 1
* [These verses were written at Harrowgate, in Aug. 1806.]
2. o cornelian of these verses was given to Lord Byron by the Cambridge chorister, Eddlestone, whose musical talents first introduced him to the young poet's acquaintance, and for whom he appears to have entertained, subsequently, a sentiment of the most romantic friendship.]
* [In a letter to Miss Pigot, of Southwell. written in June, 1807, Lord Byron thus describes Eddlestone: — “ He is exactly to an hour two years younger than myself, nearly my height, very thin, very fair complexion, dark eyes, and light locks. My opinion of his mind you already know ; I hope I shall never have occasion to change it.” Eddlestone, on leaving his choir, entered into a mercantile house in the metropolis, and died of a consumption, in 1811. On hearing of his death, Lord Byron thus wrote to the mother of his fair correspondent: – “I am about to write to you on a silly subject, and yet I cannot well do otherwise. You may remember a cornelian, which some years ago I consigned to Miss Pigot, indeed gave to her, and now I am about to make the most selfish and rude of requests. The person who gave it to me, when I was very young, is dead, and though a long
No specious splendour of this stone
Endears it to my memory ever;
With lustre only once it shone,
And blushes modest as the giver.3
Some, who can sneer at friendship's ties,
Have, for my weakness, oft reproved me;
Yet still the simple gift I prize, –
For I am sure the giver loved me.
He offer'd it with downcast look,
As fearful that I might refuse it;
I told him when the gift I took,
My only fear should be to lose it.
This pledge attentively I view’d,
And sparkling as I held it near,
Methought one drop the stone bedev'd,
And ever since I’ve loved a tear.
Still, to adorn his humble youth,
Nor wealth nor birth their treasures yield;
But he who seeks the flowers of truth,
Must quit the garden for the field.
'Tis not the plant uprear'd in sloth,
Which beauty shows, and sheds perfume;
The flowers which yield the most of both
In Nature's wild luxuriance bloom.
Had Fortune aided Nature's care,
For once forgetting to be blind,
His would have been an ample share,
If well proportion'd to his mind.
But had the goddess clearly seen,
His form had fix’d her fickle breast;
Her countless hoards would his have been,
And none remain'd to give thee rest.
idelive RED PREvious to THE PERFortyia No E of ** THE wheel of fortu NE” At A PRiv ATE THEATRE.” +
SINCE the refinement of this polish'd age Has swept immoral raillery from the stage;
time has clapsed since we met, as it was the only memorial I possessed of that person (in whom I was very much interested), it has acquired a value by this event I could have wished it never to have borne in my eyes. If, therefore, Miss Pigot should have preserved it, I must, under these circumstances, beg her to excuse my requesting it to be transmitted to me, and I will replace it by something she may remember me by equally well. As she was always so kind as to feel interested in the fate of him who formed the subject of our conversation, you may tell her that the giver of that cornelian died in May last, of a consumption, at the age of twentyone, – making the sixth, within four months. of friends and relations that I have lost between May and the end of August.”—The cornelian heart was returned accordingly ; and, indeed, Miss Pigot reminded Lord Byron, that he had iest it with her as a deposit. not a gift. It is now in the possession of the Hon. Mrs. Leigh.] * [“. When I was a youth, I was reckoned a good actor. Besides Harrow speeches, in which I shone, I enacted l’enruddock, in the ' Wheel of Fortune,” and Tristram Fickle, in the farce of “ The Weathercock," for three nights, in some private theatricals at Southwell, in 1806, with great
Since taste has now expunged licentious wit,
Which stamp'd disgrace on all an author writ;
Since now to please with purer scenes we scek,
Nor dare to call the blush from Beauty's cheek;
Oh I let the modest Muse some pity claim,
And meet indulgence, though she find not fame.
Still, not for her alone we wish respect,
Others appear more conscious of defect:
To-night no veteran Roscii you behold,
In all the arts of scenic action old;
No Cooke, no Kemble, can salute you here,
No Siddons draw the sympathetic tear;
To-night you throng to witness the début
Of embryo actors, to the Drama new :
Here, then, our almost unfledged wings we try;
Clip not our pinions ere the birds can fly:
Failing in this our first attempt to soar,
Drooping, alas ! we fall to rise no more.
Not one poor trembler only fear betrays,
Who hopes, yet almost dreads, to meet your praise;
But all our dramatis personae wait
In fond suspense this crisis of their fate.
No venal views our progress can retard,
Your generous plaudits are our sole reward :
For these, each Hero all his power displays,
Each timid Heroine shrinks before your gaze.
Surely the last will some protection find;
None to the softer sex can prove unkind :
While Youth and Beauty form the female shield,
The sternest censor to the fair must yield.
Yet, should our feeble efforts nought avail,
Should, after all, our best endeavours fail,
Still let some mercy in your bosoms live,
And, if you can't applaud, at least forgive.
THE Follow ING ILLIBERAL IMPROMPTU APPEARED IN A MoRNING PAPER.
“ OUR nation's foes lament on Fox's death, But bless the hour when PirT resign'd his breath : These feelings wide, let sense and truth unclue, we give the palm where Justice points its due.”
To which THE AUTHort of THESE PIECES SENT THE foLLOWING REPLY.
Oh factious viper whose envenom'd tooth
Would mangle still the dead, perverting truth;
What though our “nation's foes" lament the fate,
With generous feeling, of the good and great,
Shall dastard tongues essay to blast the name
Of him whose meed exists in endless fame 7
When Pitt expired in plenitude of power,
Though ill success obscured his dying hour,
Pity her dewy wings before him spread,
For noble spirits “war not with the dead : ”
His friends, in tears, a last sad requiem gave,
As all his errors slumber'd in the grave;
applause. The occasional prologue for our volunteer play was also of my composition. The other performers were young ladies and gentlemen of the neighbourhood; and the whole went off with great effect upon our good-natured audience.” — Byron Diary, 1821.] 1 [This prologue was written by the young poet, between stages, on his way from Harrowgate. On getting into the carriage at Chesterfield, he said to his companion, “Now, Pigot, I'll spin a prologue for our play;” and before they
He sunk, an Atlas bending 'neath the weight
Of cares o'erwhelming our conflicting state :
When, lo a Hercules in Fox appear'd,
Who for a time the ruin’d fabric rear'd :
He, too, is fall'n, who Britain's loss supplied,
With him our fast-reviving hopes have died;
Not one great people only raise his urn,
All Europe's far-extended regions mourn.
“These feelings wide, let sense and truth unclue,
To give the palm where Justice points its due ; ”
Yet let not canker'd Calumny assail,
Or round our statesman wind her gloomy veil.
Fox o'er whose corse a mourning world must weep,
Whose dear remains in honour'd marble sleep;
For whom, at last, e'en hostile nations groan,
While friends and foes alike his talents own ;
Fox shall in Britain's future annals shine,
Nor e'en to PITT the patriot's palm resign ;
Which Envy, wearing Candour's sacred mask,
For PITT, and PITT alone, has dared to ask. *
His religion to please neither party is made ;
On husbands 'tis hard, to the wives most uncivil ;
Still I can't contradict, what so oft has been said,
“Though women are angels, yet wedlock's the
Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses 1
In you let the minions of luxury rove ;
Restore me the rocks, where the snow-flake reposes,
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love :
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains,
Round their white summits though elements war;
Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.
Ah there my young footsteps in infancy wander'd ;
My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid; 2
On chieftains long perish'd my memory ponder'd,
As daily I strode through the pine-cover'd glade.
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star;
For fancy was cheer'd by traditional story,
Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.
“Shades of the dead I have I not heard your voices
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale 7"
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices,
And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale.
Round Loch na Garr while the stormy mist gathers,
Winter presides in his cold icy car:
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers;
They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.
“Ill-starr'd 3, though brave, did no visions foreboding
Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause 2"
Ah! were you destined to die at Culloden, “
Victory crown'd not your fall with applause:
Still were you happy in death's earthy slumber,
You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar;”
The pibroch resounds, to the piper's loud number,
Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr.
1 Lachin y Gair, or, as it is pronounced in the Erse, Loch na Garr, towers proudly pre-eminent in the Northern Highlands, near Invercauld. One of our modern tourists mentions it as the highest mountain, perhaps, in Great Britain. Be this as it may, it is certainly one of the most sublime and picturesque amongst our “Caledonian Alps.” Its appearance is of a dusky hue, but the summit is the seat of eternal snows. Near Lachin y Gair I spent some of the early part of my life, the recollection of which has given birth to these stanzas.
* I allude here to my maternal ancestors, “the Gordons,” many of whom sought for the unfortunate Prince Charles, better known by the name of the Pretender. This branch was nearly allied by blood, as well as attachment, to the Stuarts. George, the second Farl of Huntley, married the Princess Annabella Stuart, daughter of James the First of Scotland. By her he left four sons: the third, Sir William Gordon, I have the honour to claim as one of my progenitors.
• Whether any perished in the battle of Culloden, I am not certain ; but, as many fell in the insurrection, I have used the name of the principal action, “pars pro toto.”
* A tract of the Highlands so called. There is also a Castle of Braemar.
Years have roll'd on, Loch na Garr, since I left you,
Years must elapse ere I tread you again :
Nature of verdure and flow'rs has bereft you,
Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain.
England thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved o'er the mountains afar :
Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic |
The steep frowning glories of dark Loch na Garr to
PARENT of golden dreams, Romance 1
Auspicious queen of childish joys,
Who lead'st along, in airy dance,
Thy votive train of girls and boys;
At length, in spells no longer bound,
I break the fetters of my youth ;
No more I tread thy mystic round,
But leave thy realms for those of Truth.
And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams
Which haunt the unsuspicious soul,
Where every nymph a goddess seems,
Whose eyes through rays immortal roll ; S
While Fancy holds her boundless reign,
And all assume a varied hue ;
When virgins seem no longer vain,
And even woman's smiles are true.
And must we own thee but a name,
And from thy hall of clouds descend ?
Nor find a sylph in every dame,
A Pylades 7 in every friend ?
But leave at once thy realms of air
To mingling bands of fairy elves;
Confess that woman's false as fair, -
And friends have feeling for—themselves 1
With shame I own I've felt thy sway
Repentant, now thy reign is o'er:
No more thy precepts I obey,
No more on fancied pinions soar.
Fond fool! to love a sparkling eye,
And think that eye to truth was dear;
o trust a passing wanton's sigh,
And melt beneath a wanton's tear !
“He who first met the Highlands' swelling blue Will love each peak that shows a kindred hue, Hail in each crag a friend's familiar face. And clasp the mountain in his mind's embrace. Long have I roam'd through lands which are not mine, Adored the Alp, and loved the Apennine, Revered Parnassus, and beheld the steep Jove's Ida and Olympus crown the o But 't was not all long ages' lore, nor all Their nature held me in their thrilling thrall ; The infant rapture still survived the boy, And Loch na Garr with Ida look'd o'er Troy, Mix’d Celtic memories with the Phrygian mount, And Highland linns with Castalie's clear fount.” “When very young,” (he adds in a note) “about eight years of age, after an attack of the scarlet sever at Aberdeen, was removed, by medical advice, into the Highlands, and from this period l date my love of mountainous countries. I can never forget the effect, a few years afterwards, in England, of the only thing I had long secn, even in miniature, of a mountain, in the Malvern Ilills. After I returned to Cheltenham, I used to watch them every afternoon, at sunset, with a sensation which I cannot describe.”)
7 It is hardly necessary to add, that Pylades was the companion of Orestes, and a partner in one of those friendships which, with those of Achilles and Patroclus, Nisus and Euiryalus, Damon and Pythias, have been handed down to pos- | terity as remarkable instances of attachments, which in all probability never existed beyond the imagination of the poet, or the page of an historian, or modern novelist.
Romance 1 disgusted with deceit,
Far from thy motley court I fly,
Where Affectation holds her seat,
And sickly Sensibility;
Whose silly tears can never flow
For any pangs excepting thine;
Who turns aside from real woe,
To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine.
Now join with sable Sympathy,
With cypress crown'd, array'd in weeds,
Who heaves with thee her simple sigh,
Whose breast for every bosom bleeds ;
And call thy sylvan female choir,
To mourn a swain for ever gone,
Who once could glow with equal fire.
But bends not now before thy throne.
Ye genial nymphs, whose ready tears
On all occasions swiftly flow ;
Whose bosoms heave with fancied fears,
With fancied flames and phrensy glow ;
Say, will you mourn my absent name,
Apostate from your gentle train *
An infant bard at least may claim
From you a sympathetic strain.
Adieu, fond race a long adieu !
The hour of fate is hovering nigh;
E’en now the gulph appears in view,
Where unlamented you must lie :
Oblivion's blackening lake is seen,
Convulsed by gales you cannot weather;
Where you, and eke your gentle queen,
Alas! must perish altogether.
ANSWER TO SOME ELEGANT WIERSES sENT BY A FRIEND to the AUTHOR, COMPLAINING THAT oxe of his DESCRIPTIONS WAS RATHER TOO w" ARM Lyo Drt.* win. “But if any old lady, knight, priest, or physician, Should condemn me for printing a second edition ; If good Madam Squintum my work should abuse, May I venture to give her a smack of my muse *" New Bath Guide. CANDourt compels me, BechER!! to commend The verse which blends the censor with the friend. Your strong yet just reproof extorts applause From me, the heedless and imprudent cause. For this wild error which pervades my strain, I sue for pardon, — must I sue in vain 7 The wise sometimes from Wisdom's ways depart: Can youth then hush the dictates of the heart? Precepts of prudence curb, but can't control, The fierce emotions of the flowing soul. When Love's delirium haunts the glowing mind, Limping Decorum lingers far behind :
1 [The Rev. John Becher, prebendary of Southwell, the well-known author of several philanthropic plans for the amelioration of the condition of the poor. o this gentleman the youthful poet found, not only an honest and judicious critic, but a sincere friend. To his care the superintendence of the second edition of “ Hours of Idleness,” during its progress through a country press, was intrusted, and at his suggestion several corrections and omissions were made. * I must return vou,” says Lord Byron, in a letter written in February, 1scs, “my best acknowledgments for the interest you have taken in me and my poetical bantlings, and
Vainly the dotard mends her prudish pace,
Outstript and vanquish'd in the mental chase.
The young, the old, have worm the chains of love:
Let those they ne'er confined my lay reprove:
Let those whose souls contemn the pleasing power
Their censures on the hapless victim shower.
Oh I how I hate the nerveless, frigid song,
The ceaseless echo of the rhyming throng,
Whose labour'd lines in chilling numbers flow,
To paint a pang the author ne'er can know :
The artless Helicon I boast is youth; —
My lyre, the heart; my muse, the simple truth.
Far be 't from me the “virgin's mind" to “taint:"
Seduction's dread is here no slight restraint.
The maid whose virgin breast is void of guile,
Whose wishes dimple in a modest smile,
Whose downcast eye disdains the wanton leer,
Firm in her virtue's strength, yet not severe—
She whom a conscious grace shall thus refine
Will ne'er be “tainted" by a strain of mine.
But for the nymph whose premature desires
Torment her bosom with unholy fires,
No net to snare her willing heart is spread :
She would have fallen, though she ne'er had read.
For me, I fain would please the chosen few,
Whose souls, to feeling and to nature true,
Will spare the childish verse, and not destroy
The light effusions of a heedless boy.
I seek not glory from the senseless crowd; "
Of fancied laurels I shall ne'er be proud:
Their warmest plaudits I would scarcely prize,
Their sneers or censures I alike despise.