صور الصفحة
PDF
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

I [Lord Byron gives the following account of this cup : — “The gardener, in digging, discovered a skull that had probably belonged to some jolly friar, or monk of the abbey, about the time it was demonasteried. Observing it to be of ;. size, and in a perfect state of preservation, a strange ancy seized me of having it set and mounted as a drinking cup. I accordingly sent it to town, and it returned with a very high polish, and of a mottled colour like tortoiseshell." It is now in the possession of Colonel Wildman, the proprietor of Newstead Abbey. In several of our elder dramatists, mention is made of the custom of quailing wine out of similar cups. For example, in Dekker's “Wonder of a Kingdom,” Torrenti says, –

“Would I had ten thousand soldiers' heads,
Their skulls set all in silver ; to drink healths
To his confusion who first invented war.”)

* [These lines were printed originally in Mr. Hobhouse's Miscellany. A few days before they were written, the Poet had been invited to dine at Annesley. On the infant daughter of his fair host.css being brought into the room, he started involuntarily, and with the utmost difficulty suppressed his emotion. o the scnsations of that monent we are indebted for these beautiful stanzas.]

But then it had its mother's eyes, And tiley were all to love and me.

Mary, adieu ! I must away :
While thou art blest I'll not repine;

But near thee I can never stay;
My heart would soon again be thine.

[ocr errors]

Yet was I calm : I knew the time
My breast would thrill before thy look;

But now to tremble were a crime—
We met, —and not a nerve was shook.

I saw thee gaze upon my face,
Yet meet with no confusion there:

One only feeling could'st thou trace;
The sullen calmness of despair.

Away: away ! my early dream
Remembrance never must awake :
Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream 2
My foolish heart, be still, or break.
November 2. 1808.

INSCRIPTION ON THE MONUMENT OF A NEWFOUNDLAND DOG.. 3

WHEN some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below ;
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been :
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, forcmost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth :
While man, vain insect I hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust 1

* This monument is still a conspicuous ornamert in the garden of Newstead. The following is the inscription by which the verses are preceded : – ' “Near this spot Are deposited the Remains of one Who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery If inscribed over human ashes, Is but a just tribute to the Memory of BOATSWAIN, a Dog,

Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803,

And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18. 1808.” Ilord Byron thus announced the death of his favourite to his friend Hodgson: —“Boatswain is dead ' – he expired in a state of madness, on the 18th, after suffering much, yet retaining all the gentleness of his nature to the last : never attempting to do the least injury to "o. near him. I have now lost every thing, except old Murray.” By the will executed in l8ll, he directed that his own body should be buried in a vault in the gurden, near his faithful dog.]

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

marriage was not a happier one than my own. Her conduct, however, was irreproachable; but there was not sympathy between their characters. I had not seen her for man

ears, when an occasion offered. I was upon the point, .

er consent, of paying her a visit, when my sister, who has always had more influence over me than any one else, persuaded me not to do it: . For," said she, if you go you will fall in love again, and then there will be a scene: one step will lead to another, ct ceta fera wn &ciat.' I was guided by those reasons, and shortly after married, – with what success it is useless to say.”]

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

! [The melancholy which was now gaining fast upon the young poet's mind was a source of much uneasiness to his friends. It was at this period, that the following pleasant verses were addressed to him by Mr. Hobhouse : —

EPISTLE to a Young Noblexi AN in love.

HAtl generous youth, whom glory's sacred flame Inspires and animates to deeds of fame ; Who feel the noble wish before you die To raise the finger of each passer-by: Hail may a future age admiring view A Falkland or a Clarendon in you.

But as your blood with dangerous passion boils, Iłeware and fly from Venus' silken toils : Ah let the head protect the weaker heart, And Wisdom's Egis turn on Beauty's dart. - - - -

But if 'tis fix"d that every lord must pair, And you and Newstead must not want an heir, Lose not your pains, and scour the country round, To find a treasure that can ne'er be found ! No take the first the town or court affords, Trick'd out to stock a market for the lords : By chance perhaps your luckier choice may fall On one, though wicke; not the worst of all :

- * - +

One though perhaps as any Maxwell free,
Yet scarce a copy, Claribel, of thee:
Not very ugly, and not very old,
A little pert indeed, but not a scold :
One that. in short, may help to lead a life
Not farther much from comfort than from strife;
And when she dies, and disappoints your fears,
Shall leave some joys for your declining years.

But, as your early youth some time allows, Nor custon yet demands you for a spouse,

In the days of my youth, when the heart’s in its spring, And dreams that affection can never take wing, I had friends !—who has not 7 — but what tongue will avow, That friends, rosy wine ! are so faithful as thou ?

The heart of a mistress some boy may estrange, Friendship shifts with the sunbeam — thou never canst change: Thou grow'st old — who does not ? – but on earth what appears, Whose virtues, like thine, still increase with its years 2

Yet if blest to the utmost that love can bestow,
Should a rival bow down to our idol below,
We are jealous !—who's not ? – thou hast no such
alloy;
For the more that enjoy thee, the more we enjoy.

Then the season of youth and its vanities past,
For refuge we fly to the goblet at last ;
There we find — do we not ? — in the flow of the
soul,
That truth, as of yore, is confined to the bowl.

When the box of Pandora was open'd on earth,
And Misery's triumph commenced over Mirth,
Hope was left, — was she not 2 — but the goblet we
kiss,
And care not for Hope, who are certain of bliss.

Long life to the grape for when summer is flown,
The age of our nectar shall gladden our own :
We must die—who shall not? — May our sins be
forgiven,
And Hebe shall never be idle in heaven.

Some hours of freedom may remain as yet
For one who laughs alike at love and debt;
Then, why in haste 2 put off the evil day,
And snatch at youthful comforts whilst you may !
Pause ! nor so soon the various bliss forego
That single souls, and such alone, can know:
Ah why too early careless life resign,
Your morning slumber, and your evening wine;
Your loved companion, and his easy talk;
Your Muse, invoked in every peaceful walk.
What can no more your scenes paternal please,
Scenes sacred long to wise, unmated ease :
The prospect lengthen 'd o'er the distant down,
Lakes, meadows, rising woods, and all your own 2
What shall your Newstead, shall your cloister'd bowers,
The high o'er-hanging arch and trembling towers (
Shall these, profaned with folly or with strife,
And ever fond, or ever angry wife .
Shall these no more confess a manly sway,
But changeful woman's changing whims obey 2
Who may, perhaps, as varying humour calls,
Contract your cloisters and o'erthrow your walls ;
Let Repton loose o'er all the ancient ground.
Change round to square, and square convert to round ;
Root | the elms' and yews' too solemn gloom,
And fill with shrubberies gay and green their room ;
Roll down the terrace to a gay parterre,
Where gravel'd walks and slowers alternate glare;
And quite transform, in ev'ry point complete,
Your gothic abbey to a country seat.

Forget the fair one, and your fate delay; If not avert, at least defer the day, When you beneath the female yoke shall bend, And lose your wit, your temper, and your friend. Trin. Coll. Camb. 1808.

In his mother's copy of Mr. Hobhouse's volume, now before us, Lord Byron has here written with a pencil, - “I have lost them all, and shall wed accordingly. 1811. B."]

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

STANZAS TO A LADY 1, ON LEAVING ENGLAND.

/-'T is done—and shivering in the gale The bark unfurls her snowy sail; And whistling o'er the bending mast, Loud sings on high the fresh'ning blast; And I must from this land be gone, Because I cannot love but one.

But could I be what I have been,
And could I see what I have seen —
Could I repose upon the breast
Which once my warmest wishes blest –
I should not seek and ther zone
Because I cannot love but one.

'Tis long since I beheld that eye
Which gave me bliss or misery;
And I have striven, but in vain,
Never to think of it again :
For though I fly from Albion,
I still can only love but one.

As some lone bird, without a mate,
My weary heart is desolate;
I look around, and cannot trace
One friendly smile or welcome face,
And ev'n in crowds am still alone,
Because I cannot love but one.

And I will cross the whitening foam,
And I will seek a foreign home; o
Till I forget a false fair face,
I ne'er shall find a resting-place ;
My own dark thoughts I cannot shun,
But ever love, and love but one.

The poorest, veriest wretch on earth
Still finds some hospitable hearth,
Where friendship's or love's softer glow
May smile in joy or soothe in woe;
But friend or leman I have none,
Because I cannot love but one.

I go—but wheresoe'er I flee,
There's not an eye will weep for me;
There's not a kind congenial heart,
Where I can claim the meanest part ;
Nor thou, who hast my hopes undone,
Wilt sigh, although I love but one.

To think of every early scene,
Of what we are, and what we’ve been,
Would whelm some softer hearts with woe —
But mine, alas ! has stood the blow ;
Yet still beats on as it begun,
And never truly loves but one.

And who that dear loved one may be
Is not for vulgar eyes to see,
And why that early love was crost,
Thou know'st the best, I feel the most;
But few that dwell beneath the sun
Have loved so long, and loved but one.

I've tried another's fetters too,
With charms perchance as fair to view;

* [In the original, “To Mrs. Musters."] 2 . corrected by himself, in his mother's copy of Mr.

Hobhouse's Miscellany; the two last lines being originally —

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »