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If David, when his toils were ended,
Had heard these blockheads sing before him, To us his psalms had ne'er descended,
In furious mood he would have tore 'em.
While, to swell my young pride, such applauses re
sounded, I fancied that Mossops himself was outshone :
The luckless Israelites, when taken
By some inhuman tyrant's order, Were ask'd to sing, by joy forsaken,
On Babylonian river's border.
Oh! had they sung in notes like these,
Inspired by stratagem or fear, They might have set their hearts at ease,
The devil a soul had stay'd to hear.
Or, as Lear, I pour'd forth the deep imprecation,
By my daughters, of kingdom and reason deprived; Till, fired by loud plaudits and self-adulation,
I regarded myself as a Garrick revived. Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you!
Unfaded your memory dwells in my breast ; Though sad and deserted, I ne'er can forget you:
Your pleasures may still be in fancy possess'd. To Ida full oft may remembrance restore me,'
While fate shall the shades of the future unroll ! Since darkness o'ershadows the prospect before me,
More dear is the beam of the past to my soul. But if, through the course of the years which await me,
Some new scene of pleasure should open to view, I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me, “Oh! such were the days which my infancy kuew!"
But if I scribble longer now,
The deuce a soul will stay to read: My pen is blunt, my ink is low;
'Tis almost time to stop, indeed.
Therefore, farewell, old Granta's spires !
No more, like Cleofas, I fly; No more thy theme my muse inspires :
The reader 's tired, and so am I.
ON A DISTANT VIEW OF THE VILLAGE AND SCHOOL OF HARROW ON THE HILL.
Oh! mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos.-VIRGIL. Ye scenes of my childhood, whose loved recollection
Embitters the present, compared with the past ; Where science first dawn'd on the powers of reflection,
And friendships were form’d, too romantic to last ;'
Where fancy yet joys to trace the resemblance
Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied; How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrance,
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied !
With bright but mild affection shine,
Love, more than mortal, would be thine. For thou art form’d so heavenly fair,
Howe'er those orbs may wildly beam, We must admire, but still despair;
That fatal glance forbids esteem. When Nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth,
So much perfection in thee shone, She fear'd that, too divine for earth,
The skies might claim thee for their own: Therefore, to guard her dearest work,
Lest angels might dispute the prize, She bade a secret lightning lurk
Within those once celestial eyes These might the boldest sylph appal,
When gleaming with meridian blaze; Thy beauty must enrapture all ;
But who can dare thine ardent gaze? 'Tis said that Berenice's hair
In stars adorns the vault of heaven; But they would ne'er permit thee there,
Thou wouldst so far outshine the seven.
Again I revisit the hills where we sported, The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought ;2
[sorted, The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we re
To pour o'er the precepts by pedagogues taught.
Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd,
As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone: I lay; Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd,
To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray. I once
more view the room, with spectators sur
rounded, Where, as Zanga,' I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown;
1["My school-friendships were with me passions, (for I was always violent ;) but I do not know that there is one which has endured (to be sure some have been cut short by death) till now."— Byron Diary, 1821.]
? ["At Harrow I fought my way very fairly. I think I lost but one battle out of seven."— Ibid.]
3 [They show a tomb in the churchyard at Harrow, commanding a view over Windsor, which was so well known to be his favorite resting-place, that the boys called it " Byron's Tomb ;" and here, they say, he used to sit for hours, wrapped up in thought.]
+ [For the display his declamatory powers, on the speech-days, he selected always the most vehement pas. sages; such as the speech of Zanga over the body of Alonzo, and Lear's address to the storm.)
6 Mossop, a cotemporary of Garrick, famous for his performance of Zanga.
8 ["My grand patron, Dr. Drury, had a great notion that I should turn out an orator, from my fluency, my turbulence, my voice, my copiousness of declamation, and my action." - Byron Diary.)
[In the private volume the two last stanzas ran“ I thought this poor brain, fever'd even to madness,
of tears, as of reason, forever was drain'd; But the drops which now flow down this bosom of sadness,
Convince me the springs have some moisture retain'd. " Sweet scenes of my childhood! your blest recollection
Has wrung from these eyelids, to weeping long dead, In torrents the tears of my warmest affection,
The last and the fondest I ever shall shed.**]
Fer did those eyes as planets roll,
Thy sister-lights would scarce appear : E'en suns, which systems now control,
Would twinkle dimly through their sphere."
ON RECEIVING HER PICTURE.3
This faint resemblance of thy charms,
Though strong as mortal art could give, My constant heart of fear disarms,
Revives my hopes, and bids me live.
Here I can trace the locks of gold
Which round thy snowy forehead wave, The cheeks which sprung from beauty's mould,
The lips which made me beauty's slave.
Here I can tracemah, no! that eye,
Whose azure floats in liquid fire, Must all the painter's art defy,
And bid him from the task retire.
TO WOMAN, Woman! experience might have told me, That all must love thee who behold thee : Surely experience might have taught Thy firmest promises are naught: But, placed in all thy charms before me, All I forget, but to adore thee. Oh memory! thou choicest blessing When join'd with hope, when still possessing ; But how much cursed by every lover When hope is fled and passion 's over! Woman, that fair and fond deceiver, How prompt are striplings to believe her! How throbs the pulse when first we view The eye that rolls in glossy blue, Or sparkles black, or mildly throws A beam from under hazel brows! How quick we credit every oath, And hear her plight the willing troth ! Fondly we hope 'twill last for aye, When lo! she changes in a day. This record will forever stand, Woman, thy vows are traced in sand."'
Here I behold its beauteous hue ;
But where's the beam so sweetly straying," Which gave a lustre to its blue,
Like Luna o'er the ocean playing?
Sweet copy! far more dear to me,
Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art, Than all the living forms could be,
Save her who placed thee next my heart.
She placed it, sad, with needless fear,
Lest time might shake my wavering soul, Unconscious that her image there
Held every sense in fast control.
Through hours, through years, through time, 'twill
My hope, in gloomy moments, raise ; (cheer; In life's last conflict 'twill appear,
And meet my fond expiring gaze.
TO M. S. G.
Extend not your anger to sleep ;
I rise, and it leaves me to weep.
Shed o'er me your languor benign;
What rapture celestial is mine!
Mortality's emblem is given;
If this be a foretaste of heaven!
TO LESBIA. LESBIA! since far from you I've ranged,
Our souls with fond affection glow not ; You say 'tis I, not you, have changed,
I'd tell you why,—but yet I know not.
Your polish'd brow no cares have cross’d;
And, Lesbia! we are not much older Since, trembling, first my heart I lost,
Or told my love, with hope grown bolder.
Sixteen was then our utmost age,
love : And now new thoughts our minds engage,
At least I feel disposed to stray, love!
Ah! frown not, sweet lady, unbend your soft brow,
Nor deem me too happy in this;
Thus doom'd but to gaze upon bliss.
To awake will be torture sufficient.
"Tis I that am alone to blame,
I, that am guilty of love's treason ; Since your sweet breast is still the same,
Caprice must be my only reason.
1 * Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do intreat her eyes,
To iwinkle in their spheres till they return."-SHAKS. : The last line is almost a literal translation from a Span
[Of this “ Mary," who is not to be confounded with the heiress of Annesley, or “
Mary" of Aberdeen, all that has been ascertained is, that she was of an humble, if not equiv.
ocal, station in life,-and that she had long light golden
But where's the beam of soft desire ?
Love, only love, could e'er inspire.)
I do not, love ! suspect your truth,
With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not ; Warm was the passion of my youth,
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.
But thou, perhaps, mayst now reject
Such expiation of my guilt:
Let it he death, or what thou wilt.
No, no, my flame was not pretended;
Choose then, relentless! and I swear For, oh! I loved you most sincerely;
Naught shall thy dread decree prevent; And—though our dream at last is ended
Yet hold-one little word forbear! My bosom still esteems you dearly.
Let it be aught but banishment.
Absence has made me prone to roving ;
LOVE'S LAST ADIEU.
Aci, ó'act je pevyet. -ANACREON. New beauties still are daily bright’ning,
The roses of love glad the garden of life, Your eye for conquest beams prepared,
Though nurtured 'mid weeds dropping pestilent The forge of love's resistiess lightning.
Till time crops the leaves with unmerciful knise, Arm'd thus, to make their bosoms bleed,
Or prunes them forever, in love's last adieu!
In vain with endearments we soothe the sad heart, Fonder, alas! they ne'er can be, love!
In vain do we vow for an age to be true ;
Or death disunite us in love's last adieu !
[As the author was discharging his pistols in a garden, two Still Hope, breathing peace through the grief-swollen ladies passing near the spot were alarmed by the sound of a
breast, bullet hissing near them; to one of whom the following stanzas were addressed the next morning. )"
Will whisper, “Our meeting we yet may renew."
With this dream of deceit half our sorrow's repress'd, DOUBTLESS, sweet girl! the hissiug lead,
Nor taste we the poison of love's last adieu!
Oh! mark you yon pair: in the sunshine of youth
Love twined round their childhood his flow'rs as
they grew; Surely some envious demon's force,
They flourish awhile in the season of truth,
Till chill'd by the winter of love's last adieu !
Sweet lady! why thus doth a tear steal its way, Yes! in that nearly fatal hour
Down a cheek which outrivals thy bosom in hue? The ball obey'd some hell-born guide;
Yet why do I ask ?—to distraction a prey, But Heaven, with interposing power,
Thy reason has perish'd with love's last adieu ! In pity turu'd the death aside.
Oh! who is yon misanthrope, shunning mankind ? Yet, as perchance one trembling tear
From cities to caves of the forest he flew :
There, raving, he howls bis complaint to the wind; Which I, th' iconscious cause of fear,
The mountains reverberate love's last adieu!
Now hate rules a heart which in love's easy chains Say, what dire penance can atone
Once passion's tumultuous blandishments knew; For such an outrage done to thee?
Despair now inflames the dark tide of bis veins; Arraign'd before thy beauty's throne,
He ponders in phrensy on love's last adieu!
How he envies the wretch with a soul wrapp'd in Might I perform the judge's part,
steel! The sentence I should scarce deplore;
His pleasures are scarco, yet his troubles are few, It only would restore a heart
Who laughs at the pang that he never can feel, Which but belong'd to thee before.
And dreads not the anguish of love's last adieu! The least atonement I can make
Youth Alies, life decays, even hope is o'ercast;
No more with love's former devotion we sue:
He spreads his young wing, he retires with the blast ; Thou shalt be all in all to me.
The shroud of affection is love's last adieu !
1[The occurrence took place at Southwell, and the beautiful lady to whom the lines were addressed was Miss Houson.)
? This word is used by Gray, in his poem to the Fatal Sisters :
"]ron sleet of arrowy shower
Hurtles through the darkend air."