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BORN in the garret, in the kitchen bred,
eye unmoved, and forehead unabash'd,
Who could, ye gods! her next employment guess-
She taught the child to read, and taught so well,
None know-but that high Soul secured the heart,
Nor Fortune change-Pride raise-nor Passion bow,
Bat wanting one sweet weakness-to forgive,
Too shock'd at faults her soul can never know,
Bat to the theme :-now laid aside too long,
"I send you my last night's dream, and request to have fifty copies struck off, for private distribution. I wish Mr. Gufford to look at them. They are from life."-Lord Byron to Mr. Murray, March 30, 1816.]
In first draught weltering."-"I doubt about 'wellering. We say weltering in blood; but do not they also
Have given her power too deeply to instil
To make a Pandemonium where she dwells,
A plain blunt show of briefly-spoken seeming,
To hide her bloodless heart's soul-harden'd scheming;
Look on the picture! deem it not o'ercharged-
Oh! wretch without a tear-without a thought, Save joy above the ruin thou hast wrought— The time shall come, nor long remote, when thou Shalt feel far more than thou inflictest now; Feel for thy vile self-loving self in vain, And turn thee howling in unpitied pain. May the strong curse of crush'd affections light Back on thy bosom with reflected blight! And make thee in thy leprosy of mind As loathsome, to thyself as to mankind! Till all thy self-thoughts curdle into hate, Black-as thy will for others would create: Till thy hard heart be calcined into dust, And thy soul welter in its hideous crust. Oh, may thy grave be sleepless as the bedThe widow'd couch of fire, that thou hast spread! Then, when thou fain wouldst weary Heaven with
STANZAS TO AUGUSTA.1
In that deep midnight of the mind,
When fortune changed--and love fled far,
and set not to the last.
Oh! bless'd be thine unbroken light!
And when the cloud upon us came,
And dash'd the darkness all away.
Still may thy spirit dwell on mine,
And teach it what to brave or brookThere's more in one soft word of thine
Than in the world's defied rebuke.
Thou stood'st, as stands a lovely tree,
Still waves with fond fidelity
Its boughs above a monument.
The winds might rend-the skies might pour,
To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me.
The kind-and thee the most of all.
Be broken-thine will never break; Thy heart can feel--but will not move; Thy soul, though soft, will never shake And these, when all was lost beside,
Were found and still are fix'd in thee;And bearing still a breast so tried,
Earth is no desert-ev'n to me.
STANZAS TO AUGUSTA. THOUGH the day of my destiny's over, And the star of my fate hath declined,"
[The Poet's sister, the Honorable Mrs. Leigh.-These stanzas-the parting tribute to her, whose unshaken tenderness had been the author's sole consolation during the crisis of domestic misery-were, we believe, the last verses written by Lord Byron in England. In a note to Mr. Rogers, dated April 16th, he says," My sister is now with me, and leaves town to-morrow: we shall not meet again for some time at all events,-if ever! and, under these circumstances, I trust to stand excused to you and Mr. Sheridan, for being unable to wait upon him this evening." On the 25th, the Poet took a last leave of his native country.]
2 [These beautiful verses, so expressive of the writer's wounded feelings at the moment, were written in July, at the Campagne Diodati, near Geneva, and transmitted to England for publication, with some other pieces. "Be careful," he
Thy soft heart refused to discover
The faults which so many could find;
Then when nature around me is smiling,
Because it reminds me of thine;
And when winds are at war with the ocean,
If their billows excite an emotion,
It is that they bear me from thee.
They may crush, but they shall not contemn-
Nor the war of the many with one-
I have found that, whatever it lost me,
From the wreck of the past, which hath perish'd,
It hath taught me that what I most cherish'd Deserved to be dearest of all:
In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wide waste there still is a tree, And a bird in the solitude singing, Which speaks to my spirit of thee.
Go where I will, to me thou art the same-
The first were nothing-had I still the last,
Reversed for him our grandsire's' fate of yore,-
If my inheritance of storms hath been
I have sustain'd my share of worldly shocks,
I have been cunning in mine overthrow,
Mine were my faults, and mine be their reward, My whole life was a contest, since the day That gave me being, gave me that which marr'd The gift,-a fate, or will, that walk'd astray; And I at times have found the struggle hard, And thought of shaking off my bonds of clay: But now I fain would for a time survive, If but to see what next can well arrive.
Kingdoms and empires in my little day I have outlived, and yet I am not old; And when I look on this, the petty spray Of my own years of trouble, which have roll'd Like a wild bay of breakers, melts away: Something-I know not what-does still uphold A spirit of slight patience;-not in vain, Even for its own sake, do we purchase pain.
Perhaps the workings of defiance stir Within me, or perhaps a cold despair, Brought on when ills habitually recur,— Perhaps a kinder clime, or purer air, (For even to this may change of soul refer, And with light armor we may learn to bear,) Have taught me a strange quiet, which was not The chief companion of a calmer lot.
I feel almost at times as I have felt
In happy childhood; trees, and flowers, and brooks Which do remember me of where I dwelt Ere my young mind was sacrificed to books, Come as of yore upon me, and can melt My heart with recognition of their looks; And even at moments I could think I see Some living thing to love-but none like thee.
seat home at the time for publication, in case Mrs. Leigh sonid sanction it. "There is," he says, " amongst the mansripts an Epistle to my Sister, on which I should wish her option to be consulted before publication; if she objects, of course omit it." On the 5th of October he writes.-" My Mister has decided on the omission of the lines. Upon this font, her option will be followed. As I have no copy of them,
I request that you will preserve one for me in MS.; for I
Lever can remember a line of that nor any other composition mine. God help me! if I proceed in this scribbling, I shall ave frittered away my mind before I am thirty; but poetry at times a real relief to me. To-morrow I am for Italy." The Epistle was first given to the world in 1830.]
Admiral Byron was remarkable for never making a Forage without a tempest. He was known to the sailors by the faceuous name of "Foul-weather Jack."
Here are the Alpine landscapes which create
But something worthier do such scenes inspire:
For much I view which I could most desire, And, above all, a lake I can behold
Lovelier, not dearer, than our own of old.
Oh that thou wert but with me!--but I grow
And the tide rising in my alter'd eye.
I did remind thee of our own dear Lake," By the old Hall which may be mine no more. Leman's is fair; but think not I forsake The sweet remembrance of a dearer shore: Sad havoc Time must with my memory make, Ere that or thou can fade these eyes before; Though, like all things which I have loved, they are Resign'd forever, or divided far.
The world is all before me; I but ask
Of Nature that with which she will comply
It is but in her summer's sun to bask,
To mingle with the quiet of her sky,
I can reduce all feelings but this one;
With false Ambition what had I to do?
And for the future, this world's future may
"But, though it were tempest-toss'd,
He returned safely from the wreck of the Wager, (in Anson's voyage,) and circumnavigated the world, many years after, as commander of a similar expedition.]
2 The Lake of Newstead Abbey. [Thus described in Don Juan:
"Before the mansion lay a lucid lake,
Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed
My years have been no slumber, but the prey Of ceaseless vigils; for I had the share Of life which might have fill'd a century, Before its fourth in time had pass'd me by.
And for the remnant which may be to come I am content; and for the past I feel Not thankless,-for within the crowded sum Of struggles, happiness at times would steal, And for the present, I would not benumb My feelings farther.-Nor shall I conceal That with all this I still can look around, And worship Nature with a thought profound. For thee, my own sweet sister, in thy heart I know myself secure, as thou in mine; We were and are-I am, even as thou artBeings who ne'er each other can resign; It is the same, together or apart, From life's commencement to its slow decline We are entwined-let death come slow or fast, The tie which bound the first endures the last!
ON HEARING THAT LADY BYRON WAS ILL.1 AND thou wert sad-yet I was not with thee! And thou wert sick, and yet I was not near; Methought that joy and health alone could be Where I was not-and pain and sorrow here. And is it thus ?-it is as I foretold,
And shall be more so; for the mind recoils
We feel benumb'd, and wish to be no more,
I am too well avenged!--but 'twas my right;
Nor did Heaven choose so near an instrument. Mercy is for the merciful!—if thou Hast been of such, 'twill be accorded now.
[These verses were written immediately after the failure of the negotiation for a reconciliation before Lord Byron left Switzerland for Italy, but were not intended for the public eye as, however, they have recently found their way into circulation, we include them in this collection.]
2 Lord Byron had at least this much to say for himself, that he was not the first to make his domestic differences a topic of public discussion. On the contrary, he saw himself, ere any fact but the one undisguised and tangible one was, or could be known, held up everywhere, and by every art of malice, as the most infainous of men,-because he had parted from his wife. He was exquisitively sensitive: he was wounded at once by a thousand arrows; and all this with the most perfect and indignant knowledge, that of all who were assading him not one knew any thing of the real merits of the case. Did he right, then, in publishing those squibs and tirades? No, certainly: it would have been nobler, better, wiser far, to have utterly scorned the assaults of such enemies, and taken no notice, of any kind, of them. But, because this young, hot-blooded, proud, patrician poet did not, amidst the exacerbation of eelings which he could not control, act in precisely the most dignified and wisest of all possible manners of action, are we entitled, is the world at large entitled, to issue a broad sentence of vituperative condeinnation! Do we know all that he had suffered?-have we imagination enough to comprehend what he suffered, under circumstances such as these?-have we been tried in similar circumstances, whether we could feel the wound unflinchingly, and keep the weapon quiescent in the hand that trembled with all the excitements of insulted privacy, honor, and faith? Let people consider for a moment what it is that they demand when they insist upon a poet of Byron's class abstain
Thy nights are banish'd from the realms of sleep!-
For thou art pillow'd on a curse too deep;
I have had many foes, but none like thee;
And in my love, which hath but too much yielded,
On things that were not, and on things that areEven upon such a basis hast thou built
A monument, whose cement hath been guilt!
Which, but for this cold treason of thy heart,
In Janus-spirits-the significant eye
All found a place in thy philosophy.
ing altogether from expressing in his works any thing of his own feelings in regard to any thing that immediately concerns his own history. We tell him in every possible form and shape, that the great and distinguishing merit of his poetry is the intense truth with which that poetry expresses his own personal feelings. We encourage him in every possible way to dissect his own heart for our entertainment-we tempt him by every bribe most likely to act powerfully on a young and imaginative man, to plunge into the darkest depths cỉ self-knowledge; to madden his brain with eternal self-scruti nies, to find his pride and his pleasure in what others shrink from as torture-we tempt him to indulge in these dangerous exercises, until they obviously acquire the power of leading him to the very brink of phrensy-we tempt him to find, and to see in this perilous vocation, the staple of his existence, the food of his ambition, the very essence of his glory,-ur the moment that, by habits of our own creating, at least of our own encouraging and confirming, he is carried one single step beyond what we happen to approve of, we turn round with all the bitterness of spleen, and reproach him with the unmanliness of entertaining the public with his feelings in regard to his separation from his wife. This was truly the conduct of a fair and hiberal public! To our view of the matter, Lord Byron, treated as he had been, tempted as he had been, and tortured and insulted as he was at the moment, did no more forfeit his character by writing what be did write upon that unhappy occasion, than another man, under circuinstances of the same nature, would have done, by telling something of his mind about it to an intimate friend across the fire. The public had forced him into the habits of familiarity, and they received his confidence wih nothing but anger and scorn."-LOCKHART.]
ON THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT HON. R. B. SHERIDAN.'
WHEN the last sunshine of expiring day
Even as the tenderness that hour instils
[Mr. Sheridan died the 7th of July, 1816, and this monody was written at Diodati on the 17th, at the request of Mr. Douglas Kinnaird. "I did as well as I could," says Lord Byron, "but where I have not my choice, I pretend to answer for nothing." A proof-sheet of the poem, with the words "by request of a friend" in the titlepage, having reached him, I request you," he says, "to expunge that same, unless you please to add, by a person of quality,' or of wit and humor. It is sad trash, and must have been dine to make it ridiculous."]
(Sheridan's own monoly on Garrick was spoken from the same boards, by Mrs. Yates, in March, 1779. "One day." says Lord Byron, I saw him take it up. He lighted upon the dedication to the Dowager Lady Spencer. On seeing it, he flew into a rage and exclaimed, that it must be a forgery, as he had never dedicated any thing of his to soch a d--canting,' &c. &c.--and so he went on for half an bour abusing his own dedication, or at least the object of it. If all writers were equally sincere, it would be ludicrous." --Byron Diary, 1821.)
But small that portion of the wondrous whole,
And here, Oh! here, where yet all young
To fulness by the fiat of his thought,
Which still the splendor of its orb betrays.
But should there be to whom the fatal blight
to compliment Gibbon with the epithet "luminous," Sheridan answered, in a half whisper, "I said 'voluminous.'"]
4["I heard Sheridan only once, and that briefly; but I liked his voice, his manner, and his wit. He is the only one of them I ever wished to hear at greater length."-Byron Diary 1821.]
["Once I saw Sheridan cry, after a splendid dinner. I had the honor of sitting next him. The occasion of his tears was some observation or other upon the subject of the sturdiness of the Whigs in resisting office and keeping to their principles. Sheridan turned round :--Sir, it is easy for my Lord G. or Earl G. or Marquis B. or Lord H., with thousands upon thousands a year, some of it either presently derived or inherited in sinecure or acquisitions from the public money, to boast of their patriotism and keep aloof from temptation: but they do not know from what temptation those have kept aloof who had equal pride, at least equal talents, and not unequal passions, and nevertheless knew not in the course of their lives what it was to have a shilling of their own.' And in saying this he wept. I have more than once heard him say, 'that he never had a shilling of his own.' To be sure, he contrived to extract a good many of other people's. In 1815, I found him at my lawyer's. After mutual greetings, he retired. Before recurring to my own business, I could not help inquiring that of Sheridan. 'Oh,' replied the attorney, the usual thing! to stave off an action. Well,' said I, and what do you mean to do?
[See Fox, Burke, and Pitt's eulogy on Mr. Sheridan's speech on the charges exhibited against Mr. Hastings in the House of Commons. Mr. Pitt entreated the House to adjourn, to give time for a calmer consideration of the question than could then occur after the immediate effect of that oration. Before my departure from England," says Gibbon," I was present at the august spectacle of Mr. Hastings's trial in Westminster Hall. It is not my province to absolve or condemn the governor of India; but Mr. Sheridan's --Nothing at all for the present,' said he: would you have eloquence demanded my applause; nor could I hear without emotion the personal compliment which he paid me in the presence of the British nation. This display of genius blazed four successive days," &c. On being asked by a brother Whig, at the conclusion of the speech, how he came
us proceed against old Sherry? what would be the use of it ? and here he began laughing, and going over Sheridan's good gifts of conversation. Such was Sheridan! he could soften an attorney! There has been nothing like it since the days of Orpheus."-Byron Diary, 1821.]