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FAREWELL TO MALTA.
ADIEU, ye joys of La Valette!
(How surely he who mounts you swears!)
Adieu, thou mob for ever railing!
Adieu to Peter-whom no fault's in,
Farewell to these, but not adieu,
And now I've got to Mrs. Fraser,
And now, O Malta! since thou'st got us,
Return to scribbling, or a book,
May 26. 1811. [First published, 1832.]
["On a leaf of one of Lord Byron's paper-books I find an Epigram, which, though not perhaps particularly good, I consider myself bound to insert."- MooRE. The farce in question was called "M.P.; or, the Blue Stocking," and
UNHAPPY DIVES! in an evil hour
'Gainst Nature's voice seduced to deeds accurst!
ON MOORE'S LAST OPERATIC FARCE, OR FARCICAL OPERA.
Good plays are scarce,
So Moore writes farce:
The poet's fame grows brittle
We knew before
That Little's Moore,
But now 't is Moore that's little.
Sept. 14. 1811. [First published, 1830. ']
EPISTLE TO A FRIEND,
IN ANSWER TO SOME LINES EXHORTING THE AUTHOR TO BE CHEERFUL, AND TO "BANISH CARE.
"OH! banish care' "9 - such ever be
"T were long to tell, and vain to hear, The tale of one who scorns a tear; And there is little in that tale Which better bosoms would bewail. But mine has suffer'd more than well 'T would suit philosophy to tell. I've seen my bride another's bride,— Have seen her seated by his side, Have seen the infant, which she bore, Wear the sweet smile the inother wore, When she and I in youth have smiled, As fond and faultless as her child ;Have seen her eyes, in cold disdain, Ask if I felt no secret pain;
And I have acted well my part,
But let this pass-I'll whine no more,
But if, in some succeeding year,
Newstead Abbey, Oct. 11. 1811.3
WITHOUT a stone to mark the spot,
And say, what Truth might well have said, By all, save one, perchance forgot,
Ah! wherefore art thou lowly laid ?
By many a shore and many a sea
To bid us meet-no- ne'er again!
That softly said, "We part in peace," Had taught my bosom how to brook,
With fainter sighs, thy soul's release. And didst thou not, since Death for thee Prepared a light and pangless dart, Once long for him thou ne'er shalt see,
Who held, and holds thee in his heart?
[These lines will show with what gloomy fidelity, even while under the pressure of recent sorrow, Lord Byron reverted to the disappointment of his early affection, as the chief source of all his sufferings and errors, present and to come.- MOORE.]
2 [The anticipations of his own future career in these concluding lines are of a nature, it must be owned, to awaken more of horror than of interest, were we not prepared, by so many instances of his exaggeration in this respect, not to be startled at any lengths to which the spirit of self-libelling would carry him. It seemed as if, with the power of painting fierce and gloomy personages, he had also the ambition to be, himself, the dark sublime he drew,' and that, in his fondness for the delineation of heroic crime, he endeavoured to fancy, where he could not find in his own character, fit subjects for his pencil. MOORE.]
[Two days after, in another letter to Mr. Hodgson, Lord Byron says," I am growing nervous (how you will laugh!) but it is true, really, wretchedly, ridiculously, fineladically nervous. Your climate kills me; I can neither read, write, nor amuse myself, or any one else. My days are listless, and my nights restless: I have seldom any society, and, when I have, I run out of it. I don't know that I sha'n't end with insanity; for I find a want of method in arranging my thoughts that perplexes me strangely."]
[Mr. Moore considers "Thyrza" as if she were a mere
creature of the Poet's brain. "It was," he says, "about the time when he was thus bitterly feeling, and expressing, the blight which his heart had suffered from a real object of affection, that his poems on the death of an imaginary one were written; nor is it any wonder, when we consider the peculiar circumstances under which these beautiful effusions flowed from his fancy, that, of all his strains of pathos, they should be the most touching and most pure. They were, indeed, the essence, the abstract spirit, as it were, of many griefs; a confluence of sad thoughts from many sources of sorrow, refined and warmed in their passage through his fancy, and forming thus one deep reservoir of mournful feeling." It is a pity to disturb a sentiment thus beautifully expressed; but Lord Byron, in a letter to Mr. Dallas, bearing the exact date of these lines, viz. Oct. 11th, 1811, writes as follows:-"I have been again shocked with a death, and have lost one very dear to me in happier times: but I have almost forgot the taste of grief,' and 'supped full of horrors,' till I have become callous; nor have I a tear left for an event which, five years ago, would have bowed my head to the earth." In his reply to this letter, Mr. Dallas says, "I thank you for your confidential communication. How truly do I wish that that being had lived, and lived yours! What your obligations to her would have been in that case is inconceivable." Several years after the series of poems on Thyrza were written, Lord Byron, on being asked to whom they referred, by a person in whose tenderness he never ceased to
AWAY, AWAY, YE NOTES OF WOE.
AWAY, away, ye notes of woe!
Be silent, thou once soothing strain,
But lull the chords, for now, alas!
The voice that made those sounds more sweet Is hush'd, and all their charms are fled; And now their softest notes repeat
A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead! Yes, Thyrza! yes, they breathe of thee, Beloved dust! since dust thou art; And all that once was harmony
Is worse than discord to my heart!
'Tis silent all!-but on my ear
The well remember'd echoes thrill; I hear a voice I would not hear,
A voice that now might well be still : Yet oft my doubting soul 't will shake; Even slumber owns its gentle tone, Till consciousness will vainly wake
To listen, though the dream be flown. Sweet Thyrza! waking as in sleep,
Thou art but now a lovely dream; A star that trembled o'er the deep,
Then turn'd from earth its tender beam. But he who through life's dreary way
Must pass, when heaven is veil'd in wrath, Will long lament the vanish'd ray
That scatter'd gladness o'er his path.
ONE STRUGGLE MORE, AND I AM FREE.
From pangs that rend my heart in twain
With things that never pleased before:
What future grief can touch me more?
Man was not form'd to live alone:
That smiles with all, and weeps with none.
It never would have been, but thou
Thou 'rt nothing,—all are nothing now.
In vain my lyre would lightly breathe!
The smile that sorrow fain would wear But mocks the woe that lurks beneath, Like roses o'er a sepulchre.
confide, refused to answer, with marks of painful agitation, such as rendered any farther recurrence to the subject impossible. The reader must be left to form his own conclusion. The five following pieces are all devoted to Thyrza.],
Though gay companions o'er the bowl
On many a lone and lovely night
Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye : And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon, When sailing o'er the Ægean wave, "Now Thyrza gazes on that moon -" Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave!
When stretch'd on fever's sleepless bed,
And sickness shrunk my throbbing veins, ""Tis comfort still," I faintly said,
"That Thyrza cannot know my pains: " Like freedom to the time-worn slave,
A boon 'tis idle then to give, Relenting Nature vainly gave
My life, when Thyrza ceased to live! My Thyrza's pledge in better days,
When love and life alike were new! How different now thou meet'st my gaze!
How tinged by time with sorrow's hue! The heart that gave itself with thee
Is silent-ah, were mine as still! Though cold as e'en the dead can be, It feels, it sickens with the chill.
Thou bitter pledge ! thou mournful token!
Though painful, welcome to my breast! Still, still, preserve that love unbroken,
Or break the heart to which thou'rt press'd ! Time tempers love, but not removes,
More hallow'd when its hope is fled :
WHEN Time, or soon or late, shall bring The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead, Oblivion may thy languid wing
Wave gently o'er my dying bed!
No band of friends or heirs be there, To weep or wish the coming blow: No maiden, with dishevell'd hair,
To feel, or feign, decorous woe. But silent let me sink to earth,
With no officious mourners near: I would not mar one hour of mirth, Nor startle friendship with a tear. Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
Could nobly check its useless sighs, Might then exert its latest power
In her who lives and him who dies.
'T were sweet, my Psyche! to the last Thy features still serene to see: Forgetful of its struggles past,
E'en Pain itself should smile on thee.
["I wrote this a day or two ago, on hearing a song of former days." Lord Byron to Mr. Hodgson, December 8. 1811.]
For well I know, that such had been Thy gentle care for him, who now Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene, Where none regarded him, but thou: And, oh! I feel in that was given
A blessing never meant for me; Thou wert too like a dream of Heaven, For earthly Love to merit thee.
March 14. 1812.
ON A CORNELIAN HEART WHICH WAS BROKEN. I
ILL-FATED Heart! and can it be,
That thon shouldst thus be rent in twain ? Have years of care for thine and thee Alike been all employ'd in vain ?
Yet precious seems each shatter'd part,
And every fragment dearer grown, Since he who wears thee feels thou art A fitter emblem of his own.
March 16. 1812.
FROM THE FRENCH.
EGLE, beauty and poet, has two little crimes;
She makes her own face, and does not make her
LINES TO A LADY WEEPING.? WEEP, daughter of a royal line,
A Sire's disgrace, a realm's decay; Ah! happy if each tear of thine
Could wash a father's fault away! Weep-for thy tears are Virtue's tears— Auspicious to these suffering isles; And be each drop in future years
Repaid thee by thy people's smiles ! 3
THE CHAIN I GAVE.
THE chain I gave was fair to view,
The lute I added sweet in sound; The heart that offer'd both was true,
And ill deserved the fate it found.
[We know not whether the reader should understand the cornelian heart of these lines to be the same with that of which some notices are given at p. 398.]
2 [This impromptu owed its birth to an on dit, that the late Princess Charlotte of Wales burst into tears on hearing that the Whigs had found it impossible to put together a cabinet, at the period of Mr. Perceval's death. They were appended to the first edition of "The Corsair," and excited a sensation, as it is called, marvellously disproportionate to their length, or, we may add, their merit. The ministerial prints raved for two months on end, in the most foulmouthed vituperation of the poet, and all that belonged to him the Morning Post even announced a motion in the House of Lords" and all this," Lord Byron writes to Mr. Moore," as Bedreddin in the Arabian Nights remarks, for making a cream tart with pepper: how odd, that eight lines should have given birth, I really think, to eight thousand!"]
3[" The Lines to a Lady weeping' must go with The Corsair.' I care nothing for consequences on this point. My politics are to me like a young mistress to an old man; the worse they grow, the fonder I become of them."- Lord Byron to Mr. Murray, Jan. 22. 1814. “On my return. I find all the newspapers in hysterics, and town in an uproar, on the avowal and republication of two stanzas on Princess Charlotte's weeping at Regency's speech to Lauderdale in
6 [The theatre in Drury Lane, which was opened, in 1747, with Dr. Johnson's masterly address, beginning,
"When Learning's triumph o'er her barbarous foes
First rear'd the Stage, immortal Shakspeare rose," and witnessed the last glories of Garrick, having fallen into decay, was rebuilt in 1794. The new building perished by fire in 1811; and the Managers, in their anxiety that the opening of the present editice should be distinguished by some composition of at least equal merit, advertised in the newspapers for a general competition. Scores of addresses, not one tolerable, showered on their desk, and they were in sad despair, when Lord Holland interfered, and, not without