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Nor these alone; Columbia feels no less
Fresh speculations follow each success;
And philanthropic Israel deigns to drain
Her mild per-centage from exhausted Spain.
Not without Abraham's seed can Russia march;
'Tis gold, not steel, that rears the conqueror's arch.
Two Jews, a chosen people, can command
In every realm their scripture-promised land : —
Two Jews keep down the Romans, and uphold
The accursed Hun, more brutal than of old:
Two Jews but not Samaritans direct
The world, with all the spirit of their sect.
What is the happiness of earth to them?
A congress forms their " New Jerusalem,"
Where baronies and orders both invite -
Oh, holy Abraham! dost thou see the sight?
Thy followers mingling with these royal swine,
Who spit not" on their Jewish gaberdine,"
But honour them as portion of the show-
(Where now, oh pope! is thy forsaken toe?
Could it not favour Judah with some kicks?
Or has it ceased to "kick against the pricks?")
On Shylock's shore behold them stand afresh,
To cut from nations' hearts their "pound of flesh."
Strange sight this Congress! destined to unite
All that's incongruous, all that 's opposite.
I speak not of the Sovereigns they're alike,
A common coin as ever mint could strike:
But those who sway the puppets, pull the strings,
Have more of motley than their heavy kings.
Jews, authors, generals, charlatans, combine,
While Europe wonders at the vast design:
There Metternich, power's foremost parasite,
Cajoles; there Wellington forgets to fight;
There Chateaubriand forms new books of martyrs ;
And subtle Greeks 2 intrigue for stupid Tartars;
There Montmorenci, the sworn foe to charters, 3
Turns a diplomatist of great éclat,
to Christianity in France. Lord Byron perhaps alludes to the well-known joke of Talleyrand, who, meeting the Duke of Montmorenci at the same party with M. Rothschild, soon after the latter had been ennobled by the Emperor of Austria, is said to have begged leave to present M. le premier baron Juif to M. le premier baron Chrétien.]
1 Monsieur Chateaubriand, who has not forgotten the author in the minister, received a handsome compliment at Verona from a literary sovereign: "Ah! Monsieur C., are you related to that Chateaubriand who-who-who has written something?" (écrit quelque chose!) It is said that the author of Atala repented him for a moment of his legitimacy.
2 [Count Capo d'Istrias- afterwards President of Greece. The count was murdered in September, 1831, by the brother and son of a Mainote chief whom he had imprisoned.] 3 [The Duke de Montmorenci-Laval.]
4 [From Pope's verses on Lord Peterborough:
The mother of the hero's hope, the boy,
The young Astyanax of modern Troy; '
The still pale shadow of the loftiest queen
That earth has yet to see, or e'er hath seen;
She flits amidst the phantoms of the hour,
The theme of pity, and the wreck of power.
Oh, cruel mockery! Could not Austria spare
A daughter? What did France's widow there?
Her fitter place was by St. Helen's wave,
Her only throne is in Napoleon's grave.
But, no, she still must hold a petty reign,
Flank'd by her formidable chamberlain ;
The martial Argus, whose not hundred eyes
Must watch her through these paltry pageantries; 6
What though she share no more, and shared in vain,
A sway surpassing that of Charlemagne,
Which swept from Moscow to the southern seas;
Yet still she rules the pastoral realm of cheese,
Where Parma views the traveller resort,
To note the trappings of her mimic court.
But she appears! Verona sees her shorn
Of all her beams-while nations gaze and mourn
Ere yet her husband's ashes have had time
To chill in their inhospitable clime;
(If e'er those awful ashes can grow cold;
But no, their embers soon will burst the mould;)
She comes! -the Andromache (but not Racine's,
Nor Homer's,)—Lo! on Pyrrhus' arm she leans !
Yes! the right arm, yet red from Waterloo,
Which cut her lord's half-shatter'd sceptre through,
Is offer'd and accepted! Could a slave
Do more? or less? and he in his new grave!
Her eye, her cheek, betray no inward strife,
And the ex-empress grows as er a wife!
So much for human ties in royal breasts!
Why spare men's feelings, when their own are jests ?
But, tired of foreign follies, I turn home,
And sketch the group- the picture's yet to come.
My muse 'gan weep, but, ere a tear was spilt,
She caught Sir William Curtis in a kilt!
While throng'd the chiefs of every Highland clan
To hail their brother, Vich Ian Alderman!
Guildhall grows Gael, and echoes with Erse roar,
While all the Common Council cry "Claymore!"
To see proud Albyn's tartans as a belt
Gird the gross sirloin of a city Celt, 7
She burst into a laughter so extreme,
That I awoke and lo! it was no dream !
Here, reader, will we pause: if there's no harm in This first- you'll have, perhaps, a second" Carmen."
"And he, whose lightning pierced the Iberian lines,
Now forms my quincunx, and now ranks my vines,
Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain,
Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain."]
5 [Napoleon François Charles Joseph, Duke of Reichstadt, died at the palace of Schönbrunn, July 22. 1832, having just attained his twenty-first year.]
[Count Neipperg, chamberlain and second husband to Maria-Louisa, had but one eye. The count died in 1831. See antè, p. 461.]'
7 [George the Fourth is said to have been somewhat annoyed, on entering the levee-room at Holyrood (Aug. 1822) in full Stuart tartan, to see only one figure similarly attired (and of similar bulk) that of Sir William Curtis. The city knight had every thing complete-even the knife stuck in the garter. He asked the King, if he did not think him well dressed. "Yes!" replied his Majesty, "only you have no spoon in your hose." The devourer of turtle had a fine engraving executed of himself in his Celtic attire.]
Occasional Pieces. 1807-1824.
WRITTEN UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THE AUTHOR
ADIEU, thou Hill!! where early joy
Spread roses o'er my brow;
Where Science secks each loitering boy
With knowledge to endow.
Adieu, my youthful friends or foes,
Partners of former bliss or woes;
No more through Ida's paths we stray;
Soon must I share the gloomy cell,
Whose ever-slumbering inmates dwell
Unconscious of the day.
Adieu, ye hoary Regal Fanes,
Ye spires of Granta's vale,
Where Learning robed in sable reigns,
And Melancholy pale.
Ye comrades of the jovial hour,
Ye tenants of the classic bower,
On Cama's verdant margin placed,
Adieu! while memory still is mine,
For, offerings on Oblivion's shrine,
These scenes must be effaced.
Adieu, ye mountains of the clime
Where grew my youthful years; Where Loch na Garr in snows sublime
His giant summit rears.
Why did my childhood wander forth
From you, ye regions of the North,
With sons of pride to roam?
Why did I quit my Highland cave,
Marr's dusky heath, and Dee's clear wave,
To seek a Sotheron home?
Hall of my Sires a long farewell
Yet why to thee adieu ?
Thy vaults will echo back my knell,
Thy towers my tomb will view:
The faltering tongue which sung thy fall,
And former glories of thy Hall
Forgets its wonted simple note-
But yet the Lyre retains the strings,
And sometimes, on Eolian wings,
In dying strains may float.
Fields, which surround yon rustic cot,
While yet I linger here,
Adieu! you are not now forgot,
To retrospection dear.
Streamlet along whose rippling surge,
My youthful limbs were wont to urge
At noontide heat their pliant course;
Plunging with ardour from the shore,
Thy springs will lave these limbs no more,
Deprived of active force.
And shall I here forget the scene,
Still nearest to my breast?
Rocks rise, and rivers roll between
The spot which passion blest;
Yet, Mary, all thy beauties seem
Fresh as in Love's bewitching dream,
To me in smiles display'd;
Till slow disease resigns his prey
To Death, the parent of decay,
Thine image cannot fade.
And thou, my Friend 5! whose gentle love,
Yet thrills my bosom's chords,
How much thy friendship was above
Description's power of words!
Still near my breast thy gift I wear
Which sparkled once with Feeling's tear,
Of Love the pure, the sacred gem;
Our souls were equal, and our lot
In that dear moment quite forgot;
Let Pride alone condemn !
To Him address thy trembling prayer:
He, who is merciful and just,
Will not reject a child of dust,
Although his meanest care.
Father of Light! to Thee I call,
My soul is dark within:
Thou, who canst mark the sparrow's fall,
Avert the death of sin.
Thou, who canst guide the wandering star,
Who calm'st the elemental war,
Whose mantle is yon boundless sky,
My thoughts, my words, my crimes forgive;
And, since I soon must cease to live,
Instruct me how to die.
1807. [First published, 1832.]
TO A VAIN LADY.
Aн, heedless girl! why thus disclose
What ne'er was meant for other ears:
Why thus destroy thine own repose,
And dig the source of future tears?
Oh, thou wilt weep, imprudent maid,
While lurking envious foes will smile,
For all the follies thou hast said
Of those who spoke but to beguile. Vain girl thy ling'ring woes are nigh, If thou believ'st what striplings say: Oh, from the deep temptation fly,
Nor fall the specious spoiler's prey. Dost thou repeat, in childish boast,
The words man utters to deceive?
Thy peace, thy hope, thy all is lost,
If thou canst venture to believe.
While now amongst thy female peers
Thou tell'st again the soothing tale,
Canst thou not mark the rising sneers
Duplicity in vain would veil?
These tales in secret silence hush,
Nor make thyself the public gaze :
What modest maid without a blush
Recounts a flattering coxcomb's praise?
Will not the laughing boy despise
Her who relates each fond conceitWho, thinking Heaven is in her eyes, Yet cannot see the slight deceit ? For she who takes a soft delight
These amorous nothings in revealing, Must credit all we say or write,
While vanity prevents concealing.
Cease, if you prize your beauty's reign!
No jealousy bids me reprove :
One, who is thus from nature vain,
I pity, but I cannot love.
January 15. 1807. [First published, 1832.]
I vow'd I could ne'er for a moment respect you,
Yet thought that a day's separation was long:
When we met, I determined again to suspect you-
Your smile soon convinced me suspicion was wrong.
I swore, in a transport of young indignation,
With fervent contempt evermore to disdain you:
I saw you- my anger became admiration;
And now, all my wish, all my hope, 's to regain you.
With beauty like yours, oh, how vain the contention!
Thus lowly I sue for forgiveness before you;-
At once to conclude such a fruitless dissension,
Be false, my sweet Anne, when I cease to adore you!
January 16. 1807. [First published, 1832.]
Он, say not, sweet Anne, that the Fates have decrced
The heart which adores you should wish to dissever;
Such Fates were to me most unkind ones indeed;
To bear me from love and from beauty for ever.
Your frowns, lovely girl, are the Fates which alone
Could bid me from fond admiration refrain;
By these, every hope, every wish were o'erthrown,
Till smiles should restore me to rapture again.
As the ivy and oak, in the forest entwined,
The rage of the tempest united must weather,
My love and my life were by nature design'd
To flourish alike, or to perish together.
Then say not, sweet Anne, that the Fates have decreed,
Your lover should bid you a lasting adieu;
Till Fate can ordain that his bosom shall bleed,
His soul, his existence, are center'd in you.
1807. [First published, 1832.]
TO THE AUTHOR OF A SONNET BEGINNING,
"SAD 18 MY VERSE, YOU SAY, AND YET NO TEAR.'"
THY verse is "sad" enough, no doubt:
A devilish deal more sad than witty!
Why we should weep I can't find out,
Unless for thee we weep in pity.
Yet there is one I pity more;
And much, alas! I think he needs it:
For he, I'm sure, will suffer sore,
Who, to his own misfortune, reads it.
Thy rhymes, without the aid of magic,
May once be read-but never after:
Yet their effect's by no means tragic,
Although by far too dull for laughter.
But would you make our bosoms bleed,
And of no common pang complain-
If you would make us weep indeed,
Tell us, you'll read them o'er again.
March 8. 1807. [First published, 1832.]
Он, Anne! your offences to me have been grievous; I thought from my wrath no atonement could save you;
But woman is made to command and deceive us I look'd in your face, and I almost forgave you.
ON FINDING A FAN.
IN one who felt as once he felt,
This might, perhaps, have fann'd the flame; But now his heart no more will melt, Because that heart is not the same.
This bosom, responsive to rapture no more,
Shall hush thy wild notes, nor implore thee to sing; The feelings of childhood, which taught thee to soar, Are wafted far distant on Apathy's wing.
Though simple the themes of my rude flowing Lyre,
Yet even these themes are departed for ever;
No more beam the eyes which my dream could inspire,
My visions are flown, to return, — alas, never!
When drain'd is the nectar which gladdens the bowl,
How vain is the effort delight to prolong!
When cold is the beauty which dwelt in my soul,
What magic of Fancy can lengthen my song?
Can the lips sing of Love in the desert alone,
Of kisses and smiles which they now must resign? Or dwell with delight on the hours that are flown? Ah, no! for those hours can no longer be mine. Can they speak of the friends that I love but to love? Ah, surely affection ennobles the strain !
But how can my numbers in sympathy move,
When I scarcely can hope to behold them again? Can I sing of the deeds which my Fathers have done, And raise my loud harp to the fame of my Sires? For glories like theirs, oh, how faint is my tone! For Heroes' exploits how unequal my fires! Untouch'd, then, my Lyre shall reply to the blast'Tis hush'd; and my feeble endeavours are o'er ; And those who have heard it will pardon the past, When they know that its murmurs shall vibrate no
[Lord Byron, on his first arrival at Newstead, in 1798, planted an oak in the garden, and nourished the fancy, that as the tree flourished so should he. On revisiting the abbey, during Lord Grey de Ruthven's residence there, he found the oak choked up by weeds, and almost destroyed; hence these lines. Shortly after Colonel Wildman, the present proprietor, took possession, he one day noticed it, and said to the servant who was with him, "Here is a fine young oak;
And soon shall its wild erring notes be forgot,
Since early affection and love are o'ercast:
Oh! blest had my fate been, and happy my lot,
Had the first strain of love been the dearest, the last!
Farewell, my young Muse! since we now can ne'er
If our songs have been languid, they surely are few:
Let us hope that the present at least will be sweet-
The present-which seals our eternal Adieu.
1807. [First published, 1832.]
TO AN OAK AT NEWSTEAD. 1 YOUNG Oak! when I planted thee deep in the ground, I hoped that thy days would be longer than mine; That thy dark-waving branches would flourish around, And ivy thy trunk with its mantle entwine. Such, such was my hope, when, in infancy's years,
On the land of my fathers I rear'd thee with pride: They are past, and I water thy stem with my tears, Thy decay not the weeds that surround thee can hide.
I left thee, my Oak, and, since that fatal hour,
A stranger has dwelt in the hall of my sire;
Till manhood shall crown me, not mine is the power,
But his, whose neglect may have bade thee expire.
Oh! hardy thou wert-even now little care
Might revive thy young head, and thy wounds
But thou wert not fated affection to share
For who could suppose that a Stranger would feel? Ah, droop not, my Oak! lift thy head for a while; Ere twice round yon Glory this planet shall run, The hand of thy Master will teach thee to smile, When Infancy's years of probation are done.
Oh, live then, my Oak! tow'r aloft from the weeds,
That clog thy young growth, and assist thy decay,
For still in thy bosom are life's early seeds,
And still may thy branches their beauty display.
Oh! yet, if maturity's years may be thine,
Though I shall lie low in the cavern of death,
On thy leaves yet the day-beam of ages may shine,
Uninjured by time, or the rude winter's breath.
For centuries still may thy boughs lightly wave
C'er the corse of thy lord in thy canopy laid;
While the branches thus gratefully shelter his grave,
The chief who survives may recline in thy shade.
And as he, with his boys, shall revisit this spot,
He will tell them in whispers more softly to tread.
Oh surely, by these I shall ne'er be forgot:
Remembrance still hallows the dust of the dead. And here, will they say, when in life's glowing prime, Perhaps he has pour'd forth his young simple lay, And here must he sleep, till the moments of time Are lost in the hours of Eternity's day.
1807. [First published, 1832.]
but it must be cut down, as it grows in an improper place. "I hope not, sir," replied the man; "for it's the one that my lord was so fond of, because he set it himself." The Colonel has, of course, taken every possible care of it. It is already inquired after, by strangers, as "THE BYRON OAK." and promises to share, in after times, the celebrity of Shakspeare's mulberry, and Pope's willow.]
THOSE flaxen locks, those eyes of blue,
Bright as thy mother's in their hue;
Those rosy lips, whose dimples play
And smile to steal the heart away,
Recall a scene of former joy,
And touch thy father's heart, my Boy!
And thou canst lisp a father's name-
Ah, William, were thine own the same,
No self-reproach—but, let me cease-
My care for thee shall purchase peace;
Thy mother's shade shall smile in joy,
And pardon all the past, my Boy!
Some years ago, when at Harrow, a friend of the author engraved on a particular spot the names of both, with a few additional words, as a memorial. Afterwards, on receiving some real or imagined injury, the author destroyed the frail record before he left Harrow. On revisiting the place in 1807, he wrote under it these stanzas.
["Whether these verses are, in any degree, founded on fact, I have no accurate means of determining. Fond as Lord Byron was of recording every particular of his youth,
Oh, 't will be sweet in thee to trace,
Ere age has wrinkled o'er my face,
Ere half my glass of life is run,
At once a brother and a son;
And all my wane of years employ
In justice done to thee, my Boy!
Although so young thy heedless sire,
Youth will not damp parental fire;
And, wert thou still less dear to me,
While Helen's form revives in thee,
The breast, which beat to former joy,
Will ne'er desert its pledge, my Boy!
1807. [First published, 1830.]
FAREWELL! IF EVER FONDEST PRAYER.
FAREWELL! if ever fondest prayer
For other's weal avail'd on high,
Mine will not all be lost in air,
But waft thy name beyond the sky.
'T were vain to speak, to weep, to sigh:
Oh more than tears of blood can tell,
When wrung from guilt's expiring eye,
Are in that word-Farewell!- Farewell!
These lips are mute, these eyes are dry;
But in my breast and in my brain,
Awake the pangs that pass not by,
The thought that ne'er shall sleep again.
My soul nor deigns nor dares complain,
Though grief and passion there rebel:
I only know we loved in vain —
I only feel-Farewell! - Farewell!
BRIGHT BE THE PLACE OF THY SOUL.
BRIGHT be the place of thy soul !
No lovelier spirit than thine
E'er burst from its mortal control,
In the orbs of the blessed to shine.
On earth thou wert all but divine,
As thy soul shall immortally be;
And our sorrow may cease to repine,
When we know that thy God is with thee.
Light be the turf of thy tomb!
May its verdure like emeralds be: There should not be the shadow of gloom In aught that reminds us of thee.
Young flowers and an evergreen tree
May spring from the spot of thy rest: But nor cypress nor yew let us see;
For why should we mourn for the blest?
such an event, or rather era, as is here commemorated, would have been, of all others, the least likely to pass unmentioned by him; and yet neither in conversation nor in any of his writings do I remember even an allusion to it. On the other hand, so entirely was all that he wrote, making allowance for the embellishments of fancy, the transcript of his actual life and feelings, that it is not easy to suppose a poem, so full of natural tenderness, to have been indebted for its origin to imagination alone."-MOORE. But see post, Don Juan, canto xvi. st. 61.]