ePub 版
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


[Although never publicly acknowledged by Lord Byron, the following have been generally attributed to his pen: and, aware of the interest attached to his most trifling efforts, the Publishers, without vouching for their authenticity, have not hesitated to add them to this edition.]

[blocks in formation]

WHEN slow Disease with all her host of pains,
Chills the warm tide which flows along the veins;
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing,
And flies with every changing gale of spring;
Not to the aching frame alone confined,
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind.
What grisly forms, the spectre train of woe,
Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow,
With Resignation wage relentless strife,
While Hope retires appall'd, and clings to life.
Yet less the pang, when, through the tedious hour,
Remembrance sheds around her genial power,
Calls back the vanish'd days to rapture given,
When love was bliss, and beauty form'd our heaven:
Or, dear to youth, portrays each childish scene,
Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been.
As when, through clouds that pour the summer storm,
The orb of day unveils his distant form,
Gilds with faint beams the crystal dews of rain,
And dimly twinkles o'er the watery plain;
Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams,
The sun of memory, glowing through my dreams,
Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze,
To scenes far distant points his paler rays,
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway
The past confounding with the present day.

Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought, Which still recurs, unlook'd for and unsought; My soul to Fancy's fond suggestion yields, And roams romantic o'er her airy fields; Scenes of my youth developed crowd to view, To which I long have paid a last adieu!



How strangely time his course has run, Since first I pair'd with you;

Six years ago we made but ONE,

Now five have made us two.




PEACE to thee, isle of the ocean!

Hail to thy breezes and billows! Where, rolling its tides in perpetual devotion, The white wave its plumy surf pillows! Rich shall the chaplet be history shall weave thee! Whose undying verdure shall bloom on thy brow, When nations that now in obscurity leave thee,

To the wand of oblivion alternately bow! Unchanged in thy glory-unstain'd in thy fameThe homage of ages shall hallow thy name!

Hail to the chief who reposes

On thee the rich weight of his glory!
When, fill'd to its limit, life's chronicle closes,
His deeds shall be sacred in story!
His prowess shall rank with the first of all ages,
And monarchs hereafter shall bow to his worth-
The songs of the poets-the lessons of sages-

Shall hold him the wonder and grace of the earth. The meteors of history before thee shall fallEclipsed by thy splendour-thou meteor of Gaul!

Hygeian breezes shall fan thee-
Island of glory resplendent!

Pilgrims from nations far distant shall man thee-
Tribes, as thy waves independent!

On thy far gleaming strand the wanderer shall stay him
To snatch a brief glance at a spot so renown'd-
Each turf, and each stone, and each cliff, shall delay him
Where the step of thy exile hath hallow'd thy ground.
From him shalt thou borrow a lustre divine;
The wane of his sun was the rising of thine!

Whose were the hands that enslaved him?
Hands which had weakly withstood him-
Nations, which while they had oftentimes braved


Never till now had subdued him!

Monarchs-who oft to his clemency stooping,

Received back their crowns from the plunder of warThe vanquisher vanquish'd-the eagle now droopingWould quench with their sternness the ray of his star! But cloth'd in new splendour thy glory appears-And rules the ascendant-the planet of years!

Pure be the heath of thy mountains! Rich be the green of thy pastures!

[blocks in formation]

Thou wert gay in the smiles of the world,
Thy shadow protection and power;

But now thy bright blossom is shrivell'd and curl'd—
The grace of thy country no more.

For corruption hath fed on thy leaf,

And bigotry weaken'd thy stem;


Let Edinburgh critics o'erwhelm with their praises
Their Madame de Stael, and their famed L'Epinasse:
Like a meteor at best proud philosophy blazes,
And the fame of a wit is as brittle as glass:

But cheering's the beam, and unfading the splendour
Of thy torch, wedded love! and it never has yet
Shone with lustre more holy, more pure, or more tender
Than it sheds on the name of the fair LAVALETTE.

Then fill high the wine cup, e'en virtue shall bless it, And hallow the goblet which foams to her name; The warm lip of beauty shall piously press it,

And Hymen shall honour the pledge to her fame: To the health of the woman, who freedom and life too Has risk'd for her husband, we'll pay the just debt; And hail with applauses the heroine and wife too, The constant, the noble, the fair LAVALETTE.

Her foes have awarded, in impotent malice,

To their captive a doom which all Europe abhors,

Now those who have fear'd thee shall smile at thy grief, And turns from the stairs of the priest-haunted palace, And those who adored thee condemn.

The valley that gave thee thy birth

Shall weep for the hope of its soil;

The legions, that fought for thy beauty and worth, Shall hasten to share in thy spoil.

As a by-word, thy blossom shall be

A mock and a jest among men ;

The proverb of slaves, and the sneer of the free, In city, and mountain, and glen.

Oh! 't was Tyranny's pestilent gale

That scatter'd thy buds on the ground;

That threw the blood-stain on the virgin-white veil, And pierced thee with many a wound!

Then the puny leaf shook to the wind,

Thy stem gave its strength to the blast; Thy full-bursting blossom its promise resign'd, And fell to the storm as it pass'd.

While those who replaced them there blush for their


But in ages to come, when the blood-tarnish'd glory
Of dukes, and of marshals, in darkness hath set,
Hearts shall throb, eyes shall glisten, at reading the

Of the fond self-devotion of fair LAVALETTE.


ADIEU the joys of La Valette:
Adieu sirocco, sun, and sweat;

Adieu thou palace, rarely enter'd;
Adieu ye mansions, where I 've ventured;
Adieu ye cursed streets of stairs--
How surely he who mounts them swears;
Adieu ye merchants, often failing;
Adieu thou mob for ever railing:
Adieu ye packets without letters;
Adieu ye fools, who ape your betters;

[ocr errors]

Adieu thou damn'dest quarantine,

That gave me fever and the spleen;
Adieu that stage which makes us yawn, sirs;
Adieu his excellency's dancers;
Adieu to Peter, whom no fault's in,
But could not teach a colonel waltzing;
Adieu ye females, fraught with graces;
Adieu red coats, and redder faces;
Adieu the supercilious air

Of all that strut en militaire:

I go-but God knows where or why-
To smoky towns and cloudy sky;
To things, the honest truth to say,
As bad, but in a different way:-
Farewell to these, but not adieu
Triumphant sons of truest blue,
While either Adriatic shore,

And fallen chiefs, and fleets no more,
And nightly smiles, and daily dinners,
Proclaim you war and women's winners.

Pardon my muse, who apt to prate is,
And take my rhyme because 't is gratis:
And now I've got to Mrs Fraser,
Perhaps you think I mean to praise her;
And were I vain enough to think
My praise was worth this drop of ink,
A line or two were no hard matter,
As here, indeed, I need not flatter:
But she must be content to shine
In better praises than in mine:
With lively air and open heart,
And fashion's ease without its art,
Her hours can gaily glide along,
Nor ask the aid of idle song.

And now, Oh, Malta! since thou 'st got us,

Thou little military hot-house!

I'll not offend with words uncivil,

And wish thee rudely at the devil

But only stare from out my casement,

And ask-for what is such a place meant:
Then, in my solitary nook,

Return to scribbling, or a book;
Or take my physic, while I'm able,
Two spoonsful, hourly, by this label;
Prefer my nightcap to my beaver,
And bless my stars I've got a fever.


T WAS whisper'd in heaven, 'twas mutter'd in hell,
And echo caught faintly the sound as it fell:
On the confines of earth 't was permitted to rest,
And the depths of the ocean its presence confest.
Twill be found in the sphere when 't is riven asunder,
Be seen in the light ning, and heard in the thunder.
T was allotted to man with his earliest breath,
Attends at his birth, and awaits him in death;
It presides o'er his happiness, honour, and health,
Is the prop of his house and the end of his wealth:
Without it the soldier, the seaman, may roam,
But woe to the wretch who expels it from home.
In the whispers of conscience its voice will be found,
Nor e'en in the whirlwind of passion be drown'd:
'T will not soften the heart, and though deaf to the ear,
Twill make it acutely and instantly hear.

But in shade let it rest, like a delicate flow'rOh! breathe on it softly-it dies in an hour.


Io Pæan! Io! sing

To the finny people's king-
Not a mightier whale than this

In the vast Atlantic is;
Not a fatter fish than he
Flounders round the Polar sea;
See his blubber-at his gills
What a world of drink he swills!
From his trunk as from a spout
Which next moment he pours out.
Such his person: next declare
Muse! who his companions are:
Every fish of generous kind
Scuds aside or slinks behind,
But about his person keep
All the monsters of the deep;
Mermaids with their tales, and singing,
His delighted fancy stinging;-
Crooked dolphins, they surround him;
Dog-like seals, they fawn around him;
Following hard, the
Of the intolerant salt sea shark-
For his solace and relief
Flat fish are his courtiers chief;-

Last, and lowest of his train,

Ink fish, libellers of the main,

Their black liquor shed in spite-
(Such on earth the things that write).
In his stomach, some do say,

No good thing can ever stay;

Had it been the fortune of it

To have swallow'd the old prophet,
Three days there he'd not have dwell'd,
But in one have been expell'd.

Hapless mariners are they
Who beguiled, as seamen say,
Deeming it some rock or island,

Footing sure, safe spot and dry land,
Anchor in his scaly rind;

Soon the difference they find,

Sudden, plump, he sinks beneath them— Does to ruthless waves bequeath them:

Name or title, what has he?

Is he regent of the sea?
From the difficulty free us,
Buffon, Banks, or sage Linnæus?
With his wondrous attributes
Say-what appellation suits?
By his bulk, and by his size,

By his oily qualities,

This, or else my eye-sight fails,

This should be the-Prince of Whales!


[The following Stanzas were addressed by Lord Byron to his Lady, a few months before their separation.] THERE is a mystic thread of life

So dearly wreathed with mine alone,

That destiny's relentless knife

At once must sever both or none.


[blocks in formation]

But little reck'st thou, oh my child!
Of travel on life's thorny wild!
Of all the dangers-all the woes
Each tottering footstep which inclose-
Ah, little reck'st thou of the scene
So darkly wrought that spreads between
The little all we here can find,
And the dark mystic sphere behind!

Little reck'st thou, my earliest born-
Of clouds which gather round thy morn
Of arts to lure thy soul astray-
Of snares that intersect thy way—
Of secret foes-of friends untrue-
Of fiends who stab the hearts they woo:
Little thou reck'st of this sad store-
Would thou might'st never reck them more!

But thou wilt burst this transient sleep,
And thou wilt wake, my babe, to weep-
The tenant of a frail abode,

Thy tears must flow, as mine have flow'd;
Beguiled by follies, every day,

Sorrow must wash the faults away;
And thou may'st wake, perchance, to prove
The pang of unrequited love.

Unconscious babe! though on that brow
No half-fledged misery nestles now-
Scarce round those placid lips a smile
Maternal fondness shall beguile,
Ere the moist footsteps of a tear
Shall plant their dewy traces there,
And prematurely pave the way
For sorrows of a riper day.

Oh! could a father's prayer repel

The eye's sad grief, the bosom's swell!

Or could a father hope to bear

A darling child's allotted care,

Then thou, my babe, shouldst slumber still,
Exempted from all human ill,

A parent's love thy peace should free,
And ask its wounds again for thee.

Sleep on, my child! the slumber brief
Too soon shall melt away to grief;
Too soon the dawn of woe shall break,
And briny rills bedew that cheek:
Too soon shall sadness queach those eyes--
That breast be agonized with sighs-
And anguish o'er the beams of noon
Lead clouds of care-ah! much too soon!

Soon wilt thou reck of cares unknown,
Of wants and sorrows all their own-
Of many a pang, and many a woe,
That thy dear sex alone can know—
Of many an ill-untold, unsung-
That will not, may not find a tongue-
But, kept conceal'd, without control,
Spread the fell cancers of the soul!

Yet be thy lot, my babe, more blest! May joy still animate thy breast! Still, midst thy least propitious days, Shedding its rich inspiring rays!

[blocks in formation]

TO LADY CAROLINE LAMB. AND say'st thou that I have not felt,

Whilst thou wert thus estranged from me? Nor know'st how dearly I have dwelt

On one unbroken dream of thee?

But love like ours must never be,

And I will learn to prize thee less; As thou hast fled, so let me flee,

And change the heart thou mayst not bless.

They'll tell thee, Clara! I have seem'd,

Of late, another's charms to woo,
Nor sigh'd, nor frown'd, as if I deem'd
That thou wert banish'd from my view.
Clara! this struggle-to undo

What thou hast done too well, for me-
This mask before the babbling crew---
This treachery-was truth to thee!

I have not wept while thou wert gone,
Nor worn one look of sullen woe;

But sought, in many, all that one
(Ah! need I name her?) could bestow.
It is a duty which I owe

To thine-to thee-to man-to God,
To crush, to quench, this guilty glow,
Ere yet the path of crime be trod.

But, since my breast is not so pure,
Since still the vulture tears my heart,
Let me this agony endure,

Not thee-oh! dearest as thou art!
In mercy, Clara! let us part,

And I will seek, yet know not how, To shun, in time, the threatening dart; Guilt must not aim at such as thou.

But thou must aid me in the task,

And nobly thus exert thy power; Then spurn me hence-'t is all I ask— Ere time mature a guiltier hour; Ere wrath's impending vials shower Remorse redoubled on my head; Ere fires unquenchably devour

A heart, whose hope has long been dead.

Deceive no more thyself and me,

Deceive not better hearts than mine; Ah! shouldst thou, whither wouldst thou flee, From woe like ours-from shame like thine? And, if there be a wrath divine,

A pang beyond this fleeting breath, Een now all future hope resign,

Such thoughts are guilt-such guilt is death.



WHEN man expell'd from Eden's bower, A moment linger'd near the gate, Each scene recall'd the vanish'd hour, And bade him curse his future fate.

But wandering on through distant climes,
He learn'd to bear its load of grief,
And gave a sigh to other times,
And found in busier scenes relief.

Thus, lady, will it be with me,

And I shall view thy charms no more; For whilst I linger near to thee,

I sigh for all I knew before.

In flight I shall be surely wise,

Escaping from temptation's snare:

I cannot view my paradise

Without a wish to enter there.


Addressed by Lord Byron to Mr Hobhouse on his Election for Westminster.

Mors Janua vitæ..

WOULD you get to the house through the true gate,
Much quicker than ever Whig Charley went;

Let Parliament send you to Newgate-
And Newgate will send you to-Parliament.


Stated to have been written by Lord Byron, in the
Album of the Union Hotel, at Chamouni near Geneva.
ALL hail, Mont Blanc! Mont en Vert, hail!
With thee I can associate still;

And, should all other pleasures fail,
I'll stretch me by the murmuring rill;
Or into solitude I'll fly,

And commune with the Deity.

Far from the pride and scorn of man,
The worthless objects of their care,
The works of nature I can scan,

And sometimes bold, yet fearful, dare
Express those feelings kindly given
By the benevolence of Heaven!

Alone I come! alone I go!

Alike unnoticed and unknown!
Press'd by a weight of lasting woe,
From east to west by tempests blown;
No rest-no peace, until I fly
From time into eternity.

Yet why? Why should I thus complain?
Are not some other joys my own?
Joys which the multitude disdain,

To duller, happier souls unknown?
Yes, I will bravely dare my lot
Until I die and be forgot.

« 上一頁繼續 »