網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

378

A FRAGMENT.

WHEN, to their airy hall, my fathers' voice
Shall call my spirit, joyful in their choice;
When, poised upon the gale, my form shall ride,
Or, dark in mist, descend the mountain's side;
Oh! may my shade behold no sculptured urns
To mark the spot where earth to earth returns!
No lengthen'd scroll, no praise-encumber'd stone;
My epitaph shall be my name alone; 1
If that with honour fail to crown my clay,
Oh! may no other fame my deeds repay!
That, only that, shall single out the spot;
By that remember'd, or with that forgot.

1803.

[blocks in formation]

Of the mail-cover'd Barons, who proudly to battle

Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain, 3 The escutcheon and shield, which with every blast Are the only sad vestiges now that remain. [rattle,

[Of the sincerity of this youthful aspiration, the Poet has left repeated proofs. By his will, drawn up in 1811, he directed, that "no inscription, save his name and age, should be written on his tomb;" and, in 1819, he wrote thus to Mr. Murray:-" Some of the epitaphs at the Certosa cemetery, at Ferrara, pleased me more than the more splendid monuments at Bologna; for instance

'Martini Luigi
Implora pace.'

Can any thing be more full of pathos? I hope whoever may
survive me will see those two words, and no more, put over
me."]

2 [The priory of Newstead, or de Novo Loco, in Sherwood, was founded about the year 1170, by Henry II., and dedicated to God and the Virgin. It was in the reign of Henry VIII., on the dissolution of the monasteries, that, by a royal grant, it was added, with the lands adjoining, to the other possessions of the Byron family. The favourite upon whom they were conferred, was the grand-nephew of the gallant soldier who fought by the side of Richmond at Bosworth, and is distinguished from the other knights of the same Christian name, in the family, by the title of "Sir John Byron the Little, with the great beard." was one of the few family pictures with which the walls of A portrait of this personage the abbey, while in the possession of the Poet, were decorated.]

3 [There being no record of any of Lord Byron's ancestors having been engaged in the Holy Wars, Mr. Moore suggests, that the Poet may have had no other authority for this notion, than the tradition which he found connected with certain strange groups of heads, which are represented on the old panel-work in some of the chambers at Newstead. In one of these groups, consisting of three heads, strongly carved and projecting from the panel. the centre figure evidently represents a Saracen or Moor, with an European female on one side of him, and a Christian soldier on the other. second group, the female occupies the centre, while on either side is the head of a Saracen, with the eyes fixed earnestly upon her. Of the exact meaning of these figures there is nothing known; but the tradition is, that they refer to a love adventure of the age of the Crusades.]

In a

4 ["In the park of Horseley," says Thoroton, "there was a castle, some of the ruins of which are yet visible, called Horistan Castle, which was the chief mansion of Ralph de Burun's successors."]

[Two of the family of Byron are enumerated as serving

No more doth old Robert, with harp-stringing num-
bers,
Raise a flame in the breast for the war-laurell'd
[wreath;
Near Askalon's towers, John of Horistan slumbers;
Unnerved is the hand of his minstrel by death.

Paul and Hubert, too, sleep in the valley of Cressy;
For the safety of Edward and England they fell:
My fathers! the tears of your country redress ye;
How you fought, how you died, still her annals can
tell.

On Marston, with Rupert, 'gainst traitors con-
tending,
Four brothers enrich'd with their blood the bleak
{field;
For the rights of a monarch their country defending,
Till death their attachment to royalty seal'd. 8

Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant, departing
From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu!
Abroad, or at home, your remembrance imparting
New courage, he'll think upon glory and you.

Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation,

'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret ; Far distant he goes, with the same emulation,

The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget.

That fame, and that memory, still will he cherish;

He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown: Like you will he live, or like you will he perish: When decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your

own!

1603.

with distinction in the siege of Calais, under Edward III., and as among the knights who fell on the glorious field of Cressy.]

6 The battle of Marston Moor, where the adherents of Charles I. were defeated.

7 Son of the Elector Palatine, and nephew to Charles I. He afterwards commanded the fleet in the reign of Charles II.

8 [Sir Nicholas Byron served with distinction in the Low Countries; and, in the Great Rebellion, he was one of the first to take up arms in the royal cause. Edgehill, he was made colonel-general of Cheshire and After the battle of Shropshire, and governor of Chester. rendon," a person of great affability and dexterity, as well as "He was," says Clamartial knowledge, which gave great life to the designs of the well affected; and, with the encouragement of some gentlemen of North Wales, he raised such a power of horse and foct, as made frequent skirmishes with the enemy, sometimes with notable advantage, never with signal loss." In 1643, Sir John Byron was created Baron Byron of Rochdale in the county of Lancaster; and seldom has a title been bestowed for such high and honourable services as those by which he deserved the gratitude of his royal master. Through almost every page of the History of the Civil Wars, we trace his name in connection with the varying fortunes of the king, and find him faithful, persevering, and disinterested to the last. Sir John Biron," says Mrs. Hutchinson, "afterwards Lord Biron, and all his brothers, bred up in arms, and valiant men in their own persons, were all passionately the king's." We find also, in the reply of Colonel Hutchinson, when governor of Nottingham, to his cousin-german Sir Richard Byron, a noble tribute to the chivalrous fidelity of the race. Sir Richard, having sent to prevail on his relative to surrender the castle, received for answer, that "except he found his own heart prone to such treachery, he might consider there was, if nothing else, so much of a Byron's blood in him, that he should very much scorn to betray or quit a trust he had undertaken."- On the monument of Richard, the second Lord Byron, who lies buried in the chancel of Hucknal-Tokard church, there is the following inscription: -"Beneath, in a vault, is interred the body of Richard Lord Byron, who, with the rest of his family, being seven brothers, faithfully served King Charles the First in the civil wars, who suffered much for their loyalty, and lost all their present fortunes; yet it pleased God so to bless the humble endeavours of the said Richard Lord Byron, that he re-purchased part of their ancient inheritance, which he left to his posterity, with a laudable memory for his great piety and charity."]

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Mere phantoms of thine own creation;
For he who views that witching grace,
That perfect form, that lovely face,
With eyes admiring, oh! believe me,
He never wishes to deceive thee:
Once in thy polish'd mirror glance,
Thou 'lt there descry that elegance,
Which from our sex demands such praises,
But envy in the other raises :

Then he who tells thee of thy beauty,
Believe me, only does his duty:
Ah! fly not from the candid youth;
It is not flattery, 'tis truth.

[ANIMULA! vagula, blandula, Hospes comesque corporis, Quæ nunc abibis in loca Pallidula, rigida, nudula, Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos ?]

July, 1804.

ADRIAN'S ADDRESS TO HIS SOUL WHEN DYING. 1

An! gentle, fleeting, wav'ring sprite,
Friend and associate of this clay !

To what unknown region borne,
Wilt thou now wing thy distant flight?
No more with wonted humour gay,
But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn.

TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS.

AD LESBIAM.

EQUAL to Jove that youth must be-
Greater than Jove he seems to me-
Who, free from Jealousy's alarms,
Securely views thy matchless charms,
That cheek, which ever dimpling glows,
That mouth, from whence such music flows,
To him, alike, are always known,
Reserved for him, and him alone.
Ah! Lesbia! though 'tis death to me,
I cannot choose but look on thee;
But, at the sight, my senses fly;

I needs must gaze, but, gazing, die;
Whilst trembling with a thousand fears,
Parch'd to the throat my tongue adheres,
My pulse beats quick, my breath heaves short,
My limbs deny their slight support,
Cold dews my pallid face o'erspread,
With deadly languor droops my head,

[This and several little pieces that follow appear to be fragments of school exercises done at Harrow.]

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

FROM ANACREON.

[θέλω λεγεῖν Ατρείδας, κ. τ. λ.]

I WISH to tune my quivering lyre
To deeds of fame and notes of fire;
To echo, from its rising swell,
How heroes fought and nations fell,
When Atreus' sons advanced to war,
Or Tyrian Cadmus roved afar;
But still, to martial strains unknown,
My lyre recurs to love alone:

Fired with the hope of future fame,
I seek some nobler hero's name;
The dying chords are strung anew,
To war, to war, my harp is due:
With glowing strings, the epic strain
To Jove's great son I raise again;
Alcides and his glorious deeds,
Beneath whose arm the Hydra bleeds.
All, all in vain; my wayward lyre
Wakes silver notes of soft desire.
Adicu, ye chiefs renown'd in arms!
Adieu the clang of war's alarms!
To other deeds my soul is strung,
And sweeter notes shall now be sung;
My harp shall all its powers reveal,
To tell the tale my heart must feel:
Love, Love alone, my lyre shall claim,
In songs of bliss and sighs of flame.

FROM ANACREON.
[Μεσονυκτίαις ποθ' ώραις, κ. τ. λ.]

'Twas now the hour when Night had driven
Her car half round yon sable heaven;
Bootes, only, seem'd to roll

His arctic charge around the pole;
While mortals, lost in gentle sleep,
Forgot to smile, or ceased to weep.
At this lone hour, the Paphian boy,
Descending from the realms of joy,
Quick to my gate directs his course,
And knocks with all his little force.
My visions fled, alarm'd I rose,
"What stranger breaks my blest repose?
"Alas!" replies the wily child,
In faltering accents sweetly mild,
"A hapless infant here I roam,
Far from my dear maternal home.
Oh! shield me from the wintry blast!
The nightly storm is pouring fast.
No prowling robber lingers here.
A wandering baby who can fear?"
I heard his seeming artless tale,
I heard his sighs upon the gale:
My breast was never pity's foe,
But felt for all the baby's woe.

I drew the bar, and by the light,
Young Love, the infant, met iny sight;
His bow across his shoulders flung,
And thence his fatal quiver hung

(Ah! little did I think the dart
Would rankle soon within my heart).
With care I tend my weary guest,
His little fingers chill my breast;

His glossy curls, his azure wing,
Which droop with nightly showers, I wring:
His shivering limbs the embers warm;
And now reviving from the storm,
Scarce had he felt his wonted glow,
Than swift he seized his slender bow:-
"I fain would know, my gentle host,"
He cried, "if this its strength has lost;
I fear, relax'd with midnight dews,
The strings their former aid refuse."
With poison tipt, his arrow flies,

Deep in my tortured heart it lies;
Then loud the joyous urchin laugh'd : -

My bow can still impel the shaft:

'Tis firmly fix'd, thy sighs reveal it;

Say, courteous host, canst thou not feel it?"

64

[ocr errors]

FROM THE PROMETHEUS VINCTUS OF
ESCHYLUS.

[Μηδαμ' ὁ πάντα νέμων, κ. τ. λ.]

GREAT Jove, to whose almighty throne
Both gods and mortals homage pay,
Ne'er may my soul thy power disown,

Thy dread behests ne'er disobey.
Oft shall the sacred victim fall
In sea-girt Ocean's mossy hall;

My voice shall raise no impious strain 'Gainst him who rules the sky and azure main.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« 上一頁繼續 »