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HOURS OF

Seat of my youth ! I thy distant spire
Recalls each scene of joy;
My bosom glows with former fire, —
In mind again a boy.
Thy grove of elms, thy verdant hill,
Thy every path delights me still,
Each flower a double fragrance flings;
Again, as once, in converse gay,
Each dear associate seems to say,
“Friendship is Love without his wings ..."

My Lycus 12 wherefore dost thou weep?
Thy falling tears restrain;
Affection for a time may sleep,
But, oh, 'twill wake again. 3
Think, think, my friend, when next we meet,
Our long-wish'd interview, how sweet !
From this my hope of rapture springs;
While youthful hearts thus fondly swell,
Absence, my friend, can only tell,
“Friendship is Love without his wings 1"
In one, and one alone deceived,
Did I my error mourn ?
No–from oppressive bonds relieved,
I left the wretch to scorn.
I turn'd to those my childhood knew,
With feelings warm, with bosoms true,
Twined with my heart's according strings;
And till those vital chords shall break,
For none but these my breast shall wake
Friendship, the power deprived of wings:

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* [The young poet had recently received from Lord Clare, an epistle containing this passage:– “I think by your last letter that you are very much piqued with most of your friends ; and, if s am not much mistaken, a little so with me. In one part you say, “there is little or no doubt, a few years, or months, will render us as politely indifferent to each other, as if we had never passed a portion of our time together:' indeed, Byron, you wrong mei, and I have no doubt — at least I hope — you wrong yourself.")

* [It is difficult to conjecture for what reason, — but these stanzas were not included in the publication of 1807; though few will hesitate to place thena higher than any thing given in that volume. “Written when the author was not nineteen years of age, this remarkable poem shows,” says Moore, “how

IDLENESS.

THE PRAYER OF NATURE. 4

FATHER of Light ! great God of Heavcn 1 Hear'st thou the accents of despair 7

Can guilt like man's be e'er forgiven 2 Can vice atone for crimes by prayer?

Father of Light, on thee I call !
Thou seest my soul is dark within;

Thou who canst mark the sparrow's fall,
Avert from me the death of sin.

No shrine I seek, to sects unknown ;
Oh point to me the path of truth :

Thy dread omnipotence I own ; -
Spare, yet amend, the faults of youth

Let bigots rear a gloomy fane,
Let superstition hail the pile,

Let priests, to spread their sable reign,
With tales of mystic rights beguile.

Shall man confine his Maker's sway
To Gothic domes of mouldering stone *

Thy temple is the face of day;
Earth, ocean, heaven, thy boundless throne *

Shall man condemn his race to hell,
Unless they bend in pompous form 2

Tell us that all, for one who fell,
Must perish in the mingling storm 2

Shall each pretend to reach the skies, Yet doom his brother to expire,

Whose soul a different hope supplies, Or doctrines less severe inspire 2

Shall these, by creeds they can't expound, Prepare a fancied bliss or woe 2

Shall reptiles, groveling on the ground, Their great Creator's purpose know 7

Shall those who live for self alone,
Whose years float on in daily crime—

Shall they by Faith for guilt atone,
And live beyond the bounds of Time 2

Father no prophet's laws I seek, -
Thy laws in Nature's works appear; —

I own myself corrupt and weak,
Yet will I pray, for thou wilt hear :

Thou who canst guide the wandering star
Through trackless realms of acther's space;

Who calm'st the elemental war,
Whose hand from pole to pole I trace : —

early the struggle between natural piety and doubt began in his mind.” In reading the celebrated critique of the Edinburgh lleview on the “Hours of Idleness,” the fact that the volume did not include this poem, ought to be kept in mind." * [The poet appears to have had in his mind one of Mr. Southey's juvenile pieces, beginning, — “Go, thou, unto the house of prayer, I to the woodlands will repair." See also Childe Harold, canto iii. st. 91. – “Not vainly did the early Persian make His altar the high places and the peak Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus take A fit and unwall'd temple, there to seek The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak Uprear'd of human hards,” &c.)

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Thou, who in wisdom placed me here, Where smiling Youth delights to dwell,
Who, when thou wilt, can take me hence, And hearts with early rapture swell;
Ah! whilst I tread this earthly sphere, If frowning Age, with cold control,
Extend to me thy wide defence. Confines the current of the soul,
Congeals the tear of Pity's eye,
To Thee, my God, to Thee I call ! Or checks the sympathetic sigh,
Whatever weal or woe betide, Or hears unmoved misfortune's groan,
By thy command I rise or fall, And bids me feel for self alone;
In thy protection I confide. Oh may my bosom never learn
To soothe its wonted heedless flow;
If, when this dust to dust's restored, Still, still despise the censor stern,
My soul shall float on airy wing, But ne'er forget another's woe.
How shall thy glorious name adored Yes, as you knew me in the days
Inspire her feeble voice to sing 1 O'er which Remembrance yet delays,
Still may I rove, untutor'd, wild,
But, if this fleeting spirit share - And even in age at heart a child.
. With clay the grave's eternal bed, - -
While life yet throbs, I raise my prayer, Though now on alry visions borne,
Though doom'd no more to quit the dead. To you my soul is still the same.
Oft has it been my fate to mourn,
To Thee I breathe my humble strain, And all my former joys are tame.
Grateful for all thy mercies past, But, hence : ye hours of sable hue ! -
And hope, my God, to thee again Your frowns are gone, my sorrows o'er:
This erring life may fly at last. By every bliss my childhood knew,
December 20. 1806. I'll think upon your shade no more.

Thus, when the whirlwind's rage is past,
And caves their sullen roar enclose.

We heed no more the wintry blast,
When lull'd by zephyr to repose.

[First published, 1830.]

TO EDWARD NOEL LONG, ESQ.. 1

Nil ego contulerim jocundo sanus amico. – HoR. Full often has my infant Muse

Attuned to love her languid lyre;

DEAR LoNG, in this sequester'd scene, But now without a theme to choose,
While all around in slumber lie, The strains in stolen sighs expire.
The joyous days which ours have been My youthful nymphs, alas ! are flown ;
Come rolling fresh on Fancy's eye; E— is a wife, and C a mother,
Thus if amidst the gathering storm, And Carolina sighs alone,
While clouds the darken'd noon deform, And Mary's given to another;
Yon heaven assumes a varied glow, And Cora's eye, which roll'd on me,
I hail the sky’s celestial bow, Can now no more my love recall:
Which spreads the sign of future peace, In truth, dear LoNG, 't was time to flee;
And bids the war of tempests cease. For Cora's eye will shine on all.
Ah though the present brings but pain, And though the sun, with genial rays,
I think those days may come again ; His beams alike to all displays,
Or if, in melancholy mood, And every lady's eye's a sun,
Some lurking envious fear intrude, These last should be confined to one.
To check my bosom's fondest thought, The soul's meridian don't become her,
And interrupt the golden dream, Whose sun displays a general summer /
I crush the fiend with malice fraught, Thus faint is every former flame,
And still indulge my wonted theme. And passion's self is now a name.
Although we ne'er again can trace, As, when the ebbing flames are low,
In Granta's vale, the pedant's lore ; The aid which once improved their light,
Nor through the groves of Ida chase, And bade them burn with fiercer glow,
Our raptured visions as before, Now quenches all their sparks in night;
Though Youth has flown on rosy pinion, Thus has it been with passion's fires,
And Manhood claims his stern dominion — As many a boy and girl remembers,
Age will not every hope destroy, While all the force of love expires,
But yield some hours of sober joy. Extinguish'd with the dying cmbers.
Yes, I will hope that Time's broad wing But now, dear LoNG, "t is midnight's noon,
Will shed around some dews of spring : And clouds obscure the watery moon,
But if his scythe must sweep the flowers Whose beauties I shall not rehearse,
Which bloom among the fairy bowers, Described in every stripling's verse;

's. young gentleman, who was with Lord Byron both father,” says Lord Byron, “wrote to me to write his son's at Harrow and Cambridge, afterwards, entered the Guards, epitaph. I promised—but I had not the heart to complete it. and served with distinction in the expedition to Copenhagen. He was such a good, amiable being as rarely remains long He was drowned early in 1809, when on his way to join the in this world , with talent and accounplishments, too, to make army in the Peninsula; the transport in which he sailed being him the more regretted.” Byron Diary, 1821.]

run soul of in the night by another of the convoy. “Long's

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For why should I the path go o'er,
Which every bard has trod before ?
Yet ere yon silver lamp of night
Has thrice perform'd her stated round,
Has thrice retraced her path of light,
And chased away the gloom profound,
I trust that we, my gentle friend,
Shall see her rolling orbit wend
Above the dear-loved peaceful seat
Which once contain'd our youth's retreat;
And then with those our childhood knew,
We'll mingle in the festive crew;
While many a tale of former day
Shall wing the laughing hours away;
And all the flow of souls shall pour
The sacred intellectual shower,
Nor cease till Luna's waning horn
Scarce glimmers through the mist of morn.

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If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd : –
This cheek now pale from early riot,

With passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd,
Dut bloom'd in calm domestic quiet.

Yes, once the rural scene was sweet,
For Nature seem'd to smile before thee; 4

And once my breast abhorr'd deceit, —
For then it beat but to adore thee.

But now I seek for other joys:
To think would drive my soul to madness ;

In thoughtless throngs and empty noise,
I conquer half my bosom's sadness.

Yet, even in these a thought will steal, In spite of every vain endeavour, –

And fiends might pity what I feel, To know that thou art lost for ever.

I WOULD I WERE A C.A.RELESS CHILD.

I would l were a careless child,
Still dwelling in my Highland cave,
Or roaming through the dusky wild,
Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave;
The cumbrous pomp of Saxon 3 pride
Accords not with the freeborn soul,
Which loves the mountain's craggy side,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll.

Fortune take back these cultured lands,
Take back this name of splendid sound !
I hate the touch of servile hands,
I hate the slaves that cringe around.
Place ine along the rocks I love, -
Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
I ask but this—again to rove
Through scenes my youth hath known before.

Few are my years, and yet 1 feel
The world was ne'er design'd for me :
Ah why do dark'ning shades conceal
The hour when man must cease to be 7
Once I beheld a splendid dream,
A visionary scene of bliss :
Truth ! — wherefore did thy hated beam
Awake me to a world like this?

I loved —but those I loved are gone;
Had friends — my early friends are fled :
How cheerless feels the heart alone
When all its former hopes are dead :
Though gay companions o'er the bowl
Dispel awhile the sense of ill ;
Though pleasure stirs the maddening soul,
The heart— the heart—is lonely still. 6

ardour was all on my side. I was serious; she was volatile : she liked me as a younger brother, and treated and laughed at me as a boy; she, however, gave me her picture, and that was something to make verses upon. Had I married her, perhaps the whole tenour of my life would have been different."]

* Sassenach, or Saxon, a Gaelic word, signifying either Lowland or English.

* [The “imagination all compact,” which the greatest poet who ever lived has assigned as the distinguishing badge of his brethren, is in every case a dangerous gift. It exaggerates, indeed, our expectations, and can often bid its possesso: hope, where hope is lost to reason: but the delusive pleasure arisin from these visions of imagination resembles that of a child,

Q

How dull to hear the voice of those
Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power,
Have made, though neither friends nor foes,
Associates of the festive hour.
Give me again a faithful few,
In years and feelings still the same,
And I will fly the midnight crew,
Where boist'rous joy is but a name.
And woman, lovely woman : thou,
My hope, my comforter, my all !
How cold must be my bosom now,
When e'en thy smiles begin to pall !
Without a sigh would I resign
This busy scene of splendid woe,
To make that calm contentment mine,
Which virtue knows, or seems to know.

Fain would I fly the haunts of men —
I seek to shun, not hate mankind ;
My breast requires the sullen glen,
Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind.
Oh that to me the wings were given
Which bear the turtle to her nest :
Then would I cleave the vault of heaven,
To flee away, and be at rest."

WHEN I ROVED A YOUNG HIGH LANDER.

WHEN I roved a young Highlander o'er the dark
heath,
And climb'd thy steep summit, oh Morven of snow to
To gaze on the torrent that thunder'd beneath,
Or the mist of the tempest that gather'd below, 3
Untutor'd by science, a stranger to fear,
And rude as the rocks where my infancy grew,
No feeling, save one, to my bosom was dear;
Need I say, my sweet Mary *, 'twas center'd in you ?

whose notice is attracted by a fragment of glass to which a sun-beam has given momentary spiendour. He hastens to the spot with breathless impatience, and finds the object of his curiosity and expectation is equally vulgar and worthless. Such is the man of quick and exalted powers of imagination. II is fancy over-estimates the object of his wishes, and pleasure, fame, distinction, are alternately pursued, attained, and despised when in his power. Like the enchanted fruit in the palace of a sorcerer, the objects of his admiration lose their attraction and value as soon as they are grasped by the adventurer's hand, and all that remains is regret for the time lost in the chase, and astonishment at the hallucination under which it was undertaken. The disproportion between hope and possession, which is felt by all men, is thus doubled to those whom nature has endowed with the power of gilding a distant prospect by the rays of imagination. These reflections, though trite and obvious, are in a manner forced from us by the oetry of Lord Byron, — by the sentinents of weariness of ise and enmity with the world which they so frequently exress — and by the singular analogy which such sentiments old with well-known incidents of his life.—SiR W. Scott.] 1 “And I said, Gh that I had win is like a dove : for then would I fly away, and be at rest.”— Psalm lv. 6. This verse also constitutes a part of the most beautiful anthem in our language. 2 Morven, a lofty mountain in Aberdeenshire. “Gormal of snow,” is an expression frequently to be found in Ossian. * This will not appear extraordinary to those who have been accustomed to the mountains. It is by no means uncommon, on attaining the top of Ben-e-vis, Ben-y-bourd, &c. to perceive, between the summit and the valley, clouds pouring down rain, and occasionally accompanied by lightning, while the spectator literally looks down upon the storm, perfectly secure from its effects. * [In Lord Byron's Diary for 1813, he says. – “I have been thinking lately a good deas of Mary 15uir. How very odd that I should have been so utterly, devotedly fond of that girl, at

Yet it could not be love, for I knew not the name, –
What passion can dwell in the heart of a child 7

But still I perceive an emotion the same
As I felt, when a boy, on the crag-cover'd wild:

One image alone on my bosom impress'd,
I loved my bleak regions, nor panted for new ;

And few were my wants, for my wishes were bless'd ;
And pure were my thoughts, for my soul was with

you.

I arose with the dawn; with my dog as my guide,
From mountain to mountain I bounded along;
I breasted the billows of Dee's • rushing tide,
And heard at a distance the Highlander's song:
At eve, on my heath-cover'd couch of repose,
No dreams, save of Mary, were spread to my view;
And warm to the skies my devotions arose,
For the first of my prayers was a blessing on you.

I left my bleak home, and my visions are gone;
The mountains are vanish'd, my youth is no more;
As the last of my race, I must wither alone,
And delight but in days I have witness'd before :
Ah! splendour has raised, but embitter'd, my lot;
More dear were the scenes which my infancy knew:
Though my hopes may have fail'd, yet they are not
forgot;
Though cold is my heart, still it lingers with you.

When I see some dark hill point its crest to the sky,
I think of the rocks that o'ershadow Colbleen; o
When I see the soft blue of a love-speaking eye,
I think of those eyes that endear'd the rude scene;
When, haply, some light-waving locks I behold,
That faintly resemble my Mary's in hue,
I think on the long flowing ringlets of gold,
The locks that were sacred to beauty, and you.

Yet the day may arrive when the mountains once more Shall rise to my sight in their mantles of snow: 7

an age when I could neither feel Pasion. nor know the meaning of the word. And the effect : y mother used always to rally me about this childish amour; and, at last, many years after, when I was sixteen, she told me one day : " Oh, Byron, I have had a letter from Edinburgh, from Miss Abercromby, and your old sweetheart, Mary Duff, is married to a Mr. Cockburn.' [Robert Cockburn, Esq. of Edinburgh.] And what was my answer 2 I really cannot explain or account for my feelings at that moment ; but they nearly threw me into convulsions — to the horror of my mother, and the astonishment of every body. And it is a phenomenon in my existence (for I was not eight years old), which has puzzled, and will puzzle me to the latest hour of it.”— Again, in January, 1815, a few days after his marriage, in a letter to his friend tain Hay, the poet thus speaks of his childish attachment: –“ Pray tell me more — or as much as you like, of your cousin Mary. I believe I told you our story some years ago. I was twentyseven a few days ago, and I have never seen her since we were children, and young children too; but I never forget her, nor ever can. You will oblige me with o: her with my best respects, and all good wishes. It may seem ridiculous — but it is at any rate, I hope, not offensive to her nor hers — in me to pretend to recollect anything about her, at so early a period of both our lives, almost, if not quite, in our nurseries; — but it was a pleasant dream, which she must pardon me for remembering. Is she pretty still 2 I have the most perfect idea of her person, as a child; but Time, I suppose, has played the devil with us both.”]

* “Breasting the lofty surge.” — So Akspeare. The Dee is a beautiful river, which rises near Mar Lodge, and falls into the sea at New Aberdeen.

* Colbleen is a mountain near the verge of the Highlands, not far from the ruins of Dee Castle.

7 [In the spring of 1807, on recovering from a severe illness, Lord Byron had projected a visit to Scotland. The pian was not put into execution ; but he thus adverts to it, in a letter dated in August, and addressed to his fair correspondeut of

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southwell—" On Sunday I set off for the Highlands. A friend of mine accompanies me in my carriage to Edinburgh. There we shall leave it, and proceed in a tandem through the western parts to Inverary, where we shall purchase shelties, to enable us to view places inaccessible to vehicular conveyances. On the coast we shall hire a vessel, and visit the most remarkable of the Hebrides, and, if we have time and favourable weather, mean to sail as far as Iceland, only three hundred miles from the northern extremity of Caledonia, to peep at iiccia. I mean to collect all the Erse traditions, poeins, &c.

TO THE EARL OF CLARE.

“Tu semper amoris Sis memor, et cari comitis ne abscedat imago.” VAL. Flac.

FRiend of my youth when young we roved,
Like striplings, mutually beloved,
With friendship's purest glow,
The bliss which wing'd those rosy hours
Was such as pleasure seldom showers
On mortals here below.

The recollection seems alone
Dearer than all the joys I’ve known,
When distant far from you:
Though pain, 'tis still a pleasing pain,
To trace those days and hours again,
And sigh again, adieu !

My pensive memory lingers o'er
Those scenes to be enjoy'd no more,
Those scenes regretted ever;
The measure of our youth is full,
Life's evening dream is dark and dull,
And we may meet—ah ! never !

As when one parent spring supplies
Two streams which from one fountain rise,
Together join'd in vain;
How soon, diverging from their source,
Each, murmuring, seeks another course,
Till mingled in the main

Our vital streams of weal or woe,
Though near, alas ! distinctly flow,
Nor mingle as before :
Now swift or slow, now black or clear,
Till death's unfathom'd gulf appear,
And both shall quit the shore.

Our souls, my friend which once supplied
One wish, nor breathed a thought beside,
Now flow in different channels:
Disdaining humbler rural sports,
'T is yours to mix in polish'd courts,
And shine in fashion's annals;

'Tis mine to waste on love my time,
Or vent my reveries in rhyme,
Without the aid of reason;
For sense and reason (critics know it)
Have quitted every amorous poet,
Nor left a thought to seize on.

Poor Little ! sweet, melodious bard
Of late esteem'd it monstrous hard
That he, who sang before all. —
He who the lore of love expanded, –
By dire reviewers should be branded,
As void of wit and moral. 2

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