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[Lord Byron gives the following account of this cup: "The gardener, in digging, discovered a skull that had probably belonged to some jolly friar or monk of the abbey, about the time it was demonasteried. Observing it to be of giant size, and in a perfect state of preservation, a strange fancy seized me of having it set and mounted as a drinking cup. I accordingly sent it to town, and it returned with a very high polish, and of a mottled colour like tortoiseshell." It is now in the possession of Colonel Wildman, the proprietor of Newstead Abbey. In several of our elder dramatists, mention is made of the custom of quaffing wine out of similar cups. For example, in Dekker's "Wonder of a Kingdom," Torrenti says,
"Would I had ten thousand soldiers' heads,
Their skulls set all in silver; to drink healths To his confusion who first invented war."]
2 [These lines were printed originally in Mr. Hobhouse's Miscellany. A few days before they were written, the Poet had been invited to dine at Annesley. On the infant daughter of his fair hostess being brought into the room, he started involuntarily, and with the utmost difficulty suppressed his emotion. To the sensations of that moment we are indebted for these beautiful stanzas.]
But then it had its mother's eyes, And they were all to love and me.
Mary, adieu! I must away:
While thou art blest I'll not repine; But near thee I can never stay;
My heart would soon again be thine.
I deem'd that time, I deem'd that pride
My heart in all,-save hope,—the same.
Yet was I calm: I knew the time
My breast would thrill before thy look; But now to tremble were a crime
We met, and not a nerve was shook.
I saw thee gaze upon my face,
Yet meet with no confusion there: One only feeling could'st thou trace; The sullen calmness of despair.
Away! away! my early dream
Remembrance never must awake: Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream? My foolish heart, be still, or break. November 2. 1908.
INSCRIPTION ON THE MONUMENT OF A NEWFOUNDLAND DOG. 3
WHEN some proud son of man returns to earth,
3 This monument is still a conspicuous ornament in the garden of Newstead. The following is the inscription by which the verses are preceded :
"Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Strength without Insolence,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
BOATSWAIN, a Dog,
Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803, And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18. 1808." Lord Byron thus announced the death of his favourite to his friend Hodgson:-" Boatswain is dead! he expired in a state of madness, on the 18th, after suffering much, yet retaining all the gentleness of his nature to the last; never attempting to do the least injury to any one near him. I have now lost every thing, except old Murray." By the will executed in 1811, he directed that his own body should be buried in a vault in the garden, near his faithful dog.]
1 [In the original MS. "To Mrs. Musters," &c. The reader will find a portrait of this lady in Finden's Illustrations of Byron, No. III.]
2 [In the first copy, "Thus, Mary!"]
3 [In Mr. Hobhouse's volume, the line stood,—“ Without a wish to enter there." The following is an extract from an unpublished letter of Lord Byron, written in 1823, only three days previous to his leaving Italy for Greece:"Miss Chaworth was two years older than myself. married a man of an ancient and respectable family, but her
And then those pensive eyes would close,
I dreamt last night our love return'd,
For eyes that ne'er like thine could beam
Then tell me not, remind me not,
Of hours which, though for ever gone,
Till thou and I shall be forgot,
THERE WAS A TIME, I NEED NOT NAME.
As still my soul hath been to thee.
And from that hour when first thy tongue Confess'd a love which equall'd mine, Though many a grief my heart hath wrung. Unknown and thus unfelt by thine,.
None, none hath sunk so deep as this
To think how all that love hath flown; Transient as every faithless kiss,
But transient in thy breast alone.
And yet my heart some solace knew, When late I heard thy lips declare, In accents once imagined true,
Remembrance of the days that were.
Yes; my adored, yet most unkind! Though thou wilt never love again, To me 't is doubly sweet to find
Remembrance of that love remain.
Yes! 't is a glorious thought to me,
Nor longer shall my soul repine, Whate'er thou art or e'er shalt be,
Thou hast been dearly, solely mine.
AND WILT THOU WEEP WHEN I AM LOW? AND wilt thou weep when I am low?
Sweet lady! speak those words again: Yet if they grieve thee, say not so
I would not give that bosom pain.
marriage was not a happier one than my own. Her conduct, however, was irreproachable; but there was not sympathy between their characters. I had not seen her for many years, when an occasion offered. I was upon the point, with her consent, of paying her a visit, when my sister, who has always had more influence over me than any one else, persuaded me not to do it. For,' said she, if you go you will fall in love again, and then there will be a scene; one step will lead to another, et cela fera un éclat. I was guided by those reasons, and shortly after married,-with what success it is useless to say."]
My heart is sad, my hopes are gone,
My blood runs coldly through my breast; And when I perish, thou alone
Wilt sigh above my place of rest.
And yet, methinks, a gleam of peace
To know thy heart hath felt for mine.
blessed be that tear
It falls for one who cannot weep:
Yet wilt thou weep when I am low?
I would not give that bosom pain. 1
FILL THE GOBLET AGAIN.
I have tried in its turn all that life can supply;
I have bask'd in the beam of a dark rolling eye;
I have loved!-who has not?-but what heart can declare,
That pleasure existed while passion was there?
[The melancholy which was now gaining fast upon the young poet's mind was a source of much uneasiness to his friends. It was at this period, that the following pleasant verses were addressed to him by Mr. Hobhouse:
TO A YOUNG NOBLEMAN IN LOVE.
HAIL! generous youth, whom glory's sacred flame
But as your blood with dangerous passion boils,
But if 't is fix'd that every lord must pair,
In the days of my youth, when the heart's in its spring,
One though perhaps as any Maxwell free,
A little pert indeed, but not a scold;
But, as your early youth some time allows, Nor custom yet demands you for a spouse,
And dreams that affection can never take wing,
I had friends!-who has not?-but what tongue will avow,
That friends, rosy wine! are so faithful as thou?
FILL the goblet again! for I never before
In the goblet alone no deception is found.
The heart of a mistress some boy may estrange, Friendship shifts with the sunbeam-thou never canst change:
Thou grow'st old-who does not?—but on earth what appears,
Whose virtues, like thine, still increase with its years?
Yet if blest to the utmost that love can bestow,
For the more that enjoy thee, the more we enjoy.
Then the season of youth and its vanities past,
That truth, as of yore, is confined to the bowl.
When the box of Pandora was open'd on earth,
Some hours of freedom may remain as yet
The prospect lengthen'd o'er the distant down,
Forget the fair one, and your fate delay;
When you beneath the female yoke shall bend,
Trin. Coll. Camb. 1808.
In his mother's copy of Mr. Hobhouse's volume, now before us, Lord Byron has here written with a pencil.-"I have lost them all, and shall WED accordingly. 1811. B."]
And I would fain have loved as well,
LINES TO MR. HODGSON. WRITTEN ON BOARD THE LISBON PACKET.
HUZZA! Hodgson, we are going,
Bend the canvass o'er the mast.
Hark! the farewell gun is fired; Women screeching, tars blaspheming, Tell us that our time's expired. Here's a rascal
Come to task all,
Prying from the custom-house;
Not a corner for a mouse 'Scapes unsearch'd amid the racket, Ere we sail on board the Packet.
Now our boatmen quit their mooring,
We're impatient, push from shore. "Have a care! that case holds liquor
Stop the boat-I'm sick -oh Lord!"
Gemmen, ladies, servants, Jacks;
All are wrangling,
Stuck together close as wax. Such the general noise and racket, Ere we reach the Lisbon Packet.
Now we've reach'd her, lo! the captain, Gallant Kidd, commands the crew; Passengers their berths are clapt in,
Some to grumble, some to spew. "Hey day! call you that a cabin ?
Why 'tis hardly three feet square;
Did at once my vessel fill."-
"Though wheresoe'er my bark may run, I love but thee, I love but one."]