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ADDRESS TO LORD BYRON,
ON THE PUBLICATION OF CHILDE HAROLD.

BY GRANVILLE PENN.

Cold is the breast, extinct the vital spark, That kindles not to flame at Harold's muse; The mental vision, too, how surely dark, Which, as the anxious wanderer it pursues, Sees not a noble heart, that fain would choose The course to heaven, could that course be found; And, since on earth it nothing fears to lose, Would joy to press that bless'd etherial ground, Where peace, and truth, and life, and friends, and love

abound.

I “deem not Harold's breast a breast of steel," Steel'd is the heart that could the thought receive, But warm, affectionate, and quick to feel, Eager in joy, yet not unwont to grieve; And sorely do I view his vessel leaveLike erring bark, of card and chart bereftThe shore to which his soul would love to cleave; Would, Harold, I could make thee know full oft, That bearing thus the helm, the land thou seek'st is left.

Is Harold " satiate with worldly joy ?” “Leaves he his home, his land, without a sigh?” 'Tis half the way to heaven !-oh! then employ That blessed freedom of thy soul, to fly To Him, who, ever gracious, ever nigh, Demands the heart that breaks the world's hard

chain; If early freed, though by satiety, Vast is the privilege that man may gain ;Who early foils the foe, may well the prize obtain.

88

ADDRESS TO LORD BYRON

Thou lovest Nature with a filial zeal,
Canst fly mankind to brood with her apart;
Unutterable sure, that inward feel,
When swells the soul, and heaves the labouring

heart
With yearning throes, which nothing can impart
But Nature's majesty, remote from man!
In kindred raptures, I have borne my part;

The Pyrennean mountains loved to scan, And from the crest of Alps peruse the mighty plan.

“ 'Tis ecstasy to brood o'er flood and fell,” To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,' Where things that own not man's dominion dwell, And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been; To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, With the wild flocks that never need a fold; Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean ;

This is not solitude !-'tis but to hold Converse with Nature's God, and see His stores un

roll’d.

Forget we not the Artist in the art,
Nor overlook the Giver in the grace;
Say, what is Nature, but that little part
Which man's imperfect vision can embrace
Of the stupendous whole, which fills all space;
The work of Him by whom all space is bound!
Shall Raphael's pencil Raphael's self efface?

Shall Handel's self be lost in Handel's sound?
Or, shall not Nature's God in Nature's works be

found ?

But Harold“ through sin's labyrinth has run,"
Nor “ made atonement when he did amiss ;"
And does the memory of that evil done
Disturb his spirit, or obscure his bliss ?

'Tis just; 'tis Harold's due-yet let not this Press heavier on his heart than heaven ordains; What mortal lives, not guilty nor remiss ?

What breast that has not felt remorse's pains ? What human soul so pure, but mark'd by sin's dark

stains ?

And can this helpless thing, pollute, debased,
Its own disfigured nature e'er reform?
Say, can the sculptured marble, once defaced,
Restore its lineament, renew its form?
That can the sculptor's hand alone perform,
Else must the marr'd and mutilated stone
For ever lie imperfect and deform ;-
So man may sin and wail, but not atone ;
That restorative power belongs to God alone.

Yet is atonement made :-Creation's Lord
Deserts not thus the work his skill devised;
Man, not his creature only, but his ward,
Too dearly in his Maker's eye is prized,
Than thus to be abandon'd and despised.
Atonement is the Almighty's richest dole,
And ever in the mystic plan comprised,

To mend the foul defacements of the soul,
Restore God's likeness lost, and make the image whole.

Oh! if, as holiest men have deem'd there be,
A land of souls beyond death's sable shore,”
How would quick-hearted Harold burn to see
The much-loved objects of his life once more,
And Nature's new sublimities explore
In better worlds! Ah! Harold, I conjure,
Speak not in ifs;—to him whom God hath taught,
If aught on earth, that blessed truth is sure;

All gracious God, to quiet human thought,
Has pledged his sacred word, and demonstration

wrought.

ADDRESS TO LORD BYRON.

90

Did Babylon, in truth, by Cyrus fall ?
Is't true that Persia stain'd the Grecian land?
Did Philip's son the Persian host enthrall ?
Or Cæsar's legions press the British strand ?
Fell Palestine by Titus' sword and brand ?-
Can Harold to such facts his faith entrust?
Then let him humbly learn, and understand :-

“ Then Christ is risen from the dead!"—the first Dear pledge of mortal frames yet mouldering in the

dust.

But Harold “ will not look beyond the tomb,"
And thinks" he may not hope for rest before:”
Fie! Harold, fie! unconscious of thy doom,
The nature of thy soul thou know'st not more ;
Nor know'st thy lofty mind, which loves to soar;
Thy glowing spirit, and thy thoughts sublime,
Are foreign to this flat and naked shore,

And languish for their own celestial clime,
Far in the bounds of space,-beyond the bounds of

time.

There must thou surely live—and of that life
Ages on ages shall no part exhaust:
But with renew'd existence ever rife,
No more in dark uncertainty be toss'd,
When once the teeming barrier is cross'd;
(The birth of mortals to immortal day) -
O let not then this precious hour be lost,

But humbly turn to Him who points the way
To ever-during youth, from infinite decay!

Such, the prospect,-such the glorious boon,
The last great end in Heaven's supreme design ;
Deem not thy cloud continuous, for soon
Must truth break in upon a soul like thine,

Yearning, unconscious, for the light divine;
Oh! hear the gracious word to thee address'd
By Him, thy Lord, almighty and benign-

“Come unto me, all ye by care oppress'd ! Come to my open arms, and I will give you rest!"

Would thou hadst loved through Judah’s courts to

stray ; Would Sion Hill Parnassus' love might share; What joy to hear thy muse's potent lay The sacred honours of that land declare, And all that holy scene engage her care; Where poets harp'd ere Homer's shell was strung, Where heavenly wisdom pour'd her treasures rare,

Long, long ere Athens woke to Solon's song, And truth-inspired seers of after ages sung.

But, thanks for what we have; and for the more Thy muse doth bid the listening ear attend, Nor vainly bids those whom she charm'd before ; Oh! let not then this humble verse offend, Her skill can judge the speaking of a friend; Not zeal presumptuous prompts the cautious strain, But Christian zeal, that would to all extend The cloudless ray and steady calm that reign, Where evangelic truths their empire due maintain.

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