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Go where I will, to me thou art the same -
There yet are two things in my destiny,
The first were nothing — had I still the last, .
Reversed for him our grandsire's 1 fate of yore,
If iny inheritance of storms hath been
I have been cunning in mine overthrow,
Mine were my faults, and mine be their reward,
But now I fain would for a time survive,
Kingdoms and empires in my little day
A spirit of slight patience ; — not in vain,
Perhaps the workings of defiance stir
Have taught me a strange quiet, which was not The chief companion of a calmer lot.
I feel almost at times as I have felt
And even at moments I could think I see
Here are the Alpine landscapes which create
And, above all, a lake I can behold
Oh that thou wert but with me!- but I grow
I feel an ebb in my philosophy,
I did remind thee of our own dear Lake, ?
Though, like all things which I have loved, they are Resign'd for ever, or divided far.
The world is all before me; I but ask
She was my early friend, and now shall be
I can reduce all feclings but this one ;
The passions which have torn me would have slept; I had not suffer'd, and thou hadst not wept.
With false Ambition what had I to do?
But all is over - I am one the more
And for the future, this world's future.may
sent home at the time for publication, in case Mrs. Leigh shoul.l sanction it." There is," he says, “amongst the manuscripts an Epistle to my Sister, on which I should wish her opinion to be consulted before publication ; if she objects, of course omit it.” On the 5th of October he writes, -" My sister has decided on the omission of the lines. Upon this point, her option will be followed. As I have no copy of them, 1
request that you will preserve one for me in MS. ; for I never can remember a line of that nor any other composition of mine. God help me! if I proceed in this scribbling, I shall have frittered away my mind before I am thirty ; but poetry is at times a real relief to me. To-morrow I an ior Italy.” 'l'he Epistle was first given to the world in 1830.]
1 (Admiral Byron was remarkable for nerer making a voyage without a tempest. lleras known to the sailors by the lacetious name of " Foul-weather Jack."
But, though it were tempest-toss'd,
Still his bark could not be lost." He returned safely from the wreck of the Wager (in Anson's voyage), and circumnavigated the world, many years after, as coinmander of a similar expedition.)
2 The Lake of Newstead Abbey. (Thus described in Don Juan:“ Before the mansion lay a lucid lake,
Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed
In currents through the calmer water spread
And sedges, brooding in their liquid bed;
My years have been no slumber, but the prcy Of ceaseless vigils; for I had the share
Of life which might have fill'd a century,
And for the remnant which may be to come
That with all this I still can look around,
For thee, my own sweet sister, in thy heart
We are entwined lct death come slow or fast, The tie which bound the first endures the last !
Thy nights are banish'd from the realms of sleep!
Yes ! they may flatter thee, but thou shalt feel
A hollow agony which will not heal,
The bitter harvest in a woe as real !
For 'gainst the rest myself I could defend,
And be avenged, or turn them into friend; But thou in safe implacability Hadst nought to dread – in thy own weakness
shielded, And in my love, which hath but too much yielded.
And spared, for thy sake, some I should not spare — And thus upon the world — trust in thy truthAnd the wild fame of my ungovern'd youth
On things that were not, and on things that are Even upon such a basis hast thou built A monument, whose cement bath been guilt! The moral Clytemnestra of thy lord, And hew'd down, with an unsuspected sword, Fame, peace, and hope — and all the better life
Which, but for this cold treason of thy heart, Might still have risen from out the grave of strife, And found a nobler duty than to part. But of thy virtues didst thou make a vice,
Trafficking with them in a purpose cold,
For present anger, and for future gold -
In Janus-spirits — the significant eye
All found a place in thy philosoply.
LINES OX HEARING THAT LADY BYRON WAS 11.1.1 And thou wert sad — yet I was not with thee !
And thou wert sick, and yet I was not near; Jethought that joy and health alone could be
Where I was not — and pain and sorrow here. And is it thus ? – it is as I foretold,
And shall be more so; for the mind recoils Upon itself, and the wreck'd heart lies cold,
While heaviness collects the shatter'd spoils. It is not in the storm nor in the strife
We feel benumb'd, and wish to be no more,
But in the after-silence on the shore, When all is lost, except a little life. I am too well avenged !- but 't was my right;
Whate'er my sins might be, thou wert not sent To be the Nemesis who should requite
Nor did Heaven choose so near an instrument. Mercy is for the mercifu!!— if thou Hast been of such, 't will be accorded now.
! [These rerses were written immediately after the failure of the negotiation for a reconciliation before Lord Buron lett Switzerland for Itals, but were not intended for the public ere: as, however, they have recently found their way into circulation, we include them in this collection.)
(" Lord Byron had at least this much to say for himself, that he was not the first to inake his domestic differences a topic of public discussion. On the contrars, he saw himseli, ere any fact but the one undisguised and tangible one was, or could be known, held up every where, and by every art of malice, as the most infamous of men, - because he had parte 1 from his wife. He was exquisitively sensitive: he was wounded at once by a thousand arrows; and all this with the most perfect and indignant knowledge, that of all who were assailing him not one knew any thing of the real merits of the case. Did he right, then, in publishinz those squibs and tirades ? No. certainly: it would hare been nobler, better, viser far, to have utterly scorned the assaults of such encmics, and taken no notice, of any kind, of them. But, be. cause this young, bot-blooded, proud, patrician poet did not, amidst the exacerbation of feelings which he could not control, act in precisely the most dignified and wisest of all possible manners of action, - are we entitled, is the world at largc entitled, to issue a broad sentence of vituperative condemnation ? Do we know all that he had sutlered? hare we imagination enough to comprehend what he suffered, under circumstances such as these? - hare te been tried in similar circumstances, thether we could feel the wound unAuchingly, and keep the weapon quiescent in the hand that trembled with all the excitements of insulted privacr. honour, and fich ? Let reante consider for a moment what it is that they demand when they insist upon a poet of Byron's class
abstaining altogether from expressing in his works any thing of his own feelings in regard to any thing that immediately concerns his own history. We tell him in every possible form and shape, that the great and distinguishing merit of his poetry is the intense truth with which the poetry
expresses his own personal feelings. We encourage him in every possible way to dissect his own heart for our entertainment tre tempe him by erery bribe most likely to act powerfully on a young and imaginative man, to plunge into the darkest depths of self-knowledge; to madden his brain with eternal self-scrutinies, to find his pride and his pleasure in what others shrink from as torture - we tempt him to indulge in these dangerous exercises, until they obviously acquire the power of leading him to the very brink of frenzy - we tempt him to find, and to see in this perilous vocation, the staple of his existence, the food of his ambition, the very essence of his glory, - and the moment that, by habits of our own creating, at least of our own encouraging and confirming, he is carried one single step beyond what we happen to approve of, we turn round with all the bitterness of spleen, and reproach him with the unmanliness or entertaining the public with his feelings in regard to his separation from his wise. This was truly the conduct of a fair and liberal public! To our view of the matter, Lord Byron, treated as he had been, tempted as he had been, and tortured and insulted as he was at the moment, did no more forfeit his character by writing what he did write upon that unhappy occasion, than another man, under circuinstances of the same nature, would have done, by telling something of his mind about it to an intimate friend across the tire. The public had forced him into the habits of familiarity, and they received his confidence with nothing but anger and scorn." - LOCKHART.)
ON THE DEATH OF TIIE RIGIIT TION. R. B. SHERIDAN.'
STOKEN AC Dail'RY-LANE TIIZATRZ. 9
WHEN the last sunshine of expiring day
Even as the tenderness that hour instils When Summer's day declines along the hills, So feels the fulness of our heart and eyes, When all of Genius which can perish dics. A mighty Spirit is eclipsed — a Power Hath pass'd from day to darkness — to whose hour Oi light no likeness is bequeath'u — no name, Focus at once of all the rays of Fame ! The flash of Wit - the bright Intelligence, The beam of Song - the blaze of Eloquence, Set with their Sun - but still have left behind The enduring produce of immortal Mind; Fruits of a genial morn, and glorious noon, A deathless part of him who died too soon.
1 (Mr. Sheridan died the 7th of July, 1816, and this monody was written at Diodati on the 17th, at the request of Bir. Douglas Kinnaird. “I did as well as I could," says Lord Byron, " but where I have not my choice, I pretend to answer for nothing." A proof-sheet of the poem, with the words " by request of a friend" in the titlepage, having reached hím, -" I request you," he says, “ to expinge that samne, unless you please to add, by a person of quality,' or
of wit and humour.' It is sad trash, and must have been done to make it ridiculous.")
* (Sheridan's own monody on Garrick was spoken from the same boards, by Mrs. Yates, in March, 1779. " One day," says Lord Byron, " I saw him take it up. He lighted upon the dedication to the Dowager Lady Spencer. On seeing it, he few into a rage and exclaiined, that it must be a forgery, as he had never dedicated any thing of his to such a dcanting,' &c. &c. and so he went on for half an hour abusing his own dedication, or at least the object of it. If all writers were equally sincere, it would be ludicrous." Byron Diary, 1821. )
3 (See Fox, Burke, and Pitt's eulogy on Mr. Sheridan's speech on the charges exhibited against Mr. llastings in the House of Commons. Mr. Pitt entreated the House to adjourn, to give time for a caliner consideration of the question than could then occur after the immediate effect of that oration. ** Before my departure from England," says Gibbon, “ I was present at the august spectacle of Mr. Hastings's trial in West. miaster llall. It is not my province to absolve or condemn the governor of India ; but Mr. Sheridan's eloquence demanded my applause ; nor could I hear without cmotion the personal conpliment which he paid me in the presence of the British nation. This display of genius blazed four successive us, &c. On being asked by a brother Whig, at the conciusion of the speech, how he came to compliment
But small that portion of the wondrous whole,
And here, oh! here, where yet all young and warm,
But should there be to whoin the fatal blight Of failing Wisdom yields a base delight, Men who exult when minds of heavenly tone Jar in the music which was born their own, Still let them pause — ah! little do they know That what to them seem'd Vice might be but Woe. 5 Gibbon with the epithet " luminous," Sheridan answered, in a half whisper, “ I said ' voluminous.'")
4 (" I heard Sheridan only once, and that briefly; but I liked his voice, his manner, and his wit. He is the only one of them I ever wished to hear at greater length." Byron Diary, 1821.)
$("Once I saw Sheridan cry, after a splendid dinner. I had the honour of sitting next him. The occasion of his tears was soine observation or other upon the sulject of the sturdiness of the Whigs in resisting otlice and keeping to their principles. Sheridan turned round:-* Sir, it is easy for my Lord G. or Earl G. or Marquis B. or Lord H., with thousands upon thousands a year, some of it either presently derived or inherited in sinecure or acquisitions from the public money, to boast of their patriotism and keep aloon' from temptation : but they do not know from what temptation those have kept aloof who had equal pride, at least equal talents, and not unequal passions, and nevertheless knew not in the course of their lives what it was to have a shilling of their own.' And in saying this he wept. I have more than once heard him say, 'that he never had a shilling of his own.' To be sure, he contrived to extract a good many of other people's. In 1815, I found him at my lawyer's. After mutual greetings, he retired. Before recurring to my own business, I could not help inquiring that of Sheridan. Oh,' replied the attorney, 'the usual thing! to stave off an action.'
Well,' said I, and what do you mean to do?'--'Nothing at all for the present,' said he would you have us proceed against old Sherry? what would be the use of it?' and here he began laughing, and going over Sheridan's good gifts of conversation. Such was Sheridan ! he could soften an attor. pey! There has been nothing like it since the days of Orphcus."- Byron Diary, 1821.)
llard is his fate on whom the public gaze
Driven o'er the lowering atmosphere that nurst Is fix'd for ever to detract or praise ;
Thoughts which have turn'd to thunder - scorch Repose denies her requiem to his name,
and burst. 2 And Folly loves the martyrdom of Fame.
But far from us and from our mimic scene The secret enemy whose sleepless eye
Such things should be — if such have ever been ; Stands sentinel - accuser — judge — and spy,
Ours be the gentler wish, the kinder task, The fue — the fool — the jealous - and the vain,
To give the tribute Glory need not ask, The envious who but breathe in others' pain,
To mourn the vanish'd beam — and add our mite Behold the host ! delighting to deprave,
Of praise in payment of a long delight. Who track the steps of Glory to the grave,
Ye Orators ! whom yet our councils yield, Watch every fault that daring Genius owes
Mourn for the veteran Hero of your field ! Half to the ardour which its birth bestows,
The worthy rival of the wondrous Three ! 3 Distort the truth, accumulate the lie,
Whose words were sparks of Immortality! And pile the pyramid of Calumny!
Ye Bards! to whom the Drama's Muse is dear, These are his portion - but if join'd to these
He was your Master - emulate him here ! Gaunt Poverty should league with deep Disease,
Ye men of wit and social eloquence ! If the high Spirit must forget to soar,
He was your brother - bear his ashes hence ! And stoop to strive with Misery at the door, *
While Powers of mind almost of boundless range, 5 To soothe Indignity — and face to face
Complete in kind -- as various in their change, Mcet sordid Rage - - and wrestle with Disgrace,
While Eloquence — Wit - Poesy — and Mirth, To find in Hope but the renew'd caress,
That humbler Harmonist of care on Earth, The serpent-fold of further Faithlessness :
Survive within our souls — while lives our sense If such may be the ills which men assail,
Of pride in Merit's proud pre-eminence, What marvel if at last the mightiest fail ?
Long shall we seek his likeness — long in vain, Breasts to whom all the strength of feeling given
And turn to all of him which may remain, Bear hearts electric — charged with fire from Hcaven, Sighing that Nature form'd but one such man, Black with the rude collision, inly torn,
And broke the die — in moulding Sheridan. By clouds surrounded, and on whirlwinds borne,
Diodati, July 17. 1816.
They do divide our being; they become
! (This was not fiction. Only a few days before his death, Sheridan wrote thus to Mr. Rogers:-: l' am absolutely un. done and broken-hearted. They are going to put the carpets out of window, and break into lirs. Si's room and take me : 1504. will remove all dithculty. For God's sake let me see you!" Mr. Moore was the immediate bearer of the required sum. This was written on the 15th of May. On the 14th of July, Sheridan's remains were deposited in Westminster Abbey, - his pall-bearers being the Duke of Bedford, the Earl of Lauderdale, Earl Vulgrave, the Lord Bishop of London, Lord Holland, and Earl Spencer.) ; (" Abandon'd by the skies, whose beams have nurst
Their very thunders, lighten - scorch - and burst." 3 Fox-Pitt – Burke. (" When Fox was asked, which he thought the best speech he had ever heard, he replied, 'Sheridan's on the impeachment of Hastings in the House of Commons. When he made it. Fox advised him to speak it over again in Westminster Hall on the trial, as nothing better could be made of the subject : but Sheridan made his new speech as different as possible, and, according to the best judges, very inferior, notwithstanding the panegyric of Burke, who exclaimed during the delivery of gorne passages of it • There, that is the true style - something between poetry and prose, and better than either.'"- Byron Diary, (jron Lord Holland,) 1821.)
• (“In society I hare met Sheridan frequently. He tras superb! I have seen him cut up Whitbread, quíz Madame de Stael, annihilate Colman, und do little less or some others of good fame and ability. Thave met him at all places and parties
- at Whitehall with the Melbournes, at the Marquis of Tavistock's, at Robins's the auctioneers, at Sir Humphry Davy's, at Sum Rogers's-in short, in most kinds of company, and al ways found him convivial and delightful." - Byron Diary, 1821.)
$(" Lord Holland told me a curious piece of sentimentality in Sheridan. The other night we were all delivering our respective and various opinions upon him and other hommes marquans, and mine was this: -- Whatever Sheridan has done or chosen to do has been par excellence always the best of its kind. He has written the best comedy (School for Scandal), the best drama (in my mind, far beyond that St. Giles's lampoon, the Beggars' Opera), the best farce (the Critic - it is only too good for a farce), and the best address (Monologue on Garrick), and, to crown all, delivered the very best oration (the famous Begum speech) erer conceived or heard in this country.' Somebody told Sheridan this the next day, and, on hearing it, he burse into tears ! Poor Brinsley!
they were tears of pleasure, I would rather have said these few, but most sincere, words, than have written the Iliad, or made his own celebrated philippic. Nay, his own comedy never gratified me more than to hear that he had derived a moment's gratification from any praise of mine." - Byron Diary, Dec. 17. 1813.)
6 [In the first draught of this poem, Lord Byron had entitled it " The Destiny.” Mr. Moore sars, " it cost him many a tear in writing," and justly characterises it as "the most mournful, as well as picturesque story of a wandering life' that ever came from the pen and heart of man." It was composed at Diodati, in July 1816.)
Is not the past all shadow? What are they ? Looking afar if yet her lover's steed
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. I would recall a vision which I dream'd
There was an ancient mansion, and before Perchance in sleep — for in itself a thought,
Its walls there was a steed caparison'd: A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
Within an antique Oratory stood And curdles a long life into one hour.
The Boy of whom I spake ; – he was alone,
And pale, and pacing to and fro: anon
He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Words which I could not guess of; then he lean'd Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
His bow'd head on his hands, and shook as 't were Green and of mild declivity, the last
With a convulsion — then arose again, As 't were the cape of a long ridge of such,
And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
What he had written, but he shed no tears. 3 But a most living landscape, and the wave
And he did calm himself, and fix his brow Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of men
Into a kind of quiet: as he paused, Scatter'd at intervals, and wreathing smoke
The Lady of his love re-enter'd there; Arising from such rustic roofs ; – the hill
She was serene and smiling then, and yet Was crown'd with a peculiar diadem
She knew she was by him beloved, — she know, Of trees, in circular array, so fix’d,
For quickly comes such knowledge, that his heart Not by the sport of nature, but of man :
Was darken'd with her shadow, and she saw These two, a maiden and a youth, were there That he was wretched, but she saw not all. 4 Gazing — the one on all that was beneath
He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp
He took her hand; a moment o'er his face
He dropp'd the hand he held, and with slow steps The maid was on the eve of womanhood;
Retired, but not as bidding her adieu, The boy had fewer summers, but bis heart
For they did part with mutual smiles; he pass'd Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye
From out the massy gate of that old Hall,
And mounting on his steed he went his way;
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. But trembled on her words: she was his sight, The Boy was sprung to manhood : in the wilds For his eye follow'd hers, and saw with hers,
Of fiery climes he made himself a home, Which colour'd all his objects : — he had ceased And his Soul drank their sunbeams : he was girt To live within himself; she was his life,
With strange and dusky aspects; he was not The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Himself like what he had been ; on the sea
And on the shore he was a wanderer;
A part of all ; and in the last he lay
Reposing from the noontide sultriness, Her sighs were not for him ; to her he was
Couch'd among fallen columns, in the shade Even as a brother - but no more ; 't was much, Of ruin'd walls that had survived the names For brotherless she was, save in the name
Of those who rear'd them ; by his sleeping side Her infant friendship had bestow'd on him;
Stood camels grazing, and some goodly steeds Herself the solitary scion left
Were fasten'd near a fountain ; and a man Of a time-honour'd race. ! — It was a name [why ? Clad in a flowing garb did watch the while, Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not — and while many of his tribe slumber'd around : Time taught him a deep answer — when she loved And they were canopied by the blue sky, Another ; even now she loved another,
So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
That God alone was to be seen in Heaven. 5
image of the "lover's steed," though suggested by the unroFor never did he turn his glance until
mantic race-ground of Nottingham, will
not the less conduce Her own had led by gazing on an object."- MS.] to the general charm of the scene, and share a portion of that 2 [ See antè. p. 384.-" Our union," said Lord Byron in light which only Genius could shed over it. - Moore.) 1821,"would have healed feuds in which blood had been shed + ["I had long been in love with M. A. C., and never told by our fathers - it would have joined lands, broad and rich - it, though she had discovered it without. I recollect my sensit would have joined at least one heart and two persons not ations, but cannot describe them, and it is as well." - Byron ill-matched in years (she is two years my elder) — and — and Diary, 1822.] - and- what has been the result !")
[This is true keeping - an Eastern picture perfect in its 3 (The picture which Lord Byron has here drawn of his foreground, and distance, and sky, and no part of which is so youthful love shows how genius and feeling can elevate the dwelt upon or laboured as to obscure the principal figure. It realities of this life, and give to the commonest events and oh is often in the slight and almost imperceptible touches that jects an undying lustre. The old hall at Annesley, under the the hand of the master is shown, and that a single spark, name of the antique oratory," will long call up to fancy the struck from his fancy, lightens with a long train of illumina" maiden and the youth" who once stood in it; while the tion that of the reader. - Sir Walter Scotr.]