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That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our
tears, And though the eye may sparkle still, 't is where the
ice appears. Though wit may flash from fluent lips, and mirth
distract the breast, Thi ough midnight hours that yield no more their
former hope of rest; 'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret
wreath, All green and wildly fresh without, but worn and
grey beneath. Oh could I feel as I have felt, or be what I have
been, Or weep as I could once have wept, o'er many a
vanish'd scene ; As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish
though they be, So midst the wither'd waste of life, those tears would flow to me.
STANZAS FOR MUSIC. THERE be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like thee ; And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me : When, as if its sound were causing The charmed ocean's pausing, The waves lie still and gleaming, And the lull'd winds seem dreaming.
ODE FROM THE FRENCH.
With that youthful chief compete ?
Who could boast o'er France defeated, Till lone Tyranny commanded ? Till, goaded by ambition's sting, The Hero sunk into the King ? Then he fell :- so perish all, Who would men by man enthrall !
III. And thou, too, of the snow-white plume ! + Whose realm refused thee ev'n a tomb ; Better hadst thou still been leading France o'er hosts of hirelings bleeding, Than sold thyself to death and shame For a meanly royal name ; Such as he of Naples wears, Who thy blood-bought title bears. Little didst thou deem, when dashing
On thy war-horse through the ranks
Like a stream which burst its banks, While helmets cleft, and sabres clashing,
And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o'er the deep ; Whose breast is gently heaving,
As an infant's asleep : So the spirit bows before thee, To listen and adore thee; With a full but soft emotion, Like the swell of Summer's ocean.
ON NAPOLEON'S ESCAPE FROY ELBA. Once fairly set out on his party of pleasure, Taking towns at his liking, and crowns at his leisure, From Elba to Lyons and Paris he goes, Making balls for the ladies, and bows to his foes. 2
March, 27. 1815.
! (" Do you remember the lines I sent you early last year ? I don't wish (like Mr. Fitzgerald) to claim the character of • Vates,' in all its translations, — but were they not a little prophetic ? I mean those beginning,' There's not a joy the world can give,' &c., on which I pique myself as being the truest, though the most melancholy, I ever wrote." — Byron Letters, March, 1816]
2 (" I can forgive the rogue for utterly Calsifying every line of mine (de - which I take to be the last and uttermost stretch of human magnanimity. Do you remember the story of a certain abbé, who wrote a treatise on the Swedish constitution, and proved it indissoluble and eternal ? Just as he had corrected the last sheet, news came that Gustavus the Third had destroyed this immortal government. “Sir,' quoth the abbė, the King of Sweden may overthrow the constitution, but not my book!!! I think of the abbé, but not with him. Making every allowance for talent and most consummate daring, there is, after all, a good deal in luck or destiny. He might have been stopped by our frigates, or wrecked in the Gulf of Lyons, which is particularly tempestuous -or- a
thousand things. But he is certainly fortune's favourite." Byron Letters, March, 1815.]
3. See Rev.chap. viii. v. 7, &c. "The first angel sour.ded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood," &c. 8. “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea ; and the third part of the sea became blood," &c. v. 10. "And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp ; and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters." 0. 11. * And the name of the star is calleri I Formwood : and the third part of the waters became wormwood ; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."
[“ Poor dcar Murat, what an end! His white plume used to be a rallying point in battle, like Henry the Fourth's. lle refused a confessor and a bandage ; so would neither suffer his soul nor body to be bandaged." - Byron Letters.]
5 Murat's remains are said to have been torn from the grave and burnt
FROM THE FRENCU. Must thou go, my glorious Chief, 2
Sever'd from thy faithful few ? Who can tell thy warrior's grief,
Maddening o'er that long adieu ? Woman's love, and friendship's zeal,
Dear as both have been to me — What are they to all I feel,
With a soldier's faith for thee ?
Shone and shiver'd fast around thee –
of the eagle's burning crest —
?) While the broken line enlarging
Fell, or fled along the plain ; There be sure was Murat charging ! There he ne'er shall charge again !
Idol of the soldier's soul !
First in fight, but mightiest now : Jany could a world control;
Thee alone no doom can bow. By thy side for years I dared
Death ; and envied those who fell, When their dying shout was heard,
Blessing him they served so well. 3 Would that I were cold with those,
Since this hour I live to see ; When the doubts of coward foes
Scarce dare trust a man with thee, Dreading each should set thee free!
Oh ! although in dungeons pent, All their chains were light to me,
Gazing on thy soul unbent. Would the sycophants of him
Now so deaf to duty's prayer, Were his borrow'd glories dim,
In his native darkness share ? Were that world this hour his own,
All thou calmly dost resign, Could he purchase with that throne
Hearts like those which still are thine ?
My chief, my king, my friend, adieu !
Never did I droop before ; Never to my sovereign sue,
As bis fues I now implore : All I ask is to divide
Every peril he must brave; Sharing by the hero's side
His fall, his exile, and his grave.
ON THE STAR OF THE LEGION OF HONOUR,"
FROM THE FRENCH.
Star of the brave ! — whose beam hath shed
" ("Talking of politics, as Caleb Quotem says, pray look at the conclusion of my • Ode on Waterloo,' written in the year 1815, and, coinparing it with the Duke de Berri's catastrophe in 1820, tell me if I have not as good a right to the character of' Vutes,' in both senses of the word, as Fitzgerald and Coleridge ?
• Crimson tcars will follow yet ;' and have they not ?"- Dyron Letters, 1820.)
“ All wept, but particularly Savary, and a Polish oficer
who had been exalted from the ranks by Buonaparte. He clung to his master's knees; wrote a letter to Lord Keith, entreating permission to accompany him, even in the most menial capacity, which could not be admitted."
3“ At Waterloo, one man was seen, whose left arm was shattered by a cannon ball, to wrench it off with the other, and throwing it up in the air, exclaimed to his comrades, • Vive l'Empereur, jusqu'a la mort !' There were inany other instances of the like: this, however, you may depend on as true." - Private Letter from Brussels.
The music of thy martial sphere
Oh! for the veteran bearts that were wasted Was fame on high and lionour here ;
In strife with the storm, when their battles were won And thy light broke on human eyes,
Then the Eagle, whose gaze in that moment was blasted, Like a volcano of the skies.
Had still soar'd with eyes fix'd on victory's sun ! Like lava rollid thy stream of blood,
Farewell to thee, France !- but when Liberty rallies And swept down empires with its flood;
Once more in thy regions, remember me thenEarth rock'd beneath thee to her base,
The violet still grows in the depth of thy valleys ; As thou didst lighten through all space; Though wither'd, thy tear will unfold it again And the shorn Sun grew dim in air,
Yet, yet, I may baffle the hosts that surround us, And set while thou wert dwelling there. And yet may thy heart leap awake to my voice — Before thee rose, and with thee grew,
There are links which must break in the chain that
has bound us, A rainbow of the loveliest hue Of three bright colours 1, each divine,
Then turn thee and call on the Chief of thy choice ! And fit for that celestial sign ; For Freedom's hand had blended them, Like tints in an immortal gem.
ENDORSEMENT TO THE DEED OF SEPAROne tint was of the sunbeam's dyes ;
ATION, IN THE APRIL OF 1816. One, the blue depth of Seraph's eyes ;
A year ago you swore, fond she ! One, the pure Spirit's veil of white
“ To love, to honour," and so forth : Had robed in radiance of its light:
Such was the vow you pledged to me,
And here's exactly what 't is worth.
I had a dream, which was not all a dream. 3 Our tears and blood must flow for thee.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars When thy bright promisc fades away,
Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Our life is but a load of clay.
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth And Freedom hallows with her tread
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; The silent cities of the dead;
Morn came and went — and came, and brought no day, For beautiful in death are they
And men forgot their passions in the dread Who proudly fall in her array ;
Of this their desolation ; and all hearts And soon, oh Goddess ! may we be
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires — and the thrones,
Were burnt for beacons ; cities were consumed,
And men were gather'd round their blazing homes FROM THE FRENCH.
To look once more into each other's face; Farewell to the Land, where the gloom of my Glory Happy were those who dwelt within the eye Arose and o'ershadow'd the earth with her name
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch : She abandons me now, but the page of her story,
A fearful hope was all the world contain'd; The brightest or blackest, is fill'd with my fame.
Forests were set on fire -- but hour by hour I have warr'd with a world which vanquish'd me only They fell and faded — and the crackling trunks When the meteor of conquest allured me too far;
Extinguish'd with a crash — and all was black. I have coped with the nations which dread me thus
The brows of men by the despairing light lonely,
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits The last single Captive to millions in war.
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest Farewell to thee, France! when thy diadem crown'd meTheir chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled; I made thee the gem and the wonder of earth, - And others hurried to and fro, and fed But thy weakness decrees I should leave as I found thee, Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up Decay'd in thy glory, and sunk in thy worth.
With mad disquietude on the dull sky, | The tricolour.
fail in exciting our terror from the extravagance of the plan. ? [In the original MS.—“ A Dream."]
To speak plainly, the framing of such phantasms is a dangerous
employment for the exalted and teeming imagination of such 3 (In this poem Lord Byron has abandoned the art, so pe- a poet as Lord Byron, whose Pegasus ever required rather a culiarly his own, of showing the reader where his purpose bridle than a spur. The waste of boundless space into which tends, and has contented himself with presenting a mass of they lead the poet, the neglect of precision which such themes powerful ideas unarranged, and the meaning of which it is may render habitual, make them, in respect to poetry, what not easy to attain. A succession of terrible images is placed mysticism is to religion. The meaning of the poet, as he asbefore us, flitting and mixing, and disengaging themselves, as cends upon cloudy wing, becomes the shadow only of a in the dream of a feverish man - chimeras dire, to whose ex. thought, and having eluded the comprehension of others, istence the mind refuses credit, which contound and weary necessarily ends by escaping from that of the author himself. the ordinary reader, and bathe the comprehension, even of The strength of poetical conception, and the beauty of dicthose more accustomed to the lights of a poetic muse. The tion, bestowed upon such prolusions, is as much thrown subject is the progress of utter darkness, until it becomes, in away as the colours of a painter, could he take a cloud of Shakspeare's phrnse, the "burier of the dead;" and the assem- mist, or a wreath of smoke, for his canvass. - SIR WALTER blage of terrific ideas which the poet has placed before us only Scott.]
And the clouds perish'd i Darkness had no need
Diodati, July 4816.
The pall of a past world; and then again
The comet of a season, and I saw
With not the less of sorrow and of awe
The Gardener of that ground, why it might be
Through the thick deaths of half a century ?
And I had not the digging of this grave."
The veil of Immortality ? and crave
As I said,
Were it not that all life must end in one,
Your honour pleases,”-then most pleased I shook
I [ Darkness" is a grand and gloomy sketch of the supposed consequences of the final extinction of the Sun and the heavenly bodies : executed, undoubtedly, with great and fear. ful force, but with something of German exaggeration, and a fantastical solution of incidents. The very conception is terrible above all conception of known calamity, and is too oppressive to the imagination to be contemplated with pleasure, even in the faint retlection of poetry. - JEFFREY.)
? (On the sheet containing the original draught of these lines, Lord Byron has written :--"The following poem (as most that I have endearoured to write) is founded on a fact; and this detail is an attempt at a serious imitation of the style of a great poet - its beauties and its defects: I say the style; for the thoughts I claim as my own. In this, if there be any thing ridiculous, let it be attributed to me, at least as much as to Mr. Wordsworth; of whom there can exist few greater admirers than myself. I have blended what I would deem to be the beauties as well as defects of his style ; and it ought to be remembered, that, in such things, whether there be praise or dispraise, there is always what is called a compliment, however unintentional.")
3 [" The Grave of Churchill might have called from Lord Byron a deeper commemoration; for, though they generally differed in character and genius, there was a resemblance be tween their history and character. The satire of Churchill flowed with a more profuse, though not a more embittered, stream ; while, on the other hand, he cannot be compared to Lord Byron in point of tenderness or imagination. But both these poets held themselves above the opinion of the world, and both were followed by the fame and popularity which they seemed to despise. The writings of both exhibit an inborn, though sometimes ill-regulated, generosity of mind, and a spirit of proud independence, frequently pushed to extremes. Both carried their hatred of hypocrisy beyond the verge of prudence, and indulged their vein of satire to the borders of licentiousness. Both died in the flower of their age in a foreign land." - SIR WALTER SCOTT. - Churchill died at Boulogne, November 4. 1761, in the thirty-third year of his age. -"Though his associates obtained Christian vurial for him, by bringing the body to Dorer, where it was interred in the old cemetery which once belonged to the collegiate church of St. Jartin, they inscribed upon his tombstone, inA FRAGMENT. COULD I remount the river of my years To the first fountain of our smiles and tears, I would not trace again the stream of hours Between their outworn banks of witber'd flowers, But bid it flow as now — until it glides Into the number of the nameless tides.
The sufferings of mortality,
Seen in their sad reality,
Which speaks but in its loneliness,
Until its voice is echoless.
Between the suffering and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill ;
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness,
Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
A mighty lesson we inherit :
To Mortals of their fate and force ;
A troubled stream from a pure source ;
And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Its own concenter'd recompense,
Diodati, July, 1816. stead of any consolatory or monitory text, this Epicurean line from one of his own poems –
“ Life to the last enjoy'd, here Churchill lies." Southey's Cowper, vol. ii. p. 159.)
What is this Death ? - a quiet of the heart ?
The absent are the dead — for they are cold,
The under-earth inhabitants — are they
Diodati, July, 1816.
SONNET TO LAKE LEMAN. ROUSSEAU — Voltaire - our Gibbon- and De Staël
Leman!! these names are worthy of thy shore,
Thy shore of names like these ! wert thou no more, Their memory thy remembrance would recall : To them thy banks were lovely as to all,
But they have made them lovelier, for the lore
Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core Of human hearts the ruin of a wall
Where dwelt the wise and wondrous ; but by thee, How much more, Lake of Beauty ! do we feel,
In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea,
Which of the heirs of immortality
Diodati, July, 1816. Geneva, Ferney, Copet, Lausanne. - [See antè, p. 35." I have traversed all Rousseau's ground with the Heloise before me, and am struck to a degree that I cannot express, with the force and accuracy of his descriptions, and the beauty of their reality.” — Byron Letters, 1816.)