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(" Out of town six days. On my return, find my poor little pagod, Napoleon, pushed off his pedestal. li is his own fault. Like Milo, he would rend the oak; but it closed again, wedged his hands, and now the beasts - lion, bear, down to the dirtiest jackall - may all tear him. That Muscovite winter wedged his arms: -- ever since, he has fought with his feet and teeth. The last may still leave their marks ; and I guess now' (as the Yankees say), that he will yet play them a pass."— Byron Diary, April 3.]
2 Sylla. -(We find the germ of this stanza in the Diary of the evening before it was written: -"Methinks Sylla did better; for he revenged, and resigned in the height of his sway, red with the slaughter of his foes - the finest instance or glorious contempt of the rascals upon record. Dioclesian did well too-Amurath not amiss, had he become aught except a dervise- Charles the Fifth but so so: but Napoleon worst of all." — Byron Diary, April 9.]
$(" Alter 'potent spell' to 'quickening spell :' the first (as Polonius says) is a vile phrase,' and means nothing, besides being common-place and Rosa-Matildaish. After the resolution of not publishing, though our Ode is a thing of little length and less consequence, it will be better altogether that it is anonymous."- Lord Byron to Mr. Murray, April 11.)
+ [Charles thc Firth, Emperor of Germany, and King of Spain, resigned, in 1353, his imperial crown to his brother
Ferdinand, and the kingdom of Spain to his son Philip, and retired to a monastery in Estremadura, where he conformed, in his inanner of living, to all the rigour of monastic austerity. Not satisfied with this, he dressed himself in his shroud, was laid in his coffin with much solemnity, joined in the prayers which were offered up for the rest of his soul, and mingled his tears with those which his attendants shed, as if they had been celebrating a real funeral.]
Sf I looked into Lord Kaimes's 'Sketches of the History of Man,' and mentioned to Dr. Johnson his censure of Charles the Fifth for celebrating his funeral obsequies in his life-time, which, I told him, I had been used to think a solemn and affecting act. Johnson, 'Why, Sir, a man may dispose his mind to think so of that act
les; but it is so liable to ridicule, that if one man out of ten thousand laughs at it, he 'll make the other nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine laugh too."'- Boswell's Johnson, vol. vii. p. 78. ed. 1835.)
(" But who would rise in brightest day
To set without one parting ray?"--MS.] ? [It is well known that Count Neipperg, a gentleman in the suite of the Emperor of Austria, who was first presented to Maria Louisa within a few days after Napoleon's abilication, became, in the sequel, her chamberlain, and then her husband. He is said to have been a man of remarkably plain appearance. The Count died in 1831.)
[Dionysius the Younger, esteemed a greater tyrant than his father, on being for the second time banished from Syracuse, retired to Corinth, where he was obliged to turn schoolmaster for a subsistence.] · The cage of Bajazet, by order of Tamerlane.
" He suffered for kind acts to men,
At least of kingly stock ;
"The very fiend's arch mock-
SHAKSPEARE. (We believe there is no doubt of the truth of the anecdote here alluded to- of Napoleon's having found leisure for an unworthy amour, the very evening of his arrival at Fontainebleau.]
6 [The three last stanzas, which Lord Byron had been solicited by Mr. Murray to write, in order to avoid the stamp duty then imposed upon publications not exceeding a sheet, were not published with the rest of the poem. " I don't like them at all," says Lord Byron, " and they had better be leit out. The fact is, I can't do any thing I am asked to do, however gladly I would ; and at the end of a week my interost in a composition goes off.”]
7 [In one of Lord Byron's MS. Diaries, begun at Ravenna in May, 1821, we find the following:-“What shall I write ? - another Journal ? I think not. Any thing that comes uppermost, and call it
“ My Dictionary. " Augustus. - I have often been puzzled with his character. Was he great man ? Assuredly. But not one of my GREAT
I have always looked upon Sylla as the greatest character in history, for laying down his power at the moment when it was
• Too ereat to keep or to resign,'
and thus despising them all. As to the retention of his power by Augustus, the thing was already settled. If he had given it up the commonwealth was gone - the republic was long past all resuscitation. Had Brutus and Cassius gained the battle of Philippi, it would not have restored the republic. Its days ended with the Gracchi; the rest was a mere struggle of parties. You might as well cure a consumption, or restore a broken egg, as revive a state so long a prey to every upper. most soldier, as Rome had long been. As for a despotism, if Augustus could have been sure that all his successors would have been like himself - (I mean not as Octavius, but Au. gustus) or Napoleon could have insured the world that none of his successors would have been like himself - the ancient or modern world might have gone on, like the empire of China, in a state of lethargic prosperity. Suppose, for instance, that, instead of Tiberius and Caligula, Augustus had been immediately succeeded by Nerva, Trajan, the Antonines, or even by Titus and his father - what a difference in our es. timate of himself ! - So far from gaining by the contrast, I think that one half of our dislike arises from his having been heired by Tiberius - and one half of Julius Cæsar's famne, from his having had his empire consolidated by Augustus. Suppose that there had been no Octavius, and Tiberius had jumped the life' between, and at once succeeded Julius? And yet it is difficult to say whether hereditary right or popular choice produce the worser sovereigns. The Roman Consuls make a goodly show; but then they only reigned for a year, and were under a sort of personal obligation to distinguish themselves. It is still more difficult to say which form of government is the worst - all are so bad. As for democracy, it is the worst of the whole ; for what is, in fact, democracy? -- an aristocracy of blackguards."']
(On being reminded by a friend of his recent promise not to write any more for years -" There was," replied Lord Byron, "u mental reservation in my pact with the public, in behalf of anonymes, and, even had there not, the provocation was such as to make it physically impossible to pass over this epoch of triumphant tameness.' 'T'is a sad business; and aiter all, I shall think higher of rhyme and reason, and very humbly of your heroic people, till — Elba becomes a volcano, and sends him out again. I can't think it is ali orer yer."]
ADVERTISEMENT. The subsequent poems were written at the request of my friend, the Hon. Douglas Kinnaird, for a Selection of Hebrew Melodies ", and have been published, with the music, arranged by Mr. Brabam and Mr. Nathan.
Which Music hallow'd while she wept
O'er tones her heart of hearts had given,
Redoubled be her tears, its chords are riven !
It gave them virtues not their own;
That felt not, fired not to the tone,
Til David's lyre grew mightier than his throne !
It watted glory to our God ;
The cedars bow, the mountains nod;
Its sound aspired to Heaven and there abode ! 5
Devotion and her daughter Love,
To sounds that seem as from above,
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY. 3
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes : Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace, Which waves in every raven tress,
Or sofily lightens o'er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A heart whose love is innocent !
IF THAT HIGH WORLD. IF that high world, which lies beyond
Our own, surviving Love endears ; If there the cherish'd heart be fond,
The eye the same, except in tears How welcome those untrodden spheres !
How sweet this very hour to die ! To soar from earth and find all fears,
Lost in thy light - Eternity ! It must be so : 't is not for self
That we so tremble on the brink; And striving to o'erleap the gulf,
Yet cling to Being's severing link. Oh! in that future let us think
To hold each heart the heart that shares ; With them the immortal waters drink,
And soul in soul grow deathless theirs !
THE HARP THE MONARCH MINSTREL
The King of men, the loved of Heaven,
(Lord Byron never alludes to his share in these Melodies with complacency. Mr. Moore having, on one occasion, rallied him a little on the manner in which some of them had been set to music,-“ Sunburn Nathan," he exclaims, “why do you always twit me with his Ebrew nasalities? Have I not told you it was all Kinnaird's doing, and my own exquisite facility of temper?")
? (" Seither the ancient Jews," says Dr. Burney," nor the modern, have ever had characters peculiar to music; so that the melodies used in their religious ceremonies have, at all times, been traditional, and at the mercy of the singers." kalkbrenner tells us, that “les Juifs Espagnols lisent et chantent leurs pseaumes bien differemment que les Juifs Hollandais, les Juifs Romains autrement que les Juifs de la Prusse et de la Hesse ; et tous croient chanter comme on chantait dans le Temple de Jérusalem !" - Hist. de la Jusique, tom. i. p. 34.]
} (These stanzas were written by Lord Byron, on return. ing from a ball-room, where he had seen frs. (now Lady) Wilinot Horton, the wife of his relation, the present Governor of Ceylon. On this occasion Mrs. Wilmot Horton had appeared in mourning, with numerous spangles on her dress.]
4 ("In the reign of King David, music was held in the highest estimation by the Hebrews. The genius of that prince for music, and his attachment to the study and practice of it, as well as the great number of musicians appointed by him for the performance of religious rites and ceremonies, could not fail to extend its influence and augment its perfections ; for it was during this period, that music was first lionoured by being
admitted in the ministry of sacrifice, and worship of the ark ; as well as by being cultivated by a king." BURNEY.)
5C" When Lord Byron put the manuscript into my hand, it terminated with this line. As this, however, did not compiete the verse, I wished him to help out the melody. He replied, • Why, I have sent you to heaven - it would be difficult to go further ! My attention for a few milites was called to some other person, and his Lordship, whom I had hardly missed, exclaimed, 'Here, Vathan, I have brought you down again; and iinmediately presented me the beautiful lines which conclude the melody." NATHAN.]
6 [The hymns of David excel no less in sublimity and tenderness of expression, than in loftiness and purity of religious sentiment. In comparison with them, the sacred poetry of all other nations sinks into mediocrity. Ther have embodie: so exquisitely the universal language of religious emotion, that (a few fierce and vindictive passages excepted, natural in the warrior-poet of a sterner age,) they have entered, with unquestionable propriety, into the Christian ritual. The songs which cheered the solitude of the desert caves of Engedi, or resounded from the voice of the Hebrew people as they wound along the glens or the hill-sides of Judea, have been repeated for ages in almost every part of the habitable world, - in the remotest islands of the ocean, amongst the forests of America or the sands of Africa. How many human hearts have they softened, purified, exalted !- of how many wretched beings have they been the secret consolation !-- on how many communities have they drawn down the blessings of Divine Providence, by bringing the affections in unison with their deep devotional servour ! - MILJAN.]
THE WILD GAZELLE.
Exulting yet may bound,
That gush on holy ground;
Ilath Judah witness'd there;
Inhabitants more fair. The cedars wave on Lebanon, But Judali's statelier maids are gone ! More blest each palin that shades those plains
Than Israel's scatter'd race;
In solitary grace:
In other lands to die;
Our own may never lie:
JEPHTHA'S DAUGHTER. 1 Since our Country, our God - Oh, my sire ! Demand that thy Daughter expire ; Since thy triumph was bought by thy vow Strike the bosom that's bared for thee now! And the voice of my mourning is o'er, And the mountains behold me no more: If the hand that I love lay me low, There cannot be pain in the blow ! And of this, oh, my Father ! be sure That the blood of thy child is as pure As the blessing I beg ere it flow, And the last thought that soothes me below. Though the virgins of Salem lament, Be the judge and the hero unbent ! I have won the great battle for thee, And my father and country are free ! When this blood of thy giving hath gush'd, When the voice that thou lovest is hush'd, Lct iny memory still be thy pride, And forget not I smiled as I died !
OH! WEEP FOR THOSE. OH! weep for those that wept by Babel's stream, Whose shrines are desolate, whose land a dream; Weep for the harp of Judah's broken shell; (dwell ! Mourn - where their God hath dwelt the Godless And where shall Israel lave her bleeding feet ? And when shall Zion's songs again seem sweet ? And Judah's melody once more rejoice The hearts that leap'd before its heavenly voice ? Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast, How shall ye fiee away and be at rest ! The wild-dove hath her nest, the fox his cave, Mankind their country - Israel but the grave !
OH! SNATCH'D AWAY IN BEAUTY'S BLOOM.
Oh! snatch'd away in beauty's bloom,
But on thy turf shall roses rear
Their leaves, the earliest of the year;
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head,
And lingering pause and lightly tread ;
Fond wretch ! as if her step disturb’d the dead ! Away! we know that tears are vain,
That death nor heeds nor hears distress : Will this unteach us to complain ?
Or make one mourner weep the less ? And thou — who tellist me to forget, Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.
ON JORDAN'S BANKS. Or Jordan's banks the Arab's camels stray, On Sion's hill the False One's votaries pray, The Baal-adorer bows on Sinai's steep- (sleep : Yet there — even there — Oh God! thy thunders There — where thy finger scorch'd the tablet stone ! There — where thy shadow to thy people shone ! Thy glory shrouded in its garb of fire : Thyself — none living see and not expire ! Oh! in the lightning let thy glance appear; Swecp from his shiver'd hand the oppressor's spear: How long by tyrants shall thy land be trod ! How long thy temple worshipless, Oh God!
MY SOUL IS DARK.
The harp I yet can brook to hear ;
Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear. If in this heart a hope be dear,
That sound shall charm it forth again : If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
'T will flow, and cease to burn my brain. But bid the strain be wild and deep,
Nor let thy notes of joy be first: I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
i [Jephtha, a bastard son of Gilead, having been wrongfully expelled from his father's house, had taken refuge in a wild country, and become a noted captain of freebooters. His kin. dred, groaning under foreign oppression, began to look to their valiant, though lawless compatriot, whose profession, according to their usage, was no more dishonourable than that of a pirate in the elder days of Greece. They sent for hin, and made him head of their city. Before he went forth against the Ammonites, he made the memorable vow, that, if he returned victorious, he would sacrifice as a burrt offering
whatever first met him on his entrance into his native city. He gained a splendid victory. At the news of it, his only daughter came dancing forth, in the gladness or heart, and with jocund instruments of music, to salute the deliverer of his people. Tiserable father rent his clothes in agony; but the nobleed maiden vould not hear of the disregard of the row: shly demanded a short period to bewail uron the mountains, the Antigone of Sophocles, her dying without hope coming a bride or mother, and then submitted to her fa - Milan.)
SONG OF SAUL BEFORE HIS LAST BATTLE.
I saw thee wecp— the big bright tear
Came o'er that eye of blue ;
A violet dropping dew :
Beside thee ceased to shine;
That fillid that glance of thine.
As clouds from yonder sun receive
A deep and mellow dye, Which scarce the shade of coming eve
Can banish from the sky, Tbose smiles unto the moodiest mind
Their own pure joy impart ; Their sunshine leaves a glow behind
That lightens o'er the heart.
THY DAYS ARE DONE.
The days are done, thy fame begun;
Thy country's strains record The triumphs of her chosen Son,
The slaughters of his sword ! The deeds he did, the fields he won,
The freedom he restored !
Bid the prophet's form appear.
King, behold the phantom seer !"
“ Why is my sleep disquieted ?
Though thou art fall'n, while we are free
Thou shalt not taste of death! The generous blood that flow'd from thee
Disdain'd to sink beneath : Within our veins its currents be,
Thy spirit on our breath!
Thy name, our charging hosts along,
Shall be the battle-word !
From virgin voices pour'd !
Thou shalt not be deplored.
" (" It was generally conceived that Lord Byron's reported singularities approached on some occasions to derangement; and at one period, indeed, it was very currently asserted inat his intellects were actually impaired. The report only served to amuse his Lordship. He referred to the circumstance, and declared that he would try how a madman could write : seizing the pen with eagerness, he for a moment fixed his eyes in majestic wildness on vacancy; when, like a flash of inspiration, without erasing a single word, the above verses were the result." - NATHAN.)
terror, bows down his head to the earth; and, it should secm, not daring to look up, receives from the voice of the spectre the awful intiination of bis defeat and death, On the reality of this apparition we pretend not to decide : the figure, if figure there were, was not seen by Saul; and, excepting the event of the approaching battle, the spirit said nothing which the living prophet had not said before, repeatcūly and publicly. But the fact is curious, as showing the popular belief of the Jews in departed spirits to have been the same with that of most other nations. - MILMAN.)
3 ("Since we have spoken of witches,” said Lord Byron, at Cephalonia, in 1823, "ishat think you of the witch of Endor ? I have always thought this the tinest and most tinished witchscene that ever was written or conceived ; and you will be of my opinion, if you consider all the circumstances and the actors in the case, together with the gravity, simplicity, and dignity of the language. It beats all the ghost scenes lever read. The finest conception on a similar subject is that of Goethe's Devil, Mephistopheles ; and though, of course, you will give the priority to the former, as being inspired, yet the latter, if you know it, will appear to you — at least it does to me - one of the finest and most sublime specimens of human conception."']
2 (Haunted with that insatiable desire of searching into the secrets of futurity, inseparable from uncivilised man, Saul knew not to what quarter to turn. The priests, outraged by his cruelty, had forsaken him: the prophets stood aloof; no dreams visited his couch; he had persecuted even the unlawful diviners. He hears at last of a female necromancer, a woman with the spirit of Ob; strangely similar in sound to the Obeah women in the West Indies. To the cave-dwelling of this woman, in Endor, the monarch proceeds in disguise. He commands her to raise the spirit of Samuel. At this daring demand, the woman first recognises, or pretends to recognise, her roral visitor. ** Whom seest thou?' king. - " Mighty ones ascending from the earth." _.." Of what foria?"-" old inan covered with a mantle." Saul, in