Page images

By that lip I long to taste ;
By that zone-encircled waist ;
By all the token-flowers that tell
What words can never speak so well;
By lovc's alternate joy and woe,
Ζώη μου, σας αγαπώ.
Maid of Athens! I am gone :
Think of me, sweet! when alone.
Though I fly to Istambol,
Athens holds my heart and soul :
Can I cease to love thee? No!
Ζώη μου, σας αγαπώ.

Athens, 1810.

Dear object of defeated care !

Though now of Love and thee bereft,
To reconcile me with despair,

Thine image and my tears are left.
"T is said with Sorrow Time can cope;

But this I feel can ne'er be true :
For by the death-blow of my Hope
My Memory immortal grew.

Athens, January, 1811..


Oh how I wish that an embargo
Had kept in port the good ship Argo !
Who, still unlaunch'd from Grecian docks,
Had never pass'd the Azure rocks;
But now I fear her trip will be a
Damn'd business for my Miss Medea, &c. &c. 3

June, 1810.

YOUTH, Nature, and relenting Jove,
To keep my lamp in strongly strove;
But Romanelli was so stout,
He beat all three and blew it out. 4

Oct. 1810.


« Διύτι παίδες των Ελλήνων."
Sons of the Greeks, arise !

The glorious hour 's gone forth,
And, worthy of such ties,
Display who gave us birth.

Sons of Greeks ! let us go
In arms against the foe,
Till their hated blood shall flow

In a river past our feet.
Then manfully despising

The Turkish tyrant's yoke,
Let your country sce you rising,

And all her chains are broke.
Brave shades of chiefs and sages,

Behold the coming strife !
Hellénes of past ages,

Oh, start again to life!
At the sound of my trumpet, breaking

Your sleep, oh, join with me!
And the seven-hill'd 8 city seeking,
Fight, conquer, till we're frec.

Sons of Greeks, &c.

SUBSTITUTE FOR AN EPITAPH. Kind Reader ! take your choice to cry or laugh ; Here HAROLD lies - but where 's his Epitaph ? If such you seek, try Westminster, and view Ten thousand just as fit for him as you.


1 In the East (where ladies are not taught to write, lest they should scribble assignations) flowers, cinders, pebbles, &c. convey the sentiments of the parties by that universal deputy of Mercury - an old woman. A cinder says, “ I burn for thee;" a bunch of powers tied with hair, " Take me and fy;" but a pebble declares - what nothing else can.

2 Constantinople.

3 [“ I am just come from an expedition through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea and the Cyanean Symplegades, up which last I scrambled with as great risk as ever the Argonauts escaped in their hoy. You remember the beginning of the nurse's dole in the Medea, of which I beg you to take the following translation, done on the summit." - Lord B. to Dr. Henry Drury, June 17. 1810.]

* ("I have just escaped from a physician and a fever. In spite of my teeth and tongue, the English consul, my Tartar, Albanian, dragoman, forced a physician upon me, and in three days brought me to the last gasp. In this state I made my epitaph."- Lord Byron to Mr. Hodgson, Oct. 3. 1810.]

5 [These lines are copied from a leaf of the original MS. of the second canto of " Childe Harold."]

6 (On the departure, in July, 1810, of his friend and fellowtraveller, Mr. Hobhouse, for England, Lord Byron fixed his head-quarters at Athens, where he had taken lodgings in a Franciscan convent ; making occasional excursions through Attica and the Morea, and employing himsell, in the interval of his tours, in collecting materials for those notices on the state of modern Greece which are appended to the second canto of “Childe Harcld." In this retreat also he wrote “ Hints from Horace," " The Curse of Minerva," and "Remarks on the Romaic, or Modern Greek Language." He thius writes to his mother:-" At present, I do not care to venture a winter's voyage, even if I were otherwise tired of travelling: but I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind, instead of reading about them, and the bitter

effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to send our young men abroad, for a term, arnong the few allies our wars have left us. Here I see, and have conversed with, French, Italians, Germans, Danes, Greeks, Turks, Americans, &c. &c. &c.; and, without losing sight of my own, I can judge of the countries and manners or others. When I see the superiority of England (which, by the by, we are a good deal mistaken about in many things), I am pleased; and where I find her inferior, I am at least enlightened. Now, I might have stayed, smoked in your towns, or fogged in your country, a century, without being sure of this, and without acquiring any thing more useful or amusing at home. I keep no journal ; nor have I any intention of scribbling my travels. I have done with authorship; and if, in my last production, I have convinced the critics or the world I was something more than they took me for, I am satisfied ; nor will I bazard that reputation by a future effort. It is true I have some others in manuscript, but I leave them for those who come after me; and, if deemed worth publishing, they may serve to prolong my memory, when I myself shall cease to remember. I have a famous Bavarian artist taking some views of Athens, &c. &c. for me. This will be better than scribbling - a disease I hope myself cured of: I hope, on my return, to lead a quiet, recluse life ; but God knows, and does best for us all."]

7 The song Asús Todes, &c. was written by Riga, who perished in the attempt to revolutionise Greece. This translation is as literal as the author could make it in rerse. It is of the same measure as that of the original. (While at the Capuchin convent, Lord Byron devoted some hours daily to the study of the Romaic; and various proofs of his diligence will be found in the APPENDIX. See Remarks on the Romic or Modern Greek Language, with Specimens and Translations. ]

8 Constantinople. “Ezrál.cpos."

Now sad is the garden of roses,

Beloved but false Haidée ! There Flora all wither'd reposes,

And mourns o'er thine absence with me.


Sparta, Sparta, why in slumbers

Lethargic dost thou lie ? Awake, and join thy numbers

With Athens, old ally! Leonidas recalling,

That chief of ancient song, Who saved ye once from falling,

The terrible ! the strong !
Who made that bold diversion

In old Thermopylæ,
And warring with the Persian

To keep his country free;
With his three hundred waging

The battle, long he stood, And like a lion raging, Expired in seas of blood.

Sons of Greeks, &c. !

The kiss, dear maid ! thy lip has left

Shall never part from mine,
Till happier hours restore the gift

Untainted back to thine.
Thy parting glance, which fondly beams,

An equal love may see :
The tear that from thine eyelid streams

Can weep no change in me.
I ask no pledge to make me blest

In gazing when alone;
Nor one memorial for a breast,

Whose thoughts are all thine own.

Nor need I write -- to tell the tale

My pen were doubly weak : Oh! what can idle words avail,

Unless the heart could speak ?

By day or night, in weal or woe,

That heart, no longer frce,
Must bear the love it cannot show,
And silent, ache for thee.

March, 1811.




« Μτενω μες τσ' τίριβόλι

"Ωραιότατη Χάηδή," &c. 2 I enter thy garden of roses, 3

Beloved and fair Haidée,
Each morning where Flora reposes,

For surely I see her in thee.
Oh, Lovely! thus low I implore thee,

Receive this fond truth from my tongue,
Which utters its song to adore thee,

Yet trembles for what it has sung;
As the branch, at the bidding of Nature,

Adds fragrance and fruit to the tree,
Through her eyes, through her every feature,

Shines the soul of the young Haidée. But the loveliest garden grows hateful

When Love has abandon'd the bowers; Bring me hemlock since mine is ungrateful,

That herb is more fragrant than flowers.
The poison, when pour'd from the chalice,

Will deeply embitter the bowl ;
But when drunk to escape from thy malice,

The draught shall be sweet to my soul.
Too cruel! in vain I implore thee

My heart from these horrors to save : Will nought to my bosom restore thee?

Then open the gates of the grave.
As the chief who to combat advances

Secure of his conquest before,
Thus thou, with those eyes for thy lances,

Hast pierced through my heart to its core.
Ah, tell me, my soul ! must I perish

By pangs which a smile would dispel ? [rish, Would the hope, which thou once bad'st me che.

For torture repay me too well ?

STRANGER! behold, interr'd together,
The souls of learning and of leather.
Poor Joe is gone, but left his all :
You 'll find his relics in a stall.
His works were neat, and often found
Well stitch'd, and with morocco bound.
Tread lightly - where the bard is laid
He cannot mend the shoe he made ;
Yet is he happy in his hole,
With verse immortal as his sole,
But still to business he held fast,
And stuck to Phæbus to the last.
Then who shall say so good a fellow
Was only “ leather and prunella ? ”
For character - he did not lack it ;
And if he did, 't were shame to “ Black-it."

Malta, Day 16. 1811.

! (Riga was a Thessalian, and passed the first part of his youth among his native mountains, in teaching ancient Greek to his countrymen. On the first burst of the French revolution, he joined himself to some other enthusiasts, and with them perambulated Greece, rousing the bold, and encouraging the timid, by his minstrelsy. He afterwards went to Vienna to solicit aid for a rising, which he and his comrades had for years been endeavouring to accomplish; but he was given up by the Austrian government to the Turks, who vainly endea: voured by torture to force from him the names of the other conspirators.)

2 The song from which this is taken is a great favourite with the young girls of Athens of all classes. Their manner

of singing it is by verses in rotation, the whole number pre. sent joining in the chorus. I have heard it frequently at our " zócon," in the winter of 1810-11. The air is plaintive and pretty.

3 (National songs and popular works of amusement throw no small light on the manners of a people: they are materials which most travellers have within their reach, but which they almost always disdain to collect. Lord Byron has shown a better taste ; and it is to be hoped that his example will, in future, be generally followed. - George Ellis.) * (Some notice of this poctaster has been given, ante. He died in 1810, and his works have followed him.)

p. 432.




UNHAPPY Dives ! in an evil hour
'Gainst Nature's voice seduced to deeds accurst!
Once Fortune's minion, now thou feel'st her power;
Wrath's viol on thy lofty head bath burst.
In Wit, in Genius, as in Wealth the first,
How wond'rous bright thy blooming morn arose !
But thou wert smitten with th' unhallow'd thirst
Of Crime un-named, and thy sad noon must close
In scorn, and solitude unsought, the worst of woes.

1811. [First published, 1832.)

ADIEU, ye joys of La Valette !
Adieu, sirocco, sun, and sweat !
Adieu, thou palace rarely enter'd !
Adieu, ye mansions where — I've ventured !
Adieu, ye cursed streets of stairs !
(How surely be who mounts you swears !)
Adieu, ye merchants often failing!
Adieu, thou mob for ever railing!
Adicu, ye packets — without letters !
Adieu, ye fools — who ape your betters!
Adieu, thou damned'st quarantine,
That gave me fever, and the spleen !
Adieu that stage which makes us yawn, Sirs,
Adieu his Excellency's dancers !
Adieu to Peter -- whom no fault's in,
But could not tcach colonel waltzing ;
Adieu, ye females fraught with graces !
Adieu red coats, and redder faces !
Adieu the supercilious air
Of all that strut “ en militaire !
I go -- but God knows when, or why,
To smoky towns and cloudy sky,
To things (the honest truth to say)
As bad- but in a different way.


Good plays are scarce,

So Moore writes farce :
The poet's fame grows brittle

We knew before

That Little's Moore,
But now 't is Moore that's little.

Sept. 14. 1811. (First published, 1830.']

Farewell to these, but not adieu,
Triumphant sons of truest blue !
While either Adriatic shore,
And fallen chiefs, and fleets no more,
And nightly smiles, and daily dinners,
Proclaiın you war and women's winners.
Pardon my Muse, who apt to prate is,
And take my rhyme - because 't is “ gratis."

And now I've got to Mrs. Fraser,
Perhaps you think I mean to praise her -
And were I vain enough to think
My praise was worth this drop of ink,
A line or two - were no hard matter,
As here, indeed, I need not flatter:
But she must be content to shine
In better praises than in mine,
With lively air, and open heart,
And fashion's ease, without its art;
Her hours can gaily glide along,
Nor ask the aid of idle song.


“ Oh! banish care" — such ever be
The motto of thy revelry !
Perchance of mine, when wassail nights
Renew those riotous delights,
Wherewith the children of Despair
Lull the lone heart, and “ banish care.
But not in morn's reflecting hour,
When present, past, and future lower,
When all I loved is changed or gone,
Mock with such taunts the woes of one,
Whose every thought - but let them pass-
Thou know'st I am not what I was.
But, above all, if thou wouldst hold
Place in a heart that ne'er was cold,
By all the powers that men revere,
By all unto thy bosom dear,
Thy joys below, thy hopes above,
Speak — speak of any thing but love.

'T were long to tell, and vain to hcar,
The tale of one who scorns a tear ;
And there is little in that tale
Which better bosoms would bewail.
But mine has suffer'd more than well
'Twould suit philosophy to tell.
I've seen my bride another's bride, -
Have seen her seated by his side,
Have seen the infant, which she borc,
Wear the sweet smile the inother worc,
When she and I in youth have smiled,
As fond and faultless as her child ;
Have seen her eyes, in cold disdain,
Ask if I felt no secret pain;

And now, O Malta ! since thou 'st got us,
Thou little military hothouse !
I'll not offend with words uncivil,
And wish thee rudely at the Devil,
But only stare from out my casement,
And ask, for what is such a place meant ?
Then, in my solitary nook,
Return to scribbling, or a book,
Or take my physic while I'm able
(Two spoonfuls hourly by the label),
Prcfer my nightcap to my beaver,
And bless the gods — I've got a fever !

May 26. 1811. (First published, 1832.]

1 ["On a leaf of one of Lord Byron's paper-books I find an Epigram, which, though not perhaps particularly good, I consider myself bound to insert." - MOVILE. The fiuce in question wils callod " M.P.; or, the Blue Stocking," and

came out at the Lyceum Theatre, on the 9th of Septem. ber.)

2 (Mr. Francis Ilodgson (not then the Reverend). See ante, p. 512.)

Oh! who like him had watch'd thee here ?

Or sadly mark'd thy glazing eye, In that dread hour ere death appear,

When silent sorrow fears to sigh,

And I have acted well my part,
And made my cheek belie my heart,
Return'd the freezing glance she gave,
Yet felt the while that woman's slave;
Have kiss'd, as if without design,
The babe which ought to have been mine,
And show'd, alas ! in each caress
Time had not made me love the less. 1
But let this pass —

-I'll whine no more,
Nor seek again an eastern shore ;
The world befits a busy brain, -
I'll hie me to its haunts again.
But if, in some succeeding year,
When Britain's “ May is in the sere,”
Thou hear'st of one, whose deepening crines
Suit with the sablest of the times ;
Of one, whom love nor pity sways,
Nor hope of fame, nor good men's praise ;
One, who in stern ambition's pride,
Perchance not blood shall turn aside ;
One rank'd in some recording page
With the worst anarchs of the age; -
Him wilt thou know — and knowing pause,
Nor with the effect forget the cause. ?

Newstead Abbey, Oct. 11. 1811.3

(First published, 1830.]

Till all was past ! But when no more

'Twas thine to reck of human woe, Affection's heart-drops, gushing o'er,

Had flow'd as fast as now they flow. Shall they not flow, when many a day

In these, to me, deserted towers, Ere call'd but for a time away,

Affection's mingling tears were ours ? Ours too the glance none saw beside;

The smile none else might understand; The whisper'd thought of hearts allied,

The pressure of the thrilling hand ; The kiss, so guiltless and refined,

That Love each warmer wish for bore ; Those cyes proclaim'd so pure a mind,

Even passion blush'd to plead for more.

The tone, that taught me to rejoice,

When prone, unlike thee, to repine ; The song, celestial from thy voice,

But sweet to me from none but thine ; The pledge we wore — I wear it still,

But where is thine ? — Ah! where art thou ? Oft have I borne the weight of ill,

But never bent beneath till now !


WITHOUT a stone to mark the spot,

And say, what Truth might well have said, By all, save one, perchance forgot,

Ah! wherefore art thou lowly laid ? By many a shore and many a sea

Divided, yet beloved in vain ; The past, the future fled to thee,

To bid us meet--no- ne'er again ! Could this have been - a word, a look,

That softly said, “ We part in peace,” Had taught my bosom how to brook,

With fainter sighs, thy soul's release. And didst thou not, since Death for thee

Prepared a light and pangless dart, Once long for him thou ne'er shalt see,

Who held, and holds thee in his heart ?

Well hast thou left in life's best bloom

The cup of woe for me to drain. If rest alone be in the tomb,

I would not wish thee here again; But if in worlds more blest than this

Thy virtues seek a fitter sphere, Impart some portion of thy bliss,

To wean me from mine anguish here.
Teach me — too early taught by thee !

To bear, forgiving and forgiven :
On earth thy love was such to me;
It fain would form my hope in heaven!

October 11. 1811.4

! (These lines will show with what gloomy fidelity, even while under the pressure of recent sorrow, Lord Byron reverted to the disappointment of his early affection, as the chief source of all his sufferings and errors, present and to come. - Moone.)

? (The anticipations of his own future career in these concluding lines are of a nature, it must be owned, to awaken more of horror than of interest, were we not preparcu, by so many instances of his exaggeration in this respect, not to be startled at any lengths to which the spirit of self-libelling would carry him. It scemed as if, with the power of painting fierce and gloomy personages, he had also the ambition to be, himself, the dark sublime he drew,' and that, in his fondness for the delineation of heroic crime, he endeavoured to fancy, where he could not find in his own character, fit subjects for his pencil. - Moone.)

3 (Two days after, in another letter to Mr. Hodgson, Lord Byron says, “I am growing nervous (how you will laugh!)

but it is true, - - really, wretchedly, ridiculously, tineladically nervous. Your climate kills me; I can neither read, write, nor amuse myself, or any one else. My days are listless, and my nights restless: I have seldom any society, and, when I have, I run out of it. I don't know that I sha'n't end with insanity; for I find a want of method in arranging my thoughts that perplexes ine strangely."']

* (Mr. Moore considers “ Thyrza" as if she were a mere

creature of the Poet's brain. " It was," he says, “ about the time when he was thus bitterly feeling, and expressing, the blight which his heart had suffered from a real object of affection, that his poems on the death of an imaginary one were written ;- nor is it any wonder, when we consider the peculiar circumstances under which these beautiful effusions Howed from his fancy, that, of all his strains of pathos, they should be the most touching and most pure. They were, indeed, the essence, the abstract spirit, as it were, of many griefs ; -- a contuence of sad thoughts from many sources of sorrow, retined and warmed in their passage through his fancy, and forming thus one deep reservoir of mourniul feeling." It is a pity to disturb a sentiment thus beautifully expressed ; but Lord Byron, in a letter to Mr. Dallas, bcar. ing the exact date of these lines, viz. Oct. Ilth, 1811, writes as follows:-" I have been again shocked with a death, and have lost one very dear to me in happier times: but • I have almost forgot the taste of grief,' and supped full of horrors,' till I have become callous; nor have I a tear leit for an event which, five years ago, would have bowed my head to the earth.” In his reply to this letter, Mr. Dallas says, “I thank you for your confidential communication. llow truly do I wish that that being had lived, and lived yours ! What your obligations to her would have been in that case is inconceivable." Several years after the series of poems on Thyrza were written, Lord Byron, on being asked to whom they referred, by a person in whose tenderness he never ceased to

Though gay companions o'er the bowl

Dispel awhile the sense of ill;
Though pleasure fires the maddening soul,

The heart— the heart is lonely still !
On many a lone and lovely night

It soothed to gaze upon the sky; For then I deem'd the heavenly light

Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye: And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon,

When sailing o'er the Ægean wave, “ Now Thyrza gazes on that moon -"

Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave ! When stretch'd on fever's sleepless bed,

And sickness shrunk my throbbing veins, “ 'Tis comfort still," I faintly said,

“ That Thyrza cannot know my pains: ” Like freedom to the time-worn slave,

A boon 't is idle then to give, Relenting Nature vainly gave

My life, when Thyrza ceased to live ! My Thyrza's pledge in better days,

When love and life alike were new! How different now thou meet'st my gaze !

How tinged by time with sorrow's hue ! The heart that gave itself with thee

Is silent - ah, were mine as still !
Though cold as e'en the dead can be,

It feels, it sickens with the chill.
Thou bitter pledge I thou mournful token !

Though painful, welcome to my breast !
Still, still, preserve that love unbroken,

Or break the heart to which thou 'rt press'd ! Time tempers love, but not removes,

More hallow'd when its hope is filed : Oh! what are thousand living loves

To tbat which cannot quit the dead ?

Wher Time, or soon or late, shall bring

The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead,
Oblivion I may thy languid wing

Wave gently o'er my dying bed !
No band of friends or heirs be there,

To weep or wish the coming blow :
No maiden, with dishevellid hair,

To feel, or feign, decorous woe.
But silent let me sink to earth,

With no officious mourners near :
I would not mar one hour of mirth,

Nor startle friendship with a tear.
Yet Love, if Love in such an hour

Could nobly check its useless sighs,
Might then exert its latest power

In her who lives and him who dies.
’T were sweet, my Psyche ! to the last

Thy features still serene to see :
Forgetful of its struggles past,

E'en Pain itself should smile on thee. 1 [" I wrote this a day or two ago, on hearing a song of former days." — Lord Byron to Mr. Hodgson, December 8. 1611.)

Away, away, ye notes of woe !

Be silent, thou once soothing strain,
Or I must flee from hence — for, oh!

I dare not trust those sounds again.
To me they speak of brighter days —

But lull the chords, for now, alas !
I must not think, I may not gaze,

On what I am - on what I was.
The voice that made those sounds more sweet

Is hush'd, and all their charms are fled ;
And now their softest notes repeat

A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead !
Yes, Thyrza ! yes, they breathe of thee,

Beloved dust ! since dust thou art ;
And all that once was harmony

Is worse than discord to my heart !
'Tis silent all !- but on my ear

The well remember'd echoes thrill;
I hear a voice I would not hear,

A voice that now might well be still :
Yet oft my doubting soul 't will shake;

Even slumber owns its gentle tone,
Till consciousness will vainly wake

To listen, though the dream be flown.
Sweet Thyrza ! waking as in sleep,

Thou art but now a lovely dream;
A star that trembled o'er the deep,

Then turn'd from earth its tender beam.
But he who through life's dreary way

Must pass, when heaven is veil'd in wrath,
Wil long lament the vanish'd ray
That scatter'd gladness o'er his path.

December 6. 1811.1

ONE struggle more, and I am free

From pangs that rend my heart in twain
One last long sigh to love and thee,

Then back to busy life again.
It suits me well to mingle now

With things that never pleased before :
Though every joy is fled below,

What future grief can touch me more ?
Then bring me wine, the banquet bring ;

Man was not form’d to live alone :
I'll be that light, unmeaning thing,

That smiles with all, and weeps with none.
It was not thus in days more dear,

It never would have been, but thou
Hast fled, and left me lonely here ;

Thou 'rt nothing, — all are nothing now.
In vain my lyre would lightly breathe !

The smile that sorrow fain would wear
But mocks the woe that lurks beneath,

Like roses o'er a sepulchre.

confide, refused to answer, with marks of painful agitation, such as rendered any farther recurrence to the subject impossible. The reader must be left to form his own conclusion. The five following pieces are all devoted to Thyrza.),

« PreviousContinue »