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ON A DISTANT VIEW OF THE VILLAGE AND
SCHOOL OF HARROW ON THE HILL. Oh! mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos. – VIRGIL. Ye scenes of my childhood, whose loved recollection
Embitters the present, compared with the past ; Where science first dawn'd on the powers of reflection,
And friendships were form'd, too romantic to last; ?
Where fancy yet joys to trace the resemblance
Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied ; How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrance,
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied !
TO M 0:! did those eyes, insiead of fire,
With bright but mild affection shine, Though they might kindle less desire,
Love, more than mortal, would be thine. For thou art form'd so heavenly fair,
Howe'er those orbs may wildly beam, We must admire, but still despair ;
That fatal glance forbids esteem. When Nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth,
So much perfection in thee shone, She fear'd that, too divine for earth,
The skics might claim thee for their own : Therefore, to guard her dearest work,
Lest angels might dispute the prize, She bade a secret lightning lurk
'Within those once celestial eyes. These might the boldest sylph appal,
When gleaming with meridian blaze ; Thy beauty must enrapture all;
But who can dare thine ardent gaze ? 'Tis said that Berenice's hair
In stars adorns the vault of heaven; But they would ne'er permit thee there,
Thou wouldst so far outshine the seven.
Again I revisit the hills where we sported, The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought; ?
(sorted, The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we re
To pore o'er the precepts by pedagogues taught.
Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd,
As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone 3 I lay; Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd,
To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray.
I once more view the room, with spectators sur
rounded, Where, as Zanga , I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown;
I“ Vy school-friendships were with me passions (for I was always violent); but I do not know that there is one which has endured (to be sure some have been cut short by death) till now.” – Dyrun Diary, 1821.)
? (" At Harrow I fought my way very fairly. I think I lost but one battle out of seven.” – Ibid. I
3 (They show a tomb in the churchyard at Harrow, commanding a view over Windsor, which was so well known to be his favourite resting-place, that the boys called it " Byron's Tomh;" and here, they say, he used to sit for hours, wrapt up in thought.)
* (For the display of his declamatory powers, on the speech-days, he selected alwors the most vehement passages ; such as the speech of Zanga over the body of Alonzo, and Lear's address to the storm.]
Mossop, a cotemporary of Garrick, famous for his performance of Zanga.
$(" My grand patron, Dr. Drury, had a great notion that I should turn out an orator, from my fluency, my turbulence, my voice, my copiousness of declamation, and my action.' Byron Diary.)
(In the private volume the two last stanzas ran" I thought this poor brain, fever'd even to madness,
Of tears, as of reason, for ever was drain'd; But the drops which now Aow down this bosom of sadness,
Convince me the springs hare some moisture retain'd. “ Sweet scenes of my childhood ! your blest recollection
Has wrung from these eyelids, to werping long dead,
For did those eyes as planets roll,
Thy sister-lights would scarce appear : E'en suns, which systems now control, Would twinkle dimly through their sphere. I
ON RECEIVING HER PICTURE. S
This faint resemblance of thy charms,
Though strong as mortal art could give, My constant heart of fear disarms,
Revives my hopes, and bids me live.
Here I can trace the locks of gold
Which round thy snowy forehead wave, The cheeks which sprung from beauty's mould,
The lips which made me beauty's slave.
Here I can trace - ah, no! that eye,
Whose azure floats in liquid fire, Must all the painter's art defy,
And bid him from the task retire.
WOMAN! experience might have told me,
Here I behold its beauteous hue;
But where's the beam so sweetly straying, Which gave a lustre to its blue,
Like Luna o'er the ocean playing ?
Sweet copy ! far more dear to me,
Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art, Than all the living forms could be,
Save her who placed thee next my heart.
She placed it, sad, with needless fear,
Lest time might shake my wavering soul, Unconscious that her image there
Held every sense in fast control.
I do not, love ! suspect your truth,
With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not ; Warm was the passion of my youth,
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.
No, no, my flame was not pretended ;
For, oh! I loved you most sincerely ; And—though our dream at last is ended
My bosom still esteems you dearly.
No more we meet in yonder bowers ;
Absence has made me prone to roving ; But older, firmcr hearts than ours
Have found monotony in loving.
Your cheek's soft bloom is unimpair'd,
New beauties still are daily bright’ning, Your eye for conquest beams prepared,
The forge of love's resistless lightning.
Arm'd thus, to make their bosoms bleed,
Many will throng to sigh like me, love! More constant they may prove, indeed ;
Fonder, alas ! they ne'er can be, love !
LINES ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY. (As the author was discharging his pistols in a garden, two ladies passing near the spot were alarmed by the sound of a bullet hissing near them ; to one of whom the following stanzas were addressed the next morning.)'
DOUBTLESS, sweet girl ! the hissing lead,
Wafting destruction o'er thy charms,
Has fil'd that breast with fond alarms.
Surely some envious demon's force,
Vex'd to behold such beauty here, Impell’d the bullet's viewless course,
Diverted from its first career.
Yes ! in that nearly fatal hour
The ball obey'd some hell-born guide ; But Heaven, with interposing power,
In pity turn'd the death aside.
Yet, as perchance one trembling tcar
Upon that thrilling bosom fell; Which I, th' unconscious cause of fear,
Extracted from its glistening cell : Say, what dire penance can atone
For such an outrage done to thee ? Arraign'd before thy beauty's throne,
What punishment wilt thou decree ?
Might I perform the judge's part,
The sentence I should scarce deplore ; It only would restore a heart
Which but belong'd to thee before.
The least atonement I can make
-Is to become no longer free ; Henceforth I breathe but for thy sake,
Thou shalt be all in all to me.
! [The occurrence took place at Southwell, and the brau. tilul lady to whom the lines were addressed was Miss lloucon.)
But thou, perhaps, may'st now reject
Such expiation of my guilt :
Let it be death, or what thou wilt.
Choose then, relentless ! and I swear
Nought shall thy dread decree prevent ;
Let it be aught but banishment.
LOVE'S LAST ADIEU.
The roses of love glad the garden of life,
Or prunes them for ever, in love's last adicu !
In vain with endearments we soothe the sad heart,
In vain do we vow for an age to be true ;
Or death disunite us in love's last adieu !
Still Hope, breathing peace through the grief-swollen
breast, Will thisper, “Our meeting we yet may renew :" With this dream of deceit half our sorrow's represt,
Nor taste we the poison of love's last adieu !
Oh! mark you yon pair: in the sunshine of youth Love twined round their childhood his fiow'rs as
they rew; They flourish awhile in the season of truth,
Till chill'd by the winter of love's last adieu !
Sweet lady ! why thuş doth a tear steal its way
Down a cheek which outrivals thy bosom in hue ? Yet why do I ask ? — tò distraction a prey,
Thy reason has perish V with love's last adieu !
Oh! who is yon misanthrope, shunning mankind ?
From cities to caves of the forest he flew : There, raving, he howls his complaint to the wind;
The mountains reverberate love's last adicu !
Now hate rules a heart which in love's easy chaios
Once passion's tumultuous blandishments knew; Despair now inflames the dark tide of his veins ;
He ponders in frenzy on love's last adieu !
How he envies the wretch with a soul wrapt in steel !
His pleasures are scarce, yet his troubles are few, Who laughs at the pang that he never can feel,
And dreads not the anguish of love's last adieu !
Youth fies, life decays, even hope is o'ercast ;
No more with love's former devotion we sue : He spreads his young wing, he retires with the blast;
The shroud of affection is love's last adieu !
2 This word is used by Gray, in his poem to the Fatal Sisters :
" Iron slee: of arrowy shower
Ilurtles through the darken d air."
In this life of probation for rapture divine,
Astrea declares that some penance is due ; From him who has worshipp'd at love's gentle shrinc,
The atonement is ample in love's last adieu !
Who kneels to the god, on his altar of light
Must myrtle and cypress alternately strew: His myrtle, an emblem of purest delight;
His cypress the garland of love's last adieu !
In law an infant , and in years a boy,
All I shall therefore say (whate'er
TO A LADY
WHO PRESENTED TO THE AUTHOR A LOCK OF HAIR
BRAIDED WITH HIS OWN, AND APPOINTED A NIGIIT IN DECEMBER TO MEET HIM IN THE GARDEN. 3
MARION! why that pensive brow ?
These locks, which fondly thus entwine,
In law every person is an infant who has not attained the age of twenty-one.
3 [" When I went up to Trinity, in 1805, at the age of seventeen and a half, I was miserable and untoward to a degree. I was wretched at leaving Harrow -- wretched at going to Cambridge instead of Oxford - wretched from some private domestic circumstances of different kinds; and, consequently, about as unsocial as a wolf taken from the troop." - Diary. Mr. Moore adds, " The sort of life which young Byron led at this period, between the dissipations of London and of Cambridge, without a home to welcome, or even the roof of a single relative to receive him, was but little calculated
to render him satisfied either with himself or the world. Unrestricted as he was by deference to any will but his own, even the pleasures to which he was naturally most inclined prematurely palled upon him, for want of those best zests of all enjoyment — rarity and restraint."]
3 [See antè, p. 387. note.]
* In the abore little piece the author has been accused by some candid readers of introducing the name of a lady from whom he was some hundred miles distant at the time this was written ; and poor Juliet, who has slept so long in "the tomb of all the Capulets," has been converted, with a triding
Oh! would some modern muse inspire,
OSCAR OF ALVA. 3
How sweetly shines through azure skies,
The lamp of heaven on Lora's shore ; Where Alva's hoary turrets rise,
And hear the din of arins no more.
But often has yon rolling moon
On Alva's casques of silver play'd ; And view'd, at midnight's silent noon,
Her chiefs in gleaming mail array'd :
And on the crimson'd rocks beneath,
Which scowl o'er occau's sullen flow Pale in the scatter'd ranks of death,
She saw the gasping warrior low;
While many an eye which ne'er again
Could mark the rising orb of day, Turn'd feebly from the gory plain,
Bebeld in death her fading ray.
Once to those eyes the lamp of Love,
They blest bör dear propitious light; But now she glimmerd vom above,
A sad, funereal torch of night.
Faded is Alva's noble race,
And gray her towers are seen afar
No more her heroes urge the chase,
Or roll the crimson tide of war.
But who was last of Alva's clan?
Why grows the moss on Alva's stone ?
They echo to the gale alure.
And when that gale is fierce and high,
A sound is heard in yonder hall;
And vibrates o'er the mouldering wall.
Yes, when the eddying tempest sighs,
It shakes the shield of Oscar brave;
No more his plumes of sable wave.
Fair shone the sun on Oscar's birth,
When Angus haild his eldest born ; The vassals round their chieftain's hearth
Crowd to applaud the happy inuin.
They feast upon the mountain deer,
The pibroch raised its piercing note : 3 To gladden more their highland cheer,
The strains in martial numbers float:
And they who heard the war-notes wild
Hored that one day the pibroch's strain Should play before the hero's child
While he should lead the tartan train.
Another year is quickly past,
And Angus hails another son ;
Nor soon the jocund feast was done.
Taught by their sire to bend the bow,
On Alva's dusky hills of wind,
And left their hounds in speed behind.
But ere their years of youth are o'er,
They mingle in the ranks of war;
And send the whistling arrow far.
Dark was the flow of Oscar's hair,
Wildly it stream'd along the gale ;
And pensive seem'd his cheek, and pale.
But Oscar own'd a hero's soul,
His dark eye shone through beams of truth; Allan had early learn'd control,
And smooth his words had been from youth.
alteration of her name, into an English damsel, walking in a garden of their own creation, during the month of December, in a village where the author never passed a winter. Such has been the candour of some ingenious critics. We would advise these liberal commentators on taste and arbiters of decorum to read Shakspeare.
Having heard that a very severe and indelicate censure has been passed on the above poem, I beg leave to reply in a quotation from an admired work, " Carr's Stranger in France." -“ As we were contemplating a painting on a large scale, in which, among other figures, is the uncovered whole length of a warrior, a prudish-looking lady, who seemed to have touched the age of desperation, after having attentively surveyed it through her glass, observed to her party, that
there was a great deal of indecorum in that picture. Madame S. shrewdly whispered in my car, that the indecorum was in the remark.'"
? The catastrophe of this tale was suggested by the story of " Jeronyme and Lorenzo," in the first volume of Schira ler's " Arinenian, or the Ghost-Seer." It also bears some resemblance to a scene in the third act of Macbeth."
3 (Lord Byron falls into a very common error, that of mistaking pibroch, which means a particular sort of tune, for the instrument on which it is played, the bagpipe. Almost every foreign tourist, Nodier, for example, does the same. The reader will find this little slip noticed in the article on the Edinburgh Review appended to these pages.]