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There may you read, with spectacles on eyes,
But cease, my Mase, thy speed some respite craves, Leave Legates to their house, and armies to their graves.
Yet here of Vulpes mention may be made,
Blest with a dame in Virtue's bosom nurst, — With her let silent admiration pause!Truc to her second husband and her first: On such unshaken fame let Satire do its worst.
[The Honourable John Wingfield, of the Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra (May 14. 1811). I had known him ten years, the better half of his life, and the happiest part of In the short space of one month, I have lost her who gave me being, and most of those who had made that being tolerable. To me the lines of Young are no fiction:
Insatiate archer! could not one suffice?
Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain, And thrice ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn."
I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the attainment of greater honours, against the ablest candidates, than those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently established
[The "Needy Knife-grinder," in the Anti-jacobin, was a joint production of Messrs. Frere and Canning.]
And thou, my friend! - since unavailing woe Bursts from my heart, and mingles with the strainHad the sword laid thee with the mighty low, Pride might forbid c'en Friendship to complain : But thus unlaurel'd to descend in vain, By all forgotten, save the lonely breast, And mix unbleeding with the boasted slain, While Glory crowns so many a meaner crest! What hadst thou done to sink so peacefully to rest?
Oh, known the earliest, and esteem'd the most! 2 Dear to a heart where nought was left so dear! Though to my hopeless days for ever lost, In dreams deny me not to see thee here! And Morn in secret shall renew the tear Of Consciousness awaking to her woes, And Fancy hover o'er thy bloodless bier, Till my frail frame return to whence it rose, And mourn'd and mourner lie united in repose.
Here is one fytte of Harold's pilgrimage: Ye who of him may further seek to know, Shall find some tidings in a future page, If he that rhymeth now may scribble moe. Is this too much? stern Critic! say not so: Patience! and ye shall hear what he beheld In other lands, where he was doom'd to go: Lands that contain the monuments of Eld, Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were quell'd. 3
his fame on the spot where it was acquired; while his softer qualities live in the recollection of friends who loved him too well to envy his superiority. [This and the following stanza were added in August, 1811. In one of his school-boy poems, entitled "Childish Recollections," Lord Byron has thus drawn the portrait of young Wingfield :
"Alonzo! best and dearest of my friends,
Thy name ennobles him who thus commends :
All, all that brothers should be, but the name." Matthews, the idol of Lord Byron at college, was drowned, while bathing in the Cam, on the 2d of August. The following passage of a letter from Newstead to his friend Scrope Davies, written immediately after the event, bears the impress of strong and even agonised feelings: My dearest Davies; some curse hangs over me and mine. My mother lies a corpse in the house; one of my best friends is drowned in a ditch. What can I say, or think, or do? I received a letter from him the day before yesterday. My dear Scrope, if you can spare a moment, do come down to me I want a friend. Matthews's last letter was written on Friday, on Saturday he was not. In ability, who was like Matthews? How did we all shrink before him. You do me but justice in saying I would have risked my paltry existence to have preserved his. This very evening did I mean to write, inviting him, as I invite you, my very dear friend, to visit me. What will our poor Hobhouse feel? His letters breathe but of Matthews. Come to me, Scrope, I am almost desolate-left almost alone in the world!"-Matthews was the son of John Matthews, Esq. (the representative of Herefordshire, in the parliament of 1802-6), and brother of the author of " The Diary of an Invalid," also untimely snatched away.]
2 ["Beloved the most."-MS.] 3 [" Dec. 30th, 1809."- MS.]
1 Part of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege.-[On the highest part of Lycabettus, as Chandler was informed by an eye-witness, the Venetians, in 1687, placed four mortars and six pieces of cannon, when they battered the Acropolis. One of the bombs was fatal to some of the sculpture on the west front of the Parthenon. "In 1667," says Mr. Hobhouse, “every antiquity of which there is now any trace in the Acropolis, was in a tolerable state of preservation. This great temple might, at that period, be called entire; - having been previously a Christian church, it was then a mosque, the most beautiful in the world. At present, only twenty-nine of the Doric columns, some of which no longer support their entablatures, and part of the left wall of the cell, remain standing. Those of the north side, the angular ones excepted, have all fallen. The portion yet standing, cannot fail to fill the mind of the indifferent spectator with sentiments of astonishment and awe; and the same reflections arise upon the sight even of the enormous masses of marble ruins which are spread upon the area of the temple. Such scattered fragments will soon constitute the sole remains of the Temple of Minerva."]
2 We can all feel, or imagine, the regret with which the ruins of cities, once the capitals of empires, are beheld: the reflections suggested by such objects are too trite to require recapitulation. But never did the littleness of man, and the vanity of his very best virtues, of patriotism to exalt, and of valour to defend his country, appear more conspicuous than in the record of what Athens was, and the certainty of what she now is. This theatre of contention between mighty factions, of the struggles of orators, the exaltation and deposition of tyrants, the triumph and punishment of generals, is now become a scene of petty intrigue and perpetual disturbance, between the bickering agents of certain British nobility and gentry. "The wild foxes, the owls and serpents in the ruins of Babylon," were surely less degrading than such inhabitants. The Turks have the plea of conquest for their tyranny, and the Greeks have only suffered the fortune of war, incidental to the bravest; but how are the mighty fallen, when two painters contest the privilege of plundering the Parthenon, and triumph in turn, according to the tenor of each succeeding firman! Sylla could but punish, Philip subdue, and Xerxes burn Athens, but it remained for the paltry antiquarian, and his despicable agents, to render her contemptible as himself and his pursuits. The Parthenon, before its destruction in part, by fire during the Venetian siege, had been a temple, a
Son of the morning, rise! approach you here! Come but molest not yon defenceless urn: Look on this spot - a nation's sepulchre ! Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn. Even gods must yield — religions take their turn: 'Twas Jove's 'tis Mahomet's — and other creeds Will rise with other years, till man shall learn Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds; Poor child of Doubt and Death, whose hope is built on reeds. 3
Bound to the earth, he lifts his eye to heaven Is't not enough, unhappy thing! to know Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given, That being, thou would'st be again, and go, Thou know'st not, reck'st not to what region, so On earth no more, but mingled with the skies? Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe? Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies: That little urn saith more than thousand homilies.
Or burst the vanish'd Hero's lofty mound; Far on the solitary shore he sleeps: 5 He fell, and falling nations mourn'd around; But now not one of saddening thousands weeps, Nor warlike worshipper his vigil keeps Where demi-gods appear'd, as records tell. Remove yon skull from out the scatter'd heaps : Is that a temple where a God may dwell? Why ev'n the worm at last disdains her shatter'd cell!
church, and a mosque. In each point of view it is an object of regard: it changed its worshippers; but still it was a place of worship thrice sacred to devotion: its violation is a triple sacrifice. But
"Man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As make the angels weep."
3 [In the original MS. we find the following note to this and the five following stanzas, which had been prepared for publication, but was afterwards withdrawn, "from a fear," says the poet, "that it might be considered rather as an attack, than a detence of religion:"-" In this age of bigotry, when the puritan and priest have changed places, and the wretched Catholic is visited with the sins of his fathers,' even unto generations far beyond the pale of the commandment, the cast of opinion in these stanzas will, doubtless, meet with many a contemptuous anathema. But let it be remembered, that the spirit they breathe is desponding, not sneering, scepticism; that he who has seen the Greek and Moslem superstitions contending for mastery over the former shrines of Polytheism -who has left in his own, Pharisees, thanking God that they are not like publicans and sinners,' and Spaniards in theirs, abhorring the heretics, who have holpen them in their need, will be not a little bewildered, and begin to think, that as only one of them can be right, they may, most of them, be wrong. With regard to morals, and the effect of religion en mankind, it appears, from all historical testimony, to have had less effect in making them love their neighbours, than in. ducing that cordial Christian abhorrence between sectaries and schismatics. The Turks and Quakers are the most tolerant : if an Infidel pays his heratch to the former, he may pray how, when, and where he pleases; and the mild tenets, and devout demeanour of the latter, make their lives the truest commentary on the Sermon on the Mount."]
["Still wilt thou harp."-MS]
5 It was not always the custom of the Greeks to burn their dead; the greater Ajax, in particular, was interred entire. Almost all the chiefs became gods after their decease; and he was indeed neglected, who had not annual games near his tomb, or festivals in honour of his memory by his countrymen, as Achilles, Brasidas, &c., and at last even Antinous, whose death was as heroic as his life was infamous.
? I cannot resist availing myself of the permission of my friend Dr. Clarke, whose name requires no comment with the public, but whose sanction will add-tenfold weight to my testimony, to insert the following extract from a very obliging letter of his to me, as a note to the above lines: -"When the last of the metopes was taken from the Parthenon, and, in moving of it, great part of the superstructure with one of the triglyphs was thrown down by the workmen whom Lord Elgin employed, the Disdar, who beheld the mischief done to the building, took his pipe from his mouth, dropped a tear, and, in a supplicating tone of voice, said to Lusieri, Tixes! — I was present." The Disdar alluded to was the father of the present Disdar.
8 [After stanza xiii. the original MS. has the following:"Come, then, ye classic Thanes of each degree,
Dark Hamilton and sullen Aberdeen,
Than ye should bear one stone from wrong'd Athena's site.
Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side,
A thought, and claims the homage of a tear; A flashing pang! of which the weary breast Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.
To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell, To slowly trace the forest's shady scene, Where things that own not man's dominion dwell, And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been; To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, With the wild flock that never needs a fold; Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean; This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold [unroll'd. Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores
But 'midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of meu, To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess, And roam along, the world's tired denizen, With none who bless us, none whom we can bless; Minions of splendour shrinking from distress ! None that, with kindred consciousness endued, If we were not, would seem to smile the less Of all that flatter'd, follow'd, sought, and sued ; This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!
More blest the life of godly eremite, Such as on lonely Athos may be seen, 1 Watching at eve upon the giant height, Which looks o'er waves so blue, skies so serene, That he who there at such an hour hath been Will wistful linger on that hallow'd spot; Then slowly tear him from the 'witching scene, Sigh forth one wish that such had been his lot, Then turn to hate a world he had almost forgot.
Pass we the long, unvarying course, the track
Till on some jocund morn-lo, land! and all is well.
One of Lord Byron's chief delights was, as he himself states in one of his journals, after bathing in some retired spot, to seat himself on a high rock above the sea, and there remain for hours, gazing upon the sky and the waters. "He led the life," says Sir Egerton Brydges, "as he wrote the strains, of a true poct. He could sleep, and very frequently did sleep, wrapped up in his rough great coat, on the hard boards of a deck, while the winds and the waves were roaring round him on every side, and could subsist on a crust and a glass of water. It would be difficult to persuade me, that he who is a coxcomb in his manners, and artificial in his habits of life, could write good poetry."]
2 Goza is said to have been the island of Calypso. -[" The identity of the habitation assigned by poets to the nymph Calypso, has occasioned much discussion and variety of opinion. Some place it at Malta, and some at Goza."Hoare's Classical Tour.]
[For an account of this accomplished but eccentric lady,
But not in silence pass Calypso's isles, 2
Here, too, his boy essay'd the dreadful leap
Her reign is past, her gentle glorics gone: But trust not this; too easy youth, beware! A mortal sovereign holds her dangerous throne, And thou may'st find a new Calypso there. Sweet Florence! could another ever share This wayward, loveless heart, it would be thine: But check'd by every tie, I may not dare To cast a worthless offering at thy shrine, Nor ask so dear a breast to feel one pang for mine.
Thus Harold deem'd, as on that lady's cye
He look'd, and met its beam without a thought, Save Admiration glancing harmless by : Love kept aloof, albeit not far remote, Who knew his votary often lost and caught, But knew him as his worshipper no more, And ne'er again the boy his bosom sought: Since now he vainly urged him to adore, Well deem'd the little God his ancient sway was o'er.
Fair Florence 3 found, in sooth with some amaze, One who, 't was said, still sigh'd to all he saw, Withstand, unmoved, the lustre of her gaze, Which others hail'd with real or mimic awe, [law; Their hope, their doom, their punishment, their All that gay Beauty from her bondsmen claims: And much she marvell'd that a youth so raw Nor felt, nor feign'd at least, the oft-told flames, Which, though sometimes they frown, yet rarely anger dames.
Little knew she that seeming marble heart,
And spread its snares licentious far and wide; 5
whose acquaintance the poet formed at Malta, see Miscellaneous Poems, September, 1809, "To Florence." "In one so imaginative as Lord Byron, who, while he infused so much of his life into his poetry, mingled also not a little of poetry with his life, it is difficult," says Moore, "in unravelling the texture of his feelings, to distinguish at all times between the fanciful and the real. His description here, for instance, of the unmoved and loveless heart,' with which he contemplated even the charms of this attractive person, is wholly at variance with the statements in many of his letters; and, above all, with one of the most graceful of his lesser poems, addressed to this same lady, during a thunder-storm on his road to Zitza."]
4 [Against this line it is sufficient to set the poet's own declaration, in 1821: "I am not a Joseph, nor a Scipio, but, I can safely affirm, that I never in my life seduced any woman."]
5 ["We have here another instance of his propensity to