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"When in your fostering beams you bid us live,"
My next subscription list shall say how much you give!
[First published, _Morning Chronicle_, October 23, 1812.]
VERSES FOUND IN A SUMMER-HOUSE AT HALES-OWEN.
When Dryden's fool, "unknowing what he sought,"
His hours in whistling spent, "for want of thought,"
This guiltless oaf his vacancy of sense Supplied, and amply too, by innocence: Did modern swains, possessed of Cymon's powers, In Cymon's manner waste their leisure hours, Th' offended guests would not, with blushing, see These fair green walks disgraced by infamy.
Severe the fate of modern fools, alas!
When vice and folly mark them as they pa.s.s.
Like noxious reptiles o'er the whitened wall, The filth they leave still points out where they crawl.
[First published, 1832, vol. xvii.]
REMEMBER THEE! REMEMBER THEE!
Remember thee! remember thee!
Till Lethe quench life's burning stream Remorse and Shame shall cling to thee, And haunt thee like a feverish dream!
Remember thee! Aye, doubt it not.
Thy husband too shall think of thee: By neither shalt thou be forgot, Thou _false_ to him, thou _fiend_ to me!
[First published, _Conversations of Lord Byron_, 1824.]
Time! on whose arbitrary wing The varying hours must flag or fly, Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring, But drag or drive us on to die-- Hail thou! who on my birth bestowed Those boons to all that know thee known; Yet better I sustain thy load, For now I bear the weight alone.
I would not one fond heart should share The bitter moments thou hast given; And pardon thee--since thou couldst spare All that I loved, to peace or Heaven.
To them be joy or rest--on me Thy future ills shall press in vain; I nothing owe but years to thee, A debt already paid in pain.
Yet even that pain was some relief; It felt, but still forgot thy power:[bs]
The active agony of grief r.e.t.a.r.ds, but never counts the hour.[bt]
In joy I've sighed to think thy flight Would soon subside from swift to slow; Thy cloud could overcast the light, But could not add a night to Woe; For then, however drear and dark, My soul was suited to thy sky; One star alone shot forth a spark To prove thee--not Eternity.
That beam hath sunk--and now thou art A blank--a thing to count and curse Through each dull tedious trifling part, Which all regret, yet all rehea.r.s.e.
One scene even thou canst not deform-- The limit of thy sloth or speed When future wanderers bear the storm Which we shall sleep too sound to heed.
And I can smile to think how weak Thine efforts shortly shall be shown, When all the vengeance thou canst wreak Must fall upon--a nameless stone.
[MS. M. First published, _Childe Harold_, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]
TRANSLATION OF A ROMAIC LOVE SONG.
Ah! Love was never yet without The pang, the agony, the doubt, Which rends my heart with ceaseless sigh, While day and night roll darkling by.
Without one friend to hear my woe, I faint, I die beneath the blow.
That Love had arrows, well I knew, Alas! I find them poisoned too.
Birds, yet in freedom, shun the net Which Love around your haunts hath set; Or, circled by his fatal fire, Your hearts shall burn, your hopes expire.
A bird of free and careless wing Was I, through many a smiling spring; But caught within the subtle snare, I burn, and feebly flutter there.
Who ne'er have loved, and loved in vain, Can neither feel nor pity pain, The cold repulse, the look askance, The lightning of Love's angry glance.
In flattering dreams I deemed thee mine; Now hope, and he who hoped, decline; Like melting wax, or withering flower, I feel my pa.s.sion, and thy power.
My light of Life! ah, tell me why That pouting lip, and altered eye?
My bird of Love! my beauteous mate!
And art thou changed, and canst thou hate?
Mine eyes like wintry streams o'erflow: What wretch with me would barter woe?
My bird! relent: one note could give A charm to bid thy lover live.
My curdling blood, my madd'ning brain, In silent anguish I sustain; And still thy heart, without partaking One pang, exults--while mine is breaking.
Pour me the poison; fear not thou!
Thou canst not murder more than now: I've lived to curse my natal day, And Love, that thus can lingering slay.