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transpired. During the succeeding years he resided chiefly in Italy, and published in rapid succession a great number of poems, most of which indicated a progressive power and a progressive taste, except where the latter was corrupted by moral weakness.

In 1823 Lord Byron formed the generous resolution of joining the struggle of Greece for independence; and to this cause he devoted strenuous efforts for the remainder of his life. Besides assisting the Greeks with large sums of money, he joined them in arms at Missolonghi; before, however, he had time to do more than display extraordinary talents of a political and administrative order, he caught a fever produced by the exhalations from the marshes, and died on the 19th of April 1824, in the thirty-seventh year of his age. He was buried in the family vault at Hucknall, near Newstead Abbey.

Lord Byron's poetry is of the oratorical rather than of the purely poetic character. It is deficient in spirituality, sincerity, and refinement; and though often highly intellectual, there is so little of truth or wisdom in his thoughts,—which, indeed, aim but at brilliancy and effect,—that it has in this respect no high value. It has been praised for its passionateness; but in the serious depths of true passion it is as deficient as in pathos and tenderness; and it is to its fiery eloquence, and the rhetorical energy of its style, that it chiefly owes its impressiveness. In this respect Lord Byron resembles Rousseau, as in wit he resembles Voltaire; nor is it a little remarkable that in a single English poet, and one who died at such an early age, the characteristics of the two most noted French writers of the last century-men utterly opposed to each other in the character of their genius-should have been united. Another singular combination in Lord Byron, as a poet, is that of the man of romance and the man of the world; for by nothing except its rhetori. cal emphasis and melodramatic contrasts is his poetry more marked than by a keen shrewdness, and that knowledge of the world which too often passes for knowledge of man. In the latter species of knowledge Byron is far surpassed by several among his compeers in poetry whom he considered but visionaries; but who, whether they used the gift little or much, exerted, on occasion, a genuine insight into the human heart as well as into outward nature. The turgid and inflated style of his earlier compositions he had soon the tact to exchange for one lighter, stronger, and more natural: but in the spirit of his poetry his later works rather fell off than advanced ; and the cynicism which he threw into them, and which probably should be regarded as, in part, an affectation, is a quality as much at variance with poetry as with wisdom and virtue. That Lord Byron's poetry abounds in manifold ability is as undeniable as that its attractions are of a superficial and dangerous character. So eminently, indeed, was he a man of various and versatile abilities, that he would easily have succeeded in most pursuits, whether practical or liter. ary, to which he had devoted himself; and he himself doubted whether poetry was his proper calling. His great popularity proceeded in part from the degree in which a poetry at once sensual and intellectual provided those stimulants needed by an age less poetical than craving imaginative excitement. It was increased doubtless by the boldness with which his poetry occasionally braved public opi. nion, as well as by the tact with which it habitually flattered popular taste. That popularity stimulated him, however, to a rapidity of composition inconsistent with the production of such poetry as comes from the depths of the poet's being, and abides the test of time. In estimating Lord Byron's character, whether literary or personal, if it be a duty to denounce the evil that lurks under a fair disguise, it is no less a matter of justice to make allowance for his youth, for the defects of his education, and for the adulation with which the world spoilt its favourite. As much in him which passed for original genius was but that imitation which belongs to imaginative sympathy, so his faults were in a large measure but those of the circle in which he moved. Profligacy and scepticism destroyed the intrinsic value of his poetry; and an engrossing self-love narrowed the range, while it corrupted the quality, of his genius: but he was not without generous impulses and high aspirations, which lacked for their due growth a nobler soil than that of luxury and early fame.


[From Don Juan.) It stood embosom'd in a happy valley

Crown'd by high woodlands, where the Druid oak Stood, like Caractacus in act to rally

His host, with broad arms 'gainst the thunder-stroke; And from beneath his boughs were seen to sally

The dappled foresters—as day awoke,
The branching stag swept down with all his herd,
To quaff a brook which murmur'd like a bird.
Before the mansion lay a lucid lake

Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed
By a river, which its soften'd way did take

In currents through the calmer water spread
Around : the wild fowl nestled in the brake,

And sedges, brooding in their liquid bed ;
The woods sloped downwards to its brink, and stood
With their green faces fix'd upon the flood.
Its outlet dash'd into a deep cascade,

Sparkling with foam until, again subsiding,
Its shriller echoes-like an infant made

Quiet-sank into softer ripples, gliding Into a rivulet; and thus allay'd,

Pursued its course, now gleaming, and now hiding

Its windings through the woods : now clear, now blue, According as the skies their shadows threw.

A glorious remnant of the gothic pile

(While yet the church was Rome's) stood half-apart In a grand arch, which once screen'd many an aisle :

These last had disappear'd—a loss to art; The first yet frown'd superbly o’er the soil,

And kindled feelings in the roughest heart, Which mourn'd the power of time's or tempest’s march, In gazing on that venerable arch. Within a niche, nigh to its pinnacle,

Twelve saints had once stood sanctified in stone : But these had fallen, not when the friars fell,

But in the war which struck Charles from the throne, When each house was a fortalice-as tell

The annals of full many a line undone, The gallant cavaliers, who fought in vain For those who knew not to resign or reign.

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A mighty window, hollow in the centre,

Shorn of its glass of thousand colourings, Through which the deepen'd glories once could enter,

Streaming from off the sun like seraph's wings, Now yawns all desolate : now loud, now fainter,

The gale sweeps through its fretwork, and oft sings The owl his anthem, where the silenced quire Lie with their hallelujahs quench'd like fire.

But in the noontide of the moon, and when

The wind is winged from one point of heaven,
There moans a strange unearthly sound, which then

Is musical-a dying accent driven
Through the huge arch, which soars and sinks again.

Some deem it but the distant echo given
Back to the night-wind by the waterfall,
And harmonised by the old choral wall :
Others, that some original shape or form,

Shaped by decay perchance, hath given the power (Though less than that of Memnon's statue, warm

In Egypt's rays, to harp at a fix'd hour) To this gray ruin, with a voice to charm,

Sad, but serene, it sweeps o'er tree or tower :

The cause I know not, nor can solve ; but such
The fact :-I've h tard it-once perhaps too much.
Amidst the court a gothic fountain play'd,

Symmetrical, but deck'd with carvings quaint-
Strange faces like to men in masquerade,

And here perhaps a monster, there a saint:
The spring gush'd through grim mouths of granite made,

And sparkled into basins, where it spent
Its little torrent in a thousand bubbles,
Like man's vain glories and his vainer troubles.


[From the same.]
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece,

Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,

Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet;
But all except their sun is set.
The Scian and the Teian muse,

The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;

Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sire's “ Islands of the Blest.”
The mountains look on Marathon,

And Marathon looks on the sea;
And, musing there an hour alone,

I dream'd that Greece might still be free ;
For, standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.
A king sate on the rocky brow

Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships by thousands lay below,

And men in nations ;-all were his;
He counted them at k reak of day-
And when the sun set-where were they?
And where are they? And where art thou,

My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now-

The heroic bosom beats no more !

And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?

'Tis something in the dearth of fame,

Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,

Even as I sing, suffuse my face ;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush ; for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest ?

Must we but blush ? Our fathers bled. Earth, render back from out thy breast

A remnant of our Spartan dead ! Of the three hundred grant but three, To make a new Thermopylæ !

What, silent still ? And silent all ?

Ah! no ;-the voices of the dead Sound like a distant torrent's fall,

And answer, “Let one living head, But one arise,—we come, we come !" 'Tis but the living who are dumb.

In vain, in vain : strike other chords ;

Fill high the cup with Samian wine ! Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,

And shed the blood of Scio's vine! Hark! rising to the ignoble call, How answers each bold bacchanal !

You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet;

Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone ? Of two such lessons, why forget

The nobler and the manlier one ? You have the letters Cadmus gaveThink ye he meant them for a slave ?

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!

We will not think of themes like these ! It made Anacreon's song divine;

He served—but served Polycrates,
A tyrant : but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.


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