Obrazy na stronie

Note 43. Page 156, line 47.

raven (see Orford's Reminiscences), and many other in Into Zuleika's name.

stances, bring this superstition nearer home. The most • And airy tongues that syllable men's names..

singular was the whim of a Worcester lady, who believMILTON.

ing her daughter to exist in the shape of a singing bird, For a belief that the souls of the dead inhabit the form literally furnished her pew in the Cathedral with cagesof birds, we need not travel to the East. Lord Lyttle- full of the kind; and as she was rich, and a benefactress ton's ghost story; the belief of the Duchess of Kendal, in beautifying the church, no objection was made to her that George I flew into her window in the shape of a harmless folly.- For this anecdote see Orford's Letters.

The Corsair,


--- I suoi pensieri in lui dormir pon ponno.

TASSO, Canto decimo, Gerusalemme Liberata.


after my own heart: Scott alone, of the present geneTHOMAS MOORE, ESQ.

ration, has hitherto completely triumphed over the fatal

facility of the octo-syllabic verse; and this is not the least MY DEAR MOORE,

victory of his fertile and mighty genius: in blaok verse, I DEDICATE to you the last production with which I Milton, Thomson, and our dramatists, are the beacons shall trespass on public patience, and your indulgence, that shine along the deep, but warn us from the rough for some years; and I own that I feel anxious to avail and barren rock on which they are kindled. The heroic myself of this latest and only opportunity of adorning couplet is not the most popular measure certainly; but my pages with a name consecrated by unshaken public as I did not deviate into the other from a wish to flatter principle, and the most undoubted and various talents. what is called public opinion, I shall quit it without While Ireland ranks you among the firmest of her pa- further apology, and take my chance once more with triots; while you stand alone the first of her bards in her that versification, in which I have hitherto published estimation, and Britain repeats and ratifies the decree, nothing but compositions whose former circulation is permit one, whose only regret, since our first acquaint- part of my present and will be of my future regret. ance, has been the years he had lost before it commenced, With regard to my story, and stories in general, I to add the bumble but sincere suffrage of friendship, to should have been glad to have rendered my personages the voice of more than one nation. It will at least prove more perfect and amiable, if possible, inasmuch as I to you, that I have neither forgotten the gratification have been sometimes criticised, and considered no less derived from your society, nor abandoned the prospect responsible for their deeds and qualities than if all bad of its renewal, whenever your leisure or inclination allows been personal. Be it so-if I have deviated into the you to atone to your friends for too long an absence. It gloomy vanity of « drawing from self,» the pictures are is said among those friends, I trust truly, that you are probably like, since they are unfavourable; and if not, engaged in the composition of a poem whose scene will those who know me are undeceived, and those who do be laid in the East; none can do tbose scenes so much

not, I have little interest in undeceiving. I have no justice. The your own country, the magnifi-particular desire that any but my acquaintance should eent and fiery spirit of her sons, the beauty and feeling think the author better than the beings of his imagining; of ber daughters, may there be found; and Collins, when but I cannot help a little surprise, and perhaps amusehe denominated bis Oriental his Irish Eclogues, was not

ment, at some odd critical exceptions in the present aware how true, at least, was a part of his parallel. Your instance, when I see several bards (far more deserving, imagination will create a warmer sun, and less clouded I allow), in very reputable plight, and quite exempted sky; but wildness, tenderness, and originality are part from all participation in the faults of those heroes, who, of your national claim of oriental descent, to which you nevertheless, might be found with little more morality have already thus far proved your title more clearly than than « The Giaour,» and perhaps—but no-imust admit the most zcalous of your country's antiquarians. Childe Harold to be a very repulsive personage; and as

May I add a few words on a subject on which all men to his identity, those who like it must give him whatever are supposed to be fluent, and none agreeable ?-Self. « alias » they please. I have written much, and published more than enough If, however, it were worth while to remove the imto demand a longer silence than I now meditate; but for pression, it might be of some service to me, that the man some years to come it is my intention to tempt no who is alike the delight of his readers and his friends, further the award of « Gods, men, por columns.» In the poet of all circles, and the idol of his own, permits the present composition I have attempted not the most me here and elsewhere to subscribe myself, difficult, but, perhaps, the best adapted measure to our

most truly and affectionately, language, the good old aod now neglected heroic couplet.

his obedient servant, The slapza of Spenser is perhaps too slow and dignified

BYRON. for narrative; though I confess, it is the measure most January 2, 1814.

wrongs of


Gaze where some distant sail a speck supplies,

With all the thirsting eye of enterprise ;

Tell o'er the tales of many a night of toil,

And marvel where they next shall seize a spoil :
--- nessun magsior dolore,

No matter where-their chief's allotment this,
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice

Theirs, to believe no prey nor plan ainiss.
Nella miseria,

But who that Chief? his name on every shore
Is famed and feard-they ask and know no more.

With these he mingles not but to command;

Few are his words, but keen his eye and hand. « O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,

Ne'er seasons he with mirth their jovial mess,
Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as frec, But they forgive his silence for success.
Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam,

Ne'er for bis lip the purpliog cup they fill,
Survey our empire and behold our home!

That goblet passes him untasted still These are our realms, no limits to their sway- And for his fare-the rudest of his crew Our flag the sceptre all who meet obey.

Would that, in turn, have pass'd un tasted too; Ours the wild life in tumult still to range

Earth's coarsest bread, the garden's homeliest roots, From toil to rest, and joy in every change.

And scarce the summer luxury of fruits,
Oh, who can tell? not thou, luxurious slave!

His short repast in humbleness supply
Whose soul would sicken o'er the heaving wave; With all a hermit's board would scarce deny.
Not thou, vain lord of wantonness and ease!

But while he shuns the grosser joys of sense,
Whom slumber soothes noc-pleasure cannot please !-- His mind seems nourish'd by that abstinence.
Oh, who can teli, save he whose heart hath tried, « Steer to that shore!»— they sail. «Do this!»—'t is done:
And danced in triumph o'er the waters wide, « Now form and follow me!»— the spoil is won.
The exulting sense- the pulse's maddening play, Thus prompt his accents and his actions still,
That thrills the wanderer of that trackless way? And all obey and few inquire his will;
That for itself can woo the approaching fight, To such, brief answer and contemptuous eye,
And turn what some deem danger to delight; Convey reproof, nor further deign reply.
That seeks what cravens shun with more than zeal,
And where the feebler faint-can only feel-

III. Feel-to the rising bosom's inmost core,

« A sail!-a sail!» a promised prize to hope! Its hope awaken and its spirit soar?

Her nation-flag-how speaks the telescope ? No dread of death-if with us die our foes

No prize, alas !- but yet a welcome sail: Save that it seems even duller than repose:

The blood-red signal glitters in the gale. Come when it will — we snatch the life of life; Yes—she is ours-a home-returning barkWhen lost-what recks il-by disease or strife? Blow fair, thou breeze !-she anchors ere the dark. Let him who crawls enamour'd of decay,

Already doubled is the cape-our bay Cling to his couch, and sicken years away,

Receives that prow which proudly spurns the spray. Heave his thick breath, and shake bis palsied head; How gloriously her gallant course she goes! Ours- the fresh turf-and not the feverish bed.

Her white wings flying-never from her foes-While gasp by gasp he faulters forth his soul, She walks the waters like a thing of life, Ours with one pang-ope bound-escapes control. And seems to dare the elements to strife. His corse may boast its urn and narrow cave, Who would not brave the battle-fire-the wreck-And they who loathed his life may gild his grave: To move the monarch of her peopled deck ? Ours are the tears, though few, sincerely shed, When ocean shrouds and sepulchres our dead.

IV. For us, even banquets fond regret supply

Hoarse o'er her side the rustling cable rings; In the red cup that crowns our memory;

The sails are furl'd, and, anchoring, round she swiugs : And the brief epitaph in danger's day,

And gathering loiterers on the land discern When those who win at length divide the prey, Her boat descending from the latticed stern. And cry, remembrance saddening o'er each brow, "T is mann'd-tbe oars keep concert to the strand, How had the brave who fell exulted now !».

Till grates ber keel upon the shallow sand.

Hail to the welcome shout!- the friendly speech!

When hand grasps band uniting on the beach;
Such were the notes that from the Pirate's isle, The smile, the question, and the quick reply,
Around the kindling watch-fire rang the while; And the heart's promise of festivity!
Such were the sounds that thrill’d the rocks along,
And unto ears as rugged seemed a song!

In scatter'd groups upon the golden sand,

The tidings spread, and gathering grows the crowd: They game-carouse-converse-or whet the brand; The hum of voices, and the laughter loud, Select the arms-- to each his blade assign,

And woman's gentler anxious tone is heard-And careless eye the blood that dims its shine: Friends -- husbands'— lovers' names in each dear word. Repair the boat, replace the helm or oar,

«Oh! are they safe? we ask pot of successWhile others strageling muse along the shore;

But shall we see them? will their accents bless? For the wild bird the busy springes set,

From where the battle roars-the billows chafeOr spread beneath the sun the dripping net;

They doubtless boldly died-but who are safe?

Here let them haste to gladden and surprise,
And kiss the doubt from these delighted eyes!»---

VI. a Where is our chief? for him we bear reportAnd doubt that joy-which hails our coming-short; Yet, thus sincere-t is cheering, though so brief ; But, Juan! instant guide us to our chief : Our greeting paid, we'll feast on our return, And all shall bear what each may wish to learn.» Ascending slowly by the rock-lewn way, To where his watcl-tower beetles o'er the bay, By bushy brake, and wild flowers blossoming, And freshness breathing from each silver spring, Whose scatter'd streams from granite basins burst, Leap into life, and sparkling woo your thirst; From crag to cliff they mount.--Near yonder cave, What lonely strageler looks along the wave? Ja pensive posture leaning on the brand, Not oft a resting-staff to that red haud. · T is he-'t is Conrad-here-as wont-alone ; On-Juan! on-and make our purpose

known. The bark he views-and tell him we would greet llis ear with tidings he must quickly meet : We dare not yet approach-thou know'st his mood, When strange or uninvited steps intrude.»

That man of loneliness and mystery,
Scarce seen to smile, and seldom heard to sigh;
Whose name appals the fiercest of his crew,
And tints each swarthy chcek with sallower hue;
Still sways their souls with that commanding art
That dazzles, leads, yet chills the vulgar heart.
What is that spell, that thus his lawless train
Confess and envy, yet oppose in vain?
What should it be, that thus their faith can bind?

power of Thought-the magic of the Mind !
Link'd with success, assumed and kept with skill,
That moulds another's weakness to its will;
Wields with their hands, but, still to these unknown,
Makes even their mightiest deeds appear his own,
Such hath it been-shall be-beneath the sun

still must labour for the one! 'T is Nature's doom-but let the wretch who toils Accuse noi, hate not him who wears the spoils. Oh! if he knew the weight of splendid chains, How light the balance of his bumbler pains!

Him Juan sought, and told of their intent-
He spake noe-but a sign express'd assent,
These Juan calls—they come-to their salute
He bends him slightly, but his lips are mute.

These letters, Chief, are fro the Greek - the spy,
Who still proclaims our spoil or peril migh:
Whate'er his tidings, we can well report,
Much that»-«Peace, peace!»-Hecuts their prating short
Wondering they turn, abash'd while cach to each
Conjecture whispers in his muttering speech :
They watch his glance with many a stealing look,
To gather how that eye the ridings took ;
Bat, this as if he guess'd, with bead aside,
Perchance from some emotion, doubt, or pride,
He read the scroll—« My tablets, Juan, hark-
Where is Gonsalvo ?»

« In the anchor'd bark.»
• There let him stay-to him this order bear.
Back to your duty--for my course prepare :
Myself this enterprise to-night will share.»
• To-night, Lord Conrad?»

« Ay! at set of sun :
The breeze will freshen when the day is done.
My corslet-cloak—one hour-and we are gone.
Sling on thy bugle-see that, free from rust,
My carbine-lock springs worthy of my trust;
Be the edge sharpend of my boarding-brand,
And give its guard more room to fit my hand.
This let the armourer with speed dispose;
Last time, it more fatigued my arm than foes :
Mark that the signal-gun be duly fired
To tell us when the hour of stay's expired.»

IX. Unlike the heroes of each ancient race, Demons in act, but gods at Icast in face, In Conrad's form seems little to admire, Though his dark eye-brow shades a glance of fire : Robust, but not Herculean--to the sighe No giant frame sets forth his common height; Yet, in the whole, who paused to look again, Saw more than marks the crowd of vulgar men; They gaze and marvel how-and still confess That thus it is, but why they cannot guess. Sun-burut liis clieek, his forehead high and pale The sable curls in wild profusion veil ; And oft perforce his rising lip reveals The haughtier thought it curbs, but scarce conceals. Though smooth his voice, and calm his general mren, Suill seems there something he would not have seen: llis features' deepening lines and varying hue At times attracted, yet perplex'd the view, As if within that murkiness of mind Work'd feelings fearful, and yet undefined ; Such might it be-that none could truly tell Too close inquiry his stern glance would qucll. There breathe but few whose aspect might defy The full encounter of his searching eye. He had the skill, when Cunning's gaze would seck To probe his heart and watch bis changing cheek, At once the observer's purpose lo espy, And on himself roll back his scrutiny, Lest lic to Conrad rather should betray Some secret thought than drag that chiefs to day. There was a laughing devil in his speer, That raised emotions both of rage and fear; And where his frown of hatred darkly fell, Hope withering fled-and Mercy sighid farewell!

VIII. They make obeisance, and retire in haste, Too soon to seek again the watery waste : Yet they repine not-so that Conrad guides ; And who dare question aught that he decides?

X. Slight are the outward signs of evil thought; Within-within-'t was there the spirit wrought! Love shows all changes-hate, ambition, guile, Betray no further than the bitter smile: The lip's least curl, the lightest paleness thrown Along the govern d aspect, speak alone Of deeper passions; and to judge their mien, He, who would see, must be himself unseen.

Then-with the hurried tread, the upward eye, Which nor defeated hope, nor baffled wile
The clenched hand, the pause of agony,

Could render sullen, were she near to smile;
That listens, starting, lest the step too near

Nor rage could fire, nor sickness fret to vent Approach intrusive on that mood of fear:

On her one murmur of his discontent; Then—with each feature working from the heart, Which still would meet with joy, with calmness part, With feelings loosed to strengthen-not depart, Lest that his look of grief should reach her heart; That rise-convulse-contend--that freeze, or glow, Which nought removed, nor menaced to removeFlush in the cheek, or damp upon the brow;

If there be love in mortals, this was love! Then-Stranger! if thou canst, and tremblest not, He was a villain-ay-reproaches shower Behold his soul--the rest that soothes his lot!

On him-but not the passion, nor its power, Mark-how that lone and blighted bosom sears Which only proved, all other virtues gone, The scathing thought of execrated years!

Not guilt itself could quench this loveliest one! Bebold—but who hath seen, or e'er shall see, Man as himself-the secret spirit free?


le paused a moment-till his liastening men XI.

Pass'd the first winding downward to the glen. Yet was not Conrad tbus by nature sent

« Strange tidings!-many a peril have I past, To lead the guilty-guilt's worst instrument:

Nor know I why this next appears the last! His soul was changed, before his deeds had driven Yet so my heart forebodes, but must not fear, Him forth to war with man and forfeit heaven. Nor shall my followers find me falter bare. Warp'd by the world in Disappointment's school, "T is rash to meet, but surer death to wait In words too wise, in conduct there a fool;

Till here they hunt us to undoubted fate; Too firm to yield, and far too proud to stoop, And, if my plan but hold, and fortune smile, Doom'd by his very virtues for a dupe,

We'll furnish mourners for our funeral pile. lle cursed those virtues as the cause of ill,

Ay-let them slumber-peaceful be their dreams! And not the traitors who betray'd him still;

Morn ne'er awoke them with such brilliant bcams Nor deem'd that gifts bestow'd on better men

As kindle high to-night (but blow, thou breeze !) Had left him joy, and means to give again.

To warm these slow avengers of the seas. Feard-shunn'd-belied-ere youth had lost her force, Now to Medora-Oh! my sioking heart, He hated man too much to feel remorse,

Long may her own be lighter than thou art ! And thought the voice of wrath a sacred call,

Yet was I brave-mean boast where all are brave! To pay the injuries of some on all.

Even insects sting for aught they seek to save. He knew himself a villain--but he deem'd

This common courage which with brutes we share, The rest no better than the thing he seemd;

That owes its deadliest efforts to despair, And scorn'd the best as hypocrites who hid

Small merit claims-but it was my nobler hope Those deeds the bolder spirit plainly did.

To teach my few with numbers still to cope: He knew himself detested, but he knew

Long have I led them-not to vainly bleed; The hearts that loathed him crouch'd and dreaded too.

No medium now-we perish or succeed ! Lone, wild, and strange, he stood alike exempt

So let it be-it irks not me to die; From all affection and from all contempt:

But thus to urge them whence they cannot fly. His name could sadden, aud his acts surprise ;

My lot hath long had little of my care, But they that feard him dared not to despise.

But chafes my pride thus baffled in the snare. Man spurns the worm, but pauses ere he wake Is this my skill? my craft? to set at last The slumbering venom of the folded snake:

Hope, power, and life upon a single cast? The first may turn-but not avenge the blow; Oh, fate !-accuse thy folly, not thy fateThe last expires—but leaves no living foe;

She may redeem thee still —nor yet too late.» Fast to the doom'd offender's form it clings, And he may crush-not conquer-still it stings!


Thus with himself communion held he, till

He reachd the summit of his tower-crown'd hill:
None are all evil-quickening round his heart, There at the portal paused-for wild and soft
One softer feeling would not yet depart:

lle heard those accents never heard too oft ; Oft could he sneer at others as beguiled

Through the high lattice far yet sweet they rung, By passions worthy of a fool or child;

And these the notes his bird of beauty sung :
Yet 'gainst that passion vainly still he strove,
And even in him it asks the name of love!
Yes, it was love-unchangeable-unchanged, « Deep in my soul that tender secret dwells,
Felt but for one from whom he never ranged;

Lonely and lost to light for evermore,
Though fairest captives daily met his eye,

Save when to thine my heart responsive swells, He shunn'd, nor sought, but coldly pass'd them by; Then trembles into silence as before. Though many a beauty droop'd in prison d bower, Nonc ever soothed his most unguarded hour. Yes—it was love-if thoughts of tenderness,

« There, in its centre, a sepulchral lamp Tricd in temptation, strengthen d by distress,

Burns the slow flame, eternal--but unseen ; Unmoved by absence, firm in every clime,

Which not the darkness of despair can damp, And yet-Oh more than all !-untired by time;

Though vain its ray as it had never been.




Her consort still is absent, and her crew & Remember me-Oh! pass' not thou my grave Have need of rest before they toil anew.

Without one thought whose relics there recline : My love! thou mock'st my weakness; and wouldst steel The only pang my bosom dare not brave

My breast before the time when it must feel: Must be to find forgetfulness in thine.

But trifle now no more with my distress,

Such mirth hath less of play than bitterness. 4.

Be silent, Conrad !-dearest! come and share « My fondest—faintest-latest-accents hear:

The feast these hands delighted to prepare ; Grief for the dead not virtue can reprove ;

Light toil! to cull and dress thy frugal fare ! Then give me all I ever asked-a tear,

See, I have pluck'd the fruit that promised best, The first-last-sole reward of so much love!» And where not sure, perplex'd, but pleased, I guess'd

At such as seem'd the fairest : thrice the hill He pass'd the portal-cross'd the corridor,

My steps have wound to try the coolest rill; And reach'd the chamber as the strain gave o'er : Yes! thy sherbet to-night will sweetly flow, « My own Medora ! sure thy song is sad—»

See how it sparkles in its vase of snow !

The grape's gay juice thy bosom never cheers ; « In Conrad's absence wouldst thou have it glad ?

Thou more than Moslem when the cup appears! Without thine ear to listen to my lay,

Think not I mean to chide--for I rejoice, Still must my song my thoughts, my

soul betray;

What others deem a penance is thy choice. Still must each accent to my bosom suit,

But come, the board is spreid ; our silver lamp My beart unhushid-although my lips were mute ! Is trimm'd, and heeds not the sirocco's damp: Oh! many a night on this lone couch reclined, Then shall my handmaids while the time along, My dreaming fear with storms hath wing'd the wind, And join with me the dance, or wake the song; Aod deem'd the breath that faintly fann'd thy sail

Or my guitar, which still thou lovest to hear,
The murmuring prelude of the ruder gale;

Shall soothe or lull-or, should it vex thine ear,
Though soft, it seem'd the low prophetic dirge, We'll turn the tale, by Ariosto told,
That mouro'd thee floating on the savage surge :

Of fair Olympia loved and left of old."
Still would I rise to rouse the beacon-fire,

Why—thou wert worse than he who broke his vow Lest spies less true should let the blaze cxpire; To that lost damsel, shouldst thou leave me now; And many a restless hour outwatchid each star, Or even that trailor chief-I've seen thee smile, And morning came-and still thou wert afar.

When the clear sky show'd Ariadne's Isle, Oh! how the chill blast on my bosom blew,

Which I lave pointed from these cliffs the while: Aod day broke dreary on my troubled view,

And thus, half sportive, half in fear, I said, And still I gazed and gazed--and not a prow

Lest Time should raise that doubt to more than dread,
Was granted to my tears-my truth-my vow! Thus Conrad, 100, will quit me for the main :
At length-t was noon-1 haild and blest the mast And he deceived me--for-he came again!»
That met my sight-it near d—Alas! it past !
Another came-Oh God! 't was thine at last!

Again-again-and oft again-my love!
Would that those days were over ! wilt thou ne'er, If there be life below, and hope above,
My Conrad! learn the joys of peace to share ?

He will return: but now, the moments bring
Sure thou hast more than wealth ; and many a home The time of parting with redoubled wing.
As bright as this invites us not to roam;

The why-the where—what boots it now to tell ?
Thou know'st it is not peril that I fear,

Since all must end in that wild word-farewell! I only tremble when thou art not here:

Yet would I fain-did time allow-discloseThen not for mine, but that far dearer life,

Fear not-these are no formidable foes; Which flies from love and languishes for strife- And here shall watch a more than wonted guard, How strange that heart, to me so tender still,

For sudden siege and long defence prepared. Should war with nature and its better will »

Nor be thou lonely—though thy lord's away,

Our matrons and thy handmaids with thee stay; e Yea, strange indeed, that heart hath long been changed: And this thy comfort--that, when next we meet, Worm-like 't was trampled-adder-like avenged, Security shall make repose more sweet. Without one hope on earth beyond thy love,

List!-t is the bugle-Juan shrilly blew-
And scarce a glimpse of mercy from above.

One kiss-one more-another-oli! adieu!»
Yet the same feeling which thou dost condemn,
My very love to thee is hate to them,

She rose--she sprung-she clung to liis embrace,
So closely mingling here, that, disentwined,

Till his heart heaved beneath her hidden face. I cease to love thee when I love mankind.

Ile dared not raise to luis that deep-blue eye, Yet dread not this—the proof of all the past

Which downcast droop'd in tearless agony. Assures the future that my love will last.

Hler long fair hair lay tloating o'er his arms, But-Oh, Medora! nerve thy gentler heart,

In all the wildness of dishevell'd charms; This hour again—but not for long-we part.»

Scarce beat that bosom where bis image dwelt

So full-that feeling seem'd almost unfelt! « This bour we part! –my heart foreboded this : Dark-peals the thunder of the signal-gun? Thus ever fade my fairy dreams of bliss.

It told 't was sunset--and he cursed that sun. This bour-it cannot be—this hour away!

Again-again-that form he madly press'd; Yon bark hath hardly anchored in the bay:

Which mutely clasp'd, imploringly caress'd!

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