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""Twere hard to say who fared the best;
Sad mortals, thus the Gods still plague you! He lost his labour, I my jest: For he was drown'd, and I've the ague."
After an absence of nearly three years, Lord Byron revisited his native shores, and exhibited the advantages of travelling in his
Childe Harold," the plan of which was laid in Albania and prosecuted at Athens, where it received some of its finest touches and most splendid ornaments.
İt soon appeared that his Lordship had a great facility of writing. He published in rapid succession the Giaour, the Bride of Abydos, and the Corsair, the first inscribed to Mr. Rogers, the second to
is such, that no boat can row directly across; and it may in some measure be estimated, from the circumstance of the whole distance being accomplished by one of the parties in an hour and five, and by the other, in an hour and ten minutes. The water was extremely cold, from the melting of the mountain snows. About three weeks before, we had made an attempt; but having ridden all the way from the Troad the same morning, and the water being of an icy chillness, we found it necessary to postpone the completion fill the frigate anchored below the castles, when we swam the straits, as just stated, entering a constderable way above the European, and landing below the Asiatic, Lord Holland, and the third to fort. Chevalier says, that a Mr. Thomas Moore. The spirit young Jew swam the same dis- and brilliancy of all these poems tance for his mistress; and Oliver were great. In the dedication of mentions its having been done by the "Corsair," he said it was the a Neapolitan; but our Consul at last production with which he Tarragona remembered neither of should trespass on public patience those circumstances, and tried to for some years-a sort of promise dissuade us from the attempt. A which poets are not much expectnumber of the Salsette's crew ed to keep, and are easily excused were known to have accomplished for breaking. a greater distance and the only thing that surprised me was, that as doubts had been entertained of of the truth of Leander's story, no traveller had endeavoured to ascertain its practicability."
On the 2nd of January, 1815, Lord Byron married at Seham, in the county of Durham, the only daughter of Sir Ralph Milbank Noel, Baronet, and towards the close of the same year, his Lady brought him a daughter, for whom he always manifested
The result of this notable adventure Lord Byron recorded in some lively lines, comparing himself the strongest affection. Within a with Leander, and concluding few weeks, however, after that event, a separation took place, for
which various causes have been stated. This difference excited a prodigious sensation at the time, and was the last stab to the happiness of his Lordship. We would not aggravate the feelings of a widowed mother, but justice to the memory of the noble Bard compels us to express our cơnviction, that the separation on his part was involuntary, and although he vented his spleen in some angry verses, yet how deeply he loved Lady Byron will be seen from the following stanzas, which
he addressed to her a few months before their separation:
There is a mystic thread of life So dearly wreathed with mine alone, That Destiny's relentless knife At once must sever both or none. There is a form on which these eyes
Have often gazed with fond delight; By day that form their joy supplies, And dreams restore it through the night.
There is a voice whose tones inspire Such thrills of rapture through my breast;
I would not hear a seraph choir, Unless that voice could join the rest. There is a face whose blushes tell
Affection's tale upon the cheek; But pallid at one fond farewell,
Proclaims more love than words can speak.
There is a lip which mine hath prest, And none had ever pressed before; It vowed to make me sweetly blest, And mine, mine only press it more. There is a bosom----all my own---Hath pillow'd oft this aching head; A mouth which smiles on me alone, An eye whose tears with mine are shed.
There are two hearts whose movements thrill
In unison so closely sweet! That pulse to pulse responsive still, That both must heave---or cease to beat
There are two souls whose equal flow,
They cannot part---those souls are
Within a few weeks, however, after the separation took place, Lord Byron suddenly left the kingdom with a resolution never
He crossed over to France, through which he passed rapidly to Brussels, taking in his way a survey of the field of Waterloo. After visiting some of the most
remarkable scenes in Switzerland
he proceeded to the North of Italy.
In most of his poems Lord Byron displays the most fond and ardent attachment to Greece, whose fate he thus beautifully describes in one of his poems :
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
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
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 sires' '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
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis
And men in nations;—all were his ! He counted them at break of day— And when the sun set where were
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 the lyre, so long divine, Degenerate into hands like mine? 'Tis something in the dearth of fame, Tho' link'd among a fetter'd race, To feel at least a patriots shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face; For what is left the poet here! For Greeks a blush-for Greece a tear. The poetry of the three concluding stanzas is not less exquisite nor less animated.
Trust not for freedom to the FranksThey have a king who buys and sells;
In native swords, and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells; But Turkish force, and Latin fraud, Would break your shields, however
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! Our virgins dance beneath the shade; I see their glorious black eyes shine; But gazing on each glowing maid, My own the burning tear drop laves, To think such breasts must suckle
Place me on Sunium's marble steep,Where nothing, save the waves and 1, May hear our mutual murmurs sweep; There, swan-like, let me sing and
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mineDash down the cup of Samian wine.
He devoted himself to the redemption of that lovely and classic land, from the bondage of the infidel, which so long enthralled it. Lord Byron's personal influence reconciled the Greek chiefs, and banished discord from among them. He contributed largely from his private fortune to their wants and his presence on those shores drew the attention of all Europe to the strife of the Christians against the Infidel crescent, and made the very Divan tremble.
Encouraged by his name, reigners of ability were crowding to the scene of contest, and giving to the Greeks the benefits of discipline and experience. The ge-nius of the great poet would have immortalized the efforts of the Christians; and Greece, already distinguished by so many impe-, rishable recollections, would have lived with new glory in his song. The names of Bozzaris and her modern heroes, by whose intrepid courage the bands of the infidel have been so often scattered, would have been joined with the patriots of Platea and Thermopylæ; and consecrated by the talents of Lord Byron, have gone down, in kindled memory, to succeeding days; but, unhappily for Greece, their champion has perished in the prime of youth, and in the midst of his exertions in her cause. This melancholy event took place at Missolonghi, on the 19th of April. On the 9th of that month, his Lordship, who had been living very low, exposed. himself in a violent rain; sequence of which was a severe cold, and he was immediately confined to his bed. The low state to which he had been reduced by his abstinence, and probably by some of the remaining effects of his previous illness, made him unwilling-or at any rate he refused to submit-to be bled. It is to be lamented that no one was near his Lordship who had sufficient influence over his mind, or who
was himself sufficiently aware of tained without effort is never the necessity of the case, to in-highly prized. It is fortunate for duce him to submit to that re- the great when they can escape medy, which, in all human pro- from themselves into some purbability, would have saved a life suit, which, by firing their ambiso valuable to Greece. The in- tion, gives a stimulus to their acflammatory action, unchecked, ter- tive powers.-We rejoiced to see minated fatally on the 19th of Lord Byron engaged in a cause April. His last words, before which afforded such motives for delirium had seized his powerful exertions, and we anticipated from mind, were, "I wish it to be him many days of glory.-But it known that my last thoughts were has been otherwise decreed. given to my wife, my child, and my sister!"
Had it pleased the Almighty to spare his valuable life, he would Thus has perished, in the flower probably have seen his exertions of his age, in the noblest of causes, crowned with success, and Greece one of the greatest poets England again triumphant and free; but ever produced. His death, at this her liberation must now fall into moment, is, no doubt, a severe other hands: but where can a man misfortune to the struggling peo- like Byron be found? In the ple for whom he has so generously magnificence of his genius he devoted himself. His character stood in Europe high above all we shall not attempt to draw. He competition. To Greece he had had virtues, and he had failings; devoted all his energies, and the the latter were, in a great mea-whole strength of his mind. He sure, the result of the means of has been snatched from amongst indulgence which were placed this interesting people just when within his reach at so early a they wanted his counsels and his period of his life. "Give me talents most, and their universal neither poverty nor riches," said regret has shewn how much they an inspired writer, and certainly valued and respected him. The it may be said that the gift of proclamation of the Provisional riches is an unfortunate one for Government at Missolonghi, is an the possessor. The aim which affecting document; it has all the men, who are not born to wealth, simplicity of real sorrow; there is have constantly before them, gives about it no pomp of words; it a relish to existence to which the speaks of the death of the great hereditarily opulent must ever be poet as "a most calamitous event for all Greece." "His munificent strangers. Gratifications of every kind soon lose their attraction, the game of life is played without in terest, for that which can be ob
donations," it adds, “are before the eyes of every one, and no one amongst us ever ceased, or ever
character who conceive he was capable of withholding his appro
will cease, to consider him with | admonition which we should all the purest and most grateful do well to remember—“ Let him sentiments as our benefactor." that is without sin cast the first In future days, when the Greeks stone." Thus much we may be have trodden the crescent in the permitted to remark in behalf of dust when the Infidel, so long Lord Byron, that they make a encamped in Europe, is driven very erroneous estimate of his across the Bosphorus, and the city of Constantine again in the Christian's hands, events, however bation from right principles and vast, which we may live to wit-virtuous dispositions, wherever ness,―the name of Lord Byron will they were found. survive in the page of Grecian glory, and his mausoleum may repose under the alter of St. Sophia, from whose minarets the Imaun now calls to prayers. Great as is his loss, it is a consolation that freedom in Greece does not perish with him.
About two years ago Lord Byron wrote his own memoirs, which he presented to Mr. Moore, and Mr. Murray purchased the MS. for 2,0001. not to be published until the death of the noble poet: he has since given it up, and, at the wish of some of Lord Byron's relatives, it is said to have been destroyed. Mr. Moore, in his last poetical production, has written a poem on the subject, entitled, "Reflections on Lord Byron on reading his Memoirs writ ten by himself." This poem is so apposite that we cannot close the present memoir without subjoining it.
If we except Shakspeare, there is, perhaps, no writer in the English language from whose works an equal number of poetical beauties can be selected as from those of Lord Byron. He excels equally in the sublime and the pathetic. Some, we know, there are, who could go on poring through the maze of his mellifluous diction with no other aim than to find "Let me a moment,ere with fear out a flaw in the sentiment. The of gloomy, glorious things, these numberless passages full of spirit leaves I ope and beauty that cross them in their scrutiny, pass with such objectors for nothing: while their eye follows him into the loftiest regions of poetry, they have no wish but to spy some spot upon his mantle. To such persons we would address ourselves in the
mild and forbearing spirit of that.
As one, in fairy tale, to whom the key
Of some enchanter's secret hall is
giyen, Doubts, while he enters, slowly, tremblingly,
If he shall meet with shapes from
hell or heaven
Let me a moment, think what thousands
o'er the wide earth this instant, who would give,
Gladly, whole sleepless nights to bend
Over these precious leaves as I do now,