Page images
PDF
EPUB

MISCELLANEOUS PIECES.

[ocr errors]

ON LEAVING NEWSTEAD ABBEY.

Why dost thou build the hall, son of the winged days? Thou lookest from thy tower to-day: yet a few years, and the blast of the desert comes, it howls in thy empty court."-Ossian *.

1.

THROUGH thy battlements, Newstead, the hollow winds whistle;

Thou, the hall of my fathers, art gone to decay; In thy once smiling garden, the hemlock and thistle Have choked up the rose which late bloom'd in the way.

2.

Of the mail-cover'd Barons, who proudly to battle
Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain,
The escutcheon and shield, which with every blast rattle,
Are the only sad vestiges now that remain.

*The motto was added in the first edition of Hours of Idleness.-ED.

3.

No more doth old Robert, with harp-stringing numbers, Raise a flame in the breast for the war-laurell'd wreath; Near Askalon's towers, John of Horistan* slumbers, Unnerved is the hand of his minstrel by death.

4.

Paul and Hubert, too, sleep in the valley of Cressy;
For the safety of Edward and England they fell:
My fathers! the tears of your country redress ye;
How you fought, how you died, still her annals can tell.

5.

On Marston†, with Rupert,'gainst traitors contending, Four brothers enrich'd with their blood the bleak field; For the rights of a monarch their country defending, Till death their attachment to royalty seal'd.

6.

Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant, departing From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu! Abroad, or at home, your remembrance imparting New courage, he'll think upon glory and you.

* Horistan Castle, in Derbyshire, an ancient seat of the Byron family.

†The battle of Marston Moor, where the adherents of Charles I. were defeated.

Son of the Elector Palatine, and related to Charles I. He afterwards commanded the fleet in the reign of Charles II.

7.

Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation,
'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret;
Far distant he goes, with the same emulation,
The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget.

8.

That fame, and that memory, still will he cherish;
He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown;
Like you will he live, or like you will he perish;
When decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your own.

1803.

ON A DISTANT VIEW OF THE VILLAGE AND SCHOOL OF HARROW ON THE HILL*.

Oh! mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos.

Virgil, Eneid, lib. 8. 560.

1.

YE scenes of my childhood, whose loved recollection Embitters the present, compared with the past; Where science first dawn'd on the powers of reflection, And friendships were form'd, too romantic to last;

*This poem was printed in the private volume, and in the first edition of Hours of Idleness, where the motto from Virgil was added. It was afterwards omitted.-ED.

2.

Where fancy yet joys to retrace the resemblance
Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied;
How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrance,
'Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied!

3.

Again I revisit the hills where we sported,

The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought;

The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we resorted, To pore o'er the precepts by pedagogues taught.

4.

Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd,
As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone I lay;

Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd,
To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray.

5.

I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded, Where, as Zanga, I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown; While to swell my young pride such applauses resounded,

I fancied that Mossop* himself was outshone:

* Mossop, a cotemporary of Garrick, famous for his performance of Zanga, in Young's tragedy of the Revenge.

« PreviousContinue »