1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Thomas Stott, "Monody on the Death of Lord Byron" Morning Post (25 May 1824).



Fair land of Science, Arts, and Arms,
Renown'd in days of yore—
Where Freedom her proud banner bore,
While Beauty round the smiling shore
Unveil'd her peerless charms.

But envious Tyranny beheld
(And sicken'd at the sight)
The splendour of a lot so bright—
And Treachery, and barbarous might,
At length thy noble spirit quell'd!

Land of the laurel, myrtle, bay,
Famed nurse of classic lore,
The glory of thy ancient day,
Shrouded by Slavery's gloomy sway,
Seem'd sunk, to rise no more.

The Muses from Parnassus fled—
Forlorn sad Science wept—
Painting in deserts hid her head—
Sculpture mid broken columns slept—
Still lingering, hoping still in vain,
That Fortune yet might rend the galling chain.

Successive thus roll'd ages on,
Cheerless, degraded Land! o'er thee—
A beauteous blank beneath the sun
Thou seem'dst now but to be!
Thy offspring slaves—
Thy rulers knaves,
Proud tools of tyranny!

At last the dawn, when least expected, broke
Through fell Oppression's gloom,
And Liberty from her long trance awoke—
Dash'd from her limbs the iron yoke—
And bade her Sons their ancient rank resume.

And nobly they obey'd her call,
Resolv'd to die, or disenthrall
Their dear-lov'd native land—
Success, almost beyond belief,
Crown'd the brave efforts of each Chief
That the bold project plann'd.

'Twas at this crisis of thy fate,
That noble BYRON join'd thy band,
And with a spirit truly great,
To thy support pledg'd fortune, heart, and hand.

Yes, the famed Master of the British lyre
Felt a deep interest in thy cause,
And full of patriotic energy and fire,
From ease, and opulence, and home withdraws,
To cheer thy Sons with his applause,
Still eager new achievements to acquire.

Ah! BYRON loved thee dearly, Greece!
His soul felt thine its true congenial clime,
In which Poetic Fancy sees
All that is fascinating, fair, sublime—
The noblest records, works, and wrecks of Time.

Alas! that Noble Bard,
So worthy of thy high regard,
Just as his hopes to full completion soar'd
Of seeing Independence now restored
Throughout thy mainland state — in every Isle—
The hand of Fate (event to be deplored!)
Hath snatch'd — and deep thy sorrow flows meanwhile!
HAFIZ.
Dromore, May 19, 1824.