1810 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Francis Hodgson, "Lines to a Friend going Abroad" Hodgson, Sir Edgar (1810) 173-78.



Wand'ring from his native region,
From his dark and chilly home,
Fondly may the rude Norwegian
To a brighter summer roam.

Few the ties of kind affection
That endear that barren land;
Once dissolv'd the weak connection,
Pleas'd he quits the dreary strand.

But, though storm and sounding thunder
Cloud Britannia's changeful year,
Who can burst the bonds asunder
That attach the patriot here?

Here, unknown to Northern coldness,
Genius burns with deathless flame,
Blazing high, with happy boldness,
To the steep of ancient fame.

Here, while joy and health united
Gaily roam the cultur'd vales,
Love (unless by falsehood blighted)
Tells to beauty tender tales.

Canst thou, Mordaunt, canst thou leave it,
This adorn'd, this happy soil?
Where's thy heart? what charms deceive it?
Spare, Oh! spare thy fruitless toil.

Vain the search for foreign pleasure,
Pleasure only dwells at home:
Losing all his heav'nly treasure,
Fallen man was doom'd to roam.

Yet, perchance, you dream of gladness,
In Circassia's smiling land;
Fancy life reliev'd from sadness,
Love and Freedom hand in hand.

No, my friend! such slavish beauty
Feeble warmth to love imparts:
Struggling with their hateful duty,
Vengeance rankles in their hearts.

Then the bowl, or pois'nous dagger,
Well repays detested lust—
See! the wounded despots stagger,
See! they die beneath the thrust.

Blame not her, whose soul recoiling
From the dragon grasp of pride,
Eyes the wretch, with fury boiling,
Lays him breathless at her side.

Turn, Oh! turn to fond embraces,
To the warm, the willing kiss,
Where, in bright, in beauteous faces,
Shines the speaking eye of bliss.

Canst thou, Mordaunt, canst thou leave it,
This adorn'd, this happy soil?
Where's thy heart? what charms deceive it?
Spare, Oh! spare thy fruitless toil.

Yet, if pleasing change allure thee
O'er the roughly-swelling tide,
May the one great guide secure thee—
Mordaunt! ne'er forget thy guide.

Mark him, in the whirlwind riding,
O'er the darken'd billows sweep;
Mark him, through the calm air gliding,
Bid th' obedient ocean sleep.

See him fill yon arch of Heav'n,
Glitt'ring with the gems of night;
See, nor hope to be forgiv'n,
Doubtful of his sacred light.

See him spread, in bright profusion,
Varied wealth o'er ev'ry land—
See, or rest in blind delusion,
Doubtful of his bounteous hand.

But, if Nature fail to move thee
With her rich external charms,
Raise thy thoughts to Him above thee
From thy conscious soul's alarms.

Feel that soul's most deep recesses
Touch'd by inspiration's pen;
Feel, nor trust in impious guesses
Of the thankless sons of men.

Then, as o'er the midnight ocean
Moves thy steady bark along,
On the deck, in calm devotion,
Breathe to Heav'n thy secret song.

With the pure, and holy feeling,
Friendship in thy breast shall rise;
And Remembrance, o'er thee stealing,
Softly paint thy native skies.