1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Anonymous, "Fragment of a Poem, occasion'd by a Gentleman's seeing a Lady weep over Lord Byron's Picture" The Sun (5 January 1819).



Oh! that those lips had language, and would speak
Comfort to her whose tear is on her cheek,
Sighing to think thy Genius shines so bright,
Only to dazzle and deceive the sight.
What recks it where thy present lot is cast,
If thou should'st wander hopeless at the last:
If thou, frail mortal, will not own thy God,
Nor fear his frown, nor dread his angry nod.
Why are thy steps not planted in the road
That leads from earth to heav'n, from man to God?
For then, tho' critics 'gainst thy verses rail,
Then, tho' the magic of thy numbers fail,
Should e'en the shadows deepen o'er the past,
Yet Hope's bright picture would not be o'ercast.
———*———*———*———*———
And when at last thy dust to dust is tending,
And thy pure soul is to her God ascending,
May Heav'n's bright sunshine on thy features rest,
May Heav'n's own smile be on thy lips imprest,
Hope wide extend her ever-soaring wings,
And streams of mercy wash away all sins.

Then may'st thou, thy trials past,
Hear these gracious sounds at last,
"Spirit rest — thy work is o'er,
Thou art blest for evermore."
Sun of righteousness! appear,
With clouds of incense ever near,
Shed o'er all thy radiant light,
Ever pure and ever bright.
———*———*———*———
Sorrow's clouds will swiftly fly,
When the grace of God is night.