1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

W. H. S., "Address to Lord Byron. On reading the lines written by his Lordship ... on the Silver Mounting of a Human Skull, used as a Goblet" The Star (20 November 1821).



Why hast thou bound around with silver rim
This once gay peopled palace of the soul?
Look on it now, dissected, blanch'd, and grim;
Is this, thou feverish man, thy festal bowl?

Is this the cup in which thou seek'st the balm
Each blighted chalice to thy breast denies?
Is this the oblivious bowl, whose floods becalm
The worm that will not sleep, and never dies?

Woe to the lip to which this cup is held,
The lip that's pall'd with every purer draught,
For which alone the rifled grave can yield
A goblet worthy to be deeply quaff'd!

Strip then this glittering mockery from the skull,
Restore the relic to its tomb again,
And seek a healing balm within the bowl,
The blessed bowl that never flow'd in vain!
Sheffield.