1816 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Chandos Leigh, "On the Departure of — for the Continent" Leigh, Juvenile Poems (1815, 1817) 115-17.



Fame attends thee where thou goest,
Noble Bard — though others rail;
Yet the spirit which thou shewest,
Ne'er through envy's arts shall quail.

Through those climes so fam'd in story,
As thou lov'st again to rove,
Every scene of former glory
Shall revive romantic love.

There shall malice reach thee never,
Though the past may cause a sigh;
—Those who strove two hearts to sever—
Those who burst the marriage tie,

Vainly hope to hear thy anguish,
Bitterly in words exprest;
Though thy soul awhile may languish,
Yet it is with genius blest.

As o'er Greece whose beauties charm'd thee,
When the muse, beyond thy years,
With the finest feelings warmed thee;
E'en exulting in thy tears;

Thou may'st wander — scenes which brighten
To the bond-slave's eye in vain,
May thine heart of sorrow lighten;
Or at least becalm thy pain.

Shades of heroes, mighty spirits,
Hovering round those blessed Isles
Where thy Muse has told their merits,
Welcome thee again with smiles.

Memory shall recall those ages
Which no puny genius knew;
Heroes, Patriots, Poets, Sages,
Crowd at once upon thy view.

Yet, O think not, scandal reaches
Those who know thy manly worth;
They despise what fashion teaches,
Envy ever thrives on earth.
April 23d, 1816.