1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Elisha Tatham, "Lines written on a Blank-Page in Don Juan" Imperial Magazine 7 (October 1825) 940.



Reader! seek'st thou for passion'd song? 'tis here,
And robed in all the charms that passion'd diction gives,
Yea, here are strains might please a cynic's ear,
They whisper of a breast where Genius lives.

Seek'st thou the wit, the sarcasm, and the sneer,
Which proud and high-born satirists impart?
Here they seem throned in their proper sphere;
Are blighting as the Indian's poison'd dart.

Seek'st thou to see all-conquering love array'd
In vest as rich as sheets of evening's sky?
It wanders here beneath the minstrel's shade,
To plunge in crime, and heave the madd'ning sigh.

But if thou seek'st for strains to raise thy mind
Above all earthly hopes, then hence — away—
Here thou may'st seek, but here thou canst not find
What thou desir'st, — for 'tis a sensual lay.