1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

H. Cox, "Written on reading the Works of Lord Byron" Imperial Magazine 10 (November 1828) 1033.



BYRON! thou man of mind! thy name alone
Inspires the heart with deep-heaved sighs — the big
Tear of sorrowful remembrance wets each
Pious cheek; thy mind (ah, that's the thought!)
Thy boasted part, that held the wondering world
In magic. Yes, the deathless mind still thinks.
Ah! the sad thought — 'twill intrude,
Presumptuous! — but I forbear to look
Beyond the grave — a weeping nation points
To where he lies — suffice it now to catch
The ling'ring sounds, as on the wing they still
Reverberate from the Grecian shore,
(Where erst his baneful harp, now silent lies
Unstrung,) and wake the requiem on Parnas'
Height — slow swells the dirge from muses gathering
Round their fallen chief — thou star of poesy,
That shone the brightest in the midnight train,
Thyself absorbing all—
The dense vapours of the mind thou pierced'st,
And sported in their 'frighten'd speed; thou smiledst
To see the angry storms of angry critics,
And turnedst their arrows with twofold ire
On themselves: thy genius spurn'd the race
Of mortals, or dragged them at thy will;
Nor ought could conquer thee, save death; else thou
Hadst 'scaped the common lot of man — The Grave—
With worlds to dire annihilation sink.
But nought of man, much less of thee can e'er
Be lost. No! thou shalt stand 'mid jarring spheres,
The foremost in responsibility.
Byworth, near Petworth.