1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

William Kennedy, "Byron" The Lyre: Fugitive Poetry of the XIXth Century (1830) 258-59.



The forfeit's paid, — we pardon thee,—
Thy faults shall fade away;
The beauty of thy memory
Will never know decay.
Thy errors, like a cloud or two,
Upon a heaven of holiest blue,
But intercept the ray,
To make its fervour less intense,
For trembling mortals' shrinking sense.

The monarch of the melody
Is risen from his throne,
And who shall lead the harmony,
When he, our feast, hath flown?
His harp obeys no stranger hand,
Nor have we one whose chords command
The wild heart-piercing tone,
That swell'd above each heavy hymn
Of those, who would have rival'd him.

Attendant on the minstrel's form
A band of spirits came,
From earth and air, in calm and storm,
In water and in flame;
The children of the Universe
Obey'd the magic of his verse,
And, at his will, became
Things lovely, to the wondering eyes
Which gloried in their mysteries.

He died too, as he wish'd to die,
A fair and full grown tree,
Whose stem shot proudly to the sky,
And bloom'd luxuriantly.
No dotage of a slow decay,
No canker of rebellious clay,
E'er fix'd its taint on thee;
Thy spirit sprang from its abode,
In summer beauty to its God.

And in that latest loneliest hour
When human aid is vain,
There lives for me a thought with power
To soothe the scene of pain.
The consciousness that I shall be
Permitted to obtain
A place in thy community
With those who most resemble thee.