1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

James Hogg, "Ode for Music. On the Death of Lord Byron" Blackwood's Magazine 21 (May 1827) 320-21.



PRELUDE.
O came ye by Dee's winding waters,
That rave down the Forests of Marr,
Or over the glens of the Gordons,
And down by the dark Loch-na-Gaur?
For there, at the fall of the even,
Was heard a wild song of despair,
As if the sweet seraphs of heaven
Had mix'd with the fiends of the air.

The angels in songs were bewailing
The fall of a bard in his prime;
While demons of discord were yelling
A coronach loud and sublime.
The cliff, like a bay'd deer, was quaking;
The hill shook his temples of grey:
The stars drizzled blood on the braken,
As pour'd this dread strain from the brae:

CHORUS OF DEMONS.
Sound! sound,
Your anthem profound,
Spirits of peril, unawed and unbound!
Clamour away,
To mortals dismay,
Till the Christian turn on is pillow to pray.
Sound, sound &c.
Wake up your pipe and your carol with speed,
The pipe of the storm, and the dance of the dead;
Light up your torches, the dark heavens under,
The torch of the lightning, and bass of the thunder!
Roar it and revel it, riot and rumble,
Till earth from her inmost core grovel and grumble;
And then in deep horrors her moody front swaddle,
Till all these dark mountains shall rock like a cradle!
Sound, sound &c.

For he, the greatest of earthly name,
Whose soul, of our own elemental flame,
Was a shred of so bright and appalling a glow,
As ne'er was inclosed in a frame below—
Spirits, that energy, all in prime,
Must join this night in our revels sublime!
Then sound, sound
Your anthem profound,
Spirits of peril, unawed and unbound!
Sound overhead
Your symphony dread,
Till shudders the dust of the sleeping dead.

CHORUS OF ANGELS.
Hail, hail,
With harp and with vaile,
You spirit that comes on the gloaming gale!
Sing! sing!
Till heaven's arch ring,
To hail the favour'd of our King!

Grey Shade of Selma, where art thou sailing?
Light from thy dim cloud, and cease thy bewailing;
Though the greatest of all the choral throng
That ever own'd thy harp and song,
Hath fallen at Freedom's holy shrine,
Yet the light of his gory for ever shall shine.
Spirit of Ossian, cease thy bewailing,
Our spirits atone not for human failing;
But let us rejoice, that there is above
A Father of pity, a God of love,
Who never from erring being will crave
Beyond what his heavenly bounty gave;
And never was given in Heaven's o'erjoy
So bright a portion without an alloy.
Then hail to his rest,
This unparallel'd guest,
With songs that pertain to the land of the blest!
For stars shall expire,
And earth roll in fire,
Ere perish the strains of his sovereign lyre;

That spirit of flame that had its birth
In heaven, to blaze for a moment on earth.
Mid tempest and tumult, mid fervour and flame,
Then mount to the glories from whence it came.—
And there for his home of bliss shall given
The highest hills on the verge of heaven,
To thrill with his strains afar and wide,
And laugh at the fiends in the world aside.
Then hie thee, for shame,
Ye spirits of blame,
Away to your revels in thunder and flame;
For our's the avail,
To hallow and hail
Yon spirit that comes on the glooming gale.

Then bounding through the fields of air,
A spirit approach'd in the chariot fair,
That seem'd from the arch of the rainbow won,
Or beam of the red departing sun,
A hum of melody far was shed,
And a halo of glory around it spread;
For that spirit came the dells to see,
Where first it was join'd with mortality,
Where first it breathed the inspired strain,
And return its harp to heaven again.
Then far above the cliffs so grey,
This closing measure died away:
With join acclaim
Let's hail the name
Of our great Bard, whose mighty fame
Must spread for aye,
Ne'er to decay
Till heaven and earth shall pass away.