1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

H. S. B., "Lines occasioned by reading The Giaour" Gentleman's Magazine 84 (June 1814) 592.



When to thy shrine rever'd, the votive bays
I lately bore of undissembled praise,
I deem'd thy "Bride" the loveliest saddest child
That ever on a Poet's dream hath smil'd.—
But oh! I knew not, felt not half thy power:
These eyes had wept not Leila's blighted flower;
This heart had mourn'd not o'er the dying Giaour.
O what a cloudless blaze of dazzling song!
In glory roll the golden tides along;
Melodious waves that glow in Fancy's beam;
On soft ambrosial verse a fountain-stream.
With pride I hail thee Chief of Bards on Earth,
And joy that favour'd Britain gave thee birth.
Yet hold — I may not laud where praise were vain,
Nor with my lowly, uncongenial strain,
Th' indignant Muse offend, that will the lay disdain.