1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Anonymous, "To Lord Byron" Morning Post (7 February 1814).



Bard of ungentle, wayward mood!
'Tis said of thee, when in the lap,
Thy Nurse, to tempt thee to thy food,
Would squeeze a Lemon in thy pap.

At vinegar how danc'd thine eyes,
Before thy tongue a want could utter;
And oft the dame to stop thy cries,
Strewed wormwood on thy bread and butter:

And when in childhood's frolic hour,
Thou'dst plait a garland for thine hair;
The nettle bloomed a chosen flower,
And native thistles flourished there.

For sugar-plum thou ne'er didst pine,
Thy teeth no sweet-meat ever hurt—
The sloe's-juice was thy favourite wine,
And bitter almonds thy dessert.

Mustard, how strong so e'er the sort is,
Can draw no moisture from thine eye;
Not vinegar, nor aqua-fortis,
Could ever set thy face awry.

Thus train'd a Satirist — thy mind
Soon caught the bitter, sharp, and sour;
And all their various power combin'd,
Produced Childe Harolde, and the Giaour.