1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Anonymous, "Lines upon Lord Byron's Death" Ladies' Monthly Museum S3 20 (August 1824) 117-18.



The Harp must now in silence hang,
And Cypress wreaths be o'er it thrown,
Whilst He, the muse, who sweetly sang,
No more must call the harp his own:
Its thrilling notes have died away,
Its dulcet sounds are heard no more;
The magic hand which bid it play,
Is nerveless on a foreign shore.

The tuneful Nine with grief descend,
To view the long-neglected lyre;
And tears of wailing sorrow blend,
For death of more than mortal fire;
The Graces bow with moisten'd eyes,
O'er Byron's cold funereal urn,
Whilst Love, in sullen silence, lies,
For who can bid his passion burn?

The mourning Greeks a friend deplore,
And Britain's sighs responsive swell,—
Her brightest poet, now no more,
With witching strains the tale shall tell;
And oh! had Virtue's magic grace,
Beam'd in those soft seductive lines,
No blush had burnt the reader's face,
Which trembling virtue well defines.

And she who pledg'd her vows to him,
In feeling silence hears his death,
That even she, when life was dim,
With Ada shar'd his parting breath:
And oh! that infant to her heart
Is now its greatest, only prize;
For never, never, can she part,
With one who bears her Byron's eyes.

And whilst forgiveness swells her breast,
She mourns the faults which bid her part
From one whose love had made her blest,
Whose scorn had well nigh broke her heart;
And fondly thinks that, did he live,
He still might be as good as great;
And prays that God will still forgive,
And bless him in a future state.