1816 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

George Taylor, "Lines, composed after reading Lord Byron's Domestic Poems" British Lady's Magazine 4 (September 1816) 188.



Unhappy Byron! blest with pow'rs in vain,
To pour along the soul-subduing strain,
If doom'd in manly prime, without relief,
To sink the victim of corroding grief?

How sad the destiny that reigns below,
To plunge the mightiest spirits into woe!
Byron, at once with rank and fortune crown'd,
With taste illumin'd, and by Fame renown'd,
Rapt child of Genius, warm'd with master-mind,
Vigorous, excursive, bold and unconfin'd,
Drains — deeply drains — with many a bitter sup,
E'en to the dregs, Affliction's poison'd cup!

Daughter of heaven, bright Beauty! then, indeed,
Before thy throne shall Genius vainly plead?
Genius, like thee, O Beauty! heavenly-born,
Twin-seraph! — then shall angel, angel scorn?
Forbid it, ye celestial powers above,
Who fan the flames of Genius and of Love,
Who give the rose of Beauty, to unfold
And earthly form cast in a heav'nly mould,
And plume with wings the lofty-moving mind,
Proudly to soar and charm all human kind.

The noblest deed that those can do that live
Is, like a God, sublimely to forgive.
Great actions deeply sunk in noble minds,
Where all that's great itself reflected finds;
Justice with mercy temper'd, head and heart
At once inspires to act the worthiest part;
Judgment it gives, to fix the wavering will,
Yet each fine feeling warms with holy thrill.

Then may dire strife in heav'n no more preside,
But Genius Beauty hail once more his bride;
While, in oblivion all the past forgot,
Felicity be either Byron's lot!—
So wills the Bard, who at bright Beauty's shrine
Offers these lays for Genius the divine.
Belmont-place, Vauxhall;
Aug. 5, 1816.