1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Anonymous, "The Poet's Lyre on Lord Byron" Euterpeiad, or Musical Intelligencer [Boston] 1 (9 June 1821) 43.



Sweet bard! whose magic fingers know,
How best to wake the wild harps thrill;
To calm the tear or bid it flow,
And mould each passion to thy will;
Who with a poets glowing fire,
Bidst feeling burn in every line;
Tell us what minstrel dare aspire,
To touch the harp that once was thine?

The harp with cypress is entwined,
And weeping flowerets round it spring;
At eve, the hollow moaning wind,
Sighs o'er each now neglected string;
Though many a "Son of Song" is there,
Who tries to rouse its fairy tone;
All must the fruitless task forbear,
And own 'twas strung for thee alone.

In silence then, the lyre must sleep,
Till thou return'st to wake the strain;
No hand save thine has power to weep,
Its heaven-strung chords — they strike in vain;
Each note a hallow murmur dies;
The tones no more are clear and free;
And mourning genius 'frighted flies
To seek a distant clime with thee!