1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

T. W. R., "To the Shades of Lord Byron" The Microscope [Louisville KY] 1 (14 August 1824).



O thou whose measures ever swell,
England's sinuous coast,
Whether thy name, men cannot tell,
Was lov'd, or fear'd the most.
'Tis blotted from the roll of fame,
Where virtue always writes her name,
But yet it is not lost.

It lives in many a Graecian song,
It hangs on many a Graecian tongue:
Science there unlocked her store,
Unvail'd each secret page,
For thou wert skill'd in mystic lore,
Thy onliest heritage,
The critics from their seats were hurl'd,
For thou didst with the learned world,
Eternal warfare wage.

For he who vanquish'd other men,
Has quirl'd beneath the brazen pen,
Piles that are rear'd by mortal hands,
A transient moment live,
Like houses built on shoals of sand,
With elements to strive.
Pillars of brass are overthrown,
Time's iron hand subdues the stone,
Thy name shall still survive;

When others shall be wash'd away,
Like worm tracks on the face of Clay,
Thy heart a double debt hath paid,
A tribute most divine;
And sever'd from thy breast, 'twas made
An offering to the Nine;
One sigh is in it's chambers yet,
One ray of hope that ne'er has set,
On Missolonghi's shrine.

It breathes o'er Albion's steeples high,
And glows along the Delphian sky,
What tho' thy Harp in silence hung,
The martial breath hath flown;
And every breast and every tongue,
Shall make thy notes his own:
All shall see thy burning heart,
Indignant from it's slumbers start,
And tremble on his throne;
The Morea shall hear thy voice,
And all the Grecian Isles rejoice.