The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview

JOURNAL IN CEPHALONIA

[First published in the Letters, 1901.]

THE dead have been awaken'd -- shall I sleep?
The World's at war with tyrants -- shall
I crouch?
The harvest's ripe -- and shall I pause to reap?
I slumber not; the thorn is in my Couch;
Each day a trumpet soundeth in mine ear,
Its echo in my heart --
June 19, 1823.


SONG TO THE SULIOTES

[First published in Edition of 1904 from a manuscript in possession of Mr. Murray.]

Up to battle! Sons of Suli
Up, and do your duty duly!
There the wall -- and there the Moat is:
Bouwah! Bouwah! Suliotes!
There is booty -- there is Beauty,
Up my boys and do your duty.

By the sally and the rally
Which defied the arms of Ali;
By your own dear native Highlands,
By your children in the islands,
Up and charge, my Stratiotes,
Bouwah! -- Bouwah! -- Suliotes!

As our ploughshare is the Sabre:
Here's the harvest of our labour;
For behind those batter'd breaches
Are our foes with all their riches:
There is Glory -- there is plunder --
Then away despite of thunder!


SATIRES

[The seven Satires here grouped together represent work extending from Byron's twentieth to his thirty-sixth year, from the beginning, that is, to the end of his poetical career. Two distinct, and sometimes hostile, veins are to be noted in Byron's genius, -- one romantic and lyrical, connecting him with the revolutionary poets of the day, the other satirical and neo-classic, deriving from the school of Queen Anne. In Childe Harold and the Tales the first vein is to be seen almost pure; in the Satires the second reigns practically unmixed; in Don Juan the two are inextricably blended, giving the real Byron, the full poet. -- The history of the Satires is briefly as follows: As early as October, 1807, Byron had written a satirical poem which he called British Bards. This was printed in quarto sheets (but never published), one set of which is now in the British Museum. Lord Brougham review of Hours of Idleness appeared in the Edinburgh Review of January, 1808. Spurred to revenge the scant courtesy shown him in that essay, Byron added to his satirical verses and published them anonymously as English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, in March, 1809. These began with the ninety-seventh line of the present poem. A second edition, to which he prefixed his name, followed in October of the same year, and a third and fourth were called for during his 'pilgrimage' in 1810 and 1811. On returning to England he revised the work for a fifth edition, which was actually printed when he suddenly resolved to suppress it. Several copies, however, escaped destruction, and from one of these the poem as it now appears in his Works derives. Byron often in later years regretted the indiscriminate sarcasm of this Satire, but the trick of flinging barbed arrows right and left he never forgot. Many of the judgments, though extravagant in expression as befits the Muse of Juvenal, are shrewdly penetrating. -- Hints from Horace was always a favorite of the author's, but is little read to-day. It was, however, for various reasons not published in the author's lifetime, and was first ineluded among his Works in the Murray edition of 1831. -- The Curse of Minerva is dated by Byron himself, Athens, March 17, 1811. It was to be published, as was also Hints from Horace, in the volume with the fifth edition of the Bards, and Moore states that The Curse of Minerva, and with it necessarily the other two poems, was suppressed out of deference to Lord Elgin. It was, curiously enough, first published in Philadelphia in 1815. -- by ron wrote The Waltz in 1812 and published it anonymously in the spring of the following year. It exhibits at once the indignation felt by many English folk at the introduction of this form of 'round dancing' from Germany, and more particularly, that almost morbid sense of modesty which Byron, like many another man of rakish habits, so often manifested in words throughout his life. -- The Blues, 'a mere buffoonery,' as Byron calls it, was' scribbled' at Ravenna, August 6, 1821, and is apparently a mere unprovoked effervescence of wit. It was published anonymously in Leigh Hunt's

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