The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview

IN the valley of waters we wept oer the day
When the host of the stranger made Salem his prey,
And our heads on our bosoms all droop-ingly lay,
And our hearts were so full of the land far away.

The song they demanded in vain -- it lay still
In our souls, as the wind that hath died on the hill;
They call'd for the harp -- but our blood they shall spill
Ere our right hands shall teach them one tone of our skill.

All stringlessly hung on the willow's sad tree,
As dead as her dead leaf those mute harps must be;
Our hands may be fetter'd -- our tears still are free
For our God and our glory -- and Sion! oh thee!


STANZAS FOR MUSIC

[The following anecdote related by Nathan, the composer of the music, will show Byron's carelessness occasionally in regard to his verses:

'Having been officiously taken up by a person who arrogated to himself some self-importance in criticism, and who made an observation upon their demerits, Lord Byron quaintly observed, "They were written in haste, and they shall perish in the same manner!" and immediately consigned them to the flames. As my music adapted to them, however, did not share the same fate, and having a contrary opinion of anything that might fall from the pen of his Lordship, I treasured them up, and on a subsequent interview with his Lordship, I accused him of having committed suicide in making so valuable a burnt-offering: to which he smilingly replied, " The act seems to inflame you; come, Nathan, since you are displeased with the sacrifice,I will give them to you as a peace-offering, use them as you may deem proper." ']

THEY say that Hope is happiness;
But genuine Love must prize the past,
And Memory wakes the thoughts that bless;
They rose the first -- they set the last.

And all that Memory loves the most
Was once our only Hope to be,
And all that Hope adored and lost
Hath melted into Memory.

Alas! it is delusion all;
The future cheats us from afar,
Nor can we be what we recall,
Nor dare we think on what we are.


EPHEMERAL VERSES

[These squibs, bits of satire, and broken rhymes are taken chiefly from by ron Letters. None of the verses were published in any edition of his poems during the author's life. The titles and dates here given indicate the letters from which the verses are taken, when no other source is indicated.]


EPIGRAM ON AN OLD LADY WHO HAD SOME CURIOUS NOTIONS RESPECTING THE SOUL

IN Nottingham county there lives at Swan
Green,
As curst an old Lady as ever was seen;
And when she does die, which I hope will be soon,
She firmly believes she will go to the
Moon!
1798.


[TO DIVES (WILLIAM BECKFORD). A FRAGMENT]

UNHAPPY Dives! in an evil hour
'Gainst Nature's voice seduced to deeds accurst!
Once Fortune's minion now thou feel'st her power;
Wrath's vial on thy lofty head hath burst.
In Wit, in Genius, as in Wealth the first,
How wondrous bright thy blooming morn arose!

-223-

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The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Editor's Note v
  • Table of Contents vii
  • Biographical Sketch xi
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage - A Romaunt 1
  • Shorter Poems 83
  • Miscellaneous Poems 139
  • Domestic Pieces 207
  • Hebrew Melodies 216
  • Ephemeral Verses 223
  • Satires 240
  • Tales, Chiefly Oriental 309
  • Italian Poems 436
  • Dramas 477
  • Scene II 481
  • Act II 483
  • Scene I 483
  • Scene II 487
  • Scene IV 488
  • Act III 491
  • Scene I 491
  • Scene II 493
  • Scene III 494
  • Scene IV 495
  • Act I 499
  • Act I 499
  • Scene II 500
  • Act II 509
  • Scene I 509
  • Scene II 516
  • Act III 518
  • Scene I 518
  • Scene II 520
  • Act IV 528
  • Scene I 528
  • Scene II 533
  • Act V 538
  • Act V 538
  • Scene II 546
  • Scenf III 548
  • Scene II 549
  • Sardanapalus 550
  • Scene II 551
  • Act II 561
  • Scene I 561
  • Act III 571
  • Scene I 571
  • Act IV 578
  • Scene I 578
  • Act V 587
  • Scene I 587
  • Act I 595
  • Scene I 595
  • Act II 601
  • Scene I 601
  • Act III 608
  • Scene I 608
  • Act IV 615
  • Scene I 620
  • Scene I 620
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Act II 636
  • Scene I 636
  • Scene II 639
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Scene II 657
  • Scene II 658
  • Werner; Or, the Inheritance 671
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 688
  • Act III 695
  • Scene I 695
  • Scene II 700
  • Scene III 701
  • Scene IV 701
  • Act IV 704
  • Scene I 704
  • Act V 713
  • Scene II 720
  • The Deformed Transformed 722
  • Scene II 723
  • Scene II 730
  • Part II 735
  • Scene I 735
  • Scene II 737
  • Scene III 738
  • Part III 742
  • Scene I 742
  • Don Juan 744
  • Notes 999
  • Indexes 1045
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