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
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
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!
[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.
[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.]
IN Nottingham county there lives at Swan
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
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!