The Works of Lord Byron Volume III Part 68

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Oh! thine be the gladness, and mine be the guilt![my]

Forgive me, adored one!--forsake, if thou wilt;-- But the heart which is thine shall expire undebased[mz]

And _man_ shall not break it--whatever _thou_ mayst.[na]


And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee, This soul, in its bitterest blackness, shall be:[nb]

And our days seem as swift, and our moments more sweet, With thee by my side, than with worlds at our feet.


One sigh of thy sorrow, one look of thy love,[nd]

Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove; And the heartless may wonder at all I resign-- Thy lip shall reply, not to them, but to _mine_.

_May_ 4, 1814.

[First published, _Letters and Journals_, 1830, i. 554.]


Who hath not glowed above the page where Fame Hath fixed high Caledon's unconquered name; The mountain-land which spurned the Roman chain, And baffled back the fiery-crested Dane, Whose bright claymore and hardihood of hand No foe could tame--no tyrant could command?

That race is gone--but still their children breathe, And Glory crowns them with redoubled wreath: O'er Gael and Saxon mingling banners shine, And, England! add their stubborn strength to thine.

The blood which flowed with Wallace flows as free, But now 'tis only shed for Fame and thee!

Oh! pa.s.s not by the northern veteran's claim, But give support--the world hath given him fame!

The humbler ranks, the lowly brave, who bled While cheerly following where the Mighty led--[309]

Who sleep beneath the undistinguished sod Where happier comrades in their triumph trod, To us bequeath--'tis all their fate allows-- The sireless offspring and the lonely spouse: She on high Albyn's dusky hills may raise The tearful eye in melancholy gaze, Or view, while shadowy auguries disclose The Highland Seer's antic.i.p.ated woes, The bleeding phantom of each martial form Dim in the cloud, or darkling in the storm;[310]

While sad, she chaunts the solitary song, The soft lament for him who tarries long-- For him, whose distant relics vainly crave The Coronach's wild requiem to the brave!

'Tis Heaven--not man--must charm away the woe, Which bursts when Nature's feelings newly flow; Yet Tenderness and Time may rob the tear Of half its bitterness for one so dear; A Nation's grat.i.tude perchance may spread A thornless pillow for the widowed head; May lighten well her heart's maternal care, And wean from Penury the soldier's heir; Or deem to living war-worn Valour just[311]

Each wounded remnant--Albion's cherished trust-- Warm his decline with those endearing rays, Whose bounteous sunshine yet may gild his days-- So shall that Country--while he sinks to rest-- His hand hath fought for--by his heart be blest!

_May_, 1814.

[First published, _Letters and Journals_, 1830, i. 559.]



There is a tear for all that die,[313]

A mourner o'er the humblest grave; But nations swell the funeral cry, And Triumph weeps above the brave.


For them is Sorrow's purest sigh O'er Ocean's heaving bosom sent: In vain their bones unburied lie, All earth becomes their monument!


A tomb is theirs on every page, An epitaph on every tongue: The present hours, the future age, For them bewail, to them belong.


For them the voice of festal mirth Grows hushed, _their name_ the only sound; While deep Remembrance pours to Worth The goblet's tributary round.


A theme to crowds that knew them not, Lamented by admiring foes, Who would not share their glorious lot?

Who would not die the death they chose?


And, gallant Parker! thus enshrined Thy life, thy fall, thy fame shall be; And early valour, glowing, find A model in thy memory.


But there are b.r.e.a.s.t.s that bleed with thee In woe, that glory cannot quell; And shuddering hear of victory, Where one so dear, so dauntless, fell.


Where shall they turn to mourn thee less?

When cease to hear thy cherished name?

Time cannot teach forgetfulness, While Grief's full heart is fed by Fame.


Alas! for them, though not for thee, They cannot choose but weep the more; Deep for the dead the grief must be, Who ne'er gave cause to mourn before.

_October_ 7, 1814.

[First published, _Morning Chronicle_, October 7, 1814.]



The Night came on the Waters--all was rest On Earth--but Rage on Ocean's troubled Heart.

The Waves arose and rolled beneath the blast; The Sailors gazed upon their shivered Mast.

In that dark Hour a long loud gathered cry From out the billows pierced the sable sky, And borne o'er breakers reached the craggy sh.o.r.e-- The Sea roars on--that Cry is heard no more.


There is no vestige, in the Dawning light, Of those that shrieked thro' shadows of the Night.

The Bark--the Crew--the very Wreck is gone, Marred--mutilated--traceless--all save one.

In him there still is Life, the Wave that dashed On sh.o.r.e the plank to which his form was lashed, Returned unheeding of its helpless Prey-- The lone survivor of that Yesterday-- The one of Many whom the withering Gale Hath left unpunished to record their Tale.

But who shall hear it? on that barren Sand None comes to stretch the hospitable hand.

That sh.o.r.e reveals no print of human foot, Nor e'en the pawing of the wilder Brute; And n.i.g.g.ard vegetation will not smile, All sunless on that solitary Isle.

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The Works of Lord Byron Volume III Part 68 summary

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