« AnteriorContinuar »
WHEN, to their airy hall, my fathers' voice
Of the mail-cover'd Barons, who proudly to battle
Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain, 3 The escutcheon and shield, which with every blast Are the only sad vestiges now that remain. [rattle,
[Of the sincerity of this youthful aspiration, the Poet has left repeated proofs. By his will, drawn up in 1811, he directed, that "no inscription, save his name and age, should be written on his tomb;" and, in 1819, he wrote thus to Mr. Murray:-" Some of the epitaphs at the Certosa cemetery, at Ferrara, pleased me more than the more splendid monuments at Bologna; for instance
Can any thing be more full of pathos? I hope whoever may
2 [The priory of Newstead, or de Novo Loco, in Sherwood, was founded about the year 1170, by Henry II., and dedicated to God and the Virgin. It was in the reign of Henry VIII., on the dissolution of the monasteries, that, by a royal grant, it was added, with the lands adjoining, to the other possessions of the Byron family. The favourite upon whom they were conferred, was the grand-nephew of the gallant soldier who fought by the side of Richmond at Bosworth, and is distinguished from the other knights of the same Christian name, in the family, by the title of "Sir John Byron the Little, with the great beard." was one of the few family pictures with which the walls of A portrait of this personage the abbey, while in the possession of the Poet, were decorated.]
3 [There being no record of any of Lord Byron's ancestors having been engaged in the Holy Wars, Mr. Moore suggests, that the Poet may have had no other authority for this notion, than the tradition which he found connected with certain strange groups of heads, which are represented on the old panel-work in some of the chambers at Newstead. In one of these groups, consisting of three heads, strongly carved and projecting from the panel. the centre figure evidently represents a Saracen or Moor, with an European female on one side of him, and a Christian soldier on the other. second group, the female occupies the centre, while on either side is the head of a Saracen, with the eyes fixed earnestly upon her. Of the exact meaning of these figures there is nothing known; but the tradition is, that they refer to a love adventure of the age of the Crusades.]
4 ["In the park of Horseley," says Thoroton, "there was a castle, some of the ruins of which are yet visible, called Horistan Castle, which was the chief mansion of Ralph de Burun's successors."]
[Two of the family of Byron are enumerated as serving
No more doth old Robert, with harp-stringing num-
Paul and Hubert, too, sleep in the valley of Cressy;
On Marston, with Rupert, 'gainst traitors con-
Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant, departing
Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation,
'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret ; Far distant he goes, with the same emulation,
The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget.
That fame, and that memory, still will he cherish;
He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown: Like you will he live, or like you will he perish: When decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your
with distinction in the siege of Calais, under Edward III., and as among the knights who fell on the glorious field of Cressy.]
6 The battle of Marston Moor, where the adherents of Charles I. were defeated.
7 Son of the Elector Palatine, and nephew to Charles I. He afterwards commanded the fleet in the reign of Charles II.
8 [Sir Nicholas Byron served with distinction in the Low Countries; and, in the Great Rebellion, he was one of the first to take up arms in the royal cause. Edgehill, he was made colonel-general of Cheshire and After the battle of Shropshire, and governor of Chester. rendon," a person of great affability and dexterity, as well as "He was," says Clamartial knowledge, which gave great life to the designs of the well affected; and, with the encouragement of some gentlemen of North Wales, he raised such a power of horse and foct, as made frequent skirmishes with the enemy, sometimes with notable advantage, never with signal loss." In 1643, Sir John Byron was created Baron Byron of Rochdale in the county of Lancaster; and seldom has a title been bestowed for such high and honourable services as those by which he deserved the gratitude of his royal master. Through almost every page of the History of the Civil Wars, we trace his name in connection with the varying fortunes of the king, and find him faithful, persevering, and disinterested to the last. Sir John Biron," says Mrs. Hutchinson, "afterwards Lord Biron, and all his brothers, bred up in arms, and valiant men in their own persons, were all passionately the king's." We find also, in the reply of Colonel Hutchinson, when governor of Nottingham, to his cousin-german Sir Richard Byron, a noble tribute to the chivalrous fidelity of the race. Sir Richard, having sent to prevail on his relative to surrender the castle, received for answer, that "except he found his own heart prone to such treachery, he might consider there was, if nothing else, so much of a Byron's blood in him, that he should very much scorn to betray or quit a trust he had undertaken."- On the monument of Richard, the second Lord Byron, who lies buried in the chancel of Hucknal-Tokard church, there is the following inscription: -"Beneath, in a vault, is interred the body of Richard Lord Byron, who, with the rest of his family, being seven brothers, faithfully served King Charles the First in the civil wars, who suffered much for their loyalty, and lost all their present fortunes; yet it pleased God so to bless the humble endeavours of the said Richard Lord Byron, that he re-purchased part of their ancient inheritance, which he left to his posterity, with a laudable memory for his great piety and charity."]
Mere phantoms of thine own creation;
Then he who tells thee of thy beauty,
[ANIMULA! vagula, blandula, Hospes comesque corporis, Quæ nunc abibis in loca Pallidula, rigida, nudula, Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos ?]
ADRIAN'S ADDRESS TO HIS SOUL WHEN DYING. 1
An! gentle, fleeting, wav'ring sprite,
To what unknown region borne,
TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS.
EQUAL to Jove that youth must be-
I needs must gaze, but, gazing, die;
[This and several little pieces that follow appear to be fragments of school exercises done at Harrow.]
[θέλω λεγεῖν Ατρείδας, κ. τ. λ.]
I WISH to tune my quivering lyre
Fired with the hope of future fame,
'Twas now the hour when Night had driven
His arctic charge around the pole;
I drew the bar, and by the light,
(Ah! little did I think the dart
His glossy curls, his azure wing,
Deep in my tortured heart it lies;
My bow can still impel the shaft:
'Tis firmly fix'd, thy sighs reveal it;
Say, courteous host, canst thou not feel it?"
FROM THE PROMETHEUS VINCTUS OF
[Μηδαμ' ὁ πάντα νέμων, κ. τ. λ.]
GREAT Jove, to whose almighty throne
Thy dread behests ne'er disobey.
My voice shall raise no impious strain 'Gainst him who rules the sky and azure main.