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"THE BURTHEN, AND THE MYSTERY, AND THE DREAM, THE SENSE OF THINGS THAT ARE AND YET MAY BE,

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THE GLOW-WORM is a little common grub,—(BUCHANAN)

GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON.

Hearken, O pure and free,
When 'tis upbuilt for ye,

Out of the grave he shall arise again;

He whose blest soul did plan

This the fair CITY OF MAN,

In his white robes of peace, CHRIST shall arise, and reign.

[From "Napoleon Fallen," a very powerful and well-sustained lyrical drama, dealing, not unsuccessfully, with one of the most remarkable events of recent times. The preceding extract forms the final chorus or epode, and breathes a noble, earnest, and hopeful aspiration.]

George Gordon, Lord Byron.

[GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON, was born in Holles Street, London, on the 22nd January 1788. His father having fled to France to avoid his creditors, the entire care of his infant years devolved upon his mother, who, retired to Aberdeen, and by her excessive maternal indulgence developed the worst features of her son's character. At the age of seven he was sent to, a grammar school at Aberdeen; afterwards he was removed to Harrow, where the thoughtless ridicule excited by the malformation of one of his feet contributed to embitter his temper and foster his less pleasing qualities, At Harrow he was more distinguished by his love of athletic games than by a studious disposition. In his vacations he lived at Newstead, where he became acquainted with Miss Chaworth, the "Mary" of his poetry, his unfortunate passion for whom clouded all his later life. In 1805 he was removed to Trinity College, Cambridge, and two years afterwards he published his first poetical effusions in a volume entitled "Hours of Idleness." It was severely, not to say unjustly, treated by the Edinburgh Review; but the sarcasms poured out upon him, instead of crushing him, made Byron a poet. He retaliated in the vigorous satire of "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," whose caustic wit and condensed versification instantly seized the ear of the public. In 1809, accompanied by his friend Hobhouse (Lord Broughton), he visited the Mediterranean and the coast of Greece, returning home in 1811. In February 1812 he gave to the world the first two cantos of "Childe Harold," and sprang in an instant to the pinnacle of poetic fame. The adulation lavished upon him, was excessive, and becoming the idol of fashionable coteries, he plunged into the vortex of metropolitan dissipation. His genius, however, seemed to derive fresh vigour from its contact with earth, and he published in rapid succession his spirited Eastern tales of "The Giaour," "The Bride of Abydos," "The Corsair," and "Lara." Endeavouring to break from the circle of vice and folly in

YET WHAT A PRETTY GLEAM IT OFTEN SHEDS!"-BUCHANAN.

THE STRIFE BETWEEN WHAT IS AND WHAT DOTH SEEM, IS WEARV THEN ON ALI., AND MOST ON ME!"-BUCHANAN.

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BRIGHTEST IN DUNGEONS, LIBERTY, THOU ART,-(BYRON)

"ETERNAL SPIRIT OF THE CHAINLESS MIND!

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RETURNED, AND WEPT ALONE, AND DREAMED AGAIN,-(BYRON)

GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON.

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which he stood enthralled, he married, in 1815, Anne Isabella, only daugh-
ter of Sir Ralph Millbanke; but the union proved singularly unhappy. The
lady, after a twelvemonth's married life, withdrew to her father's, and re-
fused to return; and Byron, stung with bitter disappointment, oppressed
with debt, and pursued by calumny and scandal, quitted England for the
last time in the spring of 1816.

While at Geneva he wrote the third canto of "Childe Harold," which
contains some of his noblest poetry, and "The Prisoner of Chillon." The
wild semi-metaphysical dramatic poem of "Manfred," and "The Lament
of Tasso," were written in 1817. At Venice, in 1818, his "Beppo" showed
that he was as fully a master of the springs of humour and wit as of passion
and deep feeling, and displayed his extraordinary powers of fluent and
forcible versification. In 1822 he removed to Pisa, and began his "Don
Juan," a strange mixture of pathos, sublimity, ribaldry, exquisite fancy,
and shrewd worldly wisdom. It is the greatest, yet the least satisfactory
of his works. We have omitted, in this hurried review, to mention his
tragedies, which, faulty in their principles of construction, and deficient in
embodiment of character, contain, nevertheless, many effective scenes and
much picturesque writing. They are, "Sardanapalus," "The Two Fos-
cari,"
," "Marino Faliero," and "Werner." Among his finer poems must be
included "Parisina," "Cain," and "Mazeppa."

His troubled career was destined to a premature close, just as his genius seemed struggling to rise into a purer air, and plume its wings for a stronger and nobler flight. His keen sympathy with the Greeks-then struggling against their Turkish oppressors with gallant but ill-directed effort-induced him to devote his fortune and energies to their cause. In the summer of 1823 he sailed for Greece to assist them with his genius, person, and money. He arrived at Missolonghi on the 4th of January 1824. He applied himself to his heroic work with characteristic ardour, but his health began to fail; he was seized with fever, and expired on the evening of the 19th of April 1824, in his thirty-seventh year.

The fame of Byron has fluctuated greatly, and he has been as unduly
depreciated as at one time he was unduly overrated. The impartial critic,
however, will rank him among the first of English poets, but not the first.
He is not equal to Milton, Chaucer, Wordsworth, Spenser,-the "kings of
song,"--but he may fairly claim a place only inferior to these, in right of
his command of vigorous and energetic language, his descriptive powers,
his eloquence, his pathos, his clear and ready intellect, his wit, and keen
worldly shrewdness. A living poet, well-fitted to sympathize with what
may be called the passionate side of Byron's genius, thus eloquently sums
up his estimate of his powers:-

"His glorious courage, his excellent contempt for things contemptible,
and hatred of hateful men, are enough of themselves to embalm and endear
his
memory in the eyes of all who are worthy to pass judgment upon him.
And these qualities gave much of their own value to verse not otherwise or
not always praiseworthy. Even at its best, the serious poetry of Byron is
often so rough and loose-so weak in the screws and joints which hold
together the framework of verse-that it is not easy to praise it enough

THE VISIONS WHICH ARISE WITHOUT A SLEEP.' -LORD BYRON,

FOR THERE THY HABITATION IS THE HEART, THE HEART WHICH LOVE OF THEE ALONE CAN BIND."-BYRON.

"PAIN WAS MIXED IN ALL WHICH WAS SERVED UP TO HIM, UNTIL,-(LORD BYRON)

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THE LIFE IMMORTAL, INFINite, secure,—(LORD BYRON)

GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON.

without seeming to condone or to extenuate such faults as should not be
overlooked or forgiven. No poet is so badly represented by a book of
selections. It must show something of his weakness; it cannot show all of
his strength. Often, after a noble overture, the last note struck is either
dissonant or ineffectual. His magnificent masterpiece, which must endure
for ever among the precious relics of the world, will not bear dissection or
extraction. The merit of 'Don Juan' does not lie in any part, but in the
whole. There is in that great poem an especial and exquisite balance and
sustenance of alternate tones which cannot be expressed or explained by
the utmost ingenuity of selection....

"It is natural, in writing of Byron, to slide into remembrances of what is
likest to his verse. His work and Shelley's, beyond that of all our other
poets, recall or suggest the wide and high things of Nature-the large like-
ness of the elements, the immeasurable liberty and the stormy strength of
waters and winds. They are strongest when they touch upon these. They
feed upon
Nature with a holy hunger-their passion is perfect—a fierce and
blind desire which exalts and impels their verse into the high places of
emotion and expression....

"In Byron the power given by this passion is more conspicuous through
his want of dramatic capacity. Except in the lighter and briefer scenes of
'Don Juan,' he was never able to bring two speakers face to face and sup-
ply them with the right words. In structure as in metre his elaborate
tragedies are wholly condemnable, filled as they are in spirit with the over-
flow of his fiery energy....

"As a poet Byron was surpassed, beyond all question and all comparison, by three men at least of his own time; and matched, if not now and then overmatched, by one or two others. But his own ground, where none but he could set foot, was lofty enough, fertile, and various. Nothing in Byron is so worthy of wonder and admiration as the scope and range of his power. New fields and ways of work-had he lived-might have given room for exercise and matter for triumph to that most fiery spirit.' As it is, his work was done at Missolonghi-all of his work for which the fates could spare him time. A little space was allowed him to show at least a heroic purpose and attest a high design; then, with all things unfinished before him and behind, he fell asleep after many troubles and triumphs. In the full strength of spirit and of body his destiny overtook him, and made an end of all his labours. He had seen and borne and achieved more than most men on record. 'He was a great man, good at many things, and now he has attained this also, to be at rest.'"-Algernon Charles Swinburne (in Moxon's Miniature Poets).]

THE GREEK SLAVE.

[Salamenes, the counsellor and kinsman of the Assyrian king Sardanapalus, indignant at the latter's indolent love of pleasure, and ascribing it partly to the enervating influence of his favourite, Myrrha, an Ionian slave,

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TO ALL FOR WHOM THE CROSS HATH MADE IT SURE. -BYRON.

LIKE TO THE PONTIC MONARCH OF OLD DAYS, HE FED ON POISONS."-LORD BYRON.

"FOR INFINITE AS BOUNDLESS SPACE THE THOUGHT THAT CONSCIENCE MUST EMBRACE,

66 religion, freEDOM, VENGEANCE, WHAT YOU WILL,-(BYRON)

Myrrha.
Sard.

has driven her from the royal presence by his injurious speech. After his
departure, Sardanapalus recalls her, and repeats to her the warnings he
has received.]

Myrrha.

Sard.

Myrrha.

THE GREEK SLAVE.

Myrrha.

E did well.

And sayest thou so!

Thou whom he spurned so harshly, and now
dared

Drive from our presence with his savage jeers,
And make thee weep and blush?

I should do both
More frequently! and he did well to call me
Back to my duty. But thou spakest of peril--
Peril to thee-

Ay, from dark plots and snares-
From Medes-and discontented troops and nations.
I know not what-a labyrinth of things-
A maze of muttered threats and mysteries.

Thou knowest the man-
-it is his usual custom.
But he is honest.

Come, we'll think no more on 't—
But of the midnight festival.

'Tis time

To think of aught save festivals.
Spurned his sage cautions?

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Thou hast not

Sard.

What!--and dost thou fear?

Myrrha. Fear!-I'm a Greek, and how should I fear death?
A slave, and wherefore should I dread my freedom?
Sard. Then wherefore dost thou turn so pale?

Myrrha.

Sard. And do not I? I love thee far-far more

I love

Than either the brief life or the wide realm,
Which, it may be, are menaced; yet I blench not.
When he who is their ruler

Forgets himself, will they remember him?
Sard. Myrrha!

A WORD'S ENOUGH TO RAISE MANKIND TO KILL."-LORD BYRON.

WHICH IN ITSELF CAN COMPREHEND WOE WITHOUT NAME, OR HOPE, OR END."-LORD BYRON.

"THEY TOO WILL RATHER DIE THAN SHAME: FOR FREEDOM'S BATTLE ONCE BEGUN,-(BYRON)

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66 MAN HAS ANOTHER DAY TO SWELL the past,-(byRON)

Myrrha.

Frown not upon me; you have smiled
Too often on me, not to make those frowns
Bitterer to bear than any punishment

Which they may augur.-King, I am your subject!
Master, I am your slave! Man, I have loved you !--
Loved you, I know not by what fatal weakness,
Although a Greek, and born a foe to monarchs--
A slave, and hating fetters-an Ionian,

And therefore, when I love a stranger, more
Degraded by that passion than by chains!
Still I have loved you. If that love were strong
Enough to overcome all former nature,
Shall it not claim the privilege to save you?
Sard. Save me, my beauty! Thou art very fair,
And what I seek of thee is love-not safety.
And without love, where dwells security?
I speak of woman's love.

Myrrha.
Sard.

Myrrha.

GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON.

The very first

Of human life must spring from woman's breast;
Your first small words are taught you from her lips;
Your first tears quenched by her, and your last sighs
Too often breathed out in a woman's hearing,
When men have shrunk from the ignoble care
Of watching the last hour of him who led them.
Sard. My eloquent Ionian! thou speakest music!
The very chorus of the tragic song

I have heard thee talk of as the favourite pastime
Of thy far fatherland. Nay, weep not-calm thee.
Myrrha. I weep not; but, I pray thee, do not speak
About my fathers, or their land!

Thou speakest of them.

Will overflow in words unconsciously;

Sard.

Myrrha.

Yet oft

True-true! constant thought

AND LEAD HIM NEAR TO LITTLE, BUT HIS LAST."-BYRON.

BEQUEATHED BY BLEEDING SIRE TO SON, THOUGH BAFFLED OFT IS EVER WON."-LORD BYRON.

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