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Victorious hymns no longer court the ear;
The hosts of Greece the clouds of grief oppress;
And distant foos exult at our distress.
With him the light of all our prospects fled !
For Byron, friend of liberty, is dead !
Inspiring ev'ry soul with ancient fire;
upon So some fair tree which waved its shady head, And graced the heights where famed Parnassus
join’d, Is torn by tempests from its earthy bed,
And yields its beauties scatter'd to the wind. Oh, Greece! should England claim her right to lay
His ashes where his valiant sires have lain, Do thou, sweet mother of the Muses! say
That thou alone those ashes shouldst retain! Domestic joy he nobly sacrificed,
To shun the path of pleasure was his doomThese for heroic dangers he despised;
Then Greece, the land of heroes, be his tomb !
PORTRAIT OF LORD BYRON,
BY M. BEYLE,
IN A LETTER TO MADAME B
“ It is true that I spent several months in the company of Lord Byron ;- but really it is not an easy thing to speak of him. I never saw his Lordship at any of those decisive moments which fully display the character: what I know of that extraordinary man is nothing more than the recollection of what I felt in his
How can I give you an account of my recollections, without speaking of myself? and how can I venture to speak of myself, after naming Lord Byron?
“ It was during the autumn of 1816 that I met him at the Theatre of La Scala, at Milan, in the box of Signor Luigi de Breme. I was particularly struck with Lord Byron's eyes, at the moment he was listening to a sestetto in Mayer's opera
of · Elena. Never in my life had I ever seen any thing finer or more expressive. Even at this distance of time, whenever I think of the expression which a great painter should give to a genius, that sublime head at once appears before me. I felt at the moment a fit of enthusiasm, and laying aside the just repugnance which every man rather proud may feel in getting himself presented to an English nobleman, I requested Signor de Breme to introduce me to his Lordship. Next day I dined with him at the same gentleman's house, and with the celebrated Monti. We talked about poetry, and the question was asked, which were the twelve most beautiful verses composed during the last century in French, Italian, or English. All the Italians present agreed' in praising the twelve first verses of Monti's poem. Mascheroniana' as the finest which their language had produced for a century. During the time that Monti was good enough to recite them to us, I looked at Lord Byron-he was in raptures. That shade of hauteur, or rather the air of a man who feels himself in the situation of repelling an intrusion, which somewhat disfigured his fine countenance, all at once disappeared, and was replaced by a look expressive of happiness. The first canto of the
Mascheroniana,'* of which Monti recited nearly the whole, in obedience to the acclamations of the auditors, produced the strongest impression on the author of Childe Harold.' I shall never forget the divine expression of his features: it was the serene air of power and of genius, and, according to my feeling, Lord Byron had not that moment any affectation to reproach himself with.
“We made a comparison of Alfieri's and Schiller's systems of tragedy. The English poet maintained that it was extremely absurd that in Alfieri's Philip II. Don Carlos should, withoạt any difficulty, and in the very first scene, be found tête-à-tête with the wife of the jealous Philip. Monti, who has been so happy in the practice of poetry, advanced such extraordinary positions on the theory of the art, that Lord Byron, turning to his neighbour, said to him, speaking of Monti, ' He knows not how he is a poet.'
- From that day, I passed every evening with
* A poem of Monti's on Bonaparte, composed on occasion of the death of the celebrated geometrician Lorenzo Mascheroni.
Lord Byron. When he was elevated, and talked with enthusiasm, his sentiments were noble, great, generous--in a word, on a par with his geniụs. But in the prose moments of his life, the sentiments of the poet also appeared to me very ordinary. He had a great deal about him of little vanity--a constant and boyish dread of appearing ridiculous, and, if I may venture to say it, some of that hypocrisy which the English call cant. He seemed to me always ready to make a compromise with any prejudice, if it procured him applause.
“ There was one point about him which particularly struck the Italians, and that was, that it was evident this great poet was much prouder of his descent from the Byrons of Normandy, who accompanied William the Conqueror to England, than of being the author of 'Parisina' and of Lara.' I was lucky enough to raise his curiosity by the personal details I gave him about Napoleon and the retreat from Moscow, which, in 1816, were not yet in every body's mouth. That sort of merit procured me several walks with him, têteà-tête, in the immense and solitary green-room of La Scala. The great man made his appearance for half an hour every evening, and then it