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HOURS OF IDLENESS;
A SERIES OF POEMS, ORIGINAL AND TRANSLATED.
• " Virginibus puerisque Canto."
HORACE, lib. 3, Ode 1.
HOMER, ILIAD, 2. 249.
THE RIGHT HONORABLE FREDERICK, EARL OF CARLISLE,
KNIGHT OF THE GARTER, ETC., ETC.
THE SECOND EDITION OF THESE POEMS IS INSCRIBED,
BY HIS OBLIGED WARD AND AFFECTIONATE KINSMAN,
LORD BYRON first appeared as an author injis, that the author has not yet completed his nine November, 1806, when he printed a collection of teenth year. December 23, 1806." The approbapoems for distribution among his friends. The first tion which this volume received from the friends to copy of this volume, which is a thin quarto, was whom it was submitted induced Lord Byron to come presented to Mr. Beecher, who immediately per- more immediately before the public; and in the latceived, on looking over its pages, that some of the ter end of May, 1807, this collection, with consideracontents were by no means of a description to reflect ble alterations, the omission of some poems, and the credit on their author; and at his friendly sugges- addition of others, was reprinted and published, untion the whole impression, with the exception of der the title of “Hours of Idleness, a Series of two, or, at the most, three copies, was committed to Poems, original and translated, by George Gordon, the flames. After the destruction of this volume, Lord Byron, a Minor.” This volume was also Lord Byron directed the collection to be reprinted, printed at Newark. In the four editions of this with the omission of the objectionable poems. This work, which rapidly succeded each other, many va edition, which was confined to a hundred copies, riations are found : several corrections were made; and, like its predecessor, designed for private circu- several pieces were silently withdrawn, and replaced lation, was proceeded in so quickly, that at the end by others; and after the first edition a dedication to of about six weeks, January, 1807, it was ready for Lord Carlisle was prefixed. In the present publica. delivery. The volume was entiled “Poems on Va- tion, all those Poems from the “Private Volume," rious Occasions,” and was printed at Newark by S. and the early editions of “Hours of Idleness," and J. Ridge; the author's name was not given. which were suppressed by the author, are reprinted, The dedication was, “To those friends at whose and all the variations of the different impressions request they were printed, for whose amusement or are noticed. approbation they were solely intended, these trifles are respectfully dedicated by the author.” Immediately following the dedication was this notice :"The only apology necessary to be adduced in ex
PREFACE. tenuation of any errors in the following collection
In submitting to the public eye the following col • This was the only matto given in the private volume ; It was retained lection, I have not only to combat the difficulties with the other two in the first edition of Hours of Idlenem, and omitted in
• Printed in the first edition of Hours of Idledem; omitted in the end
that writers of verse generally encounter, but may to others "Virum volitare per ora." I look to the incur the charge of presumption for obtruding myself few who will hear with patience "dulce est desipere on the world, when, without doubt, I might be, at in loco."-To the former worthies I resign, without my age, more usefully employed. These produc- repining, the hope of immortality, and content mytions are the fruits of the lighter hours of a young self with the not very magnificent prospect of rankman who has lately completed his nineteenth year. ing "among the mob of gentlemen who write ;"— As they bear the internal evidence of a boyish mind, my readers must determine whether I dare say "with this is, perhaps, unnecessary information. Some ease," or the honor of a posthumous page in "The few were written during the disadvantages of illness Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors," a work to and depression of spirits; under the former influ- which the peerage is under infinite obligations, inence, "CHILDISH RECOLLECTIONS," in particular, asmuch as many names of considerable length, were composed. This consideration, though it can-[sound, and antiquity, are thereby rescued from the not excite the voice of Praise, may at least arrest obscurity which unluckily overshadows several volthe arm of Censure. A considerable portion of these uminous productions of their illustrious bearers. poems has been privately printed, at the request| With slight hopes and some fears, I publish this and for the perusal of my friends. I am sensible first and last attempt. To the dictates of young that the partial and frequently injudicious admira- ambition may be ascribed many actions more crimtion of a social circle is not the criterion by which inal and equally absurd. To a few of my own age poetical genius is to be estimated, yet, "to do the contents may afford amusement: I trust they greatly," we must "dare greatly;" and I have haz-will, at least, be found harmless. It is highly imarded my reputation and feelings in publishing this probable, from my situation and pursuits hereafter, volume. "I have passed the Rubicon," and must that I should ever obtrude myself a second time on stand or fall by the "cast of the die." In the latter the public; nor even in the very doubtful event of event, I shall submit without a murmur; for, present indulgence, shall I be tempted to commit though not without solicitude for the fate of these a future trespass of the same nature. The opinion effusions, my expectations are by no means san- of Dr. Johnson on the Poems of a noble relation of guine. It is probable that I may have dared much mine, "That when a man of rank appeared in the and done little; for, in the words of Cowper, "it is character of an author, his merit should be handone thing to write what may please our friends, who, somely acknowledged," can have little weight with because they are such, are apt to be a little biased verbal, and still less with periodical censors; but in our favor, and another to write what may please were it otherwise, I should be loth to avail myself every body; because they who have no connection, of the privilege, and would rather incur the bitteror even knowledge of the author, will be sure to est censure of anonymous criticism than triumph in find fault if they can." To the truth of this, how-honors granted solely to a title.
ON LEAVING NEWSTEAD ABBEY.
ever, I do not wholly subscribe: on the contrary, I
WINGED DAYS? THOU LOOKEST FROM THY TOWER
Thou, the hall of my fathers, art gone to decay;
lean task, as every subject has already been treated In thy once smiling garden, the hemlock and thistle
Are the only sad vestiges now that remain.
• The Earl of Carlisle, whose works have long received the meed of public applanse, to which, by their intrinsic worth, they were well entitled.
Horistan Castle, in Derbyshire, an ancient seat of the Byron family
more doth old Robert, with harp-stringing numbers,
Raise a flame in the breast for the war-laurell'd
Near Askalon's towers, John of Horistant slumbers,
Paul and Hubert, too, sleep in the valley of Cressy; | Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I
To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray.
once more view the room with spectators sur rounded,
Where, as Zanga, I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown;
On Marston, with Rupert,† 'gainst traitors con- While to swell my young pride such applauses re
Four brothers enriched with their blood the bleak
For the rights of a monarch their country defending,
Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant, departing
From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu! Abroad, or at home, your remembrance imparting New courage, he'll think upon glory and you.
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.
ON A DISTANT VIEW OF THE VILLAGE,
Oh! mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos.
YE scenes of my childhood, whose loved recollection
And friendships were form'd too romantic to last;
That fame, and that memory, still will he cherish;
Where fancy yet joys to retrace the resesemblance
Again I revisit the hills where we sported,
The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought;
The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we resorted,
To pore o'er the precepts by pedagogues taught.
Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd,
I fancied that Mossop himself was outshone:
Or, as Lear, I poured forth the deep imprecation,
Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you!
To Idat full oft may remembrance restore me,
While fate shall the shades of the future unroll! Since darkness o'ershadows the prospect before me, More dear is the beam of the past to my soul.
The battle of Marston Moor, where the adherents of Charles 1. were defeated.
↑ Son of the Elector Palatine, and related to Charles 1. He afterwards sommanded the fleet in the reign of Charles II.
This poem was printed in the private volume, and in the first edition of Hours of Idleness, where the motto from Virgil was added. It was after wards omitted.
Some new scene of pleasure should open to view,
I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me,
"Oh! such were the days which my infancy knew."
EPITAPH ON A FRIEND.
Αστερ τριν μεν έλαμπες ενι ζωοισιν εφος.
The spot where now thy mouldering ashes lie
WHEN, to their airy hall, my fathers' voice
If that with honor fail to crown my clay,
• These lines were printed in the private volume, the title being "Epitaph
in a beloved Friend." The motto was added in the first edition of Hours of dleness.
For thee alone I lived, or wish'd to live;
Such was the conclusion in the private volume.
↑ "Oh, Boy! for ever loved, for ever dear."—Private volume,
No titles did thy humble name adorn;
To me far dearer was thy artless love
Than all the joys wealth, fame, and friends could prove:
Private volume, and first edition of Hours of Idleness. "By that remember'd, or fore'er forgot.”—Private volume.
LET Folly smile, to view the names
To love, than rank with vice combined.
And though unequal is thy fate,
Our souls at least congenial meet,
Nor can thy lot my rank disgrace; Our intercouse is not less sweet,
Since worth of rank supplies the place, November, 1802.
REPLY TO SOME VERSES OF J. M. B. PIGOT, ESQ., ON THE CRUELTY OF HIS MISTRESS.+
WHY, Pigot, complain
Of this damsel's disdain,
Why thus in despair do you fret?
Will never obtain a coquette.
Would you teach her to love? For a time seem to rove; At first she may frown in a pet; But leave her awhile,
She shortly will smile,
And then you may kiss your coquette.
For such are the airs
Of these fanciful fairs,
They think all our homage a debt;
And humbles the proudest coquette.
Dissemble your pain,
And lengthen your chain, And seem her hauteur to regret;
If again you shall sigh,
That yours is the rosy coquette.
If still, from false pride, Your pangs she deride, This whimsical virgin forget; Some other admire,
Who will melt with your fire, And laugh at the little coquette.
For me, I adore
Some twenty or more,
And love them most dearly; but yet,
Did they act like your blooming coquette.
• Only printed in the private volume.
↑ Printed in the private volume only.