The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/A Fragment

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For works with similar titles, see A Fragment and A Fragment (Byron).

A FRAGMENT.[1]

When, to their airy hall, my Fathers' voice
Shall call my spirit, joyful in their choice;
When, pois'd upon the gale, my form shall ride,
Or, dark in mist, descend the mountain's side;
Oh! may my shade behold no sculptur'd urns,
To mark the spot where earth to earth returns!
No lengthen'd scroll, no praise-encumber'd stone;[2]
My epitaph shall be my name alone:[3]
If that with honour fail to crown my clay,[4]
Oh! may no other fame my deeds repay!
That only that shall single out the spot;
By that remember'd, or with that forgot.[5]

1803.


  1. [There is no heading in the Quarto.]
  2. No lengthen'd scroll of virtue and renown.—[4to. P. on V. Occ.]
  3. [In his will, drawn up in 1811, Byron gave directions that "no inscription, save his name and age, should be written on his tomb." June, 1819, he wrote to Murray: "Some of the epitaphs at the Certosa cemetery, at Ferrara, pleased me more than the more splendid monuments at Bologna; for instance, 'Martini Luigi Implora pace.' Can anything be more full of pathos? I hope whoever may survive me will see those two words, and no more, put over me."—Life, pp. 131, 398.]
  4. If that with honour fails.—[4to]
  5. But that remember'd, or forever forgot.—[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]