The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/Lines Written beneath an Elm in the Churchyard of Harrow

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
The Works of Lord Byron by George Gordon Byron
Lines Written beneath an Elm in the Churchyard of Harrow

LINES WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM IN THE CHURCHYARD OF HARROW[1][2]

Spot of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh,
Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky;
Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod,
With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod;
With those who, scatter'd far, perchance deplore,
Like me, the happy scenes they knew before:
Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill,
Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still,
Thou drooping Elm! beneath whose boughs I lay,
And frequent mus'd the twilight hours away;
Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline,
But, ah! without the thoughts which then were mine:
How do thy branches, moaning to the blast,
Invite the bosom to recall the past,
And seem to whisper, as they gently swell,
"Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell!"


 When Fate shall chill, at length, this fever'd breast,
And calm its cares and passions into rest,
Oft have I thought, 'twould soothe my dying hour,—
If aught may soothe, when Life resigns her power,—
To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell,
Would hide my bosom where it lov'd to dwell;
With this fond dream, methinks 'twere sweet to die—
And here it linger'd, here my heart might lie;
Here might I sleep where all my hopes arose,
Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose;
For ever stretch'd beneath this mantling shade,
Press'd by the turf where once my childhood play'd;
Wrapt by the soil that veils the spot I lov'd,
Mix'd with the earth o'er which my footsteps mov'd;
Blest by the tongues that charm'd my youthful ear,
Mourn'd by the few my soul acknowledged here;
Deplor'd by those in early days allied,
And unremember'd by the world beside.

September 2, 1807.


  1. Lines written beneath an Elm
    In the
    Churchyard of Harrow on the Hill
    September 2, 1807.—[Poems O. and T.]

  2. [On the death of his daughter, Allegra, in April, 1822, Byron sent her remains to be buried at Harrow, "where," he says, in a letter to Murray, "I once hoped to have laid my own." "There is," he wrote, May 26, "a spot in the churchyard, near the footpath, on the brow of the hill looking towards Windsor, and a tomb under a large tree (bearing the name of Peachie, or Peachey), where I used to sit for hours and hours when a boy. This was my favourite spot; but as I wish to erect a tablet to her memory, the body had better be deposited in the church." No tablet was, however, erected, and Allegra sleeps in her unmarked grave inside the church, a few feet to the right of the entrance.]