The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/On the Death of a Young Lady
ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY, COUSIN TO THE AUTHOR, AND VERY DEAR TO HIM.
Hush'd are the winds, and still the evening gloom,
Within this narrow cell reclines her clay,
Oh! could that King of Terrors pity feel,
But wherefore weep? Her matchless spirit soars
And shall presumptuous mortals Heaven arraign!
Yet is remembrance of those virtues dear,
- The author claims the indulgence of the reader more for this piece than, perhaps, any other in the collection; but as it was written at an earlier period than the rest (being composed at the age of fourteen), and his first essay, he preferred submitting it to the indulgence of his friends in its present state, to making either addition or alteration.—[4to]
["My first dash into poetry was as early as 1800. It was the ebullition of a passion for my first cousin, Margaret Parker (daughter and granddaughter of the two Admirals Parker), one of the most beautiful of evanescent beings. I have long forgotten the verse; but it would be difficult for me to forget her—her dark eyes—her long eye-lashes—her completely Greek cast of face and figure! I was then about twelve—she rather older, perhaps a year. She died about a year or two afterwards, in consequence of a fall, which injured her spine, and induced consumption. . . . I knew nothing of her illness, being at Harrow and in the country till she was gone. Some years after, I made an attempt at an elegy—a very dull one."—Byron Diary, 1821; Life, p. 17.]
[Margaret Parker was the sister of Sir Peter Parker, whose death at Baltimore, in 1814, Byron celebrated in the "Elegiac Stanzas," which were first published in the poems attached to the seventh edition of Childe Harold.]
- Such sorrow brings me honour, not disgrace.—[4to]