The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/To the Earl of Clare
TO THE EARL OF CLARE.
Tu semper amoris
Sis memor, et cari comitis ne abscedat imago.
Val. Flac. Argonaut, iv. 36.
Friend of my youth! when young we rov'd,
The recollection seems, alone,
My pensive mem'ry lingers o'er,
As when one parent spring supplies
Our vital streams of weal or woe,
Our souls, my Friend! which once supplied
'Tis mine to waste on love my time,
Poor Little! sweet, melodious bard!
And yet, while Beauty's praise is thine,
Still I must yield those worthies merit
Perhaps they would do quite as well
I think I said 'twould be your fate
Yet since in danger courts abound,
Not for a moment may you stray
Oh! if you wish that happiness
And though some trifling share of praise,
- To the Earl of ——.—[Poems O. and T.]
- These stanzas were written soon after the appearance of a severe critique in a northern review, on a new publication of the British Anacreon. [Byron refers to the article in the Edinburgh Review, of July, 1807, on "Epistles, Odes, and other Poems, by Thomas Little, Esq."]
- A bard [Moore] (Horresco referens) defied his reviewer [Jeffrey] to mortal combat. If this example becomes prevalent, our Periodical Censors must be dipped in the river Styx: for what else can secure them from the numerous host of their enraged assailants? [Cf. English Bards, l. 466, note.]
- Now —— I must.—[Poems O. and T.]
- In truth dear —— in fancy's flight.—[Poems O. and T.]
- ["Of all I have ever known, Clare has always been the least altered in everything from the excellent qualities and kind affections which attached me to him so strongly at school. I should hardly have thought it possible for society (or the world, as it is called) to leave a being with so little of the leaven of bad passions. I do not speak from personal experience only, but from all I have ever heard of him from others, during absence and distance."—Detached Thoughts, Nov. 5, 1821; Life, p. 540.]