Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/142

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With scarce one speck, to cloud the pleasing scene,
No vice degrades that purest soul serene.
On the same day, our studious race begun,
On the same day, our studious race was run;330
Thus, side by side, we pass'd our first career,
Thus, side by side, we strove for many a year;
At last, concluded our scholastic life,
We neither conquer'd in the classic strife:
As Speakers,[1] each supports an equal name,[2]
And crowds allow to both a partial fame;
To soothe a youthful Rival's early pride,
Though Cleon's candour would the palm divide,
Yet Candour's self compels me now to own,
Justice awards it to my Friend alone.340

Oh! Friends regretted, Scenes for ever dear,
Remembrance hails you with her warmest tear!
Drooping, she bends o'er pensive Fancy's urn,
To trace the hours, which never can return;
Yet, with the retrospection loves to dwell,[3]
And soothe the sorrows of her last farewell!
Yet greets the triumph of my boyish mind,

As infant laurels round my head were twin'd;
  1. This alludes to the public speeches delivered at the school where the author was educated.
  2. As speakers, each supports a rival name,
    Though neither seeks to damn the other's fame,
    Pomposus sits, unequal to decide,
    With youthful candour, we the palm divide.—[P. on V. Occasions.]

  3. Yet in the retrospection finds relief,
    And revels in the luxury of grief.—[P. on V. Occasions.]