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BYRON AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES.
(DON JUAN, Canto xi. Stanzas 53-60.)
JUAN knew several languages-as well
He might-and brought them up with skill, in time To save his fame with each accomplish'd belle, Who still regretted that he did not rhyme. There wanted but this requisite to swell
His qualities (with them) into sublime : Lady Fitz-Frisky and Miss Mævia Mannish, Both long'd extremely to be sung in Spanish.
However, he did pretty well, and was
The coteries, and, as in Banquo's glass,
In twice five years the "greatest living poet,"
Even I-albeit I'm sure I did not know it,
Nor sought of foolscap subjects to be king,
Was reckon'd a considerable time,
The grand Napoleon of the realms of rhyme.
But Juan was my Moscow, and Faliero
My Leipsic, and my Mont Saint Jean seems Cain : "La Belle Alliance" of dunces down at zero,
Now that the Lion's fall'n, may rise again :
But I will fall at least as fell my hero;
Nor reign at all, or as a monarch reign;
Or to some lonely isle of gaolers go,
Sir Walter reign'd before me; Moore and Campbell
With poets almost clergymen, or wholly;
And Pegasus hath a psalmodic amble
Beneath the very Reverend Rowley Powley,
Then there's my gentle Euphues; who, they say,
To turn out both, or either, it may be.
Some persons think that Coleridge hath the sway; And Wordsworth has supporters, two or three ; And that deep-mouth'd Boeotian "Savage Landor" Has taken for a swan rogue Southey's gander.
John Keats, who was kill'd off by one critique,
Contrived to talk about the gods of late
The list grows long of live and dead pretenders
His last award, will have the long grass grow
Their chances ;-they're too numerous, like the thirty Mock tyrants, when Rome's annals wax'd but dirty.
(DON JUAN, Canto xiv. Stanzas 10, II.)
I HAVE brought this world about my ears, and eke
But why then publish ?"-There are no rewards
Why read?—To make some hour less
It occupies me to turn back regards
On what I've seen or ponder'd, sad or cheery; And what I write I cast upon the stream,
To swim or sink-I have had at least my dream.
THE LIGHTER SIDE.
(DON JUAN, Canto iv. Stanzas 3, 4.)
As boy, I thought myself a clever fellow,
And wish'd that others held the same opinion; They took it up when my days grew more mellow, And other minds acknowledged my dominion : Now my sere fancy "falls into the yellow
Leaf," and Imagination droops her pinion, And the sad truth which hovers o'er my desk Turns what was once romantic to burlesque.
And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
'Tis that I may not weep; and if I weep, 'Tis that our nature cannot always bring
Itself to apathy, for we must steep
Our hearts first in the depths of Lethe's spring,
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