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Weep-for thy tears are Virtue's tears-
THE CHAIN I GAVE.
(From the Turkish.)
THE chain I gave was fair to view,
These gifts were charm'd by secret spell
And they have done their duty well,-
That chain was firm in every link,
But not to bear a stranger's touch;
That lute was sweet-till thou could'st think In other hands its notes were such.
Let him, who from thy neck unbound
Restring the chords, renew the clasp.
When thou wert changed, they alter'd too;
to them and thee adieu
False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.
LINES WRITTEN ON A BLANK LEAF OF THE "PLEASURES OF MEMORY."
ABSENT or present, still to thee,
My friend, what magic spells belong! As all can tell, who share, like me,
In turn thy converse (1), and thy song.
But when the dreaded hour shall come
How fondly will she then repay
April 19. 1812.
(1) ["When Rogers does talk, he talks well; and, on all subjects of taste, his delicacy of expression is pure as his poetry. If you enter his househis drawing-room-his library-you of yourself say, this is not the dwelling of a common mind. There is not a gem, a coin, a book thrown aside on his chimney-piece, his sofa, his table, that does not bespeak an almost fastidious elegance in the possessor." B. Diary, 1813.-E.]
(2) [The reader will recall Collins's exquisite lines on the tomb of Thom'son: "In yonder grave a Druid lies," &c. -E]
SPOKEN AT THE OPENING OF DRURY-LANE THEATRE, SATURDAY,
OCTOBER 10. 1812.(1)
IN one dread night our city saw,
Bow'd to the dust, the Drama's tower of pride;
Ye who beheld, (oh! sight admired and mourn'd, Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn'd!) Through clouds of fire the massy fragments riven, Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven; Saw the long column of revolving flames
Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames, (2) While thousands, throng'd around the burning dome, Shrank back appall'd, and trembled for their home,
(1) [The theatre in Drury Lane, which was opened, in 1747, with Dr. Johnson's masterly address, beginning,
"When Learning's triumph o'er her barbarous foes
First rear'd the Stage, immortal Shakspeare rose,"
and witnessed the last glories of Garrick, having fallen into decay, was rebuilt in 1794. The new building perished by fire in 1811; and the Managers, in their anxiety that the opening of the present edifice should be distinguished by some composition of at least equal merit, advertised in the newspapers for a general competition. Scores of addresses, not one tolerable, showered on their desk, and they were in sad despair, when Lord Holland interfered, and, not without difficulty, prevailed on Lord Byron to write these verses-" at the risk," as he said, "of offending a hundred scribblers and a discerning public." The admirable jeu d'esprit of the Messrs. Smith will long preserve the memory of the "Rejected Addresses."-E.]
(2) ["By the bye, the best view of the said fire (which I myself saw from a house-top in Covent Garden) was at Westminster Bridge, from the reflection of the Thames." B. to Lord H. — E.]
As glared the volumed blaze, and ghastly shone The skies, with lightnings awful as their own, Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall Usurp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall; Say-shall this new, nor less aspiring pile, Rear'd where once rose the mightiest in our isle, Know the same favour which the former knew, A shrine for Shakspeare-worthy him and you?
Yes it shall be- the magic of that name Defies the scythe of time, the torch of flame; On the same spot still consecrates the scene, And bids the Drama be where she hath been: This fabric's birth attests the potent spellIndulge our honest pride, and say, How well!
As soars this fane to emulate the last, Oh! might we draw our omens from the past, Some hour propitious to our prayers may boast Names such as hallow still the dome we lost. On Drury first your Siddons' thrilling art O'erwhelm'd the gentlest, storm'd the sternest heart. On Drury, Garrick's latest laurels grew; Here your last tears retiring Roscius drew, Sigh'd his last thanks, and wept his last adieu: But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom That only waste their odours o'er the tomb. Such Drury claim'd and claims
nor you refuse One tribute to revive his slumbering muse; With garlands deck your own Menander's head! Nor hoard your honours idly for the dead!
Dear are the days which made our annals bright,
While thus Remembrance borrows Banquo's glass
Friends of the stage! to whom both Players and
Must sue alike for pardon or for praise,
And made us blush that you forbore to blame;
(1) [Originally, "Ere Garrick died," &c.-" By the bye, one of my cor. rections in the copy sent yesterday has dived into the bathos some sixty fathom
'When Garrick died, and Brinsley ceased to write.'
Ceasing to live is a much more serious concern, and ought not to be first. Second thoughts in every thing are best; but, in rhyme, third and fourth don't come amiss. I always scrawl in this way, and smooth as fast as I can, but never sufficiently; and, latterly, I can weave a nine-line stanza faster than a couplet, for which measure I have not the cunning. When I began 'Childe Harold,' I had never tried Spenser's measure, and now I cannot scribble in any other." B. to Lord H.-E.]
(2) [The following lines were omitted by the Committee