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TO THOMAS MOORE.
WRITTEN THE EVENING BEFORE HIS VISIT TO MR. LEIGH HUNT IN
COLD BATH FIELDS PRISON, MAY 19. 1813. (')
Он you, who in all names can tickle the town, Anacreon, Tom Little, Tom Moore, or Tom
For hang me if I know of which you may most [Bag; Your Quarto two-pounds, or your Two-penny Post
But now to my letter-to yours 'tis an answer — To-morrow be with me, as soon as you can, sir, All ready and dress'd for proceeding to spunge on (According to compact) the wit in the dungeonPray Phoebus at length our political malice
May not get us lodgings within the same palace! I suppose that to-night you 're engaged with some codgers,
And for Sotheby's Blues have deserted Sam Rogers; And I, though with cold I have nearly my death got, Must put on my breeches, and wait on the Heath
But to-morrow, at four, we will both play the Scurra, And you'll be Catullus, the Regent Mamurra. (2)
(1) [See antè, Vol. II. p. 206.]
(2) [The reader who wishes to understand the full force of this scandalous insinuation is referred to Muretus's notes on a celebrated poem of Catullus, entitled In Cæsarem; but consisting, in fact, of savagely scornful abuse of the favourite Mamurra :
"Quis hoc potest videre? quis potest pati,
Nisi impudicus et vorax et helluo ?
Mamurram habere quod comata Gallia
Habebat unctum, et ultima Britannia ?" &c.-E.].
IMPROMPTU, IN REPLY TO A FRIEND.
WHEN, from the heart where Sorrow sits,
And clouds the brow, or fills the eye;
SONNET, TO GENEVRA.
THINE eyes' blue tenderness, thy long fair hair, And the wan lustre of thy features- caught From contemplation-where serenely wrought, Seems Sorrow's softness charm'd from its despairHave thrown such speaking sadness in thine air,
That-but I know thy blessed bosom fraught With mines of unalloy'd and stainless thoughtI should have deem'd thee doom'd to earthly care.
(i) [These verses are said to have dropped from the poet's pen, to excuse a transient expression of melancholy which overclouded the general gaiety. It was impossible to observe his interesting countenance, expressive of a dejection belonging neither to his rank, his age, nor his success, without feeling an indefinable curiosity to ascertain whether it had a deeper cause than habit or constitutional temperament. It was obviously of a degree incalculably more serious than that alluded to by Prince Arthur- I remember when I was in France, Young gentlemen would be as sad as night Only for wantonness.'
But, howsoever derived, this, joined to Lord Byron's air of mingling in amusements and sports as if he contemned them, and felt that his sphere was far above the frivolous crowd which surrounded him, gave a strong effect of colouring to a character whose tints were otherwise romantic. SIR WALTER SCOTT.]
With such an aspect, by his colours blent,
December 17. 1813. (1)
SONNET, TO THE SAME.
THY cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,
While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush, And into mine my mother's weakness rush, Soft as the last drops round heaven's airy bow. For, through thy long dark lashes low depending, The soul of melancholy Gentleness
Gleams like a seraph from the sky descending,
December 17. 1815.
(1) ["Redde some Italian, and wrote two sonnets. I never wrote but one sonnet before, and that was not in earnest, and many years ago, as an exercise- and I will never write another. They are the most puling, petrifying, stupidly platonic compositions." Diary, 1813.-E.]
FROM THE PORTUGUESE.
TU MI CHAMAS.
In moments to delight devoted,
My life!" with tenderest tone, you cry; Dear words! on which my heart had doted, If youth could neither fade nor die.
To death even hours like these must roll,
You call me still your life.-Oh! change the word—