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When thou wert changed, they alter'd too;
The chain is broke, the music mute.

'Tis past

to them and thee adieu

False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.


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
By Friendship ever deem'd too nigh,
And "MEMORY" o'er her Druid's tomb (2)
Shall weep that aught of thee can die,

How fondly will she then repay
Thy homage offer'd at her shrine,
And blend, while ages roll away,
Her name immortally with thine !

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 Thomson: "In yonder grave a Druid lies," &c. — ] -E.]



In one dread night our city saw,

and sigh'd,

Bow'd to the dust, the Drama's tower of pride;
In one short hour beheld the blazing fane,
Apollo sink, and Shakspeare cease to reign.

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, —

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"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 spell— Indulge 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, Ere Garrick fled, or Brinsley (2) ceased to write. Heirs to their labours, like all high-born heirs, Vain of our ancestry as they of theirs; While thus Remembrance borrows Banquo's glass To claim the sceptred shadows as they pass, And we the mirror hold, where imaged shine Immortal names, emblazon'd on our line, Pause-ere their feebler offspring you condemn, Reflect how hard the task to rival them!

Friends of the stage! to whom both Players and Plays

Must sue alike for pardon or for praise,

Whose judging voice and eye alone direct
The boundless power to cherish or reject;
If e'er frivolity has led to fame,

And made us blush that you forbore to blame;
If e'er the sinking stage could condescend
To soothe the sickly taste it dare not mend,
All past reproach may present scenes refute,
And censure, wisely loud, be justly mute! (2)

(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

Oh! since your fiat stamps the Drama's laws,
Forbear to mock us with misplaced applause;
So pride shall doubly nerve the actor's powers,
And reason's voice be echo'd back by ours!

This greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd, The Drama's homage by her herald paid, Receive our welcome too, whose every tone Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own. The curtain rises-may our stage unfold Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old! Britons our judges, Nature for our guide, Still may we please-long, long may you preside ! (1)

"Nay, lower still, the Drama yet deplores
That late she deign'd to crawl upon all-fours.
When Richard roars in Bosworth for a horse,
If you command, the steed must come in course.
If you decree, the stage must condescend
To soothe the sickly taste we dare not mend.
Blame not our judgment should we acquiesce,
And gratify you more by showing less.
The past reproach let present scenes refute,

Nor shift from man to babe, from babe to brute."

"Is Whitbread," said Lord Byron, "determined to castrate all m cavalry lines? I do implore, for my own gratification, one lash on thos accursed quadrupeds — a long shot, Sir Lucius, if you love me.""-E]

(1) ["Soon after the Rejected Addresses' scene in 1812, I met Sherida In the course of dinner, he said, ' Lord Byron, did you know that among the writers of addresses was Whitbread himself?' I answered by an er quiry of what sort of an address he had made. 'Of that,' replied Sherida 'I remember little, except that there was a phœnix in it.'—' A phoenix Well, how did he describe it?'' Like a poulterer,' answered Sheridan 'it was green, and yellow, and red, and blue: he did not let us off for single feather.'" B. Letters, 1821. - -El

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