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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 thought— I should have deem'd thee doom'd to earthly care.
(1) [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 ArthurI remember when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night
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, When from his beauty-breathing pencil born, (Except that thou hast nothing to repent)
The Magdalen of Guido saw the morn—
Such seem'st thou-but how much more excellent! With nought Remorse can claim
December 17. 1813. (1)
SONNET, TO THE SAME.
THY cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,
Gleams like a seraph from the sky descending,
December 17. 1813
(1) ["Redde some Italian, and wrote two sonnets. I never wrote but or sonnet before, and that was not in earnest, and many years ago, as a
exercise- and I will never write another. petrifying, stupidly platonic compositions."
They are the most pulin Diary, 1813.— E.]
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-
HINTS FROM HORACE:
BEING AN ALLUSION IN ENGLISH VERSE TO THE EPISTLE AD PISONES, DE ARTE POETICA," AND INTEnded as a SEQUEL TO
ENGLISH BARDS AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS.
"Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
Reddere quæ ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi."
HOR. De Arte Poet.
"Rhymes are difficult things-they are stubborn things, sir."