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Serene, accomplish'd, cheerful but not loud;
Insinuating without insinuation;
Observant of the foibles of the crowd,

Yet ne'er betraying this in conversation;
Proud with the proud, yet courteously proud,

So as to make them feel he knew his station And theirs without a struggle for priority, He neither brook'd nor claim'd superiority.


That is, with men: with women he was what
They pleased to make or take him for; and their
Imagination's quite enough for that:

So that the outline's tolerably fair,

They fill the canvass up-and "verbum sat."
If once their phantasies be brought to bear
Upon an object, whether sad or playful,
They can transfigure brighter than a Raphael.(1)


Adeline, no deep judge of character,

Was apt to add a colouring from her own: 'Tis thus the good will amiably err,

And eke the wise, as has been often shown.
Experience is the chief philosopher,

But saddest when his science is well known:
And persecuted sages teach the schools
Their folly in forgetting there are fools.

(1) [Raphael's masterpiece is called the Transfiguration.]


Was it not so, great Locke? and greater Bacon? Great Socrates? And thou, Diviner still, (1) Whose lot it is by man to be mistaken,

And thy pure creed made sanction of all ill? Redeeming worlds to be by bigots shaken,

How was thy toil rewarded? We might fill Volumes with similar sad illustrations,

But leave them to the conscience of the nations.


I perch upon an humbler promontory,

Amidst life's infinite variety:

With no great care for what is nicknamed glory,
But speculating as I cast mine eye

On what may suit or may not suit my story,
And never straining hard to versify,

I rattle on exactly as I'd talk

With any body in a ride or walk.


I don't know that there may be much ability
Shown in this sort of desultory rhyme;

But there's a conversational facility,

Which may round off an hour upon a time.

(1) As it is necessary in these times to avoid ambiguity, I say that I mean, by " Diviner still," CHRIST. If ever God was man—or man Godhe was both. I never arraigned his creed, but the use- or abuse-made of it. Mr. Canning one day quoted Christianity to sanction negro slavery, and Mr. Wilberforce had little to say in reply. And was Christ crucified, that black men might be scourged? If so, he had better been born a Mulatto, to give both colours an equal chance of freedom, or at least salvation.

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Of this I'm sure at least, there's no servility
In mine irregularity of chime,

Which rings what's uppermost of new or hoary,
Just as I feel the " Improvvisatore."


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"Omnia vult belle Matho dicere-dic aliquando
Et bene, dic neutrum, dic aliquando male." (1)
The first is rather more than mortal can do ;
The second may be sadly done or gaily;
The third is still more difficult to stand to;

The fourth we hear, and see, and say too, daily:
The whole together is what I could wish
To serve in this conundrum of a dish.


A modest hope-but modesty's my forte,
And pride my feeble:—let us ramble on.
I meant to make this poem very short,

But now I can't tell where it may not run.
No doubt, if I had wish'd to pay my court
To critics, or to hail the setting sun
Of tyranny of all kinds, my concision
Were more ;-but I was born for opposition.


But then 'tis mostly on the weaker side;
So that I verily believe if they

Who now are basking in their full-blown pride
Were shaken down, and "dogs had had their day," (2)

(1) [“ Thou finely wouldst say all? Say something well:

Say something ill, if thou wouldst bear the bell."- ELPHINSTON.] (2) "The cat will mew; the dog will have his day."— Hamlet.]

Though at the first I might perchance deride
Their tumble, I should turn the other way,
And wax an ultra-royalist in loyalty,
Because I hate even democratic royalty.


I think I should have made a decent spouse,
If I had never proved the soft condition;
I think I should have made monastic vows,
But for my own peculiar superstition:

'Gainst rhyme I never should have knock'd my brows, Nor broken my own head, nor that of Priscian, Nor worn the motley mantle of a poet,

If some one had not told me to forego it. (1)


But" laissez aller"-knights and dames I sing,
Such as the times may furnish. 'Tis a flight
Which seems at first to need no lofty wing,
Plumed by Longinus or the Stagyrite:

(1) [The reader has already seen in what style the Edinburgh Reviewers dealt with Lord Byron's early performance (antè, Vol. VII. p. 191.) — the effect which that criticism produced on him at the time (Ibid. p. 223.) — and how he felt the more favourable treatment which he received from the Monthly Review (Ibid. p. 192.). We should not, however, in the page last referred to, have forgotten to observe, that the young poet was not less courteously and encouragingly welcomed in another publication. We allude to an article on the " Hours of Idleness," by J. H. Markland, Esq., the learned Editor of the Chester Mysteries, which concluded in these terms: "We heartily hope, that the illness and depression of spirits, which evidently pervade the greater part of these effusions, are entirely dispelled; and are confident that George-Gordon Lord Byron' will have a conspicuous niche in every future edition of Royal and Noble Authors.'"-See Gentleman's Mag. vol. lxxvi. p. 1217.]

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The difficulty lies in colouring

(Keeping the due proportions still in sight) With nature manners which are artificial, And rend'ring general that which is especial.


The difference is, that in the days of old

Men made the manners; manners now make


Pinn'd like a flock, and fleeced too in their fold,
At least nine, and a ninth beside of ten.
Now this at all events must render cold

Your writers, who must either draw again
Days better drawn before, or else assume
The present, with their common-place costume.


We'll do our best to make the best on't:- March!
March, my Muse! If you cannot fly, yet flutter;
And when you may not be sublime, be arch,

Or starch, as are the edicts statesmen utter.
We surely may find something worth research:
Columbus found a new world in a cutter,
Or brigantine, or pink, of no great tonnage,
While yet America was in her non-age. (1)

(1) [Three small vessels were apparently all that Columbus had required. Two of them were light barques, called caravels, not superior to river and coasting craft of more modern days. That such long and perilous expe ditions into unknown seas, should be undertaken in vessels without decks, and that they should live through the violent tempests by which they were frequently assailed, remain among the singular circumstances of those daring voyages. WASHINGTON IRVING.]

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