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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/110

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70
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

LINES ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.[1]

[as the author was discharging his pistols in a garden, two ladies passing near the spot were alarmed by the sound of a bullet hissing near them, to one of whom the following stanzas were addressed the next morning.][2]

I.

Doubtless, sweet girl! the hissing lead,
Wafting destruction o'er thy charms[3]
And hurtling o'er[4] thy lovely head,
Has fill'd that breast with fond alarms.


2.

Surely some envious Demon's force,
Vex'd to behold such beauty here,
Impell'd the bullet's viewless course,
Diverted from its first career.


  1. [This title first appeared in "Contents" to P. on V. Occasions.]
  2. [The occurrence took place at Southwell, and the beautiful lady to whom the lines were addressed was Miss Houson, who is also commemorated in the verses "To a Vain Lady" and "To Anne." She was the daughter of the Rev. Henry Houson of Southwell, and married the Rev. Luke Jackson. She died on Christmas Day, 1821, and her monument may be seen in Hucknall Torkard Church.]
  3. —— near thy charms.—[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
  4. This word is used by Gray in his poem to the Fatal Sisters:—

    "Iron-sleet of arrowy shower
    Hurtles in the darken'd air."