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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/409

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HEBREW MELODIES.

Apart from the merits or demerits of the setting, the title Hebrew Melodies is somewhat misleading. Three love-songs, "She walks in Beauty like the Night," "Oh! snatched away in Beauty's Bloom," and "I saw thee weep," still form part of the collection; and, in Nathan's folio (which does not contain "A spirit passed before me"), two fragments, "It is the hour when from the boughs" and " Francesca walks in the shadow of night," which were afterwards incorporated in Parisina, were included. The Fugitive Pieces, 1829, retain the fragments from Parisina, and add the following hitherto unpublished poems: "I speak not, I trace not," etc., "They say that Hope is Happiness," and the genuine but rejected Hebrew Melody "In the valley of waters we wept on the day."

It is uncertain when Murray's first edition appeared. Byron wrote to Nathan with regard to the copyright in January, 1815 (Letters, 1899, iii. 167), but it is unlikely that the volume was put on the market before Nathan's folio, which was advertised for the first time in the Morning Chronicle, April 6, 1815; and it is possible that the first public announcement of the Hebrew Melodies, as a separate issue, was made in the Courier, June 22, 1815.

The Hebrew Melodies were reviewed in the Christian Observer, August, 1815, vol. xiv. p. 542; in the Analectic Magazine, October, 1815, vol. vi. p. 292; and were noticed by Jeffrey [The Hebrew Melodies, though "obviously inferior" to Lord Byron's other works, "display a skill in versification and a mastery in diction which would have raised an inferior artist to the very summit of distinction"] in the Edinburgh Review, December, 1816, vol. xxvii. p. 291.