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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/451

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417
STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF SIR PETER PARKER.


Yet Tenderness and Time may rob the tear
Of half its bitterness for one so dear;
A Nation's gratitude perchance may spread
A thornless pillow for the widowed head;
May lighten well her heart's maternal care,
And wean from Penury the soldier's heir;
Or deem to living war-worn Valour just[1]
Each wounded remnant—Albion's cherished trust—
Warm his decline with those endearing rays,
Whose bounteous sunshine yet may gild his days—
So shall that Country—while he sinks to rest—
His hand hath fought for—by his heart be blest!

May, 1814.
[First published, Letters and Journals, 1830, i. 559.]


ELEGIAC STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF SIR PETER PARKER, BART.[2]

1.

There is a tear for all that die,[3]
A mourner o'er the humblest grave;
But nations swell the funeral cry,
And Triumph weeps above the brave.


  1. [The last six lines are printed from the MS.]
  2. [Sir P. Parker fell in August, 1814, in his twenty-ninth year, whilst leading a party from his ship, the Menelaus, at the storming of the American camp near Baltimore. He was Byron's first cousin (his father, Christopher Parker (1761-1804), married Charlotte Augusta, daughter of Admiral the Hon. John Byron); but they had never met since boyhood. (See letter to Moore, Letters, 1899, iii. 150; see too Letters, i. 6, note 1.) The stanzas were included in Hebrew Melodies, 1815, and in the Ninth Edition of Childe Harold, 1818.]
  3. [Compare Tasso's sonnet—

    "Questa Tomba non è, che non è morto," etc.

    Rime Eroiche, Parte Seconda, No. 38, Opere di
    Torquato Tasso, Venice, 1736, vi. 169.]