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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/84

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52
POEMS 1809-1813.

The skies, with lightnings awful as their own,
Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall[1]
Usurped the Muse's realm, and marked her fall;
Say—shall this new, nor less aspiring pile,
Reared where once rose the mightiest in our isle,
Know the same favour which the former knew,
A shrine for Shakespeare—worthy him and you?20


Yes—it shall be—the magic of that name
Defies the scythe of time, the torch of flame;[2]
On the same spot still consecrates the scene,
And bids the Drama be where she hath been:
This fabric's birth attests the potent spell—
Indulge our honest pride, and say, How well!


As soars this fane to emulate the last,
Oh! might we draw our omens from the past,
Some hour propitious to our prayers may boast
Names such as hallow still the dome we lost.30
On Drury first your Siddons' thrilling art
O'erwhelmed the gentlest, stormed the sternest heart.
On Drury, Garrick's latest laurels grew;
Here your last tears retiring Roscius drew,
Sighed his last thanks, and wept his last adieu:

But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom,

    (which I myself saw from a house-top in Covent-garden) was at Westminster Bridge, from the reflection on the Thames,"—Letter to Lord Holland, September 25, 1812, Letters, 1898, ii. 148.]

  1. Till slowly ebbed the

    lava of the
    spent volcanic

    wave.
    or, Till ebb'd the lava of

    the burning
    that molten

    wave,
    And blackening ashes mark'd the Muse's grave.—

    [Letter to Lord Holland, Sept. 28, 1812.]

  2. That scorns the scythe of Time, the torch of Flame.—[Letter to Lord Holland, Sept. 28, 1812.]