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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/279

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Lady! if for the cold and cloudy clime
Where I was born, but where I would not die,
Of the great Poet-Sire of Italy
I dare to build[1] the imitative rhyme,
Harsh Runic[2] copy of the South's sublime,
Thou art the cause; and howsoever I
Fall short of his immortal harmony,
Thy gentle heart will pardon me the crime.
Thou, in the pride of Beauty and of Youth,
Spakest; and for thee to speak and be obeyed
Are one; but only in the sunny South
Such sounds are uttered, and such charms displayed,
So sweet a language from so fair a mouth—[3]
Ah! to what effort would it not persuade?

Ravenna, June 21, 1819.

  1. [Compare—

    "He knew
    Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhime."

    Milton, Lycidas, line 11.]

  2. [By "Runic" Byron means "Northern," "Anglo-Saxon."]
  3. [Compare "In that word, beautiful in all languages, but most so in yours—Amor mio—is comprised my existence here and hereafter."—Letter of Byron to the Countess Guiocioli, August 25, 1819, Letters, 1900, iv. 350. Compare, too, Beppo, stanza xliv.; vide ante, p. 173.]