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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/78

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48
POEMS OF JULY—SEPTEMBER, 1816.

Of which we are but dreamers;—as he caught
As 'twere the twilight of a former Sun[1]
Thus spoke he,—"I believe the man of whom
You wot, who lies in this selected[2] tomb,
Was a most famous writer in his day,
And therefore travellers step from out their way30
To pay him honour,—and myself whate'er
Your honour pleases:"—then most pleased I shook[3]
From out my pocket's avaricious nook
Some certain coins of silver, which as 'twere
Perforce I gave this man, though I could spare
So much but inconveniently:—Ye smile,
I see ye, ye profane ones! all the while,
Because my homely phrase the truth would tell.
You are the fools, not I—for I did dwell
With a deep thought, and with a softened eye,40
On that old Sexton's natural homily,
In which there was Obscurity and Fame,—
The Glory and the Nothing of a Name.

Diodati, 1816.
First published, Prisoner of Chillon, etc., 1816.]


PROMETHEUS.[4]

I.

Titan! to whose immortal eyes

The sufferings of mortality,
  1. [Compare—

    "But here [i.e. in 'the realm of death'] all is
    So shadowy and so full of twilight, that
    It speaks of a day past."

    Cain, act ii sc. 2.]

  2. ["Selected," that is, by "frequent travellers" (vide supra, line l2).]
  3. —— then most pleased, I shook
    My inmost pocket's most retired nook,
    And out fell five and sixpence.—[MS.]

  4. [Byron was a lover and worshipper of Prometheus as a boy. His first English exercise at Harrow was a paraphrase of a chorus of the Prometheus Vinctus of Æschylus, line 528, sq., (see Poetical Works, 1898, i. 14). Referring to a criticism on Manfred (Edinburgh Review,