Open main menu

Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/95

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
65
LINES ON HEARING THAT LADY BYRON WAS ILL.

For present anger, and for future gold—
And buying others' grief at any price.[1]
And thus once entered into crooked ways,
The early truth, which was thy proper praise,[2]
Did not still walk beside thee—but at times,
And with a breast unknowing its own crimes,
Deceit, averments incompatible,
Equivocations, and the thoughts which dwell
In Janus-spirits—the significant eye
Which learns to lie with silence—the pretext[3]
Of prudence, with advantages annexed—
The acquiescence in all things which tend,
No matter how, to the desired end—
All found a place in thy philosophy.
The means were worthy, and the end is won—
I would not do by thee as thou hast done!

September, 1816.
[First published, New Monthly Magazine,
August, 1832, vol. xxxv. pp. 142, 143.]

  1. [Compare—

    "By thy delight in others' pain."

    Manfred, act i. sc. 1, line 248, vide post, p. 93.]

  2. [Compare—

    "... but that high Soul secured the heart,
    And panted for the truth it could not hear."

    A Sketch, lines 18, 19, Poetical Works, 1900, iii. 541.]

  3. [Compare Childe Harold, Canto IV. stanza cxxxvi lines 6-9, Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 430.]