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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 7.djvu/104

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JEUX D'ESPRIT AND MINOR POEMS, 1798-1824.

A VOLUME OF NONSENSE.

Dear Murray,—

You ask for a "Volume of Nonsense,"
Have all of your authors exhausted their store?
I thought you had published a good deal not long since.
And doubtless the Squadron are ready with more.
But on looking again, I perceive that the Species
Of "Nonsense" you want must be purely "facetious;"
And, as that is the case, you had best put to press
Mr. Sotheby's tragedies now in M.S.,
Some Syrian Sally
From common-place Gally,
Or, if you prefer the bookmaking of women,
Take a spick and span "Sketch" of your feminine He-Man.[1]

Sept. 28, 1820.
[First published, Letters, 1900, v. 83.]


STANZAS.[2]

When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,

Let him combat for that of his neighbours;
  1. [For Felicia Dorothea Browne (1793-1835), married in 1812 to Captain Hemans, see Letters, iii. 368, note 2. In the letter which contains these verses he writes, "I do not despise Mrs. Heman; but if she knit blue stockings instead of wearing them it would be better." Elsewhere he does despise her: "No more modern poesy, I pray, neither Mrs. Hewoman's nor any female or male Tadpole of poet Wordsworth's."—Ibid., v. 64.]
  2. [The lines were sent in a letter to Moore (November 5, 1820) by way of Autoepitaphium, "if 'honour should come unlooked for' to any of your acquaintance;" i.e. if Byron should fall in the cause of Italian revolution, and Moore should not think him worthy of commemoration, here was a threnody "ready at hand."]