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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 7.djvu/36

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8
JEUX D'ESPRIT AND MINOR POEMS, 1798-1824.

Since now thou put'st thyself and work to Sea
And leav'st all Greece to Fletcher[1] and to me,
Oh, hear my single muse our sorrows tell,
One song for self and Fletcher quite as well—


First to the Castle of that man of woes
Dispatch the letter which I must enclose,
And when his lone Penelope shall say
Why, where, and wherefore doth my William stay?
Spare not to move her pity, or her pride—
By all that Hero suffered, or defied;
The chicken's toughness, and the lack of ale
The stoney mountain and the miry vale
The Garlick steams, which half his meals enrich,
The impending vermin, and the threatened Itch,
That ever breaking Bed, beyond repair!
The hat too old, the coat too cold to wear,
The Hunger, which repulsed from Sally's door
Pursues her grumbling half from shore to shore,
Be these the themes to greet his faithful Rib
So may thy pen be smooth, thy tongue be glib!


This duty done, let me in turn demand
Some friendly office in my native land,
Yet let me ponder well, before I ask,
And set thee swearing at the tedious task.


First the Miscellany![2]—to Southwell town

Per coach for Mrs. Pigot frank it down,
  1. [Fletcher was an indifferent traveller, and sighed for "a' the comforts of the saut-market." See Byron's letters to his mother, November 12, 1809, June 28, 1810.—Letters, 1898, i. 256, 281.]
  2. [Hobhouse's Miscellany (otherwise known as the Miss-sell-any) was published in 1809, under the title of Imitations and Translations from The Ancient and Modern Classics. Byron contributed nine original poems. The volume was not a success. "It foundered ... in the Gulph of Lethe."—Letter to H. Drury, July 17, 1811, Letters, 1898, i. 319.]