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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 7/The Charity Ball


What matter the pangs of a husband and father,
If his sorrows in exile be great or be small,
So the Pharisee's glories around her she gather,
And the saint patronises her "Charity Ball!"

What matters—a heart which, though faulty, was feeling,
Be driven to excesses which once could appal—
That the Sinner should suffer is only fair dealing,
As the Saint keeps her charity back for "the Ball!"

December 10, 1820.
[First published, Letters and Journals, 1830, ii. 540.]

  1. [Written on seeing the following paragraph in a newspaper: "Lady Byron is this year the lady patroness at the annual Charity Ball, given at the Town Hall, at Hinckley, Leicestershire...."—Life, p. 535. Moore adds that "these verses [of which he only prints two stanzas] are full of strong and indignant feeling,—every stanza concluding pointedly with the words 'Charity Ball.'"]