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PREFACE Two great collections of Byron's letters have been already printed. In Moore's 'Life', which appeared in 1830, 561 were given. These, in FitzGreene Halleck's American edition of Byron's 'Works', published in 1847, were increased to 635. The first volume of a third collection, edited by Mr. W. E. Henley, appeared early in 1897. A comparison of the number of letters contained in these three collections down to August 22, 1811, shows that... more...

INTRODUCTION TO DON JUAN Byron was a rapid as well as a voluminous writer. His Tales were thrown off at lightning speed, and even his dramas were thought out and worked through with unhesitating energy and rapid achievement. Nevertheless, the composition of his two great poems was all but coextensive with his poetical life. He began the first canto of Childe Harold in the autumn of 1809, and he did not complete the fourth canto till the spring... more...

INTRODUCTION TO SARDANAPALUS Byron's passion or infatuation for the regular drama lasted a little over a year. Marino Faliero, Sardanapalus, and the Two Foscari, were the fruits of his "self-denying ordinance to dramatize, like the Greeks ... striking passages of history" (letter to Murray, July 14, 1821, Letters, 1901, v. 323). The mood was destined to pass, but for a while the neophyte was spell-bound. Sardanapalus, a Tragedy, the second and,... more...

Of the seventy-three "Epigrams and Jeux d'Esprit," which are printed at the commencement of this volume, forty-five were included in Murray's one-volume edition of 1837, eighteen have been collected from various publications, and ten are printed and published for the first time. The "Devil's Drive," which appears in Moore's Letters and Journals, and in the sixth volume of the Collected Edition of 1831 as an "Unfinished Fragment" of ninety-seven... more...

LETTER 394. TO MR. MOORE. "Ravenna, October 17. 1820. "You owe me two letters—pay them. I want to know what you are about. The summer is over, and you will be back to Paris. Apropos of Paris, it was not Sophia Gail, but Sophia Gay—the English word Gay—who was my correspondent. Can you tell who she is, as you did of the defunct * *? "Have you gone on with your Poem? I have received the French of mine. Only think of being... more...


The source code for this HTML page contains only Latin-1 characters, but it directs the browser to display some special characters. The original work contained a few phrases or lines of Greek text. These are represented here as Greek letters, for example Οá¿–μοι. If the mouse is held still over such phrases, a transliteration in Beta-code pops up. Aside from Greek letters, the only special characters displayed are a... more...

INTRODUCTION TO THE OCCASIONAL PIECES(POEMS 1809-1813; POEMS 1814-1816). The Poems afterwards entitled "Occasional Pieces," which were included in the several editions of the Collected Works issued by Murray, 1819-1831, numbered fifty-seven in all. They may be described as the aggregate of the shorter poems written between the years 1809-1818, which the author thought worthy of a permanent place among his poetical works. Of these the first... more...

INTRODUCTION TOTHE FIRST AND SECOND CANTOS OFCHILDE HAROLD. The First Canto of Childe Harold was begun at Janina, in Albania, October 31, 1809, and the Second Canto was finished at Smyrna, March 28, 1810. The dates were duly recorded on the MS.; but in none of the letters which Byron wrote to his mother and his friends from the East does he mention or allude to the composition or existence of such a work. In one letter, however, to his mother... more...

ON LEAVING N—ST—D. Through the cracks in these battlements loud the winds whistle, For the hall of my fathers is gone to decay; And in yon once gay garden the hemlock and thistle Have choak'd up the rose, which late bloom'd in the way. Of the barons of old, who once proudly to battle Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain; The escutcheon and shield, which with ev'ry blast rattle, Are the only sad vestiges now... more...

DEDICATION Bob Southey! You're a poet, poet laureate,And representative of all the race.Although 'tis true that you turned out a Tory atLast, yours has lately been a common case.And now my epic renegade, what are ye atWith all the lakers, in and out of place?A nest of tuneful persons, to my eyeLike four and twenty blackbirds in a pye,Which pye being opened they began to sing'(This old song and new simile holds good),'A dainty dish to set before... more...