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Of light no likeness is bequeath'd-no name,
Focus at once of all the rays of Fame!
The flash of Wit, the bright Intelligence,
The beam of Song, the blaze of Eloquence,
Set with their Sun, but still have left behind
The enduring produce of immortal Mind;
Fruits of a genial morn, and glorious noon,
A deathless part of him who died too soon.
But small that portion of the wondrous whole,
These sparkling segments of that circling soul,
Which all embraced, and lighten'd over all,
To cheer, to pierce, to please, or to appal.
From the charm'd council to the festive board,
Of human feelings the unbounded lord;

In whose acclaim the loftiest voices vied,

The praised, the proud, who made his praise their pride.
When the loud cry of trampled Hindostan
Arose to Heaven in her appeal from man,
His was the thunder, his the avenging rod,
The wrath-the delegated voice of God!

Which shook the nations through his lips, and blazed
Till vanquished senates trembled as they praised.2

And here, oh! here, where yet all young and warm,
The gay creations of his spirit charm,

The matchless dialogue, the deathless wit,
Which knew not what it was to intermit;

The glowing portraits, fresh from life, that bring
Home to our hearts the truth from which they spring;
These wondrous beings of his fancy, wrought

To fulness by the fiat of his thought,
Here in their first abode you still may meet,
Bright with the hues of his Promethean heat;
A halo of the light of other days,

Which still the splendour of its orb betrays.
But should there be to whom the fatal blight
Of failing Wisdom yields a base delight,
Men who exult when minds of heavenly tone
Jar in the music which was born their own,
Still let them pause-ah! little do they know
That what to them seem'd Vice might be but Woe.
Hard is his fate on whom the public gaze
Is fix'd for ever to detract or praise;

Repose denies her requiem to his name,
And Folly loves the martyrdom of Fame.
The secret enemy whose sleepless eye
Stands sentinel, accuser, judge, and spy,
The foe, the fool, the jealous, and the vain,
The envious who but breathe in others' pain,
Behold the host! delighting to deprave,
Who track the steps of Glory to the grave,
Watch every fault that daring Genius owes
Half to the ardour which its birth bestows,
Distort the truth, accumulate the lie,
And pile the pyramid of Calumny!

These are his portion-but if joined to these
Gaunt Poverty should league with deep Disease,
If the high Spirit must forget to soar,
And stoop to strive with Misery at the door,3
To soothe Indignity-and face to face
Meet sordid Rage, and wrestle with Disgrace,
To find in Hope but the renew'd caress,
The serpent-fold of further Faithlessness :--
If such may be the ills which men assail,
What marvel if at last the mightiest fail?
Breasts to whom all the strength of feeling given
Bear hearts electric-charged with fire from Heaven,
Black with the rude collision, inly torn,

By clouds surrounded, and on whirlwinds borne,
Driven o'er the lowering atmosphere that nurst
Thoughts which have turn'd to thunder-scorch, and

But far from us and from our mimic scene

Such things should be-if such have ever been;
Ours be the gentler wish, the kinder task,
To give the tribute Glory need not ask,

To mourn the vanish'd beam, and add our mite
Of praise in payment of a long delight.
Ye Orators! whom yet our councils yield,
Mourn for the veteran Hero of your field!
The worthy rival of the wondrous Three! 5
Whose words were sparks of Immortality!
Ye Bards! to whom the Drama's Muse is dear,
He was your Master-emulate him here!

Ye men of wit and social eloquence! 6

He was your brother-bear his ashes hence!
While Powers of mind almost of boundless range,7
Complete in kind, as various in their change,
While Eloquence, Wit, Poesy, and Mirth,
That humbler Harmonist of care on Earth,
Survive within our souls-while lives our sense
Of pride in Merit's proud pre-eminence,
Long shall we seek his likeness, long in vain,
And turn to all of him which may remain,
Sighing that Nature form'd but one such man,
And broke the die--in moulding Sheridan!



1.-Page 347, line 1.


[MR. SHERIDAN died the 7th of July, 1816, and this monody was written at Diodati on the 17th, at the request of Mr. Douglas Kinnaird. "I did as well as I could," says Lord Byron," but where I have not my choice, pretend to answer for nothing." He told Lady Blessington, however, that his feelings were never more excited than while writing it, and that every word came direct from his heart.]

2.-Page 343, line 22.

Till vanquish'd senates trembled as they praised.

[The speech against Warren Hastings in the House of Commons was pronounced by Burke, Fox, and Pitt to surpass every effort of oratory, ancient or modern. But, however dazzling at the moment, his best speeches lost much of their effect upon a calm perusal.

3.-Page 349, line 16.

And stoop to strive with Misery at the door,

[This was not fiction. Only a few days before his death, Sheridan wrote thus to Mr. Rogers:-"I am absolutely undone and brokenhearted. They are going to put the carpets out of window, and break into Mrs. S.'s room and take me: 150l. will remove all difficulty. For God's sake let me see you!" Mr. Moore was the immediate bearer of the required sum. This was written on the 15th of May, and on the 14th of July, Sheridan's remains were deposited in Westminster Abbey, -his pall-bearers being the Duke of Bedford, the Earl of Lauderdale, Earl Mulgrave, the Lord Bishop of London, Lord Holland, and Earl Spenser.]

4.-Page 349, line 28.

Thoughts which have turn'd to thunder-scorch, and burst.

[In the original MS.

"Abandon'd by the skies, whose beams have nurst
Their very thunders, lighten-scorch, and burst."]

5.-Page 349, line 37.

The worthy rival of the wondrous Three!

Fox-Pitt-Burke. ["I heard Sheridan only once, and that briefly; but I liked his voice, his manner, and his wit. He is the only one of them I ever wished to hear at greater length."-B. Diary, 1821.]

6.-Page 350, line 1.

Ye men of wit and social eloquence!

["In society I have met Sheridan frequently. He was superb! I have seen him cut up Whitbread, quiz Madame de Staël, annihilate Colman, and do little less by some others of good fame and ability. I have met him at all places and parties, and always found him convivial and delightful."-B. Diary, 1821.]

7.-Page 350, line 3.

While Powers of mind almost of boundless range,

["The other night we were all delivering our respective and various opinions upon Sheridan, and mine was this:-'Whatever Sheridan has done, or chosen to do, has been par excellence always the best of its kind. He has written the best comedy (School for Scandal), the best drama (in my mind, far beyond that St. Giles's lampoon, the Beggars' Opera), the best farce (the Critic, it is only too good for a farce), and the best address (Monologue on Garrick), and, to crown all, delivered the very best oration (the famous Begum Speech) ever conceived or heard in this country."-B. Diary, Dec. 17, 1813.]

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