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An Epigram Bewitched

Lord Byron
February, 1818  ( Published in 1903 )


Of Rhymes I printed seven volumes ---

The list concludes John Murray's columns:

Of these there have been few translations

For Gallic or Italian nations;

And one or two perhaps in German ---

But in this last I can't determine.

But Then I only sung of passions

That do not suit with modern fashions;

Of Incest and such like diversions

Permitted only to the Persians,

Or Greeks to bring upon their stages ---

But that was in the earlier ages;

Besides my style is the romantic,

Which some call fine, and some call frantic;

While others are or would seem as sick

Of repetitions nicknamed Classic.

For my part all men must allow

Whatever I was, I'm classic now.

I saw and left my fault in time,

And chose a topic all sublime ---

Wondrous as antient war or hero ---

Then played and sung away like Nero,

Who sang of Rome, and I of Rizzo:

The subject has improved my wit so,

The first four lines of the poet sees

Start forth in fourteen languages !

Though of seven volumes none before

Could ever reach the fame of four,

Henceforth I sacrifice all Glory

To the Rinaldo of my Story:

I've sung his health and appetitie;

( The last word's not translated right ---

He's turned it, God knows how, to vigour )

I'll sing them in a book that's bigger.

Oh !   Muse prepare for the Ascension !

And generous Rizzo !   thou my pension.


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