LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Francis Hodgson to Lord Byron, [July? 1811]

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II. 1794-1807.
Chapter III. 1807-1808.
Chapter IV. 1808.
Chapter V. 1808-1809.
Chapter VI. 1810.
Chapter VII. 1811.
Chapter VIII. 1811.
Chapter IX. 1811.
Chapter X. 1811-12.
Chapter XI. 1812.
Chapter XII. 1812-13.
Chapter XIII. 1813-14.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chapter XIV. 1815-16.
Chapter XV. 1816-18.
Chapter XVI. 1815-22.
Chapter XVII. 1820.
Chapter XVIII. 1824-27.
Chapter XIX. 1827-1830
Chapter XX. 1830-36.
Chapter XXI. 1837-40.
Chapter XXII. 1840-47.
Chapter XXIII. 1840-52.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

My dear B.,—We were interrupted this morning in our first interview; I wish to prolong it, so converse with me again.

Alone, my Byron, at Harrovian springs—
Yet not alone—thy joyous Hodgson sings;
The welcome image of his friend’s return
Fills his reviving heart, and bids it cease to mourn.
O flow along, all unrestrain’d by art,
Thou glad effusion of that grateful heart;
Tell his recovered Byron, that once more
It burns to see him on his native shore.
It has not seen him yet! For who can know,
Disturb’d by common-place, that genuine glow
Uninterrupted friendship sweetly feels,
And wisdom from the world’s vain commerce steals?
First let inspiring Health, and patriot Pride,
Behold thee rank’d upon thy country’s side;
First let thy country’s foes severely feel
Thy caustic ardour for the general weal.
Spread, like a flame, my Byron, through the land
That natural warmth no scoundrel can withstand;
That blaze of light, which folly’s dearest shade
Shall feel its inmost fastnesses invade.
O’erthrow the bulwarks that corruption rears,
And from proverbial dulness rescue half thy peers!
Yet oh! while Virtue fires let Prudence guide,
Nor argue, when she hints, but then decide.
Sage that advice immortal Horace gave,
‘Oft laughing wit excels reflection grave;’
Nor less divine that second maxim flows,
‘He writes the best who most correctly knows.’
He then shall speak, with Nature’s noblest force,
Who, free from parliamentary remorse,
Untried, and pure, unpledged, and all his own,
By patient labour to full knowledge grown,
Shall weigh his country’s power by sea, by land,
Shall half the foe’s resources understand;
Shall smoothe advice with reconciling wit,
And prove a Pericles but not a Pitt.
Athens! my Byron! Athens be thy aim!
Thy inspiration and thy guide to fame!
Not modern Athens—languid and impure,
Body and soul unworthy of a cure—
No, the fair land whose genius rose on high
Like yon Acropolis that mocks the sky;
The sky where earlier suns more proudly shone,
On old Piraeus, and old Marathon!
Adieu! mon ami.
I am ever thine,
F. H.