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On The Death Of Mr. Fox

George Gordon Lord Byron 1788 (London) – 1824 (Missolonghi, Aetolia)

The following iiliberal impromptu appeared in a morning papaer:

'Our nation's foes lament on Fox's death,
But bless the hour when PITT resign'd his breath:
These feelings wide, let sense and truth unclue,
We give the palm where Justice points its due.'

To which the author of these pieces sent the following reply :

Oh factious viper! whose envenom'd tooth
Would mangle still the dead, perverting truth;
What though our 'nation's foes' lament the fate
With generous' feeling, of the good and great'
Shall dastard tongues essay to blast the name
Of him whose meed exists in endless fame?
When PITT expired in plenitude of power,
Though Ilisuccess obscured his dying hour,
Pity her dewy wings before him spread,
For noble spirits 'war not with the dead:'
His friends, in tears, a last sad requiem gave,
As all his errors slumber'd in the grave;
He sunk, an Atlas bending 'neath the weight
Of cares o'erwhelmlng our conflicting state:
When, lo! a Hercules in FOX appear'd
Who for a time the ruin'd fabric rear'd:
He, too, is fall'n, who Britain's loss supplied,
With him our fast reviving hopes have died;
Not one great people only raise his urn,
All Europe's far-extended regions mourn.
'These feelings wide, let sense and truth unclue,
To give the palm where Justice points its due;'
Yet let not canker'd Calumny assail,
Or round our statesman wind her gloomy veil.
FOX o'er whose corse a mourning world must weep,
Whose dear remains in honour'd marble sleep;
For whom, at last, e'en hostile nations groan,
While friends and foes alike his talents own;
FOX shall in Britain's future annals shine,
Nor e'en to PITT the patriot's palm resign;
Which Envy, wearing Candour's sacred mask,
For PITT, and PITT alone, has dared to ask.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:35 min read
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George Gordon Lord Byron

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet, peer and politician who became a revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence, and is considered one of the leading figures of the Romantic movement. He is regarded as one of the greatest English poets and remains widely read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular. He travelled extensively across Europe, especially in Italy, where he lived for seven years in the cities of Venice, Ravenna, and Pisa. During his stay in Italy he frequently visited his friend and fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Later in life Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire and died of disease leading a campaign during that war, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died in 1824 at the age of 36 from a fever contracted after the First and Second Siege of Missolonghi. His only legitimate child, Ada Lovelace, is regarded as a foundational figure in the field of computer programming based on her notes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. Byron's illegitimate children include Allegra Byron, who died in childhood, and possibly Elizabeth Medora Leigh.  more…

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