Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  On Leaving Newstead Abbey

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Newstead Abbey

On Leaving Newstead Abbey

By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

THROUGH thy battlements, Newstead, the hollow winds whistle;

Thou, the hall of my fathers, art gone to decay;

In thy once smiling garden the hemlock and thistle

Have choked up the rose which late bloomed in the way.

Of the mail-covered barons who proudly to battle

Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine’s plain,

The escutcheon and shield, which with every blast rattle,

Are the only sad vestiges now that remain.

No more doth old Robert, with harp-stringing numbers,

Raise a flame in the breast for the war-laurelled wreath;

Near Askalon’s Towers John of Horistan slumbers,

Unnerved is the hand of his minstrel by death.

Paul and Hubert too sleep, in the valley of Cressy;

For the safety of Edward and England they fell:

My fathers! the tears of your country redress ye;

How you fought! how you died! still her annals can tell.

On Marston, with Rupert ’gainst traitors contending,

Four brothers enriched with their blood the bleak field;

For the rights of a monarch, their country defending,

Till death their attachment to royalty sealed.

Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant departing

From the seat of his ancestors bids you adieu!

Abroad or at home, your remembrance imparting

New courage, he ’ll think upon glory and you.

Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation,

’T is nature, not fear, that excites his regret;

Far distant he goes, with the same emulation,

The fame of his fathers he ne’er can forget.

That fame and that memory still will he cherish,

He vows that he ne’er will disgrace your renown;

Like you will he live or like you will he perish;

When decayed, may he mingle his dust with your own.