Communicated by Mrs Richardson

But now the moments bring
The time of parting with redoubled wing
The why, the where, what boots it now to tell
Since all must end in that wild word Farewell

Lord Byron — Corsair

When the dread summons of an English king
Bade Cambria’s rocks with startled echoes ring
Her native bard in freedom’s latest pride
Spoke Edward’s doom and triumphed ere he died
Told our his sorrows and proclaimed his curse
In the last accents of his mountain verse;
Laid his loved harp on Snowdon’s parent brow
Then leaped indignant to the flood below:
Yet mid his patriot rage, the plaintive moan
Of parting friendship lent its softer tone
Hushed the high theme of Cambria’s mortal throes;
One last fond tribute dying nature pays
To the last partners of his happier days — 
Again, again ye tender scenes of farewell
Ye lonely bowers where green-robed dryads dwell
Where bounteous nature every charm arrayed
To grace the paradise which here she made
Adieu my home where many a day has passed
In dreams too fond, too flattering far to last;
Where hope and friendship decked the woody glade
With flowers I fondly thought too sweet to fade;
Where not a care disturbed my blissful rest
To mar the sunshine of a cloudless breast.

And thou the monarch1 of the stripling band,
Who swayest thy sceptre with a parent’s hand;
Feared, yet beloved, beneath whose watchful care
The flowers of genius bloom and flourish there
If ere my humble muse engaged thy praise
Accept her last, her tributary lays.

Thou too2, whose friendship is my joy and pride,
Whose virtues warm, whose precepts yet shall guide,
Whose kind instruction taught my infant hand,
To weave fresh garlands in a fairy land
Who soaked within my heart a poet’s fire,
Cheered its faint zeal, and lent the Latin lyre;
Life’s busy din invades its classic swell
The tender cadence gone, and hushed the tuneful shell.

So when sad Israel’s sons in captive day
Mourned for a long lost home and far away
When cheerless rose to them each morning sun,
That gilt the towers of foreign Babylon;
Reckless around their idle harps were hung
Their strains forgotten and the chords unstrung
For vain would minstrel’s art or touch command
The mother notes to charm a stranger land.
Yet should with thee some child of classic vein
With abler hand attune its chords again
Then think of him who once had tuned it too
And joyed to owe the art and touch to you
And ye my friends farewell! not loved in vain
Who shared my bliss and lulled to sleep my pain
Where’er I wander shall I think of you
And ask but this, to be remembered too;
Still shall I fondly think on every hour
Of sportive joyance in the classic bower;
Think on your love so oft, so kindly shown,
No feeling checked, no separate interest known.
Where no rank feuds disturbed our peaceful reign,
When shall I meet such friend, such hours again?

Hush! dark forebodings, hush! ’tis mine to tell
The worth, the love of those I priz’d so well;
Let Fate embitter every future joy
Mem’ry has comforts she can ne’er destroy:
And shall not I to memory’s summons true
Oft of fair Eton snatch a fond review?
With filial interest count how many an age
Has marked her greatness in the historic page
With filial pride survey her later fame
In Chatham’s, Fox’s, and in Wellesley’s name.
Yes Eton raise thy hand, thy children see,
Worthy their country still, and worthy tee;
Still proud with England’s, Eton’s name to bear,
They boast the nurse’s with the mother’s care
And Ah! could hope in hurried dreams inspire
My humble breast with imitative fire
Nurse of my youth, yet suffer me to prove
One glance of something like paternal love
One kindred smile to approve the bold essay
And look to cheer me on my venturous way;
For sadly from thee turns my onward view,
My heart is with thee still — adieu! adieu!

Written by Thomas Freemantle

  1. Revd. Dr. Keate, headmaster 

  2. Revd. Mr. Knap, my tutor