Lord Byron's Poems

Early Poems: To Harriet


Harriet! to see such Circumspection, 2

In Ladies I have no objection

Concerning what they read;

An ancient Maid's a sage adviser,

Like 'her', you will be much the wiser,

In word, as well as Deed.


But Harriet, I don't wish to flatter,

And really think 't would make the matter

More perfect if not quite,

If other Ladies when they preach,

Would certain Damsels also teach

More cautiously to write.

Footnote 1: From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.

Footnote 2: See the poem "To Marion," and 'note', p. 129. It would seem that J. T. Becher addressed some flattering lines to Byron with reference to a poem concerning Harriet Maltby, possibly the lines "To Marion." The following note was attached by Miss Pigot to these stanzas, which must have been written on another occasion: -

"I saw Lord B. was 'flattered' by John Becher's lines, as he read

'Apollo', etc., with a peculiar smile and emphasis; so out of 'fun',

to vex him a little, I said,

''Apollo!' He 'should' have said 'Apollyon'.'

'Elizabeth! for Heaven's sake don't say so again! I don't

mind 'you' telling me so; but if any one 'else' got hold 'of the

word', I should never hear the end of it.'

So I laughed at him, and dropt it, for he was 'red' with agitation."