Steadfastness in mutability, that is the common need, a Rock of Ages.
Then ’gin I thinke on that which
Of that same time when no more change shall be,
But stedfast rest of all things, firmely stayd
Upon the pillars of Eternity,
That is contrayr to Mutabilitie;
For all that moveth doth in change delight:
But thenceforth all shall rest eternally
With Him that is the God of Sabaoth hight:
O! that great Sabaoth God, grant me that Sabaoth’s sight.
“My best wishes and respects to Mrs. Moore; she is beautiful. I may say so even to you, for I was never more struck with a countenance.” That is Byron, writing to Tom Moore in 1812, when he had been married little more than a year—and Byron’s opinion of woman’s beauty is worth having. In the eight volumes of Tom’s memoirs, worthily collected by his friend Lord John Russell, and in all the crowded stage of it, I see no figure shining in so sweet and clear a morning light as that of his little home-keeping wife, with her “wild, poetic face,” her fancy which rings always truer than Tom’s own, and her mother-love, which sorrow has to sound so deeply before she can leave the scene. Her appearances are fitful; she keeps to the hearth when the grandees hold the floor. You see nothing of her at Holland House, which Tom may use as his inn, or at Bowood, if she can help herself, which in the country is his house of call. She is the Jenny Wren of this little cock-robin; she wears drab, too often mourning; but you find that she counts for very much with Tom. He loves to know her at his back, loves to remind himself of it. He is always happy to be home again in her faithful arms. Through all the sparkle and flash, under all the talk, through all the tinklings of pianos and guitars which declare Tom’s whereabouts, if you listen you can hear the quiet burden of her heart-beats. I don’t know what he would have done without her, nor what we should have to say to his literary remains if she were not in them to make them smell of lavender. Few men of letters, and no wits, can have left more behind, with less in them.