September 28 1815: Magpie

On September 28 1815, Lady Byron writes to Augusta Leigh, and includes a poem and a concluding paragraph that more than hints at troubles in her marriage with Byron

The Magpie

The fame of Old Drury must surely revive
Mis-managed by such a Committee of Five! –
Their labours already bring forth – not a Mouse –
For ’twas thought there were too many cats in the house.
Nor a goose. Though perhaps you would guess it the bird,
As the offspring of Wit has been often absurd.
But an emblem more just of the eloquent things
Which the Green-room applauds from its Manager Kings.
Their Tyrant, at least, ably mimics the part,
And seems to be formed by the very same art
As the Magpie which chatters so mal-à-propos,
Too foolish the mischiefs it causes to know –
Then there’s Byron, ashamed to appear like a Poet,
He talks of Finances, for fear he should show it –
And makes all the envious Dandys despair,
By the cut of his shirt and the curl of his hair! –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
I have not got the others down yet – I believe B― will go to the Theatre to-night; but you seem to have mistaken – for the mischief has not lately taken place there but after his return – when alone – I grow more unable to sit up late –

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