:   : Lord Byron (1788 - 1824)


 

 

: : Lord Byron (1788 - 1824)

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She Walks In Beauty by Lord Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

 

When We Two Parted by Lord Byron
When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sank chill on my brow
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met
In silence I grieve
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.

 

Darkness by Lord Byron
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and wentand came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chilled into a selfish prayer for light;
And they did live by watchfiresand the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kingsthe huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face;
Happy were those which dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanoes, and their mountain-torch;
A fearful hope was all the world contained;
Forests were set on firebut hour by hour
They fell and fadedand the crackling trunks
Extinguished with a crashand all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them: some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnashed their teeth and howled; the wild birds shrieked,
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawled
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stinglessthey were slain for food;
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again;a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thoughtand that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrailsmen
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured,
Even dogs assailed their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famished men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the drooping dead
Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answered not with a caresshe died.
The crowd was famished by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heaped a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage: they raked up,
And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspectssaw, and shrieked, and died
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless
A lump of deatha chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirred within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropped
They slept on the abyss without a surge
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The Moon, their mistress, had expired before;
The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perished! Darkness had no need
Of aid from themShe was the Universe!

 

The Destruction Of Sennacherib by Lord Byron
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostrils all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride:
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

 

Solitude by Lord Byron
To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude, 'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled.

But midst the crowd, the hurry, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel and to possess,
And roam alone, the world's tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of splendour shrinking from distress!
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
If we were not, would seem to smile the less
Of all the flattered, followed, sought and sued;
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!

 

A Spirit Passed Before Me by Lord Byron
From Job

A spirit passed before me: I beheld
The face of immortality unveiled
Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine
And there it stood,all formlessbut divine:
Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake;
And as my damp hair stiffened, thus it spake:

"Is man more just than God? Is man more pure
Than He who deems even Seraphs insecure?
Creatures of clayvain dwellers in the dust!
The moth survives you, and are ye more just?
Things of a day! you wither ere the night,
Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light!"

 

Stanzas For Music by Lord Byron
There be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmed ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lulled winds seem dreaming;

And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o'er the deep,
Whose breast is gently heaving
As an infant's asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee,
To listen and adore thee,
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.
On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year by Lord Byron
Missolonghi, Jan. 22, 1824

'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath ceased to move:
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!

My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief,
Are mine alone!

The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle;
No torch is kindled at its blaze
A funeral pile!

The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.

But 'tis not thusand 'tis not here
Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now,
Where glory decks the hero's bier,
Or binds his brow.

The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece, around me see!
The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.

Awake! (not Greeceshe is awake!)
Awake, my spirit! Think through whom
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!

Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood!unto thee
Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.

If thou regret'st thy youth, why live?
The land of honourable death
Is here:up to the field, and give
Away thy breath!

Seek outless often sought than found
A soldier's grave, for thee the best;
Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest.

 

Written After Swimming From Sestos To Abydos by Lord Byron
If, in the month of dark December,
Leander, who was nightly wont
(What maid will not the tale remember?)
To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont!

If, when the wintry tempest roared,
He sped to Hero, nothing loath,
And thus of old thy current poured,
Fair Venus! how I pity both!

For me, degenerate modern wretch,
Though in the genial month of May,
My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,
And think I've done a feat today.

But since he crossed the rapid tide,
According to the doubtful story,
To wooandLord knows what beside,
And swam for Love, as I for Glory;

'Twere hard to say who fared the best:
Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you!
He lost his labour, I my jest;
For he was drowned, and I've the ague.
Stanzas Written On The Road Between Florence And Pisa by Lord Byron
Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.

What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled:
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?

O Fame!if I e'er took delight in thy praises,
'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.

There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.

 

Churchill's Grave by Lord Byron
I stood beside the grave of him who blazed
The comet of a season, and I saw
The humblest of all sepulchres, and gazed
With not the less of sorrow and of awe
On that neglected turf and quiet stone,
With name no clearer than the names unknown,
Which lay unread around it; and asked
The Gardener of that ground, why it might be
That for this plant strangers his memory tasked
Through the thick deaths of half a century;
And thus he answered"Well, I do not know
Why frequent travellers turn to pilgrims so;
He died before my day of sextonship,
And I had not the digging of this grave."
And is this all? I thought,and do we rip
The veil of Immortality? and crave
I know not what of honour and of light
Through unborn ages, to endure this blight?
So soon, and so successless? As I said,
The Architect of all on which we tread,
For Earth is but a tombstone, did essay
To extricate remembrance from the clay,
Whose minglings might confuse a Newton's thought,
Were it not that all life must end in one,
Of which we are but dreamers;as he caught
As 'twere the twilight of a former Sun,
Thus spoke he,"I believe the man of whom
You wot, who lies in this selected tomb,
Was a most famous writer in his day,
And therefore travellers step from out their way
To pay him honour,and myself whate'er
Your honour pleases,"then most pleased I shook
From out my pocket's avaricious nook
Some certain coins of silver, which as 'twere
Perforce I gave this man, though I could spare
So much but inconveniently:Ye smile,
I see ye, ye profane ones! all the while,
Because my homely phrase the truth would tell.
You are the fools, not Ifor I did dwell
With a deep thought, and with a softened eye,
On that Old Sexton's natural homily,
In which there was Obscurity and Fame,
The Glory and the Nothing of a Name.

 

Oh! Snatched Away In Beauty's Bloom by Lord Byron
Oh! snatched away in beauty's bloom,
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
But on thy turf shall roses rear
Their leaves, the earliest of the year;
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom:

And oft by yon blue gushing stream
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head,
And feed deep thought with many a dream,
And lingering pause and lightly tread;
Fond wretch! as if her step disturbed the dead!

Away! ye know that tears are vain,
That death nor heeds nor hears distress:
Will this unteach us to complain?
Or make one mourner weep the less?
And thou -who tell'st me to forget,
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.

 

On Chillon by Lord Byron
Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind!
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty, thou art;
For there thy habitation is the heart
The heart which love of thee alone can bind;
And when thy sons to fetters are consigned,
- To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom
Their country conquers with their martyrdom,
And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind.
Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor and altar, for 'twas trod,
Until his very steps have left a trace,
Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
By Bonnivard.May none those marks efface!
For they appeal from tyranny to God.
To Thomas Moore by Lord Byron
My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
But, before I go, Tom Moore,
Here's a double health to thee!

Here's a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky's above me,
Here's a heart for every fate.

Though the ocean roar around me,
Yet it still shall bear me on;
Though a desert should surround me,
It hath springs that may be won.

Were't the last drop in the well,
As I gasp'd upon the brink,
Ere my fainting spirit fell,
'Tis to thee that I would drink.

With that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour
Should bepeace with thine and mine,
And a health to thee, Tom Moore!

 

Lines Inscribed Upon A Cup Formed From A Skull by Lord Byron
Start notnor deem my spirit fled:
In me behold the only skull
From which, unlike a living head,
Whatever flows is never dull.

I lived, I loved, I quaffed like thee;
I died: let earth my bones resign:
Fill upthou canst not injure me;
The worm hath fouler lips than thine.

Better to hold the sparkling grape
Than nurse the earthworm's slimy brood,
And circle in the goblet's shape
The drink of gods than reptile's food.

Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone,
In aid of others' let me shine;
And when, alas! our brains are gone,
What nobler substitute than wine?

Quaff while thou canst; another race,
When thou and thine like me are sped,
May rescue thee from earth's embrace,
And rhyme and revel with the dead.

Why notsince through life's little day
Our heads such sad effects produce?
Redeemed from worms and wasting clay,
This chance is theirs to be of use.

 

Prometheus by Lord Byron
Titan! to whose immortal eyes
The sufferings of mortality,
Seen in their sad reality,
Were not as things that gods despise;
What was thy pity's recompense?
A silent suffering, and intense;
The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
All that the proud can feel of pain,
The agony they do not show,
The suffocating sense of woe,
Which speaks but in its loneliness,
And then is jealous lest the sky
Should have a listener, nor will sigh
Until its voice is echoless.

Titan! to thee the strife was given
Between the suffering and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill;
And the inexorable Heaven,
And the deaf tyranny of Fate,
The ruling principle of Hate,
Which for its pleasure doth create
The things it may annihilate,
Refus'd thee even the boon to die:
The wretched gift Eternity
Was thine--and thou hast borne it well.
All that the Thunderer wrung from thee
Was but the menace which flung back
On him the torments of thy rack;
The fate thou didst so well foresee,
But would not to appease him tell;
And in thy Silence was his Sentence,
And in his Soul a vain repentance,
And evil dread so ill dissembled,
That in his hand the lightnings trembled.

Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness,
And strengthen Man with his own mind;
But baffled as thou wert from high,
Still in thy patient energy,
In the endurance, and repulse
Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,
A mighty lesson we inherit:
Thou art a symbol and a sign
To Mortals of their fate and force;
Like thee, Man is in part divine,
A troubled stream from a pure source;
And Man in portions can foresee
His own funereal destiny;
His wretchedness, and his resistance,
And his sad unallied existence:
To which his Spirit may oppose
Itself--and equal to all woes,
And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Which even in torture can descry
Its own concenter'd recompense,
Triumphant where it dares defy,
And making Death a Victory.
Stanzas For Music: There's Not A Joy The World Can Give by Lord Byron
There's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away
When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull decay;
'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone, which fades so fast,
But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth itself be past.

Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happiness
Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt, or ocean of excess:
The magnet of their course is gone, or only points in vain
The shore to which their shivered sail shall never stretch again.

Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself comes down;
It cannot feel for others' woes, it dare not dream its own;
That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears,
And though the eye may sparkle still, 'tis where the ice appears.

Though wit may flash from fluent lips, and mirth distract the breast,
Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope of rest,
'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruined turret wreath
All green and wildly fresh without, but worn and grey beneath.

Oh, could I feel as I have felt, or be what I have been,
Or weep as I could once have wept, o'er many a vanished scene;
As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish though they be,
So, midst the withered waste of life, those tears would flow to me.
Stanzas To Augusta by Lord Byron
When all around grew drear and dark,
And reason half withheld her ray
And hope but shed a dying spark
Which more misled my lonely way;

In that deep midnight of the mind,
And that internal strife of heart,
When dreading to be deemed too kind,
The weak despairthe cold depart;

When fortune changedand love fled far,
And hatred's shafts flew thick and fast,
Thou wert the solitary star
Which rose, and set not to the last.

Oh, blest be thine unbroken light!
That watched me as a seraph's eye,
And stood between me and the night,
For ever shining sweetly nigh.

And when the cloud upon us came,
Which strove to blacken o'er thy ray
Then purer spread its gentle flame,
And dashed the darkness all away.

Still may thy spirit dwell on mine,
And teach it what to brave or brook
There's more in one soft word of thine
Than in the world's defied rebuke.

Thou stood'st as stands a lovely tree
That, still unbroke though gently bent,
Still waves with fond fidelity
Its boughs above a monument.

The winds might rend, the skies might pour,
But there thou wertand still wouldst be
Devoted in the stormiest hour
To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me.

But thou and thine shall know no blight,
Whatever fate on me may fall;
For heaven in sunshine will requite
The kindand thee the most of all.

Then let the ties of baffled love
Be brokenthine will never break;
Thy heart can feelbut will not move;
Thy soul, though soft, will never shake.

And these, when all was lost beside,
Were found, and still are fixed in thee;
And bearing still a breast so tried,
Earth is no deserte'en to me.
To Thyrza: And Thou Art Dead by Lord Byron
And thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And form so soft and charm so rare
Too soon returned to Earth!
Though Earth received them in her bed,
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,
There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.

I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;
There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not:
It is enough for me to prove
That what I loved, and long must love,
Like common earth can rot;
To me there needs no stone to tell
'Tis Nothing that I loved so well.

Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
Who didst not change through all the past,
And canst not alter now.
The love where Death has set his seal
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,
Nor falsehood disavow:
And, what were worse, thou canst not see
Or wrong or change or fault in me.

The better days of life were ours;
The worst can be but mine:
The sun that cheers, the storm that lours,
Shall never more be thine.
The silence of that dreamless sleep
I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine
That all those charms have passed away
I might have watched through long decay.

The flower in ripened bloom unmatched
Must fall the earliest prey;
Though by no hand untimely snatched,
The leaves must drop away:
And yet it were a greater grief
To watct it withering, leaf by leaf,
Than see it plucked today;
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To trace the change to foul from fair.

I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
The night that followed such a morn
Had worn a deeper shade:
Thy day without a cloud hath past,
And thou wert lovely to the last
Extinguished, not decayed,
As stars that shoot along the sky
Shine brightest as they fall from high.

As once I wept, if I could weep,
My tears might well be shed
To think I was not near to keep
One vigil o'er thy bed:
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face,
To fold thee in a faint embrace,
Uphold thy drooping head,
And show that love, however vain,
Nor thou nor I can feel again.

Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
The loveliest things that still remain
Than thus remember thee!
The all of thine that cannot die
Through dark and dread Eternity
Returns again to me,
And more thy buried love endears
Than aught, except its living years.

 

Stanzas To The Po by Lord Byron
River, that rollest by the ancient walls,
Where dwells the lady of my love, when she
Walks by thy brink, and there perchance recalls
A faint and fleeting memory of me;

What if thy deep and ample stream should be
A mirror of my heart, where she may read
The thousand thoughts I now betray to thee,
Wild as thy wave, and headlong as thy speed!

What do I saya mirror of my heart?
Are not thy waters sweeping, dark, and strong?
Such as my feelings were and are, thou art;
And such as thou art were my passions long.

Time may have somewhat tamed them,not for ever;
Thou overflow'st thy banks, and not for aye
The bosom overboils, congenial river!
Thy floods subside, and mine have sunk away.


But left long wrecks behind, and now again,
Born in our old unchanged career, we move;
Thou tendest wildly onwards to the main,
And Ito loving one I should not love.

The current I behold will sweep beneath
Her native walls and murmur at her feet;
Her eyes will look on thee, when she shall breathe
The twilight air, unharmed by summer's heat.

She will look on thee,I have looked on thee,
Full of that thought; and, from that moment, ne'er
Thy waters could I dream of, name, or see,
Without the inseparable sigh for her!

Her bright eyes will be imaged in thy stream,
Yes! they will meet the wave I gaze on now:
Mine cannot witness, even in a dream,
That happy wave repass me in its flow!

The wave that bears my tears returns no more:
Will she return by whom that wave shall sweep?
Both tread thy banks, both wander on thy shore,
I by thy source, she by the dark-blue deep.

But that which keepeth us apart is not
Distance, nor depth of wave, nor space of earth,
But the distraction of a various lot,
As various as the climates of our birth.

A stranger loves the lady of the land,
Born far beyond the mountains, but his blood
Is all meridian, as if never fanned
By the black wind that chills the polar flood.

My blood is all meridian; were it not,
I had not left my clime, nor should I be,
In spite of tortures, ne'er to be forgot,
A slave again of love,at least of thee.

'Tis vain to strugglelet me perish young
Live as I lived, and love as I have loved;
To dust if I return, from dust I sprung,
And then, at least, my heart can ne'er be moved.

 

Lines, On Hearing That Lady Byron Was Ill by Lord Byron
And thou wert sadyet I was not with thee!
And thou wert sick, and yet I was not near;
Methought that joy and health alone could be
Where I was notand pain and sorrow here.
And is it thus?it is as I foretold,
And shall be more so; for the mind recoils
Upon itself, and the wrecked heart lies cold,
While heaviness collects the shattered spoils.
It is not in the storm nor in the strife
We feel benumbed, and wish to be no more,
But in the after-silence on the shore,
When all is lost, except a little life.

I am too well avenged!but 'twas my right;
Whate'er my sins might be, thou wert not sent
To be the Nemesis who should requite
Nor did heaven choose so near an instrument.
Mercy is for the merciful!if thou
Hast been of such, 'twill be accorded now.
Thy nights are banished from the realms of sleep!
Yes! they may flatter thee, but thou shalt feel
A hollow agony which will not heal,
For thou art pillowed on a curse too deep;
Thou hast sown in my sorrow, and must reap
The bitter harvest in a woe as real!
I have had many foes, but none like thee;
For 'gainst the rest myself I could defend,
And be avenged, or turn them into friend;
But thou in safe implacability
Hadst nought to dreadin thy own weakness shielded,
And in my love which hath but too much yielded,
And spared, for thy sake, some I should not spare
And thus upon the worldtrust in thy truth
And the wild fame of my ungoverned youth
On things that were not, and on things that are
Even upon such a basis hast thou built
A monument whose cement hath been guilt!
The moral Clytemnestra of thy lord,
And hewed down, with an unsuspected sword,
Fame, peace, and hopeand all the better life
Which, but for this cold treason of thy heart,
Might still have risen from out the grave of strife,
And found a nobler duty than to part.
But of thy virtues didst thou make a vice,
Trafficking with them in a purpose cold,
For present anger, and for future gold
And buying other's grief at any price.
And thus once entered into crooked ways,
The early truth, which was thy proper praise,
Did not still walk beside theebut at times,
And with a breast unknowing its own crimes,
Deceit, averments incompatible,
Equivocations, and the thoughts which dwell
In Janus-spiritsthe significant eye
Which learns to lie with silencethe pretext
Of Prudence, with advantages annexed
The acquiescence in all things which tend,
No matter how, to the desired end
All found a place in thy philosophy.
The means were worthy, and the end is won
I would not do by thee as thou hast done!

 

Lines Written Beneath An Elm In The Churchyard Of Harrow by Lord Byron
Spot of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh,
Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky;
Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod,
With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod;
With those who, scattered far, perchance deplore,
Like me, the happy scenes they knew before:
Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill,
Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still,
Thou drooping Elm! beneath whose boughs I lay,
And frequent mused the twilight hours away;
Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline,
But ah! without the thoughts which then were mine.
How do thy branches, moaning to the blast,
Invite the bosom to recall the past,
And seem to whisper, as the gently swell,
"Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell!"

When fate shall chill, at length, this fevered breast,
And calm its cares and passions into rest,
Oft have I thought, 'twould soothe my dying hour,
If aught may soothe when life resigns her power,
To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell,
Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell.
With this fond dream, methinks, 'twere sweet to die
And here it lingered, here my heart might lie;
Here might I sleep, where all my hopes arose,
Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose;
For ever stretched beneath this mantling shade,
Pressed by the turf where once my childhood played;
Wrapped by the soil that veils the spot I loved,
Mixed with the earth o'er which my footsteps moved;
Blest by the tongues that charmed my youthful ear,
Mourned by the few my soul acknowledged here;
Deplored by those in early days allied,
And unremembered by the world beside.

 

The Tear by Lord Byron
When Friendship or Love
Our sympathies move;
When Truth, in a glance, should appear,
The lips may beguile,
With a dimple or smile,
But the test of affection's a Tear:

Too oft is a smile
But the hypocrite's wile,
To mask detestation, or fear;
Give me the soft sigh,
Whilst the soultelling eye
Is dimm'd, for a time, with a Tear:

Mild Charity's glow,
To us mortals below,
Shows the soul from barbarity clear;
Compassion will melt,
Where this virtue is felt,
And its dew is diffused in a Tear:

The man, doom'd to sail
With the blast of the gale,
Through billows Atlantic to steer,
As he bends o'er the wave
Which may soon be his grave,
The green sparkles bright with a Tear;

The Soldier braves death
For a fanciful wreath
In Glory's romantic career;
But he raises the foe
When in battle laid low,
And bathes every wound with a Tear.

If, with high-bounding pride,
He return to his bride!
Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear;
All his toils are repaid
When, embracing the maid,
From her eyelid he kisses the Tear.

Sweet scene of my youth!
Seat of Friendship and Truth,
Where Love chas'd each fast-fleeting year
Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd,
For a last look I turn'd,
But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear:

Though my vows I can pour,
To my Mary no more,
My Mary, to Love once so dear,
In the shade of her bow'r,
I remember the hour,
She rewarded those vows with a Tear.

By another possest,
May she live ever blest!
Her name still my heart must revere:
With a sigh I resign,
What I once thought was mine,
And forgive her deceit with a Tear.

Ye friends of my heart,
Ere from you I depart,
This hope to my breast is most near:
If again we shall meet,
In this rural retreat,
May we meet, as we part, with a Tear.

When my soul wings her flight
To the regions of night,
And my corse shall recline on its bier;
As ye pass by the tomb,
Where my ashes consume,
Oh! moisten their dust with a Tear.

 

Euthanasia by Lord Byron
When Time, or soon or late, shall bring
The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead,
Oblivion! may thy languid wing
Wave gently o'er my dying bed!

No band of friends or heirs be there,
To weep, or wish, the coming blow:
No maiden, with dishevelled hair,
To feel, or feign, decorous woe.

But silent let me sink to earth,
With no officious mourners near:
I would not mar one hour of mirth,
Nor startle friendship with a tear.

Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
Could nobly check its useless sighs,
Might then exert its latest power
In her who lives, and him who dies.

'Twere sweet, my Psyche! to the last
Thy features still serene to see:
Forgetful of its struggles past,
Een Pain itself should smile on thee.

But vain the wish?for Beauty still
Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath;
And women's tears, produced at will,
Deceive in life, unman in death.

Then lonely be my latest hour,
Without regret, without a groan;
For thousands Death hath ceasd to lower,
And pain been transient or unknown.

`Ay, but to die, and go,' alas!
Where all have gone, and all must go!
To be the nothing that I was
Ere born to life and living woe!

Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen,
Count o'er thy days from anguish free,
And know, whatever thou hast been,
'Tis something better not to be.

 

To A Lady by Lord Byron
O! had my Fate been join'd with thine,
As once this pledge appear'd a token,
These follies had not, then, been mine,
For, then, my peace had not been broken.

To thee, these early faults I owe,
To thee, the wise and old reproving:
They know my sins, but do not know
'Twas thine to break the bonds of loving.

For once my soul, like thine, was pure,
And all its rising fires could smother;
But, now, thy vows no more endure,
Bestow'd by thee upon another.

Perhaps, his peace I could destroy,
And spoil the blisses that await him;
Yet let my Rival smile in joy,
For thy dear sake, I cannot hate him.

Ah! since thy angel form is gone,
My heart no more can rest with any;
But what it sought in thee alone,
Attempts, alas! to find in many.

Then, fare thee well, deceitful Maid!
'Twere vain and fruitless to regret thee;
Nor Hope, nor Memory yield their aid,
But Pride may teach me to forget thee.

Yet all this giddy waste of years,
This tiresome round of palling pleasures;
These varied loves, these matrons' fears,
These thoughtless strains to Passion's measures---

If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd:---
This cheek, now pale from early riot,
With Passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd,
But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet.

Yes, once the rural Scene was sweet,
For Nature seem'd to smile before thee;
And once my Breast abhorr'd deceit,---
For then it beat but to adore thee.

But, now, I seek for other joys---
To think, would drive my soul to madness;
In thoughtless throngs, and empty noise,
I conquer half my Bosom's sadness.

Yet, even in these, a thought will steal,
In spite of every vain endeavor;
And fiends might pity what I feel---
To know that thou art lost for ever.
My Soul is Dark by Lord Byron
My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let thy gentle fingers fling
Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear.
If in this heart a hope be dear,
That sound shall charm it forth again:
If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.

But bid the strain be wild and deep,
Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
And ached in sleepless silence, long;
And now 'tis doomed to know the worst,
And break at once - or yield to song.
Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte by Lord Byron
I
'Tis done -- but yesterday a King!
And arm'd with Kings to strive --
And now thou art a nameless thing:
So abject -- yet alive!
Is this the man of thousand thrones,
Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones,
And can he thus survive?
Since he, miscall'd the Morning Star,
Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far.

II
Ill-minded man! why scourge thy kind
Who bow'd so low the knee?
By gazing on thyself grown blind,
Thou taught'st the rest to see.
With might unquestion'd, -- power to save, --
Thine only gift hath been the grave,
To those that worshipp'd thee;
Nor till thy fall could mortals guess
Ambition's less than littleness!

III
Thanks for that lesson -- It will teach
To after-warriors more,
Than high Philosophy can preach,
And vainly preach'd before.
That spell upon the minds of men
Breaks never to unite again,
That led them to adore
Those Pagod things of sabre sway
With fronts of brass, and feet of clay.

IV
The triumph and the vanity,
The rapture of the strife --
The earthquake voice of Victory,
To thee the breath of life;
The sword, the sceptre, and that sway
Which man seem'd made but to obey,
Wherewith renown was rife --
All quell'd! -- Dark Spirit! what must be
The madness of thy memory!

V
The Desolator desolate!
The Victor overthrown!
The Arbiter of others' fate
A Suppliant for his own!
Is it some yet imperial hope
That with such change can calmly cope?
Or dread of death alone?
To die a prince -- or live a slave --
Thy choice is most ignobly brave!

VI
He who of old would rend the oak,
Dream'd not of the rebound:
Chain'd by the trunk he vainly broke --
Alone -- how look'd he round?
Thou, in the sternness of thy strength,
An equal deed hast done at length,
And darker fate hast found:
He fell, the forest prowler's prey;
But thou must eat thy heart away!

VII
The Roman, when his burning heart
Was slaked with blood of Rome,
Threw down the dagger -- dared depart,
In savage grandeur, home --
He dared depart in utter scorn
Of men that such a yoke had borne,
Yet left him such a doom!
His only glory was that hour
Of self-upheld abandon'd power.

VIII
The Spaniard, when the lust of sway
Had lost its quickening spell,
Cast crowns for rosaries away,
An empire for a cell;
A strict accountant of his beads,
A subtle disputant on creeds,
His dotage trifled well:
Yet better had he neither known
A bigot's shrine, nor despot's throne.

IX
But thou -- from thy reluctant hand
The thunderbolt is wrung --
Too late thou leav'st the high command
To which thy weakness clung;
All Evil Spirit as thou art,
It is enough to grieve the heart
To see thine own unstrung;
To think that God's fair world hath been
The footstool of a thing so mean;
X
And Earth hath spilt her blood for him,
Who thus can hoard his own!
And Monarchs bow'd the trembling limb,
And thank'd him for a throne!
Fair Freedom! we may hold thee dear,
When thus thy mightiest foes their fear
In humblest guise have shown.
Oh! ne'er may tyrant leave behind
A brighter name to lure mankind!

XI
Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,
Nor written thus in vain --
Thy triumphs tell of fame no more,
Or deepen every stain:
If thou hadst died as honour dies,
Some new Napoleon might arise,
To shame the world again --
But who would soar the solar height,
To set in such a starless night?

XII
Weigh'd in the balance, hero dust
Is vile as vulgar clay;
Thy scales, Mortality! are just
To all that pass away:
But yet methought the living great
Some higher sparks should animate,
To dazzle and dismay:
Nor deem'd Contempt could thus make mirth
Of these, the Conquerors of the earth.

XIII
And she, proud Austria's mournful flower,
Thy still imperial bride;
How bears her breast the torturing hour?
Still clings she to thy side?
Must she too bend, must she too share
Thy late repentance, long despair,
Thou throneless Homicide?
If still she loves thee, hoard that gem, --
'Tis worth thy vanish'd diadem!

XIV
Then haste thee to thy sullen Isle,
And gaze upon the sea;
That element may meet thy smile --
It ne'er was ruled by thee!
Or trace with thine all idle hand
In loitering mood upon the sand
That Earth is now as free!
That Corinth's pedagogue hath now
Transferr'd his by-word to thy brow.

XV
Thou Timour! in his captive's cage
What thought will there be thine,
While brooding in thy prison'd rage?
But one -- "The word was mine!"
Unless, like he of Babylon,
All sense is with thy sceptre gone,
Life will not long confine
That spirit pour'd so widely forth--
So long obey'd -- so little worth!

XVI
Or, like the thief of fire from heaven,
Wilt thou withstand the shock?
And share with him, the unforgiven,
His vulture and his rock!
Foredoom'd by God -- by man accurst,
And that last act, though not thy worst,
The very Fiend's arch mock;
He in his fall preserved his pride,
And, if a mortal, had as proudly died!

XVII
There was a day -- there was an hour,
While earth was Gaul's -- Gaul thine --
When that immeasurable power
Unsated to resign
Had been an act of purer fame
Than gathers round Marengo's name,
And gilded thy decline,
Through the long twilight of all time,
Despite some passing clouds of crime.

XVIII
But thou forsooth must be a king,
And don the purple vest,
As if that foolish robe could wring
Remembrance from thy breast.
Where is that faded garment? where
The gewgaws thou wert fond to wear,
The star, the string, the crest?
Vain froward child of empire! say,
Are all thy playthings snatched away?

XIX
Where may the wearied eye repose
When gazing on the Great;
Where neither guilty glory glows,
Nor despicable state?
Yes --one--the first--the last--the best--
The Cincinnatus of the West,
Whom envy dared not hate,
Bequeath'd the name of Washington,
To make man blush there was but one!

 

For Music by Lord Byron
THERE be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmed ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:

And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o'er the deep;
Whose breast is gently heaving,
As an infant's asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee,
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.

 

We'll go no more a-roving by Lord Byron
SO, we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

 

So We'll Go No More a-Roving by Lord Byron
So we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart still be as loving,
And the moon still be as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul outwears the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

 

To Romance by Lord Byron
Parent of golden dreams, Romance!
Auspicious Queen of childish joys,
Who lead'st along, in airy dance,
Thy votive train of girls and boys;
At length, in spells no longer bound,
I break the fetters of my youth;
No more I tread thy mystic round,
But leave thy realms for those of Truth.

And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams
Which haunt the unsuspicious soul,
Where every nymph a goddess seems,
Whose eyes through rays immortal roll;
While Fancy holds her boundless reign,
And all assume a varied hue;
When Virgins seem no longer vain,
And even Woman's smiles are true.

And must we own thee, but a name,
And from thy hall of clouds descend?
Nor find a Sylph in every dame,
A Pylades in every friend?
But leave, at once, thy realms of air i
To mingling bands of fairy elves;
Confess that woman's false as fair,
And friends have feeling for---themselves?

With shame, I own, I've felt thy sway;
Repentant, now thy reign is o'er;
No more thy precepts I obey,
No more on fancied pinions soar;
Fond fool! to love a sparkling eye,
And think that eye to truth was dear;
To trust a passing wanton's sigh,
And melt beneath a wanton's tear!

Romance! disgusted with deceit,
Far from thy motley court I fly,
Where Affectation holds her seat,
And sickly Sensibility;
Whose silly tears can never flow
For any pangs excepting thine;
Who turns aside from real woe,
To steep in dew thy gaudy shrine.

Now join with sable Sympathy,
With cypress crown'd, array'd in weeds,
Who heaves with thee her simple sigh,
Whose breast for every bosom bleeds;
And call thy sylvan female choir,
To mourn a Swain for ever gone,
Who once could glow with equal fire,
But bends not now before thy throne.

Ye genial Nymphs, whose ready tears
On all occasions swiftly flow;
Whose bosoms heave with fancied fears,
With fancied flames and phrenzy glow
Say, will you mourn my absent name,
Apostate from your gentle train
An infant Bard, at least, may claim
From you a sympathetic strain.

Adieu, fond race! a long adieu!
The hour of fate is hovering nigh;
E'en now the gulf appears in view,
Where unlamented you must lie:
Oblivion's blackening lake is seen,
Convuls'd by gales you cannot weather,
Where you, and eke your gentle queen,
Alas! must perish altogether.
I Speak Not by Lord Byron
I speak not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name;
There is grief in the sound, there is guilt in the fame;
But the tear that now burns on my cheek may impart
The deep thoughts that dwell in that silence of heart.
Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace,
Were those hours - can their joy or their bitterness cease?
We repent, we abjure, we will break from our chain, -
We will part, we will fly to - unite it again!
Oh! thine be the gladness, and mine be the guilt!
Forgive me, adored one! - forsake if thou wilt;
But the heart which is thine shall expire undebased,
And man shall not break it - whatever thou may'st.
And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee,
This soul in its bitterest blackness shall be;
And our days seem as swift, and our moments more sweet,
With thee at my side, than with worlds at our feet.
One sigh of thy sorrow, one look of thy love,
Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove.
And the heartless may wonder at all I resign -
Thy lips shall reply, not to them, but to mine.

 

By the Rivers of Babylon We Sat Down and Wept by Lord Byron
We sat down and wept by the waters
Of Babel, and thought of the day
When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,
Made Salem's high places his prey;
And ye, oh her desolate daughters!
Were scattered all weeping away.

While sadly we gazed on the river
Which rolled on in freedom below,
They demanded the song; but, oh never
That triumph the stranger shall know!
May this right hand be withered for ever,
Ere it string our high harp for the foe!

On the willow that harp is suspended,
Oh Salem! its sound should be free;
And the hour when thy glories were
ended
But left me that token of thee:
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
With the voice of the spoiler by me!

 

Remind Me Not, Remind Me Not by Lord Byron
Remind me not, remind me not,
Of those beloved, those vanish'd hours,
When all my soul was given to thee;
Hours that may never be forgot,
Till Time unnerves our vital powers,
And thou and I shall cease to be.

Can I forget---canst thou forget,
When playing with thy golden hair,
How quick thy fluttering heart did move?
Oh! by my soul, I see thee yet,
With eyes so languid, breast so fair,
And lips, though silent, breathing love.

When thus reclining on my breast,
Those eyes threw back a glance so sweet,
As half reproach'd yet rais'd desire,
And still we near and nearer prest,
And still our glowing lips would meet,
As if in kisses to expire.

And then those pensive eyes would close,
And bid their lids each other seek,
Veiling the azure orbs below;
While their long lashes' darken'd gloss
Seem'd stealing o'er thy brilliant cheek,
Like raven's plumage smooth'd on snow.

I dreamt last night our love return'd,
And, sooth to say, that very dream
Was sweeter in its phantasy,
Than if for other hearts I burn'd,
For eyes that ne'er like thine could beam
In Rapture's wild reality.

Then tell me not, remind me not,
Of hours which, though for ever gone,
Can still a pleasing dream restore,
Till Thou and I shall be forgot,
And senseless, as the mouldering stone
Which tells that we shall be no more.

 

Maid of Athens, ere we part by Lord Byron
Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh, give back my heart!
Or, since that has left my breast,
Keep it now, and take the rest!
Hear my vow before I go,
Zo mou sas agapo.

By those tresses unconfined,
Wooed by each Aegean wind;
By those lids whose jetty fringe
Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tinge;
By those wild eyes like the roe,
Zo mou sas agapo.

By that lip I long to taste;
By that zone-encircled waist;
By all the token-flowers that tell
What words can never speak so well;
By love's alternate joy and woe,
Zo mou sas agapo.

Maid of Athens! I am gone:
Think of me, sweet! when alone.
Though I fly to Istambol,
Athens holds my heart and soul:
Can I cease to love thee? No!
Zo mou sas agapo.

 

To A Beautiful Quaker by Lord Byron
Sweet girl! though only once we met,
That meeting I shall ne'er forget;
And though we ne'er may meet again,
Remembrance will thy form retain.
I would not say, "I love," but still
My senses struggle with my will:
In vain, to drive thee from my breast,
My thoughts are more and more represt;
In vain I check the rising sighs,
Another to the last replies:
Perhaps this is not love, but yet
Our meeting I can ne'er forget.

What though we never silence broke,
Our eyes a sweeter language spoke.
The toungue in flattering falsehood deals,
And tells a tale in never feels;
Deceit the guilty lips impart,
And hush the mandates of the heart;
But soul's interpreters, the eyes,
Spurn such restraint and scorn disguise.
As thus our glances oft conversed,
And all our bosoms felt, rehearsed,
No spirit, from within, reproved us,
Say rather, "'twas the spirit moved us."
Though what they utter'd I repress,
Yet I conceive thou'lt partly guess;
For as on thee my memory ponders,
Perchance to me thine also wanders.
This for myself, at least, I'll say,
Thy form appears through night, through day:
Awake, with it my fancy teems;
In sleep, it smiles in fleeting dreams;
The vision charms the hours away,
And bids me curse Aurora's ray
For breaking slumbers of delight
Which make me wish for endless night:
Since, oh! whate'er my future fate,
Shall joy or woe my steps await,
Tempted by love, by storms beset,
Thine image I can ne'er forget.

Alas! again no more we meet,
No more former looks repeat;
Then let me breathe this parting prayer,
The dictate of my bosom's care:
"May heaven so guard my lovely quaker,
That anguish never can o'ertake her;
That peace and virtue ne'er forsake her,
But bliss be aye her heart's partaker!
Oh, may the happy mortal, fated
To be by dearest ties related,
For her each hour new joys discover,
And lose the husband in the lover!
May that fair bosom never know
What 't is to feel the restless woe
Which stings the soul with vain regret,
Of him who never can forget!"
When Coldness Wraps This Suffering Clay by Lord Byron
When coldness wraps this suffering clay,
Ah! whither strays the immortal mind?
It cannot die, it cannot stay,
But leaves its darken'd dust behind.
Then, unembodied, doth it trace
By steps each planet's heavenly way?
Or fill at once the realms of space,
A thing of eyes, that all survey?

Eternal, boundless, undecay'd,
A thought unseen, but seeing all,
All, all in earth or skies display'd,
Shall it survey, shall it recall:
Each fainter trace that memory holds
So darkly of departed years,
In one broad glance the soul beholds,
And all, that was, at once appears.

Before Creation peopled earth,
Its eye shall roll through chaos back;
And where the farthest heaven had birth,
The spirit trace its rising track.
And where the future mars or makes,
Its glance dilate o'er all to be,
While sun is quench'd or system breaks,
Fix'd in its own eternity.

Above or Love, Hope, Hate, or Fear,
It lives all passionless and pure:
An age shall fleet like earthly year;
Its years as moments shall endure.
Away, away, without a wing,
O'er all, through all, its thought shall fly,
A nameless and eternal thing,
Forgetting what it was to die.

 

I Saw Thee Weep by Lord Byron
I saw thee weep---the big bright tear
Came o'er that eye of blue;
And then methought it did appear
A violet dropping dew:
I saw thee smile---the sapphire's blaze
Beside thee ceased to shine;
It could not match the living rays
That filled that glance of thine.
As clouds from yonder sun receive
A deep and mellow dye,
Which scarce the shade of coming eve
Can banish from the sky,
Those smiles unto the moodiest mind
Their own pure joy impart;
Their sunshine leaves a glow behind
That lightens o'er the heart.

 

Love's Last Adieu by Lord Byron
The roses of Love glad the garden of life,
Though nurtur'd 'mid weeds dropping pestilent dew,
Till Time crops the leaves with unmerciful knife,
Or prunes them for ever, in Love's last adieu!

In vain, with endearments, we soothe the sad heart,
In vain do we vow for an age to be true;
The chance of an hour may command us to part,
Or Death disunite us, in Love's last adieu!

Still Hope, breathing peace, through the grief-swollen breast,
Will whisper, Our meeting we yet may renew:
With this dream of deceit, half our sorrow's represt,
Nor taste we the poison, of Love's last adieu!

Oh! mark you yon pair, in the sunshine of youth,
Love twin'd round their childhood his flow'rs as they grew;
They flourish awhile, in the season of truth,
Till chill'd by the winter of Love's last adieu!

Sweet lady! why thus doth a tear steal its way,
Down a cheek which outrivals thy bosom in hue?
Yet why do I ask?---to distraction a prey,
Thy reason has perish'd, with Love's last adieu!

Oh! who is yon Misanthrope, shunning mankind?
From cities to caves of the forest he flew:
There, raving, he howls his complaint to the wind;
The mountains reverberate Love's last adieu!

Now Hate rules a heart which in Love's easy chains,
Once Passion's tumultuous blandishments knew;
Despair now inflames the dark tide of his veins,
He ponders, in frenzy, on Love's last adieu!

How he envies the wretch, with a soul wrapt in steel!
His pleasures are scarce, yet his troubles are few,
Who laughs at the pang that he never can feel,
And dreads not the anguish of Love's last adieu!

Youth flies, life decays, even hope is o'ercast;
No more, with Love's former devotion, we sue:
He spreads his young wing, he retires with the blast;
The shroud of affection is Love's last adieu!

In this life of probation, for rapture divine,
Astrea declares that some penance is due;
From him, who has worshipp'd at Love's gentle shrine,
The atonement is ample, in Love's last adieu!

Who kneels to the God, on his altar of light
Must myrtle and cypress alternately strew:
His myrtle, an emblem of purest delight,
His cypress, the garland of Love's last adieu!
To Time by Lord Byron
Time! on whose arbitrary wing
The varying hours must flag or fly,
Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring,
But drag or drive us on to die---
Hail thou! who on my birth bestowed
Those boons to all that know thee known;
Yet better I sustain thy load,
For now I bear the weight alone.
I would not one fond heart should share
The bitter moments thou hast given;
And pardon thee---since thou couldst spare
All that I loved, to peace or Heaven.
To them be joy or rest---on me
Thy future ills shall press in vain;
I nothing owe but years to thee,
A debt already paid in pain.
Yet even that pain was some relief;
It felt, but still forgot thy power:
The active agony of grief
Retards, but never counts the hour.
In joy I've sighed to think thy flight
Would soon subside from swift to slow;
Thy cloud could overcast the light,
But could not add a night to Woe;
For then, however drear and dark,
My soul was suited to thy sky;
One star alone shot forth a spark
To prove thee---not Eternity.
That beam hath sunk---and now thou art
A blank---a thing to count and curse
Through each dull tedious trifling part,
Which all regret, yet all rehearse.
One scene even thou canst not deform---
The limit of thy sloth or speed
When future wanderers bear the storm
Which we shall sleep too sound to heed.
And I can smile to think how weak
Thine efforts shortly shall be shown,
When all the vengeance thou canst wreak
Must fall upon---a nameless stone.
John Keats by Lord Byron
Who killed John Keats?
'I,' says the Quarterly,
So savage and Tartarly;
''Twas one of my feats.'

Who shot the arrow?
'The poet-priest Milman
(So ready to kill man),
Or Southey or Barrow.'

 

Saul by Lord Byron
Thou whose spell can raise the dead,
Bid the prophet's form appear.
'Samuel, raise thy buried head!
King, behold the phantom seer!'

Earth yawn'd; he stood the centre of a cloud:
Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud.
Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye:
His hand was wither'd, and his veins were dry;
His foot, in bony whiteness, glitter'd there,
Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare;
From lips that moved not and unbreathing frame,
Like cavern'd winds, the hollow acccents came.
Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak,
At once, and blasted by the thunderstroke.

'Why is my sleep disquieted?
Who is he that calls the dead?
Is it thou, O King? Behold,
Bloodless are these limbs, and cold:
Such are mine; and such shall be
Thine to-morrow, when with me:
Ere the coming day is done,
Such shalt thou be, such thy son.
Fare thee well, bur for a day,
Then we mix our mouldering clay.
Thou, thy race, lie pale and low,
Pierced by shafts of many a bow;
And the falchion by thy side
To thy heart thy hand shall guide:
Crownless, breathless, headless fall,
Son and sire, the house of Saul!'
Adieu, Adieu! My Native Land by Lord Byron
Adieu, adieu! my native shore
Fades o'ver the waters blue;
The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,
And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
Yon sun that sets upon the sea
We follow in his flight;
Farewell awhile to him and thee,
My native Land-Good Night!
A few short hours, and he will rise
To give the morrow birth;
And I shall hail the main and skies,
But not my mother earth.
Deserted is my own good hall,
Its hearth is desolate;
Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
My dog howls at the gate.
It Is the Hour by Lord Byron
It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale's high note is heard;
It is the hour -- when lover's vows
Seem sweet in every whisper'd word;
And gentle winds and waters near,
Make music to the lonely ear.
Each flower the dews have lightly wet,
And in the sky the stars are met,
And on the wave is deeper blue,
And on the leaf a browner hue,
And in the Heaven that clear obscure
So softly dark, and darkly pure,
That follows the decline of day
As twilight melts beneath the moon away.

 

'All Is Vanity,' Saith the Preacher by Lord Byron
Fame, wisdom, love, and power were mine,
And health and youth possessed me;
My goblets blushed from every vine,
And lovely forms caressed me;
I sunned my heart in beauty eyes,
And felt my soul grow tender;
All earth can give, or mortal prize,
Was mine of regal splendour.

I strive to number oer what days
Remembrance can discover,
Which all that life or earth displays
Would lure me to live over.
There rose no day, there rolled no hour
Of pleasure unembittered;
And not a trapping decked my power
That galled not while it glittered.

The serpent of the field, by art
And spells, is won from harming;
But that which soils around the heart,
Oh! who hath power of charming?
It will not list to wisdoms lore,
Nor musics voice can lure it;
But there it stings for evermore
The soul that must endure it.

 

The Isles of Greece by Lord Byron
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus
sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set...

The mountains look on Marathon--
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sat on the rocky brow
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,
And men in nations--all were his!
He counted them at break of day--
And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they? And where art thou?
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now--
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?

'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though linked among a fettered race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear....

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Our virgins dance beneath the shade--
I see their glorious black eyes shine;
But gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning teardrop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swanlike, let me sing and die:
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine--
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!

 

Farewell To The Muse by Lord Byron
Thou Power! who hast ruled me through Infancy's days,
Young offspring of Fancy, 'tis time we should part;
Then rise on the gale this the last of my lays,
The coldest effusion which springs from my heart.

This bosom, responsive to rapture no more,
Shall hush thy wild notes, nor implore thee to sing;
The feelings of childhood, which taught thee to soar,
Are wafted far distant on Apathy's wing.

Though simple the themes of my rude flowing Lyre,
Yet even these themes are departed for ever;
No more beam the eyes which my dream could inspire,
My visions are flown, to return,---alas, never!

When drain'd is the nectar which gladdens the bowl,
How vain is the effort delight to prolong!
When cold is the beauty which dwelt in my soul,
What magic of Fancy can lengthen my song?

Can the lips sing of Love in the desert alone,
Of kisses and smiles which they now must resign ?
Or dwell with delight on the hours that are flown ?
Ah, no! for those hours can no longer be mine.

Can they speak of the friends that I lived but to love?
Ah, surely Affection ennobles the strain!
But how can my numbers in sympathy move,
When I scarcely can hope to behold them again?

Can I sing of the deeds which my Fathers have done,
And raise my loud harp to the fame of my Sires?
For glories like theirs, oh, how faint is my tone!
For Heroes' exploits how unequal my fires!

Untouch'd, then, my Lyre shall reply to the blast---
'Tis hush'd; and my feeble endeavors are o'er;
And those who have heard it will pardon the past,
When they know that its murmurs shall vibrate no more.

And soon shall its wild erring notes be forgot,
Since early affection and love is o'ercast:
Oh! blest had my Fate been, and happy my lot,
Had the first strain of love been the dearest, the last.

Farewell, my young Muse! since we now can ne'er meet;
If our songs have been languid, they surely are few:
Let us hope that the present at least will be sweet---
The present---which seals our eternal Adieu.
Sun of the Sleepless! by Lord Byron
Sun of the sleepless! melancholy star!
Whose tearful beam glows tremulously far,
That show'st the darkness thou canst not dispel,
How like art thou to joy remember'd well!

So gleams the past, the light of other days,
Which shines, but warms not with its powerless rays;
A night-beam Sorrow watcheth to behold,
Distinct but distant -- clear -- but, oh how cold!

 

To Caroline by Lord Byron
Think'st thou I saw thy beauteous eyes,
Suffus'd in tears, implore to stay;
And heard unmov'd thy plenteous sighs,
Which said far more than words can say?

Though keen the grief thy tears exprest,
When love and hope lay both o'erthrown;
Yet still, my girl, this bleeding breast
Throbb'd, with deep sorrow, as thine own.

But, when our cheeks with anguish glow'd,
When thy sweet lips were join'd to mine;
The tears that from my eyelids flow'd
Were lost in those which fell from thine.

Thou could'st not feel my burning cheek,
Thy gushing tears had quench'd its flame,
And, as thy tongue essay'd to speak,
In sighs alone it breath'd my name.

And yet, my girl, we weep in vain,
In vain our fate in sighs deplore;
Remembrance only can remain,
But that, will make us weep the more.

Again, thou best belov'd, adieu!
Ah! if thou canst, o'ercome regret,
Nor let thy mind past joys review,
Our only hope is, to forget!

 

Thy Days Are Done by Lord Byron
Thy days are done, thy fame begun;
Thy country's strains record
The triumphs of her chosen Son,
The slaughter of his sword!
The deeds he did, the fields he won,
The freedom he restored!

Though thou art fall'n, while we are free
Thou shalt not taste of death!
The generous blood that flow'd from thee
Disdain'd to sink beneath:
Within our veins its currents be,
Thy spirit on our breath!

Thy name, our charging hosts along,
Shall be the battle-word!
Thy fall, the theme of choral song
From virgin voices pour'd!
To weep would do thy glory wrong:
Thou shalt not be deplored.
Oh! Weep for Those by Lord Byron
I.

Oh! Weep for those that wept by Babel's stream,
Whose shrines are desolate, whose land a dream,
Weep for the harp of Judah's broken shell--
Mourn -- where their God that dwelt--the Godless dwell!

II.

And where shall Israel lave her bleeding feet?
And when shall Zion's songs agains seem sweet?
And Judah's melody once more rejoice
The hearts that leap'd before its heavenly voice?

III.

Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast!
How shall ye flee away and be at rest!
The wild-dove hath her nest-- the fox his cave--
Mankind their Country -- Israel but the grave.
And Wilt Thou Weep When I Am Low? by Lord Byron
And wilt thou weep when I am low?
Sweet lady! speak those words again:
Yet if they grieve thee, say not so---
I would not give that bosom pain.

My heart is sad, my hopes are gone,
My blood runs coldly through my breast;
And when I perish, thou alone
Wilt sigh above my place of rest.

And yet, methinks, a gleam of peace
Doth through my cloud of anguish shine:
And for a while my sorrows cease,
To know thy heart hath felt for mine.

Oh lady! blessd be that tear---
It falls for one who cannot weep;
Such precious drops are doubly dear
To those whose eyes no tear may steep.

Sweet lady! once my heart was warm
With every feeling soft as thine;
But Beauty's self hath ceased to charm
A wretch created to repine.

Yet wilt thou weep when I am low?
Sweet lady! speak those words again:
Yet if they grieve thee, say not so---
I would not give that bosom pain.
I Would I Were a Careless Child by Lord Byron
I would I were a careless child,
Still dwelling in my highland cave,
Or roaming through the dusky wild,
Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave;
The cumbrous pomp of Saxon pride
Accords not with the freeborn soul,
Which loves the mountain's craggy side,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll.

Fortune! take back these cultured lands,
Take back this name of splendid sound!
I hate the touch of servile hands,
I hate the slaves that cringe around.
Place me among the rocks I love,
Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
I ask but this -- again to rove
Through scenes my youth hath known before.

Few are my years, and yet I feel
The world was ne'er designed for me:
Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal
The hour when man must cease to be?
Once I beheld a splendid dream,
A visionary scene of bliss:
Truth! -- wherefore did thy hated beam
Awake me to a world like this?

I loved -- but those I loved are gone;
Had friends -- my early friends are fled:
How cheerless feels the heart alone
When all its former hopes are dead!
Though gay companions o'er the bowl
Dispel awhile the sense of ill;
Though pleasure stirs the maddening soul,
The heart -- the heart -- is lonely still.

How dull! to hear the voice of those
Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power,
Have made, though neither friends nor foes,
Associates of the festive hour.
Give me again a faithful few,
In years and feelings still the same,
And I will fly the midnight crew,
Where boist'rous joy is but a name.

And woman, lovely woman! thou,
My hope, my comforter, my all!
How cold must be my bosom now,
When e'en thy smiles begin to pall!
Without a sigh I would resign
This busy scene of splendid woe,
To make that calm contentment mine,
Which virtue knows, or seems to know.

Fain would I fly the haunts of men--
I seek to shun, not hate mankind;
My breast requires the sullen glen,
Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind.
Oh! that to me the wings were given
Which bear the turtle to her nest!
Then would I cleave the vault of heaven,
To flee away and be at rest.

 

And Thou Art Dead, As Young and Fair by Lord Byron
And thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And form so soft, and charms so rare,
Too soon return'd to Earth!
Though Earth receiv'd them in her bed,
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,
There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.

I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;
There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not:
It is enough for me to prove
That what I lov'd, and long must love,
Like common earth can rot;
To me there needs no stone to tell,
'T is Nothing that I lov'd so well.

Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
Who didst not change through all the past,
And canst not alter now.
The love where Death has set his seal,
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,
Nor falsehood disavow:
And, what were worse, thou canst not see
Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.

The better days of life were ours;
The worst can be but mine:
The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers,
Shall never more be thine.
The silence of that dreamless sleep
I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine
That all those charms have pass'd away,
I might have watch'd through long decay.

The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd
Must fall the earliest prey;
Though by no hand untimely snatch'd,
The leaves must drop away:
And yet it were a greater grief
To watch it withering, leaf by leaf,
Than see it pluck'd to-day;
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To trace the change to foul from fair.

I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
The night that follow'd such a morn
Had worn a deeper shade:
Thy day without a cloud hath pass'd,
And thou wert lovely to the last,
Extinguish'd, not decay'd;
As stars that shoot along the sky
Shine brightest as they fall from high.

As once I wept, if I could weep,
My tears might well be shed,
To think I was not near to keep
One vigil o'er thy bed;
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face,
To fold thee in a faint embrace,
Uphold thy drooping head;
And show that love, however vain,
Nor thou nor I can feel again.

Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
The loveliest things that still remain,
Than thus remember thee!
The all of thine that cannot die
Through dark and dread Eternity
Returns again to me,
And more thy buried love endears
Than aught except its living years.

 

I would to heaven that I were so much clay by Lord Byron
I would to heaven that I were so much clay,
As I am blood, bone, marrow, passion, feeling -
Because at least the past were passed away -
And for the future - (but I write this reeling,
Having got drunk exceedingly today,
So that I seem to stand upon the ceiling)
I say - the future is a serious matter -
And so - for God's sake - hock and soda water!
There Was A Time, I Need Not Name by Lord Byron
There was a time, I need not name,
Since it will ne'er forgotten be,
When all our feelings were the same
As still my soul hath been to thee.

And from that hour when first thy tongue
Confess'd a love which equall'd mine,
Though many a grief my heart hath wrung,
Unknown, and thus unfelt, by thine,

None, none hath sunk so deep as this---
To think how all that love hath flown;
Transient as every faithless kiss,
But transient in thy breast alone.

And yet my heart some solace knew,
When late I heard thy lips declare,
In accents once imagined true,
Remembrance of the days that were.

Yes! my adored, yet most unkind!
Though thou wilt never love again,
To me 'tis doubly sweet to find
Remembrance of that love remain.

Yes! 'tis a glorious thought to me,
Nor longer shall my soul repine,
Whate'er thou art or e'er shalt be,
Thou hast been dearly, solely mine.

 

Isles of Greece, The by Lord Byron
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus
sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set...

The mountains look on Marathon--
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sat on the rocky brow
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,
And men in nations--all were his!
He counted them at break of day--
And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they? And where art thou?
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now--
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?

'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though linked among a fettered race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear....

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Our virgins dance beneath the shade--
I see their glorious black eyes shine;
But gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning teardrop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swanlike, let me sing and die:
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine--
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!
Thou Whose Spell Can Raise the Dead by Lord Byron
Thou whose spell can raise the dead,
Bid the prophet's form appear.
"Samuel, raise thy buried head!
"King, behold the phantom seer!"
Earth yawn'd; he stood the centre of a cloud:
Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud.
Death stood all glassy in the fixed eye:
His hand was withered, and his veins were dry;
His foot, in bony whiteness, glitterd there,
Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare;
From lips that moved not and unbreathing frame,
Like cavern'd winds the hollow acccents came.
Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak,
At once, and blasted by the thunder-stroke.

"Why is my sleep disquieted?
"Who is he that calls the dead?
"Is it thou, Oh King? Behold
"Bloodless are these limbs, and cold:
"Such are mine; and such shall be
"Thine, to-morrow, when with me:
"Ere the coming day is done,
"Such shalt thou be, such thy son.
"Fare thee well, but for a day,
"Then we mix our mouldering clay.
"Thou, thy race, lie pale and low,
"Pierced by shafts of many a bow;
"And the falchion by thy side,
"To thy heart, thy hand shall guide:
"Crownless, breathless, headless fall,
"Son and sire, the house of Saul!"

 

Stanzas To Jessy by Lord Byron
There is a mystic thread of life
So dearly wreath'd with mine alone,
That Destiny's relentless knife
At once must sever both, or none.

There is a Form on which these eyes
Have fondly gazed with such delight---
By day, that Form their joy supplies,
And Dreams restore it, through the night.

There is a Voice whose tones inspire
Such softened feelings in my breast,
I would not hear a Seraph Choir,
Unless that voice could join the rest.

There is a Face whose Blushes tell
Affection's tale upon the cheek,
But pallid at our fond farewell,
Proclaims more love than words can speak.

There is a Lip, which mine has prest,
But none had ever prest before;
It vowed to make me sweetly blest,
That mine alone should press it more.

There is a Bosom all my own,
Has pillow'd oft this aching head,
A Mouth which smiles on me alone,
An Eye, whose tears with mine are shed.

There are two Hearts whose movements thrill,
In unison so closely sweet,
That Pulse to Pulse responsive still
They Both must heave, or cease to beat.

There are two Souls, whose equal flow
In gentle stream so calmly run,
That when they part---they part?---ah no!
They cannot part---those Souls are One.
Remember Him, Whom Passion's Power by Lord Byron
Remember him, whom Passion's power
Severely---deeply---vainly proved:
Remember thou that dangerous hour,
When neither fell, though both were loved.

That yielding breast, that melting eye,
Too much invited to be blessed:
That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh,
The wilder wish reproved, repressed.

Oh! let me feel that all I lost
But saved thee all that Conscience fears;
And blush for every pang it cost
To spare the vain remorse of years.

Yet think of this when many a tongue,
Whose busy accents whisper blame,
Would do the heart that loved thee wrong,
And brand a nearly blighted name.

Think that, whate'er to others, thou
Hast seen each selfish thought subdued:
I bless thy purer soul even now,
Even now, in midnight solitude.

Oh, God! that we had met in time,
Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free;
When thou hadst loved without a crime,
And I been less unworthy thee!

Far may thy days, as heretofore,
From this our gaudy world be past!
And that too bitter moment o'er,
Oh! may such trial be thy last.

This heart, alas! perverted long,
Itself destroyed might there destroy;
To meet thee in the glittering throng,
Would wake Presumption's hope of joy.

Then to the things whose bliss or woe,
Like mine, is wild and worthless all,
That world resign---such scenes forego,
Where those who feel must surely fall.

Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness---
Thy soul from long seclusion pure;
From what even here hath passed, may guess
What there thy bosom must endure.

Oh! pardon that imploring tear,
Since not by Virtue shed in vain,
My frenzy drew from eyes so dear;
For me they shall not weep again.

Though long and mournful must it be,
The thought that we no more may meet;
Yet I deserve the stern decree,
And almost deem the sentence sweet.

Still---had I loved thee less---my heart
Had then less sacrificed to thine;
It felt not half so much to part
As if its guilt had made thee mine.

 

Sonnet to Lake Leman by Lord Byron
Rousseau -- Voltaire -- our Gibbon -- De Stal --
Leman! these names are worthy of thy shore,
Thy shore of names like these! wert thou no more,
Their memory thy remembrance would recall:
To them thy banks were lovely as to all,
But they have made them lovelier, for the lore
Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core
Of human hearts the ruin of a wall
Where dwelt the wise and wondrous; but by thee
How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel,
In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea,
The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal,
Which of the heirs of immortality
Is proud, and makes the breath of glory real!
Sonnet - to Genevra by Lord Byron
Thy cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,
And yet so lovely, that if Mirth could flush
Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush,
My heart would wish away that ruder glow:
And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes---but, oh!
While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush,
And into mine my mother's weakness rush,
Soft as the last drops round Heaven's airy bow.
For, though thy long dark lashes low depending,
The soul of melancholy Gentleness
Gleams like a Seraph from the sky descending,
Above all pain, yet pitying all distress;
At once such majesty with sweetness blending,
I worship more, but cannot love thee less.

 

To Eliza by Lord Byron
Eliza, what fools are the Mussulman sect,
Who to woman deny the soul's future existence!
Could they see thee, Eliza, they'd own their defect,
And this doctrine would meet with a general resistance.

Had their prophet possess'd half an atom of sense,
He ne'er would have woman from paradise driven;
Instead of his houris, a flimsy pretence,
With woman alone he had peopled his heaven.

Yet still, to increase your calamities more,
Not Content with depriving your bodies of spirit,
He allots one poor husband to share amongst four!-
With souls you'd dispense; but this last, who could bear it?

His religion to please neither party is made;
On husbands 'tis hard, to the wives most uncivil;
Still I Can't contradict, what so oft has been said,
'Though women are angels, yet wedlock's the devil.'

 

To Mary, On Receiving Her Picture by Lord Byron
This faint resemblance of thy charms,
(Though strong as mortal art could give,)
My constant heart of fear disarms,
Revives my hopes, and bids me live.

Here, I can trace the locks of gold
Which round thy snowy forehead wave;
The cheeks which sprung from Beauty's mould,
The lips, which made me Beauty's slave.

Here I can trace---ah, no! that eye,
Whose azure floats in liquid fire,
Must all the painter's art defy,
And bid him from the task retire.

Here, I behold its beauteous hue;
But where's the beam so sweetly straying,
Which gave a lustre to its blue,
Like Luna o'er the ocean playing?

Sweet copy! far more dear to me,
Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art,
Than all the living forms could be,
Save her who plac'd thee next my heart.

She plac'd it, sad, with needless fear,
Lest time might shake my wavering soul,
Unconscious that her image there
Held every sense in fast control.

Thro' hours, thro' years, thro' time, 'twill cheer---
My hope, in gloomy moments, raise;
In life's last conflict 'twill appear,
And meet my fond, expiring gaze.

 

Lachin Y Gair by Lord Byron
Away, ye gay landscapes, ye garden of roses!
In you let the minions of luxury rove;
Restore me to the rocks, where the snowflake reposes,
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love:
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains,
Round their white summits though elements war;
Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains,
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.

Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wandered;
My cap was teh bonnet, my cloak was the plaid;
On chieftains long perished my memory pondered,
As daily I strode through the pine-covered glade;
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star;
For fancy was cheered by traditional story,
Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.

"Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?"
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices,
And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale.
Rouch Loch na Garr while the stormy mist gathers,
Winter presides in his cold icy car:
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers;
They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.

"Ill-starred, though brave, did no visions foreboding
Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause?"
Ah! were you destined to die at Culloden,
Victory crowned not your fall with applause:
Still were you happy in death's earthy slumber,
You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar;
The pibroch resounds, to the piper's loud number,
Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr.

Years have rolled on, Loch na Garr, since I left you,
Years must elapse ere I tread you again:
Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you,
Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain.
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved o'er the mountains afar:
Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic!
The steep frowning glories of the dark Loch na Garr.

 

Song of Saul Before His Last Battle by Lord Byron
Warriors and chiefs! should the shaft or the sword
Pierce me in leading the host of the Lord,
Heed not the corse, though a kings in your path:
Bury your steel in the bosoms of Gath!

Thou who art bearing my buckler and bow,
Should the soldiers of Saul look away from the foe,
Stretch me that moment in blood at thy feet!
Mine be the doom which they dared not to meet.

Farewell to others, but never we part,
Heir to my royalty, son of my heart!
Bright is the diadem, boundless the sway,
Or kingly the death, which awaits us to-day!

 

To M. S. G. by Lord Byron
Whene'er I view those lips of thine,
Their hue invites my fervent kiss;
Yet, I forego that bliss divine,
Alas! it were---unhallow'd bliss.

Whene'er I dream of that pure breast,
How could I dwell upon its snows!
Yet, is the daring wish represt,
For that,---would banish its repose.

A glance from thy soul-searching eye
Can raise with hope, depress with fear;
Yet, I conceal my love,---and why?
I would not force a painful tear.

I ne'er have told my love, yet thou
Hast seen my ardent flame too well;
And shall I plead my passion now,
To make thy bosom's heaven a hell?

No! for thou never canst be mine,
United by the priest's decree:
By any ties but those divine,
Mine, my belov'd, thou ne'er shalt be.

Then let the secret fire consume,
Let it consume, thou shalt not know:
With joy I court a certain doom,
Rather than spread its guilty glow.

I will not ease my tortur'd heart,
By driving dove-ey'd peace from thine;
Rather than such a sting impart,
Each thought presumptuous I resign.

Yes! yield those lips, for which I'd brave
More than I here shall dare to tell;
Thy innocence and mine to save,---
I bid thee now a last farewell.

Yes! yield that breast, to seek despair
And hope no more thy soft embrace;
Which to obtain, my soul would dare,
All, all reproach, but thy disgrace.

At least from guilt shalt thou be free,
No matron shall thy shame reprove;
Though cureless pangs may prey on me,
No martyr shalt thou be to love.
On A Distant View Of Harrow by Lord Byron
Ye scenes of my childhood, whose lov'd recollection
Embitters the present, compar'd with the past;
Where science first dawn'd on the powers of reflection,
And friendships were form'd, too romantic to last;

Where fancy, yet, joys to retrace the resemblance
Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied;
How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrance,
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is deny'd!

Again I revisit the hills where we sported,
The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought;
The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we resorted,
To pore o'er the precepts by Pedagogues taught.

Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd,
As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone I lay;
Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd,
To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray.

I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded,
Where, as Zanga, I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown;
While, to swell my young pride, such applauses resounded,
I fancied that Mossop himself was outshone.

Or, as Lear, I pour'd forth the deep imprecation,
By my daughters, of kingdom and reason depriv'd;
Till, fir'd by loud plaudits and self-adulation,
I regarded myself as a Garrick reviv'd.

Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you!
Unfaded your memory dwells in my breast;
Though sad and deserted, I ne'er can forget you:
Your pleasures may still be in fancy possest.

To Ida full oft may remembrance restore me,
While Fate shall the shades of the future unroll!
Since Darkness o'ershadows the prospect before me,
More dear is the beam of the past to my soul!

But if, through the course of the years which await me,
Some new scene of pleasure should open to view,
I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me,
Oh! such were the days which my infancy knew.
Reply to Some Verses of J.M.B. Pigot, Esq. by Lord Byron
Why, Pigot, complain of this damsel's disdain,
Why thus in despair do you fret?
For months you may try, yet, believe me, a sigh
Will never obtain a coquette.

Would you teach her to love? for a time seem to rove;
At first she may frown in a pet;
But leave her awhile, she shortly will smile,
And then you may kiss your coquette.

For such are the airs of these fanciful fairs,
They think all our homage a debt:
Yet a partial neglect soon takes an effect,
And humbles the proudest coquette.

Dissemble your pain, and lengthen your chain,
And seem her hauteur to regret;
If again you shall sigh, she no more will deny,
That yours is the rosy coquette.

If still, from false pride, your pangs she deride,
This whimsical virgin forget;
Some other adiaiire, who will melt with your fire,
And laugh at the little coquette.

For me I adore some twenty or more,
And love them most dearly but yet
Though my heart they enthral, I'd abandon them all,
Did they act like your blooming coquette.

No longer repine, adopt this design,
And break through her slight-woven net;
Away with despair, no longer forbear
To fly from the captious coquette.

Then quit her, my friend your bosom defend,
Ere quite with her snares you're beset;
Lest your deep-wounded heart, when incensed by the smart, Should lead you to curse the coquette.

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: : Lord Byron (1788 - 1824)

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