The Works of Lord Byron Volume III Part 11

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My wounded soul, my bleeding breast, Can patience preach thee into rest?

Alas! too late, I dearly know That Joy is harbinger of Woe.

[First published, _Childe Harold_, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]



Thou art not false, but thou art fickle, To those thyself so fondly sought; The tears that thou hast forced to trickle Are doubly bitter from that thought: 'Tis this which breaks the heart thou grievest, _Too well_ thou lov'st--_too soon_ thou leavest.


The wholly false the _heart_ despises, And spurns deceiver and deceit; But she who not a thought disguises,[bv]

Whose love is as sincere as sweet,-- When _she_ can change who loved so truly, It _feels_ what mine has _felt_ so newly.


To dream of joy and wake to sorrow Is doomed to all who love or live; And if, when conscious on the morrow, We scarce our Fancy can forgive, That cheated us in slumber only, To leave the waking soul more lonely,


What must they feel whom no false vision But truest, tenderest Pa.s.sion warmed?

Sincere, but swift in sad transition: As if a dream alone had charmed?

Ah! sure such _grief_ is _Fancy's_ scheming, And all thy _Change_ can be but _dreaming!_

[MS. M. First published, _Childe Harold_, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]


The "Origin of Love!"--Ah, why That cruel question ask of me, When thou mayst read in many an eye He starts to life on seeing thee?

And shouldst thou seek his _end_ to know: My heart forebodes, my fears foresee, He'll linger long in silent woe; But live until--I cease to be.

[First published, _Childe Harold_, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]


"And my true faith can alter never, Though thou art gone perhaps for ever."


And "thy true faith can alter never?"-- Indeed it lasted for a--week!

I know the length of Love's forever, And just expected such a freak.

In peace we met, in peace we parted, In peace we vowed to meet again, And though I find thee fickle-hearted No pang of mine shall make thee vain.


One gone--'twas time to seek a second; In sooth 'twere hard to blame thy haste.

And whatsoe'er thy love be reckoned, At least thou hast improved in taste: Though one was young, the next was younger, His love was new, mine too well known-- And what might make the charm still stronger, The youth was present, I was flown.


Seven days and nights of single sorrow!

Too much for human constancy!

A fortnight past, why then to-morrow, His turn is come to follow me: And if each week you change a lover, And so have acted heretofore, Before a year or two is over We'll form a very pretty _corps_.


Adieu, fair thing! without upbraiding I fain would take a decent leave; Thy beauty still survives unfading, And undeceived may long deceive.

With him unto thy bosom dearer Enjoy the moments as they flee; I only wish his love sincerer Than thy young heart has been to me.


[From a MS. in the possession of Mr. Murray, now for the first time printed.]



Remember him, whom Pa.s.sion's power Severely--deeply--vainly proved: Remember thou that dangerous hour, When neither fell, though both were loved.[bx]


That yielding breast, that melting eye,[by]

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[bz]

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.[ca]


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, G.o.d! 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![cb]

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The Works of Lord Byron Volume III Part 11 summary

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