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When we met, I determined again to suspect you — Your smile soon convinced me, suspicion was wrong.
I swore, in a transport of young indignation,
With fervent contempt evermore to disdain you: I saw you — my anger became admiration;
And now, all my wish, all my hope's to regain you.
With beauty like yours, oh, how vain the contention! Thus lowly I sue for forgiveness before you; — At once to conclude such a fruitless dissension, Be false, my sweet Anne, when I . cease to adore you!
January 16, 1807. [First published, 1832.]
EGOTISM. A LETTER TO J. Ti BECHER.
'Eavriv hvpuy attdei.
If Fate should seal my Death to-morrow, (Though much I hope she will postpone it,)
I've held a share of Joy and Sorrow, Enough for Ten; and here I own it.
I've liv'd as many other men Kvc, And yet, I think, with more enjoyment;
For could I through my days again live, I'd pass them in the same employment.
That is to say, with some exception,
I've seen too much of man's deception
Some sage Mammas with gestun haughty,
Pronounce me quite a youthful Sin ner —
But Daughters say, "although he' naughty,
You must not check a Young Begin ner!"
I've lov'd, and many damsels knov it —
But whom I don't intend to mention As certain stanzas also show it, Some say deserving Reprehension.
Some ancient Dames, of virtue fiery, (Unless Report does much belii them,)
Have lately made a sharp Enquiry, And much it grieves me to den<_ them.
Two whom I lov'd had eyes of Blue, To which I hope you've no objec tion;
The Rest had eyes of darker Hue — Each Nymph, of course, was al perfection.
But here I'll close my chaste Description
For silence is the best prescription,
Of Friends I've known a goodly Hun dred —
For finding one in each acquaintance By some decerv'd, by others plunder'd, Friendship, to me, was not . Re
At School I thought like other Children Instead of Brains, a fine Ingredient Romance, my youthful Head bewilder ing,
To Sense had made me disobedient. 11.
ECOTISM — TO ANNE—TO THE AUTHOR OF A SONNET 85
A victim, nearly from affection,
The still remaining recollection
By Heaven! I rather would forswear The Earth, and all the joys reserv'd me,
Than dare again the specious Snare,
From which my Fate and Heaven preserv'd me.
Sail I possess some Friends who love me —
In each a much-esteem'd and true one; Tbe Wealth of Worlds shall never move me
To quit their Friendship, for a new one. 14
But, Becher! you're a reverend pastor, Now take it in consideration,
Whether for penance I should fast, or Pray for my sins in expiation.
I own myself the child of Folly,
1 soon must die of melancholy,
fhilosophers have never doubted.
For Love! I could not live without it,
Say, Becher, I shall be forgiven!
If you don't warrant my salvation, 1 must resign all Hopes of Heaven I
For, Faith, I can't withstand Temptation.
P. S. — These were written between one and two, after midnigfii. I have cot corrected, or revised. Yours,
[First published, 1898.]
Oh say not, sweet Anne, that the Fates have decreed The heart which adores you should wish to dissever; Such Fates were to me most unkind ones indeed, — To bear me from Love and from Beauty for ever.
Your frowns, lovely girl, are the Fates
which alone Could bid me from fond admiration refrain;
By these, every hope, every wish were o'erthrown, Till smiles should restore me to rapture again.
As the ivy and oak, in the forest entwin'd,
The rage of the tempest united must weather;
My love and my life were by nature design'd
To flourish alike, or to perish together.
Then say not, sweet Anne, that the
Till Fate can ordain that his bosom shall bleed,
His Soul, his Existence, are centred in you. 1807.
[First published, 1832.]
TO THE AUTHOR OF A SONNET
BEGINNING "'SAD IS MY VERSE,' YOU SAY, 'AND YET NO TEAR.'"
Thy verse is "sad" enough, no doubt:
Why we should weep I can't find out,
Yet there is one I pity more;
And much, alas! I think he needs it: For he, I'm sure, will suffer sore,
Who, to his own misfortune, reads it.
Thy rhymes, without the aid of magic, May once be read — but never after:
Yet their effect's by no means tragic, Although by far too dull for laughter.
But would you make our bosoms bleed,
And of no common pang complain — If you would make us weep indeed, Tell us, you'll read them o'er again.
March 8, 1807. [First published, 1832.]
ON FINDING A FAN.
In one who felt as once he felt,
This might, perhaps, have fann'd the flame;
But now his heart no more will melt, Because that heart is not the same.
As when the ebbing flames are low, The aid which once improv'd their light,
And bade them burn with fiercer glow, Now quenches all their blaze in night.
Thus has it been with Passion's fires — As many a boy and girl remembers —
While every hope of love expires, Extinguish'd with the dying embers.
The first, though not a spark survive, Some careful hand may teach to burn;
The last, alas! can ne'er survive;
Or, if it chance to wake again,
Not always doom d its heat t< smother,
It sheds (so wayward fates ordain)
[First published, 1832.]
FAREWELL TO THE MUSE.
Thou Power! who hast ruled mi
through Infancy's days, Young offspring of Fancy, 'tis tirrn
we should part; Then rise on the gale this the last o
The coldest effusion which spring from my heart.
This bosom, responsive to rapture n more,
Shall hush thy wild notes, nor implor
thee to sing; The feelings of childhood, which taugh
thee to soar, Are wafted far distant on Apathv"
Though simple the themes of my rud flowing Lyre, Yet even these themes arc depart ei for ever;
No more beam the eyes which my drear could inspire, My visions are flown, to return, — alas, never!
When drain'd is the nectar which glaci dens the bowl, How vain is the effort delight 1 prolong!
When cold is the beauty which dwelt i my soul,
What magic of Fancy can lengthe 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? Ab, no! for those hours can no longer
Can they speak of the friends that I hv'd but to love? Ah, surely Affection ennobles the strain!
Eut 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 ray Sires? For glories like theirs, oh, how faint is my tone! For Heroes* exploits how unequal my fires!
"rttouch'd, then, my Lyre shall reply to the blast — Tis hushed; and my feeble endeavours 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 bad ray 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. 1807.
[First published, 1832.]
TO AN OAK AT NEWSTEAD.1 1.
Young Oak! when I planted thee deep in the ground, I hoped that thy days would be longer than mine; That thy dark-waving branches would flourish around, And ivy thy trunk with its mantle entwine.
Such, such was my hope, when in Infancy's years, On the land of my Fathers I rear'd thee with pride; They are past, and I water thy stem with my tears, — Thy decay, not the weeds that surround thee can hide.
I left thee, my Oak, and, since that fatal hour,
A stranger has dwelt in the hall of my
Till Manhood shall crown me, not mine
1 [There is no heading to the original MS., but on the blank leaf at the end of the poem is written, "To an oak in the garden of Ncwstead Abbey, planted by the author in the oth year of fhis] age; this tree at his last visit was in a state of decay, though perhaps not irrecoverable." On arriving at Newstead. in 1708, Byron, then in his eleventh year, planted an oak, and cherished the fancy, that as the tree flourished so should he. On revisiting the abl>ey, he found the oak choked up by weeds and almost destroyed; — hence these lines. It may still be seen, a fine and flourishing tree.]
Oh! hardy thou wert — even now little
Might revive thy young head, and thy wounds gently heal: But thou wert not fated affection to share —
For who could suppose that a Stranger would feel?
Ah, droop not, my Oakl lift thy head
for a while; Ere twice round yon Glory this planet shall run,
The hand of thy Master will teach thee to smile,
When Infancy's years of probation are done.
Oh, live then, my Oak! tow'r aloft from
the weeds, That clog thy young growth, and
assist thy decay, For still in thy bosom are Life's early
And still may thy branches their beauty display.
Ohl yet, if Maturity's years may be thine,
Though 7 shall lie low in the cavern of Death,
On thy leaves yet the day-beam of ages
For centuries still may thy boughs lightly wave O'er the corse of thy Lord in thy canopy laid; While the branches thus gratefully shelter his grave, The Chief who survives may recline in thy shade.
And as he, with his boys, shall revi this spot,
He will tell them in whispers mt: softly to tread. Oh! surely, by these I shall ne'er I
Remembrance still hallows the du of the dead.
And here, will they say, when in Lift glowing prime, Perhaps he has pour'd forth his your simple lay, And here must he sleep, till the momen of Time
Are lost in the hours of Eternity's da 1807.
[First published, 1832.]
ON REVISITING HARROW.1 1.
Here once engaged the stranger's vie* Young Friendship's record simpl trae'd;
Few were her words, — but yet, thoug few,
Resentment's hand the line defae'd. 2.
Deeply she cut — but not eras'd — The characters were still so plain. That Friendship once return'd, am
Till Memory hail'd the words again
Repentance pl&c'd them as before;
Forgiveness join'd her gentle name; So fair the inscription seem'd once more
That Friendship thought it still tin same.
1 [" Some years ago, when at Harrow, i friend of (he author engraved on a particu'.ii spot the names of both, with a few additional words, as a memorial. Afterwards, on Trent ing some real or imaginary injury, the authos destroyed the frail record before he left Harrow On revisiting the place in 1S07, he wrote under it these stanzas." — Moore's Lije, jx. 50.]