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Lord Byron
September, 1809


Oh Lady !   when I left the shore,

The distant shore which gave me birth.

I hardly thought to grieve once more

To quit another spot on earth:

Yet here, amidst this barren isle,

Where panting Nature droops the head,

Where only thou art seen to smile,

I view my parting hour with dread.

Though far from Albin's craggy shore,

Divided by the dark-blue main;

A few brief, rolling seasons o'er,

Perchance I view her cliffs again:

But whereso'er I now may roam,

Through scorching clime, and varied sea,

Though Time restore me to my home,

I ne'er shall bend mine eyes on thee:

On thee, in whom at once conspire

All charms which heedless hearts can move,

Whom but to see is to admire,

And, oh   forgive the word --- to love.

Forgive the word, in one who ne'er

With such a word can more offend;

And since thy heart I cannot share,

Believe me, what I am, thy friend.

And who so cold as look on thee,

Thou lovely wand'rer, and be less?

Nor be, what man should ever be,

The friend of Beauty in distress?

Ah !   who would think that form had past

Through Danger's most destructive path,

Had braved the death-wing'd tempest's blast,

And 'scaped a tyrant's fiercer wrath?

Lady  when I shall view the walls

Where free Byzantium once arose,

And Stamboul's Oriental halls

The Turkish tyrants now enclose;

Though mightiest in the lists of fame,

That glorious city still shall be;

On me 't will hold a dearer claim,

As spot of thy nativity:

And though I bid thee now farewell,

When I behold that wondrous scene,

Since where thou art I may not dwell,

'T will soothe to be where thou hast been.


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