NOTE: This poem was changed "To Lesbia" in later editions of Byron's works. "To Julia" was published in the first 1806 edition of Fugitive Pieces and I have used that version of the poem. The person Byron refers to in this verse is Julia Leacroft, one of his teenage romances.
JULIA ! since far from you I've rang'd,
Our souls with fond affection glow not;
You say 'tis I, not you have chang'd,
I'd tell you why, --- but yet I know not.
Your polish'd brow, no cares have crost,
And Julia ! we are not much older,
Since trembling first my heart I lost,
Or told my love with hope, grown bolder,
Sixteen was then our utmost age,
Two years have lingering pass'd away, love !
And now new thoughts our minds engage,
At least, I feel disposed to stray, love !
'Tis I, that am alone to blame,
I, that am guilty of love's treason;
Since your sweet breast, is still the same,
Caprice must be my only reason.
I do not, love, suspect your truth,
With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not,
Warm was the passion of my youth,
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.
No, no my flame was not pretended,
For oh ! I lov'd you most sincerely,
And though our dream at last is ended,
My bosom still esteems you dearly.
No more we meet in yonder bowers,
Perhaps my soul's too prone to roving,
But older, firmer hearts than ours,
Have found monotony in loving.
Your cheeks soft bloom is unimpair'd,
Your beauties still are daily bright'ning,
Your eye for conquest comes prepar'd,
The forge of love's resistless lightning.
Arm'd thus to make their bosoms bleed,
Many will throng to sigh like me, love,
More constant they may prove indeed,
Fonder alas ! they ne'er can be, love !