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IF SOMETIMES IN THE HAUNTS OF MEN

By
Lord Byron
March 14, 1812


&/\&/\&

If sometimes in the haunts of men

Thine image from my breast may fade,

The lonely hour presents again

The semblance of thy gentle shade:

And now that sad and silent hour

Thus much of thee can still restore,

And sorrow unobserved may pour

The plaint she dare not speak before.
 

Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile

I waste one thought I owe to thee,

And self-condemn'd, appear to smile,

Unfaithful to thy memory;

Nor deem that memory less dear,

That then I seem not to repine;

I would not fools should overhear

One sigh that should be wholly thine.
 

If not the goblet pass unquaff'd,

It is not drain'd to banish care;

The cup must hold a deadlier draught,

That brings a Lethe for despair.

And could Oblivion set my soul

From all her troubled vision free,

I'd dash to earth the sweetest bowl

That drown'd a single thought of thee.
 

For wert thou vanish'd from my mind.

Where could my vacant bosom turn?

And who would then remain behind

To honour thine abandon'd Urn?

No, No --- it is my sorrow's pride

That last dear duty to fulfil:

Though all the world forget beside,

'Tis meeting that I remember still.
 

For well I know, that such had been

Thy gentle care for him, who now

Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene,

Where none regarded him, but thou:

And, oh! I feel in that  was given

A blessing never meant for me;

Thou wert too like a dream of Heaven

For earthly Love to merit thee.

&/\&/\&


 
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