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LOVE AND DEATH

By
Lord Byron


This is considered one of the last poems Byron wrote before his death in 1824 and was first published in 1887. It was addressed to Lukas Chalandritsanos, a fifteen year old Greek boy.  As a page, Lukas went with Byron from the island of Cephalonia to Missolonghi, and remained with him until he died.

&/\&/\&
I watched thee when the foe was at our side,

Ready to strike at him --- or thee and me,

Were safety hopeless --- rather than divide

Aught with one loved save love and liberty.
 

I watched thee on the breakers, when the rock,

Received our prow, and all was storm and fear,

And bade thee cling to me through every shock;

This arm would be thy bark, or breast thy bier.
 

I watched thee when the fever glazed thine eyes,

Yielding my couch and stretched me on the ground

When overworn with watching, ne'er to rise

From thence if thou an early grave hadst found.
 

The earthquake came, and rocked the quivering wall,

And men and nature reeled as if with wine.

Whom did I seek around the tottering hall?

For thee.  Whose safety first provide for?    Thine.
 

And when convulsive throes denied my breath

The faintest utterance to my fading thought,

To thee --- to thee --- e'en in the gasp of death

My spirit turned, oh !    oftener than it ought.
 

Thus much and more, and yet thou lov'st me not,

And never wilt !    Love dwells not in our will.

Nor can I blame thee, though it be my lot

To strongly, wrongly, vainly love thee still.
 

&/\&/\&


 
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