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TO  . . . .


Lord Byron

NOTE:    In Byron's  Hours of Idleness  this poem was titled  "To  . . ."  and in later editions of his poetry, it was listed as  "To a Lady".   The following is from the 1807 edition of Hours of Idleness, with spelling and punctuation originally used by Byron.


Oh !   had my Fate been join'd with thine,

As once this pledge appear'd a token;

These follies had not, then, been mine,

For, then, my peace had not been broken.


To thee, these early faults I owe,

To thee, the wise and old reproving;

They know my sins, but do not know,

'Twas thine to break the bonds of loving.


For, once my soul like thine was pure,

And all its rising fires could smother;

But, now, thy vows no more endure,

Bestow'd by thee upon another.


Perhaps, his peace I could destroy,

And spoil the blisses that await him;

Yet, let my Rival smile in joy,

For thy dear sake, I cannot hate him.


Ah !   since thy angel form is gone,

My heart no more can rest with any;

But what it sought in thee alone,

Attempts, alas !   to find in many.


Then, fare thee well, deceitful Maid,

'Twere vain and fruitless to regret thee;

Nor Hope, nor Memory yield their aid,

But Pride may teach me to forget thee.


Yet all this giddy waste of years,

This tiresome round of palling pleasures;

These varied loves, these matron's Fears,

These thoughtless strains to Passion's measures,


If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd,

This cheek now pale from early riot;

With Passions hectic ne'er had flush'd,

But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet.


Yes, once the rural Scene was sweet,

For Nature seem'd to smile before thee;

And once my Breast abhorr'd deceit,

For then it beat but to adore thee.


But, now, I seek for other joys,

To think, would drive my soul to madness;

In thoughtless throngs, and empty noise,

I conquer half my Bosom's sadness.


Yet, even in these, a thought will steal,

In spite of every vain endeavour;

And fiends might pity what I feel,

To know, that thou art lost forever.


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