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      1. Poems by George Gordon Lord Byron


        All for Love


        O TALK not to me of a name great in story; 
        The days of our youth are the days of our glory; 
        And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty 
        Are worth all your laurels though ever so plenty. 

        What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled? 5 
        'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled: 
        Then away with all such from the head that is hoary— 
        What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory? 

        O Fame! if I e'er took delight in thy praises  
        'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases 10 
        Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover 
        She thought that I was not unworthy to love her. 

        There chiefly I sought thee there only I found thee; 
        Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee; 
        When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story 15 
        I knew it was love and I felt it was glory. 


        "There be none of Beauty's daughters"


        THERE be none of Beauty's daughters 
        With a magic like thee; 
        And like music on the waters 
        Is thy sweet voice to me: 
        When as if its sound were causing 5 
        The charmed ocean's pausing  
        The waves lie still and gleaming  
        And the lull'd winds seem dreaming: 

        And the midnight moon is weaving 
        Her bright chain o'er the deep 10 
        Whose breast is gently heaving 
        As an infant's asleep: 
        So the spirit bows before thee 
        To listen and adore thee; 
        With a full but soft emotion 15 
        Like the swell of summer's ocean. 


        "She walks in beauty like the night"


        SHE walks in beauty like the night 
        Of cloudless climes and starry skies  
        And all that's best of dark and bright 
        Meets in her aspect and her eyes; 
        Thus mellow'd to that tender light 5 
        Which Heaven to gaudy day denies. 

        One shade the more one ray the less  
        Had half impair'd the nameless grace 
        Which waves in every raven tress 
        Or softly lightens o'er her face 10 
        Where thoughts serenely sweet express 
        How pure how dear their dwelling-place. 

        And on that cheek and o'er that brow 
        So soft so calm yet eloquent  
        The smiles that win the tints that glow 15 
        But tell of days in goodness spent — 
        A mind at peace with all below  
        A heart whose love is innocent. 


        "When we two parted"


        WHEN we two parted 
        In silence and tears  
        Half broken-hearted  
        To sever for years  
        Pale grew thy cheek and cold 5 
        Colder thy kiss; 
        Truly that hour foretold 
        Sorrow to this! 
        The dew of the morning 
        Sunk chill on my brow; 10 
        It felt like the warning 
        Of what I feel now. 
        Thy vows are all broken  
        And light is thy fame: 
        I hear thy name spoken 15 
        And share in its shame. 

        They name thee before me  
        A knell to mine ear; 
        A shudder comes o'er me— 
        Why wert thou so dear? 20 
        They know not I knew thee 
        Who knew thee too well: 
        Long long shall I rue thee  
        Too deeply to tell. 

        In secret we met: 25 
        In silence I grieve 
        That thy heart could forget  
        Thy spirit deceive. 
        If I should meet thee 
        After long years 30 
        How should I greet thee?— 
        With silence and tears. 


        Elegy on Thyrza


        AND thou art dead as young and fair 
        As aught of mortal birth; 
        And form so soft and charms so rare 
        Too soon return'd to Earth! 
        Though Earth received them in her bed 5 
        And o'er the spot the crowd may tread 
        In carelessness or mirth  
        There is an eye which could not brook 
        A moment on that grave to look. 

        I will not ask where thou liest low 10 
        Nor gaze upon the spot; 
        There flowers or weeds at will may grow  
        So I behold them not: 
        It is enough for me to prove 
        That what I loved and long must love 15 
        Like common earth can rot; 
        To me there needs no stone to tell 
        'Tis Nothing that I loved so well. 

        Yet did I love thee to the last  
        As fervently as thou 20 
        Who didst not change through all the past  
        And canst not alter now. 
        The love where Death has set his seal 
        Nor age can chill nor rival steal  
        Nor falsehood disavow; 25 
        And what were worse thou canst not see 
        Or wrong or change or fault in me. 

        The better days of life were ours  
        The worst can be but mine; 
        The sun that cheers the storm that lours 30 
        Shall never more be thine. 
        The silence of that dreamless sleep 
        I envy now too much to weep; 
        Nor need I to repine 
        That all those charms have pass'd away 35 
        I might have watch'd through long decay. 

        The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd 
        Must fall the earliest prey; 
        Though by no hand untimely snatch'd. 
        The leaves must drop away. 40 
        And yet it were a greater grief 
        To watch it withering leaf by leaf  
        Than see it pluck'd to-day; 
        Since earthly eye but ill can bear 
        To trace the change to foul from fair. 45 

        I know not if I could have borne 
        To see thy beauties fade; 
        The night that follow'd such a morn 
        Had worn a deeper shade. 
        Thy day without a cloud hath pass'd 50 
        And thou wert lovely to the last  
        Extinguish'd not decay'd; 
        As stars that shoot along the sky 
        Shine brightest as they fall from high. 

        As once I wept if I could weep 55 
        My tears might well be shed 
        To think I was not near to keep 
        One vigil o'er thy bed— 
        To gaze how fondly! on thy face  
        To fold thee in a faint embrace 60 
        Uphold thy drooping head  
        And show that love however vain  
        Nor thou nor I can feel again. 

        Yet how much less it were to gain  
        Though thou hast left me free 65 
        The loveliest things that still remain 
        Than thus remember thee! 
        The all of thine that cannot die 
        Through dark and dread eternity 
        Returns again to me 70 
        And more thy buried love endears 
        Than aught except its living years. 


        On the Castle of Chillon


        ETERNAL Spirit of the chainless Mind! 
        Brightest in dungeons Liberty! thou art  
        For there thy habitation is the heart— 
        The heart which love of Thee alone can bind. 
        And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd 5 
        To fetters and the damp vault's dayless gloom  
        Their country conquers with their martyrdom  
        And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind. 
        Chillon! thy prison is a holy place 
        And thy sad floor an altar for 'twas trod 10 
        Until his very steps have left a trace 
        Worn as if thy cold pavement were a sod  
        By Bonnivard! May none those marks efface! 
        For they appeal from tyranny to God. 


        Youth and Age


        THERE'S not a joy the world can give like that it takes away 
        When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull decay; 
        'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone which fades so fast  
        But the tender bloom of heart is gone ere youth itself be past. 

        Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happiness 5 
        Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt or ocean of excess: 
        The magnet of their course is gone or only points in vain 
        The shore to which their shiver'd sail shall never stretch again. 

        Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself comes down; 
        It cannot feel for others' woes it dare not dream its own; 10 
        That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears  
        And though the eye may sparkle still 'tis where the ice appears. 

        Though wit may flash from fluent lips and mirth distract the breast  
        Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope of rest  
        'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret wreathe 15 
        All green and wildly fresh without but worn and gray beneath. 

        Oh could I feel as I have felt or be what I have been  
        Or weep as I could once have wept o'er many a vanish'd scene — 
        As springs in deserts found seem sweet all brackish though they be  
        So midst the wither'd waste of life those tears would flow to me! 20 


        Elegy


        OH snatch'd away in beauty's bloom! 
        On thee shall press no ponderous tomb; 
        But on thy turf shall roses rear 
        Their leaves the earliest of the year  
        And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom: 5 

        And oft by yon blue gushing stream 
        Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head  
        And feed deep thought with many a dream  
        And lingering pause and lightly tread; 
        Fond wretch! as if her step disturb'd the dead! 10 

        Away! we know that tears are vain  
        That Death nor heeds nor hears distress: 
        Will this unteach us to complain? 
        Or make one mourner weep the less? 
        And thou who tell'st me to forget 15 
        Thy looks are wan thine eyes are wet.


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