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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/123

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I hate you, ye cold compositions of art,
Though prudes may condemn me, and bigots reprove;
I court the effusions that spring from the heart,
Which throbs, with delight, to the first kiss of love.[1]


Your shepherds, your flocks, those fantastical themes,[2]
Perhaps may amuse, yet they never can move:
Arcadia displays but a region of dreams;[3]
What are visions like these, to the first kiss of love?


Oh! cease to affirm that man, since his birth,[4]
From Adam, till now, has with wretchedness strove;
Some portion of Paradise still is on earth,
And Eden revives, in the first kiss of love.


When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past—
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove—
The dearest remembrance will still be the last,
Our sweetest memorial, the first kiss of love.

December 23, 1806.

  1. Which glows with delight at.—[MS.]
  2. Your shepherds, your pipes.—[MS. P. on V. Occasions.]
  3. Arcadia yields but a legion of dreams.—[MS.]
  4. —— that man from his birth.—[MS. P. on V. Occasions.]