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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/146

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106
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

Revolve the fleeting moments of your youth,
While Care has yet withheld her venom'd tooth;[1]390
Say, if Remembrance days like these endears,
Beyond the rapture of succeeding years?
Say, can Ambition's fever'd dream bestow
So sweet a balm to soothe your hours of woe?
Can Treasures hoarded for some thankless Son,
Can Royal Smiles, or Wreaths by slaughter won,
Can Stars or Ermine, Man's maturer Toys,
(For glittering baubles are not left to Boys,)
Recall one scene so much belov'd to view,
As those where Youth her garland twin'd for you?400
Ah, no! amid the gloomy calm of age
You turn with faltering hand life's varied page,
Peruse the record of your days on earth,
Unsullied only where it marks your birth;
Still, lingering, pause above each chequer'd leaf,
And blot with Tears the sable lines of Grief;
Where Passion o'er the theme her mantle threw,
Or weeping Virtue sigh'd a faint adieu;
But bless the scroll which fairer words adorn,
Trac'd by the rosy finger of the Morn;410
When Friendship bow'd before the shrine of truth,
And Love, without his pinion,[2] smil'd on Youth.

  1. —— his venom'd tooth.—[Hours of Idleness.]
  2. "L'Amitié est l'Amour sans ailes," is a French proverb. [See the lines so entitled, p. 220.]