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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/168

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128
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

9.

For the present, we part,—I will hope not for ever;[1]
For time and regret will restore you at last:
To forget our dissension we both should endeavour,
I ask no atonement, but days like the past.


DAMŒTAS.[2]

In law an infant,[3] and in years a boy,
In mind a slave to every vicious joy;
From every sense of shame and virtue wean'd,
In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend;
Vers'd in hypocrisy, while yet a child;
Fickle as wind, of inclinations wild;
Woman his dupe, his heedless friend a tool;
Old in the world, though scarcely broke from school;
Damœtas ran through all the maze of sin,

And found the goal, when others just begin:
  1. [See Byron's Letter to Lord Clare of February 6, 1807, referred to in note 2, p. 100.]
  2. [Moore appears to have regarded these lines as applying to Byron himself. It is, however, very unlikely that, with all his passion for painting himself in the darkest colours, he would have written himself down "a hypocrite." Damœtas is, probably, a satirical sketch of a friend or acquaintance. (Compare the solemn denunciation of Lord Falkland in English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, lines 668-686.)]
  3. In law, every person is an infant who has not attained the age of twenty-one.