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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/214

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174
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

TO ROMANCE.

1.

Parent of golden dreams, Romance!
Auspicious Queen of childish joys,
Who lead'st along, in airy dance,
Thy votive train of girls and boys;
At length, in spells no longer bound,
I break the fetters of my youth;
No more I tread thy mystic round,
But leave thy realms for those of Truth.


2.

And yet 'tis hard to quit the dreams
Which haunt the unsuspicious soul,
Where every nymph a goddess seems,[1]
Whose eyes through rays immortal roll;
While Fancy holds her boundless reign,
And all assume a varied hue;
When Virgins seem no longer vain,
And even Woman's smiles are true.


3.

And must we own thee, but a name,

And from thy hall of clouds descend?
  1. Where every girl ——.—[MS. Newstead.]