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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/424

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If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.


But bid the strain be wild and deep,
Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
And ached in sleepless silence long;
And now 'tis doomed to know the worst,
And break at once—or yield to song.[1]



I saw thee weep—the big bright tear
Came o'er that eye of blue;[2]
And then methought it did appear
A violet dropping dew:
I saw thee smile—the sapphire's blaze
Beside thee ceased to shine;
It could not match the living rays
That filled that glance of thine.

  1. ["It was generally conceived that Lord Byron's reported singularities approached on some occasions to derangement; and at one period, indeed, it was very currently asserted that his intellects were actually impaired. The report only served to amuse his Lordship. He referred to the circumstance, and declared that he would try how a Madman could write: seizing the pen with eagerness, he for a moment fixed his eyes in majestic wildess on vacancy; when, like a flash of inspiration, without erasing a single word, the above verses were the result."—Fugitive Pieces, 1829, p. 37.]
  2. [Compare the first Sonnet to Genevra (addressed to Lady Frances Wedderburn Webster), "Thine eye's blue tenderness."]