To see thee moves the scorner's mirth:
But tears in Hope's averted eye
Lament that even thou hadst birth—
Unfit to govern, live, or die.
February 12, 1815.
[First published, 1831.]
STANZAS FOR MUSIC.
"O Lachrymarum fons, tenero sacros
Ducentium ortus ex animo: quater
Felix! in imo qui scatentem
Pectore te, pia Nympha, sensit."
[Motto to "The Tear," Poetical Works, 1898, i. 49.]
There's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away,
When the glow of early thought declines in Feeling's dull decay;
'Tis not on Youth's smooth cheek the blush alone, which fades so fast,
But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere Youth itself be past.
- [Byron gave these verses to Moore for Mr. Power of the Strand, who published them, with music by Sir John Stevenson. "I feel merry enough," he wrote, March 2, "to send you a sad song." And again, March 8, 1815, "An event—the death of poor Dorset—and the recollection of what I once felt, and ought to have felt now, but could not—set me pondering, and finally into the train of thought which you have in your hands." A year later, in another letter to Moore, he says, "I pique myself on these lines as being the truest, though the most melancholy, I ever wrote." (March 8, 1816.)—Letters, 1899. iii. 181, 183, 274.]
- 'Tis not the blush alone that fades from Beauty's cheek.—[MS.]