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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/47

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17
MAID OF ATHENS, ERE WE PART.

By those lids whose jetty fringe
Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tinge
By those wild eyes like the roe,
Ζωή μου, σᾶς ἀγαπῶ.


3.

By that lip I long to taste;
By that zone-encircled waist;
By all the token-flowers[1] that tell
What words can never speak so well;
By love's alternate joy and woe,
Ζωή μου, σᾶς ἀγαπῶ.


4.

Maid of Athens! I am gone:
Think of me, sweet! when alone.
Though I fly to Istambol,[2]
Athens holds my heart and soul:
Can I cease to love thee? No!
Ζωή μου, σᾶς ἀγαπῶ.

Athens, 1810.
[First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]

  1. In the East (where ladies are not taught to write, lest they should scribble assignations), flowers, cinders, pebbles, etc., convey the sentiments of the parties, by that universal deputy of Mercury—an old woman. A cinder says, "I burn for thee;" a bunch of flowers tied with hair, "Take me and fly;" but a pebble declares—what nothing else can. [Compare The Bride of Abydos, line 295—

    "What! not receive my foolish flower?"

    See, too, Medwin's story of "one of the principal incidents in The Giaour." "I was in despair, and could hardly contrive to get a cinder, or a token-flower sent to express it."—Conversations of Lord Byron, 1824, p. 122.]

  2. Constantinople. [Compare—

    "Tho' I am parted, yet my mind
    That's more than self still stays behind."

    Poems, by Thomas Carew, ed. 1640, p. 36.]