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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/586

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POEMS 1816-1823.

Perhaps thou may'st imagine now
Who loved thee, and who loved thee not.
And thou wert wedded to another,[1]
And I at last another wedded:
I am a father, thou a mother,
To Strangers vowed, with strangers bedded.
For land to land, even blood to blood—
Since leagued of yore our fathers were—
Our manors and our birthright stood;
And not unequal had I wooed,
If to have wooed thee I could dare.
But this I never dared—even yet
When naught is left but to forget.
I feel that I could only love:
To sue was never meant for me,
And least of all to sue to thee;
For many a bar, and many a feud,
Though never told, well understood
Rolled like a river wide between—
And then there was the Curse of blood,
Which even my Heart's can not remove.
Alas! how many things have been!
Since we were friends; for I alone
Feel more for thee than can be shown.


How many things! I loved thee—thou
Loved'st me not: another was
The Idol of thy virgin vow,
And I was, what I am, Alas!
And what he is, and what thou art,
And what we were, is like the rest:
We must endure it as a test,
And old Ordeal of the Heart.[2]

Venice, Dec. 29, 1818.

  1. [See The Dream, line 127, et passion, vide ante, p. 31, et sq.]
  2. [From an autograph MS. in the possession of Mr. Murray, now for the first time printed.]