Open main menu

Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/595

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
553
ODE TO A LADY.

That eye so soft, and yet severe,
Perchance might look on Love as Crime;
And yet—regarding thee more near—
The traces of an unshed tear
Compressed back to the heart,
And mellowed Sadness in thine air,
Which shows that Love hath once been there,
To those who watch thee will disclose
More than ten thousand tomes of woes
Wrung from the vain Romancer's art.
With thee how proudly Love hath dwelt!
His full Divinity was felt,
Maddening the heart he could not melt,
Till Guilt became Sublime;
But never yet did Beauty's Zone
For him surround a lovelier throne,
Than in that bosom once his own:
And he the Sun and Thou the Clime
Together must have made a Heaven
For which the Future would be given.


2.

And thou hast loved—Oh! not in vain!
And not as common Mortals love.
The Fruit of Fire is Ashes,
The Ocean's tempest dashes
Wrecks and the dead upon the rocky shore:
True Passion must the all-searching changes prove,
The Agony of Pleasure and of Pain,
Till Nothing but the Bitterness remain;
And the Heart's Spectre flitting through the brain
Scoffs at the Exorcism which would remove.


3.

And where is He thou lovedst? in the tomb,
Where should the happy Lover be!
For him could Time unfold a brighter doom,
Or offer aught like thee?
He in the thickest battle died,

Where Death is Pride;