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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/596

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POEMS 1816-1823.

And Thou his widow—not his bride,
Wert not more free—
Here where all love, till Love is made
A bondage or a trade,
Here—thou so redolent of Beauty,
In whom Caprice had seemed a duty,
Thou, who could'st trample and despise
The holiest chain of human ties
For him, the dear One in thine eyes,
Broke it no more.
Thy heart was withered to it's Core,
It's hopes, it's fears, it's feelings o'er:
Thy Blood grew Ice when his was shed,
And Thou the Vestal of the Dead.


Thy Lover died, as All
Who truly love should die;
For such are worthy in the fight to fall
No Cuirass o'er that glowing heart
The deadly bullet turned apart:
Love had bestowed a richer Mail,
Like Thetis on her Son;
But hers at last was vain, and thine could fail—
The hero's and the lover's race was run.
Thy worshipped portrait, thy sweet face,
Without that bosom kept it's place
As Thou within.
Oh! enviously destined Ball!
Shivering thine imaged charms and all
Those Charms would win:
Together pierced, the fatal Stroke hath gored
Votary and Shrine, the adoring and the adored.
That Heart's last throb was thine, that blood
Baptized thine Image in it's flood,
And gushing from the fount of Faith

O'erflowed with Passion even in Death,