Of life which might have filled a century,
Before its fourth in time had passed me by.
And for the remnant which may be to come
I am content; and for the past I feel
Not thankless,—for within the crowded sum
Of struggles, Happiness at times would steal,
And for the present, I would not benumb
My feelings farther.—Nor shall I conceal
That with all this I still can look around,
And worship Nature with a thought profound.
For thee, my own sweet sister, in thy heart
I know myself secure, as thou in mine;
We were and are—I am, even as thou art—
Beings who ne'er each other can resign;
It is the same, together or apart,
From Life's commencement to its slow decline
We are entwined—let Death come slow or fast,
The tie which bound the first endures the last!
[First published, Letters and Journals, 1830, ii. 38-41.]
- [Byron often insists on this compression of life into a yet briefer span than even mortality allows. Compare—
"He, who grown agèd in this world of woe,
In deeds, not years, piercing the depths of life," etc.
Childe Harold, Canto III. stanza v. lines 1, 2,
Poetical Works, 1899, ii 218, note 1.
"My life is not dated by years—
There are moments which act as a plough," etc.
Lines to the Countess if Blesstngton, stanza 4.]
- And for the remnants ——.—[MS.]
- Whate'er betide ——.—[MS.]
- We have been and we shall be ——.—[MS. erased.]