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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/Pignus Amoris



As by the fix'd decrees of Heaven,
'Tis vain to hope that Joy can last;
The dearest boon that Life has given,
To me is—visions of the past.


For these this toy of blushing hue
I prize with zeal before unknown,
It tells me of a Friend I knew,
Who loved me for myself alone.


It tells me what how few can say
Though all the social tie commend;
Recorded in my heart 'twill lay,[2]
It tells me mine was once a Friend.


Through many a weary day gone by,
With time the gift is dearer grown;
And still I view in Memory's eye
That teardrop sparkle through my own.


And heartless Age perhaps will smile,
Or wonder whence those feelings sprung;
Yet let not sterner souls revile,
For Both were open, Both were young.


And Youth is sure the only time,
When Pleasure blends no base alloy;
When Life is blest without a crime,
And Innocence resides with Joy.


Let those reprove my feeble Soul,
Who laugh to scorn Affection's name;
While these impose a harsh controul,
All will forgive who feel the same.


Then still I wear my simple toy,
With pious care from wreck I'll save it;
And this will form a dear employ
For dear I was to him who gave it.

? 1806.

  1. [From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.]
  2. [For the irregular use of "lay" for "lie," compare "The Adieu" (st. 10, l. 4, p. 241), and the much-disputed line, "And dashest him to earth—there let him lay" (Childe Harold, canto iv. st. 180).]