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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/To Lesbia!

TO LESBIA![1][2]

1.

Lesbia! since far from you I've rang'd,[3]
Our souls with fond affection glow not;
You say, 'tis I, not you, have chang'd,
I'd tell you why,—but yet I know not.


2.

Your polish'd brow no cares have crost;
And Lesbia! we are not much older,[4]
Since, trembling, first my heart I lost,
Or told my love, with hope grown bolder.


3.

Sixteen was then our utmost age,
Two years have lingering pass'd away, love!
And now new thoughts our minds engage,
At least, I feel disposed to stray, love!


4.

'Tis I that am alone to blame,
I that am guilty of love's treason;
Since your sweet breast is still the same,
Caprice must be my only reason.


5.

I do not, love! suspect your truth,
With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not;
Warm was the passion of my youth,
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.


6.

No, no, my flame was not pretended;
For, oh! I lov'd you most sincerely;
And though our dream at last is ended
My bosom still esteems you dearly.


7.

No more we meet in yonder bowers;
Absence has made me prone to roving;[5]
But older, firmer hearts than ours
Have found monotony in loving.


8.

Your cheek's soft bloom is unimpair'd,
New beauties, still, are daily bright'ning,
Your eye, for conquest beams prepar'd,[6]
The forge of love's resistless lightning.


9.

Arm'd thus, to make their bosoms bleed,
Many will throng, to sigh like me, love!
More constant they may prove, indeed;
Fonder, alas! they ne'er can be, love!

[1806.]


  1. To Julia.—[4to]
  2. ["The lady's name was Julia Leacroft" (Note by Miss E. Pigot). The word "Julia" (?) is added, in a lady's hand, in the annotated copy of P. on V. Occasions, p. 52 (British Museum).]
  3. Julia since.—[4to]
  4. And Julia.—[4to]
  5. Perhaps my soul's too pure for roving.—[4to]
  6. Your eye for conquest comes prepar'd.—[4to]