The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/To the Sighing Strephon



Your pardon, my friend,
If my rhymes did offend,
Your pardon, a thousand times o'er;
From friendship I strove,
Your pangs to remove,
But, I swear, I will do so no more.


Since your beautiful maid,
Your flame has repaid,
No more I your folly regret;
She's now most divine,
And I bow at the shrine,
Of this quickly reforméd coquette.


Yet still, I must own,[2]
I should never have known,
From your verses, what else she deserv'd;
Your pain seem'd so great,
I pitied your fate,
As your fair was so dev'lish reserv'd.


Since the balm-breathing kiss[3]
Of this magical Miss,
Can such wonderful transports produce;[4]
Since the "world you forget,
When your lips once have met,
My counsel will get but abuse.


You say, "When I rove,"
"I know nothing of love;"
'Tis true, I am given to range;
If I rightly remember,
I've lov'd a good number;[5]
Yet there's pleasure, at least, in a change.


I will not advance,[6]
By the rules of romance,
To humour a whimsical fair;
Though a smile may delight,
Yet a frown will affright[7]
Or drive me to dreadful despair.


While my blood is thus warm,
I ne'er shall reform,
To mix in the Platonists' school;
Of this I am sure,
Was my Passion so pure,
Thy Mistress would think me a fool.[8]


And if I should shun,
Every woman for one,
Whose image must fill my whole breast;
Whom I must prefer,
And sigh but for her,
What an insult 'twould be to the rest!


Now Strephon, good-bye;
I cannot deny,
Your passion appears most absurd;
Such love as you plead,
Is pure love, indeed,
For it only consists in the word.

  1. [The letters "J. M. B. P." are added, in a lady's hand, in the annotated copy of P. on V. Occasions, p. 17 (British Museum).]
  2. But still.—[4to]
  3. But since the chaste kiss.—[4to]
  4. Such wonderful.—[4to]
  5. I've kissed a good number.—[4to] But——
  6. I ne'er will advance.—[4to]
  7. Yet a frown won't affright.—[4to. P on V. Occasions.]
  8. My mistress must think me.—[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]
  9. Though the kisses are sweet,
    Which voluptuously meet,
    Of kissing I ne'er was so fond,
    As to make me forget.
    Though our lips oft have met,
    That still there was something beyond.—[4to]