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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/Well! Thou art Happy

< The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)‎ | Poetry‎ | Volume 1

WELL! THOU ART HAPPY.[1][2]

1.

Well! thou art happy, and I feel
That I should thus be happy too;
For still my heart regards thy weal
Warmly, as it was wont to do.


2.

Thy husband's blest—and 'twill impart
Some pangs to view his happier lot:[3]
But let them pass—Oh! how my heart
Would hate him if he loved thee not!


3.

When late I saw thy favourite child,
I thought my jealous heart would break;
But when the unconscious infant smil'd,
I kiss'd it for its mother's sake.


4.

I kiss'd it,—and repress'd my sighs
Its father in its face to see;
But then it had its mother's eyes,
And they were all to love and me.


5.[4]

Mary, adieu! I must away:
While thou art blest I'll not repine;
But near thee I can never stay;
My heart would soon again be thine.


6.

I deem'd that Time, I deem'd that Pride,
Had quench'd at length my boyish flame;
Nor knew, till seated by thy side,
My heart in all,—save hope,—the same.


7.

Yet was I calm: I knew the time
My breast would thrill before thy look;
But now to tremble were a crime—
We met,—and not a nerve was shook.


8.

I saw thee gaze upon my face,
Yet meet with no confusion there:
One only feeling couldst thou trace;
The sullen calmness of despair.


9.

Away! away! my early dream
Remembrance never must awake:
Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream?
My foolish heart be still, or break.

November 2, 1808. [First published, 1809.]

  1. To Mrs. —— [erased].—[MS. L.] To ——.—[Imit. and Transl. Hobhouse, 1809.]
  2. [These lines were written after dining at Annesley with Mr. and Mrs. Chaworth Musters. Their daughter, born 1806, and now Mrs. Hamond, of Westacre, Norfolk, is still (January, 1898) living.]
  3. Some pang to see my rival's lot.—[MS. L.]
  4. MS. L. inserts—

    Poor little pledge of mutual love,
    I would not hurt a hair of thee,
    Although thy birth should chance to prove
    Thy parents' bliss—my misery.