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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/Impromptu, in Reply to a Friend


When, from the heart where Sorrow sits,
Her dusky shadow mounts too high,
And o'er the changing aspect flits,
And clouds the brow, or fills the eye;
Heed not that gloom, which soon shall sink:
My Thoughts their dungeon know too well;
Back to my breast the Wanderers shrink,
And droop within their silent cell.[2]

September, 1813.
[MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1814 (Seventh Edition).]

  1. [Byron forwarded these lines to Moore in a postscript to a letter dated September 27, 1813. "Here's," he writes, "an impromptu for you by a 'person of quality,' written last week, on being reproached for low spirits,"—Letters, 1898, ii. 268. They were written at Aston Hall, Rotherham, where he "stayed a week... and behaved very well—though the lady of the house [Lady F. Wedderburn Webster] is young, and religious, and pretty, and the master is my particular friend,"—Letters, 1898, ii. 267.]
  2. And bleed ——.—[MS. M.]