The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/On Parting



The kiss, dear maid! thy lip has left
Shall never part from mine,
Till happier hours restore the gift
Untainted back to thine.


Thy parting glance, which fondly beams,
An equal love may see:[1]
The tear that from thine eyelid streams
Can weep no change in me.


I ask no pledge to make me blest
In gazing when alone;[2]
Nor one memorial for a breast,
Whose thoughts are all thine own.


Nor need I write—to tell the tale
My pen were doubly weak:
Oh! what can idle words avail,[3]
Unless the heart could speak?


By day or night, in weal or woe,
That heart, no longer free,
Must bear the love it cannot show,
And silent ache for thee.

March, 1811.
[First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]

  1. Has bound my soul to thee.—[MS. M.]
  2. When wandering forth alone.—[MS. M.]
  3. Oh! what can tongue or pen avail
    Unless my heart could speak.—[MS. M.]