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


"And my true faith can alter never,
Though thou art gone perhaps for ever."


And "thy true faith can alter never?"—
Indeed it lasted for a—week!
I know the length of Love's forever,
And just expected such a freak.
In peace we met, in peace we parted,
In peace we vowed to meet again,
And though I find thee fickle-hearted
No pang of mine shall make thee vain.


One gone—'twas time to seek a second;
In sooth 'twere hard to blame thy haste.
And whatsoe'er thy love be reckoned,
At least thou hast improved in taste:
Though one was young, the next was younger,
His love was new, mine too well known—
And what might make the charm still stronger,
The youth was present, I was flown.


Seven days and nights of single sorrow!
Too much for human constancy!
A fortnight past, why then to-morrow,
His turn is come to follow me:
And if each week you change a lover,
And so have acted heretofore,
Before a year or two is over
We'll form a very pretty corps.


Adieu, fair thing! without upbraiding
I fain would take a decent leave;
Thy beauty still survives unfading,
And undeceived may long deceive.
With him unto thy bosom dearer
Enjoy the moments as they flee;
I only wish his love sincerer
Than thy young heart has been to me.

[From a MS. in the possession of Mr. Murray,
now for the first time printed.]