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