The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/Sonnet (1)
Thine eyes' blue tenderness, thy long fair hair,
And the warm lustre of thy features—caught
From contemplation—where serenely wrought,
Seems Sorrow's softness charmed from its despair—
Have thrown such speaking sadness in thine air,
That—but I know thy blesséd bosom fraught
With mines of unalloyed and stainless thought—
I should have deemed thee doomed to earthly care.
With such an aspect, by his colours blent,
When from his beauty-breathing pencil born,
(Except that thou hast nothing to repent)
The Magdalen of Guido saw the morn—
Such seem'st thou—but how much more excellent!
With nought Remorse can claim—nor Virtue scorn.
December 17, 1813.
[MS. M. First published, Corsair, 1814 (Second Edition).]
- ["Redde some Italian, and wrote two Sonnets.... I never wrote but one sonnet before, and that was not in earnest, and many years ago, as an exercise—and I will never write another. They are the most puling, petrifying, stupidly platonic compositions."—Diary, December 18, 1813; Letters, 1898, ii. 379.]