The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/Stanzas. "Away, away, ye Notes of Woe"
Away, away, ye notes of Woe!
Be silent, thou once soothing Strain,
Or I must flee from hence—for, oh!
I dare not trust those sounds again.
To me they speak of brighter days—
But lull the chords, for now, alas!
I must not think, I may not gaze,
On what I am—on what I was.
The voice that made those sounds more sweet
Is hushed, and all their charms are fled;
And now their softest notes repeat
A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead!
Yes, Thyrza! yes, they breathe of thee,
dust! since dust thou art;
And all that once was Harmony
Is worse than discord to my heart!
'Tis silent all!—but on my ear
The well remembered Echoes thrill;
I hear a voice I would not hear,
A voice that now might well be still:
Yet oft my doubting Soul 'twill shake;
Ev'n Slumber owns its gentle tone,
Till Consciousness will vainly wake
To listen, though the dream be flown.
Sweet Thyrza! waking as in sleep,
Thou art but now a lovely dream;
A Star that trembled o'er the deep,
Then turned from earth its tender beam.
But he who through Life's dreary way
Must pass, when Heaven is veiled in wrath,
Will long lament the vanished ray
That scattered gladness o'er his path.
December 8, 1811.
[First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]
- Stanzas.—[MS. Editions 1812-1832.]
- ["I wrote it a day or two ago, on hearing a song of former days."—Letter to Hodgson, December 8, 1811, Letters, 1898, ii. 82.]
- I dare not hear ——.—[MS. erased.]
- But hush the chords ——.—[MS. erased.]
- —— I dare not gaze.—[MS. erased.]
- The voice that made that song more sweet.—[MS.]
- Tis silent now ——.—[MS.]