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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/Stanzas written in passing the Ambracian Gulf

< The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)‎ | Poetry‎ | Volume 3

STANZAS WRITTEN IN PASSING THE AMBRACIAN GULF[1]

1.

Through cloudless skies, in silvery sheen,
Full beams the moon on Actium's coast:
And on these waves, for Egypt's queen,
The ancient world was won and lost.


2.

And now upon the scene I look,
The azure grave of many a Roman;
Where stern Ambition once forsook
His wavering crown to follow Woman.


3.

Florence! whom I will love as well
(As ever yet was said or sung.
Since Orpheus sang his spouse from Hell)
Whilst thou art fair and I am young;


4.

Sweet Florence! those were pleasant times,
When worlds were staked for Ladies' eyes:
Had bards as many realms as rhymes,[2]
Thy charms might raise new Antonies.[3]


5.

Though Fate forbids such things to be,[4]
Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curled!
I cannot lose a world for thee,
But would not lose thee for a World.[5]

November 14, 1809.
[MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]


  1. Stanzas.—[1812.]
  2. Had Bards but realms along with rhymes.—[MS. M.]
  3. Again we'd see some Antonies.—[MS. M.]
  4. Though Jove ——.—[MS. M.]
  5. [Compare [A Woman's Hair] stanza 1, line 4, "I would not lose you for a world."—Poetical Works, 1898, i. 233.]