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George Gordon Byron (Джордж Гордон Байрон)

To Caroline (You say you love, and yet your eye)


You say you love, and yet your eye
   ⁠No symptom of that love conveys,
You say you love, yet know not why,
⁠   Your cheek no sign of love betrays.


Ah! did that breast with ardour glow,
With me alone it joy could know,
Or feel with me the listless woe,
   ⁠Which racks my heart when far from thee.


Whene'er we meet my blushes rise,
⁠   And mantle through my purpled cheek,
But yet no blush to mine replies,
⁠   Nor e'en your eyes your love bespeak.


Your voice alone declares your flame,
And though so sweet it breathes my name,
Our passions still are not the same;
   ⁠Alas! you cannot love like me.


For e'en your lip seems steep'd in snow,
⁠   And though so oft it meets my kiss,
It burns with no responsive glow,
   ⁠Nor melts like mine in dewy bliss.


Ah! what are words to love like mine
Though uttered by a voice like thine,
I still in murmurs must repine,
   ⁠And think that love can ne'er be true,


Which meets me with no joyous sign,
⁠   Without a sigh which bids adieu;
How different is my love from thine,
⁠   How keen my grief when leaving you.


Your image fills my anxious breast,
Till day declines adown the West,
And when at night, I sink to rest,
⁠   In dreams your fancied form I view.


'Tis then your breast, no longer cold,
⁠   With equal ardour seems to burn,
While close your arms around me fold,
⁠   Your lips my kiss with warmth return.


Ah! would these joyous moments last;
Vain Hope! the gay delusion's past,
That voice!—ah! no, 'tis but the blast,
⁠   Which echoes through the neighbouring grove.


But when awake, your lips I seek,
⁠   And clasp enraptur'd all your charms,
So chill's the pressure of your cheek,
   ⁠I fold a statue in my arms.


If thus, when to my heart embrac'd,
No pleasure in your eyes is trac'd,
You may be prudent, fair, and chaste,
   ⁠But ah! my girl, you do not love.

George Gordon Byron's other poems:
  1. On the Eyes of Miss A—— H——
  2. To a Lady who Presented to the Author a Lock of Hair Braided with his own, and appointed a Night in December to meet him in the Garden
  3. To a Lady (This Band, which bound thy yellow hair)
  4. To Anne (Oh say not, sweet Anne, that the Fates have decreed)
  5. Queries to Casuists

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