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George Gordon Byron (Джордж Гордон Байрон)

To a Lady (Oh! had my Fate been join'd with thine)


Oh! had my Fate been join'd with thine,
   ⁠As once this pledge appear'd a token,
These follies had not, then, been mine,
   ⁠For, then, my peace had not been broken.


To thee, these early faults I owe,
⁠   To thee, the wise and old reproving:
They know my sins, but do not know
⁠   'Twas thine to break the bonds of loving.


For once my soul, like thine, was pure,
   ⁠And all its rising fires could smother;
But, now, thy vows no more endure,
⁠   Bestow'd by thee upon another.


Perhaps, his peace I could destroy,
⁠   And spoil the blisses that await him;
Yet let my Rival smile in joy,
⁠   For thy dear sake, I cannot hate him.


Ah! since thy angel form is gone,
⁠   My heart no more can rest with any;
But what it sought in thee alone,
⁠   Attempts, alas! to find in many,


Then, fare thee well, deceitful Maid!
   ⁠'Twere vain and fruitless to regret thee;
Nor Hope, nor Memory yield their aid,
⁠   But Pride may teach me to forget thee.


Yet all this giddy waste of years,
   ⁠This tiresome round of palling pleasures;
These varied loves, these matrons' fears,
    ⁠These thoughtless strains to Passion's measures—


If thou wert mine, had all been hush'd:—
   ⁠This cheek, now pale from early riot,
With Passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd,
⁠   But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet.


Yes, once the rural Scene was sweet,
   ⁠For Nature seem'd to smile before thee;
And once my Breast abhorr'd deceit,—
⁠   For then it beat but to adore thee.


But, now, I seek for other joys—
⁠   To think, would drive my soul to madness;
In thoughtless throngs, and empty noise,
⁠   I conquer half my Bosom's sadness.


Yet, even in these, a thought will steal,
⁠   In spite of every vain endeavour;
And fiends might pity what I feel—
   ⁠To know that thou art lost for ever.

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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