George Gordon Byron ( )

* * *

When I rovd a young Highlander oer the dark heath,
  And climbd thy steep summit, oh Morven of snow!
To gaze on the torrent that thunderd beneath,
  Or the mist of the tempest that gatherd below;
Untutord by science, a stranger to fear,
  And rude as the rocks, where my infancy grew,
No feeling, save one, to my bosom was dear;
  Need I say, my sweet Mary, twas centred in you?

Yet it could not be Love, for I knew not the name,
  What passion can dwell in the heart of a child?
But, still, I perceive an emotion the same
  As I felt, when a boy, on the crag-coverd wild:
One image, alone, on my bosom impressd,
  I lovd my bleak regions, nor panted for new;
And few were my wants, for my wishes were blessd,
  And pure were my thoughts, for my soul was with you.

I arose with the dawn, with my dog as my guide,
  From mountain to mountain I bounded along;
I breasted the billows of Dees rushing tide,
  And heard at a distance the Highlanders song:
At eve, on my heath-coverd couch of repose.
  No dreams, save of Mary, were spread to my view;
And warm to the skies my devotions arose,
  For the first of my prayers was a blessing on you.

I left my bleak home, and my visions are gone;
  The mountains are vanishd, my youth is no more;
As the last of my race, I must wither alone,
  And delight but in days, I have witnessd before:
Ah! splendour has raisd, but embitterd my lot;
  More dear were the scenes which my infancy knew:
Though my hopes may have faild, yet they are not
Though cold is my heart, still it lingers with you.

When I see some dark hill point its crest to the sky,
  I think of the rocks that oershadow Colbleen;
When I see the soft blue of a love-speaking eye,
  I think of those eyes that endeard the rude scene;
When, haply, some light-waving locks I behold,
  That faintly resemble my Marys in hue,
I think on the long flowing ringlets of gold,
  The locks that were sacred to beauty, and you.

Yet the day may arrive, when the mountains once more
  Shall rise to my sight, in their mantles of snow;
But while these soar above me, unchangd as before,
  Will Mary be there to receive me?ah, no!
Adieu, then, ye hills, where my childhood was bred!
  Thou sweet flowing Dee, to thy waters adieu!
No home in the forest shall shelter my head,
  Ah! Mary, what home could be mine, but with you?

George Gordon Byron's other poems:
  1. Churchills Grave
  2. On a Change of Masters at a Great Public School
  3. Lines Addressed to a Young Lady
  4. To the Earl of Clare
  5. To a Lady (This Band, which bound thy yellow hair)

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