George Gordon Byron ( )

To Edward Noel Long, Esq.

Nil ego contulerim jucundo sanus amico.HORACE.

Dear LONG, in this sequesterd scene,
  While all around in slumber lie,
The joyous days, which ours have been
  Come rolling fresh on Fancys eye;
Thus, if, amidst the gathering storm,
While clouds the darkend noon deform,
Yon heaven assumes a varied glow,
I hail the skys celestial bow,
Which spreads the sign of future peace,
And bids the war of tempests cease.
Ah! though the present brings but pain,
I think those days may come again;
Or if, in melancholy mood,
Some lurking envious fear intrude,
To check my bosoms fondest thought,
  And interrupt the golden dream,
I crush the fiend with malice fraught,
  And, still, indulge my wonted theme.
Although we neer again can trace,
  In Grantas vale, the pedants lore,
Nor through the groves of Ida chase
  Our raptured visions, as before;
Though Youth has flown on rosy pinion,
And Manhood claims his stern dominion,
Age will not every hope destroy,
But yield some hours of sober joy.

  Yes, I will hope that Times broad wing
Will shed around some dews of spring:
But, if his scythe must sweep the flowers
Which bloom among the fairy bowers,
Where smiling Youth delights to dwell,
And hearts with early rapture swell;
If frowning Age, with cold controul,
Confines the current of the soul,
Congeals the tear of Pitys eye,
Or checks the sympathetic sigh,
Or hears, unmovd, Misfortunes groan
And bids me feel for self alone;
Oh! may my bosom never learn
  To soothe its wonted heedless flow;
Still, still, despise the censor stern,
  But neer forget anothers woe.
Yes, as you knew me in the days,
  Oer which Remembrance yet delays,
Still may I rove untutord, wild,
  And even in age, at heart a child.

Though, now, on airy visions borne,
  To you my soul is still the same.
Oft has it been my fate to mourn,
  And all my former joys are tame:
But, hence! ye hours of sable hue!
  Your frowns are gone, my sorrows oer:
By every bliss my childhood knew,
  Ill think upon your shade no more.
Thus, when the whirlwinds rage is past,
  And caves their sullen roar enclose
We heed no more the wintry blast,
  When lulld by zephyr to repose.
Full often has my infant Muse,
  Attund to love her languid lyre;
But, now, without a theme to choose,
  The strains in stolen sighs expire.
My youthful nymphs, alas! are flown;
  Eis a wife, and Ca mother,
And Carolina sighs alone,
  And Marys given to another;
And Coras eye, which rolld on me,
  Can now no more my love recall
In truth, dear LONG, twas time to flee
  For Coras eye will shine on all.
And though the Sun, with genial rays,
His beams alike to all displays,
And every ladys eyes a sun,
These last should be confind to one.
The souls meridian dont become her,
Whose Sun displays a general summer!
Thus faint is every former flame,
And Passions self is now a name;
As, when the ebbing flames are low,
  The aid which once improvd their light,
And bade them burn with fiercer glow,
  Now quenches all their sparks in night;
Thus has it been with Passions fires,
  As many a boy and girl remembers,
While all the force of love expires,
  Extinguishd with the dying embers.

  But now, dear LONG, tis midnights noon,
And clouds obscure the watery moon,
Whose beauties I shall not rehearse,
Describd in every striplings verse;
For why should I the path go oer
Which every bard has trod before?
Yet ere yon silver lamp of night
  Has thrice performd her stated round,
Has thrice retracd her path of light,
  And chasd away the gloom profound,
I trust, that we, my gentle Friend,
Shall see her rolling orbit wend,
Above the dear-lovd peaceful seat,
Which once containd our youths retreat;
And, then, with those our childhood knew,
Well mingle in the festive crew;
While many a tale of former day
Shall wing the laughing hours away;
And all the flow of souls shall pour
The sacred intellectual shower,
Nor cease, till Lunas waning horn,
Scarce glimmers through the mist of Morn.

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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