Текст оригинала на английском языке
Egotism. A Letter to J. T. Becher
Ἑαυτὸν Βύρων αἔιδει. 1. If Fate should seal my Death to-morrow, (Though much I hope she will postpone it,) I've held a share of Joy and Sorrow, Enough for Ten; and here I own it. 2. I've lived as many other men live, And yet, I think, with more enjoyment; For could I through my days again live, I'd pass them in the same employment. 3. That is to say, with some exception, For though I will not make confession, I've seen too much of man's deception Ever again to trust profession. 4. Some sage Mammas with gesture haughty, Pronounce me quite a youthful Sinner— But Daughters say, "although he's naughty, You must not check a Young Beginner!" 5. I've loved, and many damsels know it— But whom I don't intend to mention, As certain stanzas also show it, Some say deserving Reprehension. 6. Some ancient Dames, of virtue fiery, (Unless Report does much belie them,) Have lately made a sharp Enquiry, And much it grieves me to deny them. 7. Two whom I lov'd had eyes of Blue, To which I hope you've no objection; The Rest had eyes of darker Hue— Each Nymph, of course, was all perfection, 8. But here I'll close my chaste Description, Nor say the deeds of animosity; For silence is the best prescription, To physic idle curiosity. 9. Of Friends I've known a goodly Hundred— For finding one in each acquaintance, By some deceived by others plunder'd, Friendship, to me, was not Repentance. 10. At School I thought like other Children; Instead of Brains, a fine Ingredient, Romance, my youthful Head bewildering, To Sense had made me disobedient. 11. A victim, nearly from affection, To certain very precious scheming, The still remaining recollection Has cured my boyish soul of Dreaming. 12. By Heaven! I rather would forswear The Earth, and all the joys reserved me, Than dare again the specious Snare, From which my Fate and Heaven preserved me. 13. Still I possess some Friends who love me— In each a much esteemed and true one; The Wealth of Worlds shall never move me To quit their Friendship, for a new one. 14. But Becher! you're a reverend pastor, Now take it in consideration, Whether for penance I should fast, or Pray for my sins in expiation. 15. I own myself the child of Folly, But not so wicked as they make me— I soon must die of melancholy, If Female smiles should e'er forsake me. 16. Philosophers have never doubted, That Ladies' Lips were made for kisses! For Love! I could not live without it, For such a cursed place as This is. 17. Say, Becher, I shall be forgiven! If you don't warrant my salvation, I must resign all Hopes of Heaven! For, Faith, I can't withstand Temptation.P.S.—These were written between one and two, after midnight. I have not corrected, or revised.
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