Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday poetry - Lord Byron

This melancholy poem by Lord Byron (picture from here) has all the ingredients of a three volume Victorian novel. Or one of those Pre-Raphaelite pictures like Found by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. I love Byron's comic poetry. I remember reading Don Juan one summer but his lyrics like this poem, She Walks in Beauty or We'll Go No More A-Roving are just perfect gems.

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this!

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow;
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me - 
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met:
In silence I grieve
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.

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