Awake! (not Greece -- she is awake!)
Awake, my spirit! Think through whom
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!
Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood! -- unto thee 30 Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.
If thou regret'st thy youth, why live?
The land of honourable death
Is here: -- up to the field, and give
Away thy breath!
Seek out -- less often sought than found-
A soldier's grave, for thee the best;
Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest. 40
MISSOLONGHI, January 22,1824.
[It is not necessary to say that these poems are concerned with the separation between Lord Byron and his wife. They are so distinct in character that it has seemed best to separate them from among the other Miscellaneous Poems.]
[ Moore relates on the authority of by ron' Memoranda that these stanzas were written 'under the swell of tender recollections' as the poet 'sat one night musing in the study. . . the tears falling fast over the paper as he wrote them.' Mr. Coleridge avers that there are no tear-marks on the original draft of the poem. 'T is pity.]
'Alas! they had been friends in Youth; But whispering tongues can poison truth: And constancy lives in realms above; And Life is thorny; and youth is vain; And to be wroth with one we love, Doth work like madness in the brain;
But never either found another To free the hollow heart from paining - They stood aloof, the scars rem, Like cliffs, which had been rent asunder; A dreary sea now flows between, But neither beat, nor frost, nor thunder, Shall wholly do away, I ween, The marks of that which once hath been.' COLERIDGE'S Christabel.
FARE thee well! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well:
Even though unforgiving, never 'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.
Would that breast were bared before thee
Where thy head so oft hath lain,
While that placid sleep came o'er thee Which thou ne'er canst know again:
Would that breast, by thee glanced over,
Every inmost thought could show! 10 Then thou wouldst at last discover
'T was not well to spurn it so.
Though the world for this commend thee --
Though it smile upon the blow,
Even its praises must offend thee, Founded on another's woe:
Though my many faults defaced me,
Could no other arm be found,
Than the one which once embraced me,
To inflict a cureless wound?20
Yet, oh yet, thyself deceive not;
Love may sink by slow decay,
But by sudden wrench, believe not Hearts can thus be torn away:
Still thine own its life retaineth --
Still must mine, though bleeding, beat;
And the undying thought which paineth Is -- that we no more may meet.
These are words of deeper sorrow
Than the wail above the dead; 30 Both shall live, but every morrow
Wake us from a widow'd bed.
And when thou wouldst solace gather,
When our child's first accents flow,
Wilt thou teach her to say 'Father!' Though his care she must forego?
When her little hands shall press thee,
When her lip to thine is press'd,
Think of him whose prayer shall bless thee,
Think of him thy love had biess'd! 40