L'AmitiÉ, Est L'Amour Sans Ailes.

A poem by Lord George Gordon Byron

1.

Why should my anxious breast repine,
Because my youth is fled?
Days of delight may still be mine;
Affection is not dead.
In tracing back the years of youth,
One firm record, one lasting truth
Celestial consolation brings;
Bear it, ye breezes, to the seat,
Where first my heart responsive beat, -
"Friendship is Love without his wings!"


2

Through few, but deeply chequer'd years,
What moments have been mine!
Now half obscured by clouds of tears,
Now bright in rays divine;
Howe'er my future doom be cast,
My soul, enraptured with the past,
To one idea fondly clings;
Friendship! that thought is all thine own,
Worth worlds of bliss, that thought alone -
"Friendship is Love without his wings!"


3

Where yonder yew-trees lightly wave
Their branches on the gale,
Unheeded heaves a simple grave,
Which tells the common tale;
Round this unconscious schoolboys stray,
Till the dull knell of childish play
From yonder studious mansion rings;
But here, whene'er my footsteps move,
My silent tears too plainly prove,
"Friendship is Love without his wings!"


4

Oh, Love! before thy glowing shrine,
My early vows were paid;
My hopes, my dreams, my heart was thine,
But these are now decay'd;
For thine are pinions like the wind,
No trace of thee remains behind,
Except, alas! thy jealous stings.
Away, away! delusive power,
Thou shall not haunt my coming hour;
Unless, indeed, without thy wings.


5

Seat of my youth! [2] thy distant spire
Recalls each scene of joy;
My bosom glows with former fire, -
In mind again a boy.
Thy grove of elms, thy verdant hill,
Thy every path delights me still,
Each flower a double fragrance flings;
Again, as once, in converse gay,
Each dear associate seems to say,
"Friendship is Love without his wings!'


6.

My Lycus! [3] wherefore dost thou weep?
Thy falling tears restrain;
Affection for a time may sleep,
But, oh, 'twill wake again.
Think, think, my friend, when next we meet,
Our long-wished interview, how sweet!
From this my hope of rapture springs;
While youthful hearts thus fondly swell,
Absence my friend, can only tell,
"Friendship is Love without his wings!"



7.

In one, and one alone deceiv'd,
Did I my error mourn?
No - from oppressive bonds reliev'd,
I left the wretch to scorn.
I turn'd to those my childhood knew,
With feelings warm, with bosoms true,
Twin'd with my heart's according strings;
And till those vital chords shall break,
For none but these my breast shall wake
Friendship, the power deprived of wings!


8

Ye few! my soul, my life is yours,
My memory and my hope;
Your worth a lasting love insures,
Unfetter'd in its scope;
From smooth deceit and terror sprung,
With aspect fair and honey'd tongue,
Let Adulation wait on kings;
With joy elate, by snares beset,
We, we, my friends, can ne'er forget,
"Friendship is Love without his wings!"


9

Fictions and dreams inspire the bard,
Who rolls the epic song;
Friendship and truth be my reward -
To me no bays belong;
If laurell'd Fame but dwells with lies,
Me the enchantress ever flies,
Whose heart and not whose fancy sings;
Simple and young, I dare not feign;
Mine be the rude yet heartfelt strain,
"Friendship is Love without his wings!"

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