To Lesbia!

A poem by Lord George Gordon Byron


LESBIA! since far from you I've rang'd,
Our souls with fond affection glow not;
You say, 'tis I, not you, have chang'd,
I'd tell you why, -but yet I know not.


Your polish'd brow no cares have crost;
And Lesbia! we are not much older,
Since, trembling, first my heart I lost,
Or told my love, with hope grown bolder.


Sixteen was then our utmost age,
Two years have lingering pass'd away, love!
And now new thoughts our minds engage,
At least, I feel disposed to stray, love!


"Tis I that am alone to blame,
I, that am guilty of love's treason;
Since your sweet breast is still the same,
Caprice must be my only reason.


I do not, love! suspect your truth,
With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not;
Warm was the passion of my youth,
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.


No, no, my flame was not pretended;
For, oh! I lov'd you most sincerely;
And though our dream at last is ended
My bosom still esteems you dearly.


No more we meet in yonder bowers;
Absence has made me prone to roving;
But older, firmer hearts than ours
Have found monotony in loving.


Your cheek's soft bloom is unimpair'd,
New beauties, still, are daily bright'ning,
Your eye, for conquest beams prepar'd,
The forge of love's resistless lightning.


Arm'd thus, to make their bosoms bleed,
Many will throng, to sigh like me, love!
More constant they may prove, indeed;
Fonder, alas! they ne'er can be, love!

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