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For me, degenerate modern wretch,

Though in the genial month of May, My dripping limbs I faintly stretch, And think I've done a feat to-day.

But since he cross'd the rapid tide,
According to the doubtful story,
To woo,-and-Lord knows what beside,
And swam for Love, as I for Glory;

'Twere hard to say who fared the best :

Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you! He lost his labour, I my jest ;

For he was drown'd, and I've the ague.



May 9, 1810.


Ζώη μου, σᾶς ἀγαπῶ,

MAID of Athens, ere we part,

Give, oh give me back my heart!
Or, since that has left my breast,
Keep it now, and take the rest!
Hear my vow before I go,
Ζώη μου, σᾶς ἀγαπῶ.

By those tresses unconfined,
Woo'd by each Ægean wind;
By those lids whose jetty fringe
Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tinge;
By those wild eyes like the roe,
Ζώη μου, σᾶς ἀγαπῶ.

By that lip I long to taste;
By that zone-encircled waist ;
By all the token-flowers that tell

What words can never speak so well;
By love's alternate joy and woe,

Ζώη μου, σᾶς ἀγαπῶ.


Maid of Athens! I am gone:

Think of me, sweet! when alone.
Though I fly to Istambol,

Athens holds my heart and soul:
Can I cease to love thee?

Ζώη μου, σᾶς ἀγαπῶ.


Athens, 1810.


ONE struggle more, and I am free

From pangs that rend my heart in twain;
One last long sigh to love and thee,
Then back to busy life again.

It suits me well to mingle now

With things that never pleased before : Though every joy is fled below,

What future grief can touch me more?

Then bring me wine, the banquet bring;
Man was not form'd to live alone:
I'll be that light, unmeaning thing

That smiles with all, and weeps with none.
It was not thus in days more dear,

It never would have been, but thou Hast fled, and left me lonely here;

Thou'rt nothing-all are nothing now.

In vain my lyre would lightly breathe!
The smile that sorrow fain would wear
But mocks the woe that lurks beneath,
Like roses o'er a sepulchre.

Though gay companions o'er the bowl
Dispel awhile the sense of ill :
Though pleasure fires the maddening soul,
The heart, the heart is lonely still!

On many a lone and lovely night
It sooth'd to gaze upon the sky;
For then I deem'd the heavenly light
Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye:




And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon, When sailing o'er the Ægean wave, 'Now Thyrza gazes on that moon

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Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave!

When stretch'd on fever's sleepless bed, And sickness shrunk my throbbing veins, ""Tis comfort still," I faintly said,


That Thyrza cannot know my pains :
Like freedom to the time-worn slave,
A boon 'tis idle then to give,
Relenting Nature vainly gave

My life, when Thyrza ceased to live!

My Thyrza's pledge in better days,

When love and life alike were new!
How different now thou meet'st my gaze!
How tinged by time with sorrow's hue!
The heart that gave itself with thee
Is silent-ah, were mine as still!
Though cold as e'en the dead can be,
It feels, it sickens with the chill.

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Thou bitter pledge! thou mournful token!
Though painful, welcome to my breast!
Still, still preserve that love unbroken,
Or break the heart to which thou'rt press'd.
Time tempers love, but not removes,
More hallow'd when its hope is fled :
Oh! what are thousand living loves
To that which cannot quit the dead?


WHEN Time, or soon or late, shall bring
The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead,
Oblivion! may thy languid wing
Wave gently o'er my dying bed!

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No band of friends or heirs be there,
To weep, or wish, the coming blow:
No maiden, with dishevelled hair,

To feel, or feign, decorous woe.

But silent let me sink to earth,

With no officious mourners near: I would not mar one hour of mirth, Nor startle friendship with a tear.

Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
Could nobly check its useless sighs,
Might then exert its latest power

In her who lives, and him who dies.

'Twere sweet, my Psyche! to the last Thy features still serene to see : Forgetful of its struggles past,

E'en Pain itself should smile on thee.

But vain the wish-for Beauty still

Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath; And Woman's tears, produced at will, Deceive in life, unman in death.

Then lonely be my latest hour,

Without regret, without a groan;

For thousands Death hath ceas'd to lower,
And pain been transient or unknown.

Ay, but to die, and go," alas !

Where all have gone, and all must go!

To be the nothing that I was

Ere born to life and living woe!

Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen,
Count o'er thy days from anguish free,
And know, whatever thou hast been,
'Tis something better not to be.





66 'Heu, quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quam tui meminisse!"

AND thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;

And form so soft, and charms so rare,
Too soon return'd to Earth!

Though Earth received them in her bed
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,

There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.

I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;

There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not:

It is enough for me to prove

That what I loved, and long must love,
Like common earth can rot;

To me there needs no stone to tell,
'Tis Nothing that I loved so well.

Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,

Who didst not change through all the past,

And canst not alter now.

The love where Death has set his seal,

Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,

Nor falsehood disavow:

And, what were worse, thou canst not see

Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.

The better days of life were ours;

The worst can be but mine :



The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers, 30

Shall never more be thine.

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