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FAREWELL! IF EVER FONDEST PRAYER.
FAREWELL! if ever fondest prayer
For other's weal availed on high,
But waft thy name beyond the sky.
These lips are mute, these eyes are dry;
The thought that ne'er shall sleep again.
I only feel-Farewell!-Farewell!
[First published, Corsair, Second Edition, 1814.]
1. [Compare The Corsair, Canto I. stanza xv. lines 480-490.] VOL. III.
WHEN WE TWO PARTED.
WHEN we two parted
In silence and tears,
To sever for years,
Truly that hour foretold1
The dew of the morning
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
They name thee before me,
i. Never may I behold
Moment like this.—[MS.] ii. The damp of the morning
Clung chill on my brow.-[MS. erased.] iii. Thy vow hath been broken.—[MS.]
lies hidden Our secret of sorrow
And deep in my soul
But deed more forbidden,
But never forgot.-[Erasures, stanza 3, MS.,
I CANNOT talk of Love to thee,
Though thou art young and free and fair!
i. If one should meet thee
1. [From an autograph MS. in the possession of Mr. Murray, now for the first time printed.
The water-mark of the paper on which a much-tortured rough copy of these lines has been scrawled, is 1809, but, with this exception, there is no hint as to the date of composition. An entry in the Diary for November 30, 1813, in which Annabella (Miss Milbanke) is described "as an heiress, a girl of twenty, a peeress that is to be," etc., and a letter (Byron to Miss Milbanke) dated November 29, 1813 (see Letters, 1898, ii. 357, and 1899, iii. 407),
There is a spell thou dost not see,
And yet that spell invites each youth,
If ever Doubt a place possest
In woman's heart, 'twere wise in thine:
Doubt others' love, nor trust in mine.
Perchance 'tis feigned, perchance sincere,
Of all the herd that throng around,
Thy simpering or thy sighing train,
In some 'tis Nature, some 'tis Art
That bids them worship at thy shrine;
in which there is more than one allusion to her would-be suitors, "your thousand and one pretendants," etc., suggest the idea that the lines were addressed to his future wife, when he first made her acquaintance in 1812 or 1813.1