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To Thyrza: And Thou Art Dead

Written by: George (Lord) Byron | Biography
 | Quotes (166) |
 And thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And form so soft and charm so rare
Too soon returned 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 lours, Shall never more be thine.
The silence of that dreamless sleep I envy now too much to weep; Nor need I to repine That all those charms have passed away I might have watched through long decay.
The flower in ripened bloom unmatched Must fall the earliest prey; Though by no hand untimely snatched, The leaves must drop away: And yet it were a greater grief To watct it withering, leaf by leaf, Than see it plucked today; Since earthly eye but ill can bear To trace the change to foul from fair.
I know not if I could have borne To see thy beauties fade; The night that followed such a morn Had worn a deeper shade: Thy day without a cloud hath past, And thou wert lovely to the last— Extinguished, not decayed, As stars that shoot along the sky Shine brightest as they fall from high.
As once I wept, if I could weep, My tears might well be shed To think I was not near to keep One vigil o'er thy bed: To gaze, how fondly! on thy face, To fold thee in a faint embrace, Uphold thy drooping head, And show that love, however vain, Nor thou nor I can feel again.
Yet how much less it were to gain, Though thou hast left me free, The loveliest things that still remain Than thus remember thee! The all of thine that cannot die Through dark and dread Eternity Returns again to me, And more thy buried love endears Than aught, except its living years.



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