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Elegy on Thyrza

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 charms so rare 
Too soon return'd to Earth! 
Though Earth received them in her bed 5 
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 10 
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 15 
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 20 
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; 25 
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 30 
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 pass'd away 35 
I might have watch'd through long decay. 

The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd 
Must fall the earliest prey; 
Though by no hand untimely snatch'd. 
The leaves must drop away. 40 
And yet it were a greater grief 
To watch it withering leaf by leaf  
Than see it pluck'd to-day; 
Since earthly eye but ill can bear 
To trace the change to foul from fair. 45 

I know not if I could have borne 
To see thy beauties fade; 
The night that follow'd such a morn 
Had worn a deeper shade. 
Thy day without a cloud hath pass'd 50 
And thou wert lovely to the last  
Extinguish'd not decay'd; 
As stars that shoot along the sky 
Shine brightest as they fall from high. 

As once I wept if I could weep 55 
My tears might well be shed 
To think I was not near to keep 
One vigil o'er thy bed¡ª 
To gaze how fondly! on thy face  
To fold thee in a faint embrace 60 
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 65 
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 70 
And more thy buried love endears 
Than aught except its living years.