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I've seen my bride another's bride,-
And I have acted well my part,
The babe which ought to have been mine,
Time had not made me love the less. (1)
But let this pass-I'll whine no more,
I'll hie me to its haunts again.
When Britain's "May is in the sere,"
Thou hear'st of one, whose deepening crimes
Suit with the sablest of the times,
Of one, whom love nor pity sways,
Perchance not blood shall turn aside,
(1) [These lines will show with what gloomy fidelity, even while under the pressure of recent sorrow, the poet reverted to the disappointment of his early affection, as the chief source of all his sufferings and errors, present and to come. - MOORE.]
One rank'd in some recording page
Newstead Abbey, Oct. 11. 1811. (2)
WITHOUT a stone to mark the spot,
And say, what Truth might well have said, By all, save one, perchance forgot,
Ah! wherefore art thou lowly laid?
By many a shore and many a sea
The past, the future fled to thee
To bid us meet
(1) [The anticipations of his own future career in these concluding lines are of a nature, it must be owned, to awaken more of horror than of interest, were we not prepared, by so many instances of his exaggeration in this respect, not to be startled at any lengths to which the spirit of selflibelling would carry him. It seemed as if, with the power of painting fierce and gloomy personages, he had also the ambition to be, himself, the dark'sublime he drew,' and that, in his fondness for the delineation of heroic crime, he endeavoured to fancy, where he could not find in his own character, fit subjects for his pencil.- MOORE.]
(2) [Two days after, in another letter to Mr. Hodgson, the poet says,— "I am growing nervous (how you will laugh!) - but it is true,- really, wretchedly, ridiculously, fine-ladically nervous. Your climate kills me; I can neither read, write, nor amuse myself, or any one else. My days are listless, and my nights restless: I have seldom any society, and, when I have, I run out of it. I don't know that I sha'n't end with insanity; for I find a want of method in arranging my thoughts that perplexes me strangely."-E.]
Could this have been
a word, a look
That softly said, "We part in peace,” Had taught my bosom how to brook,
With fainter sighs, thy soul's release.
And didst thou not, since Death for thee Prepared a light and pangless dart, Once long for him thou ne'er shalt see, Who held, and holds thee in his heart?
Oh! who like him had watch'd thee here?
Till all was past? But when no more
Had flow'd as fast
as now they flow.
Shall they not flow, when many a day
Affection's mingling tears were ours?
Ours too the glance none saw beside; The smile none else might understand; The whisper'd thought of hearts allied, The pressure of the thrilling hand;
The kiss, so guiltless and refined
That Love each warmer wish forebore ; Those eyes proclaim'd so pure a mind, Even passion blush'd to plead for more.
The tone, that taught me to rejoice,
But sweet to me from none but thine;
The pledge we wore I wear it still,
But where is thine? - Ah! where art thou?
Oft have I borne the weight of ill,
But never bent beneath till now!
Well hast thou left in life's best bloom
I would not wish thee here again;
But if in worlds more blest than this
To wean me from mine anguish here.
Teach me too early taught by thee!
On earth thy love was such to me;
It fain would form my hope in heaven!
(1) [Mr. Moore considers "Thyrza" as if she were a mere creature of the poet's brain. "It was," he says, " about the time when he was thus bitterly feeling, and expressing, the blight which his heart had suffered from a real object of affection, that his poems on the death of an imaginary one were written; - nor is it any wonder, when we consider the peculiar circumstances under which these beautiful effusions flowed from his fancy, that, of all his strains of pathos, they should be the most touching and most pure. They were, indeed, the essence, the abstract spirit, as it were, of many griefs; - a confluence of sad thoughts from many sources of sorrow, refined and warmed in their passage through his fancy, and forming thus one deep reservoir of mournful feeling." It is a pity to disturb a sentiment thus
["AWAY, AWAY," &c.]
AWAY, away, ye notes of woe!
Be silent, thou once soothing strain,
Or I must flee from hence
On what I am
may not gaze
on what I was.'
The voice that made those sounds more sweet
A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead!
Is worse than discord to my heart!
beautifully expressed; but Lord Byron, in a letter to Mr. Dallas, bearing the exact date of these lines, viz. Oct. 11th, 1811, writes as follows:-"I have been again shocked with a death, and have lost one very dear to me in happier times: but 'I have almost forgot the taste of grief,' and 'supped full of horrors,' till I have become callous; nor have I a tear left for an event which, five years ago, would have bowed my head to the earth." In his reply to this letter, Mr. Dallas says, -"I thank you for your confidential communication. How truly do I wish that that being had lived, and lived yours! What your obligations to her would have been in that case is inconceivable." Several years after the series of poems on Thyrza were written, Lord Byron, on being asked to whom they referred, by a person in whose tenderness he never ceased to confide, refused to answer, with marks of painful agitation, such as rendered any farther recurrence to the subject impossible. The reader must be left to form his own conclusion. The five following pieces are all devoted to Thyrza. -E]