Lord Byron's Poems

Early Poems: On Revisiting Harrow


Here once engaged the stranger's view

Young Friendship's record simply trac'd;

Few were her words, - but yet, though few,

Resentment's hand the line defac'd.


Deeply she cut - but not eras'd -

The characters were still so plain,

That Friendship once return'd, and gaz'd, -

Till Memory hail'd the words again.


Repentance plac'd them as before;

Forgiveness join'd her gentle name;

So fair the inscription seem'd once more,

That Friendship thought it still the same.


Thus might the Record now have been;

But, ah, in spite of Hope's endeavour,

Or Friendship's tears, Pride rush'd between,

And blotted out the line for ever.

September, 1807.

First published in Moore's 'Life and Letters, etc.', 1830, i. 102.

Footnote 1:

"Some years ago, when at Harrow, a friend of the author engraved on a

particular spot the names of both, with a few additional words, as a

memorial. Afterwards, on receiving some real or imaginary injury, the

author destroyed the frail record before he left Harrow. On revisiting

the place in 1807, he wrote under it these stanzas."

Moore's 'Life, etc.', i. 102.