Lord Byron's Poems

Early Poems: To Lesbia!



LESBIA! since far from you I've rang'd, ii

Our souls with fond affection glow not;

You say, 'tis I, not you, have chang'd,

I'd tell you why, - but yet I know not.


Your polish'd brow no cares have crost;

And Lesbia! we are not much older, iii

Since, trembling, first my heart I lost,

Or told my love, with hope grown bolder.


Sixteen was then our utmost age,

Two years have lingering pass'd away, love!

And now new thoughts our minds engage,

At least, I feel disposed to stray, love!


"Tis 'I' that am alone to blame,

'I', that am guilty of love's treason;

Since your sweet breast is still the same,

Caprice must be my only reason.


I do not, love! suspect your truth,

With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not;

Warm was the passion of my youth,

One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.


No, no, my flame was not pretended;

For, oh! I lov'd you most sincerely;

And though our dream at last is ended

My bosom still esteems you dearly.


No more we meet in yonder bowers;

Absence has made me prone to roving; iv

But older, firmer 'hearts' than ours

Have found monotony in loving.


Your cheek's soft bloom is unimpair'd,

New beauties, still, are daily bright'ning,

Your eye, for conquest beams prepar'd, v

The forge of love's resistless lightning.


Arm'd thus, to make their bosoms bleed,

Many will throng, to sigh like me, love!

More constant they may prove, indeed;

Fonder, alas! they ne'er can be, love!


Footnote 1: "The lady's name was Julia Leacroft" ('Note by Miss E. Pigot'). The word "Julia" (?) is added, in a lady's hand, in the annotated copy of 'P. on V. Occasions', p. 52 (British Museum)

Footnote i: 'To Julia'.

Footnote ii: 'Julia since'.

Footnote iii: 'And Julia'.

Footnote iv:

'Perhaps my soul's too pure for roving'.

Footnote v:

'Your eye for conquest comes prepar'd'.