Lord Byron's Poems

Early Poems: Well! Thou Art Happy


Well! thou art happy, and I feel

That I should thus be happy too;

For still my heart regards thy weal

Warmly, as it was wont to do.


Thy husband's blest - and 'twill impart

Some pangs to view his happier lot: ii

But let them pass - Oh! how my heart

Would hate him if he loved thee not!


When late I saw thy favourite child,

I thought my jealous heart would break;

But when the unconscious infant smil'd,

I kiss'd it for its mother's sake.


I kiss'd it, - and repress'd my sighs

Its father in its face to see;

But then it had its mother's eyes,

And they were all to love and me.

5. iii

Mary, adieu! I must away:

While thou art blest I'll not repine;

But near thee I can never stay;

My heart would soon again be thine.


I deem'd that Time, I deem'd that Pride,

Had quench'd at length my boyish flame;

Nor knew, till seated by thy side,

My heart in all, - save hope, - the same.


Yet was I calm: I knew the time

My breast would thrill before thy look;

But now to tremble were a crime -

We met, - and not a nerve was shook.


I saw thee gaze upon my face,

Yet meet with no confusion there:

One only feeling couldst thou trace;

The sullen calmness of despair.


Away! away! my early dream

Remembrance never must awake:

Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream?

My foolish heart be still, or break.

November, 1808. First published, 1809.

Footnote 1: These lines were written after dining at Annesley with Mr. and Mrs. Chaworth Musters. Their daughter, born 1806, and now Mrs. Hamond, of Westacre, Norfolk, is still (January, 1898) living.

Footnote i:

'To Mrs. -- 'erased.

'MS. L.'

'To -- -'.

'Imit. and Transl'. Hobhouse, 1809.

Footnote ii:

'Some pang to see my rival's lot.'

'MS. L.'

Footnote iii: MS. L. inserts -

'Poor little pledge of mutual love,

I would not hurt a hair of thee,

Although thy birth should chance to prove

Thy parents' bliss - my misery.'