Lord Byron's Poems

Early Poems: The Tear

O lachrymarum fons, tenero sacros

Ducentium ortus ex animo; quater

Felix! in imo qui scatentem

Pectore te, pia Nympha, sensit. 1

GRAY, 'Alcaic Fragment'.


When Friendship or Love

Our sympathies move;

When Truth, in a glance, should appear,

The lips may beguile,

With a dimple or smile,

But the test of affection's a 'Tear'.


Too oft is a smile

But the hypocrite's wile,

To mask detestation, or fear;

Give me the soft sigh,

Whilst the soul-telling eye

Is dimm'd, for a time, with a 'Tear'.


Mild Charity's glow,

To us mortals below,

Shows the soul from barbarity clear;

Compassion will melt,

Where this virtue is felt,

And its dew is diffused in a 'Tear'.


The man, doom'd to sail

With the blast of the gale,

Through billows Atlantic to steer,

As he bends o'er the wave

Which may soon be his grave,

The green sparkles bright with a 'Tear'.


The Soldier braves death

For a fanciful wreath

In Glory's romantic career;

But he raises the foe

When in battle laid low,

And bathes every wound with a 'Tear'.


If, with high-bounding pride,i

He return to his bride!

Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear;

All his toils are repaid

When, embracing the maid,

From her eyelid he kisses the 'Tear'.


Sweet scene of my youth! 2

Seat of Friendship and Truth,

Where Love chas'd each fast-fleeting year;

Loth to leave thee, I mourn'd,

For a last look I turn'd,

But thy spire was scarce seen through a 'Tear'.


Though my vows I can pour,

To my Mary no more, 3

My Mary, to Love once so dear,

In the shade of her bow'r,

I remember the hour,

She rewarded those vows with a 'Tear'.


By another possest,

May she live ever blest!

Her name still my heart must revere:

With a sigh I resign,

What I once thought was mine,

And forgive her deceit with a 'Tear'.


Ye friends of my heart,

Ere from you I depart,

This hope to my breast is most near:

If again we shall meet,

In this rural retreat,

May we 'meet', as we 'part', with a 'Tear'.


When my soul wings her flight

To the regions of night,

And my corse shall recline on its bier; ii

As ye pass by the tomb,

Where my ashes consume,

Oh! moisten their dust with a 'Tear'.


May no marble bestow

The splendour of woe,

Which the children of Vanity rear;

No fiction of fame

Shall blazon my name,

All I ask, all I wish, is a 'Tear'.

October 26, 1806. iii

Footnote 1: The motto was prefixed in 'Hours of Idleness'.

Footnote 2: Harrow.

Footnote 3: Miss Chaworth was married in 1805.

Footnote i:

'When with high-bounding pride,

He returns' -- .

Footnote ii:

'And my body shall sleep on its bier'.

. 'P. on V. Occasions'.

Footnote iii:

BYRON, October 26, 1806.