Lady Byron’s Answer

Communicated by Miss Thomson

Lady Byron’s Answer to Lord Byron’s Farewell

Powerless are thy magic numbers
To revive affection’s flame,
In a bosom where it slumbers,
Shrouded now with duty’s name.
Sacred there ’twill rest for ever,
Death alone its gleams remove,
Still it lives — but never, never,
Can it more awake to love.
Did neglect’s cold aspect chill it?
Did thy wayward passions quell it?
Did unkindness quench its ray?
Harold! Let thy bosom say!
Yes! that breast has been my pillow,
Yet the treach’rous wound it gave
As the smooth deceitful billow
Wrecks the bark that trusts its wave,
Envy’s dire forebodings slighting
Deaf alike to friendship’s voice;
Pride elating — hope delighting,
I alone was Harold’s choice.
Sad distinction! dear bought glory
Was that heart’s unstable prize!
Now the theme of gossip’s story,
Thus expos’d to vulgar eyes.
Yet ’twas not the foul illusion
Fame’s bright halo round thee spread
Other dreams of dear delusion
Faith and young affection led.
Not a suppliant world around me
Could have lured me from thy side
No! the tender bands that bound me
Hands, but thine, could ne’er divide.

“But ’tis done” — the arm that held me
Late the cherish’d gift of Heav’n,
Now unclasps no more to shield me
And — but no! — thou art forgiv’n
Never can the heart forget thee
Which has felt a love like mine;
Nor our smiling Infant let me
While she bears those eyes of thine.
Ah farewell! — farewell for ever!
Once in happiest hours we met,
Now with blasted hopes we sever
Soon our Sun of Joy has set.
Who that felt the desolation
Of the earthquake’s dreadful reign,
She would choose the same foundation
For their peaceful bow’r again!