Lord George Gordon Byron

January 22, 1788 - April 19, 1824


To Lesbia

by Lord George Gordon Byron

Lesbia! since far from you I've rang'd,
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.
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 dispos'd 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
But older, firmer hearts than ours
Have found monotony in loving.

Your cheek's soft bloom is unimpair'd,
New beauties, still, are daily brightning,
Your eye, for conquest beams prepar'd.
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!

The lady's name was Julia Leacroft
(Note by Miss E. Pigot).

First printed, December, 1806


The Complete Poetical Works Of Lord Byron
Copyright 1907
The Macmillan Company, New York