Thomas Moore

May 28, 1780 - Feb 26, 1852


When First I Met Thee

by Thomas Moore

When first I met thee, warm and young,
There shone such truth about thee,
And on thy lip such promise hung,
I did not dare to doubt thee.
I saw the change, yet still relied,
Still clung with hope the fonder,
And thought, though false to all beside,
From me thou could'st not wander.
But go, deceiver! go,--
The heart, whose hopes could make it
Trust one so false, so low,
Deserves that thou should'st break it!

When every tongue thy follies nam'd,
I fled the unwelcome story;
Or found, in even the faults they blam'd,
Some gleams of future glory.
I still was true, when nearer friends
Conspir'd to wrong, to slight thee;
The heart that now thy falsehood rends,
Would then have bled to right thee.
But go, deceiver! go,--
Some day, perhaps, thou'lt waken
From pleasure's dream to know
The grief of hearts forsaken.

Even now, though youth its bloom has shed,
No lights of age adorn thee;
The few, who lov'd thee once, have fled,
And they who flatter scorn thee.
Thy midnight cup is pledg'd to slaves,
No genial ties unwreath it,
The smiling there, like light on graves,
Has rank, cold hearts beneath it!
Go -- go -- though worlds were thine,
I would not now surrender
One taintless tear of mine,
For all thy guilty splendour!

And days may come, thou false one! yet,
When even those ties shall sever;
When thou wilt call with vain regret,
On her thou'st lost for ever;
On her who, in thy fortune's fall,
With smiles had still receiv'd thee,
And gladly died to prove thee all
Her fancy first believ'd thee.
Go -- go -- 'tis vain to curse,
'Tis weakness to upbraid thee;
Hate cannot wish thee worse
Than guilt and shame hath made thee.

Notes to the poem:

These lines are supposed to be addressed by Erin to the Prince Regent (afterwards George IV.), who in his earlier days professed liberal sentiments with regard to Ireland, but afterwards associated himself with the anti-Irish and anti-Catholic party. -- Editor


The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.
Copyright undated, very old
The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd.