The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/The Cornelian

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The Works of Lord Byron by George Gordon Byron
The Cornelian

THE CORNELIAN.[1]

1.

No specious splendour of this stone
 Endears it to my memory ever;
With lustre only once it shone,
 And blushes modest as the giver.[2]


2.

Some, who can sneer at friendship's ties,
 Have, for my weakness, oft reprov'd me;
Yet still the simple gift I prize,
 For I am sure, the giver lov'd me.


3.

He offer'd it with downcast look,
 As fearful that I might refuse it;
I told him, when the gift I took,
 My only fear should be, to lose it.


4.

This pledge attentively I view'd,
 And sparkling as I held it near,
Methought one drop the stone bedew'd,
 And, ever since, I've lov'd a tear.


5.

Still, to adorn his humble youth,
 Nor wealth nor birth their treasures yield;
But he, who seeks the flowers of truth,
 Must quit the garden, for the field.


6.

'Tis not the plant uprear'd in sloth,
 Which beauty shews, and sheds perfume;
The flowers, which yield the most of both,
 In Nature's wild luxuriance bloom.


7.

Had Fortune aided Nature's care.
 For once forgetting to be blind,
His would have been an ample share,
 If well proportioned to his mind.


8.

But had the Goddess clearly seen,
 His form had fix'd her fickle breast;
Her countless hoards would his have been,
 And none remain'd to give the rest.

  1. [The cornelian was a present from his friend Edleston, a Cambridge chorister, afterwards a clerk in a mercantile house in London. Edleston died of consumption, May 11, 1811. (See letter from Byron to Miss Pigot, October 28, 1811.) Their acquaintance began by Byron saving him from drowning. (MS. note by the Rev. W. Harness.)]
  2. But blushes modest.—[4to]