Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/284

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But thus it was; and though in solitude
Small power the nipped affections have to grow,
In him this glowed when all beside had ceased to glow.


And there was one soft breast, as hath been said,[1]
Which unto his was bound by stronger ties
Than the church links withal; and—though unwed,
That love was pure—and, far above disguise,[2]
Had stood the test of mortal enmities
Still undivided, and cemented more
By peril, dreaded most in female eyes;[3]
But this was firm, and from a foreign shore
Well to that heart might his these absent greetings pour![4]

  1. But there was one——.—[MS.]
  2. Yet was it pure——.—[MS.]
  3. [It has been supposed that there is a reference in this passage, and again in Stanzas to Augusta (dated July 24, 1816), to "the only important calumny"—to quote Shelley's letter of September 29, 1816—"that was even ever advanced" against Byron. "The poems to Augusta," remarks Elze (Life of Lord Byron, p. 174), "prove, further, that she too was cognizant of the calumnious accusations; for under no other supposition is it possible to understand their allusions." But the mere fact that Mrs. Leigh remained on terms of intimacy and affection with her brother, when he was under the ban of society, would expose her to slander and injurious comment, "peril dreaded most in female eyes;" whereas to other calumnies, if such there were, there could be no other reference but silence, or an ecstasy of wrath and indignation.]
  4. Thus to that heart did his its thoughts in absence pour.—[MS.]
    ——its absent feelings pour.—[MS. erased.]