Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/322

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My breast, or that of others, for a while.
Fame is the thirst of youth,—but I am not[1]
So young as to regard men's frown or smile,
As loss or guerdon of a glorious lot;—
I stood and stand alone,—remembered or forgot.


I have not loved the World, nor the World me;
I have not flattered its rank breath,[2] nor bowed
To its idolatries a patient knee,
Nor coined my cheek to smiles,—nor cried aloud
In worship of an echo: in the crowd
They could not deem me one of such—I stood
Among them, but not of them[3]—in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still could,
Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued.N23

  1. Fame is the dream of boyhood—I am not
    So young as to regard the frown or smile
    Of crowds as making an immortal lot
    .—[MS. (lines 6, 7 erased).]

  2. [Compare Shakespeare, Coriolanus, act iii. sc. 1, lines 66, 67—

    "For the mutable, rank-scented many, let them
    Regard me as I do not flatter."]

  3. [Compare Manfred, act ii. sc. 2, lines 54-57—

    "My spirit walked not with the souls of men,
    Nor looked upon the earth with human eyes;
    The thirst of their ambition was not mine,
    The aim of their existence was not mine."]