Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/87

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57
EPISTLE TO AUGUSTA.

EPISTLE TO AUGUSTA.[1]

I.

My Sister! my sweet Sister! if a name
Dearer and purer were, it should be thine.
Mountains and seas divide us, but I claim
No tears, but tenderness to answer mine:
Go where I will, to me thou art the same—
A loved regret which I would not resign.[2]
There yet are two things in my destiny,—
A world to roam through, and a home with thee.[3]


II.

The first were nothing—had I still the last,
It were the haven of my happiness;
But other claims and other ties thou hast,[4]
And mine is not the wish to make them less.
A strange doom is thy father's son's, and past[5]
Recalling, as it lies beyond redress;
Reversed for him our grandsire's[6] fate of yore,—
He had no rest at sea, nor I on shore.


  1. [These stanzas—"than which," says the Quarterly Review for January, 1831, "there is nothing, perhaps, more mournfully and desolately beautiful in the whole range of Lord Byron's poetry," were also written at Diodati, and sent home to be published, if Mrs. Leigh should consent. She decided against publication, and the "Epistle" was not printed till 1830. Her first impulse was to withhold her consent to the publication of the "Stanzas to Augusta," as well as the "Epistle," and to say, "Whatever is addressed to me do not publish," but on second thoughts she decided that "the least objectionable line will be to let them be published."—See her letters to Murray, November 1, 8, 1816, Letters, 1899, iii. 366, note 1.]
  2. Go where thou wilt thou art to me the same
    A loud regret which I would not resign.—[MS.]

  3. [Compare—

    "Oh! that the Desert were my dwelling-place,
    With one fair Spirit for my minister!"

    Childe Harold, Canto IV. stanza clxxvii. lines 1, 2,
    Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 456.]

  4. But other cares ——.—[MS.]
  5. A strange doom hath been ours, but that is past.—[MS.]
  6. ["Admiral Byron was remarkable for never making a voyage