The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/From The Portuguese

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In moments to delight devoted,[1]
"My Life!" with tenderest tone, you cry;
Dear words! on which my heart had doted,
If Youth could neither fade nor die.


To Death even hours like these must roll,
Ah! then repeat those accents never;
Or change "my Life!" into "my Soul!"
Which, like my Love, exists for ever.

[MS. M.]


You call me still your Life.—Oh! change the word—
Life is as transient as the inconstant sigh:
Say rather I'm your Soul; more just that name,
For, like the soul, my Love can never die.

[Stanzas 1, 2 first published, Childe Harold,
1814 (Seventh Edition). "Another Version," first published, 1832.]

  1. ["In moments to delight devoted

    'My Life!' is still the name you give,
    Dear words! on which my heart had doted
    Had Man an endless term to live.
    But, ah! so swift the seasons roll
    That name must be repeated never,
    For 'Life' in future say, 'My Soul,'

    Which like my love exists for ever."

    Byron wrote these lines in 1815, in Lady Lansdowne's album, at Bowood.—Note by Mr. Richard Edgecombe, Notes and Queries, Sixth Series, vii. 46.]