The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/On the Death of the Duke of Dorset

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I heard thy fate without a tear,
Thy loss with scarce a sigh;
And yet thou wast surpassing dear,
Too loved of all to die.
I know not what hath seared my eye—
Its tears refuse to start;
But every drop, it bids me dry,[2]
Falls dreary on my heart.


Yes, dull and heavy, one by one,
They sink and turn to care,
As caverned waters wear the stone,
Yet dropping harden there;
They cannot petrify more fast,
Than feelings sunk remain,
Which coldly fixed regard the past,
But never melt again.

[First published, Works, Paris, 1826, p. 716.]

  1. [From an autograph MS. in the possession of Mr. Murray. The MS. is headed, in pencil, "Lines written on the Death of the Duke of Dorset, a College Friend of Lord Byron's, who was killed by a fall from his horse while hunting." It is endorsed, "Bought of Markham Thorpe, August 29, 1844." (For Duke of Dorset, see Poetical Works, 1898, i. 194, n. 2; and Letters, 1899, iii. 181, n. 1.)]
  2. —— it bids deny.—[MS. M.]