The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/When we Two parted

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1397000The Works of Lord Byron — When we Two partedGeorge Gordon Byron



When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold[1]
Sorrow to this.


The dew of the morning[2]
Sunk chill on my brow—
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,[3]
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.


They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me—
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:—
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.


In secret we met—
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee[5]
After long years,
How should I greet thee?—
With silence and tears.

[First published, Poems, 1816.]

  1. Never may I behold
    Moment like this.—[MS.]
  2. The damp of the morning
    Clung chill on my brow.—[MS. erased.]
  3. Thy vow hath been broken.—[MS.]
  4. —— lies hidden
    Our secret of sorrow
    And deep in my soul
    But deed more forbidden,
    Our secret lies hidden,
    But never forgot.—[Erasures, stanza 3, MS.]
  5. If one should meet thee
    How should we greet thee?
    In silence and tears.—[MS.]