The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 4/To the Countess of Blessington
TO THE COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON.
You have asked for a verse:—the request
In a rhymer 'twere strange to deny;
But my Hippocrene was but my breast,
And my feelings (its fountain) are dry.
Were I now as I was, I had sung
What Lawrence has painted so well;
But the strain would expire on my tongue,
And the theme is too soft for my shell.
I am ashes where once I was fire,
And the bard in my bosom is dead;
What I loved I now merely admire,
And my heart is as grey as my head.
My Life is not dated by years—
There are moments which act as a plough,
And there is not a furrow appears
But is deep in my soul as my brow.
Let the young and the brilliant aspire
To sing what I gaze on in vain;
For Sorrow has torn from my lyre
The string which was worthy the strain.
[First published, Letters and Journals, 1830, ii. 635, 636.]
- [For reproduction of Lawrence's portrait of Lady Blessington, see "List of Illustrations," Letters, 1901, v. [xv.].]