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

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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.]