1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

J. H., "To H— D—, accompanied with some Stanzas of Childe Harold, written from Memory" The Sun (18 July 1823).



Lady! at thy strong bidding did we trace
These magic rhymes of soul-wrought Poesy,
(Drawn from the narrow fount of Memory),
Hoping (albeit unworthy) for the grace
Of thy kind favour, as a resting-place
From this sweet labour. Yes! even yet the smile
Of Woman's favour can assuage a while,
Tho' the heart's anguish it may ne'er efface!
And oh! withhold not — guiltless, guiltless one!—
Withhold not thou thy distant friendliness
From him who never can be more than friend,
(Ah that thy tongue could say he were not less);
Friendship may soothe, tho' the heart's love be gone;
—But why these tears? — A Poet's strain attend.
Cambridge, July 17.