1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Augusta, "On Finding a faded Rose in a Volume of Byron" American Athenaeum 1 (3 November 1825) 284.



Yes, I remember thee, when thou wert fair,
Sweet rose-bud, as the one who plac'd thee there;
And I remember, too, the glowing smile
With which she gave thee — thou hadst blush'd awhile
Upon her bosom; when her beaming eye
Glow'd with the light of BYRON'S minstrelsy—
She mark'd that page, to which the bard has giv'n
All that is bright on earth, or fair in heav'n!
She said — "Augusta, when this rose you see,
You'll worship Byron! — and you'll think of me."

Dear one, I've thought of thee, though years have flown
Since that bright hour, when thou to me alone
Wert friend, companion, all my youthful heart
Could wish, to whom it freely might impart
Its first gay feelings, when life's scenes were new,
And all the hopes that dawn'd upon my view!
Together, we explor'd the page of truth—
Together, trod the flowery paths of youth:
But years have flown since there, we fondly ranged—
And we have — no! I hope thou hast not changed!

I know 'tis folly — but I could not bear
To see that being once so lovely fair,
Whose speech was music, and whose smile was light,
Diffusing round a radiance, warm and bright,
Giving expression to her Hebe face—
And to her sylph-like form, a seraph grace!
Oh, no — I feel I could not see that form,
Glowing no more, with youth's luxuriant charm,
I could not look upon that faded eye,
And tintless cheek, without a painful sigh!

Thou wilt forgive me, dearest, but I feel
A sorrow, that the hand of time should steal
One charm from thee — but, no — I will not sigh
If he but leave that sparkle in thy eye—
That bright intelligence, that spoke from soul!
Which o'er my feelings held such firm control.

But thou are lovely still, I know thou art,
The emanations of thy virtuous heart
Yet sparkle from thine eye, glow o'er thy cheek,
And in its blushes eloquently speak!
Yet oh! whate'er thou art, still dear to me
While memory last, my earliest friend shall be.