Fare Thee Well


                         "Alas! they had been friends in youth:
                         But whispering tongues can poison truth;
                         And constancy lives in realms above;
                         And life is thorny; and youth is vain;
                         And to be wroth with one we love,
                         Doth work like madness in the brain;
                                   ________
                         But never either found another
                         To free the hollow heart from paining -
                         They stood aloof, the scars remaining.
                         Like cliffs which had been rent asunder;
                         A dreary sea now flows between,
                         But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
                         Shall wholly do away, I ween,
                         The marks of that which once hath been."
                                   Coleridge, Christabel
 

                         Fare thee well! and if for ever,
                             Still for ever, fare thee well:
                         Even though unforgiving, never
                             'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.

                         Would that breast were bared before thee
                             Where thy head so oft hath lain,
                         While that placid sleep came o'er thee
                             Which thou ne'er canst know again:

                         Would that breast, by thee glanced over,
                             Every inmost thought could show!
                         Then thou wouldst at last discover
                             'Twas not well to spurn it so.

                         Though the world for this commend thee -
                             Though it smile upon the blow,
                         Even its praise must offend thee,
                             Founded on another's woe:

                         Though my many faults defaced me,
                             Could no other arm be found,
                         Than the one which once embraced me,
                             To inflict a cureless wound?

                         Yet, oh yet, thyself deceive not;
                             Love may sink by slow decay,
                         But by sudden wrench, believe not
                             Hearts can thus be torn away:

                         Still thine own its life retaineth,
                             Still must mine, though bleeding, beat;
                         And the undying thought which paineth
                             Is - that we no more may meet.

                         These are words of deeper sorrow
                             Than the wail above the dead;
                         Both shall live, but every morrow
                             Wake us from a widowed bed.

                         And when thou wouldst solace gather,
                             When our child's first accents flow,
                         Wilt thou teach her to say "Father!"
                             Though his care she must forego?

                         When her little hands shall press thee,
                             When her lip to thine is pressed,
                         Think of him whose prayer shall bless thee,
                             Think of him thy love had blessed!

                         Should her lineaments resemble
                             Those thou never more may'st see,
                         Then thy heart will softly tremble
                             With a pulse yet true to me.

                         All my faults perchance thou knowest,
                             All my madness none can know;
                         All my hopes, where'er thou goest,
                             Wither, yet with thee they go.

                         Every feeling hath been shaken;
                             Pride, which not a world could bow,
                         Bows to thee - by thee forsaken,
                             Even my soul forsakes me now:

                         But 'tis done - all words are idle -
                             Words from me are vainer still;
                         But the thoughts we cannot bridle
                             Force their way without the will.

                         Fare thee well! thus disunited,
                             Torn from every nearer tie.
                         Seared in heart, and lone, and blighted,
                             More than this I scarce can die.
 
 

to Byron: Selected Poetry