The Internet Poetry Archive


Farewell to the Muse

George Gordon, Lord Byron


Thou Power! who hast ruled me through Infancy's days
Young offspring of Fancy, 'tis time we should part
Then rise on the gale this the last of my lays
The coldest effusion which springs from my heart

This bosom, responsive to rapture no more
Shall hush thy wild notes, nor implore thee to sing
The feelings of childhood, which taught thee to soar
Are wafted far distant on Apathy's wing

Though simple the themes of my rude flowing Lyre
Yet even these themes are departed for ever
No more beam the eyes which my dream could inspire
My visions are flown, to return,---alas, never

When drain'd is the nectar which gladdens the bowl
How vain is the effort delight to prolong
When cold is the beauty which dwelt in my soul
What magic of Fancy can lengthen my song

Can the lips sing of Love in the desert alone
Of kisses and smiles which they now must resign
Or dwell with delight on the hours that are flown
Ah, no! for those hours can no longer be mine

Can they speak of the friends that I lived but to love
Ah, surely Affection ennobles the strain
But how can my numbers in sympathy move
When I scarcely can hope to behold them again

Can I sing of the deeds which my Fathers have done
And raise my loud harp to the fame of my Sires
For glories like theirs, oh, how faint is my tone
For Heroes' exploits how unequal my fires

Untouch'd, then, my Lyre shall reply to the blast--
'Tis hush'd; and my feeble endeavors are o'er
And those who have heard it will pardon the past
When they know that its murmurs shall vibrate no more

And soon shall its wild erring notes be forgot
Since early affection and love is o'ercast
Oh! blest had my Fate been, and happy my lot
Had the first strain of love been the dearest, the last

Farewell, my young Muse! since we now can ne'er meet
If our songs have been languid, they surely are few
Let us hope that the present at least will be sweet--
The present---which seals our eternal Adieu.

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