Verse > Anthologies > Francis T. Palgrave, ed. > The Golden Treasury
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Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824–1897). The Golden Treasury.  1875.
 
Lord Byron
 
CCII. Elegy on Thyrza
 
AND thou art dead, as young and fair 
  As aught of mortal birth; 
And form so soft and charms so rare 
  Too soon return'd to Earth! 
Though Earth received them in her bed,         5
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread 
  In carelessness or mirth, 
There is an eye which could not brook 
A moment on that grave to look. 
  
I will not ask where thou liest low,  10
  Nor gaze upon the spot; 
There flowers or weeds at will may grow, 
  So I behold them not: 
It is enough for me to prove 
That what I loved, and long must love,  15
  Like common earth can rot; 
To me there needs no stone to tell 
'Tis Nothing that I loved so well. 
  
Yet did I love thee to the last, 
  As fervently as thou  20
Who didst not change through all the past, 
  And canst not alter now. 
The love where Death has set his seal 
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal, 
  Nor falsehood disavow;  25
And, what were worse, thou canst not see 
Or wrong, or change, or fault in me. 
  
The better days of life were ours, 
  The worst can be but mine; 
The sun that cheers, the storm that lours,  30
  Shall never more be thine. 
The silence of that dreamless sleep 
I envy now too much to weep; 
  Nor need I to repine 
That all those charms have pass'd away  35
I might have watch'd through long decay. 
  
The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd 
  Must fall the earliest prey; 
Though by no hand untimely snatch'd. 
The leaves must drop away.  40
And yet it were a greater grief 
To watch it withering, leaf by leaf, 
  Than see it pluck'd to-day; 
Since earthly eye but ill can bear 
To trace the change to foul from fair.  45
  
I know not if I could have borne 
  To see thy beauties fade; 
The night that follow'd such a morn 
  Had worn a deeper shade. 
Thy day without a cloud hath pass'd,  50
And thou wert lovely to the last, 
  Extinguish'd, not decay'd; 
As stars that shoot along the sky 
Shine brightest as they fall from high. 
  
As once I wept, if I could weep,  55
  My tears might well be shed 
To think I was not near, to keep 
  One vigil o'er thy bed— 
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face, 
To fold thee in a faint embrace,  60
  Uphold thy drooping head, 
And show that love, however vain, 
Nor thou nor I can feel again. 
  
Yet how much less it were to gain, 
  Though thou hast left me free,  65
The loveliest things that still remain 
  Than thus remember thee! 
The all of thine that cannot die 
Through dark and dread eternity 
  Returns again to me,  70
And more thy buried love endears 
Than aught except its living years. 
 
 
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