Lord Byron

poems:

21

stanzas

Could Love for ever run like a river, and Time's endeavour be tried in vain no other pleasure with this could measure; And like a treasure we'd hug the chain. But since our sighing ends not in dying, and, form 'd for flying, love plumes his wing; Then for this reason let's love a season but let that season be only Spring. When lovers parted feel broken-hearted, and, all hopes thwarted, expect to die; A few years older, ah! How much colder they might behold her for whom they sigh! When link 'd together, in every weather, they pluck Love's feather from out his wing he'll stay for ever, but sadly shiver without his plumage, when past the Spring Like chiefs of Faction, his life is action -- a formal paction that curbs his reign, obscures his glory, despot no more, he such territory quits with disdain. Still, still advancing, with banners glancing, his power enhancing, he must move on -- repose but cloys him, retreat destroys him, love brooks not a degraded throne. Wait not, fond lover! Till years are over, and then recover as from a dream. While each bewailing the other's failing, with wrath and railing, all hideous seem -- while first decreasing, yet not quite ceasing, wait not till teasing all passion blight: If once diminish'd, love's reign is finish'd -- then part in friendship - and hid good night. So shall Affection to recollection the dear connexion bring back with joy: You had not waited till, tired or hated, your passions sated began to cloy. Your last embraces leave no cold traces -- the same fond faces as through the past: And eyes, the mirrors of your sweet errors, reflect but rapture -- not least though last. True, separations ask more than patience; What desperations from such have risen! But yet remaining, what is't but chaining hearts which, once waning, beat 'gainst their prison? Time can but cloy love and use destroy love: The winged boy, Love, Is but for boys -- you'll find it torture, though sharper, shorter to wean, and not wear out your joys.

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