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Lord Byron (1788–1824). Poetry of Byron. 1881.

II. Descriptive and Narrative


(Parisina, Stanzas 1, 2.)

IT is the hour when from the boughs

The nightingale’s high note is heard;

It is the hour when lovers’ vows

Seem sweet in every whisper’d word;

And gentle winds, and waters near,

Make music to the lonely ear.

Each flower the dews have lightly wet,

And in the sky the stars are met,

And on the wave is deeper blue,

And on the leaf a browner hue,

And in the heaven that clear obscure,

So softly dark, and darkly pure,

Which follows the decline of day,

As twilight melts beneath the moon away.

But it is not to list to the waterfall

That Parisina leaves her hall,

And it is not to gaze on the heavenly light

That the lady walks in the shadow of night;

And if she sits in Este’s bower,

’Tis not for the sake of its full-blown flower—

She listens—but not for the nightingale—

Though her ear expects as soft a tale.

There glides a step through the foliage thick,

And her cheek grows pale—and her heart beats quick.

There whispers a voice through the rustling leaves,

And her blush returns, and her bosom heaves:

A moment more—and they shall meet—

’Tis past—her lover’s at her feet.