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

I. Personal, Lyric, and Elegiac

Ruins to Ruins

(Childe Harold, Canto iv. Stanzas 130, 131.)

OH Time! the beautifier of the dead,

Adorner of the ruin, comforter

And only healer when the heart hath bled—

Time! the corrector where our judgments err,

The test of truth, love,—sole philosopher,

For all beside are sophists, from thy thrift,

Which never loses though it doth defer—

Time, the avenger! unto thee I lift

My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave of thee a gift:

Amidst this wreck, where thou hast made a shrine

And temple more divinely desolate,

Among thy mightier offerings here are mine,

Ruins of years—though few, yet full of fate:—

If thou hast ever seen me too elate,

Hear me not; but if calmly I have borne

Good, and reserved my pride against the hate

Which shall not whelm me, let me not have worn

This iron in my soul in vain—shall they not mourn?