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

II. Descriptive and Narrative

The Giaour’s Love

(From The Giaour)

THE COLD in clime are cold in blood,

Their love can scarce deserve the name;

But mine was like the lava flood

That boils in Ætna’s breast of flame.

I cannot prate in puling strain

Of ladye-love, and beauty’s chain:

If changing cheek, and scorching vein,

Lips taught to writhe, but not complain,

If bursting heart, and madd’ning brain,

And daring deed, and vengeful steel,

And all that I have felt, and feel,

Betoken love—that love was mine,

And shown by many a bitter sign.

’Tis true, I could not whine nor sigh,

I knew but to obtain or die.

I die—but first I have possess’d,

And come what may, I have been blest.

Shall I the doom I sought upbraid?

No—reft of all, yet undismay’d

But for the thought of Leila slain,

Give me the pleasure with the pain,

So would I live and love again.

I grieve, but not, my holy guide!

For him who dies, but her who died:

She sleeps beneath the wandering wave—

Ah! had she but an earthly grave,

This breaking heart and throbbing head

Should seek and share her narrow bed.

She was a form of life and light,

That, seen, became a part of sight;

And rose, where’er I turn’d mine eye,

The Morning-star of Memory!