Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  597. When we Two parted

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788–1824

597. When we Two parted

WHEN we two parted 
  In silence and tears, 
Half broken-hearted 
  To sever for years, 
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,         5
  Colder thy kiss; 
Truly that hour foretold 
  Sorrow to this. 
The dew of the morning 
  Sunk chill on my brow—  10
It felt like the warning 
  Of what I feel now. 
Thy vows are all broken, 
  And light is thy fame: 
I hear thy name spoken,  15
  And share in its shame. 
They name thee before me, 
  A knell to mine ear; 
A shudder comes o’er me— 
  Why wert thou so dear?  20
They know not I knew thee, 
  Who knew thee too well: 
Long, long shall I rue thee, 
  Too deeply to tell. 
In secret we met—  25
  In silence I grieve, 
That thy heart could forget, 
  Thy spirit deceive. 
If I should meet thee 
  After long years,  30
How should I greet thee? 
  With silence and tears.