When We Two Parted

by LORD BYRON (1788-1824)

WHEN we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow—
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,
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?
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—
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.

In his works, short and stout Byron glorified proud heroes, who overcome hardships. The poet himself was only 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall. His weight fluctuated wildly, from 137 to 202 pounds. He once said everything he swallowed was instantly converted to tallow and deposited on his ribs. One of his friends noted that, at about 30 years old, he looked 40 and “the knuckles of his hands were lost in fat.”

Lord Byron Contemporaries
William Maginn
Sir Walter Scott
Letitia E. Landon
Leigh Hunt

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