Lord Byron

To a Beautiful Quaker

Sweet girl! though only once we met,
That meeting I shall ne'er forget;
And though we ne'er may meet again,
Remembrance will thy form retain;
I would not say, "I love" but still
My senses struggle with my will;
In vain to drive thee from my breast,
My thoughts are more and more represt,
In vain, I check the rising sighs,
Another to the last replies;
Perhaps this is not love, but yet
Our meeting I can ne'er forget.

What though we never silence broke,
Our eyes a sweeter language spoke;
The tongue in flattering falsehood deals,
And tells a tale, it never feels;
Deceit, the guilty lips impart,
And hush the mandates of the heart,
But soul's interpreters, the eyes
Spurn such restraint, and scorn disguise.
As thus our glances oft convers'd,
And all our bosoms felt, rehears'd,
No spirit from within reprov'd us,
Say rather, "'twas the spirit mov'd us."
Though what they utter'd, I repress,
Yet, I conceive, thou'lt partly guess;
For, as on thee, my memory ponders,
Perchance, to me thine also wanders;
This for myself, at least I'll say,
Thy form appears through night, through day,
Awake, with it my fancy teems,
In sleep, it smiles in fleeting dreams;
The vision charms the hours away,
And bids me curse Aurora's ray;
For breaking slumbers of delight,
Which make me wish for endless night.
Since, oh! whate'er my future fate,
Shall joy or woe my steps await;
Tempted by love, by storms beset,
Thine image, I can ne'er forget.

Alas! again no more we meet,
No more our former looks repeat;
Then let me breathe this parting prayer,
The dictate of my bosom's care:
"May Heaven so guard my lovely quaker,
"That anguish never can o'ertake her;
"That peace and virtue ne'er forsake her,
"But bliss be aye, her heart's partaker:
"No jealous passion shall invade,
"No envy that pure breast pervade;"
For he that revels in such charms,
Can never seek another's arms;
"Oh! may the happy mortal fated,
"To be by dearest ties related;
"For her each hour new joy discover,
"And lose the husband in the lover!
"May that fair bosom never know
"What 'tis to feel the restless woe;
"Which stings the soul, with vain regret,
"Of him, who never can forget!"