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To M. S. G.. Lord Byron

Whene′er I view those lips of thine,
Their hue invites my fervent kiss;
Yet, I forego that bliss divine,
Alas! it were—-unhallow′d bliss.

Whene′er I dream of that pure breast,
How could I dwell upon its snows!
Yet, is the daring wish represt,
For that,—-would banish its repose.

A glance from thy soul-searching eye
Can raise with hope, depress with fear;
Yet, I conceal my love,—-and why?
I would not force a painful tear.

I ne′er have told my love, yet thou
Hast seen my ardent flame too well;
And shall I plead my passion now,
To make thy bosom′s heaven a hell?

No! for thou never canst be mine,
United by the priest′s decree:
By any ties but those divine,
Mine, my belov′d, thou ne′er shalt be.

Then let the secret fire consume,
Let it consume, thou shalt not know:
With joy I court a certain doom,
Rather than spread its guilty glow.

I will not ease my tortur′d heart,
By driving dove-ey′d peace from thine;
Rather than such a sting impart,
Each thought presumptuous I resign.

Yes! yield those lips, for which I′d brave
More than I here shall dare to tell;
Thy innocence and mine to save,—-
I bid thee now a last farewell.

Yes! yield that breast, to seek despair
And hope no more thy soft embrace;
Which to obtain, my soul would dare,
All, all reproach, but thy disgrace.

At least from guilt shalt thou be free,
No matron shall thy shame reprove;
Though cureless pangs may prey on me,
No martyr shalt thou be to love.

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