George Gordon Byron

(22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824 / London, England)

Away, Away, Ye Notes Of Woe!


Away, away, ye notes of woe!
Be silent, thou once soothing strain,
Or I must flee from hence--for, oh!
I dare not trust those sounds again.
To me they speak of brighter days
But lull the chords, for now, alas!
I must not think, I may not gaze,
On what I am--on what I was.

The voice that made those sounds more sweet
Is hush'd, and all their charms are fled
And now their softest notes repeat
A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead!
Yes, Thyrza! yes, they breathe of thee,
Beloved dust! since dust thou art;
And all that once was harmony
Is worse than discord to my heart!

'Tis silent all!--but on my ear
The well remember'd echoes thrill;
I hear a voice I would not hear,
A voice that now might well be still:
Yet oft my doubting soul 'twill shake;
Even slumber owns its gentle tone,
Till consciousness will vainly wake
To listen, though the dream be flown.

Sweet Thyrza! waking as in sleep,
Thou art but now a lovely dream;
A star that trembled o'er the deep,
Then turn'd from earth its tender beam.
But he who through life's dreary way
Must pass, when heaven is veil'd in wrath,
Will long lament the vanish'd ray
That scatter'd gladness o'er his path.

December 6, 1811.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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