George Gordon Byron

(1788 - 1824 / London / England)

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I Speak Not


I speak not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name;
There is grief in the sound, there is guilt in the fame;
But the tear that now burns on my cheek may impart
The deep thoughts that dwell in that silence of heart.
Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace,
Were those hours - can their joy or their bitterness cease?
We repent, we abjure, we will break from our chain, -
We will part, we will fly to - unite it again!
Oh! thine be the gladness, and mine be the guilt!
Forgive me, adored one! - forsake if thou wilt;
But the heart which is thine shall expire undebased,
And man shall not break it - whatever thou may'st.
And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee,
This soul in its bitterest blackness shall be;
And our days seem as swift, and our moments more sweet,
With thee at my side, than with worlds at our feet.
One sigh of thy sorrow, one look of thy love,
Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove.
And the heartless may wonder at all I resign -
Thy lips shall reply, not to them, but to mine.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: grief, passion, sorrow, silence, peace, joy, heart

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  • Is It Poetry (7/12/2013 7:27:00 PM)

    and whom would it be
    to belong
    where you are
    no one but me
    fast asleep in the world
    without thee....iip (Report) Reply

  • Carlos Echeverria (7/12/2012 10:26:00 AM)

    Byron was a famous poet in his own time, tantamount to a modern-day Hollywood celebrity. His exploits (ok, sexploits)
    the stuff of gossip; his unquestioned poetic talent at the mercy of his considerable passions. (Report) Reply

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (7/12/2012 9:19:00 AM)

    Excellent. Some truths are uttered with spontaneous flow of feeling the innerself. Unique the style of expressing the heavy with very soft and lucid words.....

    1] The deep thoughts that dwell in that silence of heart.
    Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace,

    2] Oh! thine be the gladness, and mine be the guilt!

    3] And our days seem as swift, and our moments more sweet,
    With thee at my side, than with worlds at our feet.

    So many quotable lines are here depicting as wisdom. Nice write. (Report) Reply

  • Tsira Gogeshvili (10/31/2011 7:19:00 AM)

    And the heartless may wonder at all I resign -
    Thy lips shall reply, not to them, but to mine.
    ...........................................................................
    George Gordon Byron was as The great poet, also great lover ....
    Ts. (Report) Reply

  • Gone Away (7/12/2010 1:08:00 PM)

    I like that this poem is titled ' I speak not' and describes a love that had to be kept a secret. Given the highly public nature of Byron's personal life, it is intriguing. I like the feel of the poem as it is spoken, it feels like a passionate affirmation of a love which was clearly a guilty pleasure! (Report) Reply

  • Terence George Craddock (7/12/2010 7:48:00 AM)

    I speak not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name;
    There is grief in the sound, there is guilt in the fame;

    The power of denial in contrast, every thought breathe emotion of Byron screams her name, within his tormented soul. Exile in Europe, ostracized and out cast from English society, a man of deep passion cannot out run the storm of his own emotions raging within. The life and fate of Byron, like several exceptional poets is haunting, so often they left us so young. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (7/12/2010 7:01:00 AM)

    No the last line is not egotistical. To sum up: Byron is defending an illicit love affair - he is saying in the last line that only her words to him matter, whatever she says to the world were it to discover the affair. It reminds me of Shakespeare's sonnet 112 - 'you are my all the world, and I must strive/ to know my shames and praises by your tongue...' (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (7/12/2010 6:29:00 AM)

    Byron, has those great out pourings of loves throes and emotional jolting. The last line is kinda, egotistical. (Report) Reply

  • Manonton Dalan (7/12/2010 4:23:00 AM)

    'i speak not' that's gentleman sir george or both of you will be stone
    to death...or i mean you'll be in OMG magazine. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (7/12/2010 2:46:00 AM)

    The passionate expression of love in bold and free style poetry Byron stands tall for mankind to know his idealism very well till the end of time! (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (7/12/2009 6:53:00 PM)

    It's not so much a way with words that entices the reader as the implicit suggestion that the poet 'speaks not, ' but that he implies acres of love and its pain that brings the bearing of illicit love down on the speaker and his lover. And by the way, Katie Berry, Lord Byron has passed on lo! these many years! And if the poem leaves you baffled and in awe, Arlene, I suggest you consult a reference work like BENET'S ENCYCLOPEDIA for help! Does no one on this site look up anything at all? (Report) Reply

  • Imogen c (7/12/2007 2:21:00 AM)

    it is realy very pritty but i prefure john clare to byron he just seems more real but like i said it is very pritty (Report) Reply

  • Katie Berry (7/12/2006 2:35:00 PM)

    The way this poem was written made me feel so caught up in this story of love. Amazing.

    Best wishes,

    Katie
    ~*~ (Report) Reply

Read all 17 comments »

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