Thomas Moore

(28 May 1779 – 25 February 1852 / Dublin)

When First I Met Thee


When first I met thee, warm and young,
There shone such truth about thee,
And on thy lip such promise hung,
I did not dare to doubt thee.
I saw thee change, yet still relied,
Still clung with hope the fonder,
And thought, though false to all beside,
From me thou couldst not wander.
But go, deceiver! go,
The heart, whose hopes could make it
Trust one so false, so low,
Deserves that thou shouldst break it.

When every tongue thy follies named,
I fled the unwelcome story,
Or found, in even the faults they blamed,
Some gleams of future glory.
I still was true, when nearer friends
Conspired to wrong, to slight thee;
The heart that now thy falsehood rends
Would then have bled to right thee.
But go, deceiver! go --
Some day, perhaps, thou'lt waken
From pleasure's dream, to know
The grief of hearts forsaken.

Even now, though youth its bloom has shed,
No lights of age adorn thee;
The few who loved thee once have fled,
And they who flatter scorn thee.
Thy midnight cup is pledged to slaves,
No genial ties enwreath it;
The smiling there, like light on graves,
Has rank cold hearts beneath it.
Go -- go -- though worlds were thine,
I would not now surrender
One taintless tear of mine
For all thy guilty splendour!

And days may come, thou false one! yet,
When even those ties shall sever!
When thou wilt call, with vain regret,
On her thou'st lost for ever;
On her who, in thy fortune's fall,
With smiles had still received thee,
And gladly died to prove thee all
Her fancy first believed thee.
Go -- go -- 'tis vain to curse,
'Tis weakness to upbraid thee;
Hate cannot wish thee worse
Than guilt and shame have made thee.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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