Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LOVE AND DEATH, by GEORGE GORDON BYRON

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LOVE AND DEATH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I watched thee when the foe was at our side
Last Line: To strongly, wrongly, vainly love thee still.
Alternate Author Name(s): Byron, Lord; Byron, 6th Baron
Variant Title(s): Love And Death: Last Lines
Subject(s): Love; Death

I WATCH'D thee when the foe was at our side,
Ready to strike at him -- or thee and me,
Were safety hopeless -- rather than divide
Aught with one loved save love and liberty.

I watch'd thee on the breakers, when the rock
Received our prow and all was storm and fear,
And bade thee cling to me through every shock;
This arm would be thy bark, or breast thy bier.

I watch'd thee when the fever glazed thine eyes,
Yielding my couch and stretch'd me on the ground,
When overworn with watching, ne'er to rise
From thence if thou an early grave hadst found.

The earthquake came, and rock'd the quivering wall,
And men and nature reel'd as if with wine.
Whom did I seek around the tottering hall?
For thee. Whose safety first provide for? Thine.

And when convulsive throes denied my breath
The faintest utterance to my fading thought,
To thee -- to thee -- e'en in the gasp of death
My spirit turn'd, oh! oftener than it ought.

Thus much and more; and yet thou lov'st me not,
And never wilt! Love dwells not in our will.
Nor can I blame thee, though it be my lot
To strongly, wrongly, vainly love thee still.

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