To My Dear Mary Anne.

The lines addressed “ To my dear Mary Anne” were written
about a year or less before my marriage, and when Lord
Byron left Annesley.—Mary Anne Musters.
[The following schoolboy rhymes are not inserted as an example
for youthful imitation, but as a literary curiosity. Innumerable
specimens of Byron’s transcendent and original powers are al-
ready before the public ; but the dawning impulses of superior
minds have been rarely disclosed : consequently they possess a
novel interest, as well as afford a clue to the dominant feel-
ings which have ruled their destinies. To the philosophic eye,
that deficiency of mere poetic interest, which might disgrace
an inferior writer, invests the timid steps of the uncultivated
muse with a peculiar charm, as it proves, in a striking degree,
the ultimate triumph of perseverance and the omnipotent
force of genius. To those who construe the fitful and way-
ward flights of an untamed imagination into a settled and de-
sperate malignity of temper, it may be useful to submit a do-
cument which bears the genuine impress of generous feeling
and simple piety. Minds of a more tender and enthusiastic
temperament will learn to pardon the insensibility of Lord
Byron’s favourite “ Mary,” when they learn that every crevice
of her youthful heart was preoccupied, and that her warmest
affections centred upon the man of her choice.]
Adieu to sweet Mary for ever !1
From her I must quickly depart.2
Though the fates us from each other sever,3
Still her image will dwell in my heart.4
The flame that within my breast burns5
Is unlike what in lovers’ hearts glows ;6
The love which for Mary I feel7
Is far purer than Cupid bestows.8
I wish not your peace to disturb,9
I wish not your joys to molest :10
Mistake not my passion for love,11
’Tis your friendship alone I request.12
Not ten thousand lovers could feel13
The friendship my bosom contains ;14
It will ever within my heart dwell,15
While the warm blood flows through my veins.16
May the Ruler of Heaven look down,17
And my Mary from evil defend !18
May she ne’er know adversity’s frown,19
May her happiness ne’er have an end !20
Once more, my sweet Mary, adieu !21
Farewell ! I with anguish repeat22
For ever I’ll think upon you,23
While this heart in my bosom shall beat.24