Poem of the day

by Lord Byron (1788-1824)

When Time, or soon or late, shall bring
⁠      The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead,
Oblivion! may thy languid wing
⁠      Wave gently o’er my dying bed!

No band of friends or heirs be there,
⁠      To weep, or wish, the coming blow:
No maiden, with dishevelled hair,
⁠      To feel, or feign, decorous woe.

But silent let me sink to Earth,
⁠      With no officious mourners near:
I would not mar one hour of mirth,
⁠      Nor startle Friendship with a fear.

Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
⁠      Could nobly check its useless sighs,
Might then exert its latest power
⁠      In her who lives, and him who dies.

’Twere sweet, my Psyche! to the last
⁠      Thy features still serene to see:
Forgetful of its struggles past,
⁠      E’en Pain itself should smile on thee.

But vain the wish—for Beauty still
⁠      Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath;
And Woman’s tears, produced at will,
⁠      Deceive in life, unman in death.

Then lonely be my latest hour,
⁠      Without regret, without a groan;
For thousands Death hath ceased to lower,
⁠      And pain been transient or unknown.

“Aye but to die, and go,” alas!
⁠      Where all have gone, and all must go!
To be the nothing that I was
⁠      Ere born to life and living woe!

Count o’er the joys thine hours have seen,
⁠      Count o’er thy days from anguish free,
And know, whatever thou hast been,
⁠      ’Tis something better not to be.

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