To M.S.G.

by George Gordon, Lord Byron

Whene'er I view those lips of thine, Their hue invites my fervent kiss; Yet, I forego that bliss divine, Alas! it were---unhallow'd bliss. Whene'er I dream of that pure breast, How could I dwell upon its snows! Yet, is the daring wish represt, For that,---would banish its repose. A glance from thy soul-searching eye Can raise with hope, depress with fear; Yet, I conceal my love,---and why? I would not force a painful tear. I ne'er have told my love, yet thou Hast seen my ardent flame too well; And shall I plead my passion now, To make thy bosom's heaven a hell? No! for thou never canst be mine, United by the priest's decree: By any ties but those divine, Mine, my belov'd, thou ne'er shalt be. Then let the secret fire consume, Let it consume, thou shalt not know: With joy I court a certain doom, Rather than spread its guilty glow. I will not ease my tortur'd heart, By driving dove-ey'd peace from thine; Rather than such a sting impart, Each thought presumptuous I resign. Yes! yield those lips, for which I'd brave More than I here shall dare to tell; Thy innocence and mine to save,--- I bid thee now a last farewell. Yes! yield that breast, to seek despair And hope no more thy soft embrace; Which to obtain, my soul would dare, All, all reproach, but thy disgrace. At least from guilt shalt thou be free, No matron shall thy shame reprove; Though cureless pangs may prey on me, No martyr shalt thou be to love.