Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Lady Byron to Her Husband
By Solyman Brown (1790–1876)
 
FARE 1 thee well, inconstant lover!
  If thy fickle flame was love;—
Though our transient joys are over,
  I can ne’er inconstant prove.
 
Man may boast a deathless passion,        5
  Swear his love shall ne’er decline;
Yet, unfix’d as changing fashion,
  Woman’s fate may change like mine!
 
Once I thought I might believe thee;
  Might on Byron’s oath rely;        10
But my arms do scarce receive thee
  Ere thy oaths, unheeded, die.
 
From paternal arms you took me,
  Stole me from a mother’s care;
Then in wantonness forsook me        15
  For a less admiring fair.
 
Prayers and tears were unavailing,
  Nought thy purpose could beguile;
Not a wife, her woes bewailing,
  Nor a lovely infant’s smile.        20
 
Heaven had form’d thee for unkindness,
  Steel’d thy soul to all that ’s mild;
Dimm’d thy moral sight with blindness,
  Left thee Nature’s wayward child.
 
Stay! I must not—cannot chide thee;        25
  What thou hast not, who can blame?
Virtue is what heaven denied thee,
  And the world has done the same.
 
Think not I can e’er forget thee;
  No, thy griefs will all be mine;        30
I shall weep when foes beset thee,
  Smile when fortune’s sun shall shine.
 
Must I—can I—shall a mother
  Hate the father of her child?
Gracious Heaven! my anguish smother,—        35
  At that name, my infant smiled!
 
Smiled to think she had a father
  To protect her growing years;—
Unsuspecting orphan, rather
  Drown thine eye in floods of tears!        40
 
Father, now, sweet babe, thou hast not;
  All his care you must forego;
Other woes thy peace may blast not,
  Yet thou hast this keenest wo!
 
Orphan babe! my care shall ever        45
  Guard thee from the ills of life;
Death alone hath power to sever
  Byron’s babe and constant wife!
 
Note 1. Brown was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, and was graduated at Yale College in 1812. He was designed, we believe, for the ministry, but is at present a teacher in New York. He published in 1818 a volume of verse entitled, An Essay on American Poetry, &c. [back]
 
 
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