I would I were a careless child By George Gordon Byron

【George Gordon Byron】

George Gordon Byron 【1788-1824】

was an Anglo-Scottish poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, and the short lyric poem "She Walks in Beauty".

【I Would I Were A Careless Child】

  • I would I were a careless child,
  • Still dwelling in my Highland cave,
  • Or roaming through the dusky wild,
  • Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave;
  • The cumbrous pomp of Saxon pride,
  • Accords not with the freeborn soul,
  • Which loves the mountain's craggy side,
  • And seeks the rocks where billows roll.
  • Fortune! take back these cultur'd lands,
  • Take back this name of splendid sound!
  • I hate the touch of servile hands,
  • I hate the slaves that cringe around:
  • Place me among the rocks I love,
  • Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
  • I ask but this--again to rove
  • Through scenes my youth hath known before.
  • Few are my years, and yet I feel
  • The World was ne'er design'd for me:
  • Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal
  • The hour when man must cease to be?
  • Once I beheld a splendid dream,
  • A visionary scene of bliss:
  • Truth!--wherefore did thy hated beam
  • Awake me to a world like this?
  • I lov'd--but those I lov'd are gone;
  • Had friends--my early friends are fled:
  • How cheerless feels the heart alone,
  • When all its former hopes are dead!
  • Though gay companions, o'er the bowl
  • Dispel awhile the sense of ill;
  • Though Pleasure stirs the maddening soul,
  • The heart--the heart--is lonely still.
  • How dull! to hear the voice of those
  • Whom Rank or Chance, whom Wealth or Power,
  • Have made, though neither friends nor foes,
  • Associates of the festive hour.
  • Give me again a faithful few,
  • In years and feelings still the same,
  • And I will fly the midnight crew,
  • Where boist'rous Joy is but a name.
  • And Woman, lovely Woman! thou,
  • My hope, my comforter, my all!
  • How cold must be my bosom now,
  • When e'en thy smiles begin to pall!
  • Without a sigh would I resign,
  • This busy scene of splendid Woe,
  • To make that calm contentment mine,
  • Which Virtue knows, or seems to know.
  • Fain would I fly the haunts of men
  • I seek to shun, not hate mankind;
  • My breast requires the sullen glen,
  • Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind.
  • Oh! that to me the wings were given,
  • Which bear the turtle to her nest!
  • Then would I cleave the vault of Heaven,
  • To flee away, and be at rest.





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