I Have Not Loved the World

Posted by olivia on 10. May 2012

"I Have Not Loved the World" by Lord Byron (from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, stanzas 113-114)

I have not loved the world, nor the world me; I have not flatter'd its rank breath, nor bow'd To its idolatries a patient knee, -- Nor coin'd my cheek to smiles, -- nor cried aloud In worship of an echo; in the crowd They could not deem me one of such; I stood Among them, but not of them; in a shroud Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still could, Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued.

I have not loved the world, nor the world me, -- But let us part fair foes; I do believe, Though I have found them not, that there may be Words which are things, -- hopes which will not deceive, And virtues which are merciful, nor weave Snares for the failing: I would also deem O'er others' griefs that some sincerely grieve; That two, or one, are almost what they seem, -- That goodness is no name, and happiness no dream.

--George Gordon, Lord Byron


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