Eliza Acton

It Were Dishonouring Now

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It were dishonouring now--or I
Could weep in hopeless misery,
O'er the dark tale, which links thy name
To perfidy, and deepest shame;
But never on my cheek shall be,
The stain of one weak tear for thee;
Though wildly throb my breast and brain,
As if the very soul of pain
Were in each pulse, no drop shall fall,
Wrung forth by suff'ring, from these eyes:
I shudder e'en but to recall
The hours, when thou, unshar'd, had'st all
My bosom's fondest sympathies.--

But now tis past--for ever past!--
I yet have strength to rend a part
The firmest bonds that ever clasp'd
Their fettering links around my heart;
Yes, I have pow'r at least to be
In spirit, as the Morning, free!
I'd rather live the loneliest thing
That earth upon its bosom bears,
And pass, in silent sorrowing,
A weary length of lingering years,
Than give a hope, a thought to one
Whose nobleness and truth are gone !--
And 'tis enough for me to know,
That crime hath track'd thy steps,--that thou
Hast o'er the young and happy, shed
The curse which withers life away,
And left, for fame and virtue fled,
Remorse, and wretchedness to stay;
That thou did'st, like the spoiler, come
Where peace had made her hallow'd home,

And change to ruin, and despair,
All that was pure and holy there;--
That broken hearts, which bled too late,
And early years made desolate,
Have been thy fatal gifts to those,
Who dar'd upon thy faith repose.
Reproach is not for me !--thy doom,
Without it is o'er-fraught with gloom,
And grief, and bitterness--but yet,
I would that we had never met;
For ev'ry trace that's left of thee
Upon the page of Memory,
Will waken sorrow's mute excess
For thy betray'd unworthiness.--
But be our parting brief!--'tis vain
On moments such as this to dwell,
When ev'ry pause is fill'd with pain,
Until we breathe the last farewell.

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Eliza Acton