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Napoleon’s Farewell

by George Gordon Byron, 1881

Farewell to the Land, where the gloom of my Glory
Arose and o’ershadow’d the earth with her name—
She abandons me now—but the page of her story,
The brightest or blackest, is filled with my fame.
I have warr’d with a world which vanquish’d me only
When the meteor of conquest allured me too far;
I have coped with the nations which dread me thus lonely,
The last single Captive to millions in war.

Farewell, to thee, France! when thy diadem crown’d me,
I made thee the gem and the wonder of earth,—
But thy weakness decrees I should leave as I found thee,
Decay’d in the glory, and sunk in thy worth.
Oh! for the veteran hearts that were wasted
In strife with the storm, when their battles were won—
Then the Eagle, whose gaze in that moment was blasted,
Had still soar’d with eyes fix’d on victory’s sun!

Farewell to thee, France!—but when Liberty rallies
Once more in thy regions, remember me then.
The violet still grows in the depth of thy valleys;
Though wither’d, thy tear will unfold it again.
Yet, yet, I may baffle the hosts that surround us,
And yet may thy heart leap awake to my voice—
There are links which must break in the chain that has bound us,
Then turn thee and call on the Chief of thy choice!

Published in Poetry of Byron

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