So We'll Go no More a Roving

2      So late into the night,
3Though the heart be still as loving,
4      And the moon be still as bright.
5For the sword outwears its sheath,
6      And the soul wears out the breast,
7And the heart must pause to breathe,
8      And Love itself have rest.
9Though the night was made for loving,
10      And the day returns too soon,
11Yet we'll go no more a roving
12      By the light of the moon.

Notes

1] Included in a letter written from Venice to Thomas Moore on February 28, 1817, and first published by Moore in Letters and Journals of Lord Byron (1830). In the letter, the poem is preceded by an account of its Lenten occasion. "At present, I am on the invalid regimen myself. The Carnival--that is, the latter part of it, and sitting up late o' nights--had knocked me up a little. But it is over--and it is now Lent, with all its abstinence and sacred music.... Though I did not dissipate much upon the whole, yet I find "the sword wearing out the scabbard," though I have but just turned the corner of twenty nine." The poem seems to have been suggested in part by the refrain of a Scottish song known as The Jolly Beggar. Back to Line
Original Text: 
George Gordon, lord Byron, Letters and Journals of Lord Byron, ed. Thomas Moore (London: J. Murray, 1830). E-10 2736 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto). Byron, Works. 17 vols. London: John Murray, 1832-33. PR 4351 M6 1832 ROBA
Publication Start Year: 
1830
RPO poem Editors: 
M. T. Wilson
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.516.
Rhyme: