Farewell! If ever the fondest prayer

Farewell! If ever the fondest prayer

Lord Byron is considered as one of the most influential poets of the nineteenth century. Today, many turn to his classic works for inspiration. This is the poem Farewell! If ever the fondest prayer.

About the poem

It is not very hard to guess, what this poem is about. It’s about leaving. Departure maybe a better way to say it. This is heartbreaking, mind-blowing and above all: a very sad goodbye. For someone who is seemingly out of words, it leads to a beautiful poem about saying farewell.

In some way, it seems that Byron is actually fine with this departure. There is only that moment, that “farewell.” Between recognizing that there is only that and the moment the poet starts his verse, the reader is treated to beautiful metaphors. Metaphors that refer to things that vanish altogether anyway. The sky, sleep or sleepless nights. It is as if this poet tries to generalize his feelings about this departure. Even when he has no words and his eyes are dry.

This poem, still pounds at us, with the eight syllables per line. A poem that can be used at any time, at any goodbye or farewell. There is but one question remaining; is this departure perhaps the moment that the poet has to say goodbye to this world? Or did someone else leave this world?

 

Farewell! If ever the fondest prayer

 

Farewell! If ever fondest prayer

 

Farewell! If ever fondest prayer

For another’s weal avail’d on high,

Mine will not alle be lost in air,

But waft thy name beyond the sky.

‘Twere vain to speak, to weep, to sigh:

Oh! more than tears of blood can tell,

When wrung from guilt’s expiring eye,

Are in that word – Farewell! – Fare-

well!

 

These lips are mute, these eyes are dry;

But in my breast and in my brain,

Awake the pangs that pass not by,

The thought that ne’er shall sleep again.

My soul nor deigns nor dares complain,

Though grief and passion there rebel;

I only know we loved in vain—

I only feel – Farewell! – Farewell!

 

— Lord Byron, 1880

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