"Sorrow is knowledge, those that know the most must mourn the deepest, the tree of knowledge is not the tree of life.” Byron
A Very Short Biography
George Gordon Noel Byron was born 22 January 1788 in London and died 19 April 1824 in Missolonghi, Greece. He was among the most famous of the English 'Romantic' poets; his contemporaries included Percy Shelley and John Keats.
He was also a satirist whose poetry and personality captured the imagination of Europe. His major works include Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-18) and Don Juan (1819-24).
He died of fever and exposure while engaged in the Greek struggle for independence.
This poem while never intended for publishing was written by Byron to his wife after their marriage broke up. Several reasons are given for the breakup but the likely reason was his philandering, particularly the rumour that he had been having was affair with his half-sister Augusta Leigh.
Fare thee well! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well:
Even though unforgiving, never
'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.
Would that breast were bared before thee
Where thy head so oft hath lain,
While that placid sleep came o'er thee
Which thou ne'er canst know again:
Would that breast, by thee glanced over,
Every inmost thought could show!
Then thou wouldst at last discover
'Twas not well to spurn it so.
Though the world for this commend thee -
Though it smile upon the blow,
Even its praise must offend thee,
Founded on another's woe:
Though my many faults defaced me,
Could no other arm be found,
Than the one which once embraced me,
To inflict a cureless wound?