The Vampyre (Lord Byron)


But thou, false Infidel! shalt writhe

Beneath avenging Monkir’s scythe;

And from its torment ‘scape alone

To wander round lost Eblis’ throne;


And fire unquench’d, unquenchable,

Around, within, thy heart shall dwell;

Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell

The tortures of that inward hell!


But first, on Earth as Vampire sent,

Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent:

Then ghastly haunt thy native place,

And suck the blood of all thy race;


There from thy daughter, sister, wife,

At midnight drain the stream of life;

Yet loathe the banquet which perforce

Must feed thy livid living corse:


Thy victims ere they yet expire

Shall know the daemon for their sire:

As cursing thee, thou cursing them,

Thy flowers are wither’d on the stem.


But one that for thy crime must fall,

The youngest, most beloved of all,

Shall bless thee with a father’s name-

That word shall wrap thy heart in flame!


Yet must thou end thy task, and mark

Her cheek’s last tinge, her eye’s last spark,

And the last glassy glance must view,

Which freezes o’er its lifeless blue;


Then with unhallowed hand shalt tear

The tresses of her yellow hair,

Of which in life a lock when shorn

Affection’s fondest pledge was worn;


But now is borne away by thee,

Memorial of thine agony!

Wet with thine own best blood shall drip

Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip;


Then stalking to thy sullen grave-

Go – and with ghouls and afrits rave;

Till these in horror shrink away

From specter more accursed than they!


-Lord Byron

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