Sonnet XIX
(“Farewell, False Friend”)

Anna Seward

Edited by Jack Lynch

Commentary and a note on the text will follow. Note that this is a reading text, with no pretense to being a critical edition.


Sonnet XIX

Farewell, false Friend! — our scenes of kindness close!
   To cordial looks, to sunny smiles farewell!
   To sweet consolings, that can grief expel,
   And every joy soft sympathy bestows!
For alter'd looks, where truth no longer glows, [5]
   Thou hast prepared my heart; — and it was well
   To bid thy pen th' unlook'd-for story tell,
   Falsehood avow'd, that shame, nor sorrow knows. —
O! when we meet, — (to meet we're destin'd, try
   To avoid it as thou may'st) on either brow, [10]
   Nor in the stealing consciousness of eye,
Be seen the slightest trace of what, or how
   We once were to each other; — nor one sigh
   Flatter with weak regret a broken vow!