This draft of the poem ‘Thou art not false, but thou art fickle’ was handwritten by Lord Byron, and dates from 1813. It was published in 1814 in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: A Romaunt: And Other Poems (Seventh Edition), entitled ‘A Song’.
‘Thou Art Not False, But Thou Art Fickle’ is addressed to no one, but seems to have been the poet’s unwillingness to commit to a monogamous relationship. At the time of writing, Byron was coming towards the end of an affair with Lady Caroline Lamb, had started another relationship with Lady Oxford, was possibly having an affair with his half-sister Augusta and was close to several other women. He also proposed to Annabella Milbanke by letter as part of an extensive correspondence with her – they eventually married in 1814.
- Article by:
- Clara Drummond
Clara Drummond explains how Lord Byron’s politics, relationships and views on other poets led to his reputation of 19th-century bad boy.