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Byron, Lord

· Lord Byron: There be none of Beauty’s daughters. Stanzas for Music · Lord Byron: John Keats Poem · Lord Byron: I Would I Were a Careless Child (Poem) · Gérard de Nerval: Pensée de Byron – Élégie · Lord Byron: When we two parted · Lord Byron: Growing Old · Lord Byron: Italy versus England · Lord Byron: Growing Old · Lord BYRON: Italy versus England · Lord BYRON: Darkness · Lord BYRON: I Watched Thee · Lord BYRON: She Walks In Beauty like the night

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Lord Byron: There be none of Beauty’s daughters. Stanzas for Music

 

There be none of Beauty’s daughters
Stanzas for Music

There be none of Beauty’s daughters
With a magic like Thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The charméd ocean’s pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull’d winds seem dreaming:
And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o’er the deep,
Whose breast is gently heaving
As an infant’s asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer’s ocean.

George Gordon Byron
(1788 – 1824)
There be none of Beauty’s daughters
Stanzas for Music

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: # Music Archive, Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Byron, Lord


Lord Byron: John Keats Poem

John Keats Poem

Who killed John Keats?
‘I,’ says the Quarterly,
So savage and Tartarly;
”Twas one of my feats.’

Who shot the arrow?
‘The poet-priest Milman
(So ready to kill man),
Or Southey or Barrow.

George Gordon Byron
(1788 – 1824)
John Keats Poem

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Byron, Lord, Keats, John


Lord Byron: I Would I Were a Careless Child (Poem)

 

I Would I Were a Careless Child

I would I were a careless child,
Still dwelling in my Highland cave,
Or roaming through the dusky wild,
Or bounding o’er the dark blue wave;
The cumbrous pomp of Saxon pride
Accords not with the freeborn soul,
Which loves the mountain’s craggy side,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll.

Fortune! take back these cultured lands,
Take back this name of splendid sound!
I hate the touch of servile hands,
I hate the slaves that cringe around.
Place me among the rocks I love,
Which sound to Ocean’s wildest roar;
I ask but this – again to rove
Through scenes my youth hath known before.
Few are my years, and yet I feel
The world was ne’er designed for me:
Ah! why do dark’ning shades conceal
The hour when man must cease to be?
Once I beheld a splendid dream,
A visionary scene of bliss:
Truth! – wherefore did thy hated beam
Awake me to a world like this?

I loves – but those I love are gone;
Had friends – my early friends are fled:
How cheerless feels the heart alone,
When all its former hopes are dead!
Though gay companions o’er the bowl
Dispel awhile the sense of ill’
Though pleasure stirs the maddening soul,
The heart – the heart – is lonely still.

How dull! to hear the voice of those
Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power,
Have made, though neither friends nor foes,
Associates of the festive hour.
Give me again a faithful few,
In years and feelings still the same,
And I will fly the midnight crew,
Where boist’rous joy is but a name.

And woman, lovely woman! thou,
My hope, my comforter, my all!
How cold must be my bosom now,
When e’en thy smiles begin to pall!
Without a sigh would I resign
This busy scene of splendid woe,
To make that calm contentment mine,
Which virtue know, or seems to know.

Fain would I fly the haunts of men –
I seek to shun, not hate mankind;
My breast requires the sullen glen,
Whose gloom may suit a darken’d mind.
Oh! that to me the wings were given
Which bear the turtle to her nest!
Then would I cleave the vault of heaven,
To flee away, and be at rest.

George Gordon Byron
(1788 – 1824)
I Would I Were a Careless Child
(Poem)

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Archive A-B, Byron, Lord


Gérard de Nerval: Pensée de Byron – Élégie

Pensée de Byron – Élégie

Par mon amour et ma constance,
J’avais cru fléchir ta rigueur,
Et le souffle de l’espérance
Avait pénétré dans mon coeur ;
Mais le temps, qu’en vain je prolonge,
M’a découvert la vérité,
L’espérance a fui comme un songe…
Et mon amour seul m’est resté!

Il est resté comme un abîme
Entre ma vie et le bonheur,
Comme un mal dont je suis victime,
Comme un poids jeté sur mon coeur!
Pour fuir le piège où je succombe,
Mes efforts seraient superflus;
Car l’homme a le pied dans la tombe,
Quand l’espoir ne le soutient plus.

J’aimais à réveiller la lyre,
Et souvent, plein de doux transports,
J’osais, ému par le délire,
En tirer de tendres accords.
Que de fois, en versant des larmes,
J’ai chanté tes divins attraits !
Mes accents étaient pleins de charmes,
Car c’est toi qui les inspirais.

Ce temps n’est plus, et le délire
Ne vient plus animer ma voix;
Je ne trouve point à ma lyre
Les sons qu’elle avait autrefois.
Dans le chagrin qui me dévore,
Je vois mes beaux jours s’envoler;
Si mon oeil étincelle encore,
C’est qu’une larme va couler!

Brisons la coupe de la vie;
Sa liqueur n’est que du poison;
Elle plaisait à ma folie,
Mais elle enivrait ma raison.
Trop longtemps épris d’un vain songe,
Gloire ! amour ! vous eûtes mon coeur:
O Gloire ! tu n’es qu’un mensonge;
Amour! tu n’es point le bonheur!

Gérard de Nerval
(1808 – 1855)
Pensée de Byron – Élégie
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Byron, Lord, Nerval, Gérard de


Lord Byron: When we two parted

 

When we two parted

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sank chill on my brow
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met
In silence I grieve
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.

Lord George Gordon Noel Byron
(1788 – 1824)
When we two are parted

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Byron, Lord


Lord Byron: Growing Old

 

Growing Old

But now at thirty years my hair is grey—
(I wonder what it will be like at forty ?
I thought of a peruke the other day—)
My heart is not much greener ; and, in short, I
Have squandered my whole summer while ’twas May,
And feel no more the spirit to retort ; I
Have spent my life, both interest and principal,
And deem not, what I deemed, my soul invincible.

No more—no more—Oh ! never more on me
The freshness of the heart can fall like dew,
Which out of all the lovely things we see
Extracts emotions beautiful and new ;
Hived in our bosoms like the bag o’ the bee.
Think’st thou the honey with those objects grew ?
Alas ! ’twas not in them, but in thy power
To double even the sweetness of a flower.

No more—no more—Oh! never more my heart,
Canst thou be my sole world, my universe !
Once all in all, but now a thing apart,
Thou canst not be my blessing or my curse :
The illusion’s gone for ever, and thou art
Insensible, I trust, but none the worse,
And in thy stead I’ve got a deal of judgement,
Thou Heaven knows how it ever found a lodgement.

My days of love are over ; me no more
The charms of maid, wife, and still less of widow,
Can make the fool of which they made before,—
In short, I must not lead the life I did do ;
The credulous hope of mutual minds is o’er,
The copious use of claret is forbid too,
So for a good old-gentlemanly vice,
I think I must take up with avarice.

Ambition was my idol, which was broken
Before the shrines of Sorrow, and of Pleasure ;
And the two last have left me many a token
O’er which reflection may be made at leisure :
Now, like Friar Bacon’s Brazen Head, I’ve spoken,
‘Time is, Time was, Time’s past’ : a chymic treasure
Is glittering Youth, which I have spent betimes—
My heart in passion, and my head on rhymes.

What is the end of Fame ? ’tis but to fill
A certain portion of uncertain paper :
Some liken it to climbing up a hill,
Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour ;
For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill,
And bards burn what they call their ‘midnight taper’,
To have, when the original is dust,
A name, a wretched picture and worse bust.

What are the hopes of man ? Old Egypt’s King
Cheops erected the first Pyramid
And largest, thinking it was just the thing
To keep his memory whole, and mummy hid ;
But somebody or other rummaging,
Burglariously broke his coffin’s lid :
Let not a monument give you or me hopes,
Since not a pinch of dust remains of Cheops.

But I, being fond of true philosophy,
Say very often to myself, ‘Alas!
All things that have been born were born to die,
And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass ;
You’ve passed your youth not so unpleasantly,
And if you had it o’er again—’twould pass—
So thank your stars that matters are no worse,
And read your Bible, sir, and mind your purse.’

Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Growing Old
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Byron, Lord


Lord Byron: Italy versus England

 

Italy versus England

With all its sinful doings, I must say,
That Italy’s a pleasant place to me,
Who love to see the sun shine every day,
And vines (not nailed to walls) from tree to tree
Festooned, much like the back scene of a play,
Or melodrame, which people flock to see,
When the first act is ended by a dance
In vineyards copied from the South of France.

I like on autumn evenings to ride out,
Without being forced to bid my groom be sure
My cloak is round his middle strapped about,
Because the skies are not the most secure ;
I know too that, if stopped upon my route,
Where the green alleys windingly allure,
Reeling with grapes red wagons choke the way.—
In England ’twould be dung, dust, or a dray.

I also like to dine on becaficas,
To see the sun set, sure he’ll rise to-morrow,
Not through a misty morning twinkling weak as
A drunken man’s dead eye in maudlin sorrow,
But with all Heaven to himself ; the day will break as
Beauteous as cloudless, nor be forced to borrow
That sort of farthing candlelight which glimmers
Where reeking London’s smoky cauldron simmers.

I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,
Which melts like kisses from a female mouth,
And sounds as if it should be writ on satin,
With syllables which breathe of the sweet South,
And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in,
That not a single accent seems uncouth,
Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural,
Which we’re obliged to hiss, and spit, and sputter all.

I like the women too (forgive my folly!),
From the rich peasant cheek of ruddy bronze,
And large black eyes that flash on you a volley
Of rays that say a thousand things at once,
To the high Dama’s brow, more melancholy,
But clear, and with a wild and liquid glance,
Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes,
Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies.

Eve of the land which still is Paradise !
Italian Beauty ! didst thou not inspire
Raphael, who died in thy embrace, and vies
With all we know of Heaven, or can desire,
In what he had bequeathed us ?—in what guise,
Though flashing from the fervour of the lyre,
Would words described thy past and present glow,
While yet Canova can create below ?

‘England ! with all thy faults I love thee still’,
I said at Calais, and have not forgot it ;
I like to speak and lucubrate my fill ;
I like the government (but that is not it) ;
I like the freedom of the press and quill ;
I like the Habeas Corpus (when we’ve got it) ;
I like a Parliamentary debate,
Particularly when ’tis not too late ;

I like the taxes, when they’re not too many ;
I like a seacoal fire, when not too dear ;
I like a beef-steak, too, as well as any ;
Have no objection to a pot of beer ;
I like the weather,—when it is not rainy,
That is, I like two months of every year.
And so God save the Regent, Church, and King !
Which means that I like all and every thing.

Our standing army, and disbanded seamen,
Poor’s rate, Reform, my own, the nation’s debt,
Our little riots just to show we’re free men,
Our trifling bankruptcies in the Gazette,
Our cloudy climate, and our chilly women,
All these I can forgive, and those forget,
And greatly venerate our recent glories,
And wish they were not owing to the Tories.

Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Italy versus England
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Byron, Lord


Lord Byron: Growing Old

Growing Old

But now at thirty years my hair is grey—
(I wonder what it will be like at forty ?
I thought of a peruke the other day—)
My heart is not much greener ; and, in short, I
Have squandered my whole summer while ’twas May,
And feel no more the spirit to retort ; I
Have spent my life, both interest and principal,
And deem not, what I deemed, my soul invincible.

No more—no more—Oh ! never more on me
The freshness of the heart can fall like dew,
Which out of all the lovely things we see
Extracts emotions beautiful and new ;
Hived in our bosoms like the bag o’ the bee.
Think’st thou the honey with those objects grew ?
Alas ! ’twas not in them, but in thy power
To double even the sweetness of a flower.

No more—no more—Oh! never more my heart,
Canst thou be my sole world, my universe !
Once all in all, but now a thing apart,
Thou canst not be my blessing or my curse :
The illusion’s gone for ever, and thou art
Insensible, I trust, but none the worse,
And in thy stead I’ve got a deal of judgement,
Thou Heaven knows how it ever found a lodgement.

My days of love are over ; me no more
The charms of maid, wife, and still less of widow,
Can make the fool of which they made before,—
In short, I must not lead the life I did do ;
The credulous hope of mutual minds is o’er,
The copious use of claret is forbid too,
So for a good old-gentlemanly vice,
I think I must take up with avarice.

Ambition was my idol, which was broken
Before the shrines of Sorrow, and of Pleasure ;
And the two last have left me many a token
O’er which reflection may be made at leisure :
Now, like Friar Bacon’s Brazen Head, I’ve spoken,
‘Time is, Time was, Time’s past’ : a chymic treasure
Is glittering Youth, which I have spent betimes—
My heart in passion, and my head on rhymes.

What is the end of Fame ? ’tis but to fill
A certain portion of uncertain paper :
Some liken it to climbing up a hill,
Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour ;
For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill,
And bards burn what they call their ‘midnight taper’,
To have, when the original is dust,
A name, a wretched picture and worse bust.

What are the hopes of man ? Old Egypt’s King
Cheops erected the first Pyramid
And largest, thinking it was just the thing
To keep his memory whole, and mummy hid ;
But somebody or other rummaging,
Burglariously broke his coffin’s lid :
Let not a monument give you or me hopes,
Since not a pinch of dust remains of Cheops.

But I, being fond of true philosophy,
Say very often to myself, ‘Alas!
All things that have been born were born to die,
And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass ;
You’ve passed your youth not so unpleasantly,
And if you had it o’er again—’twould pass—
So thank your stars that matters are no worse,
And read your Bible, sir, and mind your purse.’

Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Growing Old
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Byron, Lord


Lord BYRON: Italy versus England

Lord Byron
Italy versus England

With all its sinful doings, I must say,
That Italy’s a pleasant place to me,
Who love to see the sun shine every day,
And vines (not nailed to walls) from tree to tree
Festooned, much like the back scene of a play,
Or melodrame, which people flock to see,
When the first act is ended by a dance
In vineyards copied from the South of France.

I like on autumn evenings to ride out,
Without being forced to bid my groom be sure
My cloak is round his middle strapped about,
Because the skies are not the most secure ;
I know too that, if stopped upon my route,
Where the green alleys windingly allure,
Reeling with grapes red wagons choke the way.—
In England ’twould be dung, dust, or a dray.

I also like to dine on becaficas,
To see the sun set, sure he’ll rise to-morrow,
Not through a misty morning twinkling weak as
A drunken man’s dead eye in maudlin sorrow,
But with all Heaven to himself ; the day will break as
Beauteous as cloudless, nor be forced to borrow
That sort of farthing candlelight which glimmers
Where reeking London’s smoky cauldron simmers.

I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,
Which melts like kisses from a female mouth,
And sounds as if it should be writ on satin,
With syllables which breathe of the sweet South,
And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in,
That not a single accent seems uncouth,
Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural,
Which we’re obliged to hiss, and spit, and sputter all.

I like the women too (forgive my folly!),
From the rich peasant cheek of ruddy bronze,
And large black eyes that flash on you a volley
Of rays that say a thousand things at once,
To the high Dama’s brow, more melancholy,
But clear, and with a wild and liquid glance,
Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes,
Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies.

Eve of the land which still is Paradise !
Italian Beauty ! didst thou not inspire
Raphael, who died in thy embrace, and vies
With all we know of Heaven, or can desire,
In what he had bequeathed us ?—in what guise,
Though flashing from the fervour of the lyre,
Would words described thy past and present glow,
While yet Canova can create below ?

‘England ! with all thy faults I love thee still’,
I said at Calais, and have not forgot it ;
I like to speak and lucubrate my fill ;
I like the government (but that is not it) ;
I like the freedom of the press and quill ;
I like the Habeas Corpus (when we’ve got it) ;
I like a Parliamentary debate,
Particularly when ’tis not too late ;

I like the taxes, when they’re not too many ;
I like a seacoal fire, when not too dear ;
I like a beef-steak, too, as well as any ;
Have no objection to a pot of beer ;
I like the weather,—when it is not rainy,
That is, I like two months of every year.
And so God save the Regent, Church, and King !
Which means that I like all and every thing.

Our standing army, and disbanded seamen,
Poor’s rate, Reform, my own, the nation’s debt,
Our little riots just to show we’re free men,
Our trifling bankruptcies in the Gazette,
Our cloudy climate, and our chilly women,
All these I can forgive, and those forget,
And greatly venerate our recent glories,
And wish they were not owing to the Tories.

Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Italy versus England
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Byron, Lord


Lord BYRON: Darkness

Lord Byron
Darkness

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came, and went and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this desolation; and all hearts
Were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires – and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings, the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other’s face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain’d;
Forest were set on fire but hour by hour
They fell and faded and the crackling trunks
Extinguish’d with a crash and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash’d their teeth and howl’d: the wild birds shriek’d,
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremolous; and vipers crawl’d
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless, they were slain for food:
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again; a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured,
Even dogs assail’d their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corpse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish’d men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answered not with a caress, he died.
The crowd was famish’d by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies; They met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap’d a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they raked up,
And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Wich was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and
Each other’s aspects. saw, and shriek’d, and died, beheld
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless,
A lump of death, a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes, and ocean stood still,
And nothing stirred within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropp’d
They slept on the abyss without a surge
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon their mistress had expired before;
The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish’d; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them. She was the universe.

Lord George Gordon Noel Byron (1788 – 1824)
Poem: Darkness
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Byron, Lord


Lord BYRON: I Watched Thee

Lord Byron
I Watched Thee

I watched thee when the foe was at our side
Ready to strike at him, or thee and me
Were safety hopeless rather than divide
Aught with one loved, save love and liberty.

I watched thee in the breakers when the rock
Received our prow and all was storm and fear
And bade thee cling to me through every shock
This arm would be thy bark or breast thy bier.

I watched thee when the fever glazed thine eyes
Yielding my couch, and stretched me on the ground
When overworn with watching, ne’er to rise
From thence, if thou an early grave hadst found.

The Earthquake came and rocked the quivering wall
And men and Nature reeled as if with wine
Whom did I seek around the tottering Hall
For thee, whose safety first provide for thine.

And when convulsive throes denied my breath
The faintest utterance to my fading thought
To thee, to thee, even in the grasp of death
My spirit turned. Ah! oftener than it ought.

Thus much and more, and yet thou lov’st me not,
And never wilt, Love dwells not in our will
Nor can I blame thee, though it be my lot
To strongly, wrongly, vainly, love thee still.

Lord George Gordon Noel Byron (1788 – 1824)
I Watched Thee
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Byron, Lord


Lord BYRON: She Walks In Beauty like the night

Lord Byron

She Walks In Beauty like the night

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Lord George Gordon Noel Byron (1788 – 1824)
She Walks In Beauty like the night
fleursdumal.nl magazine

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