Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Byron

But Quiet to quick bosom is a Hell
And there hath been thy bane; there is a fire
And motion of the soul which will not dwell
In its own narrow being, but aspire
Beyond the fitting medium of desire...

These lines were written by George Gordon Byron, one of the greatest poets ever.

His poetry ranges from the Romantic:

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...

- to the melodramatic:

My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker and the grief,
Are mine alone...

- to the absolutely hilarious:

Saint Peter sat by the celestial gate:
His keys were rusty, and the lock was dull, 
So little trouble had been given of late;
Not that the place by any means was full, 
But since the Gallic era "eighty-eight"
The Devils had ta'en a longer, stronger pull...

Born in 1788 , he was only 36 when he died fighting for the independence of Greece, a cause he whole-heartedly believed in. The Greeks still revere him as a national hero.

His memorial tablet at Westminster Abbey reads:

But I have lived, and have not lived in vain:
My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire,
And my frame perish even in conquering pain;
But there is that within me which shall tire
Torture and Time and breathe when I shall expire;
Something unearthly which they deem not of
Like the remember'd tone of a mute lyre...

The remembered tone of a mute lyre.... Can anything be more hauntingly beautiful?

Do you like poetry too? Did you like the lines quoted above? Share some of your favourites too.


Entry for letter B


  1. I think you are, so far as I can tell the most educational blog in the A to Z ...... Awesome

    1. Hi Rob

      This is high praise indeed and I am most thankful but I don't really know. Not all posts are going to be about poets and their poems, there would be some very prosaic ones too. Hope you continue to read though.

  2. Great post! I'm not big on poetry, but this was interesting to read. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  3. Lovely to start the morning with poetry and a cup of something hot. Plus, a little bio on Byron.
    Play off the Page

  4. Love this post! I just read something on Byron the other day... Currently writing a paper on William Blake!

    I'm also doing the A to Z Challenge!

    1. Thanks Liwi. Somehow I've never read Blake though now perhaps I should pick up a copy of his works. Also a HUGE Thank You for following the blog. Hope you enjoy the posts.