George Gordon Byron Lord Byron Poems

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Transcript of George Gordon Byron Lord Byron Poems

Classic Poetry Series

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron- poems -

Publication Date: 2004

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George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788 - 1824)

George Gordon Byron was the son of Captain John Byron by his marriage to the Scottish Catherine Gordon of Gight. He was born with a club foot of which he was very self-conscious and educated in Aberdeen, where his family had moved to escape their debts, and at Harrow and Cambridge. Byron inherited the family home, Newstead Abbey, following the deaths of his father in 1791 and grandfather in 1798. He took up his seat in the House of Lords in 1808 and then left to travel in Europe, at which time he began writing his immensely popular poem Childe Harolde, returning to a political role again in 1813 when he spoke on liberal themes in the House. In 1815 he married Annabella Milbanke, but she left him soon afterwards, taking their child with her. Throughout his life he fathered several illegitimate children and had numerous scandalous affairs, the most notorious being with his half-sister Augusta, his father's daughter by an earlier marriage. This affair horrified English society and encouraged Byron in his decision to leave England for good in 1816. He stayed with the Shelleys in Geneva, where he wrote The Prisoner of Chillon, then after a trip to Rome in 1817 he returned to Venice where he wrote Beppo his first work in a new ironic style. Don Juan was begun the following year. Fired by the Greek battle for independence from Turkey, Byron sailed to Missolonghi in 1824, where he gave money and inspiration to the rebels but died of a fever before seeing action.

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A Spirit Passed Before Me From Job A spirit passed before me: I beheld The face of immortality unveiled Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine And there it stood,all formlessbut divine: Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake; And as my damp hair stiffened, thus it spake: "Is man more just than God? Is man more pure Than He who deems even Seraphs insecure? Creatures of clayvain dwellers in the dust! The moth survives you, and are ye more just? Things of a day! you wither ere the night, Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light!" George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron

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Adieu, Adieu! My Native Land Adieu, adieu! my native shore Fades o'ver the waters blue; The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar, And shrieks the wild sea-mew. Yon sun that sets upon the sea We follow in his flight; Farewell awhile to him and thee, My native Land-Good Night! A few short hours, and he will rise To give the morrow birth; And I shall hail the main and skies, But not my mother earth. Deserted is my own good hall, Its hearth is desolate; Wild weeds are gathering on the wall; My dog howls at the gate. George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron

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'All Is Vanity,' Saith the Preacher Fame, wisdom, love, and power were mine, And health and youth possessed me; My goblets blushed from every vine, And lovely forms caressed me; I sunned my heart in beauty eyes, And felt my soul grow tender; All earth can give, or mortal prize, Was mine of regal splendour. I strive to number oer what days Remembrance can discover, Which all that life or earth displays Would lure me to live over. There rose no day, there rolled no hour Of pleasure unembittered; And not a trapping decked my power That galled not while it glittered. The serpent of the field, by art And spells, is won from harming; But that which soils around the heart, Oh! who hath power of charming? It will not list to wisdoms lore, Nor musics voice can lure it; But there it stings for evermore The soul that must endure it. George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron

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And Thou Art Dead, As Young and Fair And thou art dead, as young and fair As aught of mortal birth; And form so soft, and charms so rare, Too soon return'd to Earth! Though Earth receiv'd them in her bed, And o'er the spot the crowd may tread In carelessness or mirth, There is an eye which could not brook A moment on that grave to look.

I will not ask where thou liest low, Nor gaze upon the spot; There flowers or weeds at will may grow, So I behold them not: It is enough for me to prove That what I lov'd, and long must love, Like common earth can rot; To me there needs no stone to tell, 'T is Nothing that I lov'd so well.

Yet did I love thee to the last As fervently as thou, Who didst not change through all the past, And canst not alter now. The love where Death has set his seal, Nor age can chill, nor rival steal, Nor falsehood disavow: And, what were worse, thou canst not see Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.

The better days of life were ours; The worst can be but mine: The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers, Shall never more be thine. The silence of that dreamless sleep I envy now too much to weep; Nor need I to repine That all those charms have pass'd away, I might have watch'd through long decay. The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd Must fall the earliest prey; Though by no hand untimely snatch'd, The leaves must drop away: And yet it were a greater grief To watch it withering, leaf by leaf, Than see it pluck'd to-day; Since earthly eye but ill can bear To trace the change to foul from fair. I know not if I could have borne To see thy beauties fade;

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The night that follow'd such a morn Had worn a deeper shade: Thy day without a cloud hath pass'd, And thou wert lovely to the last, Extinguish'd, not decay'd; As stars that shoot along the sky Shine brightest as they fall from high. As once I wept, if I could weep, My tears might well be shed, To think I was not near to keep One vigil o'er thy bed; To gaze, how fondly! on thy face, To fold thee in a faint embrace, Uphold thy drooping head; And show that love, however vain, Nor thou nor I can feel again.

Yet how much less it were to gain, Though thou hast left me free, The loveliest things that still remain, Than thus remember thee! The all of thine that cannot die Through dark and dread Eternity Returns again to me, And more thy buried love endears Than aught except its living years. George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron

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And Wilt Thou Weep When I Am Low? And wilt thou weep when I am low? Sweet lady! speak those words again: Yet if they grieve thee, say not so--I would not give that bosom pain.

My heart is sad, my hopes are gone, My blood runs coldly through my breast; And when I perish, thou alone Wilt sigh above my place of rest.

And yet, methinks, a gleam of peace Doth through my cloud of anguish shine: And for a while my sorrows cease, To know thy heart hath felt for mine. Oh lady! blessd be that tear--It falls for one who cannot weep; Such precious drops are doubly dear To those whose eyes no tear may steep. Sweet lady! once my heart was warm With every feeling soft as thine; But Beauty's self hath ceased to charm A wretch created to repine. Yet wilt thou weep when I am low? Sweet lady! speak those words again: Yet if they grieve thee, say not so--I would not give that bosom pain. George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron

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Bride of Abydos, The "Had we never loved so kindly, Had we never loved so blindly, Never met or never parted, We had ne'er been broken-hearted." Burns TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD HOLLAND, THIS TALE IS INSCRIBED, WITH EVERY SENTIMENT OF REGARD AND RESPECT, BY HIS GRATEFULLY OBLIGED AND SINCERE FRIEND, BYRON.

THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS _________ I. CANTO THE FIRST. Know ye the land where cypress and myrtle Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime, Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle, Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime? Know ye the land of the cedar and vine, Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine; Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume, Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gl in her bloom; [1] Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, And the voice of the nightingale never is mute; Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, And the purple of Ocean is deepest in dye; Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, And all, save the spirit of man, is divine? 'Tis the clime of the East; 'tis the land of the Sun Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done? [2] Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell. II. Begirt with many a gallant slave, Apparell'd as becomes the brave, Awaiting each his lord's behest To guide his steps, or guard his rest, Old Giaffir sate in his Divan: Deep thought was in his aged eye;

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And though the face of Mussulman Not oft betrays to standers by The mind within, well skill'd to hide All but unconquerable pride, His pensive cheek and pondering brow Did more than he wont avow. III. "Let the chamber be clear'd." The train disappear'd "Now call me the chief of the Haram guard." With Giaffir is none but his only son, And the Nubian awaiting the sire's award. "Haroun when all the crowd that wait Are pass'd beyond the outer gate, (Woe to the head whose eye beheld My child Zuleika's face unveil'd!) Hence, lead my daughter from her tower: Her fate is fix'd this very hour: Yet not to her repeat my thought; By me alone be duty taught!" "Pacha! to hear is to obey." No more must slave to despot say Then to the tower had ta'en his way, But here young Selim silence brake, Firs