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Lord Byron
English poet
(1788-1824)



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Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on thee,
Nor feels as lover o'er the dust they loved;
Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
The walls defaced, they mouldering shrines removed
By British hands.
-- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812)

What is the worst of woes that wait on Age?
What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
To view each loved one blotted from Life's page,
And be alone on earth, as I am now.
-- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812)

I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand.
-- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812)

Then farewell, Horace; whom I hated so,
Not for thy faults but mine.
-- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812)

He, their sire,
Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday.
-- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812)

While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand:
When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;
And when Rome falls—the World.
-- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812)

"The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold."
-- "The Destruction of Sennacherib" (1815)

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 mellow'd to that tender light         
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.  
One shade the more, one ray the less,  
Had half impair'd 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!
-- "She walks in beauty" (1815)

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  
Sunk 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.
-- "When we two parted" (1816)

Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most
Must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth,
The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.
-- Manfred (1817)

What men call gallantry, and gods adultery,
Is much more common where the climate's sultry.
-- Don Juan (1819-24)

A little still she strove, and much repented,
And whispering " I will ne'er consent"—consented.
-- Don Juan (1819-24)

The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set!
-- Don Juan (1819-24)

When a proposal is made to emancipate or relieve, you hesitate, you deliberate for years, you temporise and tamper with the minds of men; but a death-bill must be passed off-hand, without a thought of the consequences.
-- Maiden speech in House of Lords, 21 February 1812

Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of Man, without his vices.
-- "Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog" (1808)


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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