lord-byron-poetry

wishless

we were 
in bed
that day
when
there was a midday twilight

a daze crept over us
delicate
as a fast fog

it was the feeling of floating

a barely waking ecstasy
an unreal ethereal delirium
i cant describe it

it was
something
like nothing
ive ever felt before

in the belly of our canopy bed
in that forbidden flat
on a forever day

we laughed as she
pressed her head up
& pitched the draped overlay
wearing it
like a puffy white sombrero

as the
sun
filtered through
the linen cube glowed
a yellow shade

the two of us
waiting weightless
in this unearthly space

a monster teepee on a cloud
a sailboat in the sand


it all could have been
a heavenesque hallucination
but
for the fact that
she asked if i felt it too

i said i did
after she confessed
she had no words
to describe it

it was sublime
too simple
true

& it left by night
as we tucked in to watch movies
a mini projector hovering
images pressed against an endless cinema screen
almost as radiant
as our re-animation

Sappho: Poem of Jealousy

Equal to Jove that youth must be —
Greater than Jove he seems to me —
Who, free from Jealousy’s alarms,
Securely views thy matchless charms.
Ah! Lesbia! though ’tis death to me,
I cannot choose but look on thee;
But, at the sight, my senses fly,
I needs must gaze, but, gazing, die;
Whilst trembling with a thousand fears,
Parch’d to the throat my tongue adheres,
My pulse beats quick, my breath heaves short,
My limbs deny their slight support;
Cold dews my pallid face o’erspread,
With deadly languor droops my head,
My ears with tingling echoes ring,
And life itself is on the wing,
My eyes refuse the cheering light,
Their orbs are veil’d in starless night:
Such pangs my nature sinks beneath,
And feels a temporary death.

–Translated by Lord Byron (ca. 1820)

The First Kiss Of Love

The First Kiss Of Love

Away with your fictions of flimsy romance,
Those tissues of falsehood which Folly has wove;
Give me the mild beam of the soul-breathing glance,
Or the rapture which dwells on the first kiss of love.

Ye rhymers, whose bosoms with fantasy glow,
Whose pastoral passions are made for the grove;
From what blest inspiration your sonnets would flow,
Could you ever have tasted the first kiss of love.

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10

Historic and unique, Abbotsford is the product of Scott’s imagination. Created in the early 19th century on the banks of the River Tweed, this architectural gem influenced buildings across the world in the century to follow. The rooms are full of interest. Scott was an avid collector and you can see a cross which belonged to Mary Queen of Scots, a lock of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hair, Rob Roy’s purse and a silver urn containing the bones of dead Greek soldiers bizarrely gifted to Scott by his rival in poetry Lord Byron! The hand-painted Chinese wallpaper in the drawing room and Scott’s book collection were among the favorites of the afternoon.  

This is Scotland!

  • She walks in beauty by Lord Byron
  • read by Tom Hiddleston
Play

Sharing one of my favourite poems this Sunday. Have a listen.

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!

“She Walks in Beauty”

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 Byron

THEY tell me ’tis decided you depart:
 ’Tis wise—’tis well, but not the less a pain;
I have no further claim on your young heart,
 Mine is the victim, and would be again:
To love too much has been the only art        5
 I used;—I write in haste, and if a stain
Be on this sheet, ’tis not what it appears;
My eyeballs burn and throb, but have no tears.

I loved, I love you; for this love have lost
 State, station, heaven, mankind’s, my own esteem,        10
And yet cannot regret what it hath cost,
 So dear is still the memory of that dream;
Yet, if I name my guilt, ’tis not to boast,
 None can deem harshlier of me than I deem:
I trace this scrawl because I cannot rest—        15
I’ve nothing to reproach or to request.

Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart,
 ’Tis woman’s whole existence; man may range
The court, camp, church, the vessel, and the mart;
 Sword, gown, gain, glory, offer in exchange        20
Pride, fame, ambition, to fill up his heart,
 And few there are whom these cannot estrange;
Men have all these resources, we but one,
To love again, and be again undone.

You will proceed in pleasure, and in pride,        25
 Beloved and loving many; all is o’er
For me on earth, except some years to hide
 My shame and sorrow deep in my heart’s core:
These I could bear, but cannot cast aside
 The passion which still rages as before,—        30
And so farewell—forgive me, love me—No,
That word is idle now—but let it go.

My breast has been all weakness, is so yet;
 But still I think I can collect my mind;
My blood still rushes where my spirit ’s set,        35
 As roll the waves before the settled wind;
My heart is feminine, nor can forget—
 To all, except one image, madly blind,
So shakes the needle, and so stands the pole,
As vibrates my fond heart to my fix’d soul.        40

I have no more to say, but linger still,
 And dare not set my seal upon this sheet,
And yet I may as well the task fulfil,
 My misery can scarce be more complete:
I had not lived till now, could sorrow kill;        45
 Death shuns the wretch who fain the blow would meet,
And I must even survive this last adieu,
And bear with life, to love and pray for you!
—  Extracts from Don Juan: Donna Julia’s Letter,  Lord Byron

Poetry Is Not Just For Emo Teenagers

Poetry Is Not Just For Emo Teenagers #NationalPoetryMonth

In honor of April being National Poetry Month we decided to break out our sonnets, odes, iambic pentameters, haikus, and shockingly ardent devotion to Pablo Neruda to share some of our favorite excerpts from our most beloved poems. And if you still can’t get enough, check out our earlier post on Love Poems

“I ask them to take a poem   

and hold it up to the light   

like a color slide

or…

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Portraits Of Lord Byron, In Order Of Lord Byron-ness |The Toast

SOLID POUTY BYRON. He’s got some secret freaky brocade vest on under his cloak, which is probably full of dildos, his brow situation is ferociously organized, his out-of-frame hand is probably jerking off the devil, because there’s some sort of flame situation going on in the lower right-hand corner.

Ah! fondly youthful hearts can press,
To seize and share the dear caress;
But Love itself could never pant
For all that Beauty sighs to grant
With half the fervor Hate bestows
Upon the last embrace of foes,
When grappling in the fight they fold
Those arms that ne'er shall lose their hold;
Friends meet to part–Love laughs at faith;–
True foes, once met, are join’d till death!
—  The Giaour by Lord Byron
Stanzas to Augusta

   1

Though the day of my destiny’s over,
 And the star of my fate hath declined,
Thy soft heart refused to discover
 The faults which so many could find;
Though thy soul with my grief was acquainted,
 It shrunk not to share it with me,
And the love which my spirit hath painted
 It never hath found but in thee.

   2

Then when nature around me is smiling
 The last smile which answers to mine,
I do not believe it beguiling
 Because it reminds me of thine;
And when winds are at war with the ocean,
 As the breasts I believed in with me,
If their billows excite an emotion
 It is that they bear me from thee.

   3

Though the rock of my last hope is shiver’d,
 And its fragments are sunk in the wave,
Though I feel that my soul is deliver’d
 To pain–it shall not be its slave.
There is many a pang to pursue me:
 They may crush, but they shall not contemn–
They may torture, but shall not subdue me–
 'Tis of thee that I think–not of them.

   4

Though human, thou didst not deceive me,
 Though woman, thou didst not forsake,
Though loved, thou forborest to grieve me,
 Though slander’d, thou never could'st shake,–
Though trusted, thou didst not betray me,
 Though parted, it was not to fly,
Though watchful, ‘twas not to defame me,
 Nor, mute, that the world might belie.

   5

Yet I blame not the world, nor despise it,
 Nor the war of the many with one–
If my soul was not fitted to prize it
 'Twas folly not sooner to shun:
And if dearly that error hath cost me,
 And more than I once could foresee,
I have found that, whatever it lost me,
 It could not deprive me of thee.

   6

From the wreck of the past, which hath perish’d,
Thus much I at least may recall,
It hath taught me that what I most cherish’d
Deserved to be dearest of all:
In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wide waste there still is a tree,
And a bird in the solitude singing,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee.

George Gordon Lord Byron

She Walks in Beauty

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 Byron

She was like me in lineaments– her eyes
Her hair, her features, all, to the very tone
Even of her voice, they said were like to mine;
But soften’d all, and temper’d into beauty;
She had the same lone thoughts and wanderings,
The quest of hidden knowledge, and a mind
To comprehend the universe: nor these
Alone, but with them gentler powers than mine,
Pity, and smiles, and tears– which I had not;
And tenderness– but that I had for her;
Humility– and that I never had.
Her faults were mine– her virtues were her own–
I loved her, and destroy’d her!
—  George Gordon Byron,  The Poetical Works of Lord Byron