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Best Famous George (Lord) Byron Poems

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by George (Lord) Byron | |

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 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, To 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.


by George (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!


by George (Lord) Byron | |

All for Love

O TALK not to me of a name great in story; 
The days of our youth are the days of our glory; 
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty 
Are worth all your laurels though ever so plenty.
What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled? 5 'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled: Then away with all such from the head that is hoary¡ª What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory? O Fame! if I e'er took delight in thy praises 'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases 10 Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.
There chiefly I sought thee there only I found thee; Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee; When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story 15 I knew it was love and I felt it was glory.


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by George (Lord) Byron | |

Youth and Age

THERE'S not a joy the world can give like that it takes away 
When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull decay; 
'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone which fades so fast  
But the tender bloom of heart is gone ere youth itself be past.
Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happiness 5 Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt or ocean of excess: The magnet of their course is gone or only points in vain The shore to which their shiver'd sail shall never stretch again.
Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself comes down; It cannot feel for others' woes it dare not dream its own; 10 That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears And though the eye may sparkle still 'tis where the ice appears.
Though wit may flash from fluent lips and mirth distract the breast Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope of rest 'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret wreathe 15 All green and wildly fresh without but worn and gray beneath.
Oh could I feel as I have felt or be what I have been Or weep as I could once have wept o'er many a vanish'd scene ¡ª As springs in deserts found seem sweet all brackish though they be So midst the wither'd waste of life those tears would flow to me! 20


by George (Lord) Byron | |

There be none of Beautys daughters

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 5 
The charmed 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 10 
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 15 
Like the swell of summer's ocean.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Elegy

OH snatch'd away in beauty's bloom! 
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb; 
But on thy turf shall roses rear 
Their leaves the earliest of the year  
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom: 5 

And oft by yon blue gushing stream 
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head  
And feed deep thought with many a dream  
And lingering pause and lightly tread; 
Fond wretch! as if her step disturb'd the dead! 10 

Away! we know that tears are vain  
That Death nor heeds nor hears distress: 
Will this unteach us to complain? 
Or make one mourner weep the less? 
And thou who tell'st me to forget 15 
Thy looks are wan thine eyes are wet.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

On the Castle of Chillon

ETERNAL Spirit of the chainless Mind! 
Brightest in dungeons Liberty! thou art  
For there thy habitation is the heart¡ª 
The heart which love of Thee alone can bind.
And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd 5 To fetters and the damp vault's dayless gloom Their country conquers with their martyrdom And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind.
Chillon! thy prison is a holy place And thy sad floor an altar for 'twas trod 10 Until his very steps have left a trace Worn as if thy cold pavement were a sod By Bonnivard! May none those marks efface! For they appeal from tyranny to God.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

DON JUAN

 http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21700/21700-h/21700-h.htm


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Dam?tas

 In law an infant, and in years a boy,
In mind a slave to every vicious joy;
From every sense of shame and virtue wean'd;
In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend;
Versed in hypocrisy, while yet a child;
Fickle as wind, of inclinations wild;
Women his dupe, his heedless friend a tool;
Old in the world, though scarcely broke from school;
Dam?tas ran through all the maze of sin,
And found the goal when others just begin:
Even still conflicting passions shake his soul,
And bid him drain the dregs of pleasure's bowl;
But, pall'd with vice, he breaks his former chain,
And what was once his bliss appears his bane.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

So Well Go No More a-Roving

 So we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart still be as loving,
And the moon still be as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath, And the soul outwears the breast, And the heart must pause to breathe, And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving, And the day returns too soon, Yet we'll go no more a-roving By the light of the moon.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Thou Whose Spell Can Raise the Dead

 Thou whose spell can raise the dead, 
Bid the prophet's form appear.
"Samuel, raise thy buried head! "King, behold the phantom seer!" Earth yawn'd; he stood the centre of a cloud: Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud.
Death stood all glassy in the fixed eye: His hand was withered, and his veins were dry; His foot, in bony whiteness, glitterd there, Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare; From lips that moved not and unbreathing frame, Like cavern'd winds the hollow acccents came.
Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak, At once, and blasted by the thunder-stroke.
"Why is my sleep disquieted? "Who is he that calls the dead? "Is it thou, Oh King? Behold "Bloodless are these limbs, and cold: "Such are mine; and such shall be "Thine, to-morrow, when with me: "Ere the coming day is done, "Such shalt thou be, such thy son.
"Fare thee well, but for a day, "Then we mix our mouldering clay.
"Thou, thy race, lie pale and low, "Pierced by shafts of many a bow; "And the falchion by thy side, "To thy heart, thy hand shall guide: "Crownless, breathless, headless fall, "Son and sire, the house of Saul!"


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Stanzas To Jessy

 There is a mystic thread of life
So dearly wreath'd with mine alone,
That Destiny's relentless knife
At once must sever both, or none.
There is a Form on which these eyes Have fondly gazed with such delight--- By day, that Form their joy supplies, And Dreams restore it, through the night.
There is a Voice whose tones inspire Such softened feelings in my breast, I would not hear a Seraph Choir, Unless that voice could join the rest.
There is a Face whose Blushes tell Affection's tale upon the cheek, But pallid at our fond farewell, Proclaims more love than words can speak.
There is a Lip, which mine has prest, But none had ever prest before; It vowed to make me sweetly blest, That mine alone should press it more.
There is a Bosom all my own, Has pillow'd oft this aching head, A Mouth which smiles on me alone, An Eye, whose tears with mine are shed.
There are two Hearts whose movements thrill, In unison so closely sweet, That Pulse to Pulse responsive still They Both must heave, or cease to beat.
There are two Souls, whose equal flow In gentle stream so calmly run, That when they part---they part?---ah no! They cannot part---those Souls are One.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Remember Him Whom Passions Power

 Remember him, whom Passion's power
Severely---deeply---vainly proved:
Remember thou that dangerous hour,
When neither fell, though both were loved.
That yielding breast, that melting eye, Too much invited to be blessed: That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh, The wilder wish reproved, repressed.
Oh! let me feel that all I lost But saved thee all that Conscience fears; And blush for every pang it cost To spare the vain remorse of years.
Yet think of this when many a tongue, Whose busy accents whisper blame, Would do the heart that loved thee wrong, And brand a nearly blighted name.
Think that, whate'er to others, thou Hast seen each selfish thought subdued: I bless thy purer soul even now, Even now, in midnight solitude.
Oh, God! that we had met in time, Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free; When thou hadst loved without a crime, And I been less unworthy thee! Far may thy days, as heretofore, From this our gaudy world be past! And that too bitter moment o'er, Oh! may such trial be thy last.
This heart, alas! perverted long, Itself destroyed might there destroy; To meet thee in the glittering throng, Would wake Presumption's hope of joy.
Then to the things whose bliss or woe, Like mine, is wild and worthless all, That world resign---such scenes forego, Where those who feel must surely fall.
Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness--- Thy soul from long seclusion pure; From what even here hath passed, may guess What there thy bosom must endure.
Oh! pardon that imploring tear, Since not by Virtue shed in vain, My frenzy drew from eyes so dear; For me they shall not weep again.
Though long and mournful must it be, The thought that we no more may meet; Yet I deserve the stern decree, And almost deem the sentence sweet.
Still---had I loved thee less---my heart Had then less sacrificed to thine; It felt not half so much to part As if its guilt had made thee mine.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Sonnet to Lake Leman

 Rousseau -- Voltaire -- our Gibbon -- De Sta?l -- 
Leman! these names are worthy of thy shore, 
Thy shore of names like these! wert thou no more, 
Their memory thy remembrance would recall: 
To them thy banks were lovely as to all, 
But they have made them lovelier, for the lore 
Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core 
Of human hearts the ruin of a wall 
Where dwelt the wise and wondrous; but by thee 
How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel, 
In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea, 
The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal, 
Which of the heirs of immortality 
Is proud, and makes the breath of glory real!


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Sonnet - to Genevra

 Thy cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,
And yet so lovely, that if Mirth could flush
Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush,
My heart would wish away that ruder glow:
And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes---but, oh!
While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush,
And into mine my mother's weakness rush,
Soft as the last drops round Heaven's airy bow.
For, though thy long dark lashes low depending, The soul of melancholy Gentleness Gleams like a Seraph from the sky descending, Above all pain, yet pitying all distress; At once such majesty with sweetness blending, I worship more, but cannot love thee less.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

To Eliza

 Eliza, what fools are the Mussulman sect, 
Who to woman deny the soul's future existence!
Could they see thee, Eliza, they'd own their defect,
And this doctrine would meet with a general resistance.
Had their prophet possess'd half an atom of sense, He ne'er would have woman from paradise driven; Instead of his houris, a flimsy pretence, With woman alone he had peopled his heaven.
Yet still, to increase your calamities more, Not Content with depriving your bodies of spirit, He allots one poor husband to share amongst four!- With souls you'd dispense; but this last, who could bear it? His religion to please neither party is made; On husbands 'tis hard, to the wives most uncivil; Still I Can't contradict, what so oft has been said, 'Though women are angels, yet wedlock's the devil.
'


by George (Lord) Byron | |

To Mary On Receiving Her Picture

 This faint resemblance of thy charms,
(Though strong as mortal art could give,)
My constant heart of fear disarms,
Revives my hopes, and bids me live.
Here, I can trace the locks of gold Which round thy snowy forehead wave; The cheeks which sprung from Beauty's mould, The lips, which made me Beauty's slave.
Here I can trace---ah, no! that eye, Whose azure floats in liquid fire, Must all the painter's art defy, And bid him from the task retire.
Here, I behold its beauteous hue; But where's the beam so sweetly straying, Which gave a lustre to its blue, Like Luna o'er the ocean playing? Sweet copy! far more dear to me, Lifeless, unfeeling as thou art, Than all the living forms could be, Save her who plac'd thee next my heart.
She plac'd it, sad, with needless fear, Lest time might shake my wavering soul, Unconscious that her image there Held every sense in fast control.
Thro' hours, thro' years, thro' time, 'twill cheer--- My hope, in gloomy moments, raise; In life's last conflict 'twill appear, And meet my fond, expiring gaze.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Lachin Y Gair

 Away, ye gay landscapes, ye garden of roses! 
In you let the minions of luxury rove; 
Restore me to the rocks, where the snowflake reposes, 
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love: 
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains, 
Round their white summits though elements war; 
Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains, 
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.
Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wandered; My cap was teh bonnet, my cloak was the plaid; On chieftains long perished my memory pondered, As daily I strode through the pine-covered glade; I sought not my home till the day's dying glory Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star; For fancy was cheered by traditional story, Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.
"Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?" Surely the soul of the hero rejoices, And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale.
Rouch Loch na Garr while the stormy mist gathers, Winter presides in his cold icy car: Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers; They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.
"Ill-starred, though brave, did no visions foreboding Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause?" Ah! were you destined to die at Culloden, Victory crowned not your fall with applause: Still were you happy in death's earthy slumber, You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar; The pibroch resounds, to the piper's loud number, Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr.
Years have rolled on, Loch na Garr, since I left you, Years must elapse ere I tread you again: Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you, Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain.
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic To one who has roved o'er the mountains afar: Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic! The steep frowning glories of the dark Loch na Garr.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

To M

 Oh! did those eyes, instead of fire,
With bright, but mild affection shine:
Though they might kindle less desire,
Love, more than mortal, would be thine.
For thou art form'd so heavenly fair, Howe'er those orbs may wildly beam, We must admire, but still despair; That fatal glance forbids esteem.
When Nature stamp'd thy beauteous birth, So much perfection in thee shone, She fear'd that, too divine for earth, The skies might claim thee for their own.
Therefore, to guard her dearest work, Lest angels might dispute the prize, She bade a secret lightning lurk, Within those once celestial eyes.
These might the boldest Sylph appall, When gleaming with meridian blaze; Thy beauty must enrapture all; But who can dare thine ardent gaze? 'Tis said that Berenice's hair, In stars adorns the vault of heaven; But they would ne'er permit thee there, Who wouldst so far outshine the seven.
For did those eyes as planets roll, Thy sister-lights would scarce appear: E'en suns, which systems now control, Would twinkle dimly through their sphere.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Song of Saul Before His Last Battle

 Warriors and chiefs! should the shaft or the sword 
Pierce me in leading the host of the Lord, 
Heed not the corse, though a king’s in your path: 
Bury your steel in the bosoms of Gath! 

Thou who art bearing my buckler and bow, 
Should the soldiers of Saul look away from the foe, 
Stretch me that moment in blood at thy feet! 
Mine be the doom which they dared not to meet.
Farewell to others, but never we part, Heir to my royalty, son of my heart! Bright is the diadem, boundless the sway, Or kingly the death, which awaits us to-day!


by George (Lord) Byron | |

To M. S. G.

 Whene'er I view those lips of thine,
Their hue invites my fervent kiss;
Yet, I forego that bliss divine,
Alas! it were---unhallow'd bliss.
Whene'er I dream of that pure breast, How could I dwell upon its snows! Yet, is the daring wish represt, For that,---would banish its repose.
A glance from thy soul-searching eye Can raise with hope, depress with fear; Yet, I conceal my love,---and why? I would not force a painful tear.
I ne'er have told my love, yet thou Hast seen my ardent flame too well; And shall I plead my passion now, To make thy bosom's heaven a hell? No! for thou never canst be mine, United by the priest's decree: By any ties but those divine, Mine, my belov'd, thou ne'er shalt be.
Then let the secret fire consume, Let it consume, thou shalt not know: With joy I court a certain doom, Rather than spread its guilty glow.
I will not ease my tortur'd heart, By driving dove-ey'd peace from thine; Rather than such a sting impart, Each thought presumptuous I resign.
Yes! yield those lips, for which I'd brave More than I here shall dare to tell; Thy innocence and mine to save,--- I bid thee now a last farewell.
Yes! yield that breast, to seek despair And hope no more thy soft embrace; Which to obtain, my soul would dare, All, all reproach, but thy disgrace.
At least from guilt shalt thou be free, No matron shall thy shame reprove; Though cureless pangs may prey on me, No martyr shalt thou be to love.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

On A Distant View Of Harrow

 Ye scenes of my childhood, whose lov'd recollection
Embitters the present, compar'd with the past;
Where science first dawn'd on the powers of reflection,
And friendships were form'd, too romantic to last;

Where fancy, yet, joys to retrace the resemblance
Of comrades, in friendship and mischief allied;
How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrance,
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is deny'd!

Again I revisit the hills where we sported,
The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought;
The school where, loud warn'd by the bell, we resorted,
To pore o'er the precepts by Pedagogues taught.
Again I behold where for hours I have ponder'd, As reclining, at eve, on yon tombstone I lay; Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander'd, To catch the last gleam of the sun's setting ray.
I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded, Where, as Zanga, I trod on Alonzo o'erthrown; While, to swell my young pride, such applauses resounded, I fancied that Mossop himself was outshone.
Or, as Lear, I pour'd forth the deep imprecation, By my daughters, of kingdom and reason depriv'd; Till, fir'd by loud plaudits and self-adulation, I regarded myself as a Garrick reviv'd.
Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you! Unfaded your memory dwells in my breast; Though sad and deserted, I ne'er can forget you: Your pleasures may still be in fancy possest.
To Ida full oft may remembrance restore me, While Fate shall the shades of the future unroll! Since Darkness o'ershadows the prospect before me, More dear is the beam of the past to my soul! But if, through the course of the years which await me, Some new scene of pleasure should open to view, I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me, Oh! such were the days which my infancy knew.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Reply to Some Verses of J.M.B. Pigot Esq.

 Why, Pigot, complain of this damsel's disdain,
Why thus in despair do you fret?
For months you may try, yet, believe me, a sigh
Will never obtain a coquette.
Would you teach her to love? for a time seem to rove; At first she may frown in a pet; But leave her awhile, she shortly will smile, And then you may kiss your coquette.
For such are the airs of these fanciful fairs, They think all our homage a debt: Yet a partial neglect soon takes an effect, And humbles the proudest coquette.
Dissemble your pain, and lengthen your chain, And seem her hauteur to regret; If again you shall sigh, she no more will deny, That yours is the rosy coquette.
If still, from false pride, your pangs she deride, This whimsical virgin forget; Some other adiaiire, who will melt with your fire, And laugh at the little coquette.
For me I adore some twenty or more, And love them most dearly but yet Though my heart they enthral, I'd abandon them all, Did they act like your blooming coquette.
No longer repine, adopt this design, And break through her slight-woven net; Away with despair, no longer forbear To fly from the captious coquette.
Then quit her, my friend your bosom defend, Ere quite with her snares you're beset; Lest your deep-wounded heart, when incensed by the smart, Should lead you to curse the coquette.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

The Isles of Greece

 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.
.
.
The mountains look on Marathon-- And Marathon looks on the sea; And musing there an hour alone, I dreamed that Greece might still be free; For standing on the Persians' grave, I could not deem myself a slave.
A king sat on the rocky brow Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis; And ships, by thousands, lay below, And men in nations--all were his! He counted them at break of day-- And when the sun set, where were they? And where are they? And where art thou? My country? On thy voiceless shore The heroic lay is tuneless now-- The heroic bosom beats no more! And must thy lyre, so long divine, Degenerate into hands like mine? 'Tis something, in the dearth of fame, Though linked among a fettered race, To feel at least a patriot's shame, Even as I sing, suffuse my face; For what is left the poet here? For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear.
.
.
.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! Our virgins dance beneath the shade-- I see their glorious black eyes shine; But gazing on each glowing maid, My own the burning teardrop laves, To think such breasts must suckle slaves.
Place me on Sunium's marbled steep, Where nothing, save the waves and I, May hear our mutual murmurs sweep; There, swanlike, let me sing and die: A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine-- Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!


by George (Lord) Byron | |

Farewell To The Muse

 Thou Power! who hast ruled me through Infancy's days,
Young offspring of Fancy, 'tis time we should part;
Then rise on the gale this the last of my lays,
The coldest effusion which springs from my heart.
This bosom, responsive to rapture no more, Shall hush thy wild notes, nor implore thee to sing; The feelings of childhood, which taught thee to soar, Are wafted far distant on Apathy's wing.
Though simple the themes of my rude flowing Lyre, Yet even these themes are departed for ever; No more beam the eyes which my dream could inspire, My visions are flown, to return,---alas, never! When drain'd is the nectar which gladdens the bowl, How vain is the effort delight to prolong! When cold is the beauty which dwelt in my soul, What magic of Fancy can lengthen my song? Can the lips sing of Love in the desert alone, Of kisses and smiles which they now must resign ? Or dwell with delight on the hours that are flown ? Ah, no! for those hours can no longer be mine.
Can they speak of the friends that I lived but to love? Ah, surely Affection ennobles the strain! But how can my numbers in sympathy move, When I scarcely can hope to behold them again? Can I sing of the deeds which my Fathers have done, And raise my loud harp to the fame of my Sires? For glories like theirs, oh, how faint is my tone! For Heroes' exploits how unequal my fires! Untouch'd, then, my Lyre shall reply to the blast--- 'Tis hush'd; and my feeble endeavors are o'er; And those who have heard it will pardon the past, When they know that its murmurs shall vibrate no more.
And soon shall its wild erring notes be forgot, Since early affection and love is o'ercast: Oh! blest had my Fate been, and happy my lot, Had the first strain of love been the dearest, the last.
Farewell, my young Muse! since we now can ne'er meet; If our songs have been languid, they surely are few: Let us hope that the present at least will be sweet--- The present---which seals our eternal Adieu.