HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Lord Byron, born 22 January 1788
“Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart,
‘Tis woman’s whole existence.”
I fell in love with the poetry of Lord Byron when I was 13 years old. When Byron began to publish his poems, everyone fell in love with them!! He was the first poet super-star, internationally famous in his day, a Greek hero when he died fighting for Greek independence, and a legend in his own time. Some of that legend came from his tempestuous life (it is not for nothing that Lady Caroline Lamb described him as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know”) and his riotous behaviour, but the legend has lasted because he was a great poet. There is an exquisite beauty in the short So we’ll go no more a-roving, and The Eve of Waterloo is one of the finest anti-war poems I know.
Celebrate Lord Byron’s birthday by reading some of his poems, or get some on audio and listen to them being well read by others. If you live near Nottinghamshire, then you should visit Newstead Abbey, Byron’s ancestral home. It is an amazing place and although somewhat changed since his day, it still reflects his larger-than-life personality.
So we’ll go no more a-roving
So, we’ll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out 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.
Listen to Sir John Gielgud reading the poem:
Lord Byron died on 19 April 1824 at age 36.
Did you fall in love with Byron also? Tell me your thoughts in the comment area below.
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