AKA George Gordon Noel Byron
Born: 22-Jan-1788? Birthplace: London, England ?Died: 19-Apr-1824
English poet, born in London at 16 Holles Street, Cavendish Square, London on the 22nd of January 1788. The Byrons were of Norman stock, but the founder of the family was Sir John Byron, who entered into possession of the priory and lands of Newstead in the county of Nottingham in 1540.
Lord Byron is widely known to be the rogue Lord poet and lover of all time. Author of Don Juan, his persona is one of a such eccentricities in manner, and his intellect - so innovative in thought, and therefore influental for one and a half centuries. He was the first rock star from the underground poetry scene.
"Byron's notability rests not only on his writings but also on his life, which featured aristocratic excesses, huge debts, numerous love affairs, and self-imposed exile. He was famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know". Byron served as a regional leader of Italy's revolutionary organisation, the Carbonari, in its struggle against Austria. He later travelled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died from a fever contracted while in Messolonghi in Greece."
Leading the predecessors of today's Los Angeles poets, and poets the world over, spanning from the Age of Reason and Enlightenment, and Modernity, leading to the Days of the Beats and also the "de-evolutionaries" of the punk and New Age scene,
Lord Byron's New Age thought and prophecies shook the Noble families and the Royal acquaintances of the world he was born into, and yet while his morals were careless, as in the poet's core of character they were most always over ridden by his passions.
His loyalty to "Change" through "the Good Fight" was yet based in higher consciousness and his legacy does include a "new age spirituality" as it exudes from his poetry:
Darkness, first published in 1816 -by Lord Byron
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went--and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires--and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings--the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd,
And men were gather'd round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain'd;
Forests were set on fire--but hour by hour
They fell and faded--and the crackling trunks
Extinguish'd with a crash--and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil'd;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd
And twin'd themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless--they were slain for food.
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again: a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought--and that was death
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails--men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devour'd,
Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lur'd their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answer'd not with a caress--he died.
The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they rak'd up,
And shivering scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects--saw, and shriek'd, and died--
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless--
A lump of death--a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd
They slept on the abyss without a surge--
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before;
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them--She was the Universe.
."..Byron, however was much more than an extraordinarily handsome and talented young poet,over whom the women of the day swooned monotonous regularity. A study of some great men suggests that sexual drive and powerful leadership are strongly linked. Byron was in every sense a leading man.
He was a prophet, an agent for change and a spokesman for a generation a century and a half in advance of his time. His ideas on truth, liberty and world citizenship were revolutionary. ' Byron's dramatic instinct led him to identify with the people, but his tragic exit from the scene was essential...
Everything that Byron did and wrote, studied in context, contributes to human understanding.
His poetry reflects his life and his life was an epic poem of great grandeur,
In going to Greece to die, Byron was spiritually going home."
(Forward of "The Byron Women", by Margot Strickland October 1973)
By the Rivers of Babylon We Sat Down and Wept, 1815 - by Lord Byron
We sat down and wept by the waters
Of Babel, and thought of the day
When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,
Made Salem's high places his prey;
And ye, oh her desolate daughters!
Were scattered all weeping away.
While sadly we gazed on the river
Which rolled on in freedom below,
They demanded the song; but, oh never
That triumph the stranger shall know!
May this right hand be withered for ever,
Ere it string our high harp for the foe!
On the willow that harp is suspended,
Oh Salem! its sound should be free;
And the hour when thy glories were
But left me that token of thee:
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
With the voice of the spoiler by me!
Don Juan: Dedication, first published in 1818
Difficile est proprie communia dicere
HOR. Epist. ad Pison
Bob Southey! You're a poet--Poet-laureate,
And representative of all the race;
Although 'tis true that you turn'd out a Tory at
Last--yours has lately been a common case;
And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at?
With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye
Like "four and twenty Blackbirds in a pye;
"Which pye being open'd they began to sing"
(This old song and new simile holds good),
"A dainty dish to set before the King,"
Or Regent, who admires such kind of food;
And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing,
But like a hawk encumber'd with his hood,
Explaining Metaphysics to the nation--
I wish he would explain his Explanation.
You, Bob! are rather insolent, you know,
At being disappointed in your wish
To supersede all warblers here below,
And be the only Blackbird in the dish;
And then you overstrain yourself, or so,
And tumble downward like the flying fish
Gasping on deck, because you soar too high, Bob,
And fall, for lack of moisture quite a-dry, Bob!
And Wordsworth, in a rather long "Excursion"
(I think the quarto holds five hundred pages),
Has given a sample from the vasty version
Of his new system to perplex the sages;
'Tis poetry--at least by his assertion,
And may appear so when the dog-star rages--
And he who understands it would be able
To add a story to the Tower of Babel.
You--Gentlemen! by dint of long seclusion
From better company, have kept your own
At Keswick, and, through still continu'd fusion
Of one another's minds, at last have grown
To deem as a most logical conclusion,
That Poesy has wreaths for you alone:
There is a narrowness in such a notion,
Which makes me wish you'd change your lakes for Ocean.
I would not imitate the petty thought,
Nor coin my self-love to so base a vice,
For all the glory your conversion brought,
Since gold alone should not have been its price.
You have your salary; was't for that you wrought?
And Wordsworth has his place in the Excise.
You're shabby fellows--true--but poets still,
And duly seated on the Immortal Hill.
Your bays may hide the baldness of your brows--
Perhaps some virtuous blushes--let them go--
To you I envy neither fruit nor boughs--
And for the fame you would engross below,
The field is universal, and allows
Scope to all such as feel the inherent glow:
Scott, Rogers, Campbell, Moore and Crabbe, will try
'Gainst you the question with posterity.
For me, who, wandering with pedestrian Muses,
Contend not with you on the winged steed,
I wish your fate may yield ye, when she chooses,
The fame you envy, and the skill you need;
And, recollect, a poet nothing loses
In giving to his brethren their full meed
Of merit, and complaint of present days
Is not the certain path to future praise.
He that reserves his laurels for posterity
(Who does not often claim the bright reversion)
Has generally no great crop to spare it, he
Being only injur'd by his own assertion;
And although here and there some glorious rarity
Arise like Titan from the sea's immersion,
The major part of such appellants go
To--God knows where--for no one else can know.
If, fallen in evil days on evil tongues,
Milton appeal'd to the Avenger, Time,
If Time, the Avenger, execrates his wrongs,
And makes the word "Miltonic" mean " sublime ,"
He deign'd not to belie his soul in songs,
Nor turn his very talent to a crime;
He did not loathe the Sire to laud the Son,
But clos'd the tyrant-hater he begun.
Think'st thou, could he--the blind Old Man--arise
Like Samuel from the grave, to freeze once more
The blood of monarchs with his prophecies
Or be alive again--again all hoar
With time and trials, and those helpless eyes,
And heartless daughters--worn--and pale--and poor;
Would he adore a sultan? he obey
The intellectual eunuch Castlereagh?
Cold-blooded, smooth-fac'd, placid miscreant!
Dabbling its sleek young hands in Erin's gore,
And thus for wider carnage taught to pant,
Transferr'd to gorge upon a sister shore,
The vulgarest tool that Tyranny could want,
With just enough of talent, and no more,
To lengthen fetters by another fix'd,
And offer poison long already mix'd.
An orator of such set trash of phrase
That even its grossest flatterers dare not praise,
Nor foes--all nations--condescend to smile,
Not even a sprightly blunder's spark can blaze
From that Ixion grindstone's ceaseless toil,
That turns and turns to give the world a notion
Of endless torments and perpetual motion.
A bungler even in its disgusting trade,
And botching, patching, leaving still behind
Something of which its masters are afraid,
States to be curb'd, and thoughts to be confin'd,
Conspiracy or Congress to be made--
Cobbling at manacles for all mankind--
A tinkering slave-maker, who mends old chains,
With God and Man's abhorrence for its gains.
If we may judge of matter by the mind,
Emasculated to the marrow It
Hath but two objects, how to serve, and bind,
Deeming the chain it wears even men may fit,
Eutropius of its many masters, blind
To worth as freedom, wisdom as to Wit,
Fearless--because no feeling dwells in ice,
Its very courage stagnates to a vice.
Where shall I turn me not to view its bonds,
For I will never feel them?--Italy!
Thy late reviving Roman soul desponds
Beneath the lie this State-thing breath'd o'er thee--
Thy clanking chain, and Erin's yet green wounds,
Have voices--tongues to cry aloud for me.
Europe has slaves--allies--kings--armies still,
And Southey lives to sing them very ill.
Meantime--Sir Laureate--I proceed to dedicate,
In honest simple verse, this song to you,
And, if in flattering strains I do not predicate,
'Tis that I still retain my "buff and blue";
My politics as yet are all to educate:
Apostasy's so fashionable, too,
To keep one creed's a task grown quite Herculean;
Is it not so, my Tory, ultra-Julian?
p a r t o n e Life . " To chase the glowing hours with flying feet. "
I quote Lord Byron to color this Chapter,
Inventing Don Juan, Women Enraptured .
Poet, Revolutionary, Rogue of My Heart,
Reciting The Enlightenment,
of Reason, the Start,
Under Lord Byron I took "Life 101"
Learning, Be One for All... But Be Also for Fun .
And when Life's Many Variants Inevitably Come Call
Write Poetry... as Lord Byron said,
So, write Poetry I Shall...