- 1 Quotes
- 1.1 English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809)
- 1.2 The Bride of Abydos (1813)
- 1.3 The Giaour (1813)
- 1.4 The Corsair (1814)
- 1.5 Hebrew Melodies (1815)
- 1.6 Monody on the Death of Sheridan (1816)
- 1.7 The Dream (1816)
- 1.8 Prometheus (1816)
- 1.9 Manfred (1817)
- 1.10 So, We'll Go No More A-Roving (1817)
- 1.11 Beppo (1818)
- 1.12 Sardanapalus (1821)
- 1.13 The Age of Bronze (1823)
- 1.14 Lord Byron's Armenian Exercises and Poetry (1870)
- 2 Quotes about Lord Byron
- 3 External links
- When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past—
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove—
The dearest remembrance will still be the last,
Our sweetest memorial the first kiss of love.
- The First Kiss of Love, st. 7 (1806)
- Farewell! if ever fondest prayer
For other's weal avail'd on high,
Mine will not all be lost in air,
But waft thy name beyond the sky.
- Farewell! if ever fondest Prayer (1808)
- I only know we loved in vain;
I only feel — farewell! farewell!
- Farewell! If Ever Fondest Prayer (1808), st. 2
- When we two parted
In silence and tears,
To sever for years.
- When We Two Parted (1808), stanza 1
- 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 (1808), st. 4
- 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.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
BOATSWAIN, a DOG
- The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend.
- Inscription on the monument of a Newfoundland dog (1808)
- Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh give me back my heart!
- Maid of Athens, st. 1 (1810)
- The love where Death has set his seal,
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,
Nor falsehood disavow.
- And thou wert lovely to the last,
Extinguish'd, not decay'd;
As stars that shoot along the sky
Shine brightest as they fall from high.
- And Thou Art Dead as Young and Fair (1812)
- If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.
- Where may the wearied eye repose
When gazing on the Great;
Where neither guilty glory glows,
Nor despicable state?
Yes — one — the first — the last — the best — The Cincinnatus of the West,
Whom envy dared not hate,
Bequeath'd the name of Washington,
To make man blush there was but one!
- Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte, st. 29 (1814)
- You are the fools, not I — for I did dwell
With a deep thought, and with a softened eye,
On that Old Sexton's natural homily,
In which there was Obscurity and Fame,
The Glory and the Nothing of a Name.
- Churchill's Grave, l. 43
- My great comfort is, that the temporary celebrity I have wrung from the world has been in the very teeth of all opinions and prejudices. I have flattered no ruling powers; I have never concealed a single thought that tempted me.
- Letter to Thomas Moore (9 April 1814)
- Fare thee well! and if forever,
Still forever, fare thee well:
Even though unforgiving, never
'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.
- Fare Thee Well, st. 1 (1816)
- My hair is grey, but not with years,
Nor grew it white
In a single night,
As men's have grown from sudden fears.
- The Prisoner of Chillon, st. 1 (1816)
- Oh, God! it is a fearful thing
To see the human soul take wing
In any shape, in any mood.
- The Prisoner of Chillon, st. 8
- A light broke in upon my brain, —
It was the carol of a bird;
It ceased, and then it came again,
The sweetest song ear ever heard.
- The Prisoner of Chillon, st. 10
- There 's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away.
- Stanzas for Music (March 1815), reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- There be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me.
- Stanzas for Music, st. 1 (1816)
- 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.
- Stanzas to Augusta, st. 1 (1816)
- 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.
- Stanzas to Augusta (1816), reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- The careful pilot of my proper woe.
- Epistle to Augusta, Stanza 3, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- As the liberty lads o'er the sea
Bought their freedom, and cheaply, with blood,
So we, boys, we
Shall die fighting or live free,
And down with all kings but King Ludd!
- Song for the Luddites (1816)
- My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
But, before I go, Tom Moore.
Here's a double health to thee!
- To Thomas Moore, st. 1 (1817)
- Here's a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate:
And, whatever sky's above me,
Here's a heart for every fate.
- To Thomas Moore, st. 2
- Were't the last drop in the well,
As I gasp'd upon the brink,
Ere my fainting spirit fell
'T is to thee that I would drink.
- To Thomas Moore, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- "Bring forth the horse!" — the horse was brought;
In truth, he was a noble steed,
A Tartar of the Ukraine breed,
Who look'd as though the speed of thought
Were in his limbs.
- Mazeppa (1819), stanza 9
- And if we do but watch the hour,
There never yet was human power
Which could evade, if unforgiven,
The patient search and vigil long
Of him who treasures up a wrong.
- Mazeppa (1819), stanza 10
- When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,
Let him combat for that of his neighbours;
Let him think of the glories of Greece and of Rome
And get knock'd on the head for his labours.
To do good to mankind is the chivalrous plan,
And is always as nobly requited;
Then battle for freedom wherever you can.
And, if not shot or hang'd, you'll get knighted.
- Oh, 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.
- Stanzas Written on the Road Between Florence and Pisa, st. 1 (1821)
- The world is a bundle of hay,
Mankind are the asses that pull,
Each tugs in a different way—
And the greatest of all is John Bull!
- Letter to Thomas Moore (22 June 1821)
- Send me no more reviews of any kind. — I will read no more of evil or good in that line. — Walter Scott has not read a review of himself for thirteen years.
- Letter to his publisher, John Murray (3 November 1821)
- I live, but live to die: and, living, see nothing to make death hateful, save an innate clinging, a loathsome and yet all invincible instinct of life, which I abhor, as I despise myself, yet cannot overcome — and so I live. Would I had never lived!
- "Cain", Act I, sc. i (1821)
He is all-powerful, must all-good, too, follow?
I judge but by the fruits—and they are bitter—
Which I must feed on for a fault not mine.
- Cain, Act I, sc. i (1821)
- Who killed John Keats?
"I," says the Quarterly,
So savage and Tartarly;
"'Twas one of my feats."
- John Keats (c. 1821)
- He seems
To have seen better days, as who has not
Who has seen yesterday?
- Werner, Act I, sc. i (1822)
- Sublime tobacco! which from east to west
Cheers the tar's labor or the Turkman's rest.
- The Island (1823), Canto II, Stanza 19
- Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe
When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;
Like other charmers, wooing the caress
More dazzlingly when daring in full dress;
Yet thy true lovers more admire by far
Thy naked beauties—give me a cigar!
- The Island (1823), Canto II, Stanza 19
- Jack was embarrassed — never hero more,
And as he knew not what to say, he swore.
- The Island (1823), Canto III, Stanza 5
- What's drinking?
A mere pause from thinking!
- The Deformed Transformed, Act III, sc. i (1824)
- My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of Love are gone;
The worm — the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!
- On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year, st. 2 (1824)
- Seek out — less often sought than found —
A Soldier's Grave, for thee the best;
Then look around and choose thy Ground,
And take thy Rest.
- On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year, st. 10
- I awoke one morning and found myself famous.
- A great poet belongs to no country; his works are public property, and his Memoirs the inheritance of the public.
- As quoted in Conversations of Lord Byron with Thomas Medwin (1832), Preface
- Hands promiscuously applied,
Round the slight waist, or down the glowing side.
- The Waltz, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- They never fail who die
In a great cause.
- Marino Faliero, Act II, Scene 2, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- Friendship may, and often does, grow into love, but love never subsides into friendship.
- Lord of himself,—that heritage of woe!
- Lara, Canto I, Stanza 2, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale's high note is heard;
It is the hour when lovers' vows
Seem sweet in every whisper'd word.
- Parisina, Stanza 1, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- Yet in my lineaments they trace
Some features of my father's face.
- Parisina, Stanza 13, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- Born in the garret, in the kitchen bred.
- A Sketch, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- Whose game was empires and whose stakes were thrones,
Whose table earth, whose dice were human bones.
- Age of Bronze, Stanza 3, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- I loved my country, and I hated him.
- The Vision of Judgment, lxxxiii, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- Friendship is Love without his wings.
- L'Amitié est l'Amour sans Ailes, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
- What say you to such a supper with such a woman?
- Note to a Letter on Bowles's Strictures, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809)
- I'll publish right or wrong:
Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.
- Line 5
- 'Tis pleasure, sure, to see one's name in print;
A book's a book, although there's nothing in 't.
- Line 51
- A man must serve his time to every trade
Save censure — critics are ready-made.
- Line 63
- With just enough of learning to misquote.
- Line 66
- As soon
Seek roses in December, ice in June;
Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff;
Believe a woman or an epitaph,
Or any other thing that's false, before
You trust in critics, who themselves are sore.
- Line 75
- Better to err with Pope, than shine with Pye.
- Line 102
- Oh, Amos Cottle! Phœbus! what a name!
- Line 399
- 'Twas thine own genius gave the final blow,
And help'd to plant the wound that laid thee low:
So the struck eagle, stretch'd upon the plain,
No more through rolling clouds to soar again,
View'd his own feather on the fatal dart,
And wing'd the shaft that quiver'd in his heart.
- Line 826. A number of authors have addressed this common motif of an eagle shot with an eagle-feather arrow
- Yet truth will sometimes lend her noblest fires,
And decorate the verse herself inspires:
This fact, in virtue's name, let Crabbe attest,—
Though Nature's sternest painter, yet the best.
- Line 839
The Bride of Abydos (1813)
- Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime?
Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,
Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime!
- Canto I, stanza 1; this can be compared to: "Know'st thou the land where the lemon-trees bloom, / Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket's gloom, / Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows, / And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose!" Goethe, Wilhelm Meister
- Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine?
- Canto I, stanza 1
- The light of love, the purity of grace,
The mind, the music breathing from her face, 19
The heart whose softness harmonized the whole,—
And oh, that eye was in itself a soul!
- Canto I, Stanza 6; this can be compared to: "The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love", Thomas Gray, The Progress of Poesy I. 3, line 16; also: "Oh, could you view the melody / Of every grace / And music of her face", Richard Lovelace, Orpheus to Beasts; "There is music in the beauty, and the silent note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an instrument", Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, Part ii, Section ix
- Who hath not proved how feebly words essay
To fix one spark of beauty's heavenly ray?
Who doth not feel, until his failing sight
Faints into dimness with its own delight,
His changing cheek, his sinking heart, confess
The might, the majesty of loveliness?
- Canto I, stanza 6
- The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle.
- Canto II, stanza 2
- Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life,
The evening beam that smiles the clouds away,
And tints to-morrow with prophetic ray!
- Canto II, stanza 20
- Mark! where his carnage and his conquests cease!
He makes a solitude, and calls it — peace!
- Canto II, stanza 20. Here Byron is using an adaptation of a quote from Agricola by the Roman historian Tacitus (c. 30). The original words in the text are Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant (To robbery, slaighter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a wilderness, and call it peace). This has also been reported as Solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant (They make solitude, which they call peace)
- Hark! to the hurried question of despair:
"Where is my child?"—an echo answers, "Where?"
- Canto II, stanza 27; this can be compared to: I came to the place of my birth, and cried, "The friends of my youth, where are they?" And echo answered, "Where are they?", Anonymous Arabic manuscript
The Giaour (1813)
- He who hath bent him o'er the dead
Ere the first day of death is fled,—
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress,
Before decay's effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers.
- Line 68
- Such is the aspect of this shore;
'T is Greece, but living Greece no more!
So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
We start, for soul is wanting there.
- Line 90
- Shrine of the mighty! can it be
That this is all remains of thee?
- Line 106
- For freedom's battle, once begun,
Bequeath'd by bleeding sire to son,
Though baffled oft, is ever won.
- Line 123
- And lovelier things have mercy shown
To every failing but their own,
And every woe a tear can claim
Except an erring sister's shame.
- Line 418
- The keenest pangs the wretched find
Are rapture to the dreary void,
The leafless desert of the mind,
The waste of feelings unemployed.
- Line 957
- Better to sink beneath the shock
Than moulder piecemeal on the rock.
- Line 969
- The cold in clime are cold in blood,
Their love can scarce deserve the name.
- Line 1099
- I die — but first I have possessed,
And come what may, I have been blessed.
- Line 1114
- She was a form of life and light
That seen, became a part of sight,
And rose, where'er I turn'd mine eye,
The morning-star of memory!
Yes, love indeed is light from heaven;
A spark of that immortal fire
With angels shared, by Alla given,
To lift from earth our low desire.
- Line 1127
The Corsair (1814)
- The fatal facility of the octosyllabic verse.
- Oh who can tell, save he whose heart hath tried.
- O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,
Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,
Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam, 22
Survey our empire, and behold our home!
These are our realms, no limit to their sway,—
Our flag the sceptre all who meet obey.
- Canto I, stanza 1
- She walks the waters like a thing of life,
And seems to dare the elements to strife.
- Canto I, stanza 3
- Such hath it been — shall be — beneath the sun
The many still must labour for the one!
- Canto I, stanza 8
- There was a laughing devil in his sneer.
- Canto I, stanza 9
For in that word, that fatal word,—howe'er
We promise, hope, believe,—there breathes despair.
- Canto I, stanza 15
- No words suffice the secret soul to show,
For truth denies all eloquence to woe.
- Canto III, stanza 22
- He left a corsair's name to other times,
Linked with one virtue, and a thousand crimes.
Hebrew Melodies (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.
- She Walks in Beauty, st. 1. The subject of these lines was Mrs. R. Wilmot.—Berry Memoirs, vol. iii. p. 7
- The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
- For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast.
- The Destruction of Sennacherib, st. 3
- And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
- The Destruction of Sennacherib, st. 6
Monody on the Death of Sheridan (1816)
- When all of genius which can perish dies.
- Line 22
- Folly loves the martyrdom of fame.
- Line 68
- Who track the steps of glory to the grave.
- Line 74
- Sighing that Nature formed but one such man,
And broke the die, in molding Sheridan.
- Line 117; this can be compared to: "Natura il fece, e poi ruppe la stampa" (translated: "Nature made him, and then broke the mould"), Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, canto x, stanza 84; "The idea that Nature lost the perfect mould has been a favorite one with all song-writers and poets, and is found in the literature of all European nations", Book of English Songs, p. 28
- And both were young, and one was beautiful.
- Stanza 2
- She was his life,
The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Which terminated all.
- Stanza 2; this can be compared to: "She floats upon the river of his thoughts", Henry W. Longfellow, The Spanish Student, act ii, scene 3
- A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
- Stanza 3
- And they were canopied by the blue sky,
So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful
That God alone was to be seen in heaven.
- Stanza 4
- Prometheus (1816)
- Titan! to whom immortal eyes
The sufferings of mortality
Seen in their sad reality,
Were not as things that gods despise;
What was thy pity's recompense?
A silent suffering, and intense;
The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
All that the proud can feel of pain,
The agony they do not show,
The suffocating sense of woe,
Which speaks but in its loneliness,
And then is jealous lest the sky
Should have a listener, nor will sigh
Until its voice is echoless.
- Titan! to thee the strife was given
Between the suffering and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill;
And the inexorable Heaven,
And the deaf tyranny of Fate,
The ruling principle of Hate,
Which for its pleasure doth create
The things it may annihilate,
Refused thee even the boon to die:
The wretched gift eternity
Was thine — and thou hast borne it well.
All that the Thunderer wrung from thee
Was but the menace which flung back
On him the torments of thy rack;
The fate thou didst so well foresee,
But would not to appease him tell;
And in thy Silence was his Sentence,
And in his Soul a vain repentance,
And evil dread so ill dissembled,
That in his hand the lightnings trembled.
- Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness,
And strengthen Man with his own mind;
But baffled as thou wert from high,
Still in thy patient energy,
In the endurance, and repulse
Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,
A mighty lesson we inherit:
Thou art a symbol and a sign
To Mortals of their fate and force;
Like thee, Man is in part divine,
A troubled stream from a pure source;
And Man in portions can foresee
His own funereal destiny;
His wretchedness, and his resistance,
And his sad unallied existence:
To which his Spirit may oppose
Itself — and equal to all woes,
And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Which even in torture can decry
Its own concenter'd recompense,
Triumphant where it dares defy,
And making Death a Victory.
- 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.
- Act I, scene i
- Mont Blanc is the Monarch of mountains;
They crowned him long ago,
On a throne of rocks — in a robe of clouds –
With a Diadem of Snow.
- Act I, scene i
- But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
To sink or soar.
- Act I, scene ii
- Think'st thou existence doth depend on time?
It doth; but actions are our epochs: mine
Have made my days and nights imperishable
Endless, and all alike, as sands on the shore
Innumerable atoms; and one desert
Barren and cold, on which the wild waves break,
But nothing rests, save carcases and wrecks,
Rocks, and the salt-surf weeds of bitterness.
- Act II, scene i
- Knowledge is not happiness, and science
But an exchange of ignorance for that
Which is another kind of ignorance.
- Act II, scene iv
- The heart ran o'er
With silent worship of the great of old!
The dead but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule
Our spirits from their urns.
- Act III, scene iv
- Old man! ’tis not so difficult to die.
- Act III, scene iv
So, We'll Go No More A-Roving (1817)
- 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.
- St. 1
- 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.
- St. 2
- 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.
- St. 3
- For most men (till by losing rendered sager)
Will back their own opinions by a wager.
- Stanza 27
- Soprano, basso, even the contra-alto,
Wished him five fathom under the Rialto.
- Stanza 32
- His heart was one of those which most enamour us,
Wax to receive, and marble to retain:
He was a lover of the good old school,
Who still become more constant as they cool.
- Stanza 34; this can be compared to: "My heart is wax to be moulded as she pleases, but enduring as marble to retain", Miguel de Cervantes, The Little Gypsy
- Besides, they always smell of bread and butter.
- Stanza 39
- I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,
Which melts like kisses from a female mouth,
And sounds as if it should be writ on satin,
With syllables which breathe of the sweet South,
And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in,
That not a single accent seems uncouth,
Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural,
Which we're obliged to hiss, and spit, and sputter all.
- Stanza 44
- Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes,
Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies.
- Stanza 45
- O Mirth and Innocence! O milk and water!
Ye happy mixtures of more happy days.
- Stanza 80
- How my soul hates This language,
Which makes life itself a lie,
Flattering dust with eternity.
- Act I, scene 2
- By all that's good and glorious.
- Act I, scene 2
- Eat, drink, and love; the rest's not worth a fillip.
- Act I, scene 2
- I am the very slave of circumstance
And impulse — borne away with every breath!
Misplaced upon the throne — misplaced in life.
I know not what I could have been, but feel
I am not what I should be — let it end.
- Act IV, scene 1
- But take this with thee: if I was not form'd
To prize a love like thine, a mind like thine,
Nor dote even on thy beauty — as I've doted
On lesser charms, for no cause save that such
Devotion was a duty, and I hated
All that look'd like a chain for me or others
(This even rebellion must avouch); yet hear
These words, perhaps among my last — that none
E'er valued more thy virtues, though he knew not
To profit by them…
- Act IV, scene 1
- Oh! if thou hast at length
Discover'd that my love is worth esteem,
I ask no more—but let us hence together,
And I — let me say we — shall yet be happy.
Assyria is not all the earth—we'll find
A world out of our own — and be more bless'd
Than I have ever been, or thou, with all
An empire to indulge thee.
- Act IV, scene 1
- The dust we tread upon was once alive.
- Act IV, scene 1
- My best! my last friends!
Let's not unman each other: part at once:
All farewells should be sudden, when for ever,
Else they make an eternity of moments,
And clog the last sad sands of life with tears.
Hence, and be happy: trust me, I am not
Now to be pitied; or far more for what
Is past than present; — for the future, 'tis
In the hands of the deities, if such
There be: I shall know soon. Farewell — Farewell.
- Act V
The Age of Bronze (1823)
- The "good old times" — all times when old are good —
- St. 1
- Where is he, the champion and the child
Of all that's great or little, wise or wild;
Whose game was empires, and whose stakes were thrones;
Whose table earth — whose dice were human bones?
- St. 3
- While Franklin's quiet memory climbs to heaven,
Calming the lightning which he thence hath riven,
Or drawing from the no less kindled earth
Freedom and peace to that which boasts his birth;
While Washington's a watchword, such as ne'er
Shall sink while there's an echo left to air.
- St. 5
Lord Byron's Armenian Exercises and Poetry (1870)
- It would be difficult, perhaps, to find the annals of a nation less stained with crimes than those of the Armenians, whose virtues have been those of peace, and their vices those of compulsion. But whatever may have been their destiny — and it has been bitter — whatever it may be in future, their country must ever be one of the most interesting on the globe.
- From the Letters of Lord Byron (2 January 1817), p. 6
- [Armenian] is a rich language, however, and would amply repay any one the trouble of learning it.
- "To Mr. Moore", From the Letters of Lord Byron, 5 December 1816, p. 12
Quotes about Lord Byron
- Alphabetized by author
- What helps it now, that Byron bore,
With haughty scorn which mocked the smart,
Through Europe to the Aetolian shore
The pageant of his bleeding heart?
That thousands counted every groan,
And Europe made his woe her own?
- Matthew Arnold, "Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse," Fraser's Magazine (April 1855); reprinted in New Poems (1867)
- If they had said that the sun or the moon had gone out of the heavens, it could not have struck me with the idea of a more awful and dreary blank in creation than the words: "Byron is dead!"
- Jane Welsh Carlyle, letter to Thomas Carlyle (20 May 1824)
- The world is rid of Lord Byron, but the deadly slime of his touch still remains.
- John Constable, letter to the Rev. John Fisher (May 1824)
- Lord Byron is great only as a poet; as soon as he reflects, he is a child.
- It still saddens me that Lord Byron, who showed such impatience with the fickle public, wasn't aware of how well the Germans can understand him and how highly they esteem him. With us the moral and political tittle-tattle of the day falls away, leaving the man and the talent standing alone in all their brilliance.
- Lord Byron makes man after his own image, woman after his own heart; the one is a capricious tyrant, the other a yielding slave.
- William Hazlitt, "Lord Byron," The Spirit of the Age (1825)
- Whatever he does, he must do in a more decided and daring manner than any one else; he lounges with extravagance, and yawns so as to alarm the reader!
- William Hazlitt, "Lord Byron," The Spirit of the Age (1825)
- In a room at the end of the garden to this house was a magnificent rocking-horse, which a friend had given my little boy; and Lord Byron, with a childish glee becoming a poet, would ride upon it. Ah! why did he ever ride his Pegasus to less advantage?
- Leigh Hunt, Autobiography (1850), vol. II, ch. XV
- You speak of Lord Byron and me — there is this great difference between us. He describes what he sees — I describe what I imagine. Mine is the hardest task.
- John Keats, letter to George and Georgiana Keats (September 1819)
- Mad, bad and dangerous to know.
- Lady Caroline Lamb, written in her journal upon their first meeting at a ball (March 1812)
- From the poetry of Lord Byron they drew a system of ethics, compounded of misanthropy and voluptuousness, a system in which the two great commandments were, to hate your neighbour, and to love your neighbour's wife.
- I never heard a single expression of fondness for him fall from the lips of any of those who knew him well.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, letter to Hannah and Margaret Macaulay (7 June 1831)
- Tragedy of childhood. Not infrequently, noble-minded and ambitious men have to endure their harshest struggle in childhood, perhaps by having to assert their characters against a low-minded father, who is devoted to pretense and mendacity, or by living, like Lord Byron, in continual struggle with a childish and wrathful mother. If one has experienced such struggles, for the rest of his life he will never get over knowing who has been in reality his greatest and most dangerous enemy.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human (1878)
- Always looking at himself in mirrors to make sure he was sufficiently outrageous.
- Enoch Powell, Sunday Times (8 May 1988)
- Our Lord Byron — the fascinating — faulty — childish — philosophical being — daring the world — docile to a private circle — impetuous and indolent — gloomy and yet more gay than any other.
- If I could envy any man for successful ill nature I should envy Lord Byron for his skill in satirical nomenclature.
- Sydney Smith, letter to Elizabeth Vassal Fox, Lady Holland (June 1810)
- The news came to the village — the dire news which spread across the land, filling men's hearts with consternation — that Byron was dead. Tennyson was then about a boy of fifteen.
"Byron was dead! I thought the whole world was at an end," he once said, speaking of those bygone days. "I thought everything was over and finished for everyone — that nothing else mattered. I remembered I walked out alone, and carved 'Byron is dead' into the sandstone."
- Anne Isabella Thackeray, Lady Ritchie, Records of Tennyson, Ruskin, and Robert and Elizabeth Browning (1892)