Selected Poems

Selected Poems

Selected Poems

Selected Poems


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Byron's free-spirited lifestyle combined with his rare poetic gift to make him one of the foremost figures of the Romantic Era. This collection of his poems, richly varied in mood and content, captures the essence of his great achievement. Among the thirty-one poems included are convivial song-like poems, love poems, travel poems, humorous and satiric poems.
Shorter works such as the famous "She Walks in Beauty," "Stanzas to Augusta" and "So We'll Go No More a Roving" are well represented. Also here are important longer works — "The Prisoner of Chillon," "Beppo," "The Vision of Judgment," all unabridged — and lyrics excerpted from Don Juan, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, and the play Manfred. Taken together, these are poems that draw readers quickly into the passions, humors, and convictions of a poet whose life and work truly embodied the Romantic spirit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486153582
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 02/21/2013
Series: Dover Thrift Editions: Poetry
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 278,872
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Selected Poems


Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1993 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-15358-2



    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;
    Woman his dupe, his heedless friend a tool;
    Old in the world, though scarcely broke from school;
    Damætas 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 pleasures bowl;
    But, pall'd with vice, he breaks his former chain,
    And what was once his bliss appears his bane.

    'I Would I Were a Careless Child'

    I would I were a careless child,
     Still dwelling in my Highland cave,
    Or roaming through the dusky wild,
     Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave;
    The cumbrous pomp of Saxon pride
     Accords not with the freeborn soul,
    Which loves the mountains craggy side,
     And seeks the rocks where billows roll.

    Fortune! take back these cultured lands,
     Take back this name of splendid sound!
    I hate the touch of servile hands,
     I hate the slaves that cringe around.
    Place me among the rocks I love,
     Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
    I ask but this—again to rove
     Through scenes my youth hath known before.

    Few are my years, and yet I feel
     The world was ne'er design'd for me:
    Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal
     The hour when man must cease to be?
    Once I beheld a splendid dream,
     A visionary scene of bliss:
    Truth!—wherefore did thy hated beam
     Awake me to a world like this?

    I loved—but those I loved are gone;
     Had friends—my early friends are fled:
    How cheerless feels the heart alone
     When all its former hopes are dead!
    Though gay companions o'er the bowl
     Dispel awhile the sense of ill;
    Though pleasure stirs the maddening soul,
     The heart—the heart—is lonely still.

    How dull! to hear the voice of those
     Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power,
    Have made, though neither friends nor foes,
     Associates of the festive hour.
    Give me again a faithful few,
     In years and feelings still the same,
    And I will fly the midnight crew,
     Where boist'rous joy is but a name.

    And woman, lovely woman! thou,
     My hope, my comforter, my all!
    How cold must be my bosom now,
     When e'en thy smiles begin to pall!
    Without a sigh would I resign
     This busy scene of splendid woe,
    To make that calm contentment mine,
     Which virtue knows, or seems to know.

    Fain would I fly the haunts of men—
     I seek to shun, not hate mankind;
    My breast requires the sullen glen,
     Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind.
    Oh! that to me the wings were given
     Which bear the turtle to her nest!
    Then would I cleave the vault of heaven,
     To flee away, and be at rest.

    '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,
     Too 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.

    Stanzas to a Lady on Leaving England

    'T is done—and shivering in the gale
    The bark unfurls her snowy sail;
    And whistling o'er the bending mast
    Loud sings on high the fresh'ning blast;
    And I must from this land be gone,
    Because I cannot love but one.

    But could I be what I have been,
    And could I see what I have seen—
    Could I repose upon the breast
    Which once my warmest wishes blest—
    I should not seek another zone,
    Because I cannot love but one.

    'T is long since I beheld that eye
    Which gave me bliss or misery;
    And I have striven, but in vain,
    Never to think of it again:
    For though I fly from Albion,
    I still can only love but one.

    As some lone bird, without a mate,
    My weary heart is desolate;
    I look around, and cannot trace
    One friendly smile or welcome face,
    And ev'n in crowds am still alone,
    Because I cannot love but one.

    And I will cross the whitening foam,
    And I will seek a foreign home;
    Till I forget a false fair face,
    I ne'er shall find a resting-place;
    My own dark thoughts I cannot shun,
    But ever love, and love but one.

    The poorest, veriest wretch on earth
    Still finds some hospitable hearth,
    Where friendship's or loves softer glow
    May smile in joy or soothe in woe;
    But friend or leman I have none,
    Because I cannot love but one.

    I go—but wheresoe'er I flee
    There 's not an eye will weep for me;
    There 's not a kind congenial heart,
    Where I can claim the meanest part;
    Nor thou, who hast my hopes undone,
    Wilt sigh, although I love but one.

    To think of every early scene,
    Of what we are, and what we 've been,
    Would whelm some softer hearts with woe—
    But mine, alas! has stood the blow;
    Yet still beats on as it begun,
    And never truly loves but one.

    And who that dear loved one may be,
    Is not for vulgar eyes to see;
    And why that early love was crost,
    Thou know'st the best, I feel the most;
    But few that dwell beneath the sun
    Have loved so long, and loved but one.

    I've tried another's fetters too
    With charms perchance as fair to view;
    And I would fain have loved as well,
    But some unconquerable spell
    Forbade my bleeding breast to own
    A kindred care for aught but one.

    'T would soothe to take one lingering view,
    And bless thee in my last adieu;
    Yet wish I not those eyes to weep
    For him that wanders o'er the deep;
    His home, his hope, his youth are gone,
    Yet still he loves, and loves but one.

    To Florence

    Oh Lady! when I left the shore,
     The distant shore which gave me birth,
    I hardly thought to grieve once more,
     To quit another spot on earth:

    Yet here, amidst this barren isle,
     Where panting Nature droops the head,
    Where only thou art seen to smile,
     I view my parting hour with dread.

    Though far from Albin's craggy shore,
     Divided by the dark-blue main;
    A few, brief, rolling seasons o'er,
     Perchance I view her cliffs again:

    But wheresoe'er I now may roam,
     Through scorching clime and varied sea,
    Though Time restore me to my home,
     I ne'er shall bend mine eyes on thee:

    On thee, in whom at once conspire
     All charms which heedless hearts can move,
    Whom but to see is to admire,
     And, oh! forgive the word—to love.

    Forgive the word, in one who ne'er
     With such a word can more offend;
    And since thy heart I cannot share,
     Believe me, what I am, thy friend.

    And who so cold as look on thee,
     Thou lovely wand'rer, and be less?
    Nor be, what man would ever be,
     The friend of Beauty in distress?

    Ah! who would think that form had past
     Through Danger's most destructive path,
    Had braved the death-wing'd tempest's blast,
     And 'scaped a tyrant's fiercer wrath?

    Lady! when I shall view the walls
     Where free Byzantium once arose,
    And Stamboul's Oriental halls
     The Turkish tyrants now enclose:

    Though mightiest in the lists of fame,
     That glorious city still shall be;
    On me 't will hold a dearer claim,
     As spot of thy nativity.

    And though I bid thee now farewell,
     When I behold that wondrous scene,
    Since where thou art I may not dwell,
     'T will soothe to be, where thou hast been.

    The Girl of Cadiz

    Oh never talk again to me
     Of northern climes and British ladies;
    It has not been your lot to see,
     Like me, the lovely girl of Cadiz.
    Although her eye be not of blue,
     Nor fair her locks, like English lasses,
    How far its own expressive hue
     The languid azure eye surpasses!

    Prometheus-like, from heaven she stole
     The fire, that through those silken lashes
    In darkest glances seems to roll,
     From eyes that cannot hide their flashes:
    And as along her bosom steal
     In lengthen'd flow her raven tresses,
    You 'd swear each clustering lock could feel,
     And curl'd to give her neck caresses.

    Our English maids are long to woo,
     And frigid even in possession;
    And if their charms be fair to view,
     Their lips are slow at Love's confession:
    But, born beneath a brighter sun,
     For love ordain'd the Spanish maid is,
    And who,—when fondly, fairly won,—
     Enchants you like the Girl of Cadiz?

    The Spanish maid is no coquette,
     Nor joys to see a lover tremble,
    And if she love, or if she hate,
     Alike she knows not to dissemble.
    Her heart can ne'er be bought or sold—
     Howe'er it beats, it beats sincerely;
    And, though it will not bend to gold,
     'T will love you long and love you dearly.

    The Spanish girl that meets your love
     Ne'er taunts you with a mock denial,
    For every thought is bent to prove
     Her passion in the hour of trial.
    When thronging foemen menace Spain,
     She dares the deed and shares the danger;
    And should her lover press the plain,
     She hurls the spear, her love's avenger.

    And when, beneath the evening star,
     She mingles in the gay Bolero,
    Or sings to her attuned guitar
     Of Christian knight or Moorish hero,
    Or counts her beads with fairy hand
     Beneath the twinkling rays of Hesper,
    Or joins Devotion's choral band,
     To chaunt the sweet and hallow'd vesper;—

    In each her charms the heart must move
     Of all who venture to behold her;
    Then let not maids less fair reprove
     Because her bosom is not colder:
    Through many a clime 't is mine to roam
     Where many a soft and melting maid is,
    But none abroad, and few at home,
     May match the dark-eyed Girl of Cadiz.

    'Adieu, Adieu! My Native Shore'


    'Adieu, adieu! my native shore
     Fades o'er the waters blue;
    The Night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,
     And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
    Yon Sun that sets upon the sea
     We follow in his flight;
    Farewell awhile to him and thee,
     My native Land—Good Night!


    A few short hours and He will rise
     To give the Morrow birth;
    And I shall hail the main and skies,
     But not my mother Earth.
    Deserted is my own good hall,
     Its hearth is desolate;
    Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
     My dog howls at the gate.


    'Come hither, hither, my little page!
     Why dost thou weep and wail?
    Or dost thou dread the billows' rage,
     Or tremble at the gale?
    But dash the tear-drop from thine eye;
     Our ship is swift and strong,
    Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly
     More merrily along.'—


Excerpted from Selected Poems by GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON, STANLEY APPELBAUM. Copyright © 1993 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

I Would I Were a Careless Child'
When We Two Parted'
Stanzas to a Lady on Leaving England
To Florence
The Girl of Cadiz
"Adieu, Adieu! My Native Shore' (from Canto the First of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; late 1890)"
Written after Swimming from Sestos to Abydos
"Maid of Athens, Ere We Part'"
From Hebrew Melodies
  She Walks in Beauty'
  Oh! Snatch'd Away in Beauty's Bloom'
  The Destruction of Sennacherib
  Stanzas for Music ('They Say That Hope Is Happiness')
  Stanzas for Music ('There's Not a Joy the World Can Give')
  Stanzas for Music ('There Be None of Beauty's Daughters')
  Fare Thee Well
  The Prisoner of Chillon
  Stanzas to Augusta
  "When the Moon Is on the Wave' (from Act I, Scene I of Manfred)"
  So We'll Go No More a Roving'
  My Boat Is on the Shore'
  "Dear Doctor, I Have Read Your Play'"
  The Isles of Greece' (from Canto the Third of Don Juan)
  When a Man Hath No Feedom to Fight for at Home'
  "Who Killed John Keats?"
  Stanzas Written on the Road between Florence and Pisa
  The Vision of Judgement
  On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year
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