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George Gordon Byron

Birthdate: 22. January 1788
Date of death: 19. April 1824
Other names: Lord George Gordon Noel Byron, Lord Byron

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, FRS , commonly known as Lord Byron, was an English poet, peer, politician, and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems, Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, and the short lyric poem, "She Walks in Beauty".

He travelled extensively across Europe, especially in Italy, where he lived for seven years in Venice, Ravenna and Pisa, where he had a chance to frequent his friend the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Later in his brief life, Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died in 1824 at the age of 36, from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi.

Often described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics, Byron was both celebrated and castigated in life for his aristocratic excesses, including huge debts, numerous love affairs – with men as well as women, as well as rumours of a scandalous liaison with his half-sister – and self-imposed exile. His only legitimate child, Ada Lovelace, is regarded by some as the first computer programmer based on her notes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. His illegitimate children include Allegra Byron, who died in childhood, and possibly, Elizabeth Medora Leigh.

Works

Manfred
Manfred
George Gordon Byron
The Giaour
George Gordon Byron
Sardanapalus
George Gordon Byron
The Bride of Abydos
George Gordon Byron
Don Juan
Don Juan
George Gordon Byron
The Dream
George Gordon Byron
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
George Gordon Byron
Hebrew Melodies
Hebrew Melodies
George Gordon Byron
Cain
George Gordon Byron
Parisina
Parisina
George Gordon Byron
The Prisoner of Chillon
George Gordon Byron
The Vision of Judgment
George Gordon Byron

Quotes George Gordon Byron

„In secret we met
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.“

—  George Gordon Byron

When We Two Parted (1808), st. 4.
Context: 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.

„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.“

—  George Gordon Byron, book Hebrew Melodies

She Walks in Beauty http://readytogoebooks.com/LB-SWB42.htm, st. 1. The subject of these lines was Mrs. R. Wilmot.—Berry Memoirs, vol. iii. p. 7.
Hebrew Melodies (1815)

„While Washington's a watchword, such as ne'er
Shall sink while there's an echo left to air.“

—  George Gordon Byron

St. 5.
The Age of Bronze (1823)
Context: 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.

„The wretched gift eternity
Was thine — and thou hast borne it well.“

—  George Gordon Byron

II.
Prometheus (1816)
Context: 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.

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„O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,
Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free“

—  George Gordon Byron

Canto I, stanza 1.
The Corsair (1814)
Context: 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.

„The Glory and the Nothing of a Name.“

—  George Gordon Byron

Churchill's Grave http://mykeep.com/lordbyron/churchillsgrave.html, l. 43.
Context: 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.

„What was thy pity's recompense?
A silent suffering, and intense“

—  George Gordon Byron

I.
Prometheus (1816)
Context: 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.

„But nothing rests, save carcases and wrecks,
Rocks, and the salt-surf weeds of bitterness.“

—  George Gordon Byron, book Manfred

Act II, scene i.
Manfred (1817)
Context: 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.

„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“

—  George Gordon Byron

III.
Prometheus (1816)
Context: 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.

„Mont Blanc is the Monarch of mountains;
They crowned him long ago“

—  George Gordon Byron, book Manfred

Act I, scene i.
Manfred (1817)
Context: 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.

„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“

—  George Gordon Byron, Sardanapalus

Act IV, scene 1.
Sardanapalus (1821)
Context: 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…

„Thy Godlike crime was to be kind“

—  George Gordon Byron

III.
Prometheus (1816)
Context: 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.

„Where is he, the champion and the child
Of all that's great or little, wise or wild“

—  George Gordon Byron

St. 3.
The Age of Bronze (1823)
Context: 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?

„Triumphant where it dares defy,
And making Death a Victory.“

—  George Gordon Byron

III.
Prometheus (1816)
Context: 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.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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