George Gordon Noel Byron, better known as Lord Byron, was an extremely influential English poet of the Romantic movement. His flair for sarcasm and satire combined with his relationship insights created a unique poetic style we still relate to today.
As any good poet — or person for that matter — does, Lord Byron often explored the philosophical meanings of life and death.
“The image of Eternity — the throne / Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime / The monsters of the deep are made; each zone / Obeys thee: thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.” - Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
“And now they change; a paler shadow strews / Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day / Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues / With a new colour as it gasps away, / The last still loveliest, till — 'tis gone — and all is grey.” - Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
“What exile from himself can flee? / To zones, though more and more remote, / Still, still pursues, where'er I be, / The blight of life — the demon Thought.” - Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
“If life eternal may await the lyre, / That only Heaven to which Earth's children may aspire.” - Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
“ What is the worst of woes that wait on age? / What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow? / To view each loved one blotted from life's page, / And be alone on earth, as I am now.” - Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
“Yet Time, who changes all, had altered him / In soul and aspect as in age: years steal / Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb; / And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.“ - Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
“Heaven gives its favourites — early death” - Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
“All things that have been born were born to die, / And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass” - Don Juan
The words love and poem fit so naturally together, it’s no surprise that a great poet like Lord Byron used his gifts as a wordsmith to write about relationships and the opposite sex.
“O! she was perfect past all parallel — / Of any modern female saint’s comparison; / So far above the cunning powers of hell, / Her guardian angel had given up his garrison” - Don Juan
“And love is taught hypocrisy from youth” - Don Juan
“And then there are such things as love divine, / Bright and immaculate, unmix’d and pure, / Such as the angels think so very fine, / And matrons who would be no less secure” - Don Juan
“O Love! how perfect is thy mystic art, / Strengthening the weak, and trampling on the strong” - Don Juan
“Love is so very timid when ’tis new” - Don Juan
“Love ’s a capricious power: I’ve known it hold / Out through a fever caused by its own heat” - Don Juan
“Her presence was as lofty as her state; Her beauty of that overpowering kind” - Don Juan
“For love is vanity, / Selfish in its beginning as its end, / Except where ’tis a mere insanity” - Don Juan
“Whate’er thou takest, spare a while poor Beauty! / She is so rare, and thou hast so much prey.” - Don Juan
As an author, Lord Byron took his work seriously and wasn’t afraid to criticize the work of others. In his poem English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809), we get to see his response to the criticism of his early work by the Edinburgh Review.
“I am not to be terrified by abuse, or bullied by reviewers, with or without arms.”
“An author's works are public property: he who purchases may judge, and publish his opinion if he pleases; and the authors I have endeavoured to commemorate may do by me as I have done by them. I dare say they will succeed better in condemning my scribblings, Than in mending their own”
“I’ll publish, right or wrong: / Fools are my theme, let Satire be my song.”
“A man must serve his time to every trade / Save censure — critics all are ready made.”
“Care not for feeling — pass you proper jest, / And stand a critic, hated yet carress'd.”
“My voice was heard again, though not so loud, / My page, though nameless, never disavow'd; / And now at once I tear the veil away: — / Cheer on the pack! the quarry stands at bay”
“But now, so callous grown, so changed since youth, / I've learn'd to think, and sternly speak the truth”
The poets and authors of the Romantic movement focused on emotions and imagination — as opposed to logic — to engage audiences worldwide.