There are many ways to describe true love or the things about this love that makes you want to fly. Lord Byron (1788-1824) did it like no other in the poem “She walks in beauty.”
Who was Lord Byron?
Most of us know this poet and politician as Lord Byron. As if there weren’t other lords with that name before or after him. His full name was George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, FRS.
You try to remember that!
Lord Byron is, according to many, the personification of Romanticism. He was one of the leading or influential people at this time. But there were more gifted and creative people who left their mark.
“She walks in beauty” is a different poem from the other works of Byron. Simply because it’s shorter. When reading Byron one cannot help to think that it must have been a burden at some time, to write poems that were so long.
Was Byron the greatest poet in British history? Some say he was, others say he wasn’t. It’s all a matter of perception and taste. He was an inspiration for many other poets, even when he was alive.
Although Byron died at the age of 36, you can say he lived a full life. He was one of the first ones to travel abroad like a tourist. He also spent his time abroad in military service. Many Greeks still consider him to be a hero, for his
Some say that Byron was the greatest poet in British history. There is much to debate about this statement. The fact is that Byron was an inspiration for many poets. Even though Byron died at the age of 36.
Byron travelled a lot during his short life. He lived in Italy for seven years and fought against the Ottoman Empire during the Greek War of Independence. Nowadays many Greeks consider him as a national hero.
About this poem
What strikes the most about this poem, is the meter that is the basis of the poem. It can be compared with those of hymns. There is a sense of mystery because it’s not clear who this woman is that is the main subject of this poem. It shouldn’t be a mystery. Byron wrote this when thinking of his cousin Robert Wilmot’s wife. Yes, the wife of someone else.
It is not the way she looks that is the subject of this poem, but the way she moves, she walks. In an aura of beauty. Her looks, raven hair, is such a contrast with the pale, fair skin. The beauty also comes from within, according to Byron’s poem. He speaks about goodness, which is also pure beauty to him.
This poem reminds me of a tale of epic proportions. That is The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. In this tale, he speaks of a woman he once saw when she was just a child: Beatrice. Some writers and poets are struck with the image of seeing someone that can never be their love. It inspired those writers and poets to write masterpieces, just like Lord Byron did. You be the judge, beauty or not?
She walks in beauty
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 mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
— Lord Byron