Okay, this is actually a repost of a previous article. But there is a good reason for this. She walks in beauty is simply a beautiful poem that needs some analysis. This poem by Lord Byron is all about how the poet sees that one true love.
Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron January 22 1788 – April 19 1824) was not only a poet, but he was also a politician. He is considered as one of the most influential figures of the Romantic Movement. The poem She walks in beauty is considered as his most important work. It’s different from the other poems for just one reason: it’s shorter.
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.
What strikes the most about this poem, is the meter that is the basis of poem. It can be compared with those of hymns. There is a sense of mystery, because it’s not really 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
By Lord Byron
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!