Monday, January 23, 2012

Go Byron, It's Your Birthday!

OK, so, you probably wouldn't have heard that line during the notoriously snooty time in which our birthday boy lived.  Be that as it may, I felt it important to wish one of the greatest love poets of all time a very happy, belated (it was actually yesterday) 224th.  

George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron
January 22, 1788 - April 19, 1824

Whew!  Lookin' good there, Buddy!  Here's 10 fun facts about our guest of honor:

1. Born to a captain and an heiress, both of whom came from nobility (one part Scottish, one part English).
2. Also born with a clubfoot (right side) and had a permanent limp, of which he was quite embarrassed and so referred to himself as "the limping devil."
3. Considered Napoleon Bonaparte his hero. (How unpatriotic!)
4. Published his first verses in 1806.
5. Had an incestuous relationship with his half-sister. (And possibly fathered one of her children.)
6. Expelled from England for sodomizing his wife.
7. Famous novelist Lady Caroline Lamb referred to him as, "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." (See #6)
8. Drank from a human skull he found on his monstrous estate.
9. Rumored to have suffered from bipolar disorder, as well as manic depression. (See #8)
10. Died at 36 of a high fever he contracted while in Greece.

I'm thinking he thought his right side was his best.

And for your reading pleasure, arguably his most famous poem, 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!

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,



David P. King said...

I admit not knowing my poetry, but that was a good one. Sad he only lived to 36. Who knows how much more awesome he would have produced.

I gave you a shout-out on my blog today! :)

Shelley Sly said...

Hi, new follower here. :) Interesting facts! So sad that he died so young. He was pretty charming, though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A bit of a scoundrel, wasn't he?

Lela said...

He is my favorite poet of all time! Well...he and Percy Bysshe Shelley. These two wonderful poets have a connection. Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley's wife and writer of Frankenstein, had a half-sister whom Byron had an affair with and fathered a child.

Am I the only one who thinks he looks a bit like Tom Hanks...?

"If I could always read, I should never feel the want of company." ~Lord Byron~

Alyssia said...

@David Very sad, indeed. And thanks for the shout out! Woo hoo!

@Shelley Welcome, and thank you!! He was quite charming, yes; so many women, both young and old, were terribly in love with him.

@Alex Totally. But aren't all poets, to some degree? *smile*

@Lela Oh, Shelley! Yes!! And he does look a little Tom-ish, what with the curly hair & all. ;)

Shallee said...

Ohh, I love Byron. Or his poetry, anyway. While I find him fascinating, I couldn't say I love HIM. :) I think it's that incestuous relationship thing that throws me off...

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