After careful combing, there are too many famous British poets in the 19th century. Shelley has come, so Byron is not far away. I’ll take you to read a little poem by Byron.
George Gordon Byron (1788-1824), a famous romantic poet in the 19th century, was the author of the soul stirring work don Juan. He was a famous handsome man in that era. He was also an active and brave revolutionary fighter and participated in the Greek national liberation movement. Byron, a famous poet with many identities, is naturally unambiguous when writing love poems, such as “she walks in beauty”.
She Walks in Beauty——George Gordon 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!
When reading this poem for the first time, without discussing the poet’s background and who “she” is, we can also feel the beauty of this poem. The famous sentence in the poem: “one shade the more, one ray the less,” (more shadow and less ray of light will damage the unspeakable Charm) and Song Yu, a famous master of Chu Ci: “the son of the master, increasing one cent is too long and decreasing one cent is too short.” It’s really wonderful to do the same work with different songs. This is a love poem, but it can surpass the existence of love poetry and be beautiful alone.
In 1814, in a dance, young Byron met the beautiful lady Wilmot Horton. At the gathering of celebrities, Mrs. holly, who was wearing mourning clothes at that time, seemed to have a trace of calm sadness in her eyes. Her eyebrows, clothes, manners, every move, and even the flow of her hair are attracting the poet’s attention. She came from the holy radiance, where beauty became a verb, a flowing beauty and feeling.
The lady’s beauty glittered as she walked. Compared with the ornate and pretentious celebrities in the house, this kind of calm and natural beauty is undoubtedly like a daffodil from different worlds. It is quiet, elegant and different. In the poet’s mind, it has become an endless stream of poems. In the streamer light, readers seem to be feeling that “she” is slowly coming to them.
In the first section, the poet uses an immersive and vivid description to make readers feel the flexibility and sweetness of her. The stars under the dark night sky, the quiet and deep starry sky, and the glittering prints of the sequins on the lady’s mourning clothes, this black dress did not reduce the lady’s amazing style in the slightest. This is what we Chinese often say: “beauty is in the bone”. What attracts people’s attention is not the beauty’s Chinese clothes. It’s her, her sad and shining eyes in the dark and light, and her low-key, natural and gorgeous temperament.
In the second section, at this time, the poet’s pen is like a magic brush, which outlines the bones of the beauty for us. We can know that it is the young Byron who deeply fell in love with the woman in front of him because of this glimpse. This quiet, beautiful, elegant and moving woman. Holy nature does not only stay on the superficial surface, but enters the state of mind and soul. Her holiness comes from her good upbringing and the cultural identity of a lady. Her beauty is rooted in this distinctive purity, thus emitting a soft and intoxicating light.
Of course, Byron’s achievements lie not only in these love poems about love and beauty, but also in his lifelong hero and indestructible spirit of freedom. In his lyric poem “the travels of Childe Harold”, your son Harold is a vivid “Byron style” hero image. They have a strong rebellious spirit, but they are inevitably born melancholy. They have ideals, save people’s livelihood, and struggle to find an ideal path, fight alone, and go forward bravely and recklessly like a warrior. Such “Byronic” heroes also appear in the long poem don Juan. Their complex personality characteristics without exception come from Byron himself to some extent.
As a legend, Byron’s life actually ended abruptly at the age of 36. He died in the liberation cause of the Greek people for which he actively fought. His great achievements in poetry and literature often make people think that he is not a young man, but an old man who has gone through vicissitudes. The profound complexity is undoubtedly revealed in the young poet. The only magical thing is that poets of all ages pursue beauty and follow beauty all their life.