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Friday 19 April 2013

20 Lord Byron quotes

Lord Byron
from Lord Byron's Correspondence
edited by John Murray (1922)
George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, was an English poet who was influential in the Romantic movement. His most famous works include Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.
1. “Friendship is Love without his wings!” L’AmitiĆ© est l’amour sans ailes (1806, pub 1831)
2. “The petrifactions of a plodding brain.” English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809)
3. “I awoke one morning and found myself famous.” Famously declared after the publication of Childe Harold in 1812 which was an immediate success. (1)
4. “We have progressively improved into a less spiritual species of tenderness – but the seal is not yet fixed though the wax is preparing for the impression.” Speaking of Lady Frances Webster in a letter to Lady Melbourne, 14 October 1813 (2)
5. “My Princess of Parallelograms” - speaking of Annabella Milbanke, later Lady Byron, in a letter to Lady Melbourne. “Her proceedings are quite rectangular, or rather we are two parallel lines prolonged to infinity side by side but never to meet.” 18 October 1812. (2)
6. “The best friend I ever had in my life, and the cleverest of women.” “If she had been a few years younger, what a fool she would have made of me had she thought it worth her while.” Speaking of Lady Melbourne, 17 & 24 November 1813 in his journal.
7. “I by no means rank poetry high in the scale of intelligence – this may look like affectation – but it is my real opinion – it is the lava of the imagination whose eruption prevents an earthquake.” In a letter to Annabella Milbanke, 29 November 1813. (2)
8. “What is hope? Nothing but the paint on the face of Existence; the least touch of truth rubs it off, and then we see what a hollow-cheeked harlot we have got hold of.” In a letter to Thomas Moore, 28 October 1815. (2)
9. “Like other parties of the kind, it was first silent, then talky, then argumentative, then disputatious, then unintelligible, then altogethery, then inarticulate, and then drunk.” In a letter to Thomas Moore, 31 October 1815. (2)
10. “Love in this part of the world is no sinecure.” In a letter from Venice to John Murray from Venice, 27 December 1816. (2)
11. “Wordsworth – stupendous genius! Damned fool! These poets run about their ponds though they cannot fish.” In the diary of Henry Crabb Robinson, 1 December 1816, reporting a letter to James Hogg. (2)
12. “I hate things all fiction… there should always be some foundation of fact for the most airy fabric and pure invention is but the talent of a liar.” In a letter from Venice to John Murray, 2 April 1817. (2)
13. “Fair Greece! Sad relic of departed worth!
       Immortal, though no more! Though fallen, great!”
       Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-18)
14. “Oh Rome! My country! City of the soul!”
      Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-18)
15. “When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
        He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
        Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.”
       Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-18)
16. “And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing,
       But, like a hawk encumbered with his hood,
       Explaining metaphysics to the nation –
       I wish he would explain his explanation.”
      Don Juan (1819-24)
17. “Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart,
       ‘Tis woman’s whole existence.”
       Don Juan (1819-24)
18. “All tragedies are finished by a death,
       All comedies are ended by a marriage;
       The future states of both are left to faith.”
       Don Juan (1819-24)
19. “Proud Wellington, with eagle beak so curled,
       That nose, the hook where he suspends the world!”
       The Age of Bronze (1823)
20. “For what were all these country patriots born?
       To hunt, and vote, and raise the price of corn?”
       The Age of Bronze (1823)
This selection of 20 quotes from Lord Byron's poems, journals and letters was compiled to celebrate the anniversary of his death, 19 April 1824.

(1) From Life, Letter and Journals of Lord Byron ed Thomas Moore (1839)
(2) From Byron's Letters and Journals ed by LA Marchand (1976)

Sources used include:
Byron, George Gordon, Baron, The Works of Lord Byron (1842)
Byron, George Gordon, Baron and Marchand, LA (ed) Byron's Letter and Journals (1976)
Byron, George Gordon, Baron and Moore, Thomas, Life, Letters and Journals of Lord Byron (1839)
Byron, George Gordon, Baron and Murray, John (ed), Lord Byron's Correspondence (1922)

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