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One of the most popular and enduring works of the Romantic Poet George Gordon, Lord Byron its verses nonetheless remain mired in scandal rumoured as they are to have been inspired by the incestuous love affair he had with his half-sister, Augusta. But then scandal was his stock-in-trade whether it be bedding the wives of other men or pursuing the revolutionary politics that most of his contemporaries had long since abandoned.  
He lived the romantic life where others merely wrote about it and died for it though not in the heroic manner he no doubt imagined. But then never one to hide his light under a bushel to die for a cause he believed in suited him well. He had thrived on infamy and had ended his life a hero. 
Although he is most admired now for epic poems such as Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage the delicate simplicity and knowing innocence of She Walks in Beauty makes it one of his little gems: 
 
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! 
Tagged as: Poetry
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