15+ Best George Gordon Byron Poems You Need To Read

George Gordon Byron, was an English poet, peer and politician who became a revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence, and is considered one of the leading figures of the Romantic movement.

If you’re searching for famous poems ever that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of greatest John McCrae poems, best known Kenneth Slessor poems and most known Richard Wilbur poems.

Famous George Gordon Byron Poems

To Thomas Moore

My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
But, before I go, Tom Moore,
Here’s a double health to thee!

Here’s a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky’s above me,
Here’s a heart for every fate.

Though the ocean roar around me,
Yet it still shall bear me on;
Though a desert should surround me,
It hath springs that may be won.

Were’t the last drop in the well,
As I gasp’d upon the brink,
Ere my fainting spirit fell,
‘Tis to thee that I would drink.

With that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour
Should be -peace with thine and mine,
And a health to thee, Tom Moore!

To My Son

Those flaxen locks, those eyes of blue
Bright as thy mother’s in their hue;
Those rosy lips, whose dimples play
And smile to steal the heart away,
Recall a scene of former joy,
And touch thy fathers heart, my Boy!

And thou canst lisp a father’s name–
Ah, William, were thine own the same,­
No self‑reproach–but, let me cease–
My care for thee shall purchase peace;
Thy mother’s shade shall smile in joy,
And pardon all the past, my Boy!

Her lowly grave the turf has prest,
And thou hast known a stranger’s breast;
Derision sneers upon thy birth,
And yields thee scarce a name on earth;
Yet shall not these one hops destroy,–
A Father’s heart is throe, my Boy!

Why, let the world unfeeling frown,
Must I fond Nature’s claim disown?
Ah, no–though moralists reprove,
I hail thee, dearest child of love,
Fair cherub, pledge of youth and joy­
A Father guards thy birth, my Boy!

Oh, ’twill be sweet in thee to trace,
Ere age has wrinkled o’er my face,
Ere half my glass of life is run,
At once a brother and a son;
And all my wane of years employ
In justice done to thee, my Boy!

Although so young thy heedless sire,
Youth will not damp parental fire;
And, wert thou still less dear to me,
While Helen’s form revives in thee,
The breast which beat to former joy,
Will ne’er desert its pledge, my Boy!

To Thyrza

Without a stone to mark the spot,
And say, what Truth might well have said,
By all, save one, perchance forgot,
Ah! wherefore art thou lowly laid?

By many a shore and many a sea
Divided, yet beloved in vain;
The past, the future fled to thee,
To bid us meet no ne’er again!

Could this have been–a word, a look,
That softly said, ‘We part in peace,’
Had taught my bosom how to brook,
With fainter sighs, thy soul’s release.

And didst thou not, since Death for thee
Prepared a light and pangless dart,
Once long for him thou ne’er shaft see,
Who held, and holds thee in his heart?

Oh! who like him had watch’d thee here?
Or sadly mark’d thy glazing eye,
In that dread hour ere death appear,
When silent sorrow fears to sigh,

Till all was past; But when no more
‘Twas thine to reek of human woe,
Affection’s heart-drops, gushing o’er,
Had flow’d as fast–as now they flow.

Shall they not flow, when many a day
In these, to me, deserted towers,
Ere call’d but for a time away,
Affection’s mingling tears were ours?

Ours too the glance none saw beside;
The smile none else might understand;
The whisper’d thought of hearts allied,
The pressure of the thrilling hand;

The kiss, so guiltless and refined,
That Love each warmer wish forbore;
Those eyes proclaim’d so pure a mind,
Even Passion blush’d to plead for more.

The tone, that taught me to rejoice,
When prone, unlike thee, to repine;
The song, celestial from thy voice,
But sweet to me from none but thine;

The pledge we wore–I wear it still,
But where is thine?–Ah! where art thou?
Oft have I borne the weight of ill,
But never bent beneath till now!

Well hast thou left in life’s best bloom
The cup of woe for me to drain.
If rest alone be in the tomb,
I would not wish thee here again.

But if in worlds more blest than this
Thy virtues seek a fitter sphere,
Impart some portion of thy bliss,
To wean me from mine anguish here.

Teach me–too early taught by thee!
To bear, forgiving and forgiven:
On earth by love was such to me–
It fain would form my hope in heaven!

To Florence

Oh Lady! when I left the shore,
The distant shore which gave me birth,
I hardly thought to grieve once more
To quit another spot on earth:

Yet here, amidst this barren isle,
Where panting Nature droops the head,
Where only thou art seen to smile,
I view my parting hour with dread.

Though far from Albin’s craggy shore,
Divided by the dark?blue main;
A few, brief, rolling seasons o’er,
Perchance I view her cliffs again:

But wheresoe’er I now may roam,
Through scorching clime, and varied sea,
Though Time restore me to my home,
I ne’er shall bend mine eyes on thee:

On thee, in whom at once conspire
All charms which heedless hearts can move,
Whom but to see is to admire,
And, oh! forgive the word – to love.

Forgive the word, in one who ne’er
With such a word can more offend;
And since thy heart I cannot share,
Believe me, what I am, thy friend.

And who so cold as look on thee,
Thou lovely wand’rer, and be less?
Nor be, what man should ever be,
The friend of Beauty in distress?

Ah! who would think that form had past
Through Danger’s most destructive path
Had braved the death?wing’d tempest’s blast,
And ‘scaped a tyrant’s fiercer wrath?

Lady! when I shall view the walls
Where free Byzantium once arose,
And Stamboul’s Oriental halls
The Turkish tyrants now enclose;

Though mightiest in the lists of fame,
That glorious city still shall be;
On me ’twill hold a dearer claim,
As spot of thy nativity:

And though I bid thee now farewell,
When I behold that wondrous scene,
Since where thou art I may not dwell,
‘Twill soothe to be where thou hast been.

September 1809.

To The Countess Of Blessington

You have ask’d for a verse:–the request
In a rhymer ’twere strange to deny;
But my Hippocrene was but my breast,
And my feelings (its fountain) are dry.

Were I now as I was, I had sung
What Lawrence has painted so well;
But the strain would expire on my tongue,
And the theme is too soft for my shell.

I am ashes where once I was fire,
And the bard in my bosom is dead;
What I loved I now merely admire,
And my heart is as grey as my head.

My life is not dated by years–
There are moments which act as plough;
And there is not a furrow appears
But is deep in my soul as my brow.

Let the young and the brilliant aspire
To sing what I gaze on in vain;
For sorrow has torn from my lyre
The string which was worthy the strain.

To The Author Of A Sonnet, Beginning, ‘

Thy verse is ‘sad’ enough, no doubt:
A devilish deal more sad than witty!
Why we should weep I can’t find out,
Unless for thee we weep in pity.

Yet there is one I pity more;
And much, alas! I think he needs it;
For he, I’m sure, will suffer sore,
Who, to his own misfortune, reads it.

Thy rhymes, without the aid of magic,
May once be read – but never after:
Yet their effect’s by no means tragic,
Although by far too dull for laughter.

But would you make our bosoms bleed,
And of no common pang complain –
If you would make us weep indeed,
Tell us, you’ll read them o’er again.

March 8, 1807

To Mr. Murray

To hook the reader, you, John Murray,
Have publish’d ‘Anjou’s Margaret,
Which won’t be sold off in a hurry
(At least, it has not been as yet);
And then, still further to bewilder em,
Without remorse, you set up ‘Ilderim;’
So mind you don’t get into debt,
Because as how, if you should fail,
These books would he but baddish bail.

And mind you do not let escape
These rhymes to Morning Post or Parry,
Which would be very treacherous–very,
And get me into such a scrape!
For, firstly, I should have to sally,
All in my little boat, against a Galley;
And, should I chance to slay the Assyrian wight,
Have next to combat with the female knight.

March 25, 1817.

To Mr. Murray (For Oxford And For Waldegrave)

For Oxford and for Waldegrave
You give much more than me you gave;
Which is not fairly to behave,
My Murray.

Because if a live dog, ’tis said,
Be worth a lion fairly sped,
A live lord must be worth two dead,
My Murray.

And if, as the opinion goes,
Verse hath a better sale than prose–
Certes, I should have more than those,
My Murray.

But now this sheet is nearly cramm’d,
So, if you will, I shan’t be shamm’d,
And if you won’t, you may be damn’d,
My Murray.

To Marion

Marion! why that pensive brow?
What disgust to life hast thou?
Change that discontented air;
Frowns become not one so fair.
‘Tis not love disturbs thy rest,
Love’s a stranger to thy breast;
He in dimpling smiles appears,
Or mourns in weedy timid tears’
Or bends the languid eyelid down,
But shuns the cold forbidding frown.
Then resume thy former fire
Some will love, and all admire;
While that icy aspect chills us,
Nought but cool indifference thrills us.
Wou’dst thou wandering hearts beguile,
Smile at least, or seem to smile.
Eyes like thine were never meant
To hide their orbs in dark restraint.
Spite of all thou fain wouldst say,
Still in truant beams they play.
Thy lips – but here my modest Muse
Her impulse chaste must needs refuse:
She blushes, curt’sies, frowns,– in short she
Dreads lest the subject should transport me;
And flying off in search of reason,
Brings prudence back in proper season.
All I shall therefore say (whate’er
I think, is neither here nor there)
Is, that such lips of looks endearing,
Were form’d for better things than sneering:
Of soothing compliments divested,
Advice at least’s disinterested;
Such is my artless song to thee,
From all the flow of flattery free;
Counsel like mine is as a brother’s,
My heart is given to some others;
That is to say, unskill’d to cozen
It shares itself among a dozen.

Marion, adieu! oh, pr’ythee slight not
This warning, though it may delight not;
And, lest my precepts be displeasing
To those who think remonstrance teasing:
At once I’ll tell thee our opinion
Concerning woman’s soft dominion:
Howe’er we gaze with admiration
On eyes of blue or lips carnation,
Howe’er the flowing locks attract us,
Howe’er those beauties may distract us,
Still fickle, we are prone to rove,
These cannot fix our souls to love;
It is not too severe a stricture
To say they form a pretty picture;
But wouldst thou see the secret chain
Which binds us in your humble train,
To hail you queens of all creation,
Know, in a word, ’tis ANIMATION.

To Thomas Moore (My Boat Is On The Shore)

I.
My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
But before I go, Tom Moore,
Here’s a double health to thee!

II.
Here’s a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky’s above me,
Here’s a heart for every fate.

III.
Though the ocean roar around me,
Yet it still shall bear me on;
Though a desert should surround me,
It hath springs that may be won.

IV.
Were’t the last drop in the well,
As I gasp’d upon the brink,
Ere my fainting spirit fell
‘Tis to thee that I would drink.

V.
With that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour
Should be – peace with thine and mine,
And a health to thee, Tom Moore.

July 1817.

To The Duke Of Dorset

Dorset! whose early steps with mine have stray’d,
Exploring every path of Ida’s glade;
Whom still affection taught me to defend
And made me less a tyrant than a friend
Though the harsh custom of our youthful band
Bade thee obey, and gave me to command;
Thee, on whose head a few short years will shower
The gift of riches and the pride of power;
E’en now a name illustrious is thine own,
Renown’d in rank, nor far beneath the throne.
Yet, Dorset, let not this seduce thy soul
To shun fair science, or evade control,
Though passive tutors, fearful to dispraise
The titled child, whose future breath may raise,
View ducal errors with indulgent eyes,
And wink at faults they tremble to chastise
When youthful parasites, who bend the knee
To wealth, their golden idol, not to thee,–
And even in simple boyhood ‘s opening dawn
Some slaves are found to flatter and to fawn,–
When these declare, ‘ that pomp alone should wait
On one by birth predestined to be great;
That books were only meant for drudging fools,
That gallant spirits scorn the common rules;’
Believe them not;– they point the path to shame,
And seek to blast the honours of thy name.
Turn to the few in Ida’s early throng,
Whose souls disdain not to condemn the wrong;
Or if, amidst the comrades of thy youth,
None dare to raise the sterner voice of truth,
Ask thine own heart; ’twill bid thee, boy, forbear;
For well I know that virtue lingers there.
Yes! I have mark’d thee many a passing day,
But now new scenes invite me far away;
Yes! I have mark’d within that generous mind
A soul, if well matured, to bless mankind.
Ah! though myself by nature haughty, wild,
Whom Indiscretion hail’d her favourite child;
Though every error stamps me for her own,
And dooms my fall, I fain would fall alone;
Though my proud heart no precept now can tame,
I love the virtues which I cannot claim.
‘Tis not enough, with other sons of power
To gleam tile lambent meteor of an hour;
To swell some peerage page in feeble pride,
With long-drawn names that grace no page beside;
Then share with titled crowds the common lot–
In life just gazed at, in the grave forgot;
While nought divides thee from the vulgar dead,
Except the dull cold stone that hides thy head,
The mouldering ‘scutcheon, or the herald’s roll,
That well-emblazon’d but neglected scroll,
Where lords, unhonour’d, in the tomb may find
One spot, to leave a worthless name behind.
There sleep, unnoticed as the gloomy vaults
That veil their dust, their follies, and their faults,
A race, with old armorial lists o’erspread,
In records destined never to be read.
Fain would I view thee, with prophetic eyes,
Exalted more among the good and wise,
A glorious and a long career pursue,
As first in rank, the first in talent too:
Spurn every vice, each little meanness shun;
Not Fortune’s minion, but her noblest son.
Turn to the annals of a former day;
Bright are the deeds thine earlier sires play.
One, though a Courtier, lived a man of worth,
And call’d, proud boast! the British drama forth.
Another view, not less renown’d for wit;
Alike for Courts, and camps, or senates fit;
Bold in the field, and favour’d by the Nine;
In every splendid part ordain’d to shine;
Far, far distingish’d ish’d from the glittering throng,
The pride of princes, and the boast of song.
Such were thy fathers; thus preserve their name;
Not heir to titles only, but to fame.
The hour draws nigh, a few brief days will close,
To me, this little scene of joys and woes;
Each knell of Time now warns me to resign
Shades where Hope, Peace, and Friendship all were mine:
Hope, that could vary like the rainbow’s hue,
And gild their pinions as the moments flew;
Peace, that reflection never frown’d away,
By dreams of ill to cloud some future day;
Friendship, whose truth let childhood only tell;
Alas! they love not long, who love so well.
To these adieu! nor let me linger o’er
Scenes hail’d, as exiles hall their native shore,
Receding, slowly through the dark-blue deep,
Beheld by eyes that mourn, yet cannot weep.
Dorset, farewell! I will not ask one part
Of sad remembrance in so young a heart;
The coming morrow from thy youthful mind
Will sweep my name, nor leave a trace behind.
And yet, perhaps, in some maturer year,
Since chance has thrown us in the self same sphere,
Since the same senate, nay, the same debate,
May one day claim our suffrage for the state,
We hence may meet, and pass each other by
With faint regard, or cold and distant eye.
For me, in future, neither friend nor foe,
A stranger to thyself thy weal or woe,
With thee non more saain I hope to trace
The recollection of our early race;
No more, as once, in social hours rejoice,
Or hear, unless in crowds, thy well-known voice:
Still, if the wishes of a heart untaught
To veil those feelings which perchance it ought,
If these – but let me cease the lengthen’d strain,–
Oh! if these wishes arc not breathed in vain,
The guardian seraph who directs thy fate
Will leave thee glorious, as he found thee great.

To Lord Thurlow

‘I lay my branch of laurel down.
Then thus to form Apollo’s crown.
Let every other bring his own.’~Lord Thurlow’s lines to Mr. Rogers

‘I lay my branch of laurel down.’
Thou ‘lay thy branch of laurel down!’
Why, what thou’st stole is not enow;
And, were it lawfully thine own,
Does Rogers want it most, or thou?
Keep to thyself thy wither’d bough,
Or send it back to Doctor Donne:
Were justice done to both, I trow,
He’d have but little, and thou–none.

‘Then thus to form Apollo’s crown.’
A crown! why, twist it how you will,
Thy chaplet must be foolscap still.
When next you visit Delphi’s town,
Inquire amongst your fellow-lodgers,
They’ll tell you Phoebus gave his crown,
Some years before your birth, to Rogers.

‘Let every other bring his own.’
When coals to Newcastle are carried,
And owls sent to Athens, as wonders,
From his spouse when the R egent’s un­married,
Or Liverpool weeps o’er his blunders;
When Tories and Whigs cease to quarrel,
When Castlereagh’s wife has an heir,
Then Rogers shall ask us for laurel,
And thou shalt have plenty to spare.

To The Earl Of Clare

‘Tu semper amoris
Sisd memor, etcari comitis ne abscedat imago’~Val Flac

Friend of my youth! when young we roved,
Like striplings mutually beloved,
With friendship’s purest glow,
The bliss which wing’d those rosy hours
Was such as pleasure seldom showers
On mortals here below.

The recollectlon seems alone
Dearer than all the joys I’ve known,
When distant far from you:
Though pain, ’tis still a pleasing pain,
To trace those days and hours again,
And sigh again, adieu!

My pensive memory lingers o’er
Those scenes to be enjoy’d no more,
Those scenes regretted ever
The measure of our youth is full,
Life’s evening dream is dark and dull,
And we rnay meet – ah! never!

As when one parent spring supplies
Two strearns which from one fountain rise
Together join’d in ‘vain;
How soon’ diverging from their source,
Each murmuring, seeks another course,
Till mingled in the main!

Our vital streams of weal or woe,
Though near, alas! distinctly flow,
Nor mingle as before:
Now swift or slow, now black or clear,
Till death’s unfathom’d gulf appear,
And both shall quit the shore.

Our souls, my friend! which once supplied
One wish, nor breathed a thought beside,
Now flow in different channels:
Disdaining humbler rural sports,
‘Tis yours to mix in polish’d courts,
And shine in fashion’s annals

;’Tis mine to waste on love my time,
Or vent my reveries in rhyme,
Without the aid of reason;
For sense and reason (critics know it)
Have quitted every amorous poet,
Nor left a thought to seize on.

Poor LITTLE! sweet, melodlous bard!
Of late esteem’d it monstrous hard
That he, who sang before all,-
He who the lore of love expanded,-
By dire reviewers should be branded
As void of wit and moral.

And yet, while Beauty’s praise is thine,
Harmonious favourite of the nine,
Repine not at thy lot.
Thy soothing lays may still be read,
When Persecution’s arm is dead,
And critics are forgot.

Still I must yield those worthies merit,
Who chasten, with unsparing spirit,
Bad rhymes, and those who write them;
And though myself may be the next
By criticism to be vext,
I really will not fight them.

Perhaps they wouid do quite as well
To break the rudely sounding shell
Of such a young beginner:
He who offends at pert nineteen,
Ere thirty may become, I ween,
A very harden’d sinner.

Now, Clare, I must return to you;
And, sure, apologies are due:
Accept, then, my concession
In truth dear Clare, in fancy’s flight
I soar along from left to right;
My muse admires digression

I think I said ‘twould he your fate
To add one star to royal state;-
May regal smiles attend you!
And should a noble monarch reign,
You will not seek his smiles in vain,
If worth can recommend you.

Yet since in danger courts abound,
Where specious rivals glitter round,
From snares may saints preserve you;
And grant your love or friendship ne’er
From any claim a kindred care,
But those who best deserve you!

Not for a moment may you stray
From truth’s secure, unerring way!
May no delights decoy!
O’er roses may your footsteps move,
Your smiles be ever smiles of love,
Your tears be tears of joy!

Oh! if you wish that happiness
Your coming days and years may bless,
And virtues crown your brow;
Be still as you were wont to be,
Spotless as you’ve been known to me,-
Be still as you are now.

And though some trifling share of praise,
To cheer my last declining days,
To me were doubly dear;
Whilst blessing your beloved name
I’d waive at once a poet’s fame,
To prove a prophet here.

To The Sighing Strephon

Your pardon, my friend, if my rhymes did offend;
Your pardon, a thousand times o’er:
From friendship I strove your pangs to remove,
But, I swear, I will do so no more.

Since your beautiful maid your flame has repaid,
No more I your folly regret
She’s now most divine, and I bow at the shrine
Of this quickly reformed coquette.

Yet still, I must own, I should never have known
From your verses what else she deserved;
Your pain seem’d so great, I pitied your fate,
As your fair was so devilish reserved.

Since the baim-br’eathing kiss of this magical miss
Can such wonderful transports produce;
Since the ‘world you forget, when your lips once have met,’
My counsel will get but abuse. You Say,

‘When I rove, I know nothing of love;’
‘Tis true, ‘I am given to range;
If I rightly remember, I’ve loved a good number,
Yet there’s pleasure, at least, in a change

I will not advance, by the rules of romance,
To humour a whimsical fair;
Though a smile may delight, yet a frown won’t affright,
Or drlve me to dreadful despair.

While my blood is thus warm I ne’er shall reform,
To mix in the Platonists’ school;
Of this l am sure, was my passion so pure,
Thy mistress would think me a fool.

And if I should shun every woman for one,
Whose image must fill my whole breast–
Whom I must prefer, and sigh but for her–
What an insult ‘twould be to the rest!

ow, Strephon, good bye, I cannot deny
Your passion appears most absurd;
Such love as you plead is pure love indeed,
For it only consists in the word.

To Mr. Murray (Strahan, Tonson Lintot Of The Times)

Strahan, Tonson Lintot of the times,
Patron and publisher of rhymes,
For thee the bard up Pindus climbs,
My Murray.

To thee, with hope and terror dumb,
The unedged MS. authors come;
Thou printest all – and sellest some–
My Murray.

Upon thy table’s baize so green
The last new Quarterly is seen,–
But where is thy new Magazine,
My Murray?

Along thy sprucest bookshelves shine
The works thou deemest most divine-
The ‘Art of Cookery,’ and mine,
My Murray.

Tours, Travels, Essays, too, I wist,
And Sermons, to thy mill bring grist;
And then thou hast the ‘Navy List,’
My Murray.

And Heaven forbid I should conclude
Without ‘the Board of Longitude,’
Although this narrow paper would,
My Murray.

Venice, March 25, 1818.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.