George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, later George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron, FRS (January 22, 1788 - April 19, 1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron's best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and the short lyric She Walks in Beauty.
Byron is regarded as one of the greatest British poets, and remains widely read and influential. He travelled through Europe, spent seven years in Italy and then joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died one year later at age 36 from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi in Greece. Often described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics, Byron was both celebrated and castigated in life for his aristocratic excesses, including huge debts, numerous love affairs with more than one gender, rumours of a scandalous liaison with his half-sister, and self-imposed exile.
Byron also fathered, among others, the Countess Ada Lovelace, whose work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine is considered one of the foundations of computer science. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A great poet belongs to no country; his works are public property, and his Memoirs the inheritance of the public.
A man must serve his time to every trade
Save censure- critics are ready-made.
All farewells should be sudden.
And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but
The truth in masquerade.
Eat, drink, and love; the rest's not worth a fillip.
Folly loves the martyrdom of fame.
Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.
For most men (till by losing rendered sager)
Will back their own opinions by a wager.
Friendship is Love without his wings.
Friendship may, and often does, grow into love, but love never subsides into friendship.
I am the very slave of circumstance
And impulse- borne away with every breath!
I awoke one morning and found myself famous.
If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.
Knowledge is not happiness, and science
But an exchange of ignorance for that
Which is another kind of ignorance.
Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda water the day after.
Mark! where his carnage and his conquests cease!
He makes a solitude, and calls it- peace!
Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the virtues of Man, without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
BOATSWAIN, a DOG
(Inscription on the monument of a Newfoundland dog)
No words suffice the secret soul to show,
For truth denies all eloquence to woe.
Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
Men love in haste, but they destest at leisure.
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 mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
Society is now one polish'd horde,
Form'd of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored.
The 'good old times'- all times when old are good- Are gone.
The best of prophets of the future is the past.
The dust we tread upon was once alive.
There 's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away.
They never fail who die
In a great cause.
A mere pause from thinking!
When we think we lead, we are most led.
With just enough of learning to misquote.
(January 22 is also the birthday of Francis Bacon.)