Lord George Gordon Byron Poetry

Collins Meier


To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude, 'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled.

But midst the crowd, the hurry, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel and to possess,
And roam alone, the world's tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of splendour shrinking from distress!
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
If we were not, would seem to smile the less
Of all the flattered, followed, sought and sued;
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!


  • The poem is divided into two nine-line stanzas
  • 3rd person: emphasizes the human being as protagonist
  • Overall a critique of modern society compared to old society
  • Old vs. New, language differs in both stanzas
  • Theme of identifying with nature prevents us from being alone
  • First stanza: Utilizes strings of metaphors and personification in order to describe a contact with nature
  • Second Stanza: Expresses how areas without nature  (cities) is where solitude is found. Contrasts reality between outward appearance
  • Byron gives total importance to nature, shows how humans are in fact in solitude without it

My Soul Is Dark

My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let thy gentle fingers fling
Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear.
If in this heart a hope be dear,
That sound shall charm it forth again:
If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.

But bid the strain be wild and deep,
Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
And ached in sleepless silence, long;
And now 'tis doomed to know the worst,
And break at once - or yield to song.


  • Poem is divided into two eight-line stanzas
  • Poem appears to be concerned with the narrator and his deep love for music
  • Expresses how amidst all of his deep despair, there is hope and happiness found in music, but it is unclear if he is actually expressing these thoughts out loud to someone
  • The poem immediately starts off melancholy, sets the tone for the remainder
  • Narrator appears to be in a very unhappy place
  • First Stanza: describes what the music does to him and how he enjoys it so much. Narrator seems to be asking for the player to continue playing the music for him because of how good it makes him feel
  • Second Stanza: Tells the player the reason for his melancholy state. Describes something, unclear what it is, that has been bothering him very much. The way in which he describes his sorrow appears that it is irreversible, but able to be suppressed with the music
  • Overall poem is very ambiguous, it is unclear where the narrator's unhappiness manifests from, but the reader can clearly tell that it is temporarily relived by the music that the narrator is speaking of

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