“She Walks in Beauty,” Lord Byron

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,

So, I just read “Arcadia” by Tom Stoppard, and clearly I’m on a Byron kick. I especially love the first verse, which so beautiful compares a woman to the night. In “Arcadia,” one of the characters says that Byron wrote this after going to a party and seeing a beautiful woman. Whether or not this is true (I’m definitely not a Byron-buff as some are), I think it’s kind of fantastic to think that a random woman one night could inspire such great verse. It also makes you somewhat hopeful that hey, if you look really great at a party, maybe you’ll inspire the next Byron.

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Side B Magazine

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