Top Questions Why is Lord Byron significant? Lord Byron was a British Romantic poet and satirist whose poetry and personality captured the imagination of Europe. George Gordon Byron was born in , the son of British Capt. After John squandered most of her fortune, she and her son lived on a meagre income in Scotland. In George unexpectedly inherited the title and estates of his great-uncle.
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The story, when entire, contained the adventures of a female slave, who was thrown, in the Mussulman manner, into the sea for infidelity, and avenged by a young Venetian, her lover, at the time the Seven Islands were possessed by the Republic of Venice, and soon after the Arnauts were beaten back from the Morea, which they had ravaged for some time subsequent to the Russian invasion.
The desertion of the Mainotes on being refused the plunder of Misitra, led to the abandonment of that enterprise, and to the desolation of the Morea,during which the cruelty exercised on all sides was unparalleled even in the annals of the faithful.
Fair clime! It is as though the Fiends prevailed Against the Seraphs they assailed, And, fixed on heavenly thrones, should dwell The freed inheritors of Hell; So soft the scene, so formed for joy, So curst the tyrants that destroy! So coldly sweet, so deadly fair, We start, for Soul is wanting there. Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth, Which gleams, but warms no more its cherished earth! Clime of the unforgotten brave! Shrine of the mighty!
These waters blue that round you lave,-- Of servile offspring of the free-- Pronounce what sea, what shore is this? The gulf, the rock of Salamis! Bear witness, Greece, thy living page! Attest it many a deathless age! While Kings, in dusty darkness hid, Have left a namesless pyramid, Thy Heroes, though the general doom Hath swept the column from their tomb, A mightier monument command, The mountains of thy native land!
Self-abasement paved the way To villain-bonds and despot sway. What can he tell who tread thy shore? No legend of thine olden time, No theme on which the Muse might soar High as thine own days of yore, When man was worthy of thy clime.
Stained with each evil that pollutes Mankind, where least above the brutes; Without even savage virtue blest, Without one free or valiant breast, Still to the neighbouring ports tey waft Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft; In this subtle Greek is found, For this, and this alown, renowned.
In vain might Liberty invoke The spirit to its bondage broke Or raise the neck that courts the yoke: No more her sorrows I bewail, Yet this will be a mournful tale, And they who listen may believe, Who heard it first had cause to grieve.
Who thundering comes on blackest steed, With slackened bit and hoof of speed? For infinite as boundless space The thought that conscience must embrace, Which in itself can comprehend Woe without name, or hope, or end.
The hour is past, the Giaour is gone; And did he fly or fall alone? Woe to that hour he came or went! And here no more shall human voice Be heard to rage, regret, rejoice. Alike must wealth and poverty Pass heedless and unheeded by, For courtesy and pity died With Hassan on the mountain side. Who art thou? With wounded wing, or bleeding breast, Ah!
Where shall either victim rest? Can this with faded pinion soar From rose to tulip as before? Or beauty, blighted in an hour, Find joy within her broken bower? Not thus was Hassan wont to fly When Leila dwelt in his Serai.
Doth Leila there no longer dwell? Somewhat of this had Hassan deemed; But still so fond, so fair she seemed, Too well he trusted to the slave Whose treachery deserved a grave: And on that eve had gone to mosque, And thence to feast in his kiosk.
Yea, Soul, and should our prophet say That form was nought but breathing clay, By Allah! That name was not for thee! The pistols which his girdle bore Were those that once a pasha wore, Which still, though gemmed and bossed with gold, Even robbers tremble to behold. Scarce had they time to check the rein, Swift from their steeds the riders bound; But three shall never mount again: Unseen the foes that gave the wound, The dying ask revenge in vain.
In fuller sight, more near and near, The lately ambushed foes appear, And, issuing from the grove, advance Some who on battle-charger prance. Who leads them on with foreign brand, Far flashing in his red right hand? He called the Prophet, but his power Was vain against the vengeful Giaour: He called on Allah - but the word. Arose unheeded or unheard. Thou Paynim fool! I watched my time, I leagued with these, The traitor in his turn to seize; My wrath is wreaked, the deed is done, And now I go - but go alone.
Is his heart more cold, or his barb less swift? Oh, false reproach! Right well my largess shall repay His welcome speed, and weary way. Peace to the brave! But thou, false Infidel! But first, on earth as vampire sent, Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent: Then ghastly haunt thy native place, And suck the blood of all thy race; There from thy daughter, sister, wife, At midnight drain the stream of life; Yet loathe the banquet which perforce Must feed thy livid living corse: Thy victims ere they yet expire Shall know the demon for their sire, As cursing thee, thou cursing them, Thy flowers are withered on the stem.
Wet with thine own best blood shall drip Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip; Then stalking to thy sullen grave, Go - and with Gouls and Afrits rave; Till these in horror shrink away From spectre more accursed than they! But once I saw that face, yet then It was so marked with inward pain, I could not pass it by again; It breathes the same dark spirit now, As death were stamped upon his brow.
Much in his visions mutters he Of maiden whelmed beneath the sea; Of sabres clashing, foemen flying, Wrongs avenged, and Moslem dying. On cliff he hath been known to stand, And rave as to some bloody hand Fresh severed from its parent limb, Invisible to all but him, Which beckons onward to his grave, And lures to leap into the wave.
How that pale lip will curl and quiver! But sadder still it were to trace What once were feelings in that face: Time hath not yet the features fixed, But brighter traits with evil mixed; And there are hues not always faded, Which speak a mind not all degraded Even by the crimes through which it waded: The common crowd but see the gloom Of wayward deeds, and fitting doom; The close observer can espy A noble soul, and lineage high: Alas!
But when the anthem shakes the choir, And kneel the monks, his steps retire; By yonder lone and wavering torch His aspect glares within the porch; There will he pause till all is done - And hear the prayer, but utter none. Saint Francis, keep him from the shrine! Else may we dread the wrath divine Made manifest by awful sign. If ever evil angel bore The form of mortal, such he wore: By all my hope of sins forgiven, Such looks are not of earth nor heaven!
The keenest pangs the wretched find Are rapture to the dreary void, The leafless desert of the mind, The waste of feelings unemployed. Who would be doomed to gaze upon A sky without a cloud or sun? My spirit shrunk not to sustain The searching throes of ceaseless pain; Nor sought the self-accorded grave Of ancient fool and modern knave: Yet death I have not feared to meet; And the field it had been sweet, Had danger wooed me on to move The slave of glory, not of love.
The very name of Nazarene Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen. Ungrateful fool! There read of Cain the curse and crime, In characters unworn by time: Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause; Not mine the act, though I the cause. Yet did he but what I had done Had she been false to more than one. His death sits lightly; but her fate Has made me - what thou well mayest hate. His doom was sealed - he knew it well Warned by the voice of stern Taheer, Deep in whose darkly boding ear The deathshot pealed of murder near, As filed the troop to where they fell!
I searched, but vainly searched, to find The workings of a wounded mind; Each feature of that sullen corse Betrayed his rage, but no remorse. Oh, what had vengeance given to trace Despair upon his dying face I The late repentance of that hour, When penitence hath lost her power To tear one terror from the grave, And will not soothe, and cannot save. I die - but first I have possessed, And come what may, I have been blessed. Shall I the doom I sought upbraid? No - reft of all, yet undismayed But for the thought of Leila slain, Give me the pleasure with the pain, So would I live and love again.
I grieve, but not, my holy guide! For him who dies, but her who died: She sleeps beneath the wandering wave Ah! A spark of that immortal fire With angels shared, by Allah given, To lift from earth our low desire. Devotion wafts the mind above, But Heaven itself descends in love; A feeling from the Godhead caught, To wean from self each sordid thought; A ray of him who formed the whole; A glory circling round the soul! I grant my love imperfect, all That mortals by the name miscall; Then deem it evil, what thou wilt; But say, oh say, hers was not guilt!
Why marvel ye, if they who lose This present joy, this future hope, No more with sorrow meekly cope; In phrensy then their fate accuse; In madness do those fearful deeds That seem to add but guilt to woe? This lesson yet hath man to learn, Taught by the thing he dares to spurn: The bird that sings within the brake, The swan that swims upon the lake, One mate, and one alone, will take. And let the fool still prone to range, And sneer on all who cannot change, Partake his jest with boasting boys; I envy not his varied joys, But deem such feeble, heartless man, Less than yon solitary swan; Far, far beneath the shallow maid He left believing and betrayed.
Such shame at least was never mine - Leila! My good, my guilt, my weal, my woe, My hope on high - my all below. Earth holds no other like to thee, Or, if it doth, in vain for me: For worlds I dare not view the dame Resembling thee, yet not the same.
The very crimes that mar my youth, This bed of death - attest my truth! The rest thou dost already know, And all my sins, and half my woe.
Think me not thankless - but this grief Looks not to priesthood for relief. When thou canst bid my Leila live, Then will I sue thee to forgive; Then plead my cause in that high place Where purchased masses proffer grace. Say - that his bodings came to pass, And he will start to hear their truth, And wish his words had not been sooth: Tell him, unheeding as I was, Through many a busy bitter scene Of all our golden youth had been, In pain, my faltering tongue had tried To bless his memory ere I died; But Heaven in wrath would turn away, If guilt should for the guiltless pray.
I do not ask him not to blame, Too gentle he to wound my name; And what have I to do with fame? But bear this ring, his own of old, And tell him - what thou dost behold! The withered frame, the ruined mind, The wrack by passion left behind, A shrivelled scroll, a scattered leaf, Seared by the autumn blast of grief! I only watched, and wished to weep; But could not, for my burning brow Throbbed to the very brain as now: I wished but for a single tear, As something welcome, new, and dear-; I wished it then, I wish it still; Despair is stronger than my will.
Waste not thine orison, despair Is mightier than thy pious prayer: I would not if I might, be blest; I want no paradise, but rest. I wander, father! I saw her, friar! No breathing form within my grasp, No heart that beats reply to mine, Yet, Leila!
And art thou, dearest, changed so much, As meet my eye, yet mock my touch? In silence stands, And beckons with beseeching hands! But he is dead!
Shelves: reads , btb Read this one for an upcoming ARC read. Not sure if this book is the version I read , but , I spent hours on reading and researching for understanding this poem and some of the characters. The Read this one for an upcoming ARC read. The poem symbolises the capture of Greece and the war between the West and the East.
The story, when entire, contained the adventures of a female slave, who was thrown, in the Mussulman manner, into the sea for infidelity, and avenged by a young Venetian, her lover, at the time the Seven Islands were possessed by the Republic of Venice, and soon after the Arnauts were beaten back from the Morea, which they had ravaged for some time subsequent to the Russian invasion. The desertion of the Mainotes on being refused the plunder of Misitra, led to the abandonment of that enterprise, and to the desolation of the Morea,during which the cruelty exercised on all sides was unparalleled even in the annals of the faithful. Fair clime! It is as though the Fiends prevailed Against the Seraphs they assailed, And, fixed on heavenly thrones, should dwell The freed inheritors of Hell; So soft the scene, so formed for joy, So curst the tyrants that destroy!
The Giaour: A Fragment of a Turkish Tale
Background[ edit ] Byron was inspired to write the poem during his Grand Tour during and , which he undertook with his friend John Cam Hobhouse. While in Athens , he became aware of the Turkish custom of throwing a woman found guilty of adultery into the sea wrapped in a sack. Byron designed the story with three narrators giving their individual point of view about the series of events. In revenge, the giaour kills Hassan and then enters a monastery due to his remorse. The design of the story allows for contrast between Christian and Muslim perceptions of love, death and the afterlife.