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An Ode to Byron

by AndrewJamesMurray

An Ode to Byron

By Andrew James Murray


Byron! Who sang Love’s sweet song, 
For whom Time has not prov’d wrong.
Thy poems resound like the call
Of one who has witness’d all
The folly and pain of man.
To write like thee – no one can.


Byron! Of alabaster
Thy skin was forg’d; the master
And inheritor of those
Who wilted in Love’s repose,
Only forgotten in time
Should man turn his back on rhyme.


Byron! To read thy soft lays
Is like light on darkest days,
That illumines morbid hearts
To appreciate Love’s darts.
You, that scribed for hearts to nurse,
Taught us to avoid Love’s curse.


Byron! Exil’d, ne’er return’d
To England, whence thou wert spurn’d!
Here and there you went: a spy?
No! Thou wert England’s gadfly!
In an Irish heart, take rest!
For we too are England’s pest!


Byron! Who lov’d Liberty
More, alas, than thy safety;
Ye who broke the mould not form’d 
Thy early death is e’er mourn’d.
Hollow thy name rings today,
And some to’t lip service pay!


Byron! Ancient Hellas
Has lost her old gravitas;
Her marbles stol’n, her cash bust,
Now to foreigners entrust.
But living in thy poesy,
Her hue remains still rosy.


Byron! Thy Juan beside
Milton’s poem takes place of pride;
Childe Harold, tho’ thou wert not,
For all time won’t be forgot.
All wreaths are given to thee,
But shunned by thy modesty.


Byron! How great was thy feat!
Tho' deformed one of thy feet,
Limp and blind is god of Love
And he dwells in realms above.
May you rest in hearts of all,
Untouch’d be thy sacred pall.

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6 Reviews

Points: 490
Reviews: 6

Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:09 am
Jordanavitch wrote a review...

I was fortunate enough to hear Andrew perform this poem and the internationally recognised 'poetry and pints night' when he came to my university, and I have to say the whole room stood still and I literally did hear a pin drop when he finished his last verse, one woman actually fainted after being overcome with the power of this poem (she was a huge Byron fan)

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1238 Reviews

Points: 35807
Reviews: 1238

Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:02 am
niteowl wrote a review...

Hi Andrew and welcome to YWS! To be honest, I'm not the best at rhyme, and the only things I know about Lord Byron come from Greek tour guides and the Wikipedia page I just scanned. Did you know that on the Temple of Poseidon, the block where he (supposedly) carved his name is almost black because so many people touched it? But I digress.

Overall, I really like this. The rhyme flows well and the language is lovely. I just have a few things to point out.

For whom Time has not prov’d wrong.

This line sounds awkward, and I'm not sure what it's trying to say. Time has not proved Byron wrong? Did he predict something? I understand there's a constraint here with the rhyme scheme, but this could be replaced with something that fits better. A fame that's endured for long?

And some to’t lip service pay!

I couldn't figure out what "to't" is supposed to be. Is it a real archaic word or just a typo?

But shunned by thy modesty.

Was Byron modest? The little I know of him suggests he wasn't. Unless this is supposed to be ironic?

Overall, I think it's lovely and flows well and makes me want to go read some Byron. Good job and keep writing!

These are perceptive points, niteowl, and I will address them. Firstly, the inference is that Time's passing has not proved Byron's poetry to be wrong; that is, everything he said in the nineteenth century still holds true today. Like most poems, it is an elliptical one, indeed, the beauty of poetry (I suppose a bit like the Bible) is the vast nature of interpretation which is granted to the reader. Secondly, "to't" is an elision of "to it"; the poem is (I think) in tetrameter and is an irregular ode - in order to fit my metre I had to elide these two words. Lastly, Byron was not per se modest. However, the line derives from the fact that he never initially took money for his work; however, Byron propagated his own fame by agreeing with the rumours spread about him - even if they were malign. Again this is not a perfected poem and no doubt I will come to revise it but your comments are very much appreciated :)

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376 Reviews

Points: 16552
Reviews: 376

Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:22 pm
Trident wrote a review...

Hi AndrewJamesMurray, welcome to YWS and thanks for sharing. I've got a few things to say about this:

Firstly, please for the love of God, reformat.

Byron the babe

This guy was certainly well known for his sexual proclivities and women (and probably men) swooned for him. That said, your ode to him does not shy from this fact. It's almost in the sense of that kind of swooning that he would have been fond of.

Thy poems resound like the call Of one who has witness'd all The folly and pain of man.

He was definitely well-traveled. And witnessed a lot of folly haha.

Only forgotten in time Should man turn his back on rhyme.

I feel as though he should be forgotten in this day haha. But you have given him the gift of rhyme.

Byron! How great was thy feat! Though deformed one of thy feet, Limp and blind is god of Love

I don't think I've laughed at something so ridiculously funny in a while. An ode where his deformed foot is mentioned!

Ancient Hellas Has lost her old gravitas; Her marbles stol'n, her cash bust, And to foreigners entrust.

Is this a reference to the Elgin marbles? This is so clever. This reminds me of some of the old time satirists. Almost Swift-like. Or Alexander Pope maybe with all this veiled silliness.

Byron! Exil'd, ne'er return'd To England, whence thou wert spurn'd! Here and there you went: a spy? No! Thou wert England's gadfly! In an Irish heart, take rest! For we too are England's pest!

And a little celebration at the end here. I love the word "gadfly". And the poor Irish being England's pest. Funny stuff.

When one has little to critique

This is rather clever. The verse is solid for the most part. Certainly it is a more modern version (I don't think they had terms such as "lip service" at that point). I would certainly be willing to discuss specifics if you would like, but I don't have any particular criticisms that are glaring. It's a pretty solid piece, if this is one's cup of tea.

Surely you have something you might be concerned about in the smallest sense, so please let me know if I can help in any way. Brilliant!

HorriBliss says...

Hey, Trident, just passing through to let you know that Mr. Murray here is a personal friend of mine, and he asked me to post the poem yesternight for him.

Here it is, formatted correctly, for your viewing pleasure:

I'll try and help him re-format his own submitted post though, and delete mine when he does!

Trident says...

Cool, thanks. A little less of a headache to see in its proper form. I may return to this and try to be a little more vicious-like, but I would be just as willing to discuss the areas of the author's concern.

"In my contact with people I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contact with other souls -- with the great outside world."
— Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery