Selected Poems

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Penguin, 1996 - Poetry - 830 pages
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Debate as to the nature and influence of his poetry continues, and in making their selection for this volume the editors have chosen poems that defined Byron for the nineteenth century and poems less well known then but of particular interest to today's readers. This Penguin Classic, based on the landmark Murray edition of 1832-4, is the only widely available selection to include Byron's own notes on the same page as the poetic texts, and to present the poems in the sequence of composition and/or first publication, thus providing a sense of Byron's developing career. It contains the complete texts of many longer works not readily available in their entirety, including Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, all but one of the 'Eastern tales', and the historical drama Sardanapalus, now regarded as a key text in the modern re-evaluation of Romanticism.
  

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Contents

A Fragment When to their airy hall my fathers voice
1
The Cornelian
2
To Caroline You say you love and yet your eye
3
A Satire
6
Lines to Mr Hodgson Written on Board the Lisbon Packet
49
Maid of Athens ere we part
51
Written after Swimming from Sestos to Abydos
53
To Thyrza Without a stone to mark the spot
54
When we two parted
391
Fare thee well
392
Prometheus
394
Sonnet on Chillon
397
Darkness
412
A Romaunt Canto III
415
Epistle to Augusta My sister my sweet sister c
456
Lines On Hearing that Lady Byron was III
460

A Romaunt Cantos III
56
To lanthe
59
Canto the First
61
Canto the Second
94
Appendix to Canto the Second
128
An Ode to the Framers of the Frame Bill
153
Lines to a Lady Weeping
154
An Apostrophic Hymn
155
Remember Thee Remember Thee
166
A Fragment of a Turkish Tale
167
THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS A Turkish Tale
209
A Tale
248
Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte
308
Stanzas for Music
314
She walks in beauty
315
A Tale
316
The Destruction of Sennacherib
355
Napoleons Farewell From the French
356
From the French Must thou go my glorious Chief
357
THE SIEGE OF CORINTH
359
A Dramatic Poem
463
A Romaunt Canto IV
508
Epistle from Mr Murray to Dr Polidori Dear Doctor I have read your play
570
A Venetian Story
573
Epistle to Mr Murray My dear Mr Murray
599
MAZEPPA
602
Stanzas to the Po
627
The Isles of Greece
629
Francesca of Rimini From the Inferno of Dante Canto the Fifth
632
Stanzas When a man hath no freedom
634
A Tragedy
635
Who killd John Keats?
735
A Literary Eclogue
736
THE VISION OF JUDGMENT
749
On This Day I Complete My ThirtySixth Year
780
Notes
782
Works Cited in the Notes
821
Index of Titles
827
Index of First Lines
829
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

English poet and dramatist George Gordon, Lord Byron was born January 22, 1788, in London. The boy was sent to school in Aberdeen, Scotland, until the age of ten, then to Harrow, and eventually to Cambridge, where he remained form 1805 to 1808. A congenital lameness rankled in the spirit of a high-spirited Byron. As a result, he tried to excel in every thing he did. It was during his Cambridge days that Byron's first poems were published, the Hours of Idleness (1807). The poems were criticized unfavorably. Soon after Byron took the grand tour of the Continent and returned to tell of it in the first two cantos of Childe Harold (1812). Instantly entertained by the descriptions of Spain, Portugal, Albania, and Greece in the first publication, and later travels in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, the public savored Byron's passionate, saucy, and brilliant writing. Byron published the last of Childe Harold, Canto IV, in 1818. The work created and established Byron's immense popularity, his reputation as a poet and his public persona as a brilliant but moody romantic hero, of which he could never rid himself. Some of Byron's lasting works include The Corsair, Lara, Hebrew Melodies, She Walks In Beauty, and the drama Manfred. In 1819 he published the first canto of Don Juan, destined to become his greatest work. Similar to Childe Harold, this epic recounts the exotic and titillating adventures of a young Byronica hero, giving voice to Byron's social and moral criticisms of the age. Criticized as immoral, Byron defended Don Juan fiercely because it was true-the virtues the reader doesn't see in Don Juan are not there precisely because they are so rarely exhibited in life. Nevertheless, the poem is humorous, rollicking, thoughtful, and entertaining, an enduring masterpiece of English literature. Byron died of fever in Greece in 1824, attempting to finance and lead the Byron Brigade of Greek freedom fighters against the Turks.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (17881824) gained a reputation for his startling good looks and extravagant behavior. With the publication in 1812 of the first two cantos of Childe Harolds Pilgrimage he became instantly famous. His rumored relationship with his half- sister Augustine led him to leave England in 1816.
Susan J. Wolfson is professor of English at Princeton University.
Peter J. Manning is chair and professor of English at SUNY Stony Brook.

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