She Walks in Beauty
by 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,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Lord Byron left a legacy of brilliant writing as well as a trail of debts, myriad affairs, an incestuous relationship with his half-sister, and a reputation as a war hero. Described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know", he packed all that living into only 36 years, when he died from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi in Greece.
Wild man he was, George Gordon!