Archive for June 4, 2020

Thursday 4th June 2020

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on June 4, 2020 by bishshat

Joseph-Denis-Odevaere-Lord-Byron-on-his-Death-Bed-ca.-18261.jpg1

Byron on his deathbed Joseph Denis Odevaere

On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year

January 22nd, Missolonghi.  Byron

Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath ceased to move:
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!

My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of Love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!

The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some Volcanic isle;
No torch is kindled at its blaze
A funeral pile.

The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.

But ‘t is not thus and ‘t is not here
Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now
Where Glory decks the hero’s bier,
Or binds his brow.

The Sword, the Banner, and the Field,
Glory and Greece, around me see!
The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.

Awake! (not Greece—she is awake!)
Awake, my spirit! Think through whom
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!

Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood!—unto thee
Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of Beauty be.

If thou regret’st thy youth, why live?
The land of honourable death
Is here up to the Field, and give
Away thy breath!

Seek out—less often sought than found—
A soldier’s grave, for thee the best;
Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy Rest.

a

 

Missolonghi

On this day I complete my 68th year

inspired by Byron’s poem above.

Life has not been easy
For the child that hides
The child that still wants to be seen
The child that shouts look at me
But hides again immediately
The child that stands at the back
That then rushes to the front to try
Only to be still not chosen
The silent child that in excitement raise their voice only to be scolded
The child that achieves small goals every day
Yet the ones that achieve big goals only ever once receive the laurels
Why do we seek such praise?
Why achieve at all?
I am greedy
Love and passion make me strong
I hear a voice call
What you! Surely not
We fool them all with our attempts at shouting we are here
Then when they notice us
Its still never enough
I don’t know why
So many, many years hiding in plain sight
Brings a hidden pain that destroys
Even the strongest

But if we can remain that child
The one that keeps trying the one that achieves those small goals every day
Ones that can give guidance to others that hide
Maybe and only maybe this could be praise enough

John Bish June 4th 2020

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This poem, written on 28 February 1817, was included in a letter to Byron’s friend, Thomas Moore. A quick perusal suggests it’s about the transience of life. But it’s actually about Byron’s terrible hangover during Mardi Gras in Venice. The truth of its composition adds a bit of humor to a brief, melancholy gem.

So, we’ll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

1918P43

Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis