Perhaps Lord Byron’s best-loved and most widely anthologised lyric poem, ‘She Walks in Beauty’ is quoted in Dead Poets Society as an attempt to seduce a young woman, and it epitomises a particular kind of Romantic poem: that is, a poem idolising (and idealising) a woman’s beauty.
She Walks in Beauty
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. Read the rest of this entry
Taken from his long elegy In Memoriam, published in 1850, this poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-92) virtually concludes the cycle of poems as a whole. In Memoriam A. H. H. is an elegy, comprising a whopping 133 cantos, for Tennyson’s friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who had died suddenly in 1833. ‘Ring Out, Wild Bells’ shows Tennyson regaining his faith and overcoming his grief when hearing the bells ringing in Christmas Day.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true. Read the rest of this entry