Something Unearthly

Lord Byron in Albanian Dress by Phillips 1813

 

I am reading Childe Harold's Pilgrimage by Lord Byron for the first time. I know Shelley well, and Keats, and some of Coleridge and Wordsworth. But all I knew of Byron was the poem She Walks in Beauty like the Night. Byron was a great traveler and the poem is more travelogue than narrative, but full of passages that speak to me, which is all I ask of a poem. Here is one:

 

But I have lived, and have not lived in vain:
   My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire,
   And my frame perish even in conquering pain,
   But there is that within me which shall tire
   Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire:
   Something unearthly, which they deem not of,
   Like the remembered tone of a mute lyre,
   Shall on their softened spirits sink, and move
In hearts all rocky now the late remorse of love.
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