She Walks in Beauty
by LORD BYRON (1788-1824)
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 mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d 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!
Byron’s first collection of poetry, HOURS OF IDLENESS, appeared in 1807. It received bad reviews. Success came five years later in 1812, when Byron published the first two cantos of CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE. “I awoke one morning and found myself famous,” he later said.