There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
This passage from Byron's Childe Harold is one of my favorites.
In it, Byron expresses the human desire for both solitude and a connection to
something much larger than ourselves. Growing up in Southern California,
I've spent countless hours at the beach and this poem captures many of the same
feelings I've experienced while watching the never ending waves roll in.
But I'm getting too deep for a Wednesday.
For all of Byron's deep thoughts, other parts of his work illustrate just how
much a creature of the Regency he really was. Below is a passage from Don Juan.
It's much less spiritual, more nasty perhaps, especially in keeping with male
attitudes towards women at the time.
Some take a love, some take drams or prayers,
Some mind their household, others dissipation,
Some run away, and but exchange their cares,
Losing the advantage of a virtuous station;
Few changes e'er can better their affairs,
Theirs being an unnatural situation,
From the dull palace to the dirty hovel:
Some play the devil, and then write a novel.Do we see something of Caroline Lamb
in the last line?