Photographs of nature, places and objects that have caught my eye.

Φωτογραφίες απο την φύση, απο τόπους και αντικείμενα που μου χτύπησαν στο μάτι.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lord Byron. Ο Λόρδος Βύρων.

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, later George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron,   (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was a British poet and a leading figure in Romanticism. Amongst Byron's best-known works are the brief poems She Walks in Beauty, When We Two Parted, and So, we'll go no more a roving, in addition to the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential, both in the English-speaking world and beyond.
Byron's notability rests not only on his writings but also on his life, which featured aristocratic excesses, huge debts, numerous love affairs, and self-imposed exile. He was famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know". Byron served as a regional leader of Italy's revolutionary organization, the Carbonari, in its struggle against Austria. He later traveled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero.
He died from a fever contracted while in Missolonghi in Greece, where his heart is buried, at the age of 36.
Source : Wikipedia

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:

Portrait of Lord Byron by Thomas Phillips.

Ο Λόρδος Βύρων (Αγγλικά:George Gordon Byron VI, 22 Ιανουαρίου 1788  - 19 Απριλίου 1824) ήταν Άγγλος ποιητής, απο τους σημαντικότερους εκπροσώπους του ρομαντισμού και φιλέλληνας.
Γεννήθηκε στο Λονδίνο στις 22 Ιανουαρίου 1788 και ήταν γιος του Captain John Byron και της δεύτερης συζύγου του, Catherine Gordon. Ανήκε σε αριστοκρατική οικογένεια και ήταν απόγονος του βασιλιά της Αγγλίας Εδουάρδου του 3ου. Σπούδασε στο πανεπιστήμιο του Κέϊμπριτζ αποκτώντας έτσι πολύ καλή μόρφωση. Ήταν χαρακτήρας ανήσυχος, παρορμητικός και τυχοδιωκτικός. Έτσι, ξεκίνησε περιοδείες και περιπλανήσεις στη νότια Ευρώπη.
Το 1823 κατευθύνεται, ύστερα απο παρότρυνση των Άγγλων κεφαλαιούχων που ενδιαφέρονταν για σύναψη δανείων με την Ελληνική κυβέρνηση, προς την Ελλάδα σταματώντας στην Κεφαλλονιά, όπου παρέμεινε για έξι μήνες στην οικία του κόμη Δελαδέτσιμα, φίλου του Μαυροκορδάτου. Τελικά αν και αρχικός προορισμός ήταν ο Μοριάς εγκαθίσταται στο Μεσολόγγι, όπου έρχεται σε επαφή με τον Αλέξανδρο Μαυροκορδάτο, τον οποίο και υποστηρίζει οικονομικά. Εν τω μεταξύ έχει σχηματίσει ιδιωτικό στρατό απο 40 Σουλιώτες υπο τον Δράκο, Τζαβέλλα και Φωτομαρά. Αξίζει να σημειωθεί οτι ήταν απο τους πρώτους που συνειδητοποίησε τις καταστροφικές συνέπειες που θα είχε η σύναψη δανείου στην περίπτωση που χρησιμοποιείτο οχι για εθνικούς σκοπούς αλλά για πολιτικές διαμάχες.
Απεβίωσε στις 19 Απριλίου του 1824 ύστερα απο πυρετό. Το πένθος για το θάνατό του ήταν γενικό και ο Διονύσιος Σολωμός συνέθεσε μακρά ωδή στη μνήμη του. Η καρδιά του ενταφιάστηκε στο Μεσολόγγι.
Πηγή : Wikipedia.

Portrait of Lord Byron in Greek Costume of the 19th century.


By the Rivers of Babylon We Sat Down and Wept, (1815 )
                                        1
                         We sat down and wept by the waters
                             Of Babel, and thought of the day
                         When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,
                             Made Salem's high places his prey;
                         And ye, oh her desolate daughters!
                             Were scattered all weeping away.
                                        2
                         While sadly we gazed on the river
                             Which rolled on in freedom below,
                         They demanded the song; but, oh never
                             That triumph the stranger shall know!
                         May this right hand be withered for ever,
                             Ere it string our high harp for the foe!
                                        3
                         On the willow that harp is suspended,
                             Oh Salem!  its sound should be free;
                         And the hour when thy glories were
                                     ended
                             But left me that token of thee:
                         And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
                             With the voice of the spoiler by me!



My Soul is Dark

                    My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
                        The harp I yet can brook to hear;
                    And let thy gentle fingers fling
                        Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear.
                    If in this heart a hope be dear,
                        That sound shall charm it forth again:
                    If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
                        'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.
                    But bid the strain be wild and deep,
                        Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
                    I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
                        Or else this heavy heart will burst;
                    For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
                        And ached in sleepless silence, long;
                    And now 'tis doomed to know the worst,
                        And break at once - or yield to song.











The  Isles of Greece.


THE isles of Greece! the isles of Greece
  Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
  Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.

The Scian and the Teian muse,
  The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse:
  Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires' 'Islands of the Blest.

The mountains look on Marathon—
  And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
  I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sate on the rocky brow
  Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,
  And men in nations;—all were his!
He counted them at break of day—
And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they? and where art thou,
  My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now—
  The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?

'Tis something in the dearth of fame,
  Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
  Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush—for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
  Must we but blush?—Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
  A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylæ!

What, silent still? and silent all?
  Ah! no;—the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
  And answer, 'Let one living head,
But one, arise,—we come, we come!'
'Tis but the living who are dumb.

In vain—in vain: strike other chords;
  Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
  And shed the blood of Scio's vine:
Hark! rising to the ignoble call—
How answers each bold Bacchanal!

You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet;
  Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
Of two such lessons, why forget
  The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave—
Think ye he meant them for a slave?

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
  We will not think of themes like these!
It made Anacreon's song divine:
  He served—but served Polycrates—
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.

The tyrant of the Chersonese
  Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
That tyrant was Miltiades!
  O that the present hour would lend
Another despot of the kind!
Such chains as his were sure to bind.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
  On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
Exists the remnant of a line
  Such as the Doric mothers bore;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.

Trust not for freedom to the Franks—
  They have a king who buys and sells;
In native swords and native ranks
  The only hope of courage dwells:
But Turkish force and Latin fraud
Would break your shield, however broad.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
  Our virgins dance beneath the shade—
I see their glorious black eyes shine;
  But gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear-drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
  Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
  There, swan-like, let me sing and die:
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine—
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!

Statue of Lord Byron in Athens. Greece Appreciating is crowning Byron


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