40 Quotes from Lord Byron

Lord Byron (1788-1824) is considered one of the greatest English poets. He established his popularity and legacy with long narrative works like Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Several of his shorter more melodic poems also remain loved, such as “She Walks in Beauty,” “My Soul is Dark,” and “The Eve of Waterloo.”

However, the poet also led a fascinating private life with one of his spurned lovers, the equally fascinating Lady Charlotte Lamb (1785-1828), calling him “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” He traveled extensively across Europe. He was wonderfully bisexual. He fathered a child with Claire Clairmont (1798-1879), Mary Shelley’s step-sister, and was present when Mary Shelley (1797-1851) wrote the famous novel Frankenstein. He had a rumored incestuous affair with his half-sister the Hon. Augusta Byron Leigh (1783-1851). He fought in the Greek War for Independence and died when he contracted malaria. This is an extremely brief overview of his life. For more, check out other posts on my blog regarding the famous poet. (7 (Mis)Adventures of Lord Byron and Lord Byron’s Skull Cup). 

Considering his genius and wildly interesting life, it’s no wonder that he left behind so many witticisms and profound quotes. Here is a selected forty for your reading pleasure. 


“Men think highly of those who rise rapidly in the world; whereas nothing rises quicker than dust, straw, and feathers.”

“Yet he was jealous, though he did not show it, For jealousy dislikes the world to know it.”

“I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.”

“Hate is by far the greatest pleasure; men love in haste, but detest in leisure. ”

“In solitude, where we are least alone.”

“I have a notion that gamblers are as happy as most people – being always excited.”

“If I could always read I should never feel the want of company.”

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”

“Tis strange – but true; for Truth is always strange, stranger than Fiction.”

“Friendship is love without wings.”

“Despair and Genius are too oft connected.”

“’Tis strange the mind, that very fiery particle, Should let itself be snuff’d out by an article.”

“There is no instinct like that of the heart.”

“This is to be mortal, And seek the things beyond mortality.”

“Letter writing is the only device combining solitude with good company.”

“Opinions are made to be changed or how is truth to be got at?”

“There are four questions of value in life… What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is same. Only love.”

“I doubt sometimes whether a quiet and unagitated life would have suited me – yet I sometimes long for it.”

“I have not loved the world, nor the world me; I have not flatter’d its rank breath, nor bow’d To its idolatries a patient knee.”

“In her first passion, a woman loves her lover, in all the others all she loves is love.”

“There is something pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything.”

“There is, in fact, no law or government at all [in Italy]; and it is wonderful how well things go on without them.”

“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”

“Death, so called, is a thing which makes men weep, And yet a third of life is passed in sleep.”

“In itself a thought, a slumbering thought is capable of years; and curdles a long life into one hour.”

“Between two worlds life hovers like a star, twixt night and morn, upon the horizon’s verge.”

“The truly brave are soft of heart and eyes, and feel for what their duty bids them do.”

“Few things surpass old wine; and they may preach Who please, the more because they preach in vain.”

“Adversity is the first path to truth.”

“My heart in passion, and my head on rhymes.”

“Pleasure’s a sin, and sometimes sin’s a pleasure.”

“That which I am, I am; I did not seek For life, nor did I make myself.”

References

Byron: Child of Passion, Fool of Fame, Book by Benita Eisler

Byron: Life and Legend, Book by Fiona MacCarthy

George Gordon Byron on Literary Devicess

INDEX OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG WORKS OF LORD BYRON on Project Gutenberg

“Let Satire Be My Song”: Byron’s English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, website through Harvard University

Lord Byron on Biography

Lord Byron on Britannica 

Lord Byron: Famous Bi People on Bi.org

Lord Byron (George Gordon) on Poetry Foundation

Lord Byron Quotes on GoodReads

Lord Byron Quotes on LibQuotes

Lord Byron Quotes and Sayings on InspiringQuotes.us

Lord Byron’s Darkest Secrets and Greatest Poetry on The Society of Classical Poets

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