13 March 2006

Monday with Byron the Blogger

Hidden away in Canto XIV of Lord Byron’s Don Juan is a verse (the seventh, to be precise) that would be apt in any modern blog.
But what’s this to the purpose, you will say.
Gent. Reader, nothing, a mere speculation,
For which my sole excuse is, ‘tis my way.
Sometimes with and sometimes without occasion
I write what’s uppermost without delay.
This narrative is not meant for narration,
But a mere airy and fantastic basis
To build up common things with commonplaces.
Not far from this, in the sixteenth verse, is an appropriately political entry in which Byron proves that he can craft the kind of blue-state complaint about the current administration that could adorn a modern liberal blog.
With much to excite, there’s little to exalt,
Nothing that speaks to all men and all times,
A sort of varnish over every fault,
A kind of commonplace even in their crimes,
Factitious passions, wit without much salt,
A want of that true nature which sublimes
Whate’er it shows with truth, a smooth monotony
Of character, in those at least who have got any.


Blogger MichaelBains said...

Now I want to read some Byron.

Thank you.

23 March, 2006 15:54  

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