[ Byron did, after all, write an epic poem about Don Juan (considered his masterpiece)–and no one challenged his qualifications to speak with authority on Don Juan, either ;)]
But back to the point: Honestly? Even I’d fall for a guy with such a “line” as follows–
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY AS THE NIGHT
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 mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy eyes denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired 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!
George Gordon, Lord Byron, June 12, 1814
What beautiful B.S.! The lady swooned no doubt, and Byron, whose love was typically far from “innocent,” knocked the idealized sugar pie off her pedestal (permanently), whilst whispering immortal verses in her ear. She never knew what hit her (or maybe she did). Successful seduction is never wholly one-sided. In Byron’s age among the aristocracy it was highly ritualistic with norms and formalities to be observed, and both parties knew their roles and the conventions.
If the walls of those country estates could talk!
I can barely remember how I got off on this tangent, but recollect it all dates to my determination to slim down my over-stuffed library and my re-discovery of A Country House Companion and the chapter on Byron’s house party at a grand country estate in 1809… and here I am deep in the throes of a re-appreciation of Byron’s poetry and lock-jawed all over again in awe at his talent, his accomplishment and his ultra-eventful, daring life.
He died at the tender age of 36 (!) at Missolonghi having gone to Greece to fight in the war for the Greeks’ independence from the Turks and to this day is revered in Greece as a national hero.
Charismatic, endlessly pursued by women, a huge poetic talent and a man of action as well. Jeese! See? I’d forgotten all this. If I hadn’t been forced to re-visit my “old” and rare books, none of this would have happened!
So…my next stop is the best Byron bio I can find …. and the books are still piling up and I’m making pitiful progress at deciding which I can part with.