Poet: George Gordon Noel Byron
Dates: 22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824
Title of Poem: Solitude
To sit on rocks, to muse o’er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest’s shady scene,
Where things that own not man’s dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne’er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o’er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude, ’tis but to hold
Converse with Nature’s charms, and view her stores unrolled.
But midst the crowd, the hurry, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel and to possess,
And roam alone, the world’s tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of splendour shrinking from distress!
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
If we were not, would seem to smile the less
Of all the flattered, followed, sought and sued;
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!
Brief Biography: Byron was the 6th Baron Byron and a leading figure of the Romantic Movement. He travelled extensively through Europe and fought against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence and is considered a Greek national hero. Byron was a flamboyant character and notorious for indulging in aristocratic excesses. He chose to live the latter years of his life due to his bisexuality as under English society and law homosexuality was a criminal offence punishable by death.