Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"She Walks in Beauty"

In a stirring article, quite poetic in itself, on the sorrows of Leopold III, Michael Geelan, to describe Queen Astrid, cites the opening lines of Lord Byron's "She Walks in Beauty" (1814). Intrigued, I looked up the quote and decided the whole poem suited Astrid perfectly:

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 mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day 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!


Le Barde Gaulois said...

That's long been one of my favourite poems, and it fits the original Queen of Hearts perfectly. Thank you for posting this, Matterhorn.

May said...

You are most welcome! I'm not very familiar with Byron, so it was actually quite new to me.

Le Barde Gaulois said...

I am somewhat familiar with Byron. He wrote some lovely pieces, but in his life he was quite the cad. Nonetheless, his antiheroic persona loomed quite large over much subsequent literature.

May said...

I have often found it interesting, and rather disappointing, that artists' personal lives do not necessarily measure up to their fine work.