George Gordon, Lord Byron

Romantic Poet

Lord Gordon's Background

  • 1788-1824
  • Born in London, England to Scottish nobility
  • born with a club foot
  • George's father left before he was one and his mother suffered from Schizophrenia
  • attended Harrow School in London
  • fell in love with his distant cousin, Mary Chaworth
  • attended Trinity college and acquired a debt
  • he enjoyed boxing, horseback riding, and gambling
  • He married Anne Isabella Milbanke in 1815 and had a daughter Augusta Ada, both of whom left him just a month later
  • Spent a lot of his time traveling and had many affairs
  • Moved from England to Switzerland
  • died on April 9, 1824 from a fever after being soaked in rain
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She Walks in Beauty

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 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, so 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!

Summary of the Poem

  • The poem describes a woman who is said to "walk in beauty"
  • Gordon uses extreme detail and symbols to describe the unnamed woman.
  • His main focus is the contrast between dark and light which continues throughout the poem
  • he describes her eyes as “all that’s best of dark and bright
  • the focus of the second stanza is the balance of the woman's beauty
  • he expresses that her physical beauty reflects her "pure" and "dear" inner thoughts and feelings
  • the last stanza focuses on her face and the calmness of the woman
  • he suggests that he facial expressions illustrates her peacefulness
  • Beauty
  • Harmony
  • Flesh vs. Spirit
  • Perfection
Lord Byron "She walks in beauty" poem

Literary Elements

  • "She walks in beauty, like the night"
  • compares the woman's beauty to nature throughout the poem
  • Of cloudless climes and starry skies.
  • "day denies"
  • creates a picture which contrast light and dark
  • compares the mind to a home
  • "Which heaven to gaudy day denies"
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works cited

  1. "Lord Byron’s Poems “She Walks in Beauty, Like the Night” Summary and Analysis." Lord Byron’s Poems “She Walks in Beauty, Like the Night” Summary and Analysis. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
  2. "She Walks in Beauty." Poetry for Students. Ed. Anne Marie Hacht. Vol. 14. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 267-281. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
  3. Shmoop Editorial Team. "She Walks in Beauty Analysis." Shmoop University, Inc., 2008. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.