A poem by Lord Byron:
When, to their airy hall, my father’s voice
Shall call my spirit, joyful in their choice;
When, poised upon the gale, my form shall ride,
Or, dark in mist, descend the mountains side;
Oh! may my shade behold no sculptured urns,
To mark the spot where earth to earth returns!
No lengthen’d scroll, no praise-encumber’d stone;
My epitaph shall be my name alone:
If that with honour fail to crown my clay,
Oh! may no other fame my deeds repay!
That, only that, shall single out the spot;
By that remember’d, or with that forgot.
Lord Byron once wrote “Roll on, deep and dark blue ocean, roll. Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin, but his control stops with the shore.” I wonder what he would think about bottom trawling, the Deepwater Horizon spill, Fukushima radiation, the Pacific trash island, etc.
Hitchens on Byron: The Truant of His Age
But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousand, perhaps millions, think;
‘Tis strange, the shortest letter which man uses
Instead of speech, may form a lasting link
Of ages; to what straits old Time reduces
Frail man, when paper – even a rag like this,
Survives himself, his tomb, and all that’s his.
According to the BBC bio: “Byron was the ideal of the Romantic poet, gaining notoriety for his scandalous private life and being described by one contemporary as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’.“