Beware: cuteness ahead
So, I wanted to share with you a poem by... Lord Byron! Many of you will know it already, but for those who don't, what do you think? do you like it? do you think it's a normal lovey-dovey poem? a normal elegy? do you see anything weird?
To Thyrza: And Thou Art DeadAnd thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And form so soft and charm so rare
Too soon returned to Earth!
Though Earth received them in her bed,
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,
There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.
I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;
There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not:
It is enough for me to prove
That what I loved, and long must love,
Like common earth can rot;
To me there needs no stone to tell
'Tis Nothing that I loved so well.
Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
Who didst not change through all the past,
And canst not alter now.
The love where Death has set his seal
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,
Nor falsehood disavow:
And, what were worse, thou canst not see
Or wrong or change or fault in me.
The better days of life were ours;
The worst can be but mine:
The sun that cheers, the storm that lours,
Shall never more be thine.
The silence of that dreamless sleep
I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine
That all those charms have passed away
I might have watched through long decay.
The flower in ripened bloom unmatched
Must fall the earliest prey;
Though by no hand untimely snatched,
The leaves must drop away:
And yet it were a greater grief
To watct it withering, leaf by leaf,
Than see it plucked today;
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To trace the change to foul from fair.
I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
The night that followed such a morn
Had worn a deeper shade:
Thy day without a cloud hath past,
And thou wert lovely to the last -
Extinguished, not decayed,
As stars that shoot along the sky
Shine brightest as they fall from high.
As once I wept, if I could weep,
My tears might well be shed
To think I was not near to keep
One vigil o'er thy bed:
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face,
To fold thee in a faint embrace,
Uphold thy drooping head,
And show that love, however vain,
Nor thou nor I can feel again.
Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
The loveliest things that still remain
Than thus remember thee!
The all of thine that cannot die
Through dark and dread Eternity
Returns again to me,
And more thy buried love endears
Than aught, except its living years.
Now, beautiful, ne?
But what people would not believe is...
it is a story that hides a secret love: a true story.
Thyrza's RL name? John Edleston
Thing is, he never said so, they asked them lots of times who Thyrza was, but still he wouldn't answer...
So how do we know?
Cause hell yes he wrote letters and his fans kept them xDDD
This all began at Cambridge University (random: I'm going there this summer!), where he entered in 1805. It was his first year at Trinity College, and he met a rather cute choirboy called John Edleston, and almost inmediately became too attached to him.
History tells us that one year after this happened, Edleston gave him a red stone with the shape of a heart. Around that time, Byron wrote "The Cornelian", which is the name of the stone.
Let's check some of his letters:
Please, just read them it's WAY TOO CUTE!!!
"pray, keep the subject of my "Cornelian" a Secret"
"Even the Hero of my Cornelian (Who is now sitting vis a vis, reading a volume of my poetics) passed me in Trinity walks without recognizing me in the least, & was thunderstruck at the alteration [...] I depart for London, & quit Cambridge forever, with little regret, because my musical protegé above mentioned, has left the Choir, & is to be stationed in a mercantile house of considerable eminence in the Metropolis. You may have heard me observe he is exactly to an hour, 2 years younger than myself, I found him grown considerably, & as you will suppose, very glad to see his former patron.-- He is nearly my height, very thin, very fair complexion, dark eyes, & light locks, my opinion of his mind, you already know, I hope I shall never have reason to change it"
"at this moment I write with a bottle of Claret in my Head, & tears in my eyes, for I have just parted from "my Cornelian" who spent the evening with me; as it was our last Interview, I postponed my engagements to devote the hours of the Sabbath to friendship, Edleston & I have separated for the present, & my mind is a Chaos of hope & Sorrow [...] I rejoice to hear you are interested in my "protegé", he has been my almost constant associate since October 1805, when I entered Trinity College, his voice first attracted my notice his countenance fixed it, & his manners attached me to him forever, he departs for a mercantile house in Town, in October, & we shall probably not meet, till the expiration of my minority, when I shall leave to his decision, either entering as a Partner through my Interest, or residing with me altogether. Of course he would in his present frame of mine prefer the latter, but he may alter his opinion previous to that period, however he shall have his choice, I certainly love him more than any human being, & neither time or Distance have had the least effect on my (in general, changeable Disposition. -- In short, We shall put Lady E. Butler & Miss Ponsonby to the Blush, Pylades & Orestes out of countenance, & want nothing but a Catastrophe like Nisus & Euryalus, to give Jonathan & David the "go by".-- He certainly is perhaps more attached to me, than even I am in return, during the whole of my residence at Cambridge, we met every day summer & Winter, without passing one tiresome moment, & separated each time with increasing Reluctance. I hope you will one day see us together, he is the only being I esteem, though I like many"
SO, he was thinking of living together? that's so cute, especially in such a time... *____*
Then, what happened to this beautiful and pure love story? Because Lord Byron is known for being with too many women, right? So wth did happen then?
Well, Byron went to Malta,
He couldn't get in touch with Edleston, and he never saw him again. In October he received a letter from Edleston's sister, telling him John had died in May.
The letters from that time are very sad, I'm telling you:
"I heard of a death the other day that shocked me more than any of the preceding, of one whom I once loved more than I ever loved a living thing, & one who I believe loved me to the last, yet I had not a tear left for an event which five years ago would have bowed me to the dust; still it sits heavy on my heart & calls back what I wish to forget, in many a feverish dream"
"I have been again shocked with a death, and have lost one very dear to me in happier times; but "I have almost forgot the taste of grief," and "supped full of horrors" till I have become callous, nor have I a tear left for an event which five years ago would have bowed down my head to the earth. It seems as though I were to experience in my youth the greatest misery of age. My friends fall around me, and I shall be left a lonely tree before I am withered"
"at present I am rather low, & don't know how to tell you the reason -- you remember E at Cambridge -- he is dead -- last May -- his Sister sent me the account lately -- now though I never should have seen him again, (& it is very proper that I should not) I have been more affected than I should care to own elsewhere"
" You may remember a cornelian which some years ago I consigned to Miss Pigot, indeed gave to her, & now I am going to make the most selfish & rude of requests. -- -- The person who gave it to me, when I was very young, is dead, & though a long time has elapsed since we ever met, as it was the only memorial I possessed of that person (in whom I was once much interested) it has acquired a value by this event, I could have wished it never to have borne in my eyes. -- As she was always so kind as to feel interested in the fate of those that formed the subject of our conversations, you may tell her that the Giver of that cornelian died in May last of a consumption at the age of twenty one"
That's like, very sad, ne?
Apparently Byron got a ring from Edleston and wore it for 13 years after his death. He later said that their realtionship had been "a violent, though pure love and passion"...
So, is anyone still with me after such a long post? (gomen ^^U)
This is more or less what I wrote for my Romantic Poetry class last course...
I hope you enjoyed it, and maybe learnt something?
Oh, well I suppose I'm the only one interested in this kind of stuff right?