George Gordon/Lord Byron
poems scream to be read aloud. Imagine Lord Byron (a partier of
renown), giving an “over-the-top” recitation of this poem amidst
the Lords and Ladies of his day. I dare you to do the same at
next wine gathering!
7]: According to Greek mythology, Pandora, the first women in a
perfect world, was given a box by Zeus and instructed not to open it.
Humans being human, Pandora opened the box, which contained
maladies of our present world – plus the one relief from them
hope. (As Byron points out, “hope” is unnecessary in a
world, where we are “certain of bliss”).
The Goblet Again
Lord Byron (1788-1824), English poet
the goblet again! for I never before
the glow which now gladdens my heart to its core;
us drink! - who would not? - since, through life’s varied round,
the goblet alone no deception is found.
have tried in its turn all that life can supply;
have basked in the beam of a dark rolling eye;
have loved! - who has not? - but what heart can declare
Pleasure existed while Passion was there?
the days of my youth, when the heart’s in its spring,
dreams that Affection can never take wing,
had friends! - who has not? - but what tongue will avow,
friends, rosy wine! are so faithful as thou?
heart of a mistress some boy may estrange,
shifts with the sunbeam - thou never canst change;
grows old - who does not? - but on earth what appears,
virtues, like thine, still increase with its years?
if blest to the utmost that Love can bestow,
a rival bow down to our idol below,
are jealous! - who’s not? - thou hast no such alloy;
the more that enjoy thee, the more we enjoy.
the season of youth and its vanities past,
refuge we fly to the goblet at last;
we find – do we not? – in the flow of the soul,
truth, as of yore, is confined to the bowl.
the box of Pandora was opened on earth,
Misery’s triumph commenced over Mirth,
was left, – was she not? – but the goblet we kiss,
care not for Hope, who are certain of bliss.
life to the grape! for when summer is flown,
age of our nectar shall gladden our own:
must die – who shall not? – May our sins be forgiven,
Hebe shall never be idle in Heaven.
The Works of Lord Byron, Vol. 1
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Lord Byron at the Poetry Foundation
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Major Works Byron's Poetry