Strange how this poem never made it onto the syllabus…

See, this Lord Byron poem below did NOT, somehow, make it to my reading list.  It was written on the death of Castlereagh, the former foreign secretary. 

Now, although I myself know nothing about Castlereagh, my finely-tuned artistic sensibilities allow me to discern, through the shades and nuances of this fine poetry, Byron’s opinion of the man.

Posterity will ne’er survey
A nobler grave that this.
Here lie the bones of Castlereagh:
Stop, traveler, and piss.

*wipes a tear from her eye*

Ah, Byron.  You did have a way with words.


About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
This entry was posted in funny, history, Lord Byron, poetry, research and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Strange how this poem never made it onto the syllabus…

  1. Claire says:

    Here, thanks for the laugh. I just love it.

  2. ralfast says:

    Before Oscar Wilde there was one Lord Byron (who gave is the Byronic hero, or should I say anti-hero), except that Wilde wit was faster (and sharper) and was not burden by the self-inflicted weight of the pained poseur.

    Still a genius….

    • sputnitsa says:

      Love Wilde. I don’t know much about Byron’s ego, but I wouldn’t imagine Wilde was demure and modest either. You know it somehow?

      What a line. Reminds me of those T-shirts warning folks that the wearer is a writer and to beware. 🙂


      • ralfast says:

        Oh he was not. Just as flamboyant as Byron and as prone to scandal (especially because he was open about his homosexuality in Victorian England), yet light hearted. In a sense he was the perfect reflection of his age, just as Byron was of the age that came before (Romanticism).

  3. Beth says:

    Thanks for the laugh! Can’t wait to share this. 🙂

  4. The man had a way with words.

    The piss line reminds me of what Bette Davis said about Joan Crawford: “I wouldn’t piss on her if she was on fire.”

  5. Yarnspnr says:

    Hmmm…since we know you are the traveler, the question becomes, did you? or will you? 🙂

  6. Regarding bios, I haven’t read any on Wilde, but I do have a wonderful one called, “Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein”. It deals with that whole circle: Mary and Percy Shelley, Byron, Polidori… Utterly fascinating.

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