This week’s Containment moment: George Gordon Byron’s ‘When We Two Parted’

This week’s ‘Containment moment‘ is from (Lord) George Gordon Byron’s ‘When We Two Parted’.

Odd that a CW show should be so concerned about the alleged relationship between Lady Frances Webster and the Duke of Wellington. It’s almost like they simply picked something sophisticated-sounding at random that fit the plot.

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow —
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me —
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well: —
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met —
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee? —
With silence and tears.

  • JustStark

    'George Gordon Byron'?! 'George Gordon Byron'?!?!?!

    You what?!

  • They're Americans – they don't respect titles

  • JustStark

    Then don't use them! Credit the man as George Gordon, it at least has the benefit of being accurate.

    Whereas 'George Gordon Byron' is… I don't know what.

    'He said his aim was poetry. One does not aim at poetry with pistols. At poets, perhaps.' — Sir Tom Stoppard

  • I may be committing a faux pas here, but what's wrong with George Gordon Byron?

    It seems to be a pretty universal credit beyond Wiki, too:

    I can see that 'Noel' floats around in his name (as does Byron), but I don't think when even the Encyclopaedia Britannica uses 'George Gordon Byron', it's outlandish, is it?

  • JustStark

    Oh, apparently I didn't know as much about his branch of the family as I thought; they did have the Byron surname as well as it being the title. I just hadn't seen it in that form: I'd only seen it as 'George Gordon, Lord Byron' and made an (erroneous) assumption.

    I withdraw my objection.

    But not the bit about poets.

  • Fair dos – it was a logical inference. Plus there was a good chance that I got it wrong, it being a name n'all


  • JustStark

    Ah, according to Wikipedia (SIMBT) Byron's father 'Mad Jack' Byron, in
    order to claim his wife's inheritance, changed his surname to hers
    (Gordon) and this is probably where the confusion arises as to what the proper name of their son is.

    (Then of course the story picks up with the bit everybody knows, of Mad Jack squandering his wife's entire estate before the child was three before deserting mother and infant in penury, before he inherited the title aged ten; basically, he was the eighteenth-century Kardashian).