chapter  68
9 Pages

Arthur Symons on Byron

1909

Arthur William Symons, poet, editor and critic, member of the Rhymers' Club and author of The Symbolist Movement in Literature, wrote on Lord Byron in his book The Romantic Movement in English Poetry, 1909. The life of Byron was a masque in action, to which his poetry is but the moralising accompaniment of words. Byron has power without wisdom, power which is sanity, and human at heart, but without that vision which is wisdom. The melancholy of Childe Harold, of Byron himself, which has been so often associated with the deeper and more thoughtful melancholy of Rene, of Obermann, is that discontent with the world which comes from too great love of the world, and not properly an intellectual dissatisfaction at all. Byron loved the world for its own sake and for good and evil. His quality of humanity was genius to him, and stood to him in the place of imagination.