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So We'll Go No More a-Roving -- George Gordon, Lord Byron

(Poem #62) So We'll Go No More a-Roving
So we'll go no more a-roving
    So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
    And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
    And the soul outwears the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
    And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
    And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
    By the light of the moon.
-- George Gordon, Lord Byron
"Lord Byron is only great as a poet; as soon as he reflects, he is a
child." - Goethe.

I agree completely. Byron seems to be the distillation of all the
qualities which I dislike in the Romantic poets.

Having said that, I must add that this beautiful lyric is one of my
favourite vignettes. Again, it's a poem to which not much can be added
by way of commentary (funny, isn't it, how such poems tend to go
hand-in-hand with days on which I don't have time to write comments?)
Actually, I started writing some stuff, but I gave up because it wasn't
going too well, and also, to be frank, I don't like Byron enough to be
able to write about him. So I'll leave you with just the first line of
my (unfortunately) stillborn essay:

Written around the age of 30, after a tempestuous and highly
controversial youth, this shows Byron in a more pensive, melancholy
mood, far removed from his usual (somewhat wanton) sensuality.

That, I'm afraid, is all I wrote. Oh well, that's the way it crumbles,


52 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

CHS 111 #28 said...


Thegoldenflower said...

i like it too

e.v said...

this poem is one of my favorites. it reminds me of the summer before my first year of college. my friends were all moving away and we were all committed to spending every night with each other.. just aimlessly wandering around and having a good time. we often ended up sitting on the beach and staring at the moon.
anyway, before i digress too much.. this poem quite accurately describes how i feel about that summer. it was simply great, but.. unfortunately, it can't be relived.

Despitzer said...

As I grow older & think of old loves lost & found , I think of this poem.
However didn"t Byron steal this from an old scottish folk song "The Jolly
Beggar" ?


Julia Lanning said...

Check the original poem; it should read “the heart BE still as
loving,/And the moon BE still as bright.”

eugene.zbikowski said...

Joan Baez sings this song to a melody by R Dyer Bennet on the album Joan Baez 5 released in October 1964.

Sean Meredith said...

This Poem is very deep to me as you probably know Lord Byron had an alledged affair with This half sister and was forced to move out of england. I believe this poem is showing his love to his mistress whom he cares for so deeply but now he is not alowd to have that love any more and will not be allowd to have long walks with her or sleep with her and so this is say he will go no more a roving
ps please reply and tell me what you think of my theory

K?pper Utz Ingo said...

Dear Eugene,
I have been trying for a long time to get hold of the notes of R Dyer Bennet?s "We?ll go no more a-roving..." as sung by Joan Baez in 1964.
Have you an idea how I can acquire these, or do you know if if there is a modern CD with this song on it?
So far my search has been in vain!
With kind regards Thirza K?pper

Nicole Ilott said...

freeky poem

Ulrich Oevermann said...

Julia Lanning <jlanning@> wrote about the authentic version of Lord Byrons
poem "So We'll Go No More A-Roving". B ecause I cannot find a translation to
Germa, I Would at least try to identifiy the original publication of this
poemt in English. Could perhaps Julia Lanning help me, Yours Oevermann.

siddig salih said...

It's to long when I read this poem last. So will go no more aroving is one of my favourite English poems. It is started by SO which explains the sequence of actions; consquentely, giving up aroving is aresult of something related to Byron life in the past.Abviously Byron had lots of affairs even with his half sister. he may have regreted his idle past life. soul has to breathe and love has to rest. However his heart is still thumping which resembled by sharp sward. the poet is nostalgic.

Siddig from Sudan

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Rosemarycxy878 said...

I'll let you into a little fetish of mine, I love those old wartime grammar phone tracks. That sound is like a time portal, its also incredible how much they achieved in music/sound with such basic technology back then.

Anonymous said...

I always thought the poem was about growing old - the spirit is willing, but the flesh is unable. Looks as if I'm wrong.

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