by John Lars Zwerenz
I WALKED WITH BYRON
I walked with Byron in the regal sun,
To the chime of his lordly laughter.
We spoke of our time on earth as the sea
Kissed our ruddy faces with delicious brine.
Then soon after
He softly said to me:
"Let us drink our fill of mystic wine!"
So we went to the garden, ornate with the vine,
And beside a charming trellis of white,
We dipped our carafes into the glistening well,
And our minds became enlightened with light.
He was in a poetic mood, and I could tell
That he wished to recite
Some verse from his books.
We reclined among the silver brooks,
And o, with what rhapsodies his lines did sail!
She walks in beauty was fine, but alas!
He spoke with the voice of Christ as a breeze did pass,
And his rhyme was like the rapture
Of the bright, midday moon's marvelous, misty veil
Which enclosed us there and did softly capture
My heart and my soul as I heard his song.
His words dripped like honey,
And my heart did long
For the beauty
Of the maiden which graced his every line,
Which was carried on scented zephyrs of blue.
For he praised my love, and her soft, sable eyes.
He praised her parted mane, and its raven hue.
And as we sipped our wine
His verse ascended to the celestial skies,
With the broad, bright wings of angelic flight.
Then came the eglantine,
The spell of the radiant rose,
And the fresh mignonettes of the nascent night.
And after he was done,
His violet book did softly close
As the setting, saffron, splendid sun
Left me in awe of his rhyme and his prose.
He anointed my brow with still more wine,
And we walked amidst the flowing, slender streams,
Each living for the other.
And we lost ourselves in splendid dreams,
As friend and brother,
Amid the dappled, succulent shade,
Beneath the brilliant, English ivory
Of an English colonnade.
And in that majestic umbrage
Of purple boundless beauty,
Of beatitude and silent light,
We felt the youth of our eternal age
Blend softly with the canticles
Of the beauteous, blossoming, silvery night.
And we rejoiced over our former manacles
Which once possessed our heart and mind
With darknesses and torments of a lasting kind.
For every tear that was shed upon that weary orb of blue
Has become a wreath of laurel!
(And the same, dear reader, shall be for you!)
Then we gave thanks beneath the emerald, sorrel
Trees of willow, dappled orange and yew.
And before he left me, he whispered in my ear,
With the inflection of a sigh,
Which the night alone did hear:
"When poverty had you, it was I, my friend, yes I
Who came in disguise and bought you that beer."
John Lars Zwerenz
Last updated October 27, 2015