from Don Juan: Canto 1, Stanzas 41-42

By Lord Byron (George Gordon) 1788–1824 Lord Byron (George Gordon)
41
His classic studies made a little puzzle,
   Because of filthy loves of gods and goddesses,
Who in the earlier ages raised a bustle,
   But never put on pantaloons or bodices;
His reverend tutors had at times a tussle,
   And for their Aeneids, Iliads, and Odysseys,
Were forced to make an odd sort of apology,
For Donna Inez dreaded the mythology.
 
42
Ovid's a rake, as half his verses show him,
   Anacreon's morals are a still worse sample,
Catullus scarcely has a decent poem,
   I don't think Sappho's Ode a good example,
Although Longinus tells us there is no hymn
   Where the sublime soars forth on wings more ample:
But Virgil's songs are pure, except that horrid one
Beginning with 'Formosum Pastor Corydon.'

Source: Byron: The Oxford Authors, edited by Jerome J. McGann (Oxford University Press, 1986)

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Poet Lord Byron (George Gordon) 1788–1824

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

 Lord  Byron (George Gordon)

Biography

The most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics, George Gordon, Lord Byron, was likewise the most fashionable poet of the day. He created an immensely popular Romantic hero—defiant, melancholy, haunted by secret guilt—for which, to many, he seemed the model. He is also a Romantic paradox: a leader of the era’s poetic revolution, he named Alexander Pope as his master; a worshiper of the ideal, he never lost touch with . . .

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POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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