The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.
What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
‘Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled.
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?
O Fame!—if I e’er took delight in thy praises,
‘Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover,
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When it sparkled o’er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.
George Gordon, Lord Byron
Romantics, for more on the lives of the Poets, you might hide here for a few days, and spend the evenings at your local cafe reading poems accompanied by a well-tempered clavier. For my part, I have ordered Ugo Foscolo’s Le Ultime Lettere di Jacopo Ortis (The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis)–and look forward to sinking in its lyrical, poignant song that so well describes the passion and contradiction of the Italian spirit (and carries me back to the Halcyon days of Literature and Poetry studies in high school). A presto, more watercolor portraits await…