He could not love Matilda; and though he never had seen her but in the most amiable light, he found it impossible to feel any sentiment towards her, save cold esteem. Never had he beheld those dark shades in her character, which, if developed, could excite nothing but horror and detestation: he regarded her as a woman of strong passions, who, having resisted them to the utmost of her power, was at last borne away in the current—whose brilliant virtues one fault had obscured—as such he pitied her.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Zastrozzi
Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes,
Nibble their toast, and cool their tea with sighs,
Or else forget the purpose of the night,
Forget their tea — forget their appetite.
See with cross’d arms they sit — ah! happy crew,
The fire is going out and no one rings
For coals, and therefore no coals Betty brings.
A fly is in the milk-pot — must he die
By a humane society?
No, no; there Mr. Werter takes his spoon,
Inserts it, dips the handle, and lo! soon
The little straggler, sav’d from perils dark,
Across the teaboard draws a long wet mark.
Arise! take snuffers by the handle,
There’s a large cauliflower in each candle.
A winding-sheet, ah me! I must away
To No. 7, just beyond the circus gay.
‘Alas, my friend! your coat sits very well;
Where may your tailor live?’ ‘I may not tell.
O pardon me — I’m absent now and then.
Where might my tailor live? I say again
I cannot tell, let me no more be teaz’d —
He lives in Wapping, might live where he pleas’d.’
John Keats, “A Party of Lovers”
Sunday, 1st January
in my heart
There is a vigil, and these eyes but close
To look within; and yet I live, and bear
The aspect and the form of breathing men.
But grief should be the instructor of the wise;
Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most
Must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth,
The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.
Lord Byron, Manfred
Monday, 12th November
The hour arrived— and it became
A wandering mass of shapeless flame,
A pathless comet, and a curse,
The menace of the universe;
Still rolling on with innate force,
Without a sphere, without a course,
A bright deformity on high,
The monster of the upper sky!
Lord Byron, Manfred
Friday, 16th November
How beautiful is all this visible world!
How glorious in its action and itself!
But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
To sink or soar, with our mix’d essence make
A conflict of its elements, and breathe
The breath of degradation and of pride,
Contending with low wants and lofty will,
Till our mortality predominates,
And men are what they name not to themselves,
And trust not to each other.
Lord Byron, Manfred
Sunday, 25th November
No breath of air to break the wave
That rolls below the Athenian’s grave,
That tomb l which, gleaming o’er the cliff,
First greets the homeward-veering skiff,
High o’er the land he saved in vain
When shall such hero live again ?
Lord Byron, The Giaour
Saturday, 26th October
Who could be happy and alone, or good?
To me my solitude seems sin
Lord Byron, Cain
Thursday, 14th November
He’s dead — and upper earth with him has done;
He’s buried; save the undertaker’s bill
Lord Byron, The Vision of Judgment
Friday, 15th November
If thou lov’st blood, the shepherd’s shrine, which smokes
On my right hand, hath shed it for thy service
In the first of his flock, whose limbs now reek
In sanguinary incense to thy skies
Lord Byron, Cain
Wednesday, 11th December