She walks in Beauty, like the night

night sky moving

Which waves in every raven tress, or softly lightens o'er her face

She Walks In Beauty

She walks in Beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
   Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
   How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
   A heart whose love is innocent!

by Lord Byron (January 22, 1788 – April 19, 1824)
can be found in The 100 Best Poems of All Time
image – makelessnoise

Like the Night

She walks in beauty like the night – what a line! Did the rest of the poem flow from finding those first words?

A natural next is bringing movement into darkness by carrying the rhythm down and through, like the slow swing of a long skirt.

And bring light into the night. My romantic side wants the woman to be made of moonlight or starlight:

One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Lovely.

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3 Responses to “She walks in Beauty, like the night”

  1. clarissa mcfairy Says:

    I think the woman is made of a mixture of both moonlight and starlight …and the poem too!. The ‘slow swing of a long dress’, hmmm, I like that. Tiny winking lights on her ears and a tiara of stars upon her head. I’ve always loved this poem. Simply divine, in the true sense.

  2. A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: its loveliness increases | John Keats | Quote Snack Says:

    […] first. Say “I am, I am, I am” a few times, and you’ve got it – or check out Byron: She walks in Beauty, like the night    Of cloudless climes and starry […]

  3. starry wisdom Says:

    […] mixture of humble detail and heroic aspiration is quite simply life-affirming. Received wisdom …She walks in Beauty, like the night – Lord ByronOf cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and […]

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