The Giaour

But first, on earth as Vampire sent,
Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race:
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life;
Yet loathe the banquet which perforce
Must feed thy livid living corse:
Thy victims, ere they yet expire,
Shall know the demon for their sire,
As cursing thee, thou cursing them.
Thy flowers are wither’d on the stem …
Wet with thine own best blood shall drip
Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip;
Then stalking to thy sullen grave,
Go - and with Gouls and Afrits rave;
Till these in horror shrink away
From spectre more accursed than they!

Lord Byron

The thing above me there, though it doesn't say so, is only a short extract from what is in fact a very long poem by Lord Byron. It's from the bit where the Giaour is maybe-sort-of-cursed with vampirism for the Foul Shit he hath done. It's an OK poem, only OK. One of his thrillsy popular numbers, copies of which sold like Furbies at the time but are seldom now studied or read. See also The Corsair, which was I think his best-selling work. If you must read histrionic moody Byron, do yourself a favour and try Manfred instead, or else those few stanzas of Childe Harold which don't suck. Better yet forget it, the comic Byron is eminently more tolerable.

This is basically a place-holder, since I'm linking here from another node and don't want you people thinking The Giaour is some kind of long-legged sonnet, and that I've also mixed hermits up with vampires. I'm planning to circle back and actually put the text here, but marking up a gigantic poem I don't particularly like is a bit of a shit errand, so bear with me while I procrastinate.

Bonus Byron Fact: I always thought Don Juan forcing you to pronounce its protagonist's name "Don Joo-wan" was a gag, but apparently that's just how them folks said it. Learned this yesterday. It's funny today, anyway, so I suppose in that respect it's a poem that has only improved with age.

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