Sonnet I was published in Byron’s most popular tale, The Corsair in 1814.
Thine eyes blue tenderness, thy long fair hair,
And the wan lustre of thy features—caught
From contemplation—where serenely wrought,
Seems Sorrow’s softness charm’d from its despair—
Have thrown such speaking sadness in thine air,
That—but I know thy blessed bosom fraught
With mines of unalloy’d and stainless thought—
I should have deem’d thee doom’d to earthly care.
With such an aspect by his colours blent,
When from his beauty-breathing pencil born,
(Except that thou hast nothing to repent)
The Magdalen of Guido saw the morn—
Such seem’st thou—but how much more excellent!
With nought Remorse can claim—nor Virtue scorn.