Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20: Byron Gave His Life For Freedom (Vol. 41: pp. 801-815)

On this day in Greece in 1824, Lord Byron received a 37-gun salute in honor of the supreme sacrifice he made in aiding the Greeks in battle against the Turks.
"ETERNAL SPIRIT of the chainless Mind!
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty, thou art,—
For there thy habitation is the heart—
The heart which love of Thee alone can bind."

Most of Byron's work is soppy romanticism, but in these two poems, "The Prisoner of Chillon" and "The Isles of Greece," he is a freedom fighter willing to lay down his life so that "freedom's fame finds wings on every wind."

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