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!
Maybe the most famous in Lord Byron’s poems; the walking lady is Mrs. Wilmot, Byron’s cousin.
A friend of Byron, James W. Webster, wrote those words about the event that inspired the poet:
“I did take him to Lady Sitwell’s party in Seymour Road. He there for the first time saw his cousin, the Beautiful Mrs. Wilmot. When we returned to his rooms in Albany, he said little, but desired Fletcher to give him a tumbler of Brandy, which he drank at once to Mrs. Wilmot’s health, then retired to rest, and was, I heard afterwards, in a sad state all night. The next day he wrote those charming lines upon her –She walks in Beauty like the Night….”*