And dost thou ask, what secret woe
I bear, corroding joy and youth?
And wilt thou vainly seek to know
A pang, ev’n thou must fail to soothe?
It is not love, it is not hate,
Nor low Ambition’s honours lost,
That bids me loathe my present state,
And fly from all I priz’d the most:
It is that weariness that springs
From all I meet, or hear, or see:
To me no pleasure Beauty brings;
Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.
It is that settled, ceaseless gloom
The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore;
That will not look beyond the tomb,
But cannot hope for rest before.
What exile from himself can flee?
To Zones, though more and more remote,
Still, still pursues, where-e’r I be,
The blight of life-the demon, Thought.
Yet others rapt in pleasure seem
And taste of all that I forsake;
Oh! may they still of transport dream,
And ne’ere, at least like me, awake!
~Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, ‘To Inez’, Canto I, 841-64.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".