O talk not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.
What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
‘Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled:
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary—
What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?
O Fame! if I e’er took delight in thy praises,
‘Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When it sparkled o’er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.
Lord Byron addresses this poem to beauty and love. The best days of a person’s life are the days of his youth. A young man does not wish to hear of names famous in stories. The young man feels proud and happy to be young. He feels that laurels, garlands and crowns that are given to famous people are like dead flowers on which dew drops have fallen. He does not attach importance to these things, these crowns which can only give fame, but which fail to understand the joy and love that is there in the hearts of the youth.
The poet has personified fame and has directly addressed fame. Young men take delight in becoming famous not because of being praised in high sounding words. Young men take delight in becoming famous so that they may see the glows in their beloveds’ eyes. On becoming famous a young man gains credibility (be comes worthy) in the eyes of the beloved.That is the reason why a young man longs to gain fame(wants to become famous). The bright eyes of the beloved will discover that he is worthy to love her.
Fame is sought mainly in the eyes of the beloved. When her eyes sparkled with love, it was worth being famous. On seeing the joy and glow in her eyes, the young man realises that it was worth everything. He realises what is it to be in love and to be surrounded in the beauty of love.