From Byron's Don Juan:

Thus lived -- thus died she; never more on her
Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made
Through years or moons the inner weight to bear,
Which colder hearts endure till they are laid
By age in earth: her days and pleasures were
Brief, but delightful -- such as had not staid
Long with her destiny
; but she sleeps well
By the sea-shore, whereon she loved to dwell.

What is the meaning of the phrase in bold? "Such days, brief but delightful, had not staid long, thanks to her (tragic) destiny"?

1 Answer 1


The quote is suggesting the woman died young but had a good life.

such as had not staid long with her destiny

Staid in Byron's day was used as the past participle of the verb to stay. Today we would use the word stayed. With this in mind the quote's meaning is easier to understand, particularly if it is split into two parts.

Such as had not stayed long.

This is fairly clearly saying that the woman was only there for a short period of time.

With her destiny.

Destiny is the pre-ordained path you take through life. Your destiny describes your birth, life, and death. This means that the longer your destiny the longer your life. Since the woman was only with her destiny for a short period of time she completed her destiny quickly and so must have lived a short life.

Overall this quote, and most of the stanza, is saying that the woman died young.

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