So We'll Go No More a Roving
by George Gordon, Lord Byron
Analysis: Calling Card
When we say roving is Byron's trademark, we don't mean the word "roving," although that may be true. We mean the very idea of roving—wandering, roaming, travelling. This idea is everywhere in Byron's major works, as a theme, formal structure, basically anything it could possibly be.
Byron's first major work, English Bards and Scots Reviewers (1809), for example, "roves" from topic to topic as it lampoons a number of major early nineteenth-century critics and poets. Byron's next major work, the one that made him super famous, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (Parts 1 and 2, 1812), is about a dude named Harold who wanders all over Napoleonic and post-Napoleonic Europe. Don Juan (1819-24), Byron's greatest work, is just like the previous two. In that poem Don Juan (pronounced "joo-awn") experiences a variety of adventures as he wanders from place to place. Roving, folks—it's everywhere in Byron.