Byron at Shelley’s Burning

The brain of Shelley cooks
Inside its smoking case; 
The bones and flesh fall off
And show the seed of Shelley’s thought.

The wine of Byron fumes
Inside his cup of skull;
The lengthy hair of Percy
Streams on his romantic pyre.

The scissor legs of Byron
Swim where Shelley drowned
In wine romantic seas
Of Italy. And Byron notes

The wine red beauty
In the sheets of flame
Of Shelley, as he sees
The body burn upon the beach.

But Byron’s brain could not
Foresee how he would die
In Greece, his blood ebbing
Into his eye out of a drunken leech.

From John Logan: The Collected Poems (BOA Editions, 2001) by John Logan. Copyright © 2001 by John Logan Literary Estate, Inc. Used with the permission of the publisher.