Stanzas Written in Passing the Ambracian Gulf
On Byron's visit to Greece, in 1809, he passed the place where the Battle of Actium took place in the fight for Ancient Rome's power in the world. This was a major part of Antony and Cleopatra's history together. In fact, this was also the place where Cleopatra proved to Antony how easy it was to poison him by putting a poisoned flower in his wine, and then prevented him from taking a sip as he lifted the cup to drink. If you haven't read their history, it really is worth reading . . . and Emil Ludwig's book, Cleopatra, is one of the best.
The last two lines of this poem is typical of Byron's romantic nature
. . . the Florence in the poem represents Mrs. Spencer Smith, a
woman Byron had met in Malta.
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