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Best Famous Imagination Poems

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by Wallace Stevens |



The World without Imagination 

1 Nota: man is the intelligence of his soil, 
2 The sovereign ghost. As such, the Socrates 
3 Of snails, musician of pears, principium 
4 And lex. Sed quaeritur: is this same wig 
5 Of things, this nincompated pedagogue, 
6 Preceptor to the sea? Crispin at sea 
7 Created, in his day, a touch of doubt. 
8 An eye most apt in gelatines and jupes, 
9 Berries of villages, a barber's eye, 
10 An eye of land, of simple salad-beds, 
11 Of honest quilts, the eye of Crispin, hung 
12 On porpoises, instead of apricots, 
13 And on silentious porpoises, whose snouts 
14 Dibbled in waves that were mustachios, 
15 Inscrutable hair in an inscrutable world. 

16 One eats one pat¨¦, even of salt, quotha. 
17 It was not so much the lost terrestrial, 
18 The snug hibernal from that sea and salt, 
19 That century of wind in a single puff. 
20 What counted was mythology of self, 
21 Blotched out beyond unblotching. Crispin, 
22 The lutanist of fleas, the knave, the thane, 
23 The ribboned stick, the bellowing breeches, cloak 
24 Of China, cap of Spain, imperative haw 
25 Of hum, inquisitorial botanist, 
26 And general lexicographer of mute 
27 And maidenly greenhorns, now beheld himself, 
28 A skinny sailor peering in the sea-glass. 
29 What word split up in clickering syllables 
30 And storming under multitudinous tones 
31 Was name for this short-shanks in all that brunt? 
32 Crispin was washed away by magnitude. 
33 The whole of life that still remained in him 
34 Dwindled to one sound strumming in his ear, 
35 Ubiquitous concussion, slap and sigh, 
36 Polyphony beyond his baton's thrust. 

37 Could Crispin stem verboseness in the sea, 
38 The old age of a watery realist, 
39 Triton, dissolved in shifting diaphanes 
40 Of blue and green? A wordy, watery age 
41 That whispered to the sun's compassion, made 
42 A convocation, nightly, of the sea-stars, 
43 And on the cropping foot-ways of the moon 
44 Lay grovelling. Triton incomplicate with that 
45 Which made him Triton, nothing left of him, 
46 Except in faint, memorial gesturings, 
47 That were like arms and shoulders in the waves, 
48 Here, something in the rise and fall of wind 
49 That seemed hallucinating horn, and here, 
50 A sunken voice, both of remembering 
51 And of forgetfulness, in alternate strain. 
52 Just so an ancient Crispin was dissolved. 
53 The valet in the tempest was annulled. 
54 Bordeaux to Yucatan, Havana next, 
55 And then to Carolina. Simple jaunt. 
56 Crispin, merest minuscule in the gates, 
57 Dejected his manner to the turbulence. 
58 The salt hung on his spirit like a frost, 
59 The dead brine melted in him like a dew 
60 Of winter, until nothing of himself 
61 Remained, except some starker, barer self 
62 In a starker, barer world, in which the sun 
63 Was not the sun because it never shone 
64 With bland complaisance on pale parasols, 
65 Beetled, in chapels, on the chaste bouquets. 
66 Against his pipping sounds a trumpet cried 
67 Celestial sneering boisterously. Crispin 
68 Became an introspective voyager. 

69 Here was the veritable ding an sich, at last, 
70 Crispin confronting it, a vocable thing, 
71 But with a speech belched out of hoary darks 
72 Noway resembling his, a visible thing, 
73 And excepting negligible Triton, free 
74 From the unavoidable shadow of himself 
75 That lay elsewhere around him. Severance 
76 Was clear. The last distortion of romance 
77 Forsook the insatiable egotist. The sea 
78 Severs not only lands but also selves. 
79 Here was no help before reality. 
80 Crispin beheld and Crispin was made new. 
81 The imagination, here, could not evade, 
82 In poems of plums, the strict austerity 
83 Of one vast, subjugating, final tone. 
84 The drenching of stale lives no more fell down. 
85 What was this gaudy, gusty panoply? 
86 Out of what swift destruction did it spring? 
87 It was caparison of mind and cloud 
88 And something given to make whole among 
89 The ruses that were shattered by the large. 


Concerning the Thunderstorms of Yucatan 

90 In Yucatan, the Maya sonneteers 
91 Of the Caribbean amphitheatre, 
92 In spite of hawk and falcon, green toucan 
93 And jay, still to the night-bird made their plea, 
94 As if raspberry tanagers in palms, 
95 High up in orange air, were barbarous. 
96 But Crispin was too destitute to find 
97 In any commonplace the sought-for aid. 
98 He was a man made vivid by the sea, 
99 A man come out of luminous traversing, 
100 Much trumpeted, made desperately clear, 
101 Fresh from discoveries of tidal skies, 
102 To whom oracular rockings gave no rest. 
103 Into a savage color he went on. 

104 How greatly had he grown in his demesne, 
105 This auditor of insects! He that saw 
106 The stride of vanishing autumn in a park 
107 By way of decorous melancholy; he 
108 That wrote his couplet yearly to the spring, 
109 As dissertation of profound delight, 
110 Stopping, on voyage, in a land of snakes, 
111 Found his vicissitudes had much enlarged 
112 His apprehension, made him intricate 
113 In moody rucks, and difficult and strange 
114 In all desires, his destitution's mark. 
115 He was in this as other freemen are, 
116 Sonorous nutshells rattling inwardly. 
117 His violence was for aggrandizement 
118 And not for stupor, such as music makes 
119 For sleepers halfway waking. He perceived 
120 That coolness for his heat came suddenly, 
121 And only, in the fables that he scrawled 
122 With his own quill, in its indigenous dew, 
123 Of an aesthetic tough, diverse, untamed, 
124 Incredible to prudes, the mint of dirt, 
125 Green barbarism turning paradigm. 
126 Crispin foresaw a curious promenade 
127 Or, nobler, sensed an elemental fate, 
128 And elemental potencies and pangs, 
129 And beautiful barenesses as yet unseen, 
130 Making the most of savagery of palms, 
131 Of moonlight on the thick, cadaverous bloom 
132 That yuccas breed, and of the panther's tread. 
133 The fabulous and its intrinsic verse 
134 Came like two spirits parlaying, adorned 
135 In radiance from the Atlantic coign, 
136 For Crispin and his quill to catechize. 
137 But they came parlaying of such an earth, 
138 So thick with sides and jagged lops of green, 
139 So intertwined with serpent-kin encoiled 
140 Among the purple tufts, the scarlet crowns, 
141 Scenting the jungle in their refuges, 
142 So streaked with yellow, blue and green and red 
143 In beak and bud and fruity gobbet-skins, 
144 That earth was like a jostling festival 
145 Of seeds grown fat, too juicily opulent, 
146 Expanding in the gold's maternal warmth. 
147 So much for that. The affectionate emigrant found 
148 A new reality in parrot-squawks. 
149 Yet let that trifle pass. Now, as this odd 
150 Discoverer walked through the harbor streets 
151 Inspecting the cabildo, the fa?ade 
152 Of the cathedral, making notes, he heard 
153 A rumbling, west of Mexico, it seemed, 
154 Approaching like a gasconade of drums. 
155 The white cabildo darkened, the fa?ade, 
156 As sullen as the sky, was swallowed up 
157 In swift, successive shadows, dolefully. 
158 The rumbling broadened as it fell. The wind, 
159 Tempestuous clarion, with heavy cry, 
160 Came bluntly thundering, more terrible 
161 Than the revenge of music on bassoons. 
162 Gesticulating lightning, mystical, 
163 Made pallid flitter. Crispin, here, took flight. 
164 An annotator has his scruples, too. 
165 He knelt in the cathedral with the rest, 
166 This connoisseur of elemental fate, 
167 Aware of exquisite thought. The storm was one 
168 Of many proclamations of the kind, 
169 Proclaiming something harsher than he learned 
170 From hearing signboards whimper in cold nights 
171 Or seeing the midsummer artifice 
172 Of heat upon his pane. This was the span 
173 Of force, the quintessential fact, the note 
174 Of Vulcan, that a valet seeks to own, 
175 The thing that makes him envious in phrase. 

176 And while the torrent on the roof still droned 
177 He felt the Andean breath. His mind was free 
178 And more than free, elate, intent, profound 
179 And studious of a self possessing him, 
180 That was not in him in the crusty town 
181 From which he sailed. Beyond him, westward, lay 
182 The mountainous ridges, purple balustrades, 
183 In which the thunder, lapsing in its clap, 
184 Let down gigantic quavers of its voice, 
185 For Crispin to vociferate again. 


Approaching Carolina 

186 The book of moonlight is not written yet 
187 Nor half begun, but, when it is, leave room 
188 For Crispin, fagot in the lunar fire, 
189 Who, in the hubbub of his pilgrimage 
190 Through sweating changes, never could forget 
191 That wakefulness or meditating sleep, 
192 In which the sulky strophes willingly 
193 Bore up, in time, the somnolent, deep songs. 
194 Leave room, therefore, in that unwritten book 
195 For the legendary moonlight that once burned 
196 In Crispin's mind above a continent. 
197 America was always north to him, 
198 A northern west or western north, but north, 
199 And thereby polar, polar-purple, chilled 
200 And lank, rising and slumping from a sea 
201 Of hardy foam, receding flatly, spread 
202 In endless ledges, glittering, submerged 
203 And cold in a boreal mistiness of the moon. 
204 The spring came there in clinking pannicles 
205 Of half-dissolving frost, the summer came, 
206 If ever, whisked and wet, not ripening, 
207 Before the winter's vacancy returned. 
208 The myrtle, if the myrtle ever bloomed, 
209 Was like a glacial pink upon the air. 
210 The green palmettoes in crepuscular ice 
211 Clipped frigidly blue-black meridians, 
212 Morose chiaroscuro, gauntly drawn. 

213 How many poems he denied himself 
214 In his observant progress, lesser things 
215 Than the relentless contact he desired; 
216 How many sea-masks he ignored; what sounds 
217 He shut out from his tempering ear; what thoughts, 
218 Like jades affecting the sequestered bride; 
219 And what descants, he sent to banishment! 
220 Perhaps the Arctic moonlight really gave 
221 The liaison, the blissful liaison, 
222 Between himself and his environment, 
223 Which was, and is, chief motive, first delight, 
224 For him, and not for him alone. It seemed 
225 Elusive, faint, more mist than moon, perverse, 
226 Wrong as a divagation to Peking, 
227 To him that postulated as his theme 
228 The vulgar, as his theme and hymn and flight, 
229 A passionately niggling nightingale. 
230 Moonlight was an evasion, or, if not, 
231 A minor meeting, facile, delicate. 

232 Thus he conceived his voyaging to be 
233 An up and down between two elements, 
234 A fluctuating between sun and moon, 
235 A sally into gold and crimson forms, 
236 As on this voyage, out of goblinry, 
237 And then retirement like a turning back 
238 And sinking down to the indulgences 
239 That in the moonlight have their habitude. 
240 But let these backward lapses, if they would, 
241 Grind their seductions on him, Crispin knew 
242 It was a flourishing tropic he required 
243 For his refreshment, an abundant zone, 
244 Prickly and obdurate, dense, harmonious 
245 Yet with a harmony not rarefied 
246 Nor fined for the inhibited instruments 
247 Of over-civil stops. And thus he tossed 
248 Between a Carolina of old time, 
249 A little juvenile, an ancient whim, 
250 And the visible, circumspect presentment drawn 
251 From what he saw across his vessel's prow. 

252 He came. The poetic hero without palms 
253 Or jugglery, without regalia. 
254 And as he came he saw that it was spring, 
255 A time abhorrent to the nihilist 
256 Or searcher for the fecund minimum. 
257 The moonlight fiction disappeared. The spring, 
258 Although contending featly in its veils, 
259 Irised in dew and early fragrancies, 
260 Was gemmy marionette to him that sought 
261 A sinewy nakedness. A river bore 
262 The vessel inward. Tilting up his nose, 
263 He inhaled the rancid rosin, burly smells 
264 Of dampened lumber, emanations blown 
265 From warehouse doors, the gustiness of ropes, 
266 Decays of sacks, and all the arrant stinks 
267 That helped him round his rude aesthetic out. 
268 He savored rankness like a sensualist. 
269 He marked the marshy ground around the dock, 
270 The crawling railroad spur, the rotten fence, 
271 Curriculum for the marvellous sophomore. 
272 It purified. It made him see how much 
273 Of what he saw he never saw at all. 
274 He gripped more closely the essential prose 
275 As being, in a world so falsified, 
276 The one integrity for him, the one 
277 Discovery still possible to make, 
278 To which all poems were incident, unless 
279 That prose should wear a poem's guise at last. 


The Idea of a Colony 

280 Nota: his soil is man's intelligence. 
281 That's better. That's worth crossing seas to find. 
282 Crispin in one laconic phrase laid bare 
283 His cloudy drift and planned a colony. 
284 Exit the mental moonlight, exit lex, 
285 Rex and principium, exit the whole 
286 Shebang. Exeunt omnes. Here was prose 
287 More exquisite than any tumbling verse: 
288 A still new continent in which to dwell. 
289 What was the purpose of his pilgrimage, 
290 Whatever shape it took in Crispin's mind, 
291 If not, when all is said, to drive away 
292 The shadow of his fellows from the skies, 
293 And, from their stale intelligence released, 
294 To make a new intelligence prevail? 
295 Hence the reverberations in the words 
296 Of his first central hymns, the celebrants 
297 Of rankest trivia, tests of the strength 
298 Of his aesthetic, his philosophy, 
299 The more invidious, the more desired. 
300 The florist asking aid from cabbages, 
301 The rich man going bare, the paladin 
302 Afraid, the blind man as astronomer, 
303 The appointed power unwielded from disdain. 
304 His western voyage ended and began. 
305 The torment of fastidious thought grew slack, 
306 Another, still more bellicose, came on. 
307 He, therefore, wrote his prolegomena, 
308 And, being full of the caprice, inscribed 
309 Commingled souvenirs and prophecies. 
310 He made a singular collation. Thus: 
311 The natives of the rain are rainy men. 
312 Although they paint effulgent, azure lakes, 
313 And April hillsides wooded white and pink, 
314 Their azure has a cloudy edge, their white 
315 And pink, the water bright that dogwood bears. 
316 And in their music showering sounds intone. 
317 On what strange froth does the gross Indian dote, 
318 What Eden sapling gum, what honeyed gore, 
319 What pulpy dram distilled of innocence, 
320 That streaking gold should speak in him 
321 Or bask within his images and words? 
322 If these rude instances impeach themselves 
323 By force of rudeness, let the principle 
324 Be plain. For application Crispin strove, 
325 Abhorring Turk as Esquimau, the lute 
326 As the marimba, the magnolia as rose. 

327 Upon these premises propounding, he 
328 Projected a colony that should extend 
329 To the dusk of a whistling south below the south. 
330 A comprehensive island hemisphere. 
331 The man in Georgia waking among pines 
332 Should be pine-spokesman. The responsive man, 
333 Planting his pristine cores in Florida, 
334 Should prick thereof, not on the psaltery, 
335 But on the banjo's categorical gut, 
336 Tuck tuck, while the flamingos flapped his bays. 
337 Sepulchral se?ors, bibbing pale mescal, 
338 Oblivious to the Aztec almanacs, 
339 Should make the intricate Sierra scan. 
340 And dark Brazilians in their caf¨¦s, 
341 Musing immaculate, pampean dits, 
342 Should scrawl a vigilant anthology, 
343 To be their latest, lucent paramour. 
344 These are the broadest instances. Crispin, 
345 Progenitor of such extensive scope, 
346 Was not indifferent to smart detail. 
347 The melon should have apposite ritual, 
348 Performed in verd apparel, and the peach, 
349 When its black branches came to bud, belle day, 
350 Should have an incantation. And again, 
351 When piled on salvers its aroma steeped 
352 The summer, it should have a sacrament 
353 And celebration. Shrewd novitiates 
354 Should be the clerks of our experience. 

355 These bland excursions into time to come, 
356 Related in romance to backward flights, 
357 However prodigal, however proud, 
358 Contained in their afflatus the reproach 
359 That first drove Crispin to his wandering. 
360 He could not be content with counterfeit, 
361 With masquerade of thought, with hapless words 
362 That must belie the racking masquerade, 
363 With fictive flourishes that preordained 
364 His passion's permit, hang of coat, degree 
365 Of buttons, measure of his salt. Such trash 
366 Might help the blind, not him, serenely sly. 
367 It irked beyond his patience. Hence it was, 
368 Preferring text to gloss, he humbly served 
369 Grotesque apprenticeship to chance event, 
370 A clown, perhaps, but an aspiring clown. 
371 There is a monotonous babbling in our dreams 
372 That makes them our dependent heirs, the heirs 
373 Of dreamers buried in our sleep, and not 
374 The oncoming fantasies of better birth. 
375 The apprentice knew these dreamers. If he dreamed 
376 Their dreams, he did it in a gingerly way. 
377 All dreams are vexing. Let them be expunged. 
378 But let the rabbit run, the cock declaim. 

379 Trinket pasticcio, flaunting skyey sheets, 
380 With Crispin as the tiptoe cozener? 
381 No, no: veracious page on page, exact. 


A Nice Shady Home 

382 Crispin as hermit, pure and capable, 
383 Dwelt in the land. Perhaps if discontent 
384 Had kept him still the pricking realist, 
385 Choosing his element from droll confect 
386 Of was and is and shall or ought to be, 
387 Beyond Bordeaux, beyond Havana, far 
388 Beyond carked Yucatan, he might have come 
389 To colonize his polar planterdom 
390 And jig his chits upon a cloudy knee. 
391 But his emprize to that idea soon sped. 
392 Crispin dwelt in the land and dwelling there 
393 Slid from his continent by slow recess 
394 To things within his actual eye, alert 
395 To the difficulty of rebellious thought 
396 When the sky is blue. The blue infected will. 
397 It may be that the yarrow in his fields 
398 Sealed pensive purple under its concern. 
399 But day by day, now this thing and now that 
400 Confined him, while it cosseted, condoned, 
401 Little by little, as if the suzerain soil 
402 Abashed him by carouse to humble yet 
403 Attach. It seemed haphazard denouement. 
404 He first, as realist, admitted that 
405 Whoever hunts a matinal continent 
406 May, after all, stop short before a plum 
407 And be content and still be realist. 
408 The words of things entangle and confuse. 
409 The plum survives its poems. It may hang 
410 In the sunshine placidly, colored by ground 
411 Obliquities of those who pass beneath, 
412 Harlequined and mazily dewed and mauved 
413 In bloom. Yet it survives in its own form, 
414 Beyond these changes, good, fat, guzzly fruit. 
415 So Crispin hasped on the surviving form, 
416 For him, of shall or ought to be in is. 

417 Was he to bray this in profoundest brass 
418 Arointing his dreams with fugal requiems? 
419 Was he to company vastest things defunct 
420 With a blubber of tom-toms harrowing the sky? 
421 Scrawl a tragedian's testament? Prolong 
422 His active force in an inactive dirge, 
423 Which, let the tall musicians call and call, 
424 Should merely call him dead? Pronounce amen 
425 Through choirs infolded to the outmost clouds? 
426 Because he built a cabin who once planned 
427 Loquacious columns by the ructive sea? 
428 Because he turned to salad-beds again? 
429 Jovial Crispin, in calamitous crape? 
430 Should he lay by the personal and make 
431 Of his own fate an instance of all fate? 
432 What is one man among so many men? 
433 What are so many men in such a world? 
434 Can one man think one thing and think it long? 
435 Can one man be one thing and be it long? 
436 The very man despising honest quilts 
437 Lies quilted to his poll in his despite. 
438 For realists, what is is what should be. 
439 And so it came, his cabin shuffled up, 
440 His trees were planted, his duenna brought 
441 Her prismy blonde and clapped her in his hands, 
442 The curtains flittered and the door was closed. 
443 Crispin, magister of a single room, 
444 Latched up the night. So deep a sound fell down 
445 It was as if the solitude concealed 
446 And covered him and his congenial sleep. 
447 So deep a sound fell down it grew to be 
448 A long soothsaying silence down and down. 
449 The crickets beat their tambours in the wind, 
450 Marching a motionless march, custodians. 

451 In the presto of the morning, Crispin trod, 
452 Each day, still curious, but in a round 
453 Less prickly and much more condign than that 
454 He once thought necessary. Like Candide, 
455 Yeoman and grub, but with a fig in sight, 
456 And cream for the fig and silver for the cream, 
457 A blonde to tip the silver and to taste 
458 The rapey gouts. Good star, how that to be 
459 Annealed them in their cabin ribaldries! 
460 Yet the quotidian saps philosophers 
461 And men like Crispin like them in intent, 
462 If not in will, to track the knaves of thought. 
463 But the quotidian composed as his, 
464 Of breakfast ribands, fruits laid in their leaves, 
465 The tomtit and the cassia and the rose, 
466 Although the rose was not the noble thorn 
467 Of crinoline spread, but of a pining sweet, 
468 Composed of evenings like cracked shutters flung 
469 Upon the rumpling bottomness, and nights 
470 In which those frail custodians watched, 
471 Indifferent to the tepid summer cold, 
472 While he poured out upon the lips of her 
473 That lay beside him, the quotidian 
474 Like this, saps like the sun, true fortuner. 
475 For all it takes it gives a humped return 
476 Exchequering from piebald fiscs unkeyed. 


And Daughters with Curls 

477 Portentous enunciation, syllable 
478 To blessed syllable affined, and sound 
479 Bubbling felicity in cantilene, 
480 Prolific and tormenting tenderness 
481 Of music, as it comes to unison, 
482 Forgather and bell boldly Crispin's last 
483 Deduction. Thrum, with a proud douceur 
484 His grand pronunciamento and devise. 

485 The chits came for his jigging, bluet-eyed, 
486 Hands without touch yet touching poignantly, 
487 Leaving no room upon his cloudy knee, 
488 Prophetic joint, for its diviner young. 
489 The return to social nature, once begun, 
490 Anabasis or slump, ascent or chute, 
491 Involved him in midwifery so dense 
492 His cabin counted as phylactery, 
493 Then place of vexing palankeens, then haunt 
494 Of children nibbling at the sugared void, 
495 Infants yet eminently old, then dome 
496 And halidom for the unbraided femes, 
497 Green crammers of the green fruits of the world, 
498 Bidders and biders for its ecstasies, 
499 True daughters both of Crispin and his clay. 
500 All this with many mulctings of the man, 
501 Effective colonizer sharply stopped 
502 In the door-yard by his own capacious bloom. 
503 But that this bloom grown riper, showing nibs 
504 Of its eventual roundness, puerile tints 
505 Of spiced and weathery rouges, should complex 
506 The stopper to indulgent fatalist 
507 Was unforeseen. First Crispin smiled upon 
508 His goldenest demoiselle, inhabitant, 
509 She seemed, of a country of the capuchins, 
510 So delicately blushed, so humbly eyed, 
511 Attentive to a coronal of things 
512 Secret and singular. Second, upon 
513 A second similar counterpart, a maid 
514 Most sisterly to the first, not yet awake 
515 Excepting to the motherly footstep, but 
516 Marvelling sometimes at the shaken sleep. 
517 Then third, a thing still flaxen in the light, 
518 A creeper under jaunty leaves. And fourth, 
519 Mere blusteriness that gewgaws jollified, 
520 All din and gobble, blasphemously pink. 
521 A few years more and the vermeil capuchin 
522 Gave to the cabin, lordlier than it was, 
523 The dulcet omen fit for such a house. 
524 The second sister dallying was shy 
525 To fetch the one full-pinioned one himself 
526 Out of her botches, hot embosomer. 
527 The third one gaping at the orioles 
528 Lettered herself demurely as became 
529 A pearly poetess, peaked for rhapsody. 
530 The fourth, pent now, a digit curious. 
531 Four daughters in a world too intricate 
532 In the beginning, four blithe instruments 
533 Of differing struts, four voices several 
534 In couch, four more person?, intimate 
535 As buffo, yet divers, four mirrors blue 
536 That should be silver, four accustomed seeds 
537 Hinting incredible hues, four self-same lights 
538 That spread chromatics in hilarious dark, 
539 Four questioners and four sure answerers. 

540 Crispin concocted doctrine from the rout. 
541 The world, a turnip once so readily plucked, 
542 Sacked up and carried overseas, daubed out 
543 Of its ancient purple, pruned to the fertile main, 
544 And sown again by the stiffest realist, 
545 Came reproduced in purple, family font, 
546 The same insoluble lump. The fatalist 
547 Stepped in and dropped the chuckling down his craw, 
548 Without grace or grumble. Score this anecdote 
549 Invented for its pith, not doctrinal 
550 In form though in design, as Crispin willed, 
551 Disguised pronunciamento, summary, 
552 Autumn's compendium, strident in itself 
553 But muted, mused, and perfectly revolved 
554 In those portentous accents, syllables, 
555 And sounds of music coming to accord 
556 Upon his law, like their inherent sphere, 
557 Seraphic proclamations of the pure 
558 Delivered with a deluging onwardness. 
559 Or if the music sticks, if the anecdote 
560 Is false, if Crispin is a profitless 
561 Philosopher, beginning with green brag, 
562 Concluding fadedly, if as a man 
563 Prone to distemper he abates in taste, 
564 Fickle and fumbling, variable, obscure, 
565 Glozing his life with after-shining flicks, 
566 Illuminating, from a fancy gorged 
567 By apparition, plain and common things, 
568 Sequestering the fluster from the year, 
569 Making gulped potions from obstreperous drops, 
570 And so distorting, proving what he proves 
571 Is nothing, what can all this matter since 
572 The relation comes, benignly, to its end? 

573 So may the relation of each man be clipped.

by Allen Ginsberg |

Wild Orphan

Blandly mother 
takes him strolling 
by railroad and by river 
-he's the son of the absconded 
hot rod angel- 
and he imagines cars 
and rides them in his dreams, 

so lonely growing up among 
the imaginary automobiles 
and dead souls of Tarrytown 

to create 
out of his own imagination 
the beauty of his wild 
forebears-a mythology 
he cannot inherit. 

Will he later hallucinate 
his gods? Waking 
among mysteries with 
an insane gleam 
of recollection? 

The recognition- 
something so rare 
in his soul, 
met only in dreams 
of another life. 

A question of the soul. 
And the injured 
losing their injury 
in their innocence 
-a cock, a cross, 
an excellence of love. 

And the father grieves 
in flophouse 
complexities of memory 
a thousand miles 
away, unknowing 
of the unexpected 
youthful stranger 
bumming toward his door. 

- New York, April 13, 1952

by Allen Ginsberg |

A Supermarket in California

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit- 
man, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees 
with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. 
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, 
I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of 
your enumerations! 
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole fam- 
ilies shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives 
in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, 
Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the 

I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old 
grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator 
and eyeing the grocery boys. 
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed 
the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my 
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of 
cans following you, and followed in my imagination 
by the store detective. 
We strode down the open corridors together in 
our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every 
frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier. 
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors 
close in an hour. Which way does your beard point 
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the 
supermarket and feel absurd.) 
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? 
The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, 
we'll both be lonely. 
Will we stroll dreaming ofthe lost America of love 
past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent 
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage- 
teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit 
poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank 
and stood watching the boat disappear on the black 
waters of Lethe? 

by John Keats |

Endymion: Book II

 O Sovereign power of love! O grief! O balm!
All records, saving thine, come cool, and calm,
And shadowy, through the mist of passed years:
For others, good or bad, hatred and tears
Have become indolent; but touching thine,
One sigh doth echo, one poor sob doth pine,
One kiss brings honey-dew from buried days.
The woes of Troy, towers smothering o'er their blaze,
Stiff-holden shields, far-piercing spears, keen blades,
Struggling, and blood, and shrieks--all dimly fades
Into some backward corner of the brain;
Yet, in our very souls, we feel amain
The close of Troilus and Cressid sweet.
Hence, pageant history! hence, gilded cheat!
Swart planet in the universe of deeds!
Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds
Along the pebbled shore of memory!
Many old rotten-timber'd boats there be
Upon thy vaporous bosom, magnified
To goodly vessels; many a sail of pride,
And golden keel'd, is left unlaunch'd and dry.
But wherefore this? What care, though owl did fly
About the great Athenian admiral's mast?
What care, though striding Alexander past
The Indus with his Macedonian numbers?
Though old Ulysses tortured from his slumbers
The glutted Cyclops, what care?--Juliet leaning
Amid her window-flowers,--sighing,--weaning
Tenderly her fancy from its maiden snow,
Doth more avail than these: the silver flow
Of Hero's tears, the swoon of Imogen,
Fair Pastorella in the bandit's den,
Are things to brood on with more ardency
Than the death-day of empires. Fearfully
Must such conviction come upon his head,
Who, thus far, discontent, has dared to tread,
Without one muse's smile, or kind behest,
The path of love and poesy. But rest,
In chaffing restlessness, is yet more drear
Than to be crush'd, in striving to uprear
Love's standard on the battlements of song.
So once more days and nights aid me along,
Like legion'd soldiers.

 Brain-sick shepherd-prince,
What promise hast thou faithful guarded since
The day of sacrifice? Or, have new sorrows
Come with the constant dawn upon thy morrows?
Alas! 'tis his old grief. For many days,
Has he been wandering in uncertain ways:
Through wilderness, and woods of mossed oaks;
Counting his woe-worn minutes, by the strokes
Of the lone woodcutter; and listening still,
Hour after hour, to each lush-leav'd rill.
Now he is sitting by a shady spring,
And elbow-deep with feverous fingering
Stems the upbursting cold: a wild rose tree
Pavilions him in bloom, and he doth see
A bud which snares his fancy: lo! but now
He plucks it, dips its stalk in the water: how!
It swells, it buds, it flowers beneath his sight;
And, in the middle, there is softly pight
A golden butterfly; upon whose wings
There must be surely character'd strange things,
For with wide eye he wonders, and smiles oft.

 Lightly this little herald flew aloft,
Follow'd by glad Endymion's clasped hands:
Onward it flies. From languor's sullen bands
His limbs are loos'd, and eager, on he hies
Dazzled to trace it in the sunny skies.
It seem'd he flew, the way so easy was;
And like a new-born spirit did he pass
Through the green evening quiet in the sun,
O'er many a heath, through many a woodland dun,
Through buried paths, where sleepy twilight dreams
The summer time away. One track unseams
A wooded cleft, and, far away, the blue
Of ocean fades upon him; then, anew,
He sinks adown a solitary glen,
Where there was never sound of mortal men,
Saving, perhaps, some snow-light cadences
Melting to silence, when upon the breeze
Some holy bark let forth an anthem sweet,
To cheer itself to Delphi. Still his feet
Went swift beneath the merry-winged guide,
Until it reached a splashing fountain's side
That, near a cavern's mouth, for ever pour'd
Unto the temperate air: then high it soar'd,
And, downward, suddenly began to dip,
As if, athirst with so much toil, 'twould sip
The crystal spout-head: so it did, with touch
Most delicate, as though afraid to smutch
Even with mealy gold the waters clear.
But, at that very touch, to disappear
So fairy-quick, was strange! Bewildered,
Endymion sought around, and shook each bed
Of covert flowers in vain; and then he flung
Himself along the grass. What gentle tongue,
What whisperer disturb'd his gloomy rest?
It was a nymph uprisen to the breast
In the fountain's pebbly margin, and she stood
'Mong lilies, like the youngest of the brood.
To him her dripping hand she softly kist,
And anxiously began to plait and twist
Her ringlets round her fingers, saying: "Youth!
Too long, alas, hast thou starv'd on the ruth,
The bitterness of love: too long indeed,
Seeing thou art so gentle. Could I weed
Thy soul of care, by heavens, I would offer
All the bright riches of my crystal coffer
To Amphitrite; all my clear-eyed fish,
Golden, or rainbow-sided, or purplish,
Vermilion-tail'd, or finn'd with silvery gauze;
Yea, or my veined pebble-floor, that draws
A virgin light to the deep; my grotto-sands
Tawny and gold, ooz'd slowly from far lands
By my diligent springs; my level lilies, shells,
My charming rod, my potent river spells;
Yes, every thing, even to the pearly cup
Meander gave me,--for I bubbled up
To fainting creatures in a desert wild.
But woe is me, I am but as a child
To gladden thee; and all I dare to say,
Is, that I pity thee; that on this day
I've been thy guide; that thou must wander far
In other regions, past the scanty bar
To mortal steps, before thou cans't be ta'en
From every wasting sigh, from every pain,
Into the gentle bosom of thy love.
Why it is thus, one knows in heaven above:
But, a poor Naiad, I guess not. Farewel!
I have a ditty for my hollow cell."

 Hereat, she vanished from Endymion's gaze,
Who brooded o'er the water in amaze:
The dashing fount pour'd on, and where its pool
Lay, half asleep, in grass and rushes cool,
Quick waterflies and gnats were sporting still,
And fish were dimpling, as if good nor ill
Had fallen out that hour. The wanderer,
Holding his forehead, to keep off the burr
Of smothering fancies, patiently sat down;
And, while beneath the evening's sleepy frown
Glow-worms began to trim their starry lamps,
Thus breath'd he to himself: "Whoso encamps
To take a fancied city of delight,
O what a wretch is he! and when 'tis his,
After long toil and travelling, to miss
The kernel of his hopes, how more than vile:
Yet, for him there's refreshment even in toil;
Another city doth he set about,
Free from the smallest pebble-bead of doubt
That he will seize on trickling honey-combs:
Alas, he finds them dry; and then he foams,
And onward to another city speeds.
But this is human life: the war, the deeds,
The disappointment, the anxiety,
Imagination's struggles, far and nigh,
All human; bearing in themselves this good,
That they are sill the air, the subtle food,
To make us feel existence, and to shew
How quiet death is. Where soil is men grow,
Whether to weeds or flowers; but for me,
There is no depth to strike in: I can see
Nought earthly worth my compassing; so stand
Upon a misty, jutting head of land--
Alone? No, no; and by the Orphean lute,
When mad Eurydice is listening to 't;
I'd rather stand upon this misty peak,
With not a thing to sigh for, or to seek,
But the soft shadow of my thrice-seen love,
Than be--I care not what. O meekest dove
Of heaven! O Cynthia, ten-times bright and fair!
From thy blue throne, now filling all the air,
Glance but one little beam of temper'd light
Into my bosom, that the dreadful might
And tyranny of love be somewhat scar'd!
Yet do not so, sweet queen; one torment spar'd,
Would give a pang to jealous misery,
Worse than the torment's self: but rather tie
Large wings upon my shoulders, and point out
My love's far dwelling. Though the playful rout
Of Cupids shun thee, too divine art thou,
Too keen in beauty, for thy silver prow
Not to have dipp'd in love's most gentle stream.
O be propitious, nor severely deem
My madness impious; for, by all the stars
That tend thy bidding, I do think the bars
That kept my spirit in are burst--that I
Am sailing with thee through the dizzy sky!
How beautiful thou art! The world how deep!
How tremulous-dazzlingly the wheels sweep
Around their axle! Then these gleaming reins,
How lithe! When this thy chariot attains
Is airy goal, haply some bower veils
Those twilight eyes? Those eyes!--my spirit fails--
Dear goddess, help! or the wide-gaping air
Will gulph me--help!"--At this with madden'd stare,
And lifted hands, and trembling lips he stood;
Like old Deucalion mountain'd o'er the flood,
Or blind Orion hungry for the morn.
And, but from the deep cavern there was borne
A voice, he had been froze to senseless stone;
Nor sigh of his, nor plaint, nor passion'd moan
Had more been heard. Thus swell'd it forth: "Descend,
Young mountaineer! descend where alleys bend
Into the sparry hollows of the world!
Oft hast thou seen bolts of the thunder hurl'd
As from thy threshold, day by day hast been
A little lower than the chilly sheen
Of icy pinnacles, and dipp'dst thine arms
Into the deadening ether that still charms
Their marble being: now, as deep profound
As those are high, descend! He ne'er is crown'd
With immortality, who fears to follow
Where airy voices lead: so through the hollow,
The silent mysteries of earth, descend!"

 He heard but the last words, nor could contend
One moment in reflection: for he fled
Into the fearful deep, to hide his head
From the clear moon, the trees, and coming madness.

 'Twas far too strange, and wonderful for sadness;
Sharpening, by degrees, his appetite
To dive into the deepest. Dark, nor light,
The region; nor bright, nor sombre wholly,
But mingled up; a gleaming melancholy;
A dusky empire and its diadems;
One faint eternal eventide of gems.
Aye, millions sparkled on a vein of gold,
Along whose track the prince quick footsteps told,
With all its lines abrupt and angular:
Out-shooting sometimes, like a meteor-star,
Through a vast antre; then the metal woof,
Like Vulcan's rainbow, with some monstrous roof
Curves hugely: now, far in the deep abyss,
It seems an angry lightning, and doth hiss
Fancy into belief: anon it leads
Through winding passages, where sameness breeds
Vexing conceptions of some sudden change;
Whether to silver grots, or giant range
Of sapphire columns, or fantastic bridge
Athwart a flood of crystal. On a ridge
Now fareth he, that o'er the vast beneath
Towers like an ocean-cliff, and whence he seeth
A hundred waterfalls, whose voices come
But as the murmuring surge. Chilly and numb
His bosom grew, when first he, far away,
Descried an orbed diamond, set to fray
Old darkness from his throne: 'twas like the sun
Uprisen o'er chaos: and with such a stun
Came the amazement, that, absorb'd in it,
He saw not fiercer wonders--past the wit
Of any spirit to tell, but one of those
Who, when this planet's sphering time doth close,
Will be its high remembrancers: who they?
The mighty ones who have made eternal day
For Greece and England. While astonishment
With deep-drawn sighs was quieting, he went
Into a marble gallery, passing through
A mimic temple, so complete and true
In sacred custom, that he well nigh fear'd
To search it inwards, whence far off appear'd,
Through a long pillar'd vista, a fair shrine,
And, just beyond, on light tiptoe divine,
A quiver'd Dian. Stepping awfully,
The youth approach'd; oft turning his veil'd eye
Down sidelong aisles, and into niches old.
And when, more near against the marble cold
He had touch'd his forehead, he began to thread
All courts and passages, where silence dead
Rous'd by his whispering footsteps murmured faint:
And long he travers'd to and fro, to acquaint
Himself with every mystery, and awe;
Till, weary, he sat down before the maw
Of a wide outlet, fathomless and dim
To wild uncertainty and shadows grim.
There, when new wonders ceas'd to float before,
And thoughts of self came on, how crude and sore
The journey homeward to habitual self!
A mad-pursuing of the fog-born elf,
Whose flitting lantern, through rude nettle-briar,
Cheats us into a swamp, into a fire,
Into the bosom of a hated thing.

 What misery most drowningly doth sing
In lone Endymion's ear, now he has caught
The goal of consciousness? Ah, 'tis the thought,
The deadly feel of solitude: for lo!
He cannot see the heavens, nor the flow
Of rivers, nor hill-flowers running wild
In pink and purple chequer, nor, up-pil'd,
The cloudy rack slow journeying in the west,
Like herded elephants; nor felt, nor prest
Cool grass, nor tasted the fresh slumberous air;
But far from such companionship to wear
An unknown time, surcharg'd with grief, away,
Was now his lot. And must he patient stay,
Tracing fantastic figures with his spear?
"No!" exclaimed he, "why should I tarry here?"
No! loudly echoed times innumerable.
At which he straightway started, and 'gan tell
His paces back into the temple's chief;
Warming and glowing strong in the belief
Of help from Dian: so that when again
He caught her airy form, thus did he plain,
Moving more near the while. "O Haunter chaste
Of river sides, and woods, and heathy waste,
Where with thy silver bow and arrows keen
Art thou now forested? O woodland Queen,
What smoothest air thy smoother forehead woos?
Where dost thou listen to the wide halloos
Of thy disparted nymphs? Through what dark tree
Glimmers thy crescent? Wheresoe'er it be,
'Tis in the breath of heaven: thou dost taste
Freedom as none can taste it, nor dost waste
Thy loveliness in dismal elements;
But, finding in our green earth sweet contents,
There livest blissfully. Ah, if to thee
It feels Elysian, how rich to me,
An exil'd mortal, sounds its pleasant name!
Within my breast there lives a choking flame--
O let me cool it among the zephyr-boughs!
A homeward fever parches up my tongue--
O let me slake it at the running springs!
Upon my ear a noisy nothing rings--
O let me once more hear the linnet's note!
Before mine eyes thick films and shadows float--
O let me 'noint them with the heaven's light!
Dost thou now lave thy feet and ankles white?
O think how sweet to me the freshening sluice!
Dost thou now please thy thirst with berry-juice?
O think how this dry palate would rejoice!
If in soft slumber thou dost hear my voice,
Oh think how I should love a bed of flowers!--
Young goddess! let me see my native bowers!
Deliver me from this rapacious deep!"

 Thus ending loudly, as he would o'erleap
His destiny, alert he stood: but when
Obstinate silence came heavily again,
Feeling about for its old couch of space
And airy cradle, lowly bow'd his face
Desponding, o'er the marble floor's cold thrill.
But 'twas not long; for, sweeter than the rill
To its old channel, or a swollen tide
To margin sallows, were the leaves he spied,
And flowers, and wreaths, and ready myrtle crowns
Up heaping through the slab: refreshment drowns
Itself, and strives its own delights to hide--
Nor in one spot alone; the floral pride
In a long whispering birth enchanted grew
Before his footsteps; as when heav'd anew
Old ocean rolls a lengthened wave to the shore,
Down whose green back the short-liv'd foam, all hoar,
Bursts gradual, with a wayward indolence.

 Increasing still in heart, and pleasant sense,
Upon his fairy journey on he hastes;
So anxious for the end, he scarcely wastes
One moment with his hand among the sweets:
Onward he goes--he stops--his bosom beats
As plainly in his ear, as the faint charm
Of which the throbs were born. This still alarm,
This sleepy music, forc'd him walk tiptoe:
For it came more softly than the east could blow
Arion's magic to the Atlantic isles;
Or than the west, made jealous by the smiles
Of thron'd Apollo, could breathe back the lyre
To seas Ionian and Tyrian.

 O did he ever live, that lonely man,
Who lov'd--and music slew not? 'Tis the pest
Of love, that fairest joys give most unrest;
That things of delicate and tenderest worth
Are swallow'd all, and made a seared dearth,
By one consuming flame: it doth immerse
And suffocate true blessings in a curse.
Half-happy, by comparison of bliss,
Is miserable. 'Twas even so with this
Dew-dropping melody, in the Carian's ear;
First heaven, then hell, and then forgotten clear,
Vanish'd in elemental passion.

 And down some swart abysm he had gone,
Had not a heavenly guide benignant led
To where thick myrtle branches, 'gainst his head
Brushing, awakened: then the sounds again
Went noiseless as a passing noontide rain
Over a bower, where little space he stood;
For as the sunset peeps into a wood
So saw he panting light, and towards it went
Through winding alleys; and lo, wonderment!
Upon soft verdure saw, one here, one there,
Cupids a slumbering on their pinions fair.

 After a thousand mazes overgone,
At last, with sudden step, he came upon
A chamber, myrtle wall'd, embowered high,
Full of light, incense, tender minstrelsy,
And more of beautiful and strange beside:
For on a silken couch of rosy pride,
In midst of all, there lay a sleeping youth
Of fondest beauty; fonder, in fair sooth,
Than sighs could fathom, or contentment reach:
And coverlids gold-tinted like the peach,
Or ripe October's faded marigolds,
Fell sleek about him in a thousand folds--
Not hiding up an Apollonian curve
Of neck and shoulder, nor the tenting swerve
Of knee from knee, nor ankles pointing light;
But rather, giving them to the filled sight
Officiously. Sideway his face repos'd
On one white arm, and tenderly unclos'd,
By tenderest pressure, a faint damask mouth
To slumbery pout; just as the morning south
Disparts a dew-lipp'd rose. Above his head,
Four lily stalks did their white honours wed
To make a coronal; and round him grew
All tendrils green, of every bloom and hue,
Together intertwin'd and trammel'd fresh:
The vine of glossy sprout; the ivy mesh,
Shading its Ethiop berries; and woodbine,
Of velvet leaves and bugle-blooms divine;
Convolvulus in streaked vases flush;
The creeper, mellowing for an autumn blush;
And virgin's bower, trailing airily;
With others of the sisterhood. Hard by,
Stood serene Cupids watching silently.
One, kneeling to a lyre, touch'd the strings,
Muffling to death the pathos with his wings;
And, ever and anon, uprose to look
At the youth's slumber; while another took
A willow-bough, distilling odorous dew,
And shook it on his hair; another flew
In through the woven roof, and fluttering-wise
Rain'd violets upon his sleeping eyes.

 At these enchantments, and yet many more,
The breathless Latmian wonder'd o'er and o'er;
Until, impatient in embarrassment,
He forthright pass'd, and lightly treading went
To that same feather'd lyrist, who straightway,
Smiling, thus whisper'd: "Though from upper day
Thou art a wanderer, and thy presence here
Might seem unholy, be of happy cheer!
For 'tis the nicest touch of human honour,
When some ethereal and high-favouring donor
Presents immortal bowers to mortal sense;
As now 'tis done to thee, Endymion. Hence
Was I in no wise startled. So recline
Upon these living flowers. Here is wine,
Alive with sparkles--never, I aver,
Since Ariadne was a vintager,
So cool a purple: taste these juicy pears,
Sent me by sad Vertumnus, when his fears
Were high about Pomona: here is cream,
Deepening to richness from a snowy gleam;
Sweeter than that nurse Amalthea skimm'd
For the boy Jupiter: and here, undimm'd
By any touch, a bunch of blooming plums
Ready to melt between an infant's gums:
And here is manna pick'd from Syrian trees,
In starlight, by the three Hesperides.
Feast on, and meanwhile I will let thee know
Of all these things around us." He did so,
Still brooding o'er the cadence of his lyre;
And thus: "I need not any hearing tire
By telling how the sea-born goddess pin'd
For a mortal youth, and how she strove to bind
Him all in all unto her doting self.
Who would not be so prison'd? but, fond elf,
He was content to let her amorous plea
Faint through his careless arms; content to see
An unseiz'd heaven dying at his feet;
Content, O fool! to make a cold retreat,
When on the pleasant grass such love, lovelorn,
Lay sorrowing; when every tear was born
Of diverse passion; when her lips and eyes
Were clos'd in sullen moisture, and quick sighs
Came vex'd and pettish through her nostrils small.
Hush! no exclaim--yet, justly mightst thou call
Curses upon his head.--I was half glad,
But my poor mistress went distract and mad,
When the boar tusk'd him: so away she flew
To Jove's high throne, and by her plainings drew
Immortal tear-drops down the thunderer's beard;
Whereon, it was decreed he should be rear'd
Each summer time to life. Lo! this is he,
That same Adonis, safe in the privacy
Of this still region all his winter-sleep.
Aye, sleep; for when our love-sick queen did weep
Over his waned corse, the tremulous shower
Heal'd up the wound, and, with a balmy power,
Medicined death to a lengthened drowsiness:
The which she fills with visions, and doth dress
In all this quiet luxury; and hath set
Us young immortals, without any let,
To watch his slumber through. 'Tis well nigh pass'd,
Even to a moment's filling up, and fast
She scuds with summer breezes, to pant through
The first long kiss, warm firstling, to renew
Embower'd sports in Cytherea's isle.
Look! how those winged listeners all this while
Stand anxious: see! behold!"--This clamant word
Broke through the careful silence; for they heard
A rustling noise of leaves, and out there flutter'd
Pigeons and doves: Adonis something mutter'd,
The while one hand, that erst upon his thigh
Lay dormant, mov'd convuls'd and gradually
Up to his forehead. Then there was a hum
Of sudden voices, echoing, "Come! come!
Arise! awake! Clear summer has forth walk'd
Unto the clover-sward, and she has talk'd
Full soothingly to every nested finch:
Rise, Cupids! or we'll give the blue-bell pinch
To your dimpled arms. Once more sweet life begin!"
At this, from every side they hurried in,
Rubbing their sleepy eyes with lazy wrists,
And doubling overhead their little fists
In backward yawns. But all were soon alive:
For as delicious wine doth, sparkling, dive
In nectar'd clouds and curls through water fair,
So from the arbour roof down swell'd an air
Odorous and enlivening; making all
To laugh, and play, and sing, and loudly call
For their sweet queen: when lo! the wreathed green
Disparted, and far upward could be seen
Blue heaven, and a silver car, air-borne,
Whose silent wheels, fresh wet from clouds of morn,
Spun off a drizzling dew,--which falling chill
On soft Adonis' shoulders, made him still
Nestle and turn uneasily about.
Soon were the white doves plain, with necks stretch'd out,
And silken traces lighten'd in descent;
And soon, returning from love's banishment,
Queen Venus leaning downward open arm'd:
Her shadow fell upon his breast, and charm'd
A tumult to his heart, and a new life
Into his eyes. Ah, miserable strife,
But for her comforting! unhappy sight,
But meeting her blue orbs! Who, who can write
Of these first minutes? The unchariest muse
To embracements warm as theirs makes coy excuse.

 O it has ruffled every spirit there,
Saving love's self, who stands superb to share
The general gladness: awfully he stands;
A sovereign quell is in his waving hands;
No sight can bear the lightning of his bow;
His quiver is mysterious, none can know
What themselves think of it; from forth his eyes
There darts strange light of varied hues and dyes:
A scowl is sometimes on his brow, but who
Look full upon it feel anon the blue
Of his fair eyes run liquid through their souls.
Endymion feels it, and no more controls
The burning prayer within him; so, bent low,
He had begun a plaining of his woe.
But Venus, bending forward, said: "My child,
Favour this gentle youth; his days are wild
With love--he--but alas! too well I see
Thou know'st the deepness of his misery.
Ah, smile not so, my son: I tell thee true,
That when through heavy hours I used to rue
The endless sleep of this new-born Adon',
This stranger ay I pitied. For upon
A dreary morning once I fled away
Into the breezy clouds, to weep and pray
For this my love: for vexing Mars had teaz'd
Me even to tears: thence, when a little eas'd,
Down-looking, vacant, through a hazy wood,
I saw this youth as he despairing stood:
Those same dark curls blown vagrant in the wind:
Those same full fringed lids a constant blind
Over his sullen eyes: I saw him throw
Himself on wither'd leaves, even as though
Death had come sudden; for no jot he mov'd,
Yet mutter'd wildly. I could hear he lov'd
Some fair immortal, and that his embrace
Had zoned her through the night. There is no trace
Of this in heaven: I have mark'd each cheek,
And find it is the vainest thing to seek;
And that of all things 'tis kept secretest.
Endymion! one day thou wilt be blest:
So still obey the guiding hand that fends
Thee safely through these wonders for sweet ends.
'Tis a concealment needful in extreme;
And if I guess'd not so, the sunny beam
Thou shouldst mount up to with me. Now adieu!
Here must we leave thee."--At these words up flew
The impatient doves, up rose the floating car,
Up went the hum celestial. High afar
The Latmian saw them minish into nought;
And, when all were clear vanish'd, still he caught
A vivid lightning from that dreadful bow.
When all was darkened, with Etnean throe
The earth clos'd--gave a solitary moan--
And left him once again in twilight lone.

 He did not rave, he did not stare aghast,
For all those visions were o'ergone, and past,
And he in loneliness: he felt assur'd
Of happy times, when all he had endur'd
Would seem a feather to the mighty prize.
So, with unusual gladness, on he hies
Through caves, and palaces of mottled ore,
Gold dome, and crystal wall, and turquois floor,
Black polish'd porticos of awful shade,
And, at the last, a diamond balustrade,
Leading afar past wild magnificence,
Spiral through ruggedest loopholes, and thence
Stretching across a void, then guiding o'er
Enormous chasms, where, all foam and roar,
Streams subterranean tease their granite beds;
Then heighten'd just above the silvery heads
Of a thousand fountains, so that he could dash
The waters with his spear; but at the splash,
Done heedlessly, those spouting columns rose
Sudden a poplar's height, and 'gan to enclose
His diamond path with fretwork, streaming round
Alive, and dazzling cool, and with a sound,
Haply, like dolphin tumults, when sweet shells
Welcome the float of Thetis. Long he dwells
On this delight; for, every minute's space,
The streams with changed magic interlace:
Sometimes like delicatest lattices,
Cover'd with crystal vines; then weeping trees,
Moving about as in a gentle wind,
Which, in a wink, to watery gauze refin'd,
Pour'd into shapes of curtain'd canopies,
Spangled, and rich with liquid broideries
Of flowers, peacocks, swans, and naiads fair.
Swifter than lightning went these wonders rare;
And then the water, into stubborn streams
Collecting, mimick'd the wrought oaken beams,
Pillars, and frieze, and high fantastic roof,
Of those dusk places in times far aloof
Cathedrals call'd. He bade a loth farewel
To these founts Protean, passing gulph, and dell,
And torrent, and ten thousand jutting shapes,
Half seen through deepest gloom, and griesly gapes,
Blackening on every side, and overhead
A vaulted dome like Heaven's, far bespread
With starlight gems: aye, all so huge and strange,
The solitary felt a hurried change
Working within him into something dreary,--
Vex'd like a morning eagle, lost, and weary,
And purblind amid foggy, midnight wolds.
But he revives at once: for who beholds
New sudden things, nor casts his mental slough?
Forth from a rugged arch, in the dusk below,
Came mother Cybele! alone--alone--
In sombre chariot; dark foldings thrown
About her majesty, and front death-pale,
With turrets crown'd. Four maned lions hale
The sluggish wheels; solemn their toothed maws,
Their surly eyes brow-hidden, heavy paws
Uplifted drowsily, and nervy tails
Cowering their tawny brushes. Silent sails
This shadowy queen athwart, and faints away
In another gloomy arch.

 Wherefore delay,
Young traveller, in such a mournful place?
Art thou wayworn, or canst not further trace
The diamond path? And does it indeed end
Abrupt in middle air? Yet earthward bend
Thy forehead, and to Jupiter cloud-borne
Call ardently! He was indeed wayworn;
Abrupt, in middle air, his way was lost;
To cloud-borne Jove he bowed, and there crost
Towards him a large eagle, 'twixt whose wings,
Without one impious word, himself he flings,
Committed to the darkness and the gloom:
Down, down, uncertain to what pleasant doom,
Swift as a fathoming plummet down he fell
Through unknown things; till exhaled asphodel,
And rose, with spicy fannings interbreath'd,
Came swelling forth where little caves were wreath'd
So thick with leaves and mosses, that they seem'd
Large honey-combs of green, and freshly teem'd
With airs delicious. In the greenest nook
The eagle landed him, and farewel took.

 It was a jasmine bower, all bestrown
With golden moss. His every sense had grown
Ethereal for pleasure; 'bove his head
Flew a delight half-graspable; his tread
Was Hesperean; to his capable ears
Silence was music from the holy spheres;
A dewy luxury was in his eyes;
The little flowers felt his pleasant sighs
And stirr'd them faintly. Verdant cave and cell
He wander'd through, oft wondering at such swell
Of sudden exaltation: but, "Alas!
Said he, "will all this gush of feeling pass
Away in solitude? And must they wane,
Like melodies upon a sandy plain,
Without an echo? Then shall I be left
So sad, so melancholy, so bereft!
Yet still I feel immortal! O my love,
My breath of life, where art thou? High above,
Dancing before the morning gates of heaven?
Or keeping watch among those starry seven,
Old Atlas' children? Art a maid of the waters,
One of shell-winding Triton's bright-hair'd daughters?
Or art, impossible! a nymph of Dian's,
Weaving a coronal of tender scions
For very idleness? Where'er thou art,
Methinks it now is at my will to start
Into thine arms; to scare Aurora's train,
And snatch thee from the morning; o'er the main
To scud like a wild bird, and take thee off
From thy sea-foamy cradle; or to doff
Thy shepherd vest, and woo thee mid fresh leaves.
No, no, too eagerly my soul deceives
Its powerless self: I know this cannot be.
O let me then by some sweet dreaming flee
To her entrancements: hither sleep awhile!
Hither most gentle sleep! and soothing foil
For some few hours the coming solitude."

 Thus spake he, and that moment felt endued
With power to dream deliciously; so wound
Through a dim passage, searching till he found
The smoothest mossy bed and deepest, where
He threw himself, and just into the air
Stretching his indolent arms, he took, O bliss!
A naked waist: "Fair Cupid, whence is this?"
A well-known voice sigh'd, "Sweetest, here am I!"
At which soft ravishment, with doating cry
They trembled to each other.--Helicon!
O fountain'd hill! Old Homer's Helicon!
That thou wouldst spout a little streamlet o'er
These sorry pages; then the verse would soar
And sing above this gentle pair, like lark
Over his nested young: but all is dark
Around thine aged top, and thy clear fount
Exhales in mists to heaven. Aye, the count
Of mighty Poets is made up; the scroll
Is folded by the Muses; the bright roll
Is in Apollo's hand: our dazed eyes
Have seen a new tinge in the western skies:
The world has done its duty. Yet, oh yet,
Although the sun of poesy is set,
These lovers did embrace, and we must weep
That there is no old power left to steep
A quill immortal in their joyous tears.
Long time in silence did their anxious fears
Question that thus it was; long time they lay
Fondling and kissing every doubt away;
Long time ere soft caressing sobs began
To mellow into words, and then there ran
Two bubbling springs of talk from their sweet lips.
"O known Unknown! from whom my being sips
Such darling essence, wherefore may I not
Be ever in these arms? in this sweet spot
Pillow my chin for ever? ever press
These toying hands and kiss their smooth excess?
Why not for ever and for ever feel
That breath about my eyes? Ah, thou wilt steal
Away from me again, indeed, indeed--
Thou wilt be gone away, and wilt not heed
My lonely madness. Speak, my kindest fair!
Is--is it to be so? No! Who will dare
To pluck thee from me? And, of thine own will,
Full well I feel thou wouldst not leave me. Still
Let me entwine thee surer, surer--now
How can we part? Elysium! who art thou?
Who, that thou canst not be for ever here,
Or lift me with thee to some starry sphere?
Enchantress! tell me by this soft embrace,
By the most soft completion of thy face,
Those lips, O slippery blisses, twinkling eyes,
And by these tenderest, milky sovereignties--
These tenderest, and by the nectar-wine,
The passion"--------"O lov'd Ida the divine!
Endymion! dearest! Ah, unhappy me!
His soul will 'scape us--O felicity!
How he does love me! His poor temples beat
To the very tune of love--how sweet, sweet, sweet.
Revive, dear youth, or I shall faint and die;
Revive, or these soft hours will hurry by
In tranced dulness; speak, and let that spell
Affright this lethargy! I cannot quell
Its heavy pressure, and will press at least
My lips to thine, that they may richly feast
Until we taste the life of love again.
What! dost thou move? dost kiss? O bliss! O pain!
I love thee, youth, more than I can conceive;
And so long absence from thee doth bereave
My soul of any rest: yet must I hence:
Yet, can I not to starry eminence
Uplift thee; nor for very shame can own
Myself to thee. Ah, dearest, do not groan
Or thou wilt force me from this secrecy,
And I must blush in heaven. O that I
Had done it already; that the dreadful smiles
At my lost brightness, my impassion'd wiles,
Had waned from Olympus' solemn height,
And from all serious Gods; that our delight
Was quite forgotten, save of us alone!
And wherefore so ashamed? 'Tis but to atone
For endless pleasure, by some coward blushes:
Yet must I be a coward!--Horror rushes
Too palpable before me--the sad look
Of Jove--Minerva's start--no bosom shook
With awe of purity--no Cupid pinion
In reverence veiled--my crystaline dominion
Half lost, and all old hymns made nullity!
But what is this to love? O I could fly
With thee into the ken of heavenly powers,
So thou wouldst thus, for many sequent hours,
Press me so sweetly. Now I swear at once
That I am wise, that Pallas is a dunce--
Perhaps her love like mine is but unknown--
O I do think that I have been alone
In chastity: yes, Pallas has been sighing,
While every eve saw me my hair uptying
With fingers cool as aspen leaves. Sweet love,
I was as vague as solitary dove,
Nor knew that nests were built. Now a soft kiss--
Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss,
An immortality of passion's thine:
Ere long I will exalt thee to the shine
Of heaven ambrosial; and we will shade
Ourselves whole summers by a river glade;
And I will tell thee stories of the sky,
And breathe thee whispers of its minstrelsy.
My happy love will overwing all bounds!
O let me melt into thee; let the sounds
Of our close voices marry at their birth;
Let us entwine hoveringly--O dearth
Of human words! roughness of mortal speech!
Lispings empyrean will I sometime teach
Thine honied tongue--lute-breathings, which I gasp
To have thee understand, now while I clasp
Thee thus, and weep for fondness--I am pain'd,
Endymion: woe! woe! is grief contain'd
In the very deeps of pleasure, my sole life?"--
Hereat, with many sobs, her gentle strife
Melted into a languor. He return'd
Entranced vows and tears.

 Ye who have yearn'd
With too much passion, will here stay and pity,
For the mere sake of truth; as 'tis a ditty
Not of these days, but long ago 'twas told
By a cavern wind unto a forest old;
And then the forest told it in a dream
To a sleeping lake, whose cool and level gleam
A poet caught as he was journeying
To Phoebus' shrine; and in it he did fling
His weary limbs, bathing an hour's space,
And after, straight in that inspired place
He sang the story up into the air,
Giving it universal freedom. There
Has it been ever sounding for those ears
Whose tips are glowing hot. The legend cheers
Yon centinel stars; and he who listens to it
Must surely be self-doomed or he will rue it:
For quenchless burnings come upon the heart,
Made fiercer by a fear lest any part
Should be engulphed in the eddying wind.
As much as here is penn'd doth always find
A resting place, thus much comes clear and plain;
Anon the strange voice is upon the wane--
And 'tis but echo'd from departing sound,
That the fair visitant at last unwound
Her gentle limbs, and left the youth asleep.--
Thus the tradition of the gusty deep.

 Now turn we to our former chroniclers.--
Endymion awoke, that grief of hers
Sweet paining on his ear: he sickly guess'd
How lone he was once more, and sadly press'd
His empty arms together, hung his head,
And most forlorn upon that widow'd bed
Sat silently. Love's madness he had known:
Often with more than tortured lion's groan
Moanings had burst from him; but now that rage
Had pass'd away: no longer did he wage
A rough-voic'd war against the dooming stars.
No, he had felt too much for such harsh jars:
The lyre of his soul Eolian tun'd
Forgot all violence, and but commun'd
With melancholy thought: O he had swoon'd
Drunken from pleasure's nipple; and his love
Henceforth was dove-like.--Loth was he to move
From the imprinted couch, and when he did,
'Twas with slow, languid paces, and face hid
In muffling hands. So temper'd, out he stray'd
Half seeing visions that might have dismay'd
Alecto's serpents; ravishments more keen
Than Hermes' pipe, when anxious he did lean
Over eclipsing eyes: and at the last
It was a sounding grotto, vaulted, vast,
O'er studded with a thousand, thousand pearls,
And crimson mouthed shells with stubborn curls,
Of every shape and size, even to the bulk
In which whales arbour close, to brood and sulk
Against an endless storm. Moreover too,
Fish-semblances, of green and azure hue,
Ready to snort their streams. In this cool wonder
Endymion sat down, and 'gan to ponder
On all his life: his youth, up to the day
When 'mid acclaim, and feasts, and garlands gay,
He stept upon his shepherd throne: the look
Of his white palace in wild forest nook,
And all the revels he had lorded there:
Each tender maiden whom he once thought fair,
With every friend and fellow-woodlander--
Pass'd like a dream before him. Then the spur
Of the old bards to mighty deeds: his plans
To nurse the golden age 'mong shepherd clans:
That wondrous night: the great Pan-festival:
His sister's sorrow; and his wanderings all,
Until into the earth's deep maw he rush'd:
Then all its buried magic, till it flush'd
High with excessive love. "And now," thought he,
"How long must I remain in jeopardy
Of blank amazements that amaze no more?
Now I have tasted her sweet soul to the core
All other depths are shallow: essences,
Once spiritual, are like muddy lees,
Meant but to fertilize my earthly root,
And make my branches lift a golden fruit
Into the bloom of heaven: other light,
Though it be quick and sharp enough to blight
The Olympian eagle's vision, is dark,
Dark as the parentage of chaos. Hark!
My silent thoughts are echoing from these shells;
Or they are but the ghosts, the dying swells
Of noises far away?--list!"--Hereupon
He kept an anxious ear. The humming tone
Came louder, and behold, there as he lay,
On either side outgush'd, with misty spray,
A copious spring; and both together dash'd
Swift, mad, fantastic round the rocks, and lash'd
Among the conchs and shells of the lofty grot,
Leaving a trickling dew. At last they shot
Down from the ceiling's height, pouring a noise
As of some breathless racers whose hopes poize
Upon the last few steps, and with spent force
Along the ground they took a winding course.
Endymion follow'd--for it seem'd that one
Ever pursued, the other strove to shun--
Follow'd their languid mazes, till well nigh
He had left thinking of the mystery,--
And was now rapt in tender hoverings
Over the vanish'd bliss. Ah! what is it sings
His dream away? What melodies are these?
They sound as through the whispering of trees,
Not native in such barren vaults. Give ear!

 "O Arethusa, peerless nymph! why fear
Such tenderness as mine? Great Dian, why,
Why didst thou hear her prayer? O that I
Were rippling round her dainty fairness now,
Circling about her waist, and striving how
To entice her to a dive! then stealing in
Between her luscious lips and eyelids thin.
O that her shining hair was in the sun,
And I distilling from it thence to run
In amorous rillets down her shrinking form!
To linger on her lily shoulders, warm
Between her kissing breasts, and every charm
Touch raptur'd!--See how painfully I flow:
Fair maid, be pitiful to my great woe.
Stay, stay thy weary course, and let me lead,
A happy wooer, to the flowery mead
Where all that beauty snar'd me."--"Cruel god,
Desist! or my offended mistress' nod
Will stagnate all thy fountains:--tease me not
With syren words--Ah, have I really got
Such power to madden thee? And is it true--
Away, away, or I shall dearly rue
My very thoughts: in mercy then away,
Kindest Alpheus for should I obey
My own dear will, 'twould be a deadly bane."--
"O, Oread-Queen! would that thou hadst a pain
Like this of mine, then would I fearless turn
And be a criminal."--"Alas, I burn,
I shudder--gentle river, get thee hence.
Alpheus! thou enchanter! every sense
Of mine was once made perfect in these woods.
Fresh breezes, bowery lawns, and innocent floods,
Ripe fruits, and lonely couch, contentment gave;
But ever since I heedlessly did lave
In thy deceitful stream, a panting glow
Grew strong within me: wherefore serve me so,
And call it love? Alas, 'twas cruelty.
Not once more did I close my happy eyes
Amid the thrush's song. Away! Avaunt!
O 'twas a cruel thing."--"Now thou dost taunt
So softly, Arethusa, that I think
If thou wast playing on my shady brink,
Thou wouldst bathe once again. Innocent maid!
Stifle thine heart no more;--nor be afraid
Of angry powers: there are deities
Will shade us with their wings. Those fitful sighs
'Tis almost death to hear: O let me pour
A dewy balm upon them!--fear no more,
Sweet Arethusa! Dian's self must feel
Sometimes these very pangs. Dear maiden, steal
Blushing into my soul, and let us fly
These dreary caverns for the open sky.
I will delight thee all my winding course,
From the green sea up to my hidden source
About Arcadian forests; and will shew
The channels where my coolest waters flow
Through mossy rocks; where, 'mid exuberant green,
I roam in pleasant darkness, more unseen
Than Saturn in his exile; where I brim
Round flowery islands, and take thence a skim
Of mealy sweets, which myriads of bees
Buzz from their honied wings: and thou shouldst please
Thyself to choose the richest, where we might
Be incense-pillow'd every summer night.
Doff all sad fears, thou white deliciousness,
And let us be thus comforted; unless
Thou couldst rejoice to see my hopeless stream
Hurry distracted from Sol's temperate beam,
And pour to death along some hungry sands."--
"What can I do, Alpheus? Dian stands
Severe before me: persecuting fate!
Unhappy Arethusa! thou wast late
A huntress free in"--At this, sudden fell
Those two sad streams adown a fearful dell.
The Latmian listen'd, but he heard no more,
Save echo, faint repeating o'er and o'er
The name of Arethusa. On the verge
Of that dark gulph he wept, and said: "I urge
Thee, gentle Goddess of my pilgrimage,
By our eternal hopes, to soothe, to assuage,
If thou art powerful, these lovers pains;
And make them happy in some happy plains.

 He turn'd--there was a whelming sound--he stept,
There was a cooler light; and so he kept
Towards it by a sandy path, and lo!
More suddenly than doth a moment go,
The visions of the earth were gone and fled--
He saw the giant sea above his head.

by John Keats |

Endymion: Book III

 There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men
With most prevailing tinsel: who unpen
Their baaing vanities, to browse away
The comfortable green and juicy hay
From human pastures; or, O torturing fact!
Who, through an idiot blink, will see unpack'd
Fire-branded foxes to sear up and singe
Our gold and ripe-ear'd hopes. With not one tinge
Of sanctuary splendour, not a sight
Able to face an owl's, they still are dight
By the blear-eyed nations in empurpled vests,
And crowns, and turbans. With unladen breasts,
Save of blown self-applause, they proudly mount
To their spirit's perch, their being's high account,
Their tiptop nothings, their dull skies, their thrones--
Amid the fierce intoxicating tones
Of trumpets, shoutings, and belabour'd drums,
And sudden cannon. Ah! how all this hums,
In wakeful ears, like uproar past and gone--
Like thunder clouds that spake to Babylon,
And set those old Chaldeans to their tasks.--
Are then regalities all gilded masks?
No, there are throned seats unscalable
But by a patient wing, a constant spell,
Or by ethereal things that, unconfin'd,
Can make a ladder of the eternal wind,
And poise about in cloudy thunder-tents
To watch the abysm-birth of elements.
Aye, 'bove the withering of old-lipp'd Fate
A thousand Powers keep religious state,
In water, fiery realm, and airy bourne;
And, silent as a consecrated urn,
Hold sphery sessions for a season due.
Yet few of these far majesties, ah, few!
Have bared their operations to this globe--
Few, who with gorgeous pageantry enrobe
Our piece of heaven--whose benevolence
Shakes hand with our own Ceres; every sense
Filling with spiritual sweets to plenitude,
As bees gorge full their cells. And, by the feud
'Twixt Nothing and Creation, I here swear,
Eterne Apollo! that thy Sister fair
Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest.
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She unobserved steals unto her throne,
And there she sits most meek and most alone;
As if she had not pomp subservient;
As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent
Towards her with the Muses in thine heart;
As if the ministring stars kept not apart,
Waiting for silver-footed messages.
O Moon! the oldest shades 'mong oldest trees
Feel palpitations when thou lookest in:
O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din
The while they feel thine airy fellowship.
Thou dost bless every where, with silver lip
Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine,
Couched in thy brightness, dream of fields divine:
Innumerable mountains rise, and rise,
Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes;
And yet thy benediction passeth not
One obscure hiding-place, one little spot
Where pleasure may be sent: the nested wren
Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken,
And from beneath a sheltering ivy leaf
Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief
To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps
Within its pearly house.--The mighty deeps,
The monstrous sea is thine--the myriad sea!
O Moon! far-spooming Ocean bows to thee,
And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load.

 Cynthia! where art thou now? What far abode
Of green or silvery bower doth enshrine
Such utmost beauty? Alas, thou dost pine
For one as sorrowful: thy cheek is pale
For one whose cheek is pale: thou dost bewail
His tears, who weeps for thee. Where dost thou sigh?
Ah! surely that light peeps from Vesper's eye,
Or what a thing is love! 'Tis She, but lo!
How chang'd, how full of ache, how gone in woe!
She dies at the thinnest cloud; her loveliness
Is wan on Neptune's blue: yet there's a stress
Of love-spangles, just off yon cape of trees,
Dancing upon the waves, as if to please
The curly foam with amorous influence.
O, not so idle: for down-glancing thence
She fathoms eddies, and runs wild about
O'erwhelming water-courses; scaring out
The thorny sharks from hiding-holes, and fright'ning
Their savage eyes with unaccustomed lightning.
Where will the splendor be content to reach?
O love! how potent hast thou been to teach
Strange journeyings! Wherever beauty dwells,
In gulf or aerie, mountains or deep dells,
In light, in gloom, in star or blazing sun,
Thou pointest out the way, and straight 'tis won.
Amid his toil thou gav'st Leander breath;
Thou leddest Orpheus through the gleams of death;
Thou madest Pluto bear thin element;
And now, O winged Chieftain! thou hast sent
A moon-beam to the deep, deep water-world,
To find Endymion.

 On gold sand impearl'd
With lily shells, and pebbles milky white,
Poor Cynthia greeted him, and sooth'd her light
Against his pallid face: he felt the charm
To breathlessness, and suddenly a warm
Of his heart's blood: 'twas very sweet; he stay'd
His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid
His head upon a tuft of straggling weeds,
To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads,
Lashed from the crystal roof by fishes' tails.
And so he kept, until the rosy veils
Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand
Were lifted from the water's breast, and fann'd
Into sweet air; and sober'd morning came
Meekly through billows:--when like taper-flame
Left sudden by a dallying breath of air,
He rose in silence, and once more 'gan fare
Along his fated way.

 Far had he roam'd,
With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd
Above, around, and at his feet; save things
More dead than Morpheus' imaginings:
Old rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large
Of gone sea-warriors; brazen beaks and targe;
Rudders that for a hundred years had lost
The sway of human hand; gold vase emboss'd
With long-forgotten story, and wherein
No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin
But those of Saturn's vintage; mouldering scrolls,
Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls
Who first were on the earth; and sculptures rude
In ponderous stone, developing the mood
Of ancient Nox;--then skeletons of man,
Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan,
And elephant, and eagle, and huge jaw
Of nameless monster. A cold leaden awe
These secrets struck into him; and unless
Dian had chaced away that heaviness,
He might have died: but now, with cheered feel,
He onward kept; wooing these thoughts to steal
About the labyrinth in his soul of love.

 "What is there in thee, Moon! that thou shouldst move
My heart so potently? When yet a child
I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smil'd.
Thou seem'dst my sister: hand in hand we went
From eve to morn across the firmament.
No apples would I gather from the tree,
Till thou hadst cool'd their cheeks deliciously:
No tumbling water ever spake romance,
But when my eyes with thine thereon could dance:
No woods were green enough, no bower divine,
Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine:
In sowing time ne'er would I dibble take,
Or drop a seed, till thou wast wide awake;
And, in the summer tide of blossoming,
No one but thee hath heard me blithly sing
And mesh my dewy flowers all the night.
No melody was like a passing spright
If it went not to solemnize thy reign.
Yes, in my boyhood, every joy and pain
By thee were fashion'd to the self-same end;
And as I grew in years, still didst thou blend
With all my ardours: thou wast the deep glen;
Thou wast the mountain-top--the sage's pen--
The poet's harp--the voice of friends--the sun;
Thou wast the river--thou wast glory won;
Thou wast my clarion's blast--thou wast my steed--
My goblet full of wine--my topmost deed:--
Thou wast the charm of women, lovely Moon!
O what a wild and harmonized tune
My spirit struck from all the beautiful!
On some bright essence could I lean, and lull
Myself to immortality: I prest
Nature's soft pillow in a wakeful rest.
But, gentle Orb! there came a nearer bliss--
My strange love came--Felicity's abyss!
She came, and thou didst fade, and fade away--
Yet not entirely; no, thy starry sway
Has been an under-passion to this hour.
Now I begin to feel thine orby power
Is coming fresh upon me: O be kind,
Keep back thine influence, and do not blind
My sovereign vision.--Dearest love, forgive
That I can think away from thee and live!--
Pardon me, airy planet, that I prize
One thought beyond thine argent luxuries!
How far beyond!" At this a surpris'd start
Frosted the springing verdure of his heart;
For as he lifted up his eyes to swear
How his own goddess was past all things fair,
He saw far in the concave green of the sea
An old man sitting calm and peacefully.
Upon a weeded rock this old man sat,
And his white hair was awful, and a mat
Of weeds were cold beneath his cold thin feet;
And, ample as the largest winding-sheet,
A cloak of blue wrapp'd up his aged bones,
O'erwrought with symbols by the deepest groans
Of ambitious magic: every ocean-form
Was woven in with black distinctness; storm,
And calm, and whispering, and hideous roar
Were emblem'd in the woof; with every shape
That skims, or dives, or sleeps, 'twixt cape and cape.
The gulphing whale was like a dot in the spell,
Yet look upon it, and 'twould size and swell
To its huge self; and the minutest fish
Would pass the very hardest gazer's wish,
And show his little eye's anatomy.
Then there was pictur'd the regality
Of Neptune; and the sea nymphs round his state,
In beauteous vassalage, look up and wait.
Beside this old man lay a pearly wand,
And in his lap a book, the which he conn'd
So stedfastly, that the new denizen
Had time to keep him in amazed ken,
To mark these shadowings, and stand in awe.

 The old man rais'd his hoary head and saw
The wilder'd stranger--seeming not to see,
His features were so lifeless. Suddenly
He woke as from a trance; his snow-white brows
Went arching up, and like two magic ploughs
Furrow'd deep wrinkles in his forehead large,
Which kept as fixedly as rocky marge,
Till round his wither'd lips had gone a smile.
Then up he rose, like one whose tedious toil
Had watch'd for years in forlorn hermitage,
Who had not from mid-life to utmost age
Eas'd in one accent his o'er-burden'd soul,
Even to the trees. He rose: he grasp'd his stole,
With convuls'd clenches waving it abroad,
And in a voice of solemn joy, that aw'd
Echo into oblivion, he said:--

 "Thou art the man! Now shall I lay my head
In peace upon my watery pillow: now
Sleep will come smoothly to my weary brow.
O Jove! I shall be young again, be young!
O shell-borne Neptune, I am pierc'd and stung
With new-born life! What shall I do? Where go,
When I have cast this serpent-skin of woe?--
I'll swim to the syrens, and one moment listen
Their melodies, and see their long hair glisten;
Anon upon that giant's arm I'll be,
That writhes about the roots of Sicily:
To northern seas I'll in a twinkling sail,
And mount upon the snortings of a whale
To some black cloud; thence down I'll madly sweep
On forked lightning, to the deepest deep,
Where through some sucking pool I will be hurl'd
With rapture to the other side of the world!
O, I am full of gladness! Sisters three,
I bow full hearted to your old decree!
Yes, every god be thank'd, and power benign,
For I no more shall wither, droop, and pine.
Thou art the man!" Endymion started back
Dismay'd; and, like a wretch from whom the rack
Tortures hot breath, and speech of agony,
Mutter'd: "What lonely death am I to die
In this cold region? Will he let me freeze,
And float my brittle limbs o'er polar seas?
Or will he touch me with his searing hand,
And leave a black memorial on the sand?
Or tear me piece-meal with a bony saw,
And keep me as a chosen food to draw
His magian fish through hated fire and flame?
O misery of hell! resistless, tame,
Am I to be burnt up? No, I will shout,
Until the gods through heaven's blue look out!--
O Tartarus! but some few days agone
Her soft arms were entwining me, and on
Her voice I hung like fruit among green leaves:
Her lips were all my own, and--ah, ripe sheaves
Of happiness! ye on the stubble droop,
But never may be garner'd. I must stoop
My head, and kiss death's foot. Love! love, farewel!
Is there no hope from thee? This horrid spell
Would melt at thy sweet breath.--By Dian's hind
Feeding from her white fingers, on the wind
I see thy streaming hair! and now, by Pan,
I care not for this old mysterious man!"

 He spake, and walking to that aged form,
Look'd high defiance. Lo! his heart 'gan warm
With pity, for the grey-hair'd creature wept.
Had he then wrong'd a heart where sorrow kept?
Had he, though blindly contumelious, brought
Rheum to kind eyes, a sting to human thought,
Convulsion to a mouth of many years?
He had in truth; and he was ripe for tears.
The penitent shower fell, as down he knelt
Before that care-worn sage, who trembling felt
About his large dark locks, and faultering spake:

 "Arise, good youth, for sacred Phoebus' sake!
I know thine inmost bosom, and I feel
A very brother's yearning for thee steal
Into mine own: for why? thou openest
The prison gates that have so long opprest
My weary watching. Though thou know'st it not,
Thou art commission'd to this fated spot
For great enfranchisement. O weep no more;
I am a friend to love, to loves of yore:
Aye, hadst thou never lov'd an unknown power
I had been grieving at this joyous hour
But even now most miserable old,
I saw thee, and my blood no longer cold
Gave mighty pulses: in this tottering case
Grew a new heart, which at this moment plays
As dancingly as thine. Be not afraid,
For thou shalt hear this secret all display'd,
Now as we speed towards our joyous task."

 So saying, this young soul in age's mask
Went forward with the Carian side by side:
Resuming quickly thus; while ocean's tide
Hung swollen at their backs, and jewel'd sands
Took silently their foot-prints. "My soul stands
Now past the midway from mortality,
And so I can prepare without a sigh
To tell thee briefly all my joy and pain.
I was a fisher once, upon this main,
And my boat danc'd in every creek and bay;
Rough billows were my home by night and day,--
The sea-gulls not more constant; for I had
No housing from the storm and tempests mad,
But hollow rocks,--and they were palaces
Of silent happiness, of slumberous ease:
Long years of misery have told me so.
Aye, thus it was one thousand years ago.
One thousand years!--Is it then possible
To look so plainly through them? to dispel
A thousand years with backward glance sublime?
To breathe away as 'twere all scummy slime
From off a crystal pool, to see its deep,
And one's own image from the bottom peep?
Yes: now I am no longer wretched thrall,
My long captivity and moanings all
Are but a slime, a thin-pervading scum,
The which I breathe away, and thronging come
Like things of yesterday my youthful pleasures.

 "I touch'd no lute, I sang not, trod no measures:
I was a lonely youth on desert shores.
My sports were lonely, 'mid continuous roars,
And craggy isles, and sea-mew's plaintive cry
Plaining discrepant between sea and sky.
Dolphins were still my playmates; shapes unseen
Would let me feel their scales of gold and green,
Nor be my desolation; and, full oft,
When a dread waterspout had rear'd aloft
Its hungry hugeness, seeming ready ripe
To burst with hoarsest thunderings, and wipe
My life away like a vast sponge of fate,
Some friendly monster, pitying my sad state,
Has dived to its foundations, gulph'd it down,
And left me tossing safely. But the crown
Of all my life was utmost quietude:
More did I love to lie in cavern rude,
Keeping in wait whole days for Neptune's voice,
And if it came at last, hark, and rejoice!
There blush'd no summer eve but I would steer
My skiff along green shelving coasts, to hear
The shepherd's pipe come clear from aery steep,
Mingled with ceaseless bleatings of his sheep:
And never was a day of summer shine,
But I beheld its birth upon the brine:
For I would watch all night to see unfold
Heaven's gates, and Aethon snort his morning gold
Wide o'er the swelling streams: and constantly
At brim of day-tide, on some grassy lea,
My nets would be spread out, and I at rest.
The poor folk of the sea-country I blest
With daily boon of fish most delicate:
They knew not whence this bounty, and elate
Would strew sweet flowers on a sterile beach.

 "Why was I not contented? Wherefore reach
At things which, but for thee, O Latmian!
Had been my dreary death? Fool! I began
To feel distemper'd longings: to desire
The utmost privilege that ocean's sire
Could grant in benediction: to be free
Of all his kingdom. Long in misery
I wasted, ere in one extremest fit
I plung'd for life or death. To interknit
One's senses with so dense a breathing stuff
Might seem a work of pain; so not enough
Can I admire how crystal-smooth it felt,
And buoyant round my limbs. At first I dwelt
Whole days and days in sheer astonishment;
Forgetful utterly of self-intent;
Moving but with the mighty ebb and flow.
Then, like a new fledg'd bird that first doth shew
His spreaded feathers to the morrow chill,
I tried in fear the pinions of my will.
'Twas freedom! and at once I visited
The ceaseless wonders of this ocean-bed.
No need to tell thee of them, for I see
That thou hast been a witness--it must be
For these I know thou canst not feel a drouth,
By the melancholy corners of that mouth.
So I will in my story straightway pass
To more immediate matter. Woe, alas!
That love should be my bane! Ah, Scylla fair!
Why did poor Glaucus ever--ever dare
To sue thee to his heart? Kind stranger-youth!
I lov'd her to the very white of truth,
And she would not conceive it. Timid thing!
She fled me swift as sea-bird on the wing,
Round every isle, and point, and promontory,
From where large Hercules wound up his story
Far as Egyptian Nile. My passion grew
The more, the more I saw her dainty hue
Gleam delicately through the azure clear:
Until 'twas too fierce agony to bear;
And in that agony, across my grief
It flash'd, that Circe might find some relief--
Cruel enchantress! So above the water
I rear'd my head, and look'd for Phoebus' daughter.
Aeaea's isle was wondering at the moon:--
It seem'd to whirl around me, and a swoon
Left me dead-drifting to that fatal power.

 "When I awoke, 'twas in a twilight bower;
Just when the light of morn, with hum of bees,
Stole through its verdurous matting of fresh trees.
How sweet, and sweeter! for I heard a lyre,
And over it a sighing voice expire.
It ceased--I caught light footsteps; and anon
The fairest face that morn e'er look'd upon
Push'd through a screen of roses. Starry Jove!
With tears, and smiles, and honey-words she wove
A net whose thraldom was more bliss than all
The range of flower'd Elysium. Thus did fall
The dew of her rich speech: "Ah! Art awake?
O let me hear thee speak, for Cupid's sake!
I am so oppress'd with joy! Why, I have shed
An urn of tears, as though thou wert cold dead;
And now I find thee living, I will pour
From these devoted eyes their silver store,
Until exhausted of the latest drop,
So it will pleasure thee, and force thee stop
Here, that I too may live: but if beyond
Such cool and sorrowful offerings, thou art fond
Of soothing warmth, of dalliance supreme;
If thou art ripe to taste a long love dream;
If smiles, if dimples, tongues for ardour mute,
Hang in thy vision like a tempting fruit,
O let me pluck it for thee." Thus she link'd
Her charming syllables, till indistinct
Their music came to my o'er-sweeten'd soul;
And then she hover'd over me, and stole
So near, that if no nearer it had been
This furrow'd visage thou hadst never seen.

 "Young man of Latmos! thus particular
Am I, that thou may'st plainly see how far
This fierce temptation went: and thou may'st not
Exclaim, How then, was Scylla quite forgot?

 "Who could resist? Who in this universe?
She did so breathe ambrosia; so immerse
My fine existence in a golden clime.
She took me like a child of suckling time,
And cradled me in roses. Thus condemn'd,
The current of my former life was stemm'd,
And to this arbitrary queen of sense
I bow'd a tranced vassal: nor would thence
Have mov'd, even though Amphion's harp had woo'd
Me back to Scylla o'er the billows rude.
For as Apollo each eve doth devise
A new appareling for western skies;
So every eve, nay every spendthrift hour
Shed balmy consciousness within that bower.
And I was free of haunts umbrageous;
Could wander in the mazy forest-house
Of squirrels, foxes shy, and antler'd deer,
And birds from coverts innermost and drear
Warbling for very joy mellifluous sorrow--
To me new born delights!

 "Now let me borrow,
For moments few, a temperament as stern
As Pluto's sceptre, that my words not burn
These uttering lips, while I in calm speech tell
How specious heaven was changed to real hell.

 "One morn she left me sleeping: half awake
I sought for her smooth arms and lips, to slake
My greedy thirst with nectarous camel-draughts;
But she was gone. Whereat the barbed shafts
Of disappointment stuck in me so sore,
That out I ran and search'd the forest o'er.
Wandering about in pine and cedar gloom
Damp awe assail'd me; for there 'gan to boom
A sound of moan, an agony of sound,
Sepulchral from the distance all around.
Then came a conquering earth-thunder, and rumbled
That fierce complain to silence: while I stumbled
Down a precipitous path, as if impell'd.
I came to a dark valley.--Groanings swell'd
Poisonous about my ears, and louder grew,
The nearer I approach'd a flame's gaunt blue,
That glar'd before me through a thorny brake.
This fire, like the eye of gordian snake,
Bewitch'd me towards; and I soon was near
A sight too fearful for the feel of fear:
In thicket hid I curs'd the haggard scene--
The banquet of my arms, my arbour queen,
Seated upon an uptorn forest root;
And all around her shapes, wizard and brute,
Laughing, and wailing, groveling, serpenting,
Shewing tooth, tusk, and venom-bag, and sting!
O such deformities! Old Charon's self,
Should he give up awhile his penny pelf,
And take a dream 'mong rushes Stygian,
It could not be so phantasied. Fierce, wan,
And tyrannizing was the lady's look,
As over them a gnarled staff she shook.
Oft-times upon the sudden she laugh'd out,
And from a basket emptied to the rout
Clusters of grapes, the which they raven'd quick
And roar'd for more; with many a hungry lick
About their shaggy jaws. Avenging, slow,
Anon she took a branch of mistletoe,
And emptied on't a black dull-gurgling phial:
Groan'd one and all, as if some piercing trial
Was sharpening for their pitiable bones.
She lifted up the charm: appealing groans
From their poor breasts went sueing to her ear
In vain; remorseless as an infant's bier
She whisk'd against their eyes the sooty oil.
Whereat was heard a noise of painful toil,
Increasing gradual to a tempest rage,
Shrieks, yells, and groans of torture-pilgrimage;
Until their grieved bodies 'gan to bloat
And puff from the tail's end to stifled throat:
Then was appalling silence: then a sight
More wildering than all that hoarse affright;
For the whole herd, as by a whirlwind writhen,
Went through the dismal air like one huge Python
Antagonizing Boreas,--and so vanish'd.
Yet there was not a breath of wind: she banish'd
These phantoms with a nod. Lo! from the dark
Came waggish fauns, and nymphs, and satyrs stark,
With dancing and loud revelry,--and went
Swifter than centaurs after rapine bent.--
Sighing an elephant appear'd and bow'd
Before the fierce witch, speaking thus aloud
In human accent: "Potent goddess! chief
Of pains resistless! make my being brief,
Or let me from this heavy prison fly:
Or give me to the air, or let me die!
I sue not for my happy crown again;
I sue not for my phalanx on the plain;
I sue not for my lone, my widow'd wife;
I sue not for my ruddy drops of life,
My children fair, my lovely girls and boys!
I will forget them; I will pass these joys;
Ask nought so heavenward, so too--too high:
Only I pray, as fairest boon, to die,
Or be deliver'd from this cumbrous flesh,
From this gross, detestable, filthy mesh,
And merely given to the cold bleak air.
Have mercy, Goddess! Circe, feel my prayer!"

 That curst magician's name fell icy numb
Upon my wild conjecturing: truth had come
Naked and sabre-like against my heart.
I saw a fury whetting a death-dart;
And my slain spirit, overwrought with fright,
Fainted away in that dark lair of night.
Think, my deliverer, how desolate
My waking must have been! disgust, and hate,
And terrors manifold divided me
A spoil amongst them. I prepar'd to flee
Into the dungeon core of that wild wood:
I fled three days--when lo! before me stood
Glaring the angry witch. O Dis, even now,
A clammy dew is beading on my brow,
At mere remembering her pale laugh, and curse.
"Ha! ha! Sir Dainty! there must be a nurse
Made of rose leaves and thistledown, express,
To cradle thee my sweet, and lull thee: yes,
I am too flinty-hard for thy nice touch:
My tenderest squeeze is but a giant's clutch.
So, fairy-thing, it shall have lullabies
Unheard of yet; and it shall still its cries
Upon some breast more lily-feminine.
Oh, no--it shall not pine, and pine, and pine
More than one pretty, trifling thousand years;
And then 'twere pity, but fate's gentle shears
Cut short its immortality. Sea-flirt!
Young dove of the waters! truly I'll not hurt
One hair of thine: see how I weep and sigh,
That our heart-broken parting is so nigh.
And must we part? Ah, yes, it must be so.
Yet ere thou leavest me in utter woe,
Let me sob over thee my last adieus,
And speak a blessing: Mark me! thou hast thews
Immortal, for thou art of heavenly race:
But such a love is mine, that here I chase
Eternally away from thee all bloom
Of youth, and destine thee towards a tomb.
Hence shalt thou quickly to the watery vast;
And there, ere many days be overpast,
Disabled age shall seize thee; and even then
Thou shalt not go the way of aged men;
But live and wither, cripple and still breathe
Ten hundred years: which gone, I then bequeath
Thy fragile bones to unknown burial.
Adieu, sweet love, adieu!"--As shot stars fall,
She fled ere I could groan for mercy. Stung
And poisoned was my spirit: despair sung
A war-song of defiance 'gainst all hell.
A hand was at my shoulder to compel
My sullen steps; another 'fore my eyes
Moved on with pointed finger. In this guise
Enforced, at the last by ocean's foam
I found me; by my fresh, my native home.
Its tempering coolness, to my life akin,
Came salutary as I waded in;
And, with a blind voluptuous rage, I gave
Battle to the swollen billow-ridge, and drave
Large froth before me, while there yet remain'd
Hale strength, nor from my bones all marrow drain'd.

 "Young lover, I must weep--such hellish spite
With dry cheek who can tell? While thus my might
Proving upon this element, dismay'd,
Upon a dead thing's face my hand I laid;
I look'd--'twas Scylla! Cursed, cursed Circe!
O vulture-witch, hast never heard of mercy?
Could not thy harshest vengeance be content,
But thou must nip this tender innocent
Because I lov'd her?--Cold, O cold indeed
Were her fair limbs, and like a common weed
The sea-swell took her hair. Dead as she was
I clung about her waist, nor ceas'd to pass
Fleet as an arrow through unfathom'd brine,
Until there shone a fabric crystalline,
Ribb'd and inlaid with coral, pebble, and pearl.
Headlong I darted; at one eager swirl
Gain'd its bright portal, enter'd, and behold!
'Twas vast, and desolate, and icy-cold;
And all around--But wherefore this to thee
Who in few minutes more thyself shalt see?--
I left poor Scylla in a niche and fled.
My fever'd parchings up, my scathing dread
Met palsy half way: soon these limbs became
Gaunt, wither'd, sapless, feeble, cramp'd, and lame.

 "Now let me pass a cruel, cruel space,
Without one hope, without one faintest trace
Of mitigation, or redeeming bubble
Of colour'd phantasy; for I fear 'twould trouble
Thy brain to loss of reason: and next tell
How a restoring chance came down to quell
One half of the witch in me. On a day,
Sitting upon a rock above the spray,
I saw grow up from the horizon's brink
A gallant vessel: soon she seem'd to sink
Away from me again, as though her course
Had been resum'd in spite of hindering force--
So vanish'd: and not long, before arose
Dark clouds, and muttering of winds morose.
Old Eolus would stifle his mad spleen,
But could not: therefore all the billows green
Toss'd up the silver spume against the clouds.
The tempest came: I saw that vessel's shrouds
In perilous bustle; while upon the deck
Stood trembling creatures. I beheld the wreck;
The final gulphing; the poor struggling souls:
I heard their cries amid loud thunder-rolls.
O they had all been sav'd but crazed eld
Annull'd my vigorous cravings: and thus quell'd
And curb'd, think on't, O Latmian! did I sit
Writhing with pity, and a cursing fit
Against that hell-born Circe. The crew had gone,
By one and one, to pale oblivion;
And I was gazing on the surges prone,
With many a scalding tear and many a groan,
When at my feet emerg'd an old man's hand,
Grasping this scroll, and this same slender wand.
I knelt with pain--reached out my hand--had grasp'd
These treasures--touch'd the knuckles--they unclasp'd--
I caught a finger: but the downward weight
O'erpowered me--it sank. Then 'gan abate
The storm, and through chill aguish gloom outburst
The comfortable sun. I was athirst
To search the book, and in the warming air
Parted its dripping leaves with eager care.
Strange matters did it treat of, and drew on
My soul page after page, till well-nigh won
Into forgetfulness; when, stupefied,
I read these words, and read again, and tried
My eyes against the heavens, and read again.
O what a load of misery and pain
Each Atlas-line bore off!--a shine of hope
Came gold around me, cheering me to cope
Strenuous with hellish tyranny. Attend!
For thou hast brought their promise to an end.

 "In the wide sea there lives a forlorn wretch,
Doom'd with enfeebled carcase to outstretch
His loath'd existence through ten centuries,
And then to die alone. Who can devise
A total opposition? No one. So
One million times ocean must ebb and flow,
And he oppressed. Yet he shall not die,
These things accomplish'd:--If he utterly
Scans all the depths of magic, and expounds
The meanings of all motions, shapes, and sounds;
If he explores all forms and substances
Straight homeward to their symbol-essences;
He shall not die. Moreover, and in chief,
He must pursue this task of joy and grief
Most piously;--all lovers tempest-tost,
And in the savage overwhelming lost,
He shall deposit side by side, until
Time's creeping shall the dreary space fulfil:
Which done, and all these labours ripened,
A youth, by heavenly power lov'd and led,
Shall stand before him; whom he shall direct
How to consummate all. The youth elect
Must do the thing, or both will be destroy'd."--

 "Then," cried the young Endymion, overjoy'd,
"We are twin brothers in this destiny!
Say, I intreat thee, what achievement high
Is, in this restless world, for me reserv'd.
What! if from thee my wandering feet had swerv'd,
Had we both perish'd?"--"Look!" the sage replied,
"Dost thou not mark a gleaming through the tide,
Of divers brilliances? 'tis the edifice
I told thee of, where lovely Scylla lies;
And where I have enshrined piously
All lovers, whom fell storms have doom'd to die
Throughout my bondage." Thus discoursing, on
They went till unobscur'd the porches shone;
Which hurryingly they gain'd, and enter'd straight.
Sure never since king Neptune held his state
Was seen such wonder underneath the stars.
Turn to some level plain where haughty Mars
Has legion'd all his battle; and behold
How every soldier, with firm foot, doth hold
His even breast: see, many steeled squares,
And rigid ranks of iron--whence who dares
One step? Imagine further, line by line,
These warrior thousands on the field supine:--
So in that crystal place, in silent rows,
Poor lovers lay at rest from joys and woes.--
The stranger from the mountains, breathless, trac'd
Such thousands of shut eyes in order plac'd;
Such ranges of white feet, and patient lips
All ruddy,--for here death no blossom nips.
He mark'd their brows and foreheads; saw their hair
Put sleekly on one side with nicest care;
And each one's gentle wrists, with reverence,
Put cross-wise to its heart.

 "Let us commence,
Whisper'd the guide, stuttering with joy, even now."
He spake, and, trembling like an aspen-bough,
Began to tear his scroll in pieces small,
Uttering the while some mumblings funeral.
He tore it into pieces small as snow
That drifts unfeather'd when bleak northerns blow;
And having done it, took his dark blue cloak
And bound it round Endymion: then struck
His wand against the empty air times nine.--
"What more there is to do, young man, is thine:
But first a little patience; first undo
This tangled thread, and wind it to a clue.
Ah, gentle! 'tis as weak as spider's skein;
And shouldst thou break it--What, is it done so clean?
A power overshadows thee! Oh, brave!
The spite of hell is tumbling to its grave.
Here is a shell; 'tis pearly blank to me,
Nor mark'd with any sign or charactery--
Canst thou read aught? O read for pity's sake!
Olympus! we are safe! Now, Carian, break
This wand against yon lyre on the pedestal."

 'Twas done: and straight with sudden swell and fall
Sweet music breath'd her soul away, and sigh'd
A lullaby to silence.--"Youth! now strew
These minced leaves on me, and passing through
Those files of dead, scatter the same around,
And thou wilt see the issue."--'Mid the sound
Of flutes and viols, ravishing his heart,
Endymion from Glaucus stood apart,
And scatter'd in his face some fragments light.
How lightning-swift the change! a youthful wight
Smiling beneath a coral diadem,
Out-sparkling sudden like an upturn'd gem,
Appear'd, and, stepping to a beauteous corse,
Kneel'd down beside it, and with tenderest force
Press'd its cold hand, and wept--and Scylla sigh'd!
Endymion, with quick hand, the charm applied--
The nymph arose: he left them to their joy,
And onward went upon his high employ,
Showering those powerful fragments on the dead.
And, as he pass'd, each lifted up its head,
As doth a flower at Apollo's touch.
Death felt it to his inwards; 'twas too much:
Death fell a weeping in his charnel-house.
The Latmian persever'd along, and thus
All were re-animated. There arose
A noise of harmony, pulses and throes
Of gladness in the air--while many, who
Had died in mutual arms devout and true,
Sprang to each other madly; and the rest
Felt a high certainty of being blest.
They gaz'd upon Endymion. Enchantment
Grew drunken, and would have its head and bent.
Delicious symphonies, like airy flowers,
Budded, and swell'd, and, full-blown, shed full showers
Of light, soft, unseen leaves of sounds divine.
The two deliverers tasted a pure wine
Of happiness, from fairy-press ooz'd out.
Speechless they eyed each other, and about
The fair assembly wander'd to and fro,
Distracted with the richest overflow
Of joy that ever pour'd from heaven.

Shouted the new-born god; "Follow, and pay
Our piety to Neptunus supreme!"--
Then Scylla, blushing sweetly from her dream,
They led on first, bent to her meek surprise,
Through portal columns of a giant size,
Into the vaulted, boundless emerald.
Joyous all follow'd, as the leader call'd,
Down marble steps; pouring as easily
As hour-glass sand--and fast, as you might see
Swallows obeying the south summer's call,
Or swans upon a gentle waterfall.

 Thus went that beautiful multitude, nor far,
Ere from among some rocks of glittering spar,
Just within ken, they saw descending thick
Another multitude. Whereat more quick
Moved either host. On a wide sand they met,
And of those numbers every eye was wet;
For each their old love found. A murmuring rose,
Like what was never heard in all the throes
Of wind and waters: 'tis past human wit
To tell; 'tis dizziness to think of it.

 This mighty consummation made, the host
Mov'd on for many a league; and gain'd, and lost
Huge sea-marks; vanward swelling in array,
And from the rear diminishing away,--
Till a faint dawn surpris'd them. Glaucus cried,
"Behold! behold, the palace of his pride!
God Neptune's palaces!" With noise increas'd,
They shoulder'd on towards that brightening east.
At every onward step proud domes arose
In prospect,--diamond gleams, and golden glows
Of amber 'gainst their faces levelling.
Joyous, and many as the leaves in spring,
Still onward; still the splendour gradual swell'd.
Rich opal domes were seen, on high upheld
By jasper pillars, letting through their shafts
A blush of coral. Copious wonder-draughts
Each gazer drank; and deeper drank more near:
For what poor mortals fragment up, as mere
As marble was there lavish, to the vast
Of one fair palace, that far far surpass'd,
Even for common bulk, those olden three,
Memphis, and Babylon, and Nineveh.

 As large, as bright, as colour'd as the bow
Of Iris, when unfading it doth shew
Beyond a silvery shower, was the arch
Through which this Paphian army took its march,
Into the outer courts of Neptune's state:
Whence could be seen, direct, a golden gate,
To which the leaders sped; but not half raught
Ere it burst open swift as fairy thought,
And made those dazzled thousands veil their eyes
Like callow eagles at the first sunrise.
Soon with an eagle nativeness their gaze
Ripe from hue-golden swoons took all the blaze,
And then, behold! large Neptune on his throne
Of emerald deep: yet not exalt alone;
At his right hand stood winged Love, and on
His left sat smiling Beauty's paragon.

 Far as the mariner on highest mast
Can see all round upon the calmed vast,
So wide was Neptune's hall: and as the blue
Doth vault the waters, so the waters drew
Their doming curtains, high, magnificent,
Aw'd from the throne aloof;--and when storm-rent
Disclos'd the thunder-gloomings in Jove's air;
But sooth'd as now, flash'd sudden everywhere,
Noiseless, sub-marine cloudlets, glittering
Death to a human eye: for there did spring
From natural west, and east, and south, and north,
A light as of four sunsets, blazing forth
A gold-green zenith 'bove the Sea-God's head.
Of lucid depth the floor, and far outspread
As breezeless lake, on which the slim canoe
Of feather'd Indian darts about, as through
The delicatest air: air verily,
But for the portraiture of clouds and sky:
This palace floor breath-air,--but for the amaze
Of deep-seen wonders motionless,--and blaze
Of the dome pomp, reflected in extremes,
Globing a golden sphere.

 They stood in dreams
Till Triton blew his horn. The palace rang;
The Nereids danc'd; the Syrens faintly sang;
And the great Sea-King bow'd his dripping head.
Then Love took wing, and from his pinions shed
On all the multitude a nectarous dew.
The ooze-born Goddess beckoned and drew
Fair Scylla and her guides to conference;
And when they reach'd the throned eminence
She kist the sea-nymph's cheek,--who sat her down
A toying with the doves. Then,--"Mighty crown
And sceptre of this kingdom!" Venus said,
"Thy vows were on a time to Nais paid:
Behold!"--Two copious tear-drops instant fell
From the God's large eyes; he smil'd delectable,
And over Glaucus held his blessing hands.--
"Endymion! Ah! still wandering in the bands
Of love? Now this is cruel. Since the hour
I met thee in earth's bosom, all my power
Have I put forth to serve thee. What, not yet
Escap'd from dull mortality's harsh net?
A little patience, youth! 'twill not be long,
Or I am skilless quite: an idle tongue,
A humid eye, and steps luxurious,
Where these are new and strange, are ominous.
Aye, I have seen these signs in one of heaven,
When others were all blind; and were I given
To utter secrets, haply I might say
Some pleasant words:--but Love will have his day.
So wait awhile expectant. Pr'ythee soon,
Even in the passing of thine honey-moon,
Visit my Cytherea: thou wilt find
Cupid well-natured, my Adonis kind;
And pray persuade with thee--Ah, I have done,
All blisses be upon thee, my sweet son!"--
Thus the fair goddess: while Endymion
Knelt to receive those accents halcyon.

 Meantime a glorious revelry began
Before the Water-Monarch. Nectar ran
In courteous fountains to all cups outreach'd;
And plunder'd vines, teeming exhaustless, pleach'd
New growth about each shell and pendent lyre;
The which, in disentangling for their fire,
Pull'd down fresh foliage and coverture
For dainty toying. Cupid, empire-sure,
Flutter'd and laugh'd, and oft-times through the throng
Made a delighted way. Then dance, and song,
And garlanding grew wild; and pleasure reign'd.
In harmless tendril they each other chain'd,
And strove who should be smother'd deepest in
Fresh crush of leaves.

 O 'tis a very sin
For one so weak to venture his poor verse
In such a place as this. O do not curse,
High Muses! let him hurry to the ending.

 All suddenly were silent. A soft blending
Of dulcet instruments came charmingly;
And then a hymn.

 "KING of the stormy sea!
Brother of Jove, and co-inheritor
Of elements! Eternally before
Thee the waves awful bow. Fast, stubborn rock,
At thy fear'd trident shrinking, doth unlock
Its deep foundations, hissing into foam.
All mountain-rivers lost, in the wide home
Of thy capacious bosom ever flow.
Thou frownest, and old Eolus thy foe
Skulks to his cavern, 'mid the gruff complaint
Of all his rebel tempests. Dark clouds faint
When, from thy diadem, a silver gleam
Slants over blue dominion. Thy bright team
Gulphs in the morning light, and scuds along
To bring thee nearer to that golden song
Apollo singeth, while his chariot
Waits at the doors of heaven. Thou art not
For scenes like this: an empire stern hast thou;
And it hath furrow'd that large front: yet now,
As newly come of heaven, dost thou sit
To blend and interknit
Subdued majesty with this glad time.
O shell-borne King sublime!
We lay our hearts before thee evermore--
We sing, and we adore!

 "Breathe softly, flutes;
Be tender of your strings, ye soothing lutes;
Nor be the trumpet heard! O vain, O vain;
Not flowers budding in an April rain,
Nor breath of sleeping dove, nor river's flow,--
No, nor the Eolian twang of Love's own bow,
Can mingle music fit for the soft ear
Of goddess Cytherea!
Yet deign, white Queen of Beauty, thy fair eyes
On our souls' sacrifice.

 "Bright-winged Child!
Who has another care when thou hast smil'd?
Unfortunates on earth, we see at last
All death-shadows, and glooms that overcast
Our spirits, fann'd away by thy light pinions.
O sweetest essence! sweetest of all minions!
God of warm pulses, and dishevell'd hair,
And panting bosoms bare!
Dear unseen light in darkness! eclipser
Of light in light! delicious poisoner!
Thy venom'd goblet will we quaff until
We fill--we fill!
And by thy Mother's lips----"

 Was heard no more
For clamour, when the golden palace door
Opened again, and from without, in shone
A new magnificence. On oozy throne
Smooth-moving came Oceanus the old,
To take a latest glimpse at his sheep-fold,
Before he went into his quiet cave
To muse for ever--Then a lucid wave,
Scoop'd from its trembling sisters of mid-sea,
Afloat, and pillowing up the majesty
Of Doris, and the Egean seer, her spouse--
Next, on a dolphin, clad in laurel boughs,
Theban Amphion leaning on his lute:
His fingers went across it--All were mute
To gaze on Amphitrite, queen of pearls,
And Thetis pearly too.--

 The palace whirls
Around giddy Endymion; seeing he
Was there far strayed from mortality.
He could not bear it--shut his eyes in vain;
Imagination gave a dizzier pain.
"O I shall die! sweet Venus, be my stay!
Where is my lovely mistress? Well-away!
I die--I hear her voice--I feel my wing--"
At Neptune's feet he sank. A sudden ring
Of Nereids were about him, in kind strife
To usher back his spirit into life:
But still he slept. At last they interwove
Their cradling arms, and purpos'd to convey
Towards a crystal bower far away.

 Lo! while slow carried through the pitying crowd,
To his inward senses these words spake aloud;
Written in star-light on the dark above:
Dearest Endymion! my entire love!
How have I dwelt in fear of fate: 'tis done--
Immortal bliss for me too hast thou won.
Arise then! for the hen-dove shall not hatch
Her ready eggs, before I'll kissing snatch
Thee into endless heaven. Awake! awake!

 The youth at once arose: a placid lake
Came quiet to his eyes; and forest green,
Cooler than all the wonders he had seen,
Lull'd with its simple song his fluttering breast.
How happy once again in grassy nest!

by John Keats |



 Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung above his head
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity
Spreading a shade: the Naiad 'mid her reeds
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.

 Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went,
No further than to where his feet had stray'd,
And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed;
While his bow'd head seem'd list'ning to the Earth,
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet.

 It seem'd no force could wake him from his place;
But there came one, who with a kindred hand
Touch'd his wide shoulders, after bending low
With reverence, though to one who knew it not.
She was a Goddess of the infant world;
By her in stature the tall Amazon
Had stood a pigmy's height: she would have ta'en
Achilles by the hair and bent his neck;
Or with a finger stay'd Ixion's wheel.
Her face was large as that of Memphian sphinx,
Pedestal'd haply in a palace court,
When sages look'd to Egypt for their lore.
But oh! how unlike marble was that face:
How beautiful, if sorrow had not made
Sorrow more beautiful than Beauty's self.
There was a listening fear in her regard,
As if calamity had but begun;
As if the vanward clouds of evil days
Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
Was with its stored thunder labouring up.
One hand she press'd upon that aching spot
Where beats the human heart, as if just there,
Though an immortal, she felt cruel pain:
The other upon Saturn's bended neck
She laid, and to the level of his ear
Leaning with parted lips, some words she spake
In solemn tenor and deep organ tone:
Some mourning words, which in our feeble tongue
Would come in these like accents; O how frail
To that large utterance of the early Gods!
"Saturn, look up!---though wherefore, poor old King?
I have no comfort for thee, no not one:
I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou?'
For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth
Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God;
And ocean too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass'd; and all the air
Is emptied of thine hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, conscious of the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o'er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands
Scorches and burns our once serene domain.
O aching time! O moments big as years!
All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth,
And press it so upon our weary griefs
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn, sleep on:---O thoughtless, why did I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes?
Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep."

 As when, upon a tranced summer-night,
Those green-rob'd senators of mighty woods,
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir,
Save from one gradual solitary gust
Which comes upon the silence, and dies off,
As if the ebbing air had but one wave;
So came these words and went; the while in tears
She touch'd her fair large forehead to the ground,
Just where her fallen hair might be outspread
A soft and silken mat for Saturn's feet.
One moon, with alteration slow, had shed
Her silver seasons four upon the night,
And still these two were postured motionless,
Like natural sculpture in cathedral cavern;
The frozen God still couchant on the earth,
And the sad Goddess weeping at his feet:
Until at length old Saturn lifted up
His faded eyes, and saw his kingdom gone,
And all the gloom and sorrow ofthe place,
And that fair kneeling Goddess; and then spake,
As with a palsied tongue, and while his beard
Shook horrid with such aspen-malady:
"O tender spouse of gold Hyperion,
Thea, I feel thee ere I see thy face;
Look up, and let me see our doom in it;
Look up, and tell me if this feeble shape
Is Saturn's; tell me, if thou hear'st the voice
Of Saturn; tell me, if this wrinkling brow,
Naked and bare of its great diadem,
Peers like the front of Saturn? Who had power
To make me desolate? Whence came the strength?
How was it nurtur'd to such bursting forth,
While Fate seem'd strangled in my nervous grasp?
But it is so; and I am smother'd up,
And buried from all godlike exercise
Of influence benign on planets pale,
Of admonitions to the winds and seas,
Of peaceful sway above man's harvesting,
And all those acts which Deity supreme
Doth ease its heart of love in.---I am gone
Away from my own bosom: I have left
My strong identity, my real self,
Somewhere between the throne, and where I sit
Here on this spot of earth. Search, Thea, search!
Open thine eyes eterne, and sphere them round
Upon all space: space starr'd, and lorn of light;
Space region'd with life-air; and barren void;
Spaces of fire, and all the yawn of hell.---
Search, Thea, search! and tell me, if thou seest
A certain shape or shadow, making way
With wings or chariot fierce to repossess
A heaven he lost erewhile: it must---it must
Be of ripe progress---Saturn must be King.
Yes, there must be a golden victory;
There must be Gods thrown down, and trumpets blown
Of triumph calm, and hymns of festival
Upon the gold clouds metropolitan,
Voices of soft proclaim, and silver stir
Of strings in hollow shells; and there shall be
Beautiful things made new, for the surprise
Of the sky-children; I will give command:
Thea! Thea! Thea! where is Saturn?"
This passion lifted him upon his feet,
And made his hands to struggle in the air,
His Druid locks to shake and ooze with sweat,
His eyes to fever out, his voice to cease.
He stood, and heard not Thea's sobbing deep;
A little time, and then again he snatch'd
Utterance thus.---"But cannot I create?
Cannot I form? Cannot I fashion forth
Another world, another universe,
To overbear and crumble this to nought?
Where is another Chaos? Where?"---That word
Found way unto Olympus, and made quake
The rebel three.---Thea was startled up,
And in her bearing was a sort of hope,
As thus she quick-voic'd spake, yet full of awe.

 "This cheers our fallen house: come to our friends,
O Saturn! come away, and give them heart;
I know the covert, for thence came I hither."
Thus brief; then with beseeching eyes she went
With backward footing through the shade a space:
He follow'd, and she turn'd to lead the way
Through aged boughs, that yielded like the mist
Which eagles cleave upmounting from their nest.

 Meanwhile in other realms big tears were shed,
More sorrow like to this, and such like woe,
Too huge for mortal tongue or pen of scribe:
The Titans fierce, self-hid, or prison-bound,
Groan'd for the old allegiance once more,
And listen'd in sharp pain for Saturn's voice.
But one of the whole mammoth-brood still kept
His sov'reigny, and rule, and majesy;---
Blazing Hyperion on his orbed fire
Still sat, still snuff'd the incense, teeming up
From man to the sun's God: yet unsecure:
For as among us mortals omens drear
Fright and perplex, so also shuddered he---
Not at dog's howl, or gloom-bird's hated screech,
Or the familiar visiting of one
Upon the first toll of his passing-bell,
Or prophesyings of the midnight lamp;
But horrors, portion'd to a giant nerve,
Oft made Hyperion ache. His palace bright,
Bastion'd with pyramids of glowing gold,
And touch'd with shade of bronzed obelisks,
Glar'd a blood-red through all its thousand courts,
Arches, and domes, and fiery galleries;
And all its curtains of Aurorian clouds
Flush'd angerly: while sometimes eagles' wings,
Unseen before by Gods or wondering men,
Darken'd the place; and neighing steeds were heard
Not heard before by Gods or wondering men.
Also, when he would taste the spicy wreaths
Of incense, breath'd aloft from sacred hills,
Instead of sweets, his ample palate took
Savor of poisonous brass and metal sick:
And so, when harbor'd in the sleepy west,
After the full completion of fair day,---
For rest divine upon exalted couch,
And slumber in the arms of melody,
He pac'd away the pleasant hours of ease
With stride colossal, on from hall to hall;
While far within each aisle and deep recess,
His winged minions in close clusters stood,
Amaz'd and full offear; like anxious men
Who on wide plains gather in panting troops,
When earthquakes jar their battlements and towers.
Even now, while Saturn, rous'd from icy trance,
Went step for step with Thea through the woods,
Hyperion, leaving twilight in the rear,
Came slope upon the threshold of the west;
Then, as was wont, his palace-door flew ope
In smoothest silence, save what solemn tubes,
Blown by the serious Zephyrs, gave of sweet
And wandering sounds, slow-breathed melodies;
And like a rose in vermeil tint and shape,
In fragrance soft, and coolness to the eye,
That inlet to severe magnificence
Stood full blown, for the God to enter in.

 He enter'd, but he enter'd full of wrath;
His flaming robes stream'd out beyond his heels,
And gave a roar, as if of earthly fire,
That scar'd away the meek ethereal Hours
And made their dove-wings tremble. On he flared
From stately nave to nave, from vault to vault,
Through bowers of fragrant and enwreathed light,
And diamond-paved lustrous long arcades,
Until he reach'd the great main cupola;
There standing fierce beneath, he stampt his foot,
And from the basements deep to the high towers
Jarr'd his own golden region; and before
The quavering thunder thereupon had ceas'd,
His voice leapt out, despite of godlike curb,
To this result: "O dreams of day and night!
O monstrous forms! O effigies of pain!
O spectres busy in a cold, cold gloom!
O lank-eared phantoms of black-weeded pools!
Why do I know ye? why have I seen ye? why
Is my eternal essence thus distraught
To see and to behold these horrors new?
Saturn is fallen, am I too to fall?
Am I to leave this haven of my rest,
This cradle of my glory, this soft clime,
This calm luxuriance of blissful light,
These crystalline pavilions, and pure fanes,
Of all my lucent empire? It is left
Deserted, void, nor any haunt of mine.
The blaze, the splendor, and the symmetry,
I cannot see but darkness, death, and darkness.
Even here, into my centre of repose,
The shady visions come to domineer,
Insult, and blind, and stifle up my pomp.---
Fall!---No, by Tellus and her briny robes!
Over the fiery frontier of my realms
I will advance a terrible right arm
Shall scare that infant thunderer, rebel Jove,
And bid old Saturn take his throne again."---
He spake, and ceas'd, the while a heavier threat
Held struggle with his throat but came not forth;
For as in theatres of crowded men
Hubbub increases more they call out "Hush!"
So at Hyperion's words the phantoms pale
Bestirr'd themselves, thrice horrible and cold;
And from the mirror'd level where he stood
A mist arose, as from a scummy marsh.
At this, through all his bulk an agony
Crept gradual, from the feet unto the crown,
Like a lithe serpent vast and muscular
Making slow way, with head and neck convuls'd
From over-strained might. Releas'd, he fled
To the eastern gates, and full six dewy hours
Before the dawn in season due should blush,
He breath'd fierce breath against the sleepy portals,
Clear'd them of heavy vapours, burst them wide
Suddenly on the ocean's chilly streams.
The planet orb of fire, whereon he rode
Each day from east to west the heavens through,
Spun round in sable curtaining of clouds;
Not therefore veiled quite, blindfold, and hid,
But ever and anon the glancing spheres,
Circles, and arcs, and broad-belting colure,
Glow'd through, and wrought upon the muffling dark
Sweet-shaped lightnings from the nadir deep
Up to the zenith,---hieroglyphics old,
Which sages and keen-eyed astrologers
Then living on the earth, with laboring thought
Won from the gaze of many centuries:
Now lost, save what we find on remnants huge
Of stone, or rnarble swart; their import gone,
Their wisdom long since fled.---Two wings this orb
Possess'd for glory, two fair argent wings,
Ever exalted at the God's approach:
And now, from forth the gloom their plumes immense
Rose, one by one, till all outspreaded were;
While still the dazzling globe maintain'd eclipse,
Awaiting for Hyperion's command.
Fain would he have commanded, fain took throne
And bid the day begin, if but for change.
He might not:---No, though a primeval God:
The sacred seasons might not be disturb'd.
Therefore the operations of the dawn
Stay'd in their birth, even as here 'tis told.
Those silver wings expanded sisterly,
Eager to sail their orb; the porches wide
Open'd upon the dusk demesnes of night
And the bright Titan, phrenzied with new woes,
Unus'd to bend, by hard compulsion bent
His spirit to the sorrow of the time;
And all along a dismal rack of clouds,
Upon the boundaries of day and night,
He stretch'd himself in grief and radiance faint.
There as he lay, the Heaven with its stars
Look'd down on him with pity, and the voice
Of Coelus, from the universal space,
Thus whisper'd low and solemn in his ear:
"O brightest of my children dear, earth-born
And sky-engendered, son of mysteries
All unrevealed even to the powers
Which met at thy creating; at whose joys
And palpitations sweet, and pleasures soft,
I, Coelus, wonder, how they came and whence;
And at the fruits thereof what shapes they be,
Distinct, and visible; symbols divine,
Manifestations of that beauteous life
Diffus'd unseen throughout eternal space:
Of these new-form'd art thou, O brightest child!
Of these, thy brethren and the Goddesses!
There is sad feud among ye, and rebellion
Of son against his sire. I saw him fall,
I saw my first-born tumbled from his throne!
To me his arms were spread, to me his voice
Found way from forth the thunders round his head!
Pale wox I, and in vapours hid my face.
Art thou, too, near such doom? vague fear there is:
For I have seen my sons most unlike Gods.
Divine ye were created, and divine
In sad demeanour, solemn, undisturb'd,
Unruffled, like high Gods, ye liv'd and ruled:
Now I behold in you fear, hope, and wrath;
Actions of rage and passion; even as
I see them, on the mortal world beneath,
In men who die.---This is the grief, O son!
Sad sign of ruin, sudden dismay, and fall!
Yet do thou strive; as thou art capable,
As thou canst move about, an evident God;
And canst oppose to each malignant hour
Ethereal presence:---I am but a voice;
My life is but the life of winds and tides,
No more than winds and tides can I avail:---
But thou canst.---Be thou therefore in the van
Of circumstance; yea, seize the arrow's barb
Before the tense string murmur.---To the earth!
For there thou wilt find Saturn, and his woes.
Meantime I will keep watch on thy bright sun,
And of thy seasons be a careful nurse."---
Ere half this region-whisper had come down,
Hyperion arose, and on the stars
Lifted his curved lids, and kept them wide
Until it ceas'd; and still he kept them wide:
And still they were the same bright, patient stars.
Then with a slow incline of his broad breast,
Like to a diver in the pearly seas,
Forward he stoop'd over the airy shore,
And plung'd all noiseless into the deep night.


Just at the self-same beat of Time's wide wings
Hyperion slid into the rustled air,
And Saturn gain'd with Thea that sad place
Where Cybele and the bruised Titans mourn'd.
It was a den where no insulting light
Could glimmer on their tears; where their own groans
They felt, but heard not, for the solid roar
Of thunderous waterfalls and torrents hoarse,
Pouring a constant bulk, uncertain where.
Crag jutting forth to crag, and rocks that seem'd
Ever as if just rising from a sleep,
Forehead to forehead held their monstrous horns;
And thus in thousand hugest phantasies
Made a fit roofing to this nest of woe.
Instead of thrones, hard flint they sat upon,
Couches of rugged stone, and slaty ridge
Stubborn'd with iron. All were not assembled:
Some chain'd in torture, and some wandering.
Caus, and Gyges, and Briareus,
Typhon, and Dolor, and Porphyrion,
With many more, the brawniest in assault,
Were pent in regions of laborious breath;
Dungeon'd in opaque element, to keep
Their clenched teeth still clench'd, and all their limbs
Lock'd up like veins of metal, crampt and screw'd;
Without a motion, save of their big hearts
Heaving in pain, and horribly convuls'd
With sanguine feverous boiling gurge of pulse.
Mnemosyne was straying in the world;
Far from her moon had Phoebe wandered;
And many else were free to roam abroad,
But for the main, here found they covert drear.
Scarce images of life, one here, one there,
Lay vast and edgeways; like a dismal cirque
Of Druid stones, upon a forlorn moor,
When the chill rain begins at shut of eve,
In dull November, and their chancel vault,
The Heaven itself, is blinded throughout night.
Each one kept shroud, nor to his neighbour gave
Or word, or look, or action of despair.
Creus was one; his ponderous iron mace
Lay by him, and a shatter'd rib of rock
Told of his rage, ere he thus sank and pined.
Iapetus another; in his grasp,
A serpent's plashy neck; its barbed tongue
Squeez'd from the gorge, and all its uncurl'd length
Dead: and because the creature could not spit
Its poison in the eyes of conquering Jove.
Next Cottus: prone he lay, chin uppermost,
As though in pain; for still upon the flint
He ground severe his skull, with open mouth
And eyes at horrid working. Nearest him
Asia, born of most enormous Caf,
Who cost her mother Tellus keener pangs,
Though feminine, than any of her sons:
More thought than woe was in her dusky face,
For she was prophesying of her glory;
And in her wide imagination stood
Palm-shaded temples, and high rival fanes
By Oxus or in Ganges' sacred isles.
Even as Hope upon her anchor leans,
So leant she, not so fair, upon a tusk
Shed from the broadest of her elephants.
Above her, on a crag's uneasy shelve,
Upon his elbow rais'd, all prostrate else,
Shadow'd Enceladus; once tame and mild
As grazing ox unworried in the meads;
Now tiger-passion'd, lion-thoughted, wroth,
He meditated, plotted, and even now
Was hurling mountains in that second war,
Not long delay'd, that scar'd the younger Gods
To hide themselves in forms of beast and bird.
Not far hence Atlas; and beside him prone
Phorcus, the sire of Gorgons. Neighbour'd close
Oceanus, and Tethys, in whose lap
Sobb'd Clymene among her tangled hair.
In midst of all lay Themis, at the feet
Of Ops the queen; all clouded round from sight,
No shape distinguishable, more than when
Thick night confounds the pine-tops with the clouds:
And many else whose names may not be told.
For when the Muse's wings are air-ward spread,
Who shall delay her flight? And she must chaunt
Of Saturn, and his guide, who now had climb'd
With damp and slippery footing from a depth
More horrid still. Above a sombre cliff
Their heads appear'd, and up their stature grew
Till on the level height their steps found ease:
Then Thea spread abroad her trembling arms
Upon the precincts of this nest of pain,
And sidelong fix'd her eye on Saturn's face:
There saw she direst strife; the supreme God
At war with all the frailty of grief,
Of rage, of fear, anxiety, revenge,
Remorse, spleen, hope, but most of all despair.
Against these plagues he strove in vain; for Fate
Had pour'd a mortal oil upon his head,
A disanointing poison: so that Thea,
Affrighted, kept her still, and let him pass
First onwards in, among the fallen tribe.

 As with us mortal men, the laden heart
Is persecuted more, and fever'd more,
When it is nighing to the mournful house
Where other hearts are sick of the same bruise;
So Saturn, as he walk'd into the midst,
Felt faint, and would have sunk among the rest,
But that he met Enceladus's eye,
Whose mightiness, and awe of him, at once
Came like an inspiration; and he shouted,
"Titans, behold your God!" at which some groan'd;
Some started on their feet; some also shouted;
Some wept, some wail'd, all bow'd with reverence;
And Ops, uplifting her black folded veil,
Show'd her pale cheeks, and all her forehead wan,
Her eye-brows thin and jet, and hollow eyes.
There is a roaring in the bleak-grown pines
When Winter lifts his voice; there is a noise
Among immortals when a God gives sign,
With hushing finger, how he means to load
His tongue with the filll weight of utterless thought,
With thunder, and with music, and with pomp:
Such noise is like the roar of bleak-grown pines;
Which, when it ceases in this mountain'd world,
No other sound succeeds; but ceasing here,
Among these fallen, Saturn's voice therefrom
Grew up like organ, that begins anew
Its strain, when other harmonies, stopt short,
Leave the dinn'd air vibrating silverly.
Thus grew it up---"Not in my own sad breast,
Which is its own great judge and searcher out,
Can I find reason why ye should be thus:
Not in the legends of the first of days,
Studied from that old spirit-leaved book
Which starry Uranus with finger bright
Sav'd from the shores of darkness, when the waves
Low-ebb'd still hid it up in shallow gloom;---
And the which book ye know I ever kept
For my firm-based footstool:---Ah, infirm!
Not there, nor in sign, symbol, or portent
Of element, earth, water, air, and fire,---
At war, at peace, or inter-quarreling
One against one, or two, or three, or all
Each several one against the other three,
As fire with air loud warring when rain-floods
Drown both, and press them both against earth's face,
Where, finding sulphur, a quadruple wrath
Unhinges the poor world;---not in that strife,
Wherefrom I take strange lore, and read it deep,
Can I find reason why ye should be thus:
No, nowhere can unriddle, though I search,
And pore on Nature's universal scroll
Even to swooning, why ye, Divinities,
The first-born of all shap'd and palpable Gods,
Should cower beneath what, in comparison,
Is untremendous might. Yet ye are here,
O'erwhelm'd, and spurn'd, and batter'd, ye are here!
O Titans, shall I say 'Arise!'---Ye groan:
Shall I say 'Crouch!'---Ye groan. What can I then?
O Heaven wide! O unseen parent dear!
What can I? Tell me, all ye brethren Gods,
How we can war, how engine our great wrath!
O speak your counsel now, for Saturn's ear
Is all a-hunger'd. Thou, Oceanus,
Ponderest high and deep; and in thy face
I see, astonied, that severe content
Which comes of thought and musing: give us help!"

 So ended Saturn; and the God of the sea,
Sophist and sage, from no Athenian grove,
But cogitation in his watery shades,
Arose, with locks not oozy, and began,
In murmurs, which his first-endeavouring tongue
Caught infant-like from the far-foamed sands.
"O ye, whom wrath consumes! who, passion-stung,
Writhe at defeat, and nurse your agonies!
Shut up your senses, stifle up your ears,
My voice is not a bellows unto ire.
Yet listen, ye who will, whilst I bring proof
How ye, perforce, must be content to stoop:
And in the proof much comfort will I give,
If ye will take that comfort in its truth.
We fall by course of Nature's law, not force
Of thunder, or of Jove. Great Saturn, thou
Hast sifted well the atom-universe;
But for this reason, that thou art the King,
And only blind from sheer supremacy,
One avenue was shaded from thine eyes,
Through which I wandered to eternal truth.
And first, as thou wast not the first of powers,
So art thou not the last; it cannot be:
Thou art not the beginning nor the end.
From Chaos and parental Darkness came
Light, the first fruits of that intestine broil,
That sullen ferment, which for wondrous ends
Was ripening in itself. The ripe hour came,
And with it Light, and Light, engendering
Upon its own producer, forthwith touch'd
The whole enormous matter into life.
Upon that very hour, our parentage,
The Heavens and the Earth, were manifest:
Then thou first born, and we the giant race,
Found ourselves ruling new and beauteous realms.
Now comes the pain of truth, to whom 'tis pain;
O folly! for to bear all naked truths,
And to envisage circumstance, all calm,
That is the top of sovereignty. Mark well!
As Heaven and Earth are fairer, fairer far
Than Chaos and blank Darkness, though once chiefs;
And as we show beyond that Heaven and Earth
In form and shape compact and beautiful,
In will, in action free, companionship,
And thousand other signs of purer life;
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads,
A power more strong in beauty, born of us
And fated to excel us, as we pass
In glory that old Darkness: nor are we
Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule
Of shapeless Chaos. Say, doth the dull soil
Quarrel with the proud forests it hath fed,
And feedeth still, more comely than itself?
Can it deny the chiefdom of green groves?
Or shall the tree be envious of the dove
Because it cooeth, and hath snowy wings
To wander wherewithal and find its joys?
We are such forest-trees, and our fair boughs
Have bred forth, not pale solitary doves,
But eagles golden-feather'd, who do tower
Above us in their beauty, and must reign
In right thereof; for 'tis the eternal law
That first in beauty should be first in might:
Yea, by that law, another race may drive
Our conquerors to mourn as we do now.
Have ye beheld the young God of the seas,
My dispossessor? Have ye seen his face?
Have ye beheld his chariot, foam'd along
By noble winged creatures he hath made?
I saw him on the calmed waters scud,
With such a glow of beauty in his eyes,
That it enforc'd me to bid sad farewell
To all my empire: farewell sad I took,
And hither came, to see how dolorous fate
Had wrought upon ye; and how I might best
Give consolation in this woe extreme.
Receive the truth, and let it be your balm."

 Whether through pos'd conviction, or disdain,
They guarded silence, when Oceanus
Left murmuring, what deepest thought can tell?
But so it was, none answer'd for a space,
Save one whom none regarded, Clymene;
And yet she answer'd not, only complain'd,
With hectic lips, and eyes up-looking mild,
Thus wording timidly among the fierce:
"O Father! I am here the simplest voice,
And all my knowledge is that joy is gone,
And this thing woe crept in among our hearts,
There to remain for ever, as I fear:
I would not bode of evil, if I thought
So weak a creature could turn off the help
Which by just right should come of mighty Gods;
Yet let me tell my sorrow, let me tell
Of what I heard, and how it made me weep,
And know that we had parted from all hope.
I stood upon a shore, a pleasant shore,
Where a sweet clime was breathed from a land
Of fragrance, quietness, and trees, and flowers.
Full of calm joy it was, as I of grief;
Too full of joy and soft delicious warmth;
So that I felt a movement in my heart
To chide, and to reproach that solitude
With songs of misery, music of our woes;
And sat me down, and took a mouthed shell
And murmur'd into it, and made melody---
O melody no more! for while I sang,
And with poor skill let pass into the breeze
The dull shell's echo, from a bowery strand
Just opposite, an island of the sea,
There came enchantment with the shifting wind,
That did both drown and keep alive my ears.
I threw my shell away upon the sand,
And a wave fill'd it, as my sense was fill'd
With that new blissful golden melody.
A living death was in each gush of sounds,
Each family of rapturous hurried notes,
That fell, one after one, yet all at once,
Like pearl beads dropping sudden from their string:
And then another, then another strain,
Each like a dove leaving its olive perch,
With music wing'd instead of silent plumes,
To hover round my head, and make me sick
Of joy and grief at once. Grief overcame,
And I was stopping up my frantic ears,
When, past all hindrance of my trembling hands,
A voice came sweeter, sweeter than all tune,
And still it cried, 'Apollo! young Apollo!
The morning-bright Apollo! young Apollo!'
I fled, it follow'd me, and cried 'Apollo!'
O Father, and O Brethren, had ye felt
Those pains of mine; O Saturn, hadst thou felt,
Ye would not call this too indulged tongue
Presumptuous, in thus venturing to be heard."

 So far her voice flow'd on, like timorous brook
That, lingering along a pebbled coast,
Doth fear to meet the sea: but sea it met,
And shudder'd; for the overwhelming voice
Of huge Enceladus swallow'd it in wrath:
The ponderous syllables, like sullen waves
In the half-glutted hollows of reef-rocks,
Came booming thus, while still upon his arm
He lean'd; not rising, from supreme contempt.
"Or shall we listen to the over-wise,
Or to the over-foolish, Giant-Gods?
Not thunderbolt on thunderbolt, till all
That rebel Jove's whole armoury were spent,
Not world on world upon these shoulders piled,
Could agonize me more than baby-words
In midst of this dethronement horrible.
Speak! roar! shout! yell! ye sleepy Titans all.
Do ye forget the blows, the buffets vile?
Are ye not smitten by a youngling arm?
Dost thou forget, sham Monarch of the waves,
Thy scalding in the seas? What! have I rous'd
Your spleens with so few simple words as these?
O joy! for now I see ye are not lost:
O joy! for now I see a thousand eyes
Wide-glaring for revenge!"---As this he said,
He lifted up his stature vast, and stood,
Still without intermission speaking thus:
"Now ye are flames, I'll tell you how to burn,
And purge the ether of our enemies;
How to feed fierce the crooked stings of fire,
And singe away the swollen clouds of Jove,
Stifling that puny essence in its tent.
O let him feel the evil he hath done;
For though I scorn Oceanus's lore,
Much pain have I for more than loss of realms:
The days of peace and slumbrous calm are fled;
Those days, all innocent of scathing war,
When all the fair Existences of heaven
Carne open-eyed to guess what we would speak:---
That was before our brows were taught to frown,
Before our lips knew else but solemn sounds;
That was before we knew the winged thing,
Victory, might be lost, or might be won.
And be ye mindful that Hyperion,
Our brightest brother, still is undisgraced---
Hyperion, lo! his radiance is here!"

 All eyes were on Enceladus's face,
And they beheld, while still Hyperion's name
Flew from his lips up to the vaulted rocks,
A pallid gleam across his features stern:
Not savage, for he saw full many a God
Wroth as himself. He look'd upon them all,
And in each face he saw a gleam of light,
But splendider in Saturn's, whose hoar locks
Shone like the bubbling foam about a keel
When the prow sweeps into a midnight cove.
In pale and silver silence they remain'd,
Till suddenly a splendor, like the morn,
Pervaded all the beetling gloomy steeps,
All the sad spaces of oblivion,
And every gulf, and every chasm old,
And every height, and every sullen depth,
Voiceless, or hoarse with loud tormented streams:
And all the everlasting cataracts,
And all the headlong torrents far and near,
Mantled before in darkness and huge shade,
Now saw the light and made it terrible.
It was Hyperion:---a granite peak
His bright feet touch'd, and there he stay'd to view
The misery his brilliance had betray'd
To the most hateful seeing of itself.
Golden his hair of short Numidian curl,
Regal his shape majestic, a vast shade
In midst of his own brightness, like the bulk
Of Memnon's image at the set of sun
To one who travels from the dusking East:
Sighs, too, as mournful as that Memnon's harp
He utter'd, while his hands contemplative
He press'd together, and in silence stood.
Despondence seiz'd again the fallen Gods
At sight of the dejected King of day,
And many hid their faces from the light:
But fierce Enceladus sent forth his eyes
Among the brotherhood; and, at their glare,
Uprose Iapetus, and Creus too,
And Phorcus, sea-born, and together strode
To where he towered on his eminence.
There those four shouted forth old Saturn's name;
Hyperion from the peak loud answered, "Saturn!"
Saturn sat near the Mother of the Gods,
In whose face was no joy, though all the Gods
Gave from their hollow throats the name of "Saturn!"


Thus in altemate uproar and sad peace,
Amazed were those Titans utterly.
O leave them, Muse! O leave them to their woes;
For thou art weak to sing such tumults dire:
A solitary sorrow best befits
Thy lips, and antheming a lonely grief.
Leave them, O Muse! for thou anon wilt find
Many a fallen old Divinity
Wandering in vain about bewildered shores.
Meantime touch piously the Delphic harp,
And not a wind of heaven but will breathe
In aid soft warble from the Dorian flute;
For lo! 'tis for the Father of all verse.
Flush everything that hath a vermeil hue,
Let the rose glow intense and warm the air,
And let the clouds of even and of morn
Float in voluptuous fleeces o'er the hills;
Let the red wine within the goblet boil,
Cold as a bubbling well; let faint-lipp'd shells,
On sands, or in great deeps, vermilion turn
Through all their labyrinths; and let the maid
Blush keenly, as with some warm kiss surpris'd.
Chief isle of the embowered Cyclades,
Rejoice, O Delos, with thine olives green,
And poplars, and lawn-shading palms, and beech,
In which the Zephyr breathes the loudest song,
And hazels thick, dark-stemm'd beneath the shade:
Apollo is once more the golden theme!
Where was he, when the Giant of the sun
Stood bright, amid the sorrow of his peers?
Together had he left his mother fair
And his twin-sister sleeping in their bower,
And in the morning twilight wandered forth
Beside the osiers of a rivulet,
Full ankle-deep in lilies of the vale.
The nightingale had ceas'd, and a few stars
Were lingering in the heavens, while the thrush
Began calm-throated. Throughout all the isle
There was no covert, no retired cave,
Unhaunted by the murmurous noise of waves,
Though scarcely heard in many a green recess.
He listen'd, and he wept, and his bright tears
Went trickling down the golden bow he held.
Thus with half-shut suffused eyes he stood,
While from beneath some cumbrous boughs hard by
With solemn step an awful Goddess came,
And there was purport in her looks for him,
Which he with eager guess began to read
Perplex'd, the while melodiously he said:
"How cam'st thou over the unfooted sea?
Or hath that antique mien and robed form
Mov'd in these vales invisible till now?
Sure I have heard those vestments sweeping o'er
The fallen leaves, when I have sat alone
In cool mid-forest. Surely I have traced
The rustle of those ample skirts about
These grassy solitudes, and seen the flowers
Lift up their heads, as still the whisper pass'd.
Goddess! I have beheld those eyes before,
And their eternal calm, and all that face,
Or I have dream'd."---"Yes," said the supreme shape,
"Thou hast dream'd of me; and awaking up
Didst find a lyre all golden by thy side,
Whose strings touch'd by thy fingers, all the vast
Unwearied ear of the whole universe
Listen'd in pain and pleasure at the birth
Of such new tuneful wonder. Is't not strange
That thou shouldst weep, so gifted? Tell me, youth,
What sorrow thou canst feel; for I am sad
When thou dost shed a tear: explain thy griefs
To one who in this lonely isle hath been
The watcher of thy sleep and hours of life,
From the young day when first thy infant hand
Pluck'd witless the weak flowers, till thine arm
Could bend that bow heroic to all times.
Show thy heart's secret to an ancient Power
Who hath forsaken old and sacred thrones
For prophecies of thee, and for the sake
Of loveliness new born."---Apollo then,
With sudden scrutiny and gloomless eyes,
Thus answer'd, while his white melodious throat
Throbb'd with the syllables.---"Mnemosyne!
Thy name is on my tongue, I know not how;
Why should I tell thee what thou so well seest?
Why should I strive to show what from thy lips
Would come no mystery? For me, dark, dark,
And painful vile oblivion seals my eyes:
I strive to search wherefore I am so sad,
Until a melancholy numbs my limbs;
And then upon the grass I sit, and moan,
Like one who once had wings.---O why should I
Feel curs'd and thwarted, when the liegeless air
Yields to my step aspirant? why should I
Spurn the green turf as hateful to my feet?
Goddess benign, point forth some unknown thing:
Are there not other regions than this isle?
What are the stars? There is the sun, the sun!
And the most patient brilliance of the moon!
And stars by thousands! Point me out the way
To any one particular beauteous star,
And I will flit into it with my lyre,
And make its silvery splendor pant with bliss.
I have heard the cloudy thunder: Where is power?
Whose hand, whose essence, what divinity
Makes this alarum in the elements,
While I here idle listen on the shores
In fearless yet in aching ignorance?
O tell me, lonely Goddess, by thy harp,
That waileth every morn and eventide,
Tell me why thus I rave about these groves!
Mute thou remainest---Mute! yet I can read
A wondrous lesson in thy silent face:
Knowledge enormous makes a God of me.
Names, deeds, gray legends, dire events, rebellions,
Majesties, sovran voices, agonies,
Creations and destroyings, all at once
Pour into the wide hollows of my brain,
And deify me, as if some blithe wine
Or bright elixir peerless I had drunk,
And so become immortal."---Thus the God,
While his enkindled eyes, with level glance
Beneath his white soft temples, steadfast kept
Trembling with light upon Mnemosyne.
Soon wild commotions shook him, and made flush
All the immortal fairness of his limbs;
Most like the struggle at the gate of death;
Or liker still to one who should take leave
Of pale immortal death, and with a pang
As hot as death's is chill, with fierce convulse
Die into life: so young Apollo anguish'd:
His very hair, his golden tresses famed,
Kept undulation round his eager neck.
During the pain Mnemosyne upheld
Her arms as one who prophesied. At length
Apollo shriek'd;---and lo! from all his limbs

by George (Lord) Byron |

The Bride of Abydos

 "Had we never loved so kindly, 
Had we never loved so blindly, 
Never met or never parted, 
We had ne'er been broken-hearted." — Burns 







Know ye the land where cypress and myrtle 
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime, 
Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle, 
Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime? 
Know ye the land of the cedar and vine, 
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine; 
Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume, 
Wax faint o'er the gardens of G?l in her bloom; [1] 
Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, 
And the voice of the nightingale never is mute; 
Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, 
In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, 
And the purple of Ocean is deepest in dye; 
Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, 
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine? 
'Tis the clime of the East; 'tis the land of the Sun — 
Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done? [2] 
Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell 
Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell. 


Begirt with many a gallant slave, 
Apparell'd as becomes the brave, 
Awaiting each his lord's behest 
To guide his steps, or guard his rest, 
Old Giaffir sate in his Divan: 
Deep thought was in his aged eye; 
And though the face of Mussulman 
Not oft betrays to standers by 
The mind within, well skill'd to hide 
All but unconquerable pride, 
His pensive cheek and pondering brow 
Did more than he wont avow. 


"Let the chamber be clear'd." — The train disappear'd — 
"Now call me the chief of the Haram guard." 
With Giaffir is none but his only son, 
And the Nubian awaiting the sire's award. 
"Haroun — when all the crowd that wait 
Are pass'd beyond the outer gate, 
(Woe to the head whose eye beheld 
My child Zuleika's face unveil'd!) 
Hence, lead my daughter from her tower: 
Her fate is fix'd this very hour: 
Yet not to her repeat my thought; 
By me alone be duty taught!" 
"Pacha! to hear is to obey." 
No more must slave to despot say — 
Then to the tower had ta'en his way, 
But here young Selim silence brake, 
First lowly rendering reverence meet! 
And downcast look'd, and gently spake, 
Still standing at the Pacha's feet: 
For son of Moslem must expire, 
Ere dare to sit before his sire! 

"Father! for fear that thou shouldst chide 
My sister, or her sable guide, 
Know — for the fault, if fault there be, 
Was mine — then fall thy frowns on me — 
So lovelily the morning shone, 
That — let the old and weary sleep — 
I could not; and to view alone 
The fairest scenes of land and deep, 
With none to listen and reply 
To thoughts with which my heart beat high 
Were irksome — for whate'er my mood, 
In sooth I love not solitude; 
I on Zuleika's slumber broke, 
And as thou knowest that for me 
Soon turns the Haram's grating key, 
Before the guardian slaves awoke 
We to the cypress groves had flown, 
And made earth, main, and heaven our own! 
There linger'd we, beguil'd too long 
With Mejnoun's tale, or Sadi's song, [3] 
Till I, who heard the deep tambour [4] 
Beat thy Divan's approaching hour, 
To thee, and to my duty true, 
Warn'd by the sound, to greet thee flew: 
But there Zuleika wanders yet — 
Nay, father, rage not — nor forget 
That none can pierce that secret bower 
But those who watch the women's tower." 


"Son of a slave" — the Pacha said — 
"From unbelieving mother bred, 
Vain were a father's hope to see 
Aught that beseems a man in thee. 
Thou, when thine arm should bend the bow, 
And hurl the dart, and curb the steed, 
Thou, Greek in soul if not in creed, 
Must pore where babbling waters flow, 
And watch unfolding roses blow. 
Would that yon orb, whose matin glow 
Thy listless eyes so much admire, 
Would lend thee something of his fire! 
Thou, who wouldst see this battlement 
By Christian cannon piecemeal rent; 
Nay, tamely view old Stamboul's wall 
Before the dogs of Moscow fall, 
Nor strike one stroke for life or death 
Against the curs of Nazareth! 
Go — let thy less than woman's hand 
Assume the distaff — not the brand. 
But, Haroun! — to my daughter speed: 
And hark — of thine own head take heed — 
If thus Zuleika oft takes wing — 
Thou see'st yon bow — it hath a string!" 


No sound from Selim's lip was heard, 
At least that met old Giaffir's ear, 
But every frown and every word 
Pierced keener than a Christian's sword. 
"Son of a slave! — reproach'd with fear! 
Those gibes had cost another dear. 
Son of a slave! and who my sire?" 
Thus held his thoughts their dark career, 
And glances ev'n of more than ire 
Flash forth, then faintly disappear. 
Old Giaffir gazed upon his son 
And started; for within his eye 
He read how much his wrath had done; 
He saw rebellion there begun: 
"Come hither, boy — what, no reply? 
I mark thee — and I know thee too; 
But there be deeds thou dar'st not do: 
But if thy beard had manlier length, 
And if thy hand had skill and strength, 
I'd joy to see thee break a lance, 
Albeit against my own perchance." 

As sneeringly these accents fell, 
On Selim's eye he fiercely gazed: 
That eye return'd him glance for glance, 
And proudly to his sire's was raised, 
Till Giaffir's quail'd and shrunk askance — 
And why — he felt, but durst not tell. 
"Much I misdoubt this wayward boy 
Will one day work me more annoy: 
I never loved him from his birth, 
And — but his arm is little worth, 
And scarcely in the chase could cope 
With timid fawn or antelope, 
Far less would venture into strife 
Where man contends for fame and life — 
I would not trust that look or tone: 
No — nor the blood so near my own. 

That blood — he hath not heard — no more — 
I'll watch him closer than before. 
He is an Arab to my sight, [5] 
Or Christian crouching in the fight — 
But hark! — I hear Zuleika's voice; 
Like Houris' hymn it meets mine ear: 
She is the offspring of my choice; 
Oh! more than ev'n her mother dear, 
With all to hope, and nought to fear — 
My Peri! — ever welcome here! 
Sweet, as the desert fountain's wave, 
To lips just cool'd in time to save — 
Such to my longing sight art thou; 
Nor can they waft to Mecca's shrine 
More thanks for life, than I for thine, 
Who blest thy birth, and bless thee now." 


Fair, as the first that fell of womankind, 
When on that dread yet lovely serpent smiling, 
Whose image then was stamp'd upon her mind — 
But once beguiled — and evermore beguiling; 
Dazzling, as that, oh! too transcendent vision 
To Sorrow's phantom-peopled slumber given, 
When heart meets heart again in dreams Elysian, 
And paints the lost on Earth revived in Heaven; 
Soft, as the memory of buried love; 
Pure as the prayer which Childhood wafts above, 
Was she — the daughter of that rude old Chief, 
Who met the maid with tears — but not of grief. 

Who hath not proved how feebly words essay 
To fix one spark of Beauty's heavenly ray? 
Who doth not feel, until his failing sight 
Faints into dimness with its own delight, 
His changing cheek, his sinking heart confess 
The might — the majesty of Loveliness? 
Such was Zuleika — such around her shone 
The nameless charms unmark'd by her alone; 
The light of love, the purity of grace, 
The mind, the Music breathing from her face, [6] 
The heart whose softness harmonised the whole — 
And, oh! that eye was in itself a Soul! 

Her graceful arms in meekness bending 
Across her gently-budding breast; 
At one kind word those arms extending 
To clasp the neck of him who blest 
His child caressing and carest, 
Zuleika came — Giaffir felt 
His purpose half within him melt; 
Not that against her fancied weal 
His heart though stern could ever feel; 
Affection chain'd her to that heart; 
Ambition tore the links apart. 


"Zuleika! child of gentleness! 
How dear this very day must tell, 
When I forget my own distress, 
In losing what I love so well, 
To bid thee with another dwell: 
Another! and a braver man 
Was never seen in battle's van. 
We Moslems reck not much of blood; 
But yet the line of Carasman [7] 
Unchanged, unchangeable, hath stood 
First of the bold Timariot bands 
That won and well can keep their lands. 
Enough that he who comes to woo 
Is kinsman of the Bey Oglou: 
His years need scarce a thought employ: 
I would not have thee wed a boy. 
And thou shalt have a noble dower: 
And his and my united power 
Will laugh to scorn the death-firman, 
Which others tremble but to scan, 
And teach the messenger what fate 
The bearer of such boon may wait, [8] 
And now thy know'st thy father's will; 
All that thy sex hath need to know: 
'Twas mine to teach obedience still — 
The way to love, thy lord may show." 


In silence bow'd the virgin's head; 
And if her eye was fill'd with tears 
That stifled feeling dare not shed, 
And changed her cheek to pale to red, 
And red to pale, as through her ears 
Those winged words like arrows sped, 
What could such be but maiden fears? 
So bright the tear in Beauty's eye, 
Love half regrets to kiss it dry; 
So sweet the blush of Bashfulness, 
Even Pity scarce can wish it less! 

Whate'er it was the sire forgot; 
Or if remember'd, mark'd it not; 
Thrice clapp'd his hands, and call'd his steed, [9] 
Resign'd his gem-adorn'd chibouque, [10] 
And mounting featly for the mead, 
With Maugrabee [11] and Mamaluke, 
His way amid his Delis took, [12] 
To witness many an active deed 
With sabre keen, or blunt jerreed. 
The Kislar only and his Moors 
Watch well the Haram's massy doors. 


His head was leant upon his hand, 
His eye look'd o'er the dark blue water 
That swiftly glides and gently swells 
Between the winding Dardanelles; 
But yet he saw nor sea nor strand, 
Nor even his Pacha's turban'd band 
Mix in the game of mimic slaughter, 
Careering cleave the folded felt [13] 
With sabre stroke right sharply dealt; 
Nor mark'd the javelin-darting crowd, 
Nor heard their Ollahs wild and loud [14] — 
He thought but of old Giaffir's daughter! 


No word from Selim's bosom broke; 
One sigh Zuleika's thought bespoke: 
Still gazed he through the lattice grate, 
Pale, mute, and mournfully sedate. 
To him Zuleika's eye was turn'd, 
But little from his aspect learn'd; 
Equal her grief, yet not the same: 
Her heart confess'd a gentler flame: 
But yet that heart, alarm'd, or weak, 
She knew not why, forbade to speak. 
Yet speak she must — but when essay? 
"How strange he thus should turn away! 
Not thus we e'er before have met; 
Not thus shall be our parting yet." 
Thrice paced she slowly through the room, 
And watched his eye — it still was fix'd: 
She snatch'd the urn wherein was mix'd 
The Persian Atar-g?l's perfume, [15] 
And sprinkled all its odours o'er 
The pictured roof and marble floor: [16] 
The drops, that through his glittering vest 
The playful girl's appeal address'd, 
Unheeded o'er his bosom flew, 
As if that breast were marble too. 
"What sullen yet? it must not be — 
Oh! gentle Selim, this from thee!" 
She saw in curious order set 
The fairest flowers of Eastern land — 
"He loved them once; may touch them yet 
If offer'd by Zuleika's hand." 
The childish thought was hardly breathed 
Before the Rose was pluck'd and wreathed; 
The next fond moment saw her seat 
Her fairy form at Selim's feet: 
"This rose to calm my brother's cares 
A message from the Bulbul bears; [17] 
It says to-night he will prolong 
For Selim's ear his sweetest song; 
And though his note is somewhat sad, 
He'll try for once a strain more glad, 
With some faint hope his alter'd lay 
May sing these gloomy thoughts away. 


"What! not receive my foolish flower? 
Nay then I am indeed unblest: 
On me can thus thy forehead lower? 
And know'st thou not who loves thee best? 
Oh, Selim dear! oh, more than dearest! 
Say is it me thou hat'st or fearest? 
Come, lay thy head upon my breast, 
And I will kiss thee into rest, 
Since words of mine, and songs must fail 
Ev'n from my fabled nightingale. 
I knew our sire at times was stern, 
But this from thee had yet to learn: 
Too well I know he loves thee not; 
But is Zuleika's love forgot? 
Ah! deem I right? the Pacha's plan — 
This kinsman Bey of Carasman 
Perhaps may prove some foe of thine: 
If so, I swear by Mecca's shrine, 
If shrines that ne'er approach allow 
To woman's step admit her vow, 
Without thy free consent, command, 
The Sultan should not have my hand! 
Think'st though that I could bear to part 
With thee, and learn to halve my heart? 
Ah! were I sever'd from thy side, 
Where were thy friend — and who my guide? 
Years have not seen, Time shall not see 
The hour that tears my soul from thee: 
Even Azrael, [18] from his deadly quiver 
When flies that shaft, and fly it must, 
That parts all else, shall doom for ever 
Our hearts to undivided dust!" 


He lived — he breathed — he moved — he felt; 
He raised the maid from where she knelt; 
His trance was gone — his keen eye shone 
With thoughts that long in darkness dwelt; 
With thoughts that burn — in rays that melt. 
As the streams late conceal'd 
By the fringe of its willows, 
When it rushes reveal'd 
In the light of its billows; 
As the bolt bursts on high 
From the black cloud that bound it, 
Flash'd the soul of that eye 
Through the long lashes round it. 
A war-horse at the trumpet's sound, 
A lion roused by heedless hound, 
A tyrant waked to sudden strife 
By graze of ill-directed knife, 
Starts not to more convulsive life 
Than he, who heard that vow, display'd, 
And all, before repress'd, betray'd: 

"Now thou art mine, for ever mine, 
With life to keep, and scarce with life resign; 
Now thou art mine, that sacred oath, 
Though sworn by one, hath bound us both. 
Yes, fondly, wisely hast thou done; 
That vow hath saved more heads than one: 
But blench not thou — thy simplest tress 
Claims more from me than tenderness; 
I would not wrong the slenderest hair 
That clusters round thy forehead fair, 
For all the treasures buried far 
Within the caves of Istakar. [19] 
This morning clouds upon me lower'd, 
Reproaches on my head were shower'd, 
And Giaffir almost call'd me coward! 
Now I have motive to be brave; 
The son of his neglected slave — 
Nay, start not, 'twas the term he gave — 
May shew, though little apt to vaunt, 
A heart his words nor deeds can daunt. 
His son, indeed! — yet, thanks to thee, 
Perchance I am, at least shall be! 
But let our plighted secret vow 
Be only known to us as now. 
I know the wretch who dares demand 
From Giaffir thy reluctant hand; 
More ill-got wealth, a meaner soul 
Holds not a Musselim's control: [20] 
Was he not bred in Egripo? [21] 
A viler race let Israel show! 
But let that pass — to none be told 
Our oath; the rest let time unfold. 
To me and mine leave Osman Bey; 
I've partisans for peril's day: 
Think not I am what I appear; 
I've arms, and friends, and vengeance near." 


"Think not thou art what thou appearest! 
My Selim, thou art sadly changed: 
This morn I saw thee gentlest, dearest: 
But now thou'rt from thyself estranged. 
My love thou surely knew'st before, 
It ne'er was less, nor can be more. 
To see thee, hear thee, near thee stay, 
And hate the night, I know not why, 
Save that we meet not but by day; 
With thee to live, with thee to die, 
I dare not to my hope deny: 
Thy cheek, thine eyes, thy lips to kiss, 
Like this — and this — no more than this; 
For, Allah! Sure thy lips are flame: 
What fever in thy veins is flushing? 
My own have nearly caught the same, 
At least I feel my cheek too blushing. 
To soothe thy sickness, watch thy health, 
Partake, but never waste thy wealth, 
Or stand with smiles unmurmuring by, 
And lighten half thy poverty; 
Do all but close thy dying eye, 
For that I could not live to try; 
To these alone my thoughts aspire: 
More can I do? or thou require? 
But, Selim, thou must answer why 
We need so much of mystery? 
The cause I cannot dream nor tell, 
But be it, since thou say'st 'tis well; 
Yet what thou mean'st by 'arms' and 'friends,' 
Beyond my weaker sense extends. 
I mean that Giaffir should have heard 
The very vow I plighted thee; 
His wrath would not revoke my word: 
But surely he would leave me free. 
Can this fond wish seem strange in me, 
To be what I have ever been? 
What other hath Zuleika seen 
From simple childhood's earliest hour? 
What other can she seek to see 
Than thee, companion of her bower, 
The partner of her infancy? 
These cherish'd thoughts with life begun, 
Say, why must I no more avow? 
What change is wrought to make me shun 
The truth; my pride, and thine till now? 
To meet the gaze of stranger's eyes 
Our law, our creed, our God denies, 
Nor shall one wandering thought of mine 
At such, our Prophet's will, repine: 
No! happier made by that decree! 
He left me all in leaving thee. 
Deep were my anguish, thus compell'd 
To wed with one I ne'er beheld: 
This wherefore should I not reveal? 
Why wilt thou urge me to conceal! 
I know the Pacha's haughty mood 
To thee hath never boded good: 
And he so often storms at naught, 
Allah! forbid that e'er he ought! 
And why I know not, but within 
My heart concealment weighs like sin. 
If then such secresy be crime, 
And such it feels while lurking here, 
Oh, Selim! tell me yet in time, 
Nor leave me thus to thoughts of fear. 
Ah! yonder see the Tchocadar, [22] 
My father leaves the mimic war: 
I tremble now to meet his eye — 
Say, Selim, canst thou tell me why?" 


"Zuleika — to thy tower's retreat 
Betake thee — Giaffir I can greet: 
And now with him I fain must prate 
Of firmans, imposts, levies, state. 
There's fearful news from Danube's banks, 
Our Vizier nobly thins his ranks, 
For which the Giaour may give him thanks! 
Our sultan hath a shorter way 
Such costly triumph to repay. 
But, mark me, when the twilight drum 
Hath warn'd the troops to food and sleep, 
Unto thy cell will Selim come: 
Then softly from the Haram creep 
Where we may wander by the deep: 
Our garden-battlements are steep; 
Nor these will rash intruder climb 
To list our words, or stint our time; 
And if he doth, I want not steel 
Which some have felt, and more may feel. 
Then shalt thou learn of Selim more 
Than thou hast heard or thought before: 
Trust me, Zuleika — fear not me! 
Thou know'st I hold a Haram key." 

"Fear thee, my Selim! ne'er till now 
Did word like this — " 
"Delay not thou; 
I keep the key — and Haroun's guard 
Have some, and hope of more reward. 
Tonight, Zuleika, thou shalt hear 
My tale, my purpose, and my fear: 
I am not, love! what I appear." 




The winds are high on Helle's wave, 
As on that night of stormy water, 
When Love, who sent, forgot to save 
The young, the beautiful, the brave, 
The lonely hope of Sestos' daughter. 
Oh! when alone along the sky 
Her turret-torch was blazing high, 
Though rising gale, and breaking foam, 
And shrieking sea-birds warn'd him home; 
And clouds aloft and tides below, 
With signs and sounds, forbade to go, 
He could not see, he would not hear, 
Or sound or sign foreboding fear; 
His eye but saw the light of love, 
The only star it hail'd above; 
His ear but rang with Hero's song, 
"Ye waves, divide not lovers long!" — 
That tale is old, but love anew 
May nerve young hearts to prove as true. 


The winds are high, and Helle's tide 
Rolls darkly heaving to the main; 
And Night's descending shadows hide 
That field with blood bedew'd in vain, 
The desert of old Priam's pride; 
The tombs, sole relics of his reign, 
All — save immortal dreams that could beguile 
The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle! 


Oh! yet — for there my steps have been! 
These feet have press'd the sacred shore, 
These limbs that buoyant wave hath borne — 
Minstrel! with thee to muse, to mourn, 
To trace again those fields of yore, 
Believing every hillock green 
Contains no fabled hero's ashes, 
And that around the undoubted scene 
Thine own "broad Hellespont" still dashes, [23] 
Be long my lot! and cold were he 
Who there could gaze denying thee! 


The night hath closed on Helle's stream, 
Nor yet hath risen on Ida's hill 
That moon, which shoon on his high theme: 
No warrior chides her peaceful beam, 
But conscious shepherds bless it still. 
Their flocks are grazing on the mound 
Of him who felt the Dardan's arrow; 
That mighty heap of gather'd ground 
Which Ammon's son ran proudly round, [24] 
By nations raised, by monarchs crown'd, 
Is now a lone and nameless barrow! 
Within — thy dwelling-place how narrow? 
Without — can only strangers breathe 
The name of him that was beneath: 
Dust long outlasts the storied stone; 
But Thou — thy very dust is gone! 


Late, late to-night will Dian cheer 
The swain, and chase the boatman's fear; 
Till then — no beacon on the cliff 
May shape the course of struggling skiff; 
The scatter'd lights that skirt the bay, 
All, one by one, have died away; 
The only lamp of this lone hour 
Is glimmering in Zuleika's tower. 
Yes! there is light in that lone chamber, 
And o'er her silken Ottoman 
Are thrown the fragrant beads of amber, 
O'er which her fairy fingers ran; [25] 
Near these, with emerald rays beset, 
(How could she thus that gem forget?) 
Her mother's sainted amulet, [26] 
Whereon engraved the Koorsee text, 
Could smooth this life, and win the next; 
And by her Comboloio lies [27] 
A Koran of illumined dyes; 
And many a bright emblazon'd rhyme 
By Persian scribes redeem'd from time; 
And o'er those scrolls, not oft so mute, 
Reclines her now neglected lute; 
And round her lamp of fretted gold 
Bloom flowers in urns of China's mould; 
The richest work of Iran's loom, 
And Sheeraz' tribute of perfume; 
All that can eye or sense delight 
Are gather'd in that gorgeous room: 
But yet it hath an air of gloom. 
She, of this Peri cell the sprite, 
What doth she hence, and on so rude a night? 


Wrapt in the darkest sable vest, 
Which none save noblest Moslems wear, 
To guard from winds of heaven the breast 
As heaven itself to Selim dear, 
With cautious steps the thicket threading, 
And starting oft, as through the glade 
The gust its hollow moanings made; 
Till on the smoother pathway treading, 
More free her timid bosom beat, 
The maid pursued her silent guide; 
And though her terror urged retreat, 
How could she quit her Selim's side? 
How teach her tender lips to chide? 


They reach'd at length a grotto, hewn 
By nature, but enlarged by art, 
Where oft her lute she wont to tune, 
And oft her Koran conn'd apart: 
And oft in youthful reverie 
She dream'd what Paradise might be; 
Where woman's parted soul shall go 
Her Prophet had disdain'd to show; 
But Selim's mansion was secure, 
Nor deem'd she, could he long endure 
His bower in other worlds of bliss, 
Without her, most beloved in this! 
Oh! who so dear with him could dwell? 
What Houri soothe him half so well? 


Since last she visited the spot 
Some change seem'd wrought within the grot; 
It might be only that the night 
Disguised things seen by better light: 
That brazen lamp but dimly threw 
A ray of no celestial hue: 
But in a nook within the cell 
Her eye on stranger objects fell. 
There arms were piled, not such as wield 
The turban'd Delis in the field; 
But brands of foreign blade and hilt, 
And one was red — perchance with guilt! 
Ah! how without can blood be spilt? 
A cup too on the board was set 
That did not seem to hold sherbet. 
What may this mean? she turn'd to see 
Her Selim — "Oh! can this be he?" 


His robe of pride was thrown aside, 
His brow no high-crown'd turban bore 
But in its stead a shawl of red, 
Wreathed lightly round, his temples wore: 
That dagger, on whose hilt the gem 
Were worthy of a diadem, 
No longer glitter'd at his waist, 
Where pistols unadorn'd were braced; 
And from his belt a sabre swung, 
And from his shoulder loosely hung 
The cloak of white, the thin capote 
That decks the wandering Candiote: 
Beneath — his golden plated vest 
Clung like a cuirass to his breast 
The greaves below his knee that wound 
With silvery scales were sheathed and bound. 
But were it not that high command 
Spake in his eye, and tone, and hand, 
All that a careless eye could see 
In him was some young Galiong?e. [28] 


"I said I was not what I seem'd; 
And now thou see'st my words were true: 
I have a tale thou hast not dream'd, 
If sooth — its truth must others rue. 
My story now 'twere vain to hide, 
I must not see thee Osman's bride: 
But had not thine own lips declared 
How much of that young heart I shared, 
I could not, must not, yet have shown 
The darker secret of my own. 
In this I speak not now of love; 
That, let time, truth, and peril prove: 
But first — oh! never wed another — 
Zuleika! I am not thy brother!" 


"Oh! not my brother! — yet unsay — 
God! am I left alone on earth 
To mourn — I dare not curse the day 
That saw my solitary birth? 
Oh! thou wilt love me now no more! 
My sinking heart foreboded ill; 
But know me all I was before, 
Thy sister — friend — Zuleika still. 
Thou ledd'st me hear perchance to kill; 
If thou hast cause for vengeance see 
My breast is offer'd — take thy fill! 
Far better with the dead to be 
Than live thus nothing now to thee; 
Perhaps far worse, for now I know 
Why Giaffir always seem'd thy foe; 
And I, alas! am Giaffir's child, 
Form whom thou wert contemn'd, reviled. 
If not thy sister — wouldst thou save 
My life, oh! bid me be thy slave!" 


"My slave, Zuleika! — nay, I'm thine; 
But, gentle love, this transport calm, 
Thy lot shall yet be link'd with mine; 
I swear it by our Prophet's shrine, 
And be that thought thy sorrow's balm. 
So may the Koran verse display'd [29] 
Upon its steel direct my blade, 
In danger's hour to guard us both, 
As I preserve that awful oath! 
The name in which thy heart hath prided 
Must change; but, my Zuleika, know, 
That tie is widen'd, not divided, 
Although thy Sire's my deadliest foe. 
My father was to Giaffir all 
That Selim late was deem'd to thee; 
That brother wrought a brother's fall, 
But spared, at least, my infancy; 
And lull'd me with a vain deceit 
That yet a like return may meet. 
He rear'd me, not with tender help, 
But like the nephew of a Cain; [30] 
He watch'd me like a lion's whelp, 
That gnaws and yet may break his chain. 
My father's blood in every vein 
Is boiling; but for thy dear sake 
No present vengeance will I take; 
Though here I must no more remain. 
But first, beloved Zuleika! hear 
How Giaffir wrought this deed of fear. 


"How first their strife to rancour grew, 
If love or envy made them foes, 
It matters little if I knew; 
In fiery spirits, slights, though few 
And thoughtless, will disturb repose. 
In war Abdallah's arm was strong, 
Remember'd yet in Bosniac song, 
And Paswan's rebel hordes attest [31] 
How little love they bore such guest: 
His death is all I need relate, 
The stern effect of Giaffir's hate; 
And how my birth disclosed to me, 
Whate'er beside it makes, hath made me free. 


"When Paswan, after years of strife, 
At last for power, but first for life, 
In Widdin's walls too proudly sate, 
Our Pachas rallied round the state; 
Nor last nor least in high command, 
Each brother led a separate band; 
They gave their horse-tails to the wind, [32] 
And mustering in Sophia's plain 
Their tents were pitch'd, their posts assign'd; 
To one, alas! assign'd in vain! 
What need of words? the deadly bowl, 
By Giaffir's order drugg'd and given, 
With venom subtle as his soul, 
Dismiss'd Abdallah's hence to heaven. 
Reclined and feverish in the bath, 
He, when the hunter's sport was up, 
But little deem'd a brother's wrath 
To quench his thirst had such a cup: 
The bowl a bribed attendant bore; 
He drank one draught, and nor needed more! [33] 
If thou my tale, Zuleika, doubt, 
Call Haroun — he can tell it out. 


"The deed once done, and Paswan's feud 
In part suppress'd, though ne'er subdued, 
Abdallah's Pachalic was gain'd: — 
Thou know'st not what in our Divan 
Can wealth procure for worse than man — 
Abdallah's honours were obtain'd 
By him a brother's murder stain'd; 
'Tis true, the purchase nearly drain'd 
His ill got treasure, soon replaced. 
Wouldst question whence? Survey the waste, 
And ask the squalid peasant how 
His gains repay his broiling brow! — 
Why me the stern usurper spared, 
Why thus with me the palace shared, 
I know not. Shame, regret, remorse, 
And little fear from infant's force; 
Besides, adoption of a son 
Of him whom Heaven accorded none, 
Or some unknown cabal, caprice, 
Preserved me thus; but not in peace; 
He cannot curb his haughty mood, 
Nor I forgive a father's blood! 


"Within thy father's house are foes; 
Not all who break his bread are true: 
To these should I my birth disclose, 
His days, his very hours, were few: 
They only want a heart to lead, 
A hand to point them to the deed. 
But Haroun only knows — or knew — 
This tale, whose close is almost nigh: 
He in Abdallah's palace grew, 
And held that post in his Serai 
Which holds he here — he saw him die: 
But what could single slavery do? 
Avenge his lord? alas! too late; 
Or save his son from such a fate? 
He chose the last, and when elate 
With foes subdued, or friends betray'd, 
Proud Giaffir in high triumph sate, 
He led me helpless to his gate, 
And not in vain it seems essay'd 
To save the life for which he pray'd. 
The knowledge of my birth secured 
From all and each, but most from me; 
Thus Giaffir's safety was insured. 
Removed he too from Roumelie 
To this our Asiatic side, 
Far from our seat by Danube's tide, 
With none but Haroun, who retains 
Such knowledge — and that Nubian feels 
A tyrant's secrets are but chains, 
From which the captive gladly steals, 
And this and more to me reveals: 
Such still to guilt just Allah sends — 
Slaves, tools, accomplices — no friends! 


"All this, Zuleika, harshly sounds; 
But harsher still my tale must be: 
Howe'er my tongue thy softness wounds, 
Yet I must prove all truth to thee. 
I saw thee start this garb to see, 
Yet is it one I oft have worn, 
And long must wear: this Galiong?e, 
To whom thy plighted vow is sworn, 
Is leader of those pirate hordes, 
Whose laws and lives are on their swords; 
To hear whose desolating tale 
Would make thy waning cheek more pale: 
Those arms thou see'st my band have brought, 
The hands that wield are not remote; 
This cup too for the rugged knaves 
Is fill'd — once quaff'd, they ne'er repine: 
Our Prophet might forgive the slaves; 
They're only infidels in wine! 


"What could I be? Proscribed at home, 
And taunted to a wish to roam; 
And listless left — for Giaffir's fear 
Denied the courser and the spear — 
Though oft — oh, Mohammed! how oft! — 
In full Divan the despot scoff'd, 
As if my weak unwilling hand 
Refused the bridle or the brand: 
He ever went to war alone, 
And pent me here untried — unknown; 
To Haroun's care with women left, 
By hope unblest, of fame bereft. 
While thou — whose softness long endear'd, 
Though it unmann'd me, still had cheer'd — 
To Brusa's walls for safety sent, 
Awaited'st there the field's event. 
Haroun, who saw my spirit pining 
Beneath inaction's sluggish yoke, 
His captive, though with dread, resigning, 
My thraldom for a season broke, 
On promise to return before 
The day when Giaffir's charge was o'er. 
'Tis vain — my tongue can not impart 
My almost drunkenness of heart, 
When first this liberated eye 
Survey'd Earth, Ocean, Sun and Sky, 
As if my spirit pierced them through, 
And all their inmost wonders knew! 
One word alone can paint to thee 
That more than feeling — I was Free! 
Ev'n for thy presence ceased to pine; 
The World — nay — Heaven itself was mine! 


"The shallop of a trusty Moor 
Convey'd me from this idle shore; 
I long'd to see the isles that gem 
Old Ocean's purple diadem: 
I sought by turns, and saw them all: [34] 
But when and where I join'd the crew, 
With whom I'm pledged to rise or fall, 
When all that we design to do 
Is done, 'twill then be time more meet 
To tell thee, when the tale's complete. 


"'Tis true, they are a lawless brood, 
But rough in form, nor mild in mood; 
With them hath found — may find — a place: 
But open speech, and ready hand, 
Obedience to their chief's command; 
A soul for every enterprise, 
That never sees with terror's eyes; 
Friendship for each, and faith to all, 
And vengeance vow'd for those who fall, 
Have made them fitting instruments 
For more than ev'n my own intents. 
And some — and I have studied all 
Distinguish'd from the vulgar rank, 
But chiefly to my council call 
The wisdom of the cautious Frank — 
And some to higher thoughts aspire, 
The last of Lambro's patriots there [35] 
Anticipated freedom share; 
And oft around the cavern fire 
On visionary schemes debate, 
To snatch the Rayahs from their fate. [36] 
So let them ease their hearts with prate 
Of equal rights, which man ne'er knew; 
I have a love of freedom too. 
Ay! let me like the ocean-Patriarch roam, [37] 
Or only known on land the Tartar's home! [38] 
My tent on shore, my galley on the sea, 
Are more than cities and Serais to me: 
Borne by my steed, or wafted by my sail, 
Across the desert, or before the gale, 
Bound where thou wilt, my barb! or glide, my prow! 
But be the star that guides the wanderer, Thou! 
Thou, my Zuleika! share and bless my bark; 
The Dove of peace and promise to mine ark! 
Or, since that hope denied in worlds of strife, 
Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life! 
The evening beam that smiles the cloud away, 
And tints to-morrow with prophetic ray! 
Blest — as the Muezzin's strain from Mecca's wall 
To pilgrims pure and prostrate at his call; 
Soft — as the melody of youthful days, 
That steals the trembling tear of speechless praise; 
Dear — as his native song to exile's ears, 
Shall sound each tone thy long-loved voice endears. 
For thee in those bright isles is built a bower 
Blooming as Aden in its earliest hour. [39] 
A thousand swords, with Selim's heart and hand, 
Wait — wave — defend — destroy — at thy command! 
Girt by my band, Zuleika at my side, 
The spoil of nations shall bedeck my bride. 
The Haram's languid years of listless ease 
Are well resign'd for cares — for joys like these: 
Not blind to fate, I see, where'er I rove, 
Unnumber'd perils — but one only love! 
Yet well my toils shall that fond beast repay, 
Though fortune frown or falser friends betray. 
How dear the dream in darkest hours of ill, 
Should all be changed, to find thee faithful still! 
Be but thy soul, like Selim's, firmly shown; 
To thee be Selim's tender as thine own; 
To soothe each sorrow, share in each delight, 
Blend every thought, do all — but disunite! 
Once free, 'tis mine our horde again to guide; 
Friends to each other, foes to aught beside: 
Yet there we follow but the bent assign'd 
By fatal Nature to man's warring kind: 
Mark! where his carnage and his conquests cease! 
He makes a solitude, and calls it — peace! 
I like the rest must use my skill or strength, 
But ask no land beyond my sabre's length: 
Power sways but by division — her resource 
The blest alternative of fraud or force! 
Ours be the last; in time deceit may come 
When cities cage us in a social home: 
There ev'n thy soul might err — how oft the heart 
Corruption shakes which peril could not part! 
And woman, more than man, when death or woe, 
Or even disgrace, would lay her lover low, 
Sunk in the lap of luxury will shame — 
Away suspicion! — not Zuleika's name! 
But life is hazard at the best; and here 
No more remains to win, and much to fear: 
Yes, fear! — the doubt, the dread of losing thee, 
By Osman's power, and Giaffir's stern decree. 
That dread shall vanish with the favouring gale, 
Which Love to-night hath promised to my sail: 
No danger daunts the pair his smile hath blest, 
Their steps till roving, but their hearts at rest. 
With thee all toils are sweet, each clime hath charms; 
Earth — sea alike — our world within our arms! 
Ay — let the loud winds whistle o'er the deck, 
So that those arms cling closer round my neck: 
The deepest murmur of this lip shall be 
No sigh for safety, but a prayer for thee! 
The war of elements no fears impart 
To Love, whose deadliest bane is human Art: 
There lie the only rocks our course can check; 
Here moments menace — there are years of wreck! 
But hence ye thoughts that rise in Horror's shape! 
This hour bestows, or ever bars escape. 
Few words remain of mine my tale to close: 
Of thine but one to waft us from our foes; 
Yea — foes — to me will Giaffir's hate decline? 
And is not Osman, who would part us, thine? 


"His head and faith from doubt and death 
Return'd in time my guard to save; 
Few heard, none told, that o'er the wave 
From isle to isle I roved the while: 
And since, though parted from my band 
Too seldom now I leave the land, 
No deed they've done, nor deed shall do, 
Ere I have heard and doom'd it too: 
I form the plan, decree the spoil, 
'Tis fit I oftener share the toil. 
But now too long I've held thine ear; 
Time presses, floats my bark, and here 
We leave behind but hate and fear. 
To-morrow Osman with his train 
Arrives — to-night must break thy chain: 
And wouldst thou save that haughty Bey, 
Perchance, his life who gave the thine, 
With me this hour away — away! 
But yet, though thou art plighted mine, 
Wouldst thou recall thy willing vow, 
Appall'd by truth imparted now, 
Here rest I — not to see thee wed: 
But be that peril on my head!" 


Zuleika, mute and motionless, 
Stood like that statue of distress, 
When, her last hope for ever gone, 
The mother harden'd into stone; 
All in the maid that eye could see 
Was but a younger Niob?. 
But ere her lip, or even her eye, 
Essay'd to speak, or look reply, 
Beneath the garden's wicket porch 
Far flash'd on high a blazing torch! 
Another — and another — and another — 
"Oh! — no more — yet now my more than brother!" 
Far, wide, through every thicket spread, 
The fearful lights are gleaming red; 
Nor these alone — for each right hand 
Is ready with a sheathless brand. 
They part, pursue, return, and wheel 
With searching flambeau, shining steel; 
And last of all, his sabre waving, 
Stern Giaffir in his fury raving: 
And now almost they touch the cave — 
Oh! must that grot be Selim's grave? 


Dauntless he stood — "'Tis come — soon past — 
One kiss, Zuleika — 'tis my last: 
But yet my band not far from shore 
May hear this signal, see the flash; 
Yet now too few — the attempt were rash: 
No matter — yet one effort more." 
Forth to the cavern mouth he stept; 
His pistol's echo rang on high, 
Zuleika started not nor wept, 
Despair benumb'd her breast and eye! — 
"They hear me not, or if they ply 
Their oars, 'tis but to see me die; 
That sound hath drawn my foes more nigh. 
Then forth my father's scimitar, 
Thou ne'er hast seen less equal war! 
Farewell, Zuleika! — Sweet! retire: 
Yet stay within — here linger safe, 
At thee his rage will only chafe. 
Stir not — lest even to thee perchance 
Some erring blade or ball should glance. 
Fear'st though for him? — may I expire 
If in this strife I seek thy sire! 
No — though by him that poison pour'd: 
No — though again he call me coward! 
But tamely shall I meet their steel? 
No — as each crest save his may feel!" 


One bound he made, and gain'd the sand: 
Already at his feet hath sunk 
The foremost of the prying band, 
A gasping head, a quivering trunk: 
Another falls — but round him close 
A swarming circle of his foes; 
From right to left his path he cleft, 
And almost met the meeting wave: 
His boat appears — not five oars' length — 
His comrades strain with desperate strength — 
Oh! are they yet in time to save? 
His feet the foremost breakers lave; 
His band are plunging in the bay, 
Their sabres glitter through the spray; 
We — wild — unwearied to the strand 
They struggle — now they touch the land! 
They come — 'tis but to add to slaughter — 
His heart's best blood is on the water! 


Escaped from shot, unharm'd by steel, 
Or scarcely grazed its force to feel, 
Had Selim won, betray'd, beset, 
To where the strand and billows met: 
There as his last step left the land, 
And the last death-blow dealt his hand — 
Ah! wherefore did he turn to look 
For her his eye but sought in vain? 
That pause, that fatal gaze he took, 
Hath doom'd his death, or fix'd his chain. 
Sad proof, in peril and in pain, 
How late will Lover's hope remain! 
His back was to the dashing spray; 
Behind, but close, his comrades lay 
When, at the instant, hiss'd the ball — 
"So may the foes of Giaffir fall!" 
Whose voice is heard? whose carbine rang? 
Whose bullet through the night-air sang, 
Too nearly, deadly aim'd to err? 
'Tis thine — Abdallah's Murderer! 
The father slowly rued thy hate, 
The son hath found a quicker fate: 
Fast from his breast the blood is bubbling, 
The whiteness of the sea-foam troubling — 
If aught his lips essay'd to groan, 
The rushing billows choked the tone! 


Morn slowly rolls the clouds away; 
Few trophies of the fight are there: 
The shouts that shook the midnight-bay 
Are silent; but some signs of fray 
That strand of strife may bear, 
And fragments of each shiver'd brand; 
Steps stamp'd; and dash'd into the sand 
The print of many a struggling hand 
May there be mark'd; nor far remote 
A broken torch, an oarless boat; 
And tangled on the weeds that heap 
The beach where shelving to the deep 
There lies a white capote! 
'Tis rent in twain — one dark-red stain 
The wave yet ripples o'er in vain: 
But where is he who wore? 
Ye! who would o'er his relics weep, 
Go, seek them where the surges sweep 
Their burthen round Sig?um's steep, 
And cast on Lemnos' shore: 
The sea-birds shriek above the prey, 
O'er which their hungry beaks delay, 
As shaken on his restless pillow, 
His head heaves with the heaving billow; 
That hand, whose motion is not life, 
Yet feebly seems to menace strife, 
Flung by the tossing tide on high, 
Then levell'd with the wave — 
What recks it, though that corse shall lie 
Within a living grave? 
The bird that tears that prostrate form 
Hath only robb'd the meaner worm: 
The only heart, the only eye 
Had bled or wept to see him die, 
Had seen those scatter'd limbs composed, 
And mourn'd above his turban-stone, [40] 
That heart hath burst — that eye was closed — 
Yea — closed before his own! 


By Helle's stream there is a voice of wail! 
And woman's eye is wet — man's cheek is pale: 
Zuleika! last of Giaffir's race, 
Thy destined lord is come too late: 
He sees not — ne'er shall see — thy face! 
Can he not hear 
The loud Wul-wulleh warn his distant ear? [41] 
Thy handmaids weeping at the gate, 
The Koran-chanters of the hymn of fate, 
The silent slaves with folded arms that wait, 
Sighs in the hall, and shrieks upon the gale, 
Tell him thy tale! 
Thou didst not view thy Selim fall! 
That fearful moment when he left the cave 
Thy heart grew chill: 
He was thy hope — thy joy — thy love — thine all — 
And that last thought on him thou couldst not save 
Sufficed to kill; 

Burst forth in one wild cry — and all was still. 
Peace to thy broken heart, and virgin grave! 
Ah! happy! but of life to lose the worst! 
That grief — though deep — though fatal — was thy first! 
Thrice happy! ne'er to feel nor fear the force 
Of absence, shame, pride, hate, revenge, remorse! 
And, oh! that pang where more than madness lies! 
The worm that will not sleep — and never dies; 
Thought of the gloomy day and ghastly night, 
That dreads the darkness, and yet loathes the light, 
That winds around, and tears the quivering heart! 
Ah! wherefore not consume it — and depart! 
Woe to thee, rash and unrelenting chief! 
Vainly thou heap'st the dust upon thy head, 
Vainly the sackcloth o'er thy limbs doth spread; 
By that same hand Abdallah — Selim — bled. 
Now let it tear thy beard in idle grief: 
Thy pride of heart, thy bride for Osman's bed, 
Thy Daughter's dead! 
Hope of thine age, thy twilight's lonely beam, 
The star hath set that shone on Helle's stream. 
What quench'd its ray? — the blood that thou hast shed! 
Hark! to the hurried question of Despair: 
"Where is my child?" — an Echo answers — "Where?" [42] 


Within the place of thousand tombs 
That shine beneath, while dark above 
The sad but living cypress glooms, 
And withers not, though branch and leaf 
Are stamp'd with an eternal grief, 
Like early unrequited Love, 
One spot exists, which ever blooms, 
Ev'n in that deadly grove — 
A single rose is shedding there 
Its lonely lustre, meek and pale: 
It looks as planted by Despair — 
So white — so faint — the slightest gale 
Might whirl the leaves on high; 
And yet, though storms and blight assail, 
And hands more rude than wintry sky 
May wring it from the stem — in vain — 
To-morrow sees it bloom again! 
The stalk some spirit gently rears, 
And waters with celestial tears; 
For well may maids of Helle deem 
That this can be no earthly flower, 
Which mocks the tempest's withering hour, 
And buds unshelter'd by a bower; 
Nor droops, though spring refuse her shower, 
Nor woos the summer beam: 
To it the livelong night there sings 
A bird unseen — but not remote: 
Invisible his airy wings, 
But soft as harp that Houri strings 
His long entrancing note! 
It were the Bulbul; but his throat, 
Though mournful, pours not such a strain: 
For they who listen cannot leave 
The spot, but linger there and grieve, 
As if they loved in vain! 
And yet so sweet the tears they shed, 
'Tis sorrow so unmix'd with dread, 
They scarce can bear the morn to break 
That melancholy spell, 
And longer yet would weep and wake, 
He sings so wild and well! 
But when the day-blush bursts from high 
Expires that magic melody. 
And some have been who could believe, 
(So fondly youthful dreams deceive, 
Yet harsh be they that blame,) 
That note so piercing and profound 
Will shape and syllable its sound 
Into Zuleika's name. [43] 
'Tis from her cypress' summit heard, 
That melts in air the liquid word; 
'Tis from her lowly virgin earth 
That white rose takes its tender birth. 
There late was laid a marble stone; 
Eve saw it placed — the Morrow gone! 
It was no mortal arm that bore 
That deep fixed pillar to the shore; 
For there, as Helle's legends tell, 
Next morn 'twas found where Selim fell; 
Lash'd by the tumbling tide, whose wave 
Denied his bones a holier grave: 
And there by night, reclined, 'tis said, 
Is seen a ghastly turban'd head: 
And hence extended by the billow, 
'Tis named the "Pirate-phantom's pillow!" 
Where first it lay that mourning flower 
Hath flourish'd; flourisheth this hour, 
Alone and dewy, coldly pure and pale; 
As weeping Beauty's cheek at Sorrow's tale. 

(1) "G?l," the rose. 

(2) "Souls made of fire, and children of the Sun, 
With whom revenge is virtue." — YOUNG'S "REVENGE." 

(3) Mejnoun and Leila, the Romeo and Juliet of the East. Sadi, the moral set of Persia. 

(4) "Tambour," Turkish drum, which sounds at sunrise, none, and twilight. 

(5) The Turks abhor the Arabs (who return the compliment a hundred-fold) even more than they hate the Christians. 

(6) This expression has met with objections. I will not refer to "Him who hath not Music in his soul," but merely request the reader to recollect, for ten seconds, the features of the woman whom he believes to be the most beautiful; and if he then does not comprehend fully what is feebly expressed in the above line, I shall be sorry for us both. For an eloquent passage in the latest work of the first female writer of this, perhaps of any age, on the analogy (and the immediate comparison excited by that analogy) between "painting and music," see vol. iii. cap. 10, "De L'Allemagne." And is not this connexion still stronger with the original than the copy? with the colouring of Nature than of Art? After all, this is rather to be felt than described; still, I think there are some who will understand it, at least they would have done had they beheld the countenance whose speaking harmony suggested the idea; for this passage is not drawn from imagination but memory, that mirror which Affliction dashes to the earth, and looking down upon the fragments, only beholds the reflection multiplied. 

(7) Carasman Oglou, or Kara Osman Oglou, is the principle landholder in Turkey; he governs Magnesia. Those who, by a kind of feudal tenure, possess land on condition of service, are called Timariots; they serve as Spahis, according to the extent of territory, and bring a certain number into the field, generally cavalry. 

(8) When a Pacha is sufficiently strong to resist, the single messenger, who is always the first bearer of the order for his death, is strangled instead, and sometimes five or six, one after the other, on the same errand, by command of the refractory patient; if, on the contrary, he is weak or loyal, he bows, kisses the Sultan's respectable signature, and is bowstrung with great complacency. In 1810, several of "these presents" were exhibited in the niche of the Seraglio gate: among others, the head of the Pacha of Bagdad, a brave young man, cut off by treachery, after a desperate resistance. 

(9) Clapping of the hands calls the servants. The Turks hate a superfluous expenditure of voice, and they have no bells. 

(10) "Chibouque," the Turkish pipe, of which the amber mouth-piece, and sometimes the ball which contains the leaf, is adorned with precious stones, if in possession of the wealthier orders. 

(11) "Maugrabee," Moorish mercenaries. 

(12) "Delis," bravoes who form the forlorn-hope of the cavalry, and always begin the action. 

(13) A twisted fold of felt is used for scimitar practice by the Turks, and few but Mussulman arms can cut through it at a single stroke: sometimes a tough turban is used for the same purpose. The jerreed is a game of blunt javelins, animated and graceful. 

(14) "Ollahs," Alla il Allah, the "Leilles," as the Spanish poets call them; the sound is Ollah; a cry of which the Turks, for a silent people, are somewhat profuse, particularly during the jerreed, or in the chase, but mostly in battle. Their animation in the field, and gravity in the chamber, with their pipes and comboloios, form an amusing contrast. 

(15) "Atar-g?l," ottar of roses. The Persian is the finest. 

(16) The ceiling and wainscots, or rather walls, of the Mussulman apartments are generally painted, in great houses, with one eternal and highly-coloured view of Constantinople, wherein the principle feature is a noble contempt of perspective; below, arms, scimitars, &c., are generally fancifully and not inelegantly disposed. 

(17) It has been much doubted whether the notes of this "Lover of the rose are sad or merry; and Mr Fox's remarks on the subject have provoked some learned controversy as to the opinions of the ancients on the subject. I dare not venture a conjecture on the point, though a little inclined to the "errare [m?]alleum," &c., if Mr Fox was mistaken. 

[Transcriber's note: the print impression I am working from is poor and in places not entirely intelligible.] 

(18) "Azrael," the angel of death. 

(19) The treasures of the Pre-Adamite Sultans. See D'Herbelot, article Istakar. 

(20) "Musselim," a governor, the next in rank after a Pacha; a Waywode is the third; and then come the Agas. 

(21) "Egripo" — the Negropont. According to the proverb, the Turks of Egrip, the Jews of Salonica, and the Greeks of Athens are the worst of their respective races. 

(22) "Tchocadar," one of the attendants who precedes a man of authority. 

(23) The wrangling about this epithet, "the broad Hellespont," or the "boundless Hellespont," whether it means one or the other, or what it means at all, has been beyond all possibility of detail. I have even heard it disputed on the spot; and not foreseeing a speedy conclusion to the controversy, amused myself by swimming across it in the meantime, and probably may again, before the point is settled. Indeed, the question as to the truth of "the tale of Troy divine" still continues, much of it resting upon the word {'?peiros} [in Greek]: probably Homer had the same notion of distance that a coquette has of time, and when he talks of the boundless, means half a mile; as the latter, by a like figure, when she says eternal attachment, simply specifies three weeks. 

(24) Before his Persian invasion, and crowned the altar with laurel, &c. He was afterwards imitated by Caracalla in his race. It is believed that the last also poisoned a friend, named Festus, for the sake of new Patroclan games. I have seen the sheep feeding on the tombs of ?sietes and Antilochos: the first is in the center of the plain. 

(25) When rubbed, the amber is susceptible of a perfume, which is slight but not disagreeable. 

(26) The belief in amulets engraved on gems, or enclosed in gold boxes, containing scraps from the Koran, worn round the neck, wrist, or arm, is still universal in the East. The Koorsee (throne) verse in the second chapter of the Koran describes the attributes of the Most High, and is engraved in this manner, and worn by the pious, as the most esteemed and sublime of all sentences. 

(27) "Comboloio," a Turkish rosary. The MSS., particularly those of the Persians, are richly adorned and illuminated. The Greek females are kept in utter ignorance; but many of the Turkish girls are highly accomplished, though not actually qualified for a Christian coterie. Perhaps some of our own "blues" might not be the worse for bleaching. 

(28) "Galiong?e," or Galiongi, a sailor, that is, a Turkish sailor; the Greeks navigate, the Turks work the guns. Their dress is picturesque; and I have seen the Capitan Pacha more than once wearing it as a kind of incog. Their legs, however, are generally naked. The buskins described in the text as sheathed behind with silver are those of an Arnaut robber, who was my host (he had quitted the profession) at his Pyrgo, near Gastouni in the Morea; they were plated in scales one over the other, like the back of an armadillo. 

(29) The characters on all Turkish scimitars contain sometimes the name of the place of their manufacture, but more generally a text from the Koran, in letters of gold. Amongst those in my possession is one with a blade of singular construction; it is very broad, and the edge notched into serpentine curves like the ripple of water, or the wavering of flame. I asked the Armenian who sold it what possible use such a figure could add: he said, in Italian, that he did not know; but the Mussulmans had an idea that those of this form gave a severer wound; and liked it because it was "piu feroce." I did not much admire the reason, but bought it for its peculiarity. 

(30) It is to be observed, that every allusion to anything or personage in the Old Testament, such as the Ark, or Cain, is equally the privilege of Mussulman and Jew: indeed, the former profess to be much better acquainted with the lives, true and fabulous, of the patriarchs, than is warranted by our own sacred writ; and not content with Adam, they have a biography of Pre-Adamites. Solomon is the monarch of all necromancy, and Moses a prophet inferior only to Christ and Mohammed. Zuleika is the Persian name of Potiphar's wife; and her amour with Joseph constitutes one of the finest poems in their language. It is, therefore, no violation of costume to put the names of Cain, or Noah, into the mouth of a Moslem. 

(31) Paswan Oglou, the rebel of Widdin; who, for the last years of his life, set the whole power of the Porte at defiance. 

(32) "Horse-tail," the standard of a Pacha. 

(33) Giaffir, Pacha of Argyro Castro, or Scutari, I am not sure which, was actually taken off by the Albanian Ali, in the manner described in the text. Ali Pacha, while I was in the country, married the daughter of his victim, some years after the event had taken place at a bath in Sophia, or Adrianople. The poison was mixed in the cup of coffee, which is presented before the sherbet by the bath-keeper, after dressing. 

(34) The Turkish notions of almost all islands are confined to the Archipelago, the sea alluded to. 

(35) Lambro Canzani, a Greek, famous for his efforts in 1789-90, for the independence of his country. Abandoned by the Russians, he became a pirate, and the Archipelago was the scene of his enterprises. He is said to be still alive at St Petersburg. He and Riga are the two most celebrated of the Greek revolutionists. 

(36) "Rayahs," all who pay the capitation tax, called the "Haratch." 

(37) This first of voyages is one of the few with which the Mussulmans profess much acquaintance. 

(38) The wandering life of the Arabs, Tartars, and Turkomans, will be found well detailed in any book of Eastern travels. That it possesses a charm peculiar to itself, cannot be denied. A young French renegado confessed to Chateaubriand, that he never found himself alone, galloping in the desert, without a sensation approaching to rapture, which was indescribable. 

(39) "Jannat al Aden," the perpetual abode, the Mussulman paradise. 

(40) A turban is carved in stone above the graves of men only. 

(41) The death-song of the Turkish women. The "silent slaves" are the men, whose notions of decorum forbid complain in public. 

(42) "I came to the place of my birth, and cried, 'The friends of my youth, where are they?' and an Echo answered, 'Where are they?'" — From an Arabic MS. 

The above quotation (from which the idea in the text is taken) must be already familiar to every reader — it is given in the first annotation, p. 67, of "The Pleasures of Memory;" a poem so well known as to render a reference almost superfluous; but to whose pages all will be delighted to recur. 

(43) "And airy tongues that syllable men's names." — MILTON.

by George (Lord) Byron |

The Vision of Judgment



'A Daniel come to judgment! yes a Daniel!
I thank thee, Jew for teaching me that word.' 


It hath been wisely said, that 'One fool makes many;' and it hath been poetically observed —

'That fools rush in where angels fear to tread.' - Pope 

If Mr. Southey had not rushed in where he had no business, and where he never was before, and never will be again, the following poem would not have been written. It is not impossible that it may be as good as his own, seeing that it cannot, by any species of stupidity, natural or acquired, be worse. The gross flattery, the dull impudence, the renegado intolerance, and impious cant, of the poem by the author if 'Wat Tyler,' are something so stupendous as to form the sublime of himself — containing the quintessence of his own attributes. 

So much for his poem — a word on his preface. In this preface it has pleased the magnanimous Laureate to draw the picture of a supposed 'Satanic School,' the which he doth recommend to the notice of the legislature; thereby adding to his other laurels, the ambition of those of an informer. If there exists anywhere, except in his imagination, such a School, is he not sufficiently armed against it by his own intense vanity? The truth is, that there are certain writers whom Mr. S. imagines, like Scrub, to have 'talked of him; for they have laughed consumedly.' 

I think I know enough of most of the writers to whom he is supposed to allude, to assert, that they, in their individual capacities, have done more good, in the charities of life, to their fellow-creatures, in any one year, than Mr. Southey has done harm to himself by his absurdities in his whole life; and this is saying a great deal. But I have a few questions to ask. 

1stly, Is Mr. Southey the author of 'Wat Tyler'? 

2ndly, Was he not refused a remedy at law by the highest judge of his beloved England, because it was a blasphemous and seditious publication? 

3rdly, Was he not entitled by William Smith, in full Parliament, 'a rancorous renegado'? 

4thly, Is he not poet laureate, with his own lines on Martin the regicide staring him in the face? 

And 5thly, Putting the four preceding items together, with what conscience dare he call the attention of the laws to the publications of others, be they what they may? 

I say nothing of the cowardice of such a proceeding, its meanness speaks for itself; but I wish to touch upon the motive, which is neither more nor less than that Mr. S. has been laughed at a little in some recent publications, as he was of yore in the 'Anti-jacobin,' by his present patrons. Hence all this 'skimble-scamble stuff' about 'Satanic,' and so forth. However, it is worthy of him — 'qualis ab incepto.' 

If there is anything obnoxious to the political opinions of a portion of the public in the following poem, they may thank Mr. Southey. He might have written hexameters, as he has written everything else, for aught that the writer cared — had they been upon another subject. But to attempt to canonise a monarch, who, whatever where his household virtues, was neither a successful nor a patriot king, — inasmuch as several years of his reign passed in war with America and Ireland, to say nothing of the aggression upon France, — like all other exaggeration, necessarily begets opposition. In whatever manner he may be spoken of in this new 'Vision,' his public career will not be more favourably transmitted by history. Of his private virtues (although a little expense to the nation) there can be no doubt. 

With regard to the supernatural personages treated of, I can only say that I know as much about them, and (as an honest man) have a better right to talk of them than Robert Southey. I have also treated them more tolerantly. The way in which that poor insane creature, the Laureate, deals about his judgments in the next world, is like his own judgment in this. If it was not completely ludicrous, it would be something worse. I don't think that there is much more to say at present. 


P.S. — It is possible that some readers may object, in these objectionable times, to the freedom with which saints, angels, and spiritual persons discourse in this 'Vision.' But, for precedents upon such points, I must refer him to Fielding's 'Journey from the World to the next,' and to the Visions of myself, the said Quevedo, in Spanish or translated. The reader is also requested to observe, that no doctrinal tenets are insisted upon or discussed; that the person of the Deity is carefully withheld from sight, which is more than can be said for the Laureate, who hath thought proper to make him talk, not 'like a school-divine,' but like the unscholarlike Mr. Southey. The whole action passes on the outside of heaven; and Chaucer's 'Wife of Bath,' Pulci's 'Morgante Maggiore,' Swift's 'Tale of a Tub,' and the other
works above referred to, are cases in point of the freedom with which saints, &c. may be permitted to converse in works not intended to be serious. 


*** Mr. Southey being, as he says, a good Christian and vindictive, threatens, I understand, a reply to this our answer. It is to be hoped that his visionary faculties will be in the mean time have acquired a little more judgment, properly so called: otherwise he will get himself into new dilemmas. These apostate jacobins furnish rich rejoinders. Let him take a specimen. Mr. Southey laudeth grievously 'one Mr. Landor,' who cultivates much prevate renown in the shape of Latin verses; and not long ago, the poet laureate dedicated to him, it appeareth, one of his fugitive lyrics, upon the strength of a poem called 'Gebir.' Who could suppose, that in this same Gebir the aforesaid Savage Landor (for such is his grim cognomen) putteth into the infernal regions no less a person than the hero of his friend Mr. Southey's heaven, — yea, even George the Third! See also how personal Savage becometh, when he hath a mind. The following is his portrait of our late gracious sovereign: 

(Prince Gebir having descended into the infernal regions, the shades of his royal ancestors are, at his request, called up to his view; and he exclaims to
his ghostly guide) — 

'Aroar, what wretch that nearest us? what wretch 
Is that with eyebrows white and slanting brow? 
Listen! him yonder who, bound down supine, 
Shrinks yelling from that sword there, engine-hung. 
He too amongst my ancestors! I hate 
The despot, but the dastard I despise. 
Was he our countryman?' 
'Alas, O king! 
Iberia bore him, but the breed accurst 
Inclement winds blew blighting from north-east.' 
'He was a warrior then, nor fear'd the gods?' 
'Gebir, he fear'd the demons, not the gods, 
Though them indeed his daily face adored: 
And was no warrior, yet the thousand lives 
Squander'd, as stones to exercise a sling, 
And the tame cruelty and cold caprice —
Oh madness of mankind! address'd, adored!' 

Gebir, p. 28. 

I omit noticing some edifying Ithyphallics of Savagius, wishing to keep the proper veil over them, if his grave but somewhat indiscreet worshipper will suffer it; but certainly these teachers of 'great moral lessons' are apt to be found in strange company. 


Saint Peter sat by the celestial gate: 
His keys were rusty, and the lock was dull, 
So little trouble had been given of late; 
Not that the place by any means was full, 
But since the Gallic era 'eight-eight' 
The devils had ta'en a longer, stronger pull, 
And 'a pull altogether,' as they say 
At sea — which drew most souls another way. 


The angels all were singing out of tune, 
And hoarse with having little else to do, 
Excepting to wind up the sun and moon, 
Or curb a runaway young star or two, 
Or wild colt of a comet, which too soon 
Broke out of bounds o'er th' ethereal blue, 
Splitting some planet with its playful tail, 
As boats are sometimes by a wanton whale. 


The guardian seraphs had retired on high, 
Finding their charges past all care below; 
Terrestrial business fill'd nought in the sky 
Save the recording angel's black bureau; 
Who found, indeed, the facts to multiply 
With such rapidity of vice and woe, 
That he had stripp'd off both his wings in quills, 
And yet was in arrear of human ills. 


His business so augmented of late years, 
That he was forced, against his will no doubt, 
(Just like those cherubs, earthly ministers,) 
For some resource to turn himself about, 
And claim the help of his celestial peers, 
To aid him ere he should be quite worn out 
By the increased demand for his remarks: 
Six angels and twelve saints were named his clerks. 


This was a handsome board — at least for heaven; 
And yet they had even then enough to do, 
So many conqueror's cars were daily driven, 
So many kingdoms fitted up anew; 
Each day too slew its thousands six or seven, 
Till at the crowning carnage, Waterloo, 
They threw their pens down in divine disgust — 
The page was so besmear'd with blood and dust. 


This by the way: 'tis not mine to record 
What angels shrink from: even the very devil 
On this occasion his own work abhorr'd, 
So surfeited with the infernal revel: 
Though he himself had sharpen'd every sword, 
It almost quench'd his innate thirst of evil. 
(Here Satan's sole good work deserves insertion — 
'Tis, that he has both generals in reveration.) 


Let's skip a few short years of hollow peace, 
Which peopled earth no better, hell as wont, 
And heaven none — they form the tyrant's lease, 
With nothing but new names subscribed upon't; 
'Twill one day finish: meantime they increase, 
'With seven heads and ten horns,' and all in front, 
Like Saint John's foretold beast; but ours are born 
Less formidable in the head than horn. 


In the first year of freedom's second dawn 
Died George the Third; although no tyrant, one 
Who shielded tyrants, till each sense withdrawn 
Left him nor mental nor external sun: 
A better farmer ne'er brush'd dew from lawn, 
A worse king never left a realm undone! 
He died — but left his subjects still behind, 
One half as mad — and t'other no less blind. 


He died! his death made no great stir on earth: 
His burial made some pomp; there was profusion 
Of velvet, gilding, brass, and no great dearth 
Of aught but tears — save those shed by collusion. 
For these things may be bought at their true worth; 
Of elegy there was the due infusion — 
Bought also; and the torches, cloaks, and banners, 
Heralds, and relics of old Gothic manners, 


Form'd a sepulchral melo-drame. Of all 
The fools who flack's to swell or see the show, 
Who cared about the corpse? The funeral 
Made the attraction, and the black the woe. 
There throbbed not there a thought which pierced the pall; 
And when the gorgeous coffin was laid low, 
It seamed the mockery of hell to fold 
The rottenness of eighty years in gold. 


So mix his body with the dust! It might 
Return to what it must far sooner, were 
The natural compound left alone to fight 
Its way back into earth, and fire, and air; 
But the unnatural balsams merely blight 
What nature made him at his birth, as bare 
As the mere million's base unmarried clay — 
Yet all his spices but prolong decay. 


He's dead — and upper earth with him has done; 
He's buried; save the undertaker's bill, 
Or lapidary scrawl, the world is gone 
For him, unless he left a German will: 
But where's the proctor who will ask his son? 
In whom his qualities are reigning still, 
Except that household virtue, most uncommon, 
Of constancy to a bad, ugly woman. 


'God save the king!' It is a large economy 
In God to save the like; but if he will 
Be saving, all the better; for not one am I 
Of those who think damnation better still: 
I hardly know too if not quite alone am I 
In this small hope of bettering future ill 
By circumscribing, with some slight restriction, 
The eternity of hell's hot jurisdiction. 


I know this is unpopular; I know 
'Tis blasphemous; I know one may be damned 
For hoping no one else may ever be so; 
I know my catechism; I know we're caromed 
With the best doctrines till we quite o'erflow; 
I know that all save England's church have shamm'd, 
And that the other twice two hundred churches 
And synagogues have made a damn'd bad purchase. 


God help us all! God help me too! I am, 
God knows, as helpless as the devil can wish, 
And not a whit more difficult to damn, 
Than is to bring to land a late-hook'd fish, 
Or to the butcher to purvey the lamb; 
Not that I'm fit for such a noble dish, 
As one day will be that immortal fry 
Of almost everybody born to die. 


Saint Peter sat by the celestial gate, 
And nodded o'er his keys; when, lo! there came 
A wondrous noise he had not heard of late — 
A rushing sound of wind, and stream, and flame; 
In short, a roar of things extremely great, 
Which would have made aught save a saint exclaim; 
But he, with first a start and then a wink, 
Said, 'There's another star gone out, I think!' 


But ere he could return to his repose, 
A cherub flapp'd his right wing o'er his eyes — 
At which St. Peter yawn'd, and rubb'd his hose: 
'Saint porter,' said the angel, 'prithee rise!' 
Waving a goodly wing, which glow'd, as glows 
An earthly peacock's tail, with heavenly dyes; 
To which the saint replied, 'Well, what's the matter? 
'Is Lucifer come back with all this clatter?' 


'No,' quoth the cherub; 'George the Third is dead.' 
'And who is George the Third?' replied the apostle; 
'What George? what Third?' 'The king of England,' said 
The angel. 'Well, he won't find kings to jostle 
Him on his way; but does he wear his head? 
Because the last we saw here had a tussle, 
And ne'er would have got into heaven's good graces, 
Had he not flung his head in all our faces. 


'He was, if I remember, king of France; 
That head of his, which could not keep a crown 
On earth, yet ventured in my face to advance 
A claim to those of martyrs — like my own: 
If I had had my sword, as I had once 
When I cut ears off, I had cut him down; 
But having but my keys, and not my brand, 
I only knock'd his head from out his hand. 


'And then he set up such a headless howl, 
That all the saints came out and took him in; 
And there he sits by St. Paul, cheek by jowl; 
That fellow Paul— the parven?! The skin 
Of St. Bartholomew, which makes his cowl 
In heaven, and upon earth redeem'd his sin, 
So as to make a martyr, never sped 
Better than did this weak and wooden head. 


'But had it come up here upon its shoulders, 
There would have been a different tale to tell; 
The fellow-feeling in the saint's beholders 
Seems to have acted on them like a spell, 
And so this very foolish head heaven solders 
Back on its trunk: it may be very well, 
And seems the custom here to overthrow 
Whatever has been wisely done below.' 


The angel answer'd, 'Peter! do not pout: 
The king who comes has head and all entire, 
And never knew much what it was about — 
He did as doth the puppet — by its wire, 
And will be judged like all the rest, no doubt: 
My business and your own is not to inquire 
Into such matters, but to mind our cue — 
Which is to act as we are bid to do.' 


While thus they spake, the angelic caravan, 
Arriving like a rush of mighty wind, 
Cleaving the fields of space, as doth the swan 
Some silver stream (say Ganges, Nile, or Inde, 
Or Thames, or Tweed), and 'midst them an old man 
With an old soul, and both extremely blind, 
Halted before the gate, and in his shroud 
Seated their fellow traveller on a cloud. 


But bringing up the rear of this bright host 
A Spirit of a different aspect waves 
His wings, like thunder-clouds above some coast 
Whose barren beach with frequent wrecks is paved; 
His brow was like the deep when tempest-toss'd; 
Fierce and unfathomable thoughts engraved 
Eternal wrath on his immortal face, 
And where he gazed a gloom pervaded space. 


As he drew near, he gazed upon the gate 
Ne'er to be enter'd more by him or Sin, 
With such a glance of supernatural hate, 
As made Saint Peter wish himself within; 
He potter'd with his keys at a great rate, 
And sweated through his apostolic skin: 
Of course his perspiration was but ichor, 
Or some such other spiritual liquor. 


The very cherubs huddled all together, 
Like birds when soars the falcon; and they felt 
A tingling to the top of every feather, 
And form'd a circle like Orion's belt 
Around their poor old charge; who scarce knew whither 
His guards had led him, though they gently dealt 
With royal manes (for by many stories, 
And true, we learn the angels all are Tories.) 


As things were in this posture, the gate flew 
Asunder, and the flashing of its hinges 
Flung over space an universal hue 
Of many-colour'd flame, until its tinges 
Reach'd even our speck of earth, and made a new 
Aurora borealis spread its fringes 
O'er the North Pole; the same seen, when ice-bound, 
By Captain Parry's crew, in 'Melville's Sound.' 


And from the gate thrown open issued beaming 
A beautiful and mighty Thing of Light, 
Radiant with glory, like a banner streaming 
Victorious from some world-o'erthrowing fight: 
My poor comparisons must needs be teeming 
With earthly likenesses, for here the night 
Of clay obscures our best conceptions, saving 
Johanna Southcote, or Bob Southey raving. 


'Twas the archangel Michael; all men know 
The make of angels and archangels, since 
There's scarce a scribbler has not one to show, 
From the fiends' leader to the angels' prince; 
There also are some altar-pieces, though 
I really can't say that they much evince 
One's inner notions of immortal spirits; 
But let the connoisseurs explain their merits. 


Michael flew forth in glory and in good; 
A goodly work of him from whom all glory 
And good arise; the portal past — he stood; 
Before him the young cherubs and saints hoary — 
(I say young, begging to be understood 
By looks, not years; and should be very sorry 
To state, they were not older than St. Peter, 
But merely that they seem'd a little sweeter. 


The cherubs and the saints bow'd down before 
That arch-angelic Hierarch, the first 
Of essences angelical, who wore 
The aspect of a god; but this ne'er nursed 
Pride in his heavenly bosom, in whose core 
No thought, save for his Master's service, durst 
Intrude, however glorified and high; 
He knew him but the viceroy of the sky. 


He and the sombre, silent Spirit met — 
They knew each other both for good and ill; 
Such was their power, that neither could forget 
His former friend and future foe; but still 
There was a high, immortal, proud regret 
In either's eye, as if 'twere less their will 
Than destiny to make the eternal years 
Their date of war, and their 'champ clos' the spheres. 


But here they were in neutral space: we know 
From Job, that Satan hath the power to pay 
A heavenly visit thrice a year or so; 
And that the 'sons of God', like those of clay, 
Must keep him company; and we might show 
From the same book, in how polite a way 
The dialogue is held between the Powers 
Of Good and Evil — but 'twould take up hours. 


And this is not a theologic tract, 
To prove with Hebrew and with Arabic, 
If Job be allegory or a fact, 
But a true narrative; and thus I pick 
From out the whole but such and such an act 
As sets aside the slightest thought of trick. 
'Tis every tittle true, beyond suspicion, 
And accurate as any other vision. 


The spirits were in neutral space, before 
The gates of heaven; like eastern thresholds is 
The place where Death's grand cause is argued o'er, 
And souls despatch'd to that world or to this; 
And therefore Michael and the other wore 
A civil aspect: though they did not kiss, 
Yet still between his Darkness and his Brightness 
There pass'd a mutual glance of great politeness. 


The Archangel bow'd, not like a modern beau, 
But with a graceful Oriental bend, 
Pressing one radiant arm just where below 
The heart in good men is supposed to tend; 
He turn'd as to an equal, not too low, 
But kindly; Satan met his ancient friend 
With more hauteur, as might an old Castilian 
Poor noble meet a mushroom rich civilian. 


He merely bent his diabolic brow 
An instant; and then raising it, he stood 
In act to assert his right or wrong, and show 
Cause why King George by no means could or should 
Make out a case to be exempt from woe 
Eternal, more than other kings, endued 
With better sense and hearts, whom history mentions, 
Who long have 'paved hell with their good intentions.' 


Michael began: 'What wouldst thou with this man, 
Now dead, and brought before the Lord? What ill 
Hath he wrought since his mortal race began, 
That thou cans't claim him? Speak! and do thy will, 
If it be just: if in this earthly span 
He hath been greatly failing to fulfil 
His duties as a king and mortal, say, 
And he is thine; if not, let him have way.' 


'Michael!' replied the Prince of Air, 'even here, 
Before the Gate of him thou servest, must 
I claim my subject: and will make appear 
That as he was my worshipper in dust, 
So shall he be in spirit, although dear 
To thee and thine, because nor wine nor lust 
Were of his weaknesses; yet on the throne 
He reign'd o'er millions to serve me alone. 


'Look to our earth, or rather mine; it was, 
Once, more thy master's: but I triumph not 
In this poor planet's conquest; nor, alas! 
Need he thou servest envy me my lot: 
With all the myriads of bright worlds which pass 
In worship round him, he may have forgot 
Yon weak creation of such paltry things; 
I think few worth damnation save their kings, — 


'And these but as a kind of quit-rent, to 
Assert my right as lord: and even had 
I such an inclination, 'twere (as you 
Well know) superfluous; they are grown so bad, 
That hell has nothing better left to do 
Than leave them to themselves: so much more mad 
And evil by their own internal curse, 
Heaven cannot make them better, nor I worse. 


'Look to the earth, I said, and say again: 
When this old, blind, mad, helpless, weak, poor worm 
Began in youth's first bloom and flush to reign, 
The world and he both wore a different form, 
And must of earth and all the watery plain 
Of ocean call'd him king: through many a storm 
His isles had floated on the abyss of time; 
For the rough virtues chose them for their clime. 


'He came to his sceptre young: he leaves it old: 
Look to the state in which he found his realm, 
And left it; and his annals too behold, 
How to a minion first he gave the helm; 
How grew upon his heart a thirst for gold, 
The beggar's vice, which can but overwhelm 
The meanest of hearts; and for the rest, but glance 
Thine eye along America and France. 


'Tis true, he was a tool from first to last 
(I have the workmen safe); but as a tool 
So let him be consumed. From out the past 
Of ages, since mankind have known the rule 
Of monarchs — from the bloody rolls amass'd 
Of sin and slaughter — from the C?sar's school, 
Take the worst pupil; and produce a reign 
More drench'd with gore, more cumber'd with the slain. 


'He ever warr'd with freedom and the free: 
Nations as men, home subjects, foreign foes, 
So that they utter'd the word "Liberty!" 
Found George the Third their first opponent. Whose 
History was ever stain'd as his will be 
With national and individual woes? 
I grant his household abstinence; I grant 
His neutral virtues, which most monarchs want; 


'I know he was a constant consort; own 
He was a decent sire, and middling lord. 
All this is much, and most upon a throne; 
As temperance, if at Apicius' board, 
Is more than at an anchorite's supper shown. 
I grant him all the kindest can accord; 
And this was well for him, but not for those 
Millions who found him what oppression chose. 


'The New World shook him off; the Old yet groans 
Beneath what he and his prepared, if not 
Completed: he leaves heirs on many thrones 
To all his vices, without what begot 
Compassion for him — his tame virtues; drones 
Who sleep, or despots who have not forgot 
A lesson which shall be re-taught them, wake 
Upon the thrones of earth; but let them quake! 


'Five millions of the primitive, who hold 
The faith which makes ye great on earth, implored 
A part of that vast all they held of old, — 
Freedom to worship — not alone your Lord, 
Michael, but you, and you, Saint Peter! Cold 
Must be your souls, if you have not abhorr'd 
The foe to Catholic participation 
In all the license of a Christian nation. 


'True! he allow'd them to pray God; but as 
A consequence of prayer, refused the law 
Which would have placed them upon the same base 
With those who did not hold the saints in awe.' 
But here Saint Peter started from his place, 
And cried, 'You may the prisoner withdraw: 
Ere heaven shall ope her portals to this Guelph, 
While I am guard, may I be damn'd myself! 


'Sooner will I with Cerberus exchange 
My office (and his no sinecure) 
Than see this royal Bedlam bigot range 
The azure fields of heaven, of that be sure!' 
'Saint!' replied Satan, 'you do well to avenge 
The wrongs he made your satellites endure; 
And if to this exchange you should be given, 
I'll try to coax our Cerberus up to heaven!' 


Here Michael interposed: 'Good saint! and devil! 
Pray, not so fast; you both outrun discretion. 
Saint Peter! you were wont to be more civil! 
Satan! excuse this warmth of his expression, 
And condescension to the vulgar's level: 
Event saints sometimes forget themselves in session. 
Have you got more to say?' — 'No.' — If you please 
I'll trouble you to call your witnesses.' 


Then Satan turn'd and waved his swarthy hand, 
Which stirr'd with its electric qualities 
Clouds farther off than we can understand, 
Although we find him sometimes in our skies; 
Infernal thunder shook both sea and land 
In all the planets, and hell's batteries 
Let off the artillery, which Milton mentions 
As one of Satan's most sublime inventions. 


This was a signal unto such damn'd souls 
As have the privilege of their damnation 
Extended far beyond the mere controls 
Of worlds past, present, or to come; no station 
Is theirs particularly in the rolls 
Of hell assign'd; but where their inclination 
Or business carries them in search of game, 
They may range freely — being damn'd the same. 


They're proud of this — as very well they may, 
It being a sort of knighthood, or gilt key 
Stuck in their loins; or like to an 'entr?' 
Up the back stairs, or such free-masonry. 
I borrow my comparisons from clay, 
Being clay myself. Let not those spirits be 
Offended with such base low likenesses; 
We know their posts are nobler far than these. 


When the great signal ran from heaven to hell — 
About ten million times the distance reckon'd 
From our sun to its earth, as we can tell 
How much time it takes up, even to a second, 
For every ray that travels to dispel 
The fogs of London, through which, dimly beacon'd, 
The weathercocks are gilt some thrice a year, 
If that the summer is not too severe; 


I say that I can tell — 'twas half a minute; 
I know the solar beams take up more time 
Ere, pack'd up for their journey, they begin it; 
But then their telegraph is less sublime, 
And if they ran a race, they would not win it 
'Gainst Satan's couriers bound for their own clime. 
The sun takes up some years for every ray 
To reach its goal — the devil not half a day. 


Upon the verge of space, about the size 
Of half-a-crown, a little speck appear'd 
(I've seen a something like it in the skies 
In the ?gean, ere a squall); it near'd, 
And growing bigger, took another guise; 
Like an a?rial ship it tack'd, and steer'd, 
Or was steer'd (I am doubtful of the grammar 
Of the last phrase, which makes the stanza stammer; — 


But take your choice): and then it grew a cloud; 
And so it was — a cloud of witnesses. 
But such a cloud! No land e'er saw a crowd 
Of locusts numerous as the heavens saw these; 
They shadow'd with their myriads space; their loud 
And varied cries were like those of wild geese 
(If nations may be liken'd to a goose), 
And realised the phrase of 'hell broke loose.' 


Here crash'd a sturdy oath of stout John Bull, 
Who damn'd away his eyes as heretofore: 
There Paddy brogued, 'By Jasus!' — 'What's your wull?' 
The temperate Scot exclaim'd: the French ghost swore 
In certain terms I shan't translate in full, 
As the first coachman will; and 'midst the roar, 
The voice of Jonathan was heard to express, 
'Our president is going to war, I guess.' 


Besides there were the Spaniard, Dutch, and Dane; 
In short, an universal shoal of shades, 
From Otaheite's isle to Salisbury Plain, 
Of all climes and professions, years and trades, 
Ready to swear against the good king's reign, 
Bitter as clubs in cards are against spades: 
All summon'd by this grand 'subpoena,' to 
Try if kings mayn't be damn'd like me or you. 


When Michael saw this host, he first grew pale, 
As angels can; next, like Italian twilight, 
He turn'd all colours — as a peacock's tail, 
Or sunset streaming through a Gothic skylight 
In some old abbey, or a trout not stale, 
Or distant lightning on the horizon by night, 
Or a fresh rainbow, or a grand review 
Of thirty regiments in red, green, and blue. 


Then he address'd himself to Satan: 'Why — 
My good old friend, for such I deem you, though 
Our different parties make us fight so shy, 
I ne'er mistake you for a personal foe; 
Our difference is political, and I 
Trust that, whatever may occur below, 
You know my great respect for you; and this 
Makes me regret whate'er you do amiss — 


'Why, my dear Lucifer, would you abuse 
My call for witnesses? I did not mean 
That you should half of earth and hell produce; 
'Tis even superfluous, since two honest, clean 
True testimonies are enough: we lose 
Our time, nay, our eternity, between 
The accusation and defence: if we 
Hear both, 'twill stretch our immortality.' 


Satan replied, 'To me the matter is 
Indifferent, in a personal point of view; 
I can have fifty better souls than this 
With far less trouble than we have gone through 
Already; and I merely argued his 
Late majesty of Britain's case with you 
Upon a point of form: you may dispose 
Of him; I've kings enough below, God knows!' 


Thus spoke the Demon (late call'd 'multifaced' 
By multo-scribbling Southey). 'Then we'll call 
One or two persons of the myriads placed 
Around our congress, and dispense with all 
The rest,' quoth Michael: 'Who may be so graced 
As to speak first? there's choice enough — who shall 
It be?' Then Satan answer'd, 'There are many; 
But you may choose Jack Wilkes as well as any.' 


A merry, cock-eyed, curious-looking sprite 
Upon the instant started from the throng, 
Dress'd in a fashion now forgotten quite; 
For all the fashions of the flesh stick long 
By people in the next world; where unite 
All the costumes since Adam's, right or wrong, 
From Eve's fig-leaf down to the petticoat, 
Almost as scanty, of days less remote. 


The spirit look'd around upon the crowds 
Assembled, and exclaim'd, 'My friends of all 
The spheres, we shall catch cold amongst these clouds; 
So let's to business: why this general call? 
If those are freeholders I see in shrouds, 
And 'tis for an election that they bawl, 
Behold a candidate with unturn'd coat! 
Saint Peter, may I count upon your vote?' 


'Sir,' replied Michael, 'you mistake; these things 
Are of a former life, and what we do 
Above is more august; to judge of kings 
Is the tribunal met: so now you know.' 
'Then I presume those gentlemen with wings,' 
Said Wilkes, 'are cherubs; and that soul below 
Looks much like George the Third, but to my mind 
A good deal older — Bless me! is he blind?' 


'He is what you behold him, and his doom 
Depends upon his deeds,' the Angel said; 
'If you have aught to arraign in him, the tomb 
Give licence to the humblest beggar's head 
To lift itself against the loftiest.' — 'Some,' 
Said Wilkes, 'don't wait to see them laid in lead, 
For such a liberty — and I, for one, 
Have told them what I though beneath the sun.' 


'Above the sun repeat, then, what thou hast 
To urge against him,' said the Archangel. 'Why,' 
Replied the spirit, 'since old scores are past, 
Must I turn evidence? In faith, not I. 
Besides, I beat him hollow at the last, 
With all his Lords and Commons: in the sky 
I don't like ripping up old stories, since 
His conduct was but natural in a prince. 


'Foolish, no doubt, and wicked, to oppress 
A poor unlucky devil without a shilling; 
But then I blame the man himself much less 
Than Bute and Grafton, and shall be unwilling 
To see him punish'd here for their excess, 
Since they were both damn'd long ago, and still in 
Their place below: for me, I have forgiven, 
And vote his "habeas corpus" into heaven.' 


'Wilkes,' said the Devil, 'I understand all this; 
You turn'd to half a courtier ere you died, 
And seem to think it would not be amiss 
To grow a whole one on the other side 
Of Charon's ferry; you forget that his 
Reign is concluded; whatso'er betide, 
He won't be sovereign more: you've lost your labor, 
For at the best he will be but your neighbour. 


'However, I knew what to think of it, 
When I beheld you in your jesting way, 
Flitting and whispering round about the spit 
Where Belial, upon duty for the day, 
With Fox's lard was basting William Pitt, 
His pupil; I knew what to think, I say: 
That fellow even in hell breeds farther ills; 
I'll have him gagg'd — 'twas one of his own bills. 


'Call Junius!' From the crowd a shadow stalk'd, 
And at the same there was a general squeeze, 
So that the very ghosts no longer walk'd 
In comfort, at their own a?rial ease, 
But were all ramm'd, and jamm'd (but to be balk'd, 
As we shall see), and jostled hands and knees, 
Like wind compress'd and pent within a bladder, 
Or like a human colic, which is sadder. 


The shadow came — a tall, thin, grey-hair'd figure, 
That look'd as it had been a shade on earth; 
Quick in it motions, with an air of vigour, 
But nought to mar its breeding or its birth; 
Now it wax'd little, then again grew bigger, 
With now an air of gloom, or savage mirth; 
But as you gazed upon its features, they 
Changed every instant — to what, none could say. 


The more intently the ghosts gazed, the less 
Could they distinguish whose the features were; 
The Devil himself seem'd puzzled even to guess; 
They varied like a dream — now here, now there; 
And several people swore from out the press 
They knew him perfectly; and one could swear 
He was his father: upon which another 
Was sure he was his mother's cousin's brother: 


Another, that he was a duke, or a knight, 
An orator, a lawyer, or a priest, 
A nabob, a man-midwife; but the wight 
Mysterious changed his countenance at least 
As oft as they their minds; though in full sight 
He stood, the puzzle only was increased; 
The man was a phantasmagoria in 
Himself — he was so volatile and thin. 


The moment that you had pronounce him one, 
Presto! his face change'd and he was another; 
And when that change was hardly well put on, 
It varied, till I don't think his own mother 
(If that he had a mother) would her son 
Have known, he shifted so from one to t'other; 
Till guessing from a pleasure grew a task, 
At this epistolary 'Iron Mask.' 


For sometimes he like Cerberus would seem — 
'Three gentlemen at once' (as sagely says 
Good Mrs. Malaprop); then you might deem 
That he was not even one; now many rays 
Were flashing round him; and now a thick steam 
Hid him from sight — like fogs on London days: 
Now Burke, now Tooke he grew to people's fancies, 
And certes often like Sir Philip Francis. 


I've an hypothesis — 'tis quite my own; 
I never let it out till now, for fear 
Of doing people harm about the throne, 
And injuring some minister or peer, 
On whom the stigma might perhaps be blown; 
It is — my gentle public, lend thine ear! 
'Tis, that what Junius we are wont to call 
Was really, truly, nobody at all. 


I don't see wherefore letters should not be 
Written without hands, since we daily view 
Them written without heads; and books, we see, 
Are fill'd as well without the latter too: 
And really till we fix on somebody 
For certain sure to claim them as his due, 
Their author, like the Niger's mouth, will bother 
The world to say if there be mouth or author. 


'And who and what art thou?' the Archangel said. 
'For that you may consult my title-page,' 
Replied this mighty shadow of a shade: 
'If I have kept my secret half an age, 
I scarce shall tell it now.' — 'Canst thou upbraid,' 
Continued Michael, 'George Rex, or allege 
Aught further?' Junius answer'd, 'You had better 
First ask him for his answer to my letter: 


'My charges upon record will outlast 
The brass of both his epitaph and tomb.' 
'Repent'st thou not,' said Michael, 'of some past 
Exaggeration? something which may doom 
Thyself if false, as him if true? Thou wast 
Too bitter — is it not so? — in thy gloom 
Of passion?' — 'Passion!' cried the phantom dim, 
'I loved my country, and I hated him. 


'What I have written, I have written: let 
The rest be on his head or mine!' So spoke 
Old 'Nominis Umbra'; and while speaking yet, 
Away he melted in celestial smoke. 
Then Satan said to Michael, 'Don't forget 
To call George Washington, and John Horne Tooke, 
And Franklin;' — but at this time was heard 
A cry for room, though not a phantom stirr'd. 


At length with jostling, elbowing, and the aid 
Of cherubim appointed to that post, 
The devil Asmodeus to the circle made 
His way, and look'd as if his journey cost 
Some trouble. When his burden down he laid, 
'What's this?' cried Michael; 'why, 'tis not a ghost?' 
'I know it,' quoth the incubus; 'but he 
Shall be one, if you leave the affair to me. 


'Confound the renegado! I have sprain'd 
My left wing, he's so heavy; one would think 
Some of his works about his neck were chain'd. 
But to the point; while hovering o'er the brink 
Of Skiddaw (where as usual it still rain'd), 
I saw a taper, far below me, wink, 
And stooping, caught this fellow at a libel — 
No less on history than the Holy Bible. 


'The former is the devil's scripture, and 
The latter yours, good Michael: so the affair 
Belongs to all of us, you understand. 
I snatch'd him up just as you see him there, 
And brought him off for sentence out of hand: 
I've scarcely been ten minutes in the air — 
At least a quarter it can hardly be: 
I dare say that his wife is still at tea.' 


Here Satan said, 'I know this man of old, 
And have expected him for some time here; 
A sillier fellow you will scarce behold, 
Or more conceited in his petty sphere: 
But surely it was not worth while to fold 
Such trash below your wing, Asmodeus dear: 
We had the poor wretch safe (without being bored 
With carriage) coming of his own accord. 


'But since he's here, let's see what he has done.' 
'Done!' cried Asmodeus, 'he anticipates 
The very business you are now upon, 
And scribbles as if head clerk to the Fates, 
Who knows to what his ribaldry may run, 
When such an ass as this, like Balaam's, prates?' 
'Let's hear,' quoth Michael, 'what he has to say; 
You know we're bound to that in every way.' 


Now the bard, glad to get an audience which 
By no means oft was his case below, 
Began to cough, and hawk, and hem, and pitch 
His voice into that awful note of woe 
To all unhappy hearers within reach 
Of poets when the tide of rhyme's in flow; 
But stuck fast with his first hexameter, 
Not one of all whose gouty feet would stir. 


But ere the spavin'd dactyls could be spurr'd 
Into recitative, in great dismay 
Both cherubim and seraphim were heard 
To murmur loudly through their long array: 
And Michael rose ere he could get a word 
Of all his founder'd verses under way. 
And cried, 'For God's sake stop, my friend! 'twere best — 
Non Di, non homines —- you know the rest.' 


A general bustle spread throughout the throng. 
Which seem'd to hold all verse in detestation; 
The angels had of course enough of song 
When upon service; and the generation 
Of ghosts had heard too much in life, not long 
Before, to profit by a new occasion; 
The monarch, mute till then, exclaim'd, 'What! What! 
Pye come again? No more — no more of that!' 


The tumult grew; an universal cough 
Convulsed the skies, as during a debate 
When Castlereagh has been up long enough 
(Before he was first minister of state, 
I mean — the slaves hear now); some cried 'off, off!' 
As at a farce; till, grown quite desperate, 
The bard Saint Peter pray'd to interpose 
(Himself an author) only for his prose. 


The varlet was not an ill-favour'd knave; 
A good deal like a vulture in the face, 
With a hook nose and a hawk'd eye, which gave 
A smart and sharper-looking sort of grace 
To his whole aspect, which, though rather grave, 
Was by no means so ugly as his case; 
But that, indeed, was hopeless as can be, 
Quite a poetic felony, 'de se.' 


Then Michael blew his trump, and still'd the noise 
With one still greater, as is yet the mode 
On earth besides; except some grumbling voice, 
Which now and then will make a slight inroad 
Upon decorous silence, few will twice 
Lift up their lungs when fairly overcrow'd; 
And now the bard could plead his own bad cause, 
With all the attitudes of self-applause. 


He said — (I only give the heads) — he said, 
He meant no harm in scribbling; 'twas his way 
Upon all topics; 'twas, besides, his bread, 
Of which he butter'd both sides; 'twould delay 
Too long the assembly (he was pleased to dread), 
And take up rather more time than a day, 
To name his works — he would but cite a few — 
'Wat Tyler' — 'Rhymes on Blenheim' — 'Waterloo.' 


He had written praises of a regicide: 
He had written praises of all kings whatever; 
He had written for republics far and wide; 
And then against them bitterer than ever; 
For pantisocracy he once had cried 
Aloud, a scheme less moral than 'twas clever; 
Then grew a hearty anti-Jacobin — 
Had turn'd his coat — and would have turn'd his skin. 


He had sung against all battles, and again 
In their high praise and glory; he had call'd 
Reviewing (1)'the ungentle craft,' and then 
Become as base a critic as e'er crawl'd — 
Fed, paid, and pamper'd by the very men 
By whom his muse and morals had been maul'd: 
He had written much blank verse, and blanker prose, 
And more of both than anybody knows. 


He had written Wesley's life: — here turning round 
To Satan, 'Sir, I'm ready to write yours, 
In two octavo volumes, nicely bound, 
With notes and preface, all that most allures 
The pious purchaser; and there's no ground 
For fear, for I can choose my own reviews: 
So let me have the proper documents, 
That I may add you to my other saints.' 


Satan bow'd, and was silent. 'Well, if you, 
With amiable modesty, decline 
My offer, what says Michael? There are few 
Whose memoirs could be render'd more divine. 
Mine is a pen of all work; not so new 
As it once was, but I would make you shine 
Like your own trumpet. By the way, my own 
Has more of brass in it, and is as well blown. 


'But talking about trumpets, here's my Vision! 
Now you shall judge, all people; yes, you shall 
Judge with my judgment, and by my decision 
Be guided who shall enter heaven or fall. 
I settle all these things by intuition, 
Times present, past, to come, heaven, hell, and all, 
Like King Alfonso(2). When I thus see double, 
I save the Deity some worlds of trouble.' 


He ceased, and drew forth an MS.; and no 
Persuasion on the part of devils, saints, 
Or angels, now could stop the torrent; so 
He read the first three lines of the contents; 
But at the fourth, the whole spiritual show 
Had vanish'd, with variety of scents, 
Ambrosial and sulphureous, as they sprang, 
Like lightning, off from his 'melodious twang.' (3)


Those grand heroics acted as a spell: 
The angels stopp'd their ears and plied their pinions; 
The devils ran howling, deafen'd, down to hell; 
The ghosts fled, gibbering, for their own dominions — 
(For 'tis not yet decided where they dwell, 
And I leave every man to his opinions); 
Michael took refuge in his trump — but, lo! 
His teeth were set on edge, he could not blow! 


Saint Peter, who has hitherto been known 
For an impetuous saint, upraised his keys, 
And at the fifth line knock'd the poet down; 
Who fell like Phaeton, but more at ease, 
Into his lake, for there he did not drown; 
A different web being by the Destinies 
Woven for the Laureate's final wreath, whene'er 
Reform shall happen either here or there. 


He first sank to the bottom - like his works, 
But soon rose to the surface — like himself; 
For all corrupted things are bouy'd like corks,(4) 
By their own rottenness, light as an elf, 
Or wisp that flits o'er a morass: he lurks, 
It may be, still, like dull books on a shelf, 
In his own den, to scrawl some 'Life' or 'Vision,' 
As Welborn says — 'the devil turn'd precisian.' 


As for the rest, to come to the conclusion 
Of this true dream, the telescope is gone 
Which kept my optics free from all delusion, 
And show'd me what I in my turn have shown; 
All I saw farther, in the last confusion, 
Was, that King George slipp'd into heaven for one; 
And when the tumult dwindled to a calm, 
I left him practising the hundredth psalm. 


The first publication of this satire on Southey's poem A Vision of Judgement was under the nom de plume of Quevedo Redivivus in volume number 1 of The Liberal, a periodical edited by Leigh Hunt and largely financed by Byron. In the copy of the first volume of The Liberal that I have (which appears to be a first edition), there is no preamble but it does appear in later collections and so I have included it for completeness.

Also for the sake of completeness, I have included several footnotes that appear in The Liberal but that do not seem to have been carried forward to subsequent collections.

1. See "Life of H Kirk White"

2. King Alfonso, speaking of the Ptolomean system said, that "had he been consulted at the creation of the world, he would have spared the Maker some absurdities."

3. See Aubrey's account of the apparition which disappeared "with a curious perfume and a melodious twang;" or see the Antiquary, Vol. I.

4. A drowned body lies at the body till rotten; it then floats, as most people know.

by George (Lord) Byron |


BOB SOUTHEY! You 're a poet- Poet-laureate,
    And representative of all the race,
  Although 't is true that you turn'd out a Tory at
    Last,- yours has lately been a common case;
  And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at?
    With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
  A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye
  Like 'four and twenty Blackbirds in a pye;'

  'Which pye being open'd they began to sing'
    (This old song and new simile holds good),
  'A dainty dish to set before the King,'
    Or Regent, who admires such kind of food;-
  And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing,
    But like a hawk encumber'd with his hood,-
  Explaining metaphysics to the nation-
  I wish he would explain his Explanation.

  You, Bob! are rather insolent, you know,
    At being disappointed in your wish
  To supersede all warblers here below,
    And be the only Blackbird in the dish;
  And then you overstrain yourself, or so,
    And tumble downward like the flying fish
  Gasping on deck, because you soar too high, Bob,
  And fall, for lack of moisture, quite a-dry, Bob!

  And Wordsworth, in a rather long Excursion
    (I think the quarto holds five hundred pages),
  Has given a sample from the vasty version
    Of his new system to perplex the sages;
  'T is poetry- at least by his assertion,
    And may appear so when the dog-star rages-
  And he who understands it would be able
  To add a story to the Tower of Babel.

  You- Gentlemen! by dint of long seclusion
    From better company, have kept your own
  At Keswick, and, through still continued fusion
    Of one another's minds, at last have grown
  To deem as a most logical conclusion,
    That Poesy has wreaths for you alone:
  There is a narrowness in such a notion,
  Which makes me wish you'd change your lakes for ocean.

  I would not imitate the petty thought,
    Nor coin my self-love to so base a vice,
  For all the glory your conversion brought,
    Since gold alone should not have been its price.
  You have your salary; was 't for that you wrought?
    And Wordsworth has his place in the Excise.
  You're shabby fellows- true- but poets still,
  And duly seated on the immortal hill.

  Your bays may hide the baldness of your brows-
    Perhaps some virtuous blushes;- let them go-
  To you I envy neither fruit nor boughs-
    And for the fame you would engross below,
  The field is universal, and allows
    Scope to all such as feel the inherent glow:
  Scott, Rogers, Campbell, Moore, and Crabbe will try
  'Gainst you the question with posterity.

  For me, who, wandering with pedestrian Muses,
    Contend not with you on the winged steed,
  I wish your fate may yield ye, when she chooses,
    The fame you envy and the skill you need;
  And recollect a poet nothing loses
    In giving to his brethren their full meed
  Of merit, and complaint of present days
  Is not the certain path to future praise.

  He that reserves his laurels for posterity
    (Who does not often claim the bright reversion)
  Has generally no great crop to spare it, he
    Being only injured by his own assertion;
  And although here and there some glorious rarity
    Arise like Titan from the sea's immersion,
  The major part of such appelants go
  To- God knows where- for no one else can know.

  If, fallen in evil days on evil tongues,
    Milton appeal'd to the Avenger, Time,
  If Time, the Avenger, execrates his wrongs,
    And makes the word Miltonic' mean 'sublime,'
  He deign'd not to belie his soul in songs,
    Nor turn his very talent to a crime;
  He did not loathe the Sire to laud the Son,
  But closed the tyrant-hater he begun.

  Think'st thou, could he- the blind Old Man- arise
    Like Samuel from the grave, to freeze once more
  The blood of monarchs with his prophecies,
    Or be alive again- again all hoar
  With time and trials, and those helpless eyes,
    And heartless daughters- worn- and pale- and poor;
  Would he adore a sultan? he obey
  The intellectual eunuch Castlereagh?

  Cold-blooded, smooth-faced, placid miscreant!
    Dabbling its sleek young hands in Erin's gore,
  And thus for wider carnage taught to pant,
    Transferr'd to gorge upon a sister shore,
  The vulgarest tool that Tyranny could want,
    With just enough of talent, and no more,
  To lengthen fetters by another fix'd,
  And offer poison long already mix'd.

  An orator of such set trash of phrase
    Ineffably- legitimately vile,
  That even its grossest flatterers dare not praise,
    Nor foes- all nations- condescend to smile,-
  Not even a sprightly blunder's spark can blaze
    From that Ixion grindstone's ceaseless toil,
  That turns and turns to give the world a notion
  Of endless torments and perpetual motion.

  A bungler even in its disgusting trade,
    And botching, patching, leaving still behind
  Something of which its masters are afraid,
    States to be curb'd and thoughts to be confined,
  Conspiracy or Congress to be made-
    Cobbling at manacles for all mankind-
  A tinkering slave-maker, who mends old chains,
  With God and man's abhorrence for its gains.

  If we may judge of matter by the mind,
    Emasculated to the marrow It
  Hath but two objects, how to serve and bind,
    Deeming the chain it wears even men may fit,
  Eutropius of its many masters,- blind
    To worth as freedom, wisdom as to wit,
  Fearless- because no feeling dwells in ice,
  Its very courage stagnates to a vice.

  Where shall I turn me not to view its bonds,
    For I will never feel them?- Italy!
  Thy late reviving Roman soul desponds
    Beneath the lie this State-thing breathed o'er thee-
  Thy clanking chain, and Erin's yet green wounds,
    Have voices, tongues to cry aloud for me.
  Europe has slaves, allies, kings, armies still,
  And Southey lives to sing them very ill.

  Meantime, Sir Laureate, I proceed to dedicate,
    In honest simple verse, this song to you.
  And, if in flattering strains I do not predicate,
    'T is that I still retain my 'buff and blue;'
  My politics as yet are all to educate:
    Apostasy 's so fashionable, too,
  To keep one creed 's a task grown quite Herculean;
  Is it not so, my Tory, ultra-Julian?

  VENICE, September 16, 1818.
                   CANTO THE FIRST.

  I WANT a hero: an uncommon want,
    When every year and month sends forth a new one,
  Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,
    The age discovers he is not the true one;
  Of such as these I should not care to vaunt,
    I 'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan-
  We all have seen him, in the pantomime,
  Sent to the devil somewhat ere his time.

  Vernon, the butcher Cumberland, Wolfe, Hawke,
    Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Keppel, Howe,
  Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk,
    And fill'd their sign posts then, like Wellesley now;
  Each in their turn like Banquo's monarchs stalk,
    Followers of fame, 'nine farrow' of that sow:
  France, too, had Buonaparte and Dumourier
  Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier.

  Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau,
    Petion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayette,
  Were French, and famous people, as we know:
    And there were others, scarce forgotten yet,
  Joubert, Hoche, Marceau, Lannes, Desaix, Moreau,
    With many of the military set,
  Exceedingly remarkable at times,
  But not at all adapted to my rhymes.

  Nelson was once Britannia's god of war,
    And still should be so, but the tide is turn'd;
  There 's no more to be said of Trafalgar,
    'T is with our hero quietly inurn'd;
  Because the army 's grown more popular,
    At which the naval people are concern'd;
  Besides, the prince is all for the land-service,
  Forgetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe, and Jervis.

  Brave men were living before Agamemnon
    And since, exceeding valorous and sage,
  A good deal like him too, though quite the same none;
    But then they shone not on the poet's page,
  And so have been forgotten:- I condemn none,
    But can't find any in the present age
  Fit for my poem (that is, for my new one);
  So, as I said, I 'll take my friend Don Juan.

  Most epic poets plunge 'in medias res'
    (Horace makes this the heroic turnpike road),
  And then your hero tells, whene'er you please,
    What went before- by way of episode,
  While seated after dinner at his ease,
    Beside his mistress in some soft abode,
  Palace, or garden, paradise, or cavern,
  Which serves the happy couple for a tavern.

  That is the usual method, but not mine-
    My way is to begin with the beginning;
  The regularity of my design
    Forbids all wandering as the worst of sinning,
  And therefore I shall open with a line
    (Although it cost me half an hour in spinning)
  Narrating somewhat of Don Juan's father,
  And also of his mother, if you 'd rather.

  In Seville was he born, a pleasant city,
    Famous for oranges and women- he
  Who has not seen it will be much to pity,
    So says the proverb- and I quite agree;
  Of all the Spanish towns is none more pretty,
    Cadiz perhaps- but that you soon may see;
  Don Juan's parents lived beside the river,
  A noble stream, and call'd the Guadalquivir.

  His father's name was Jose- Don, of course,-
    A true Hidalgo, free from every stain
  Of Moor or Hebrew blood, he traced his source
    Through the most Gothic gentlemen of Spain;
  A better cavalier ne'er mounted horse,
    Or, being mounted, e'er got down again,
  Than Jose, who begot our hero, who
  Begot- but that 's to come- Well, to renew:

  His mother was a learned lady, famed
    For every branch of every science known
  In every Christian language ever named,
    With virtues equall'd by her wit alone,
  She made the cleverest people quite ashamed,
    And even the good with inward envy groan,
  Finding themselves so very much exceeded
  In their own way by all the things that she did.

  Her memory was a mine: she knew by heart
    All Calderon and greater part of Lope,
  So that if any actor miss'd his part
    She could have served him for the prompter's copy;
  For her Feinagle's were an useless art,
    And he himself obliged to shut up shop- he
  Could never make a memory so fine as
  That which adorn'd the brain of Donna Inez.

  Her favourite science was the mathematical,
    Her noblest virtue was her magnanimity,
  Her wit (she sometimes tried at wit) was Attic all,
    Her serious sayings darken'd to sublimity;
  In short, in all things she was fairly what I call
    A prodigy- her morning dress was dimity,
  Her evening silk, or, in the summer, muslin,
  And other stuffs, with which I won't stay puzzling.

  She knew the Latin- that is, 'the Lord's prayer,'
    And Greek- the alphabet- I 'm nearly sure;
  She read some French romances here and there,
    Although her mode of speaking was not pure;
  For native Spanish she had no great care,
    At least her conversation was obscure;
  Her thoughts were theorems, her words a problem,
  As if she deem'd that mystery would ennoble 'em.

  She liked the English and the Hebrew tongue,
    And said there was analogy between 'em;
  She proved it somehow out of sacred song,
    But I must leave the proofs to those who 've seen 'em;
  But this I heard her say, and can't be wrong
    And all may think which way their judgments lean 'em,
  ''T is strange- the Hebrew noun which means "I am,"

  Some women use their tongues- she look'd a lecture,
    Each eye a sermon, and her brow a homily,
  An all-in-all sufficient self-director,
    Like the lamented late Sir Samuel Romilly,
  The Law's expounder, and the State's corrector,
    Whose suicide was almost an anomaly-
  One sad example more, that 'All is vanity'
  (The jury brought their verdict in 'Insanity').

  In short, she was a walking calculation,
    Miss Edgeworth's novels stepping from their covers,
  Or Mrs. Trimmer's books on education,
    Or 'Coelebs' Wife' set out in quest of lovers,
  Morality's prim personification,
    In which not Envy's self a flaw discovers;
  To others' share let 'female errors fall,'
  For she had not even one- the worst of all.

  Oh! she was perfect past all parallel-
    Of any modern female saint's comparison;
  So far above the cunning powers of hell,
    Her guardian angel had given up his garrison;
  Even her minutest motions went as well
    As those of the best time-piece made by Harrison:
  In virtues nothing earthly could surpass her,
  Save thine 'incomparable oil,' Macassar!

  Perfect she was, but as perfection is
    Insipid in this naughty world of ours,
  Where our first parents never learn'd to kiss
    Till they were exiled from their earlier bowers,
  Where all was peace, and innocence, and bliss
    (I wonder how they got through the twelve hours),
  Don Jose, like a lineal son of Eve,
  Went plucking various fruit without her leave.

  He was a mortal of the careless kind,
    With no great love for learning, or the learn'd,
  Who chose to go where'er he had a mind,
    And never dream'd his lady was concern'd;
  The world, as usual, wickedly inclined
    To see a kingdom or a house o'erturn'd,
  Whisper'd he had a mistress, some said two-
  But for domestic quarrels one will do.

  Now Donna Inez had, with all her merit,
    A great opinion of her own good qualities;
  Neglect, indeed, requires a saint to bear it,
    And such, indeed, she was in her moralities;
  But then she had a devil of a spirit,
    And sometimes mix'd up fancies with realities,
  And let few opportunities escape
  Of getting her liege lord into a scrape.

  This was an easy matter with a man
    Oft in the wrong, and never on his guard;
  And even the wisest, do the best they can,
    Have moments, hours, and days, so unprepared,
  That you might 'brain them with their lady's fan;'
    And sometimes ladies hit exceeding hard,
  And fans turn into falchions in fair hands,
  And why and wherefore no one understands.

  'T is pity learned virgins ever wed
    With persons of no sort of education,
  Or gentlemen, who, though well born and bred,
    Grow tired of scientific conversation:
  I don't choose to say much upon this head,
    I 'm a plain man, and in a single station,
  But- Oh! ye lords of ladies intellectual,
  Inform us truly, have they not hen-peck'd you all?

  Don Jose and his lady quarrell'd- why,
    Not any of the many could divine,
  Though several thousand people chose to try,
    'T was surely no concern of theirs nor mine;
  I loathe that low vice- curiosity;
    But if there 's anything in which I shine,
  'T is in arranging all my friends' affairs,
  Not having of my own domestic cares.

  And so I interfered, and with the best
    Intentions, but their treatment was not kind;
  I think the foolish people were possess'd,
    For neither of them could I ever find,
  Although their porter afterwards confess'd-
    But that 's no matter, and the worst 's behind,
  For little Juan o'er me threw, down stairs,
  A pail of housemaid's water unawares.

  A little curly-headed, good-for-nothing,
    And mischief-making monkey from his birth;
  His parents ne'er agreed except in doting
    Upon the most unquiet imp on earth;
  Instead of quarrelling, had they been but both in
    Their senses, they 'd have sent young master forth
  To school, or had him soundly whipp'd at home,
  To teach him manners for the time to come.

  Don Jose and the Donna Inez led
    For some time an unhappy sort of life,
  Wishing each other, not divorced, but dead;
    They lived respectably as man and wife,
  Their conduct was exceedingly well-bred,
    And gave no outward signs of inward strife,
  Until at length the smother'd fire broke out,
  And put the business past all kind of doubt.

  For Inez call'd some druggists and physicians,
    And tried to prove her loving lord was mad;
  But as he had some lucid intermissions,
    She next decided he was only bad;
  Yet when they ask'd her for her depositions,
    No sort of explanation could be had,
  Save that her duty both to man and God
  Required this conduct- which seem'd very odd.

  She kept a journal, where his faults were noted,
    And open'd certain trunks of books and letters,
  All which might, if occasion served, be quoted;
    And then she had all Seville for abettors,
  Besides her good old grandmother (who doted);
    The hearers of her case became repeaters,
  Then advocates, inquisitors, and judges,
  Some for amusement, others for old grudges.

  And then this best and weakest woman bore
    With such serenity her husband's woes,
  Just as the Spartan ladies did of yore,
    Who saw their spouses kill'd, and nobly chose
  Never to say a word about them more-
    Calmly she heard each calumny that rose,
  And saw his agonies with such sublimity,
  That all the world exclaim'd, 'What magnanimity!'

  No doubt this patience, when the world is damning us,
    Is philosophic in our former friends;
  'T is also pleasant to be deem'd magnanimous,
    The more so in obtaining our own ends;
  And what the lawyers call a 'malus animus'
    Conduct like this by no means comprehends;
  Revenge in person 's certainly no virtue,
  But then 't is not my fault, if others hurt you.

  And if your quarrels should rip up old stories,
    And help them with a lie or two additional,
  I 'm not to blame, as you well know- no more is
    Any one else- they were become traditional;
  Besides, their resurrection aids our glories
    By contrast, which is what we just were wishing all:
  And science profits by this resurrection-
  Dead scandals form good subjects for dissection.

  Their friends had tried at reconciliation,
    Then their relations, who made matters worse.
  ('T were hard to tell upon a like occasion
    To whom it may be best to have recourse-
  I can't say much for friend or yet relation):
    The lawyers did their utmost for divorce,
  But scarce a fee was paid on either side
  Before, unluckily, Don Jose died.

  He died: and most unluckily, because,
    According to all hints I could collect
  From counsel learned in those kinds of laws
    (Although their talk 's obscure and circumspect),
  His death contrived to spoil a charming cause;
    A thousand pities also with respect
  To public feeling, which on this occasion
  Was manifested in a great sensation.

  But, ah! he died; and buried with him lay
    The public feeling and the lawyers' fees:
  His house was sold, his servants sent away,
    A Jew took one of his two mistresses,
  A priest the other- at least so they say:
    I ask'd the doctors after his disease-
  He died of the slow fever call'd the tertian,
  And left his widow to her own aversion.

  Yet Jose was an honourable man,
    That I must say who knew him very well;
  Therefore his frailties I 'll no further scan
    Indeed there were not many more to tell;
  And if his passions now and then outran
    Discretion, and were not so peaceable
  As Numa's (who was also named Pompilius),
  He had been ill brought up, and was born bilious.

  Whate'er might be his worthlessness or worth,
    Poor fellow! he had many things to wound him.
  Let 's own- since it can do no good on earth-
    It was a trying moment that which found him
  Standing alone beside his desolate hearth,
    Where all his household gods lay shiver'd round him:
  No choice was left his feelings or his pride,
  Save death or Doctors' Commons- so he died.

  Dying intestate, Juan was sole heir
    To a chancery suit, and messuages, and lands,
  Which, with a long minority and care,
    Promised to turn out well in proper hands:
  Inez became sole guardian, which was fair,
    And answer'd but to nature's just demands;
  An only son left with an only mother
  Is brought up much more wisely than another.

  Sagest of women, even of widows, she
    Resolved that Juan should be quite a paragon,
  And worthy of the noblest pedigree
    (His sire was of Castile, his dam from Aragon):
  Then for accomplishments of chivalry,
    In case our lord the king should go to war again,
  He learn'd the arts of riding, fencing, gunnery,
  And how to scale a fortress- or a nunnery.

  But that which Donna Inez most desired,
    And saw into herself each day before all
  The learned tutors whom for him she hired,
    Was, that his breeding should be strictly moral;
  Much into all his studies she inquired,
    And so they were submitted first to her, all,
  Arts, sciences, no branch was made a mystery
  To Juan's eyes, excepting natural history.

  The languages, especially the dead,
    The sciences, and most of all the abstruse,
  The arts, at least all such as could be said
    To be the most remote from common use,
  In all these he was much and deeply read;
    But not a page of any thing that 's loose,
  Or hints continuation of the species,
  Was ever suffer'd, lest he should grow vicious.

  His classic studies made a little puzzle,
    Because of filthy loves of gods and goddesses,
  Who in the earlier ages raised a bustle,
    But never put on pantaloons or bodices;
  His reverend tutors had at times a tussle,
    And for their AEneids, Iliads, and Odysseys,
  Were forced to make an odd sort! of apology,
  For Donna Inez dreaded the Mythology.

  Ovid 's a rake, as half his verses show him,
    Anacreon's morals are a still worse sample,
  Catullus scarcely has a decent poem,
    I don't think Sappho's Ode a good example,
  Although Longinus tells us there is no hymn
    Where the sublime soars forth on wings more ample:
  But Virgil's songs are pure, except that horrid one
  Beginning with 'Formosum Pastor Corydon.'

  Lucretius' irreligion is too strong,
    For early stomachs, to prove wholesome food;
  I can't help thinking Juvenal was wrong,
    Although no doubt his real intent was good,
  For speaking out so plainly in his song,
    So much indeed as to be downright rude;
  And then what proper person can be partial
  To all those nauseous epigrams of Martial?

  Juan was taught from out the best edition,
    Expurgated by learned men, who place
  Judiciously, from out the schoolboy's vision,
    The grosser parts; but, fearful to deface
  Too much their modest bard by this omission,
    And pitying sore his mutilated case,
  They only add them all in an appendix,
  Which saves, in fact, the trouble of an index;

  For there we have them all 'at one fell swoop,'
    Instead of being scatter'd through the Pages;
  They stand forth marshall'd in a handsome troop,
    To meet the ingenuous youth of future ages,
  Till some less rigid editor shall stoop
    To call them back into their separate cages,
  Instead of standing staring all together,
  Like garden gods- and not so decent either.

  The Missal too (it was the family Missal)
    Was ornamented in a sort of way
  Which ancient mass-books often are, and this all
    Kinds of grotesques illumined; and how they,
  Who saw those figures on the margin kiss all,
    Could turn their optics to the text and pray,
  Is more than I know- But Don Juan's mother
  Kept this herself, and gave her son another.

  Sermons he read, and lectures he endured,
    And homilies, and lives of all the saints;
  To Jerome and to Chrysostom inured,
    He did not take such studies for restraints;
  But how faith is acquired, and then ensured,
    So well not one of the aforesaid paints
  As Saint Augustine in his fine Confessions,
  Which make the reader envy his transgressions.

  This, too, was a seal'd book to little Juan-
    I can't but say that his mamma was right,
  If such an education was the true one.
    She scarcely trusted him from out her sight;
  Her maids were old, and if she took a new one,
    You might be sure she was a perfect fright;
  She did this during even her husband's life-
  I recommend as much to every wife.

  Young Juan wax'd in goodliness and grace;
    At six a charming child, and at eleven
  With all the promise of as fine a face
    As e'er to man's maturer growth was given:
  He studied steadily, and grew apace,
    And seem'd, at least, in the right road to heaven,
  For half his days were pass'd at church, the other
  Between his tutors, confessor, and mother.

  At six, I said, he was a charming child,
    At twelve he was a fine, but quiet boy;
  Although in infancy a little wild,
    They tamed him down amongst them: to destroy
  His natural spirit not in vain they toil'd,
    At least it seem'd so; and his mother's joy
  Was to declare how sage, and still, and steady,
  Her young philosopher was grown already.

  I had my doubts, perhaps I have them still,
    But what I say is neither here nor there:
  I knew his father well, and have some skill
    In character- but it would not be fair
  From sire to son to augur good or ill:
    He and his wife were an ill-sorted pair-
  But scandal 's my aversion- I protest
  Against all evil speaking, even in jest.

  For my part I say nothing- nothing- but
    This I will say- my reasons are my own-
  That if I had an only son to put
    To school (as God be praised that I have none),
  'T is not with Donna Inez I would shut
    Him up to learn his catechism alone,
  No- no- I 'd send him out betimes to college,
  For there it was I pick'd up my own knowledge.

  For there one learns- 't is not for me to boast,
    Though I acquired- but I pass over that,
  As well as all the Greek I since have lost:
    I say that there 's the place- but 'Verbum sat.'
  I think I pick'd up too, as well as most,
    Knowledge of matters- but no matter what-
  I never married- but, I think, I know
  That sons should not be educated so.

  Young Juan now was sixteen years of age,
    Tall, handsome, slender, but well knit: he seem'd
  Active, though not so sprightly, as a page;
    And everybody but his mother deem'd
  Him almost man; but she flew in a rage
    And bit her lips (for else she might have scream'd)
  If any said so, for to be precocious
  Was in her eyes a thing the most atrocious.

  Amongst her numerous acquaintance, all
    Selected for discretion and devotion,
  There was the Donna Julia, whom to call
    Pretty were but to give a feeble notion
  Of many charms in her as natural
    As sweetness to the flower, or salt to ocean,
  Her zone to Venus, or his bow to Cupid
  (But this last simile is trite and stupid).

  The darkness of her Oriental eye
    Accorded with her Moorish origin
  (Her blood was not all Spanish, by the by;
    In Spain, you know, this is a sort of sin);
  When proud Granada fell, and, forced to fly,
    Boabdil wept, of Donna Julia's kin
  Some went to Africa, some stay'd in Spain,
  Her great-great-grandmamma chose to remain.

  She married (I forget the pedigree)
    With an Hidalgo, who transmitted down
  His blood less noble than such blood should be;
    At such alliances his sires would frown,
  In that point so precise in each degree
    That they bred in and in, as might be shown,
  Marrying their cousins- nay, their aunts, and nieces,
  Which always spoils the breed, if it increases.

  This heathenish cross restored the breed again,
    Ruin'd its blood, but much improved its flesh;
  For from a root the ugliest in Old Spain
    Sprung up a branch as beautiful as fresh;
  The sons no more were short, the daughters plain:
    But there 's a rumour which I fain would hush,
  'T is said that Donna Julia's grandmamma
  Produced her Don more heirs at love than law.

  However this might be, the race went on
    Improving still through every generation,
  Until it centred in an only son,
    Who left an only daughter; my narration
  May have suggested that this single one
    Could be but Julia (whom on this occasion
  I shall have much to speak about), and she
  Was married, charming, chaste, and twenty-three.

  Her eye (I 'm very fond of handsome eyes)
    Was large and dark, suppressing half its fire
  Until she spoke, then through its soft disguise
    Flash'd an expression more of pride than ire,
  And love than either; and there would arise
    A something in them which was not desire,
  But would have been, perhaps, but for the soul
  Which struggled through and chasten'd down the whole.

  Her glossy hair was cluster'd o'er a brow
    Bright with intelligence, and fair, and smooth;
  Her eyebrow's shape was like th' aerial bow,
    Her cheek all purple with the beam of youth,
  Mounting at times to a transparent glow,
    As if her veins ran lightning; she, in sooth,
  Possess'd an air and grace by no means common:
  Her stature tall- I hate a dumpy woman.

  Wedded she was some years, and to a man
    Of fifty, and such husbands are in plenty;
  And yet, I think, instead of such a ONE
    'T were better to have TWO of five-and-twenty,
  Especially in countries near the sun:
    And now I think on 't, 'mi vien in mente,'
  Ladies even of the most uneasy virtue
  Prefer a spouse whose age is short of thirty.

  'T is a sad thing, I cannot choose but say,
    And all the fault of that indecent sun,
  Who cannot leave alone our helpless clay,
    But will keep baking, broiling, burning on,
  That howsoever people fast and pray,
    The flesh is frail, and so the soul undone:
  What men call gallantry, and gods adultery,
  Is much more common where the climate 's sultry.

  Happy the nations of the moral North!
    Where all is virtue, and the winter season
  Sends sin, without a rag on, shivering forth
    ('T was snow that brought St. Anthony to reason);
  Where juries cast up what a wife is worth,
    By laying whate'er sum in mulct they please on
  The lover, who must pay a handsome price,
  Because it is a marketable vice.

  Alfonso was the name of Julia's lord,
    A man well looking for his years, and who
  Was neither much beloved nor yet abhorr'd:
    They lived together, as most people do,
  Suffering each other's foibles by accord,
    And not exactly either one or two;
  Yet he was jealous, though he did not show it,
  For jealousy dislikes the world to know it.

  Julia was- yet I never could see why-
    With Donna Inez quite a favourite friend;
  Between their tastes there was small sympathy,
    For not a line had Julia ever penn'd:
  Some people whisper but no doubt they lie,
    For malice still imputes some private end)
  That Inez had, ere Don Alfonso's marriage,
  Forgot with him her very prudent carriage;

  And that still keeping up the old connection,
    Which time had lately render'd much more chaste,
  She took his lady also in affection,
    And certainly this course was much the best:
  She flatter'd Julia with her sage protection,
    And complimented Don Alfonso's taste;
  And if she could not (who can?) silence scandal,
  At least she left it a more slender handle.

  I can't tell whether Julia saw the affair
    With other people's eyes, or if her own
  Discoveries made, but none could be aware
    Of this, at least no symptom e'er was shown;
  Perhaps she did not know, or did not care,
    Indifferent from the first or callous grown:
  I 'm really puzzled what to think or say,
  She kept her counsel in so close a way.

  Juan she saw, and, as a pretty child,
    Caress'd him often- such a thing might be
  Quite innocently done, and harmless styled,
    When she had twenty years, and thirteen he;
  But I am not so sure I should have smiled
    When he was sixteen, Julia twenty-three;
  These few short years make wondrous alterations,
  Particularly amongst sun-burnt nations.

  Whate'er the cause might be, they had become
    Changed; for the dame grew distant, the youth shy,
  Their looks cast down, their greetings almost dumb,
    And much embarrassment in either eye;
  There surely will be little doubt with some
    That Donna Julia knew the reason why,
  But as for Juan, he had no more notion
  Than he who never saw the sea of ocean.

  Yet Julia's very coldness still was kind,
    And tremulously gentle her small hand
  Withdrew itself from his, but left behind
    A little pressure, thrilling, and so bland
  And slight, so very slight, that to the mind
    'T was but a doubt; but ne'er magician's wand
  Wrought change with all Armida's fairy art
  Like what this light touch left on Juan's heart.

  And if she met him, though she smiled no more,
    She look'd a sadness sweeter than her smile,
  As if her heart had deeper thoughts in store
    She must not own, but cherish'd more the while
  For that compression in its burning core;
    Even innocence itself has many a wile,
  And will not dare to trust itself with truth,
  And love is taught hypocrisy from youth.

  But passion most dissembles, yet betrays
    Even by its darkness; as the blackest sky
  Foretells the heaviest tempest, it displays
    Its workings through the vainly guarded eye,
  And in whatever aspect it arrays
    Itself, 't is still the same hypocrisy;
  Coldness or anger, even disdain or hate,
  Are masks it often wears, and still too late.

  Then there were sighs, the deeper for suppression,
    And stolen glances, sweeter for the theft,
  And burning blushes, though for no transgression,
    Tremblings when met, and restlessness when left;
  All these are little preludes to possession,
    Of which young passion cannot be bereft,
  And merely tend to show how greatly love is
  Embarrass'd at first starting with a novice.

  Poor Julia's heart was in an awkward state;
    She felt it going, and resolved to make
  The noblest efforts for herself and mate,
    For honour's, pride's, religion's, virtue's sake;
  Her resolutions were most truly great,
    And almost might have made a Tarquin quake:
  She pray'd the Virgin Mary for her grace,
  As being the best judge of a lady's case.

  She vow'd she never would see Juan more,
    And next day paid a visit to his mother,
  And look'd extremely at the opening door,
    Which, by the Virgin's grace, let in another;
  Grateful she was, and yet a little sore-
    Again it opens, it can be no other,
  'T is surely Juan now- No! I 'm afraid
  That night the Virgin was no further pray'd.

  She now determined that a virtuous woman
    Should rather face and overcome temptation,
  That flight was base and dastardly, and no man
    Should ever give her heart the least sensation;
  That is to say, a thought beyond the common
    Preference, that we must feel upon occasion
  For people who are pleasanter than others,
  But then they only seem so many brothers.

  And even if by chance- and who can tell?
    The devil 's so very sly- she should discover
  That all within was not so very well,
    And, if still free, that such or such a lover
  Might please perhaps, a virtuous wife can quell
    Such thoughts, and be the better when they 're over;
  And if the man should ask, 't is but denial:
  I recommend young ladies to make trial.

  And then there are such things as love divine,
    Bright and immaculate, unmix'd and pure,
  Such as the angels think so very fine,
    And matrons who would be no less secure,
  Platonic, perfect, 'just such love as mine;'
    Thus Julia said- and thought so, to be sure;
  And so I 'd have her think, were I the man
  On whom her reveries celestial ran.

  Such love is innocent, and may exist
    Between young persons without any danger.
  A hand may first, and then a lip be kist;
    For my part, to such doings I 'm a stranger,
  But hear these freedoms form the utmost list
    Of all o'er which such love may be a ranger:
  If people go beyond, 't is quite a crime,
  But not my fault- I tell them all in time.

  Love, then, but love within its proper limits,
    Was Julia's innocent determination
  In young Don Juan's favour, and to him its
    Exertion might be useful on occasion;
  And, lighted at too pure a shrine to dim its
    Ethereal lustre, with what sweet persuasion
  He might be taught, by love and her together-
  I really don't know what, nor Julia either.

  Fraught with this fine intention, and well fenced
    In mail of proof- her purity of soul-
  She, for the future of her strength convinced.
    And that her honour was a rock, or mole,
  Exceeding sagely from that hour dispensed
    With any kind of troublesome control;
  But whether Julia to the task was equal
  Is that which must be mention'd in the sequel.

  Her plan she deem'd both innocent and feasible,
    And, surely, with a stripling of sixteen
  Not scandal's fangs could fix on much that 's seizable,
    Or if they did so, satisfied to mean
  Nothing but what was good, her breast was peaceable-
    A quiet conscience makes one so serene!
  Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded
  That all the Apostles would have done as they did.

  And if in the mean time her husband died,
    But Heaven forbid that such a thought should cross
  Her brain, though in a dream! (and then she sigh'd)
    Never could she survive that common loss;
  But just suppose that moment should betide,
    I only say suppose it- inter nos.
  (This should be entre nous, for Julia thought
  In French, but then the rhyme would go for naught.)

  I only say suppose this supposition:
    Juan being then grown up to man's estate
  Would fully suit a widow of condition,
    Even seven years hence it would not be too late;
  And in the interim (to pursue this vision)
    The mischief, after all, could not be great,
  For he would learn the rudiments of love,
  I mean the seraph way of those above.

  So much for Julia. Now we 'll turn to Juan.
    Poor little fellow! he had no idea
  Of his own case, and never hit the true one;
    In feelings quick as Ovid's Miss Medea,
  He puzzled over what he found a new one,
    But not as yet imagined it could be
  Thing quite in course, and not at all alarming,
  Which, with a little patience, might grow charming.

  Silent and pensive, idle, restless, slow,
    His home deserted for the lonely wood,
  Tormented with a wound he could not know,
    His, like all deep grief, plunged in solitude:
  I 'm fond myself of solitude or so,
    But then, I beg it may be understood,
  By solitude I mean a sultan's, not
  A hermit's, with a haram for a grot.

  'Oh Love! in such a wilderness as this,
    Where transport and security entwine,
  Here is the empire of thy perfect bliss,
    And here thou art a god indeed divine.'
  The bard I quote from does not sing amiss,
    With the exception of the second line,
  For that same twining 'transport and security'
  Are twisted to a phrase of some obscurity.

  The poet meant, no doubt, and thus appeals
    To the good sense and senses of mankind,
  The very thing which every body feels,
    As all have found on trial, or may find,
  That no one likes to be disturb'd at meals
    Or love.- I won't say more about 'entwined'
  Or 'transport,' as we knew all that before,
  But beg 'Security' will bolt the door.

  Young Juan wander'd by the glassy brooks,
    Thinking unutterable things; he threw
  Himself at length within the leafy nooks
    Where the wild branch of the cork forest grew;
  There poets find materials for their books,
    And every now and then we read them through,
  So that their plan and prosody are eligible,
  Unless, like Wordsworth, they prove unintelligible.

  He, Juan (and not Wordsworth), so pursued
    His self-communion with his own high soul,
  Until his mighty heart, in its great mood,
    Had mitigated part, though not the whole
  Of its disease; he did the best he could
    With things not very subject to control,
  And turn'd, without perceiving his condition,
  Like Coleridge, into a metaphysician.

  He thought about himself, and the whole earth
    Of man the wonderful, and of the stars,
  And how the deuce they ever could have birth;
    And then he thought of earthquakes, and of wars,
  How many miles the moon might have in girth,
    Of air-balloons, and of the many bars
  To perfect knowledge of the boundless skies;-
  And then he thought of Donna Julia's eyes.

  In thoughts like these true wisdom may discern
    Longings sublime, and aspirations high,
  Which some are born with, but the most part learn
    To plague themselves withal, they know not why:
  'T was strange that one so young should thus concern
    His brain about the action of the sky;
  If you think 't was philosophy that this did,
  I can't help thinking puberty assisted.

  He pored upon the leaves, and on the flowers,
    And heard a voice in all the winds; and then
  He thought of wood-nymphs and immortal bowers,
    And how the goddesses came down to men:
  He miss'd the pathway, he forgot the hours,
    And when he look'd upon his watch again,
  He found how much old Time had been a winner-
  He also found that he had lost his dinner.

  Sometimes he turn'd to gaze upon his book,
    Boscan, or Garcilasso;- by the wind
  Even as the page is rustled while we look,
    So by the poesy of his own mind
  Over the mystic leaf his soul was shook,
    As if 't were one whereon magicians bind
  Their spells, and give them to the passing gale,
  According to some good old woman's tale.

  Thus would he while his lonely hours away
    Dissatisfied, nor knowing what he wanted;
  Nor glowing reverie, nor poet's lay,
    Could yield his spirit that for which it panted,
  A bosom whereon he his head might lay,
    And hear the heart beat with the love it granted,
  With- several other things, which I forget,
  Or which, at least, I need not mention yet.

  Those lonely walks, and lengthening reveries,
    Could not escape the gentle Julia's eyes;
  She saw that Juan was not at his ease;
    But that which chiefly may, and must surprise,
  Is, that the Donna Inez did not tease
    Her only son with question or surmise:
  Whether it was she did not see, or would not,
  Or, like all very clever people, could not.

  This may seem strange, but yet 't is very common;
    For instance- gentlemen, whose ladies take
  Leave to o'erstep the written rights of woman,
    And break the- Which commandment is 't they break?
  (I have forgot the number, and think no man
    Should rashly quote, for fear of a mistake.)
  I say, when these same gentlemen are jealous,
  They make some blunder, which their ladies tell us.

  A real husband always is suspicious,
    But still no less suspects in the wrong place,
  Jealous of some one who had no such wishes,
    Or pandering blindly to his own disgrace,
  By harbouring some dear friend extremely vicious;
    The last indeed 's infallibly the case:
  And when the spouse and friend are gone off wholly,
  He wonders at their vice, and not his folly.

  Thus parents also are at times short-sighted;
    Though watchful as the lynx, they ne'er discover,
  The while the wicked world beholds delighted,
    Young Hopeful's mistress, or Miss Fanny's lover,
  Till some confounded escapade has blighted
    The plan of twenty years, and all is over;
  And then the mother cries, the father swears,
  And wonders why the devil he got heirs.

  But Inez was so anxious, and so clear
    Of sight, that I must think, on this occasion,
  She had some other motive much more near
    For leaving Juan to this new temptation;
  But what that motive was, I sha'n't say here;
    Perhaps to finish Juan's education,
  Perhaps to open Don Alfonso's eyes,
  In case he thought his wife too great a prize.

  It was upon a day, a summer's day;-
    Summer's indeed a very dangerous season,
  And so is spring about the end of May;
    The sun, no doubt, is the prevailing reason;
  But whatsoe'er the cause is, one may say,
    And stand convicted of more truth than treason,
  That there are months which nature grows more merry in,-
  March has its hares, and May must have its heroine.

  'T was on a summer's day- the sixth of June:-
    I like to be particular in dates,
  Not only of the age, and year, but moon;
    They are a sort of post-house, where the Fates
  Change horses, making history change its tune,
    Then spur away o'er empires and o'er states,
  Leaving at last not much besides chronology,
  Excepting the post-obits of theology.

  'T was on the sixth of June, about the hour
    Of half-past six- perhaps still nearer seven-
  When Julia sate within as pretty a bower
    As e'er held houri in that heathenish heaven
  Described by Mahomet, and Anacreon Moore,
    To whom the lyre and laurels have been given,
  With all the trophies of triumphant song-
  He won them well, and may he wear them long!

  She sate, but not alone; I know not well
    How this same interview had taken place,
  And even if I knew, I should not tell-
    People should hold their tongues in any case;
  No matter how or why the thing befell,
    But there were she and Juan, face to face-
  When two such faces are so, 't would be wise,
  But very difficult, to shut their eyes.

  How beautiful she look'd! her conscious heart
    Glow'd in her cheek, and yet she felt no wrong.
  Oh Love! how perfect is thy mystic art,
    Strengthening the weak, and trampling on the strong,
  How self-deceitful is the sagest part
    Of mortals whom thy lure hath led along-
  The precipice she stood on was immense,
  So was her creed in her own innocence.

  She thought of her own strength, and Juan's youth,
    And of the folly of all prudish fears,
  Victorious virtue, and domestic truth,
    And then of Don Alfonso's fifty years:
  I wish these last had not occurr'd, in sooth,
    Because that number rarely much endears,
  And through all climes, the snowy and the sunny,
  Sounds ill in love, whate'er it may in money.

  When people say, 'I've told you fifty times,'
    They mean to scold, and very often do;
  When poets say, 'I've written fifty rhymes,'
    They make you dread that they 'll recite them too;
  In gangs of fifty, thieves commit their crimes;
    At fifty love for love is rare, 't is true,
  But then, no doubt, it equally as true is,
  A good deal may be bought for fifty Louis.

  Julia had honour, virtue, truth, and love,
    For Don Alfonso; and she inly swore,
  By all the vows below to powers above,
    She never would disgrace the ring she wore,
  Nor leave a wish which wisdom might reprove;
    And while she ponder'd this, besides much more,
  One hand on Juan's carelessly was thrown,
  Quite by mistake- she thought it was her own;

  Unconsciously she lean'd upon the other,
    Which play'd within the tangles of her hair:
  And to contend with thoughts she could not smother
    She seem'd by the distraction of her air.
  'T was surely very wrong in Juan's mother
    To leave together this imprudent pair,
  She who for many years had watch'd her son so-
  I 'm very certain mine would not have done so.

  The hand which still held Juan's, by degrees
    Gently, but palpably confirm'd its grasp,
  As if it said, 'Detain me, if you please;'
    Yet there 's no doubt she only meant to clasp
  His fingers with a pure Platonic squeeze:
    She would have shrunk as from a toad, or asp,
  Had she imagined such a thing could rouse
  A feeling dangerous to a prudent spouse.

  I cannot know what Juan thought of this,
    But what he did, is much what you would do;
  His young lip thank'd it with a grateful kiss,
    And then, abash'd at its own joy, withdrew
  In deep despair, lest he had done amiss,-
    Love is so very timid when 't is new:
  She blush'd, and frown'd not, but she strove to speak,
  And held her tongue, her voice was grown so weak.

  The sun set, and up rose the yellow moon:
    The devil 's in the moon for mischief; they
  Who call'd her CHASTE, methinks, began too soon
    Their nomenclature; there is not a day,
  The longest, not the twenty-first of June,
    Sees half the business in a wicked way
  On which three single hours of moonshine smile-
  And then she looks so modest all the while.

  There is a dangerous silence in that hour,
    A stillness, which leaves room for the full soul
  To open all itself, without the power
    Of calling wholly back its self-control;
  The silver light which, hallowing tree and tower,
    Sheds beauty and deep softness o'er the whole,
  Breathes also to the heart, and o'er it throws
  A loving languor, which is not repose.

  And Julia sate with Juan, half embraced
    And half retiring from the glowing arm,
  Which trembled like the bosom where 't was placed;
    Yet still she must have thought there was no harm,
  Or else 't were easy to withdraw her waist;
    But then the situation had its charm,
  And then- God knows what next- I can't go on;
  I 'm almost sorry that I e'er begun.

  Oh Plato! Plato! you have paved the way,
    With your confounded fantasies, to more
  Immoral conduct by the fancied sway
    Your system feigns o'er the controulless core
  Of human hearts, than all the long array
    Of poets and romancers:- You 're a bore,
  A charlatan, a coxcomb- and have been,
  At best, no better than a go-between.

  And Julia's voice was lost, except in sighs,
    Until too late for useful conversation;
  The tears were gushing from her gentle eyes,
    I wish indeed they had not had occasion,
  But who, alas! can love, and then be wise?
    Not that remorse did not oppose temptation;
  A little still she strove, and much repented
  And whispering 'I will ne'er consent'- consented.

  'T is said that Xerxes offer'd a reward
    To those who could invent him a new pleasure:
  Methinks the requisition 's rather hard,
    And must have cost his majesty a treasure:
  For my part, I 'm a moderate-minded bard,
    Fond of a little love (which I call leisure);
  I care not for new pleasures, as the old
  Are quite enough for me, so they but hold.

  Oh Pleasure! you are indeed a pleasant thing,
    Although one must be damn'd for you, no doubt:
  I make a resolution every spring
    Of reformation, ere the year run out,
  But somehow, this my vestal vow takes wing,
    Yet still, I trust it may be kept throughout:
  I 'm very sorry, very much ashamed,
  And mean, next winter, to be quite reclaim'd.

  Here my chaste Muse a liberty must take-
    Start not! still chaster reader- she 'll be nice hence-
  Forward, and there is no great cause to quake;
    This liberty is a poetic licence,
  Which some irregularity may make
    In the design, and as I have a high sense
  Of Aristotle and the Rules, 't is fit
  To beg his pardon when I err a bit.

  This licence is to hope the reader will
    Suppose from June the sixth (the fatal day,
  Without whose epoch my poetic skill
    For want of facts would all be thrown away),
  But keeping Julia and Don Juan still
    In sight, that several months have pass'd; we 'll say
  'T was in November, but I 'm not so sure
  About the day- the era 's more obscure.

  We 'll talk of that anon.- 'T is sweet to hear
    At midnight on the blue and moonlit deep
  The song and oar of Adria's gondolier,
    By distance mellow'd, o'er the waters sweep;
  'T is sweet to see the evening star appear;
    'T is sweet to listen as the night-winds creep
  From leaf to leaf; 't is sweet to view on high
  The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky.

  'T is sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark
    Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near home;
  'T is sweet to know there is an eye will mark
    Our coming, and look brighter when we come;
  'T is sweet to be awaken'd by the lark,
    Or lull'd by falling waters; sweet the hum
  Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds,
  The lisp of children, and their earliest words.

  Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes
    In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth,
  Purple and gushing: sweet are our escapes
    From civic revelry to rural mirth;
  Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps,
    Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth,
  Sweet is revenge- especially to women,
  Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen.

  Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet
    The unexpected death of some old lady
  Or gentleman of seventy years complete,
    Who 've made 'us youth' wait too- too long already
  For an estate, or cash, or country seat,
    Still breaking, but with stamina so steady
  That all the Israelites are fit to mob its
  Next owner for their double-damn'd post-obits.

  'T is sweet to win, no matter how, one's laurels,
    By blood or ink; 't is sweet to put an end
  To strife; 't is sometimes sweet to have our quarrels,
    Particularly with a tiresome friend:
  Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels;
    Dear is the helpless creature we defend
  Against the world; and dear the schoolboy spot
  We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot.

  But sweeter still than this, than these, than all,
    Is first and passionate love- it stands alone,
  Like Adam's recollection of his fall;
    The tree of knowledge has been pluck'd- all 's known-
  And life yields nothing further to recall
    Worthy of this ambrosial sin, so shown,
  No doubt in fable, as the unforgiven
  Fire which Prometheus filch'd for us from heaven.

  Man 's a strange animal, and makes strange use
    Of his own nature, and the various arts,
  And likes particularly to produce
    Some new experiment to show his parts;
  This is the age of oddities let loose,
    Where different talents find their different marts;
  You 'd best begin with truth, and when you 've lost your
  Labour, there 's a sure market for imposture.

  What opposite discoveries we have seen!
    (Signs of true genius, and of empty pockets.)
  One makes new noses, one a guillotine,
    One breaks your bones, one sets them in their sockets;
  But vaccination certainly has been
    A kind antithesis to Congreve's rockets,
  With which the Doctor paid off an old pox,
  By borrowing a new one from an ox.

  Bread has been made (indifferent) from potatoes;
    And galvanism has set some corpses grinning,
  But has not answer'd like the apparatus
    Of the Humane Society's beginning
  By which men are unsuffocated gratis:
    What wondrous new machines have late been spinning!
  I said the small-pox has gone out of late;
  Perhaps it may be follow'd by the great.

  'T is said the great came from America;
    Perhaps it may set out on its return,-
  The population there so spreads, they say
    'T is grown high time to thin it in its turn,
  With war, or plague, or famine, any way,
    So that civilisation they may learn;
  And which in ravage the more loathsome evil is-
  Their real lues, or our pseudo-syphilis?

  This is the patent-age of new inventions
    For killing bodies, and for saving souls,
  All propagated with the best intentions;
    Sir Humphry Davy's lantern, by which coals
  Are safely mined for in the mode he mentions,
    Tombuctoo travels, voyages to the Poles,
  Are ways to benefit mankind, as true,
  Perhaps, as shooting them at Waterloo.

  Man 's a phenomenon, one knows not what,
    And wonderful beyond all wondrous measure;
  'T is pity though, in this sublime world, that
    Pleasure 's a sin, and sometimes sin 's a pleasure;
  Few mortals know what end they would be at,
    But whether glory, power, or love, or treasure,
  The path is through perplexing ways, and when
  The goal is gain'd, we die, you know- and then-

  What then?- I do not know, no more do you-
    And so good night.- Return we to our story:
  'T was in November, when fine days are few,
    And the far mountains wax a little hoary,
  And clap a white cape on their mantles blue;
    And the sea dashes round the promontory,
  And the loud breaker boils against the rock,
  And sober suns must set at five o'clock.

  'T was, as the watchmen say, a cloudy night;
    No moon, no stars, the wind was low or loud
  By gusts, and many a sparkling hearth was bright
    With the piled wood, round which the family crowd;
  There 's something cheerful in that sort of light,
    Even as a summer sky 's without a cloud:
  I 'm fond of fire, and crickets, and all that,
  A lobster salad, and champagne, and chat.

  'T was midnight- Donna Julia was in bed,
    Sleeping, most probably,- when at her door
  Arose a clatter might awake the dead,
    If they had never been awoke before,
  And that they have been so we all have read,
    And are to be so, at the least, once more;-
  The door was fasten'd, but with voice and fist
  First knocks were heard, then 'Madam- Madam- hist!

  'For God's sake, Madam- Madam- here 's my master,
    With more than half the city at his back-
  Was ever heard of such a curst disaster!
    'T is not my fault- I kept good watch- Alack!
  Do pray undo the bolt a little faster-
    They 're on the stair just now, and in a crack
  Will all be here; perhaps he yet may fly-
  Surely the window 's not so very high!'

  By this time Don Alfonso was arrived,
    With torches, friends, and servants in great number;
  The major part of them had long been wived,
    And therefore paused not to disturb the slumber
  Of any wicked woman, who contrived
    By stealth her husband's temples to encumber:
  Examples of this kind are so contagious,
  Were one not punish'd, all would be outrageous.

  I can't tell how, or why, or what suspicion
    Could enter into Don Alfonso's head;
  But for a cavalier of his condition
    It surely was exceedingly ill-bred,
  Without a word of previous admonition,
    To hold a levee round his lady's bed,
  And summon lackeys, arm'd with fire and sword,
  To prove himself the thing he most abhorr'd.

  Poor Donna Julia, starting as from sleep
    (Mind- that I do not say- she had not slept),
  Began at once to scream, and yawn, and weep;
    Her maid Antonia, who was an adept,
  Contrived to fling the bed-clothes in a heap,
    As if she had just now from out them crept:
  I can't tell why she should take all this trouble
  To prove her mistress had been sleeping double.

  But Julia mistress, and Antonia maid,
    Appear'd like two poor harmless women, who
  Of goblins, but still more of men afraid,
    Had thought one man might be deterr'd by two,
  And therefore side by side were gently laid,
    Until the hours of absence should run through,
  And truant husband should return, and say,
  'My dear, I was the first who came away.'

  Now Julia found at length a voice, and cried,
    'In heaven's name, Don Alfonso, what d' ye mean?
  Has madness seized you? would that I had died
    Ere such a monster's victim I had been!
  What may this midnight violence betide,
    A sudden fit of drunkenness or spleen?
  Dare you suspect me, whom the thought would kill?
  Search, then, the room!'- Alfonso said, 'I will.'

  He search'd, they search'd, and rummaged everywhere,
    Closet and clothes' press, chest and window-seat,
  And found much linen, lace, and several pair
    Of stockings, slippers, brushes, combs, complete,
  With other articles of ladies fair,
    To keep them beautiful, or leave them neat:
  Arras they prick'd and curtains with their swords,
  And wounded several shutters, and some boards.

  Under the bed they search'd, and there they found-
    No matter what- it was not that they sought;
  They open'd windows, gazing if the ground
    Had signs or footmarks, but the earth said nought;
  And then they stared each other's faces round:
    'T is odd, not one of all these seekers thought,
  And seems to me almost a sort of blunder,
  Of looking in the bed as well as under.

  During this inquisition, Julia's tongue
    Was not asleep- 'Yes, search and search,' she cried,
  'Insult on insult heap, and wrong on wrong!
    It was for this that I became a bride!
  For this in silence I have suffer'd long
    A husband like Alfonso at my side;
  But now I 'll bear no more, nor here remain,
  If there be law or lawyers in all Spain.

  'Yes, Don Alfonso! husband now no more,
    If ever you indeed deserved the name,
  Is 't worthy of your years?- you have threescore-
    Fifty, or sixty, it is all the same-
  Is 't wise or fitting, causeless to explore
    For facts against a virtuous woman's fame?
  Ungrateful, perjured, barbarous Don Alfonso,
  How dare you think your lady would go on so?

  'Is it for this I have disdain'd to hold
    The common privileges of my sex?
  That I have chosen a confessor so old
    And deaf, that any other it would vex,
  And never once he has had cause to scold,
    But found my very innocence perplex
  So much, he always doubted I was married-
  How sorry you will be when I 've miscarried!

  'Was it for this that no Cortejo e'er
    I yet have chosen from out the youth of Seville?
  Is it for this I scarce went anywhere,
    Except to bull-fights, mass, play, rout, and revel?
  Is it for this, whate'er my suitors were,
    I favor'd none- nay, was almost uncivil?
  Is it for this that General Count O'Reilly,
  Who took Algiers, declares I used him vilely?

  'Did not the Italian Musico Cazzani
    Sing at my heart six months at least in vain?
  Did not his countryman, Count Corniani,
    Call me the only virtuous wife in Spain?
  Were there not also Russians, English, many?
    The Count Strongstroganoff I put in pain,
  And Lord Mount Coffeehouse, the Irish peer,
  Who kill'd himself for love (with wine) last year.

  'Have I not had two bishops at my feet,
    The Duke of Ichar, and Don Fernan Nunez?
  And is it thus a faithful wife you treat?
    I wonder in what quarter now the moon is:
  I praise your vast forbearance not to beat
    Me also, since the time so opportune is-
  Oh, valiant man! with sword drawn and cock'd trigger,
  Now, tell me, don't you cut a pretty figure?

  'Was it for this you took your sudden journey.
    Under pretence of business indispensable
  With that sublime of rascals your attorney,
    Whom I see standing there, and looking sensible
  Of having play'd the fool? though both I spurn, he
    Deserves the worst, his conduct 's less defensible,
  Because, no doubt, 't was for his dirty fee,
  And not from any love to you nor me.

  'If he comes here to take a deposition,
    By all means let the gentleman proceed;
  You 've made the apartment in a fit condition:
    There 's pen and ink for you, sir, when you need-
  Let every thing be noted with precision,
    I would not you for nothing should be fee'd-
  But, as my maid 's undrest, pray turn your spies out.'
  'Oh!' sobb'd Antonia, 'I could tear their eyes out.'

  'There is the closet, there the toilet, there
    The antechamber- search them under, over;
  There is the sofa, there the great arm-chair,
    The chimney- which would really hold a lover.
  I wish to sleep, and beg you will take care
    And make no further noise, till you discover
  The secret cavern of this lurking treasure-
  And when 't is found, let me, too, have that pleasure.

  'And now, Hidalgo! now that you have thrown
    Doubt upon me, confusion over all,
  Pray have the courtesy to make it known
    Who is the man you search for? how d' ye cal
  Him? what 's his lineage? let him but be shown-
    I hope he 's young and handsome- is he tall?
  Tell me- and be assured, that since you stain
  My honour thus, it shall not be in vain.

  'At least, perhaps, he has not sixty years,
    At that age he would be too old for slaughter,
  Or for so young a husband's jealous fears
    (Antonia! let me have a glass of water).
  I am ashamed of having shed these tears,
    They are unworthy of my father's daughter;
  My mother dream'd not in my natal hour
  That I should fall into a monster's power.

  'Perhaps 't is of Antonia you are jealous,
    You saw that she was sleeping by my side
  When you broke in upon us with your fellows:
    Look where you please- we 've nothing, sir, to hide;
  Only another time, I trust, you 'll tell us,
    Or for the sake of decency abide
  A moment at the door, that we may be
  Drest to receive so much good company.

  'And now, sir, I have done, and say no more;
    The little I have said may serve to show
  The guileless heart in silence may grieve o'er
    The wrongs to whose exposure it is slow:
  I leave you to your conscience as before,
    'T will one day ask you why you used me so?
  God grant you feel not then the bitterest grief!-
  Antonia! where 's my pocket-handkerchief?'

  She ceased, and turn'd upon her pillow; pale
    She lay, her dark eyes flashing through their tears,
  Like skies that rain and lighten; as a veil,
    Waved and o'ershading her wan cheek, appears
  Her streaming hair; the black curls strive, but fail,
    To hide the glossy shoulder, which uprears
  Its snow through all;- her soft lips lie apart,
  And louder than her breathing beats her heart.

  The Senhor Don Alfonso stood confused;
    Antonia bustled round the ransack'd room,
  And, turning up her nose, with looks abused
    Her master and his myrmidons, of whom
  Not one, except the attorney, was amused;
    He, like Achates, faithful to the tomb,
  So there were quarrels, cared not for the cause,
  Knowing they must be settled by the laws.

  With prying snub-nose, and small eyes, he stood,
    Following Antonia's motions here and there,
  With much suspicion in his attitude;
    For reputations he had little care;
  So that a suit or action were made good,
    Small pity had he for the young and fair,
  And ne'er believed in negatives, till these
  Were proved by competent false witnesses.

  But Don Alfonso stood with downcast looks,
    And, truth to say, he made a foolish figure;
  When, after searching in five hundred nooks,
    And treating a young wife with so much rigour,
  He gain'd no point, except some self-rebukes,
    Added to those his lady with such vigour
  Had pour'd upon him for the last half-hour,
  Quick, thick, and heavy- as a thunder-shower.

  At first he tried to hammer an excuse,
    To which the sole reply was tears and sobs,
  And indications of hysterics, whose
    Prologue is always certain throes, and throbs,
  Gasps, and whatever else the owners choose:
    Alfonso saw his wife, and thought of Job's;
  He saw too, in perspective, her relations,
  And then he tried to muster all his patience.

  He stood in act to speak, or rather stammer,
    But sage Antonia cut him short before
  The anvil of his speech received the hammer,
    With 'Pray, sir, leave the room, and say no more,
  Or madam dies.'- Alfonso mutter'd, 'D- n her,'
    But nothing else, the time of words was o'er;
  He cast a rueful look or two, and did,
  He knew not wherefore, that which he was bid.

  With him retired his 'posse comitatus,'
    The attorney last, who linger'd near the door
  Reluctantly, still tarrying there as late as
    Antonia let him- not a little sore
  At this most strange and unexplain'd 'hiatus'
    In Don Alfonso's facts, which just now wore
  An awkward look; as he revolved the case,
  The door was fasten'd in his legal face.

  No sooner was it bolted, than- Oh shame!
    Oh sin! Oh sorrow! and oh womankind!
  How can you do such things and keep your fame,
    Unless this world, and t' other too, be blind?
  Nothing so dear as an unfilch'd good name!
    But to proceed- for there is more behind:
  With much heartfelt reluctance be it said,
  Young Juan slipp'd half-smother'd, from the bed.

  He had been hid- I don't pretend to say
    How, nor can I indeed describe the where-
  Young, slender, and pack'd easily, he lay,
    No doubt, in little compass, round or square;
  But pity him I neither must nor may
    His suffocation by that pretty pair;
  'T were better, sure, to die so, than be shut
  With maudlin Clarence in his Malmsey butt.

  And, secondly, I pity not, because
    He had no business to commit a sin,
  Forbid by heavenly, fined by human laws,
    At least 't was rather early to begin;
  But at sixteen the conscience rarely gnaws
    So much as when we call our old debts in
  At sixty years, and draw the accompts of evil,
  And find a deuced balance with the devil.

  Of his position I can give no notion:
    'T is written in the Hebrew Chronicle,
  How the physicians, leaving pill and potion,
    Prescribed, by way of blister, a young belle,
  When old King David's blood grew dull in motion,
    And that the medicine answer'd very well;
  Perhaps 't was in a different way applied,
  For David lived, but Juan nearly died.

  What 's to be done? Alfonso will be back
    The moment he has sent his fools away.
  Antonia's skill was put upon the rack,
    But no device could be brought into play-
  And how to parry the renew'd attack?
    Besides, it wanted but few hours of day:
  Antonia puzzled; Julia did not speak,
  But press'd her bloodless lip to Juan's cheek.

  He turn'd his lip to hers, and with his hand
    Call'd back the tangles of her wandering hair;
  Even then their love they could not all command,
    And half forgot their danger and despair:
  Antonia's patience now was at a stand-
    'Come, come, 't is no time now for fooling there,'
  She whisper'd, in great wrath- 'I must deposit
  This pretty gentleman within the closet:

  'Pray, keep your nonsense for some luckier night-
    Who can have put my master in this mood?
  What will become on 't- I 'm in such a fright,
    The devil 's in the urchin, and no good-
  Is this a time for giggling? this a plight?
    Why, don't you know that it may end in blood?
  You 'll lose your life, and I shall lose my place,
  My mistress all, for that half-girlish face.

  'Had it but been for a stout cavalier
    Of twenty-five or thirty (come, make haste)-
  But for a child, what piece of work is here!
    I really, madam, wonder at your taste
  (Come, sir, get in)- my master must be near:
    There, for the present, at the least, he's fast,
  And if we can but till the morning keep
  Our counsel- (Juan, mind, you must not sleep).'

  Now, Don Alfonso entering, but alone,
    Closed the oration of the trusty maid:
  She loiter'd, and he told her to be gone,
    An order somewhat sullenly obey'd;
  However, present remedy was none,
    And no great good seem'd answer'd if she stay'd:
  Regarding both with slow and sidelong view,
  She snuff'd the candle, curtsied, and withdrew.

  Alfonso paused a minute- then begun
    Some strange excuses for his late proceeding;
  He would not justify what he had done,
    To say the best, it was extreme ill-breeding;
  But there were ample reasons for it, none
    Of which he specified in this his pleading:
  His speech was a fine sample, on the whole,
  Of rhetoric, which the learn'd call 'rigmarole.'

  Julia said nought; though all the while there rose
    A ready answer, which at once enables
  A matron, who her husband's foible knows,
    By a few timely words to turn the tables,
  Which, if it does not silence, still must pose,-
    Even if it should comprise a pack of fables;
  'T is to retort with firmness, and when he
  Suspects with one, do you reproach with three.

  Julia, in fact, had tolerable grounds,-
    Alfonso's loves with Inez were well known,
  But whether 't was that one's own guilt confounds-
    But that can't be, as has been often shown,
  A lady with apologies abounds;-
    It might be that her silence sprang alone
  From delicacy to Don Juan's ear,
  To whom she knew his mother's fame was dear.

  There might be one more motive, which makes two;
    Alfonso ne'er to Juan had alluded,-
  Mention'd his jealousy but never who
    Had been the happy lover, he concluded,
  Conceal'd amongst his premises; 't is true,
    His mind the more o'er this its mystery brooded;
  To speak of Inez now were, one may say,
  Like throwing Juan in Alfonso's way.

  A hint, in tender cases, is enough;
    Silence is best, besides there is a tact
  (That modern phrase appears to me sad stuff,
    But it will serve to keep my verse compact)-
  Which keeps, when push'd by questions rather rough,
    A lady always distant from the fact:
  The charming creatures lie with such a grace,
  There 's nothing so becoming to the face.

  They blush, and we believe them; at least I
    Have always done so; 't is of no great use,
  In any case, attempting a reply,
    For then their eloquence grows quite profuse;
  And when at length they 're out of breath, they sigh,
    And cast their languid eyes down, and let loose
  A tear or two, and then we make it up;
  And then- and then- and then- sit down and sup.

  Alfonso closed his speech, and begg'd her pardon,
    Which Julia half withheld, and then half granted,
  And laid conditions he thought very hard on,
    Denying several little things he wanted:
  He stood like Adam lingering near his garden,
    With useless penitence perplex'd and haunted,
  Beseeching she no further would refuse,
  When, lo! he stumbled o'er a pair of shoes.

  A pair of shoes!- what then? not much, if they
    Are such as fit with ladies' feet, but these
  (No one can tell how much I grieve to say)
    Were masculine; to see them, and to seize,
  Was but a moment's act.- Ah! well-a-day!
    My teeth begin to chatter, my veins freeze-
  Alfonso first examined well their fashion,
  And then flew out into another passion.

  He left the room for his relinquish'd sword,
    And Julia instant to the closet flew.
  'Fly, Juan, fly! for heaven's sake- not a word-
    The door is open- you may yet slip through
  The passage you so often have explored-
    Here is the garden-key- Fly- fly- Adieu!
  Haste- haste! I hear Alfonso's hurrying feet-
  Day has not broke- there 's no one in the street:

  None can say that this was not good advice,
    The only mischief was, it came too late;
  Of all experience 't is the usual price,
    A sort of income-tax laid on by fate:
  Juan had reach'd the room-door in a. trice,
    And might have done so by the garden-gate,
  But met Alfonso in his dressing-gown,
  Who threaten'd death- so Juan knock'd him down.

  Dire was the scuffle, and out went the light;
    Antonia cried out 'Rape!' and Julia 'Fire!'
  But not a servant stirr'd to aid the fight.
    Alfonso, pommell'd to his heart's desire,
  Swore lustily he'd be revenged this night;
    And Juan, too, blasphemed an octave higher;
  His blood was up: though young, he was a Tartar,
  And not at all disposed to prove a martyr.

  Alfonso's sword had dropp'd ere he could draw it,
    And they continued battling hand to hand,
  For Juan very luckily ne'er saw it;
    His temper not being under great command,
  If at that moment he had chanced to claw it,
    Alfonso's days had not been in the land
  Much longer.- Think of husbands', lovers' lives!
  And how ye may be doubly widows- wives!

  Alfonso grappled to detain the foe,
    And Juan throttled him to get away,
  And blood ('t was from the nose) began to flow;
    At last, as they more faintly wrestling lay,
  Juan contrived to give an awkward blow,
    And then his only garment quite gave way;
  He fled, like Joseph, leaving it; but there,
  I doubt, all likeness ends between the pair.

  Lights came at length, and men, and maids, who found
    An awkward spectacle their eyes before;
  Antonia in hysterics, Julia swoon'd,
    Alfonso leaning, breathless, by the door;
  Some half-torn drapery scatter'd on the ground,
    Some blood, and several footsteps, but no more:
  Juan the gate gain'd, turn'd the key about,
  And liking not the inside, lock'd the out.

  Here ends this canto.- Need I sing, or say,
    How Juan naked, favour'd by the night,
  Who favours what she should not, found his way,
    And reach'd his home in an unseemly plight?
  The pleasant scandal which arose next day,
    The nine days' wonder which was brought to light,
  And how Alfonso sued for a divorce,
  Were in the English newspapers, of course.

  If you would like to see the whole proceedings,
    The depositions, and the cause at full,
  The names of all the witnesses, the pleadings
    Of counsel to nonsuit, or to annul,
  There 's more than one edition, and the readings
    Are various, but they none of them are dull;
  The best is that in short-hand ta'en by Gurney,
  Who to Madrid on purpose made a journey.

  But Donna Inez, to divert the train
    Of one of the most circulating scandals
  That had for centuries been known in Spain,
    At least since the retirement of the Vandals,
  First vow'd (and never had she vow'd in vain)
    To Virgin Mary several pounds of candles;
  And then, by the advice of some old ladies,
  She sent her son to be shipp'd off from Cadiz.

  She had resolved that he should travel through
    All European climes, by land or sea,
  To mend his former morals, and get new,
    Especially in France and Italy
  (At least this is the thing most people do).
    Julia was sent into a convent: she
  Grieved, but, perhaps, her feelings may be better
  Shown in the following copy of her Letter:-

  'They tell me 't is decided; you depart:
    'T is wise- 't is well, but not the less a pain;
  I have no further claim on your young heart,
    Mine is the victim, and would be again;
  To love too much has been the only art
    I used;- I write in haste, and if a stain
  Be on this sheet, 't is not what it appears;
  My eyeballs burn and throb, but have no tears.

  'I loved, I love you, for this love have lost
    State, station, heaven, mankind's, my own esteem,
  And yet can not regret what it hath cost,
    So dear is still the memory of that dream;
  Yet, if I name my guilt, 't is not to boast,
    None can deem harshlier of me than I deem:
  I trace this scrawl because I cannot rest-
  I 've nothing to reproach, or to request.

  'Man's love is of man's life a thing apart,
    'T is woman's whole existence; man may range
  The court, camp, church, the vessel, and the mart;
    Sword, gown, gain, glory, offer in exchange
  Pride, fame, ambition, to fill up his heart,
    And few there are whom these cannot estrange;
  Men have all these resources, we but one,
  To love again, and be again undone.

  'You will proceed in pleasure, and in pride,
    Beloved and loving many; all is o'er
  For me on earth, except some years to hide
    My shame and sorrow deep in my heart's core;
  These I could bear, but cannot cast aside
    The passion which still rages as before-
  And so farewell- forgive me, love me- No,
  That word is idle now- but let it go.

  'My breast has been all weakness, is so yet;
    But still I think I can collect my mind;
  My blood still rushes where my spirit 's set,
    As roll the waves before the settled wind;
  My heart is feminine, nor can forget-
    To all, except one image, madly blind;
  So shakes the needle, and so stands the pole,
  As vibrates my fond heart to my fix'd soul.

  'I have no more to say, but linger still,
    And dare not set my seal upon this sheet,
  And yet I may as well the task fulfil,
    My misery can scarce be more complete:
  I had not lived till now, could sorrow kill;
    Death shuns the wretch who fain the blow would meet,
  And I must even survive this last adieu,
  And bear with life, to love and pray for you!'

  This note was written upon gilt-edged paper
    With a neat little crow-quill, slight and new:
  Her small white hand could hardly reach the taper,
    It trembled as magnetic needles do,
  And yet she did not let one tear escape her;
    The seal a sun-flower; 'Elle vous suit partout,'
  The motto cut upon a white cornelian;
  The wax was superfine, its hue vermilion.

  This was Don Juan's earliest scrape; but whether
    I shall proceed with his adventures is
  Dependent on the public altogether;
    We 'll see, however, what they say to this:
  Their favour in an author's cap 's a feather,
    And no great mischief 's done by their caprice;
  And if their approbation we experience,
  Perhaps they 'll have some more about a year hence.

  My poem 's epic, and is meant to be
    Divided in twelve books; each book containing,
  With love, and war, a heavy gale at sea,
    A list of ships, and captains, and kings reigning,
  New characters; the episodes are three:
    A panoramic view of hell 's in training,
  After the style of Virgil and of Homer,
  So that my name of Epic 's no misnomer.

  All these things will be specified in time,
    With strict regard to Aristotle's rules,
  The Vade Mecum of the true sublime,
    Which makes so many poets, and some fools:
  Prose poets like blank-verse, I 'm fond of rhyme,
    Good workmen never quarrel with their tools;
  I 've got new mythological machinery,
  And very handsome supernatural scenery.

  There 's only one slight difference between
    Me and my epic brethren gone before,
  And here the advantage is my own, I ween
    (Not that I have not several merits more,
  But this will more peculiarly be seen);
    They so embellish, that 't is quite a bore
  Their labyrinth of fables to thread through,
  Whereas this story 's actually true.

  If any person doubt it, I appeal
    To history, tradition, and to facts,
  To newspapers, whose truth all know and feel,
    To plays in five, and operas in three acts;
  All these confirm my statement a good deal,
    But that which more completely faith exacts
  Is that myself, and several now in Seville,
  Saw Juan's last elopement with the devil.

  If ever I should condescend to prose,
    I 'll write poetical commandments, which
  Shall supersede beyond all doubt all those
    That went before; in these I shall enrich
  My text with many things that no one knows,
    And carry precept to the highest pitch:
  I 'll call the work 'Longinus o'er a Bottle,
  Or, Every Poet his own Aristotle.'

  Thou shalt believe in Milton, Dryden, Pope;
    Thou shalt not set up Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey;
  Because the first is crazed beyond all hope,
    The second drunk, the third so quaint and mouthy:
  With Crabbe it may be difficult to cope,
    And Campbell's Hippocrene is somewhat drouthy:
  Thou shalt not steal from Samuel Rogers, nor
  Commit- flirtation with the muse of Moore.

  Thou shalt not covet Mr. Sotheby's Muse,
    His Pegasus, nor anything that 's his;
  Thou shalt not bear false witness like 'the Blues'
    (There 's one, at least, is very fond of this);
  Thou shalt not write, in short, but what I choose:
    This is true criticism, and you may kiss-
  Exactly as you please, or not,- the rod;

  If any person should presume to assert
    This story is not moral, first, I pray,
  That they will not cry out before they 're hurt,
    Then that they 'll read it o'er again, and say
  (But, doubtless, nobody will be so pert)
    That this is not a moral tale, though gay;
  Besides, in Canto Twelfth, I mean to show
  The very place where wicked people go.

  If, after all, there should be some so blind
    To their own good this warning to despise,
  Led by some tortuosity of mind,
    Not to believe my verse and their own eyes,
  And cry that they 'the moral cannot find,'
    I tell him, if a clergyman, he lies;
  Should captains the remark, or critics, make,
  They also lie too- under a mistake.

  The public approbation I expect,
    And beg they 'll take my word about the moral,
  Which I with their amusement will connect
    (So children cutting teeth receive a coral);
  Meantime, they 'll doubtless please to recollect
    My epical pretensions to the laurel:
  For fear some prudish readers should grow skittish,
  I 've bribed my grandmother's review- the British.

  I sent it in a letter to the Editor,
    Who thank'd me duly by return of post-
  I 'm for a handsome article his creditor;
    Yet, if my gentle Muse he please to roast,
  And break a promise after having made it her,
    Denying the receipt of what it cost,
  And smear his page with gall instead of honey,
  All I can say is- that he had the money.

  I think that with this holy new alliance
    I may ensure the public, and defy
  All other magazines of art or science,
    Daily, or monthly, or three monthly; I
  Have not essay'd to multiply their clients,
    Because they tell me 't were in vain to try,
  And that the Edinburgh Review and Quarterly
  Treat a dissenting author very martyrly.

  'Non ego hoc ferrem calida juventa
    Consule Planco,' Horace said, and so
  Say I; by which quotation there is meant a
    Hint that some six or seven good years ago
  (Long ere I dreamt of dating from the Brenta)
    I was most ready to return a blow,
  And would not brook at all this sort of thing
  In my hot youth- when George the Third was King.

  But now at thirty years my hair is grey
    (I wonder what it will be like at forty?
  I thought of a peruke the other day)-
    My heart is not much greener; and, in short, I
  Have squander'd my whole summer while 't was May,
    And feel no more the spirit to retort; I
  Have spent my life, both interest and principal,
  And deem not, what I deem'd, my soul invincible.

  No more- no more- Oh! never more on me
    The freshness of the heart can fall like dew,
  Which out of all the lovely things we see
    Extracts emotions beautiful and new,
  Hived in our bosoms like the bag o' the bee:
    Think'st thou the honey with those objects grew?
  Alas! 't was not in them, but in thy power
  To double even the sweetness of a flower.

  No more- no more- Oh! never more, my heart,
    Canst thou be my sole world, my universe!
  Once all in all, but now a thing apart,
    Thou canst not be my blessing or my curse:
  The illusion 's gone for ever, and thou art
    Insensible, I trust, but none the worse,
  And in thy stead I 've got a deal of judgment,
  Though heaven knows how it ever found a lodgment.

  My days of love are over; me no more
    The charms of maid, wife, and still less of widow,
  Can make the fool of which they made before,-
    In short, I must not lead the life I did do;
  The credulous hope of mutual minds is o'er,
    The copious use of claret is forbid too,
  So for a good old-gentlemanly vice,
  I think I must take up with avarice.

  Ambition was my idol, which was broken
    Before the shrines of Sorrow, and of Pleasure;
  And the two last have left me many a token
    O'er which reflection may be made at leisure:
  Now, like Friar Bacon's brazen head, I 've spoken,
    'Time is, Time was, Time 's past:'- a chymic treasure
  Is glittering youth, which I have spent betimes-
  My heart in passion, and my head on rhymes.

  What is the end of Fame? 't is but to fill
    A certain portion of uncertain paper:
  Some liken it to climbing up a hill,
    Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour;
  For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill,
    And bards burn what they call their 'midnight taper,'
  To have, when the original is dust,
  A name, a wretched picture, and worse bust.

  What are the hopes of man? Old Egypt's King
    Cheops erected the first pyramid
  And largest, thinking it was just the thing
    To keep his memory whole, and mummy hid;
  But somebody or other rummaging,
    Burglariously broke his coffin's lid:
  Let not a monument give you or me hopes,
  Since not a pinch of dust remains of Cheops.

  But I being fond of true philosophy,
    Say very often to myself, 'Alas!
  All things that have been born were born to die,
    And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass;
  You 've pass'd your youth not so unpleasantly,
    And if you had it o'er again- 't would pass-
  So thank your stars that matters are no worse,
  And read your Bible, sir, and mind your purse.'

  But for the present, gentle reader! and
    Still gentler purchaser! the bard- that 's I-
  Must, with permission, shake you by the hand,
    And so 'Your humble servant, and good-b'ye!'
  We meet again, if we should understand
    Each other; and if not, I shall not try
  Your patience further than by this short sample-
  'T were well if others follow'd my example.

  'Go, little book, from this my solitude!
    I cast thee on the waters- go thy ways!
  And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,
    The world will find thee after many days.'
  When Southey 's read, and Wordsworth understood,
    I can't help putting in my claim to praise-
  The four first rhymes are Southey's every line:
  For God's sake, reader! take them not for mine.
                CANTO THE SECOND.

  OH ye! who teach the ingenuous youth of nations,
    Holland, France, England, Germany, or Spain,
  I pray ye flog them upon all occasions,
    It mends their morals, never mind the pain:
  The best of mothers and of educations
    In Juan's case were but employ'd in vain,
  Since, in a way that 's rather of the oddest, he
  Became divested of his native modesty.

  Had he but been placed at a public school,
    In the third form, or even in the fourth,
  His daily task had kept his fancy cool,
    At least, had he been nurtured in the north;
  Spain may prove an exception to the rule,
    But then exceptions always prove its worth-
  A lad of sixteen causing a divorce
  Puzzled his tutors very much, of course.

  I can't say that it puzzles me at all,
    If all things be consider'd: first, there was
  His lady-mother, mathematical,
    A- never mind; his tutor, an old ass;
  A pretty woman (that 's quite natural,
    Or else the thing had hardly come to pass);
  A husband rather old, not much in unity
  With his young wife- a time, and opportunity.

  Well- well, the world must turn upon its axis,
    And all mankind turn with it, heads or tails,
  And live and die, make love and pay our taxes,
    And as the veering wind shifts, shift our sails;
  The king commands us, and the doctor quacks us,
    The priest instructs, and so our life exhales,
  A little breath, love, wine, ambition, fame,
  Fighting, devotion, dust,- perhaps a name.

  I said that Juan had been sent to Cadiz-
    A pretty town, I recollect it well-
  'T is there the mart of the colonial trade is
    (Or was, before Peru learn'd to rebel),
  And such sweet girls- I mean, such graceful ladies,
    Their very walk would make your bosom swell;
  I can't describe it, though so much it strike,
  Nor liken it- I never saw the like:

  An Arab horse, a stately stag, a barb
    New broke, a cameleopard, a gazelle,
  No- none of these will do;- and then their garb!
    Their veil and petticoat- Alas! to dwell
  Upon such things would very near absorb
    A canto- then their feet and ankles,- well,
  Thank Heaven I 've got no metaphor quite ready
  (And so, my sober Muse- come, let 's be steady-

  Chaste Muse!- well, if you must, you must)- the veil
    Thrown back a moment with the glancing hand,
  While the o'erpowering eye, that turns you pale,
    Flashes into the heart:- All sunny land
  Of love! when I forget you, may I fail
    To- say my prayers- but never was there plann'd
  A dress through which the eyes give such a volley,
  Excepting the Venetian Fazzioli.

  But to our tale: the Donna Inez sent
    Her son to Cadiz only to embark;
  To stay there had not answer'd her intent,
    But why?- we leave the reader in the dark-
  'T was for a voyage that the young man was meant,
    As if a Spanish ship were Noah's ark,
  To wean him from the wickedness of earth,
  And send him like a dove of promise forth.

  Don Juan bade his valet pack his things
    According to direction, then received
  A lecture and some money: for four springs
    He was to travel; and though Inez grieved
  (As every kind of parting has its stings),
    She hoped he would improve- perhaps believed:
  A letter, too, she gave (he never read it)
  Of good advice- and two or three of credit.

  In the mean time, to pass her hours away,
    Brave Inez now set up a Sunday school
  For naughty children, who would rather play
    (Like truant rogues) the devil, or the fool;
  Infants of three years old were taught that day,
    Dunces were whipt, or set upon a stool:
  The great success of Juan's education,
  Spurr'd her to teach another generation.

  Juan embark'd- the ship got under way,
    The wind was fair, the water passing rough:
  A devil of a sea rolls in that bay,
    As I, who 've cross'd it oft, know well enough;
  And, standing upon deck, the dashing spray
    Flies in one's face, and makes it weather-tough:
  And there he stood to take, and take again,
  His first- perhaps his last- farewell of Spain.

  I can't but say it is an awkward sight
    To see one's native land receding through
  The growing waters; it unmans one quite,
    Especially when life is rather new:
  I recollect Great Britain's coast looks white,
    But almost every other country 's blue,
  When gazing on them, mystified by distance,
  We enter on our nautical existence.

  So Juan stood, bewilder'd on the deck:
    The wind sung, cordage strain'd, and sailors swore,
  And the ship creak'd, the town became a speck,
    From which away so fair and fast they bore.
  The best of remedies is a beef-steak
    Against sea-sickness: try it, sir, before
  You sneer, and I assure you this is true,
  For I have found it answer- so may you.

  Don Juan stood, and, gazing from the stern,
    Beheld his native Spain receding far:
  First partings form a lesson hard to learn,
    Even nations feel this when they go to war;
  There is a sort of unexprest concern,
    A kind of shock that sets one's heart ajar:
  At leaving even the most unpleasant people
  And places, one keeps looking at the steeple.

  But Juan had got many things to leave,
    His mother, and a mistress, and no wife,
  So that he had much better cause to grieve
    Than many persons more advanced in life;
  And if we now and then a sigh must heave
    At quitting even those we quit in strife,
  No doubt we weep for those the heart endears-
  That is, till deeper griefs congeal our tears.

  So Juan wept, as wept the captive Jews
    By Babel's waters, still remembering Sion:
  I 'd weep,- but mine is not a weeping Muse,
    And such light griefs are not a thing to die on;
  Young men should travel, if but to amuse
    Themselves; and the next time their servants tie on
  Behind their carriages their new portmanteau,
  Perhaps it may be lined with this my canto.

  And Juan wept, and much he sigh'd and thought,
    While his salt tears dropp'd into the salt sea,
  'Sweets to the sweet' (I like so much to quote;
    You must excuse this extract, 't is where she,
  The Queen of Denmark, for Ophelia brought
    Flowers to the grave); and, sobbing often, he
  Reflected on his present situation,
  And seriously resolved on reformation.

  'Farewell, my Spain! a long farewell!' he cried,
    'Perhaps I may revisit thee no more,
  But die, as many an exiled heart hath died,
    Of its own thirst to see again thy shore:
  Farewell, where Guadalquivir's waters glide!
    Farewell, my mother! and, since all is o'er,
  Farewell, too, dearest Julia!- (Here he drew
  Her letter out again, and read it through.)

  'And, oh! if e'er I should forget, I swear-
    But that 's impossible, and cannot be-
  Sooner shall this blue ocean melt to air,
    Sooner shall earth resolve itself to sea,
  Than I resign thine image, oh, my fair!
    Or think of any thing excepting thee;
  A mind diseased no remedy can physic
  (Here the ship gave a lurch, and he grew sea-sick).

  'Sooner shall heaven kiss earth (here he fell sicker),
    Oh, Julia! what is every other wo?
  (For God's sake let me have a glass of liquor;
    Pedro, Battista, help me down below.)
  Julia, my love! (you rascal, Pedro, quicker)-
    Oh, Julia! (this curst vessel pitches so)-
  Beloved Julia, hear me still beseeching!'
  (Here he grew inarticulate with retching.)

  He felt that chilling heaviness of heart,
    Or rather stomach, which, alas! attends,
  Beyond the best apothecary's art,
    The loss of love, the treachery of friends,
  Or death of those we dote on, when a part
    Of us dies with them as each fond hope ends:
  No doubt he would have been much more pathetic,
  But the sea acted as a strong emetic. I

  Love 's a capricious power: I 've known it hold
    Out through a fever caused by its own heat,
  But be much puzzled by a cough and cold,
    And find a quincy very hard to treat;
  Against all noble maladies he 's bold,
    But vulgar illnesses don't like to meet,
  Nor that a sneeze should interrupt his sigh,
  Nor inflammations redden his blind eye.

  But worst of all is nausea, or a pain
    About the lower region of the bowels;
  Love, who heroically breathes a vein,
    Shrinks from the application of hot towels,
  And purgatives are dangerous to his reign,
    Sea-sickness death: his love was perfect, how else
  Could Juan's passion, while the billows roar,
  Resist his stomach, ne'er at sea before?

  The ship, call'd the most holy 'Trinidada,'
    Was steering duly for the port Leghorn;
  For there the Spanish family Moncada
    Were settled long ere Juan's sire was born:
  They were relations, and for them he had a
    Letter of introduction, which the morn
  Of his departure had been sent him by
  His Spanish friends for those in Italy.

  His suite consisted of three servants and
    A tutor, the licentiate Pedrillo,
  Who several languages did understand,
    But now lay sick and speechless on his pillow,
  And rocking in his hammock, long'd for land,
    His headache being increased by every billow;
  And the waves oozing through the port-hole made
  His berth a little damp, and him afraid.

  'T was not without some reason, for the wind
    Increased at night, until it blew a gale;
  And though 't was not much to a naval mind,
    Some landsmen would have look'd a little pale,
  For sailors are, in fact, a different kind:
    At sunset they began to take in sail,
  For the sky show'd it would come on to blow,
  And carry away, perhaps, a mast or so.

  At one o'clock the wind with sudden shift
    Threw the ship right into the trough of the sea,
  Which struck her aft, and made an awkward rift,
    Started the stern-post, also shatter'd the
  Whole of her stern-frame, and, ere she could lift
    Herself from out her present jeopardy,
  The rudder tore away: 't was time to sound
  The pumps, and there were four feet water found.

  One gang of people instantly was put
    Upon the pumps and the remainder set
  To get up part of the cargo, and what not;
    But they could not come at the leak as yet;
  At last they did get at it really, but
    Still their salvation was an even bet:
  The water rush'd through in a way quite puzzling,
  While they thrust sheets, shirts, jackets, bales of muslin,

  Into the opening; but all such ingredients
    Would have been vain, and they must have gone down,
  Despite of all their efforts and expedients,
    But for the pumps: I 'm glad to make them known
  To all the brother tars who may have need hence,
    For fifty tons of water were upthrown
  By them per hour, and they had all been undone,
  But for the maker, Mr. Mann, of London.

  As day advanced the weather seem'd to abate,
    And then the leak they reckon'd to reduce,
  And keep the ship afloat, though three feet yet
    Kept two hand and one chain-pump still in use.
  The wind blew fresh again: as it grew late
    A squall came on, and while some guns broke loose,
  A gust- which all descriptive power transcends-
  Laid with one blast the ship on her beam ends.

  There she lay motionless, and seem'd upset;
    The water left the hold, and wash'd the decks,
  And made a scene men do not soon forget;
    For they remember battles, fires, and wrecks,
  Or any other thing that brings regret,
    Or breaks their hopes, or hearts, or heads, or necks:
  Thus drownings are much talk'd of by the divers,
  And swimmers, who may chance to be survivors.

  Immediately the masts were cut away,
    Both main and mizen; first the mizen went,
  The main-mast follow'd: but the ship still lay
    Like a mere log, and baffled our intent.
  Foremast and bowsprit were cut down, and they
    Eased her at last (although we never meant
  To part with all till every hope was blighted),
  And then with violence the old ship righted.

  It may be easily supposed, while this
    Was going on, some people were unquiet,
  That passengers would find it much amiss
    To lose their lives, as well as spoil their diet;
  That even the able seaman, deeming his
    Days nearly o'er, might be disposed to riot,
  As upon such occasions tars will ask
  For grog, and sometimes drink rum from the cask.

  There 's nought, no doubt, so much the spirit calms
    As rum and true religion: thus it was,
  Some plunder'd, some drank spirits, some sung psalms,
    The high wind made the treble, and as bas
  The hoarse harsh waves kept time; fright cured the qualms
    Of all the luckless landsmen's sea-sick maws:
  Strange sounds of wailing, blasphemy, devotion,
  Clamour'd in chorus to the roaring ocean.

  Perhaps more mischief had been done, but for
    Our Juan, who, with sense beyond his years,
  Got to the spirit-room, and stood before
    It with a pair of pistols; and their fears,
  As if Death were more dreadful by his door
    Of fire than water, spite of oaths and tears,
  Kept still aloof the crew, who, ere they sunk,
  Thought it would be becoming to die drunk.

  'Give us more grog,' they cried, 'for it will be
    All one an hour hence.' Juan answer'd, 'No!
  'T is true that death awaits both you and me,
    But let us die like men, not sink below
  Like brutes;'- and thus his dangerous post kept he,
    And none liked to anticipate the blow;
  And even Pedrillo, his most reverend tutor,
  Was for some rum a disappointed suitor.

  The good old gentleman was quite aghast,
    And made a loud and pious lamentation;
  Repented all his sins, and made a last
    Irrevocable vow of reformation;
  Nothing should tempt him more (this peril past)
    To quit his academic occupation,
  In cloisters of the classic Salamanca,
  To follow Juan's wake, like Sancho Panca.

  But now there came a flash of hope once more;
    Day broke, and the wind lull'd: the masts were gone,
  The leak increased; shoals round her, but no shore,
    The vessel swam, yet still she held her own.
  They tried the pumps again, and though before
    Their desperate efforts seem'd all useless grown,
  A glimpse of sunshine set some hands to bale-
  The stronger pump'd, the weaker thrumm'd a sail.

  Under the vessel's keel the sail was past,
    And for the moment it had some effect;
  But with a leak, and not a stick of mast,
    Nor rag of canvas, what could they expect?
  But still 't is best to struggle to the last,
    'T is never too late to be wholly wreck'd:
  And though 't is true that man can only die once,
  'T is not so pleasant in the Gulf of Lyons.

  There winds and waves had hurl'd them, and from thence,
    Without their will, they carried them away;
  For they were forced with steering to dispense,
    And never had as yet a quiet day
  On which they might repose, or even commence
    A jurymast or rudder, or could say
  The ship would swim an hour, which, by good luck,
  Still swam- though not exactly like a duck.

  The wind, in fact, perhaps was rather less,
    But the ship labour'd so, they scarce could hope
  To weather out much longer; the distress
    Was also great with which they had to cope
  For want of water, and their solid mess
    Was scant enough: in vain the telescope
  Was used- nor sail nor shore appear'd in sight,
  Nought but the heavy sea, and coming night.

  Again the weather threaten'd,- again blew
    A gale, and in the fore and after hold
  Water appear'd; yet, though the people knew
    All this, the most were patient, and some bold,
  Until the chains and leathers were worn through
    Of all our pumps:- a wreck complete she roll'd,
  At mercy of the waves, whose mercies are
  Like human beings during civil war.

  Then came the carpenter, at last, with tears
    In his rough eyes, and told the captain he
  Could do no more: he was a man in years,
    And long had voyaged through many a stormy sea,
  And if he wept at length, they were not fears
    That made his eyelids as a woman's be,
  But he, poor fellow, had a wife and children,-
  Two things for dying people quite bewildering.

  The ship was evidently settling now
    Fast by the head; and, all distinction gone,
  Some went to prayers again, and made a vow
    Of candles to their saints- but there were none
  To pay them with; and some look'd o'er the bow;
    Some hoisted out the boats; and there was one
  That begg'd Pedrillo for an absolution,
  Who told him to be damn'd- in his confusion.

  Some lash'd them in their hammocks; some put on
    Their best clothes, as if going to a fair;
  Some cursed the day on which they saw the sun,
    And gnash'd their teeth, and, howling, tore their hair;
  And others went on as they had begun,
    Getting the boats out, being well aware
  That a tight boat will live in a rough sea,
  Unless with breakers close beneath her lee.

  The worst of all was, that in their condition,
    Having been several days in great distress,
  'T was difficult to get out such provision
    As now might render their long suffering less:
  Men, even when dying, dislike inanition;
    Their stock was damaged by the weather's stress:
  Two casks of biscuit and a keg of butter
  Were all that could be thrown into the cutter.

  But in the long-boat they contrived to stow
    Some pounds of bread, though injured by the wet;
  Water, a twenty-gallon cask or so;
    Six flasks of wine; and they contrived to get
  A portion of their beef up from below,
    And with a piece of pork, moreover, met,
  But scarce enough to serve them for a luncheon-
  Then there was rum, eight gallons in a puncheon.

  The other boats, the yawl and pinnace, had
    Been stove in the beginning of the gale;
  And the long-boat's condition was but bad,
    As there were but two blankets for a sail,
  And one oar for a mast, which a young lad
    Threw in by good luck over the ship's rail;
  And two boats could not hold, far less be stored,
  To save one half the people then on board.

  'T was twilight, and the sunless day went down
    Over the waste of waters; like a veil,
  Which, if withdrawn, would but disclose the frown
    Of one whose hate is mask'd but to assail,
  Thus to their hopeless eyes the night was shown,
    And grimly darkled o'er the faces pale,
  And the dim desolate deep: twelve days had Fear
  Been their familiar, and now Death was here.

  Some trial had been making at a raft,
    With little hope in such a rolling sea,
  A sort of thing at which one would have laugh'd,
    If any laughter at such times could be,
  Unless with people who too much have quaff'd,
    And have a kind of wild and horrid glee,
  Half epileptical and half hysterical:-
  Their preservation would have been a miracle.

  At half-past eight o'clock, booms, hencoops, spars,
    And all things, for a chance, had been cast loose,
  That still could keep afloat the struggling tars,
    For yet they strove, although of no great use:
  There was no light in heaven but a few stars,
    The boats put off o'ercrowded with their crews;
  She gave a heel, and then a lurch to port,
  And, going down head foremost- sunk, in short.

  Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell-
    Then shriek'd the timid, and stood still the brave,
  Then some leap'd overboard with dreadful yell,
    As eager to anticipate their grave;
  And the sea yawn'd around her like a hell,
    And down she suck'd with her the whirling wave,
  Like one who grapples with his enemy,
  And strives to strangle him before he die.

  And first one universal shriek there rush'd,
    Louder than the loud ocean, like a crash
  Of echoing thunder; and then all was hush'd,
    Save the wild wind and the remorseless dash
  Of billows; but at intervals there gush'd,
    Accompanied with a convulsive splash,
  A solitary shriek, the bubbling cry
  Of some strong swimmer in his agony.

  The boats, as stated, had got off before,
    And in them crowded several of the crew;
  And yet their present hope was hardly more
    Than what it had been, for so strong it blew
  There was slight chance of reaching any shore;
    And then they were too many, though so few-
  Nine in the cutter, thirty in the boat,
  Were counted in them when they got afloat.

  All the rest perish'd; near two hundred souls
    Had left their bodies; and what 's worse, alas!
  When over Catholics the ocean rolls,
    They must wait several weeks before a mass
  Takes off one peck of purgatorial coals,
    Because, till people know what 's come to pass,
  They won't lay out their money on the dead-
  It costs three francs for every mass that 's said.

  Juan got into the long-boat, and there
    Contrived to help Pedrillo to a place;
  It seem'd as if they had exchanged their care,
    For Juan wore the magisterial face
  Which courage gives, while poor Pedrillo's pair
    Of eyes were crying for their owner's case:
  Battista; though (a name call'd shortly Tita),
  Was lost by getting at some aqua-vita.

  Pedro, his valet, too, he tried to save,
    But the same cause, conducive to his loss,
  Left him so drunk, he jump'd into the wave
    As o'er the cutter's edge he tried to cross,
  And so he found a wine-and-watery grave;
    They could not rescue him although so close,
  Because the sea ran higher every minute,
  And for the boat- the crew kept crowding in it.

  A small old spaniel,- which had been Don Jose's,
    His father's, whom he loved, as ye may think,
  For on such things the memory reposes
    With tenderness- stood howling on the brink,
  Knowing (dogs have such intellectual noses!),
    No doubt, the vessel was about to sink;
  And Juan caught him up, and ere he stepp'd
  Off, threw him in, then after him he leap'd.

  He also stuff'd his money where he could
    About his person, and Pedrillo's too,
  Who let him do, in fact, whate'er he would,
    Not knowing what himself to say, or do,
  As every rising wave his dread renew'd;
    But Juan, trusting they might still get through,
  And deeming there were remedies for any ill,
  Thus re-embark'd his tutor and his spaniel.

  'T was a rough night, and blew so stiffly yet,
    That the sail was becalm'd between the seas,
  Though on the wave's high top too much to set,
    They dared not take it in for all the breeze:
  Each sea curl'd o'er the stern, and kept them wet,
    And made them bale without a moment's ease,
  So that themselves as well as hopes were damp'd,
  And the poor little cutter quickly swamp'd.

  Nine souls more went in her: the long-boat still
    Kept above water, with an oar for mast,
  Two blankets stitch'd together, answering ill
    Instead of sail, were to the oar made fast:
  Though every wave roll'd menacing to fill,
    And present peril all before surpass'd,
  They grieved for those who perish'd with the cutter,
  And also for the biscuit-casks and butter.

  The sun rose red and fiery, a sure sign
    Of the continuance of the gale: to run
  Before the sea until it should grow fine,
    Was all that for the present could be done:
  A few tea-spoonfuls of their rum and wine
    Were served out to the people, who begun
  To faint, and damaged bread wet through the bags,
  And most of them had little clothes but rags.

  They counted thirty, crowded in a space
    Which left scarce room for motion or exertion;
  They did their best to modify their case,
    One half sate up, though numb'd with the immersion,
  While t'other half were laid down in their place
    At watch and watch; thus, shivering like the tertian
  Ague in its cold fit, they fill'd their boat,
  With nothing but the sky for a great coat.

  'T is very certain the desire of life
    Prolongs it: this is obvious to physicians,
  When patients, neither plagued with friends nor wife,
    Survive through very desperate conditions,
  Because they still can hope, nor shines the knife
    Nor shears of Atropos before their visions:
  Despair of all recovery spoils longevity,
  And makes men miseries miseries of alarming brevity.

  'T is said that persons living on annuities
    Are longer lived than others,- God knows why,
  Unless to plague the grantors,- yet so true it is,
    That some, I really think, do never die;
  Of any creditors the worst a Jew it is,
    And that 's their mode of furnishing supply:
  In my young days they lent me cash that way,
  Which I found very troublesome to pay.

  'T is thus with people in an open boat,
    They live upon the love of life, and bear
  More than can be believed, or even thought,
    And stand like rocks the tempest's wear and tear;
  And hardship still has been the sailor's lot,
    Since Noah's ark went cruising here and there;
  She had a curious crew as well as cargo,
  Like the first old Greek privateer, the Argo.

  But man is a carnivorous production,
    And must have meals, at least one meal a day;
  He cannot live, like woodcocks, upon suction,
    But, like the shark and tiger, must have prey;
  Although his anatomical construction
    Bears vegetables, in a grumbling way,
  Your labouring people think beyond all question,
  Beef, veal, and mutton, better for digestion.

  And thus it was with this our hapless crew;
    For on the third day there came on a calm,
  And though at first their strength it might renew,
    And lying on their weariness like balm,
  Lull'd them like turtles sleeping on the blue
    Of ocean, when they woke they felt a qualm,
  And fell all ravenously on their provision,
  Instead of hoarding it with due precision.

  The consequence was easily foreseen-
    They ate up all they had, and drank their wine,
  In spite of all remonstrances, and then
    On what, in fact, next day were they to dine?
  They hoped the wind would rise, these foolish men!
    And carry them to shore; these hopes were fine,
  But as they had but one oar, and that brittle,
  It would have been more wise to save their victual.

  The fourth day came, but not a breath of air,
    And Ocean slumber'd like an unwean'd child:
  The fifth day, and their boat lay floating there,
    The sea and sky were blue, and clear, and mild-
  With their one oar (I wish they had had a pair)
    What could they do? and hunger's rage grew wild:
  So Juan's spaniel, spite of his entreating,
  Was kill'd and portion'd out for present eating.

  On the sixth day they fed upon his hide,
    And Juan, who had still refused, because
  The creature was his father's dog that died,
    Now feeling all the vulture in his jaws,
  With some remorse received (though first denied)
    As a great favour one of the fore-paws,
  Which he divided with Pedrillo, who
  Devour'd it, longing for the other too.

  The seventh day, and no wind- the burning sun
    Blister'd and scorch'd, and, stagnant on the sea,
  They lay like carcasses; and hope was none,
    Save in the breeze that came not; savagely
  They glared upon each other- all was done,
    Water, and wine, and food,- and you might see
  The longings of the cannibal arise
  (Although they spoke not) in their wolfish eyes.

  At length one whisper'd his companion, who
    Whisper'd another, and thus it went round,
  And then into a hoarser murmur grew,
    An ominous, and wild, and desperate sound;
  And when his comrade's thought each sufferer knew,
    'T was but his own, suppress'd till now, he found:
  And out they spoke of lots for flesh and blood,
  And who should die to be his fellow's food.

  But ere they came to this, they that day shared
    Some leathern caps, and what remain'd of shoes;
  And then they look'd around them and despair'd,
    And none to be the sacrifice would choose;
  At length the lots were torn up, and prepared,
    But of materials that much shock the Muse-
  Having no paper, for the want of better,
  They took by force from Juan Julia's letter.

  The lots were made, and mark'd, and mix'd, and handed,
    In silent horror, and their distribution
  Lull'd even the savage hunger which demanded,
    Like the Promethean vulture, this pollution;
  None in particular had sought or plann'd it,
    'T was nature gnaw'd them to this resolution,
  By which none were permitted to be neuter-
  And the lot fell on Juan's luckless tutor.

  He but requested to be bled to death:
    The surgeon had his instruments, and bled
  Pedrillo, and so gently ebb'd his breath,
    You hardly could perceive when he was dead.
  He died as born, a Catholic in faith,
    Like most in the belief in which they 're bred,
  And first a little crucifix he kiss'd,
  And then held out his jugular and wrist.

  The surgeon, as there was no other fee,
    Had his first choice of morsels for his pains;
  But being thirstiest at the moment, he
    Preferr'd a draught from the fast-flowing veins:
  Part was divided, part thrown in the sea,
    And such things as the entrails and the brains
  Regaled two sharks, who follow'd o'er the billow-
  The sailors ate the rest of poor Pedrillo.

  The sailors ate him, all save three or four,
    Who were not quite so fond of animal food;
  To these was added Juan, who, before
    Refusing his own spaniel, hardly could
  Feel now his appetite increased much more;
    'T was not to be expected that he should,
  Even in extremity of their disaster,
  Dine with them on his pastor and his master.

  'T was better that he did not; for, in fact,
    The consequence was awful in the extreme;
  For they, who were most ravenous in the act,
    Went raging mad- Lord! how they did blaspheme!
  And foam and roll, with strange convulsions rack'd,
    Drinking salt water like a mountain-stream,
  Tearing, and grinning, howling, screeching, swearing,
  And, with hyaena-laughter, died despairing.

  Their numbers were much thinn'd by this infliction,
    And all the rest were thin enough, Heaven knows;
  And some of them had lost their recollection,
    Happier than they who still perceived their woes;
  But others ponder'd on a new dissection,
    As if not warn'd sufficiently by those
  Who had already perish'd, suffering madly,
  For having used their appetites so sadly.

  And next they thought upon the master's mate,
    As fattest; but he saved himself, because,
  Besides being much averse from such a fate,
    There were some other reasons: the first was,
  He had been rather indisposed of late;
    And that which chiefly proved his saving clause
  Was a small present made to him at Cadiz,
  By general subscription of the ladies.

  Of poor Pedrillo something still remain'd,
    But was used sparingly,- some were afraid,
  And others still their appetites constrain'd,
    Or but at times a little supper made;
  All except Juan, who throughout abstain'd,
    Chewing a piece of bamboo and some lead:
  At length they caught two boobies and a noddy,
  And then they left off eating the dead body.

  And if Pedrillo's fate should shocking be,
    Remember Ugolino condescends
  To eat the head of his arch-enemy
    The moment after he politely ends
  His tale: if foes be food in hell, at sea
    'T is surely fair to dine upon our friends,
  When shipwreck's short allowance grows too scanty,
  Without being much more horrible than Dante.

  And the same night there fell a shower of rain,
    For which their mouths gaped, like the cracks of earth
  When dried to summer dust; till taught by pain
    Men really know not what good water 's worth;
  If you had been in Turkey or in Spain,
    Or with a famish'd boat's-crew had your berth,
  Or in the desert heard the camel's bell,
  You 'd wish yourself where Truth is- in a well.

  It pour'd down torrents, but they were no richer
    Until they found a ragged piece of sheet,
  Which served them as a sort of spongy pitcher,
    And when they deem'd its moisture was complete
  They wrung it out, and though a thirsty ditcher
    Might not have thought the scanty draught so sweet
  As a full pot of porter, to their thinking
  They ne'er till now had known the joys of drinking.

  And their baked lips, with many a bloody crack,
    Suck'd in the moisture, which like nectar stream'd;
  Their throats were ovens, their swoln tongues were black,
    As the rich man's in hell, who vainly scream'd
  To beg the beggar, who could not rain back
    A drop of dew, when every drop had seem'd
  To taste of heaven- If this be true, indeed
  Some Christians have a comfortable creed.

  There were two fathers in this ghastly crew,
    And with them their two sons, of whom the one
  Was more robust and hardy to the view,
    But he died early; and when he was gone,
  His nearest messmate told his sire, who threw
    One glance at him, and said, 'Heaven's will be done!
  I can do nothing,' and he saw him thrown
  Into the deep without a tear or groan.

  The other father had a weaklier child,
    Of a soft cheek and aspect delicate;
  But the boy bore up long, and with a mild
    And patient spirit held aloof his fate;
  Little he said, and now and then he smiled,
    As if to win a part from off the weight
  He saw increasing on his father's heart,
  With the deep deadly thought that they must part.

  And o'er him bent his sire, and never raised
    His eyes from off his face, but wiped the foam
  From his pale lips, and ever on him gazed,
    And when the wish'd-for shower at length was come,
  And the boy's eyes, which the dull film half glazed,
    Brighten'd, and for a moment seem'd to roam,
  He squeezed from out a rag some drops of rain
  Into his dying child's mouth- but in vain.

  The boy expired- the father held the clay,
    And look'd upon it long, and when at last
  Death left no doubt, and the dead burthen lay
    Stiff on his heart, and pulse and hope were past,
  He watch'd it wistfully, until away
    'T was borne by the rude wave wherein 't was cast;
  Then he himself sunk down all dumb and shivering,
  And gave no sign of life, save his limbs quivering.

  Now overhead a rainbow, bursting through
    The scattering clouds, shone, spanning the dark sea,
  Resting its bright base on the quivering blue;
    And all within its arch appear'd to be
  Clearer than that without, and its wide hue
    Wax'd broad and waving, like a banner free,
  Then changed like to a bow that 's bent, and then
  Forsook the dim eyes of these shipwreck'd men.

  It changed, of course; a heavenly chameleon,
    The airy child of vapour and the sun,
  Brought forth in purple, cradled in vermilion,
    Baptized in molten gold, and swathed in dun,
  Glittering like crescents o'er a Turk's pavilion,
    And blending every colour into one,
  Just like a black eye in a recent scuffle
  (For sometimes we must box without the muffle).

  Our shipwreck'd seamen thought it a good omen-
    It is as well to think so, now and then;
  'T was an old custom of the Greek and Roman,
    And may become of great advantage when
  Folks are discouraged; and most surely no men
    Had greater need to nerve themselves again
  Than these, and so this rainbow look'd like hope-
  Quite a celestial kaleidoscope.

  About this time a beautiful white bird,
    Webfooted, not unlike a dove in size
  And plumage (probably it might have err'd
    Upon its course), pass'd oft before their eyes,
  And tried to perch, although it saw and heard
    The men within the boat, and in this guise
  It came and went, and flutter'd round them till
  Night fell: this seem'd a better omen still.

  But in this case I also must remark,
    'T was well this bird of promise did not perch,
  Because the tackle of our shatter'd bark
    Was not so safe for roosting as a church;
  And had it been the dove from Noah's ark,
    Returning there from her successful search,
  Which in their way that moment chanced to fall,
  They would have eat her, olive-branch and all.

  With twilight it again came on to blow,
    But not with violence; the stars shone out,
  The boat made way; yet now they were so low,
    They knew not where nor what they were about;
  Some fancied they saw land, and some said 'No!'
    The frequent fog-banks gave them cause to doubt-
  Some swore that they heard breakers, others guns,
  And all mistook about the latter once.

  As morning broke, the light wind died away,
    When he who had the watch sung out and swore,
  If 't was not land that rose with the sun's ray,
    He wish'd that land he never might see more;
  And the rest rubb'd their eyes and saw a bay,
    Or thought they saw, and shaped their course for shore;
  For shore it was, and gradually grew
  Distinct, and high, and palpable to view.

  And then of these some part burst into tears,
    And others, looking with a stupid stare,
  Could not yet separate their hopes from fears,
    And seem'd as if they had no further care;
  While a few pray'd (the first time for some years)-
    And at the bottom of the boat three were
  Asleep: they shook them by the hand and head,
  And tried to awaken them, but found them dead.

  The day before, fast sleeping on the water,
    They found a turtle of the hawk's-bill kind,
  And by good fortune, gliding softly, caught her,
    Which yielded a day's life, and to their mind
  Proved even still a more nutritious matter,
    Because it left encouragement behind:
  They thought that in such perils, more than chance
  Had sent them this for their deliverance.

  The land appear'd a high and rocky coast,
    And higher grew the mountains as they drew,
  Set by a current, toward it: they were lost
    In various conjectures, for none knew
  To what part of the earth they had been tost,
    So changeable had been the winds that blew;
  Some thought it was Mount AEtna, some the highlands,
  Of Candia, Cyprus, Rhodes, or other islands.

  Meantime the current, with a rising gale,
    Still set them onwards to the welcome shore,
  Like Charon's bark of spectres, dull and pale:
    Their living freight was now reduced to four,
  And three dead, whom their strength could not avail
    To heave into the deep with those before,
  Though the two sharks still follow'd them, and dash'd
  The spray into their faces as they splash'd.

  Famine, despair, cold, thirst, and heat, had done
    Their work on them by turns, and thinn'd them to
  Such things a mother had not known her son
    Amidst the skeletons of that gaunt crew;
  By night chill'd, by day scorch'd, thus one by one
    They perish'd, until wither'd to these few,
  But chiefly by a species of self-slaughter,
  In washing down Pedrillo with salt water.

  As they drew nigh the land, which now was seen
    Unequal in its aspect here and there,
  They felt the freshness of its growing green,
    That waved in forest-tops, and smooth'd the air,
  And fell upon their glazed eyes like a screen
    From glistening waves, and skies so hot and bare-
  Lovely seem'd any object that should sweep
  Away the vast, salt, dread, eternal deep.

  The shore look'd wild, without a trace of man,
    And girt by formidable waves; but they
  Were mad for land, and thus their course they ran,
    Though right ahead the roaring breakers lay:
  A reef between them also now began
    To show its boiling surf and bounding spray,
  But finding no place for their landing better,
  They ran the boat for shore,- and overset her.

  But in his native stream, the Guadalquivir,
    Juan to lave his youthful limbs was wont;
  And having learnt to swim in that sweet river,
    Had often turn'd the art to some account:
  A better swimmer you could scarce see ever,
    He could, perhaps, have pass'd the Hellespont,
  As once (a feat on which ourselves we prided)
  Leander, Mr. Ekenhead, and I did.

  So here, though faint, emaciated, and stark,
    He buoy'd his boyish limbs, and strove to ply
  With the quick wave, and gain, ere it was dark,
    The beach which lay before him, high and dry:
  The greatest danger here was from a shark,
    That carried off his neighbour by the thigh;
  As for the other two, they could not swim,
  So nobody arrived on shore but him.

  Nor yet had he arrived but for the oar,
    Which, providentially for him, was wash'd
  Just as his feeble arms could strike no more,
    And the hard wave o'erwhelm'd him as 't was dash'd
  Within his grasp; he clung to it, and sore
    The waters beat while he thereto was lash'd;
  At last, with swimming, wading, scrambling, he
  Roll'd on the beach, half-senseless, from the sea:

  There, breathless, with his digging nails he clung
    Fast to the sand, lest the returning wave,
  From whose reluctant roar his life he wrung,
    Should suck him back to her insatiate grave:
  And there he lay, full length, where he was flung,
    Before the entrance of a cliff-worn cave,
  With just enough of life to feel its pain,
  And deem that it was saved, perhaps in vain.

  With slow and staggering effort he arose,
    But sunk again upon his bleeding knee
  And quivering hand; and then he look'd for those
    Who long had been his mates upon the sea;
  But none of them appear'd to share his woes,
    Save one, a corpse, from out the famish'd three,
  Who died two days before, and now had found
  An unknown barren beach for burial ground.

  And as he gazed, his dizzy brain spun fast,
    And down he sunk; and as he sunk, the sand
  Swam round and round, and all his senses pass'd:
    He fell upon his side, and his stretch'd hand
  Droop'd dripping on the oar (their jurymast),
    And, like a wither'd lily, on the land
  His slender frame and pallid aspect lay,
  As fair a thing as e'er was form'd of clay.

  How long in his damp trance young Juan lay
    He knew not, for the earth was gone for him,
  And Time had nothing more of night nor day
    For his congealing blood, and senses dim;
  And how this heavy faintness pass'd away
    He knew not, till each painful pulse and limb,
  And tingling vein, seem'd throbbing back to life,
  For Death, though vanquish'd, still retired with strife.

  His eyes he open'd, shut, again unclosed,
    For all was doubt and dizziness; he thought
  He still was in the boat and had but dozed,
    And felt again with his despair o'erwrought,
  And wish'd it death in which he had reposed;
    And then once more his feelings back were brought,
  And slowly by his swimming eyes was seen
  A lovely female face of seventeen.

  'T was bending dose o'er his, and the small mouth
    Seem'd almost prying into his for breath;
  And chafing him, the soft warm hand of youth
    Recall'd his answering spirits back from death;
  And, bathing his chill temples, tried to soothe
    Each pulse to animation, till beneath
  Its gentle touch and trembling care, a sigh
  To these kind efforts made a low reply.

  Then was the cordial pour'd, and mantle flung
    Around his scarce-clad limbs; and the fair arm
  Raised higher the faint head which o'er it hung;
    And her transparent cheek, all pure and warm,
  Pillow'd his death-like forehead; then she wrung
    His dewy curls, long drench'd by every storm;
  And watch'd with eagerness each throb that drew
  A sigh from his heaved bosom- and hers, too.

  And lifting him with care into the cave,
    The gentle girl and her attendant,- one
  Young, yet her elder, and of brow less grave,
    And more robust of figure,- then begun
  To kindle fire, and as the new flames gave
    Light to the rocks that roof'd them, which the sun
  Had never seen, the maid, or whatsoe'er
  She was, appear'd distinct, and tall, and fair.

  Her brow was overhung with coins of gold,
    That sparkled o'er the auburn of her hair-
  Her clustering hair, whose longer locks were roll'd
    In braids behind; and though her stature were
  Even of the highest for a female mould,
    They nearly reach'd her heel; and in her air
  There was a something which bespoke command,
  As one who was a lady in the land.

  Her hair, I said, was auburn; but her eyes
    Were black as death, their lashes the same hue,
  Of downcast length, in whose silk shadow lies
    Deepest attraction; for when to the view
  Forth from its raven fringe the full glance flies,
    Ne'er with such force the swiftest arrow flew;
  'T is as the snake late coil'd, who pours his length,
  And hurls at once his venom and his strength.

  Her brow was white and low, her cheek's pure dye
    Like twilight rosy still with the set sun;
  Short upper lip- sweet lips! that make us sigh
    Ever to have seen such; for she was one
  Fit for the model of a statuary
    (A race of mere impostors, when all 's done-
  I 've seen much finer women, ripe and real,
  Than all the nonsense of their stone ideal).

  I 'll tell you why I say so, for 't is just
    One should not rail without a decent cause:
  There was an Irish lady, to whose bust
    I ne'er saw justice done, and yet she was
  A frequent model; and if e'er she must
    Yield to stern Time and Nature's wrinkling laws,
  They will destroy a face which mortal thought
  Ne'er compass'd, nor less mortal chisel wrought.

  And such was she, the lady of the cave:
    Her dress was very different from the Spanish,
  Simpler, and yet of colours not so grave;
    For, as you know, the Spanish women banish
  Bright hues when out of doors, and yet, while wave
    Around them (what I hope will never vanish)
  The basquina and the mantilla, they
  Seem at the same time mystical and gay.

  But with our damsel this was not the case:
    Her dress was many-colour'd, finely spun;
  Her locks curl'd negligently round her face,
    But through them gold and gems profusely shone:
  Her girdle sparkled, and the richest lace
    Flow'd in her veil, and many a precious stone
  Flash'd on her little hand; but, what was shocking,
  Her small snow feet had slippers, but no stocking.

  The other female's dress was not unlike,
    But of inferior materials: she
  Had not so many ornaments to strike,
    Her hair had silver only, bound to be
  Her dowry; and her veil, in form alike,
    Was coarser; and her air, though firm, less free;
  Her hair was thicker, but less long; her eyes
  As black, but quicker, and of smaller size.

  And these two tended him, and cheer'd him both
    With food and raiment, and those soft attentions,
  Which are (as I must own) of female growth,
    And have ten thousand delicate inventions:
  They made a most superior mess of broth,
    A thing which poesy but seldom mentions,
  But the best dish that e'er was cook'd since Homer's
  Achilles ordered dinner for new comers.

  I 'll tell you who they were, this female pair,
    Lest they should seem princesses in disguise;
  Besides, I hate all mystery, and that air
    Of clap-trap which your recent poets prize;
  And so, in short, the girls they really were
    They shall appear before your curious eyes,
  Mistress and maid; the first was only daughter
  Of an old man who lived upon the water.

  A fisherman he had been in his youth,
    And still a sort of fisherman was he;
  But other speculations were, in sooth,
    Added to his connection with the sea,
  Perhaps not so respectable, in truth:
    A little smuggling, and some piracy,
  Left him, at last, the sole of many masters
  Of an ill-gotten million of piastres.

  A fisher, therefore, was he,- though of men,
    Like Peter the Apostle,- and he fish'd
  For wandering merchant-vessels, now and then,
    And sometimes caught as many as he wish'd;
  The cargoes he confiscated, and gain
    He sought in the slave-market too, and dish'd
  Full many a morsel for that Turkish trade,
  By which, no doubt, a good deal may be made.

  He was a Greek, and on his isle had built
    (One of the wild and smaller Cyclades)
  A very handsome house from out his guilt,
    And there he lived exceedingly at ease;
  Heaven knows what cash he got or blood he spilt,
    A sad old fellow was he, if you please;
  But this I know, it was a spacious building,
  Full of barbaric carving, paint, and gilding.

  He had an only daughter, call'd Haidee,
    The greatest heiress of the Eastern Isles;
  Besides, so very beautiful was she,
    Her dowry was as nothing to her smiles:
  Still in her teens, and like a lovely tree
    She grew to womanhood, and between whiles
  Rejected several suitors, just to learn
  How to accept a better in his turn.

  And walking out upon the beach, below
    The cliff, towards sunset, on that day she found,
  Insensible,- not dead, but nearly so,-
    Don Juan, almost famish'd, and half drown'd;
  But being naked, she was shock'd, you know,
    Yet deem'd herself in common pity bound,
  As far as in her lay, 'to take him in,
  A stranger' dying, with so white a skin.

  But taking him into her father's house
    Was not exactly the best way to save,
  But like conveying to the cat the mouse,
    Or people in a trance into their grave;
  Because the good old man had so much 'nous,'
    Unlike the honest Arab thieves so brave,
  He would have hospitably cured the stranger,
  And sold him instantly when out of danger.

  And therefore, with her maid, she thought it best
    (A virgin always on her maid relies)
  To place him in the cave for present rest:
    And when, at last, he open'd his black eyes,
  Their charity increased about their guest;
    And their compassion grew to such a size,
  It open'd half the turnpike-gates to heaven
  (St. Paul says, 't is the toll which must be given).

  They made a fire,- but such a fire as they
    Upon the moment could contrive with such
  Materials as were cast up round the bay,-
    Some broken planks, and oars, that to the touch
  Were nearly tinder, since so long they lay
    A mast was almost crumbled to a crutch;
  But, by God's grace, here wrecks were in such plenty,
  That there was fuel to have furnish'd twenty.

  He had a bed of furs, and a pelisse,
    For Haidee stripped her sables off to make
  His couch; and, that he might be more at ease,
    And warm, in case by chance he should awake,
  They also gave a petticoat apiece,
    She and her maid- and promised by daybreak
  To pay him a fresh visit, with a dish
  For breakfast, of eggs, coffee, bread, and fish.

  And thus they left him to his lone repose:
    Juan slept like a top, or like the dead,
  Who sleep at last, perhaps (God only knows),
    Just for the present; and in his lull'd head
  Not even a vision of his former woes
    Throbb'd in accursed dreams, which sometimes spread
  Unwelcome visions of our former years,
  Till the eye, cheated, opens thick with tears.

  Young Juan slept all dreamless:- but the maid,
    Who smooth'd his pillow, as she left the den
  Look'd back upon him, and a moment stay'd,
    And turn'd, believing that he call'd again.
  He slumber'd; yet she thought, at least she said
    (The heart will slip, even as the tongue and pen),
  He had pronounced her name- but she forgot
  That at this moment Juan knew it not.

  And pensive to her father's house she went,
    Enjoining silence strict to Zoe, who
  Better than her knew what, in fact, she meant,
    She being wiser by a year or two:
  A year or two 's an age when rightly spent,
    And Zoe spent hers, as most women do,
  In gaining all that useful sort of knowledge
  Which is acquired in Nature's good old college.

  The morn broke, and found Juan slumbering still
    Fast in his cave, and nothing clash'd upon
  His rest; the rushing of the neighbouring rill,
    And the young beams of the excluded sun,
  Troubled him not, and he might sleep his fill;
    And need he had of slumber yet, for none
  Had suffer'd more- his hardships were comparative
  To those related in my grand-dad's 'Narrative.'

  Not so Haidee: she sadly toss'd and tumbled,
    And started from her sleep, and, turning o'er
  Dream'd of a thousand wrecks, o'er which she stumbled,
    And handsome corpses strew'd upon the shore;
  And woke her maid so early that she grumbled,
    And call'd her father's old slaves up, who swore
  In several oaths- Armenian, Turk, and Greek-
  They knew not what to think of such a freak.

  But up she got, and up she made them get,
    With some pretence about the sun, that makes
  Sweet skies just when he rises, or is set;
    And 't is, no doubt, a sight to see when breaks
  Bright Phoebus, while the mountains still are wet
    With mist, and every bird with him awakes,
  And night is flung off like a mourning suit
  Worn for a husband,- or some other brute.

  I say, the sun is a most glorious sight,
    I 've seen him rise full oft, indeed of late
  I have sat up on purpose all the night,
    Which hastens, as physicians say, one's fate;
  And so all ye, who would be in the right
    In health and purse, begin your day to date
  From daybreak, and when coffin'd at fourscore,
  Engrave upon the plate, you rose at four.

  And Haidee met the morning face to face;
    Her own was freshest, though a feverish flush
  Had dyed it with the headlong blood, whose race
    From heart to cheek is curb'd into a blush,
  Like to a torrent which a mountain's base,
    That overpowers some Alpine river's rush,
  Checks to a lake, whose waves in circles spread;
  Or the Red Sea- but the sea is not red.

  And down the cliff the island virgin came,
    And near the cave her quick light footsteps drew,
  While the sun smiled on her with his first flame,
    And young Aurora kiss'd her lips with dew,
  Taking her for a sister; just the same
    Mistake you would have made on seeing the two,
  Although the mortal, quite as fresh and fair,
  Had all the advantage, too, of not being air.

  And when into the cavern Haidee stepp'd
    All timidly, yet rapidly, she saw
  That like an infant Juan sweetly slept;
    And then she stopp'd, and stood as if in awe
  (For sleep is awful), and on tiptoe crept
    And wrapt him closer, lest the air, too raw,
  Should reach his blood, then o'er him still as death
  Bent with hush'd lips, that drank his scarce-drawn breath.

  And thus like to an angel o'er the dying
    Who die in righteousness, she lean'd; and there
  All tranquilly the shipwreck'd boy was lying,
    As o'er him the calm and stirless air:
  But Zoe the meantime some eggs was frying,
    Since, after all, no doubt the youthful pair
  Must breakfast- and betimes, lest they should ask it,
  She drew out her provision from the basket.

  She knew that the best feelings must have victual,
    And that a shipwreck'd youth would hungry be;
  Besides, being less in love, she yawn'd a little,
    And felt her veins chill'd by the neighbouring sea;
  And so, she cook'd their breakfast to a tittle;
    I can't say that she gave them any tea,
  But there were eggs, fruit, coffee, bread, fish, honey,
  With Scio wine,- and all for love, not money.

  And Zoe, when the eggs were ready, and
    The coffee made, would fain have waken'd Juan;
  But Haidee stopp'd her with her quick small hand,
    And without word, a sign her finger drew on
  Her lip, which Zoe needs must understand;
    And, the first breakfast spoilt, prepared a new one,
  Because her mistress would not let her break
  That sleep which seem'd as it would ne'er awake.

  For still he lay, and on his thin worn cheek
    A purple hectic play'd like dying day
  On the snow-tops of distant hills; the streak
    Of sufferance yet upon his forehead lay,
  Where the blue veins look'd shadowy, shrunk, and weak;
    And his black curls were dewy with the spray,
  Which weigh'd upon them yet, all damp and salt,
  Mix'd with the stony vapours of the vault.

  And she bent o'er him, and he lay beneath,
    Hush'd as the babe upon its mother's breast,
  Droop'd as the willow when no winds can breathe,
    Lull'd like the depth of ocean when at rest,
  Fair as the crowning rose of the whole wreath,
    Soft as the callow cygnet in its nest;
  In short, he was a very pretty fellow,
  Although his woes had turn'd him rather yellow.

  He woke and gazed, and would have slept again,
    But the fair face which met his eyes forbade
  Those eyes to close, though weariness and pain
    Had further sleep a further pleasure made;
  For woman's face was never form'd in vain
    For Juan, so that even when he pray'd
  He turn'd from grisly saints, and martyrs hairy,
  To the sweet portraits of the Virgin Mary.

  And thus upon his elbow he arose,
    And look'd upon the lady, in whose cheek
  The pale contended with the purple rose,
    As with an effort she began to speak;
  Her eyes were eloquent, her words would pose,
    Although she told him, in good modern Greek,
  With an Ionian accent, low and sweet,
  That he was faint, and must not talk, but eat.

  Now Juan could not understand a word,
    Being no Grecian; but he had an ear,
  And her voice was the warble of a bird,
    So soft, so sweet, so delicately clear,
  That finer, simpler music ne'er was heard;
    The sort of sound we echo with a tear,
  Without knowing why- an overpowering tone,
  Whence Melody descends as from a throne.

  And Juan gazed as one who is awoke
    By a distant organ, doubting if he be
  Not yet a dreamer, till the spell is broke
    By the watchman, or some such reality,
  Or by one's early valet's cursed knock;
    At least it is a heavy sound to me,
  Who like a morning slumber- for the night
  Shows stars and women in a better light.

  And Juan, too, was help'd out from his dream,
    Or sleep, or whatso'er it was, by feeling
  A most prodigious appetite: the steam
    Of Zoe's cookery no doubt was stealing
  Upon his senses, and the kindling beam
    Of the new fire, which Zoe kept up, kneeling
  To stir her viands, made him quite awake
  And long for food, but chiefly a beef-steak.

  But beef is rare within these oxless isles;
    Goat's flesh there is, no doubt, and kid, and mutton;
  And, when a holiday upon them smiles,
    A joint upon their barbarous spits they put on:
  But this occurs but seldom, between whiles,
    For some of these are rocks with scarce a hut on;
  Others are fair and fertile, among which
  This, though not large, was one of the most rich.

  I say that beef is rare, and can't help thinking
    That the old fable of the Minotaur-
  From which our modern morals rightly shrinking
    Condemn the royal lady's taste who wore
  A cow's shape for a mask- was only (sinking
    The allegory) a mere type, no more,
  That Pasiphae promoted breeding cattle,
  To make the Cretans bloodier in battle.

  For we all know that English people are
    Fed upon beef- I won't say much of beer,
  Because 't is liquor only, and being far
    From this my subject, has no business here;
  We know, too, they very fond of war,
    A pleasure- like all pleasures- rather dear;
  So were the Cretans- from which I infer
  That beef and battles both were owing to her.

  But to resume. The languid Juan raised
    His head upon his elbow, and he saw
  A sight on which he had not lately gazed,
    As all his latter meals had been quite raw,
  Three or four things, for which the Lord he praised,
    And, feeling still the famish'd vulture gnaw,
  He fell upon whate'er was offer'd, like
  A priest, a shark, an alderman, or pike.

  He ate, and he was well supplied: and she,
    Who watch'd him like a mother, would have fed
  Him past all bounds, because she smiled to see
    Such appetite in one she had deem'd dead;
  But Zoe, being older than Haidee,
    Knew (by tradition, for she ne'er had read)
  That famish'd people must be slowly nurst,
  And fed by spoonfuls, else they always burst.

  And so she took the liberty to state,
    Rather by deeds than words, because the case
  Was urgent, that the gentleman, whose fate
    Had made her mistress quit her bed to trace
  The sea-shore at this hour, must leave his plate,
    Unless he wish'd to die upon the place-
  She snatch'd it, and refused another morsel,
  Saying, he had gorged enough to make a horse ill.

  Next they- he being naked, save a tatter'd
    Pair of scarce decent trowsers- went to work,
  And in the fire his recent rags they scatterd,
    And dress'd him, for the present, like a Turk,
  Or Greek- that is, although it not much matter'd,
    Omitting turban, slippers, pistols, dirk,-
  They furnish'd him, entire, except some stitches,
  With a clean shirt, and very spacious breeches.

  And then fair Haidee tried her tongue at speaking,
    But not a word could Juan comprehend,
  Although he listen'd so that the young Greek in
    Her earnestness would ne'er have made an end;
  And, as he interrupted not, went eking
    Her speech out to her protege and friend,
  Till pausing at the last her breath to take,
  She saw he did not understand Romaic.

  And then she had recourse to nods, and signs,
    And smiles, and sparkles of the speaking eye,
  And read (the only book she could) the lines
    Of his fair face, and found, by sympathy,
  The answer eloquent, where soul shines
    And darts in one quick glance a long reply;
  And thus in every look she saw exprest
  A world of words, and things at which she guess'd.

  And now, by dint of fingers and of eyes,
    And words repeated after her, he took
  A lesson in her tongue; but by surmise,
    No doubt, less of her language than her look:
  As he who studies fervently the skies
    Turns oftener to the stars than to his book,
  Thus Juan learn'd his alpha beta better
  From Haidee's glance than any graven letter.

  'T is pleasing to be school'd in a strange tongue
    By female lips and eyes- that is, I mean,
  When both the teacher and the taught are young,
    As was the case, at least, where I have been;
  They smile so when one 's right, and when one 's wrong
    They smile still more, and then there intervene
  Pressure of hands, perhaps even a chaste kiss;-
  I learn'd the little that I know by this:

  That is, some words of Spanish, Turk, and Greek,
    Italian not at all, having no teachers;
  Much English I cannot pretend to speak,
    Learning that language chiefly from its preachers,
  Barrow, South, Tillotson, whom every week
    I study, also Blair, the highest reachers
  Of eloquence in piety and prose-
  I hate your poets, so read none of those.

  As for the ladies, I have nought to say,
    A wanderer from the British world of fashion,
  Where I, like other 'dogs, have had my day,'
    Like other men, too, may have had my passion-
  But that, like other things, has pass'd away,
    And all her fools whom I could lay the lash on:
  Foes, friends, men, women, now are nought to me
  But dreams of what has been, no more to be.

  Return we to Don Juan. He begun
    To hear new words, and to repeat them; but
  Some feelings, universal as the sun,
    Were such as could not in his breast be shut
  More than within the bosom of a nun:
    He was in love,- as you would be, no doubt,
  With a young benefactress,- so was she,
  Just in the way we very often see.

  And every day by daybreak- rather early
    For Juan, who was somewhat fond of rest-
  She came into the cave, but it was merely
    To see her bird reposing in his nest;
  And she would softly stir his locks so curly,
    Without disturbing her yet slumbering guest,
  Breathing all gently o'er his cheek and mouth,
  As o'er a bed of roses the sweet south.

  And every morn his colour freshlier came,
    And every day help'd on his convalescence;
  'T was well, because health in the human frame
    Is pleasant, besides being true love's essence,
  For health and idleness to passion's flame
    Are oil and gunpowder; and some good lessons
  Are also learnt from Ceres and from Bacchus,
  Without whom Venus will not long attack us.

  While Venus fills the heart (without heart really
    Love, though good always, is not quite so good),
  Ceres presents a plate of vermicelli,-
    For love must be sustain'd like flesh and blood,-
  While Bacchus pours out wine, or hands a jelly:
    Eggs, oysters, too, are amatory food;
  But who is their purveyor from above
  Heaven knows,- it may be Neptune, Pan, or Jove.

  When Juan woke he found some good things ready,
    A bath, a breakfast, and the finest eyes
  That ever made a youthful heart less steady,
    Besides her maid's as pretty for their size;
  But I have spoken of all this already-
    And repetition 's tiresome and unwise,-
  Well- Juan, after bathing in the sea,
  Came always back to coffee and Haidee.

  Both were so young, and one so innocent,
    That bathing pass'd for nothing; Juan seem'd
  To her, as 'twere, the kind of being sent,
    Of whom these two years she had nightly dream'd,
  A something to be loved, a creature meant
    To be her happiness, and whom she deem'd
  To render happy; all who joy would win
  Must share it,- Happiness was born a twin.

  It was such pleasure to behold him, such
    Enlargement of existence to partake
  Nature with him, to thrill beneath his touch,
    To watch him slumbering, and to see him wake:
  To live with him forever were too much;
    But then the thought of parting made her quake;
  He was her own, her ocean-treasure, cast
  Like a rich wreck- her first love, and her last.

  And thus a moon roll'd on, and fair Haidee
    Paid daily visits to her boy, and took
  Such plentiful precautions, that still he
    Remain'd unknown within his craggy nook;
  At last her father's prows put out to sea
    For certain merchantmen upon the look,
  Not as of yore to carry off an Io,
  But three Ragusan vessels, bound for Scio.

  Then came her freedom, for she had no mother,
    So that, her father being at sea, she was
  Free as a married woman, or such other
    Female, as where she likes may freely pass,
  Without even the incumbrance of a brother,
    The freest she that ever gazed on glass;
  I speak of Christian lands in this comparison,
  Where wives, at least, are seldom kept in garrison.

  Now she prolong'd her visits and her talk
    (For they must talk), and he had learnt to say
  So much as to propose to take a walk,-
    For little had he wander'd since the day
  On which, like a young flower snapp'd from the stalk,
    Drooping and dewy on the beach he lay,-
  And thus they walk'd out in the afternoon,
  And saw the sun set opposite the moon.

  It was a wild and breaker-beaten coast,
    With cliffs above, and a broad sandy shore,
  Guarded by shoals and rocks as by an host,
    With here and there a creek, whose aspect wore
  A better welcome to the tempest-tost;
    And rarely ceased the haughty billow's roar,
  Save on the dead long summer days, which make
  The outstretch'd ocean glitter like a lake.

  And the small ripple spilt upon the beach
    Scarcely o'erpass'd the cream of your champagne,
  When o'er the brim the sparkling bumpers reach,
    That spring-dew of the spirit! the heart's rain!
  Few things surpass old wine; and they may preach
    Who please,- the more because they preach in vain,-
  Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
  Sermons and soda-water the day after.

  Man, being reasonable, must get drunk;
    The best of life is but intoxication:
  Glory, the grape, love, gold, in these are sunk
    The hopes of all men, and of every nation;
  Without their sap, how branchless were the trunk
    Of life's strange tree, so fruitful on occasion:
  But to return,- Get very drunk; and when
  You wake with headache, you shall see what then.

  Ring for your valet- bid him quickly bring
    Some hock and soda-water, then you 'll know
  A pleasure worthy Xerxes the great king;
    For not the bless'd sherbet, sublimed with snow,
  Nor the first sparkle of the desert-spring,
    Nor Burgundy in all its sunset glow,
  After long travel, ennui, love, or slaughter,
  Vie with that draught of hock and soda-water.

  The coast- I think it was the coast that
    Was just describing- Yes, it was the coast-
  Lay at this period quiet as the sky,
    The sands untumbled, the blue waves untost,
  And all was stillness, save the sea-bird's cry,
    And dolphin's leap, and little billow crost
  By some low rock or shelve, that made it fret
  Against the boundary it scarcely wet.

  And forth they wander'd, her sire being gone,
    As I have said, upon an expedition;
  And mother, brother, guardian, she had none,
    Save Zoe, who, although with due precision
  She waited on her lady with the sun,
    Thought daily service was her only mission,
  Bringing warm water, wreathing her long tresses,
  And asking now and then for cast-off dresses.

  It was the cooling hour, just when the rounded
    Red sun sinks down behind the azure hill,
  Which then seems as if the whole earth it bounded,
    Circling all nature, hush'd, and dim, and still,
  With the far mountain-crescent half surrounded
    On one side, and the deep sea calm and chill
  Upon the other, and the rosy sky,
  With one star sparkling through it like an eye.

  And thus they wander'd forth, and hand in hand,
    Over the shining pebbles and the shells,
  Glided along the smooth and harden'd sand,
    And in the worn and wild receptacles
  Work'd by the storms, yet work'd as it were plann'd,
    In hollow halls, with sparry roofs and cells,
  They turn'd to rest; and, each clasp'd by an arm,
  Yielded to the deep twilight's purple charm.

  They look'd up to the sky, whose floating glow
    Spread like a rosy ocean, vast and bright;
  They gazed upon the glittering sea below,
    Whence the broad moon rose circling into sight;
  They heard the wave's splash, and the wind so low,
    And saw each other's dark eyes darting light
  Into each other- and, beholding this,
  Their lips drew near, and clung into a kiss;

  A long, long kiss, a kiss of youth, and love,
    And beauty, all concentrating like rays
  Into one focus, kindled from above;
    Such kisses as belong to early days,
  Where heart, and soul, and sense, in concert move,
    And the blood 's lava, and the pulse a blaze,
  Each kiss a heart-quake,- for a kiss's strength,
  I think, it must be reckon'd by its length.

  By length I mean duration; theirs endured
    Heaven knows how long- no doubt they never reckon'd;
  And if they had, they could not have secured
    The sum of their sensations to a second:
  They had not spoken; but they felt allured,
    As if their souls and lips each other beckon'd,
  Which, being join'd, like swarming bees they clung-
  Their hearts the flowers from whence the honey sprung.

  They were alone, but not alone as they
    Who shut in chambers think it loneliness;
  The silent ocean, and the starlight bay,
    The twilight glow which momently grew less,
  The voiceless sands and dropping caves, that lay
    Around them, made them to each other press,
  As if there were no life beneath the sky
  Save theirs, and that their life could never die.

  They fear'd no eyes nor ears on that lone beach,
    They felt no terrors from the night, they were
  All in all to each other: though their speech
    Was broken words, they thought a language there,-
  And all the burning tongues the passions teach
    Found in one sigh the best interpreter
  Of nature's oracle- first love,- that all
  Which Eve has left her daughters since her fall.

  Haidde spoke not of scruples, ask'd no vows,
    Nor offer'd any; she had never heard
  Of plight and promises to be a spouse,
    Or perils by a loving maid incurr'd;
  She was all which pure ignorance allows,
    And flew to her young mate like a young bird;
  And, never having dreamt of falsehood, she
  Had not one word to say of constancy.

  She loved, and was beloved- she adored,
    And she was worshipp'd; after nature's fashion,
  Their intense souls, into each other pour'd,
    If souls could die, had perish'd in that passion,-
  But by degrees their senses were restored,
    Again to be o'ercome, again to dash on;
  And, beating 'gainst his bosom, Haidee's heart
  Felt as if never more to beat apart.

  Alas! they were so young, so beautiful,
    So lonely, loving, helpless, and the hour
  Was that in which the heart is always full,
    And, having o'er itself no further power,
  Prompts deeds eternity can not annul,
    But pays off moments in an endless shower
  Of hell-fire- all prepared for people giving
  Pleasure or pain to one another living.

  Alas! for Juan and Haidee! they were
    So loving and so lovely- till then never,
  Excepting our first parents, such a pair
    Had run the risk of being damn'd for ever;
  And Haidee, being devout as well as fair,
    Had, doubtless, heard about the Stygian river,
  And hell and purgatory- but forgot
  Just in the very crisis she should not.

  They look upon each other, and their eyes
    Gleam in the moonlight; and her white arm clasps
  Round Juan's head, and his around her lies
    Half buried in the tresses which it grasps;
  She sits upon his knee, and drinks his sighs,
    He hers, until they end in broken gasps;
  And thus they form a group that 's quite antique,
  Half naked, loving, natural, and Greek.

  And when those deep and burning moments pass'd,
    And Juan sunk to sleep within her arms,
  She slept not, but all tenderly, though fast,
    Sustain'd his head upon her bosom's charms;
  And now and then her eye to heaven is cast,
    And then on the pale cheek her breast now warms,
  Pillow'd on her o'erflowing heart, which pants
  With all it granted, and with all it grants.

  An infant when it gazes on a light,
    A child the moment when it drains the breast,
  A devotee when soars the Host in sight,
    An Arab with a stranger for a guest,
  A sailor when the prize has struck in fight,
    A miser filling his most hoarded chest,
  Feel rapture; but not such true joy are reaping
  As they who watch o'er what they love while sleeping.

  For there it lies so tranquil, so beloved,
    All that it hath of life with us is living;
  So gentle, stirless, helpless, and unmoved,
    And all unconscious of the joy 't is giving;
  All it hath felt, inflicted, pass'd, and proved,
    Hush'd into depths beyond the watcher's diving:
  There lies the thing we love with all its errors
  And all its charms, like death without its terrors.

  The lady watch'd her lover- and that hour
    Of Love's, and Night's, and Ocean's solitude,
  O'erflow'd her soul with their united power;
    Amidst the barren sand and rocks so rude
  She and her wave-worn love had made their bower,
    Where nought upon their passion could intrude,
  And all the stars that crowded the blue space
  Saw nothing happier than her glowing face.

  Alas! the love of women! it is known
    To be a lovely and a fearful thing;
  For all of theirs upon that die is thrown,
    And if 't is lost, life hath no more to bring
  To them but mockeries of the past alone,
    And their revenge is as the tiger's spring,
  Deadly, and quick, and crushing; yet, as real
  Torture is theirs, what they inflict they feel.

  They are right; for man, to man so oft unjust,
    Is always so to women; one sole bond
  Awaits them, treachery is all their trust;
    Taught to conceal, their bursting hearts despond
  Over their idol, till some wealthier lust
    Buys them in marriage- and what rests beyond?
  A thankless husband, next a faithless lover,
  Then dressing, nursing, praying, and all 's over.

  Some take a lover, some take drams or prayers,
    Some mind their household, others dissipation,
  Some run away, and but exchange their cares,
    Losing the advantage of a virtuous station;
  Few changes e'er can better their affairs,
    Theirs being an unnatural situation,
  From the dull palace to the dirty hovel:
  Some play the devil, and then write a novel.

  Haidee was Nature's bride, and knew not this;
    Haidee was Passion's child, born where the sun
  Showers triple light, and scorches even the kiss
    Of his gazelle-eyed daughters; she was one
  Made but to love, to feel that she was his
    Who was her chosen: what was said or done
  Elsewhere was nothing. She had naught to fear,
  Hope, care, nor love, beyond, her heart beat here.

  And oh! that quickening of the heart, that beat!
    How much it costs us! yet each rising throb
  Is in its cause as its effect so sweet,
    That Wisdom, ever on the watch to rob
  Joy of its alchymy, and to repeat
    Fine truths; even Conscience, too, has a tough job
  To make us understand each good old maxim,
  So good- I wonder Castlereagh don't tax 'em.

  And now 't was done- on the lone shore were plighted
    Their hearts; the stars, their nuptial torches, shed
  Beauty upon the beautiful they lighted:
    Ocean their witness, and the cave their bed,
  By their own feelings hallow'd and united,
    Their priest was Solitude, and they were wed:
  And they were happy, for to their young eyes
  Each was an angel, and earth paradise.

  Oh, Love! of whom great Caesar was the suitor,
    Titus the master, Antony the slave,
  Horace, Catullus, scholars, Ovid tutor,
    Sappho the sage blue-stocking, in whose grave
  All those may leap who rather would be neuter
    (Leucadia's rock still overlooks the wave)-
  Oh, Love! thou art the very god of evil,
  For, after all, we cannot call thee devil.

  Thou mak'st the chaste connubial state precarious,
    And jestest with the brows of mightiest men:
  Caesar and Pompey, Mahomet, Belisarius,
    Have much employ'd the muse of history's pen;
  Their lives and fortunes were extremely various,
    Such worthies Time will never see again;
  Yet to these four in three things the same luck holds,
  They all were heroes, conquerors, and cuckolds.

  Thou mak'st philosophers; there 's Epicurus
    And Aristippus, a material crew!
  Who to immoral courses would allure us
    By theories quite practicable too;
  If only from the devil they would insure us,
    How pleasant were the maxim (not quite new),
  'Eat, drink, and love, what can the rest avail us?'
  So said the royal sage Sardanapalus.

  But Juan! had he quite forgotten Julia?
    And should he have forgotten her so soon?
  I can't but say it seems to me most truly
    Perplexing question; but, no doubt, the moon
  Does these things for us, and whenever newly
    Strong palpitation rises, 't is her boon,
  Else how the devil is it that fresh features
  Have such a charm for us poor human creatures?

  I hate inconstancy- I loathe, detest,
    Abhor, condemn, abjure the mortal made
  Of such quicksilver clay that in his breast
    No permanent foundation can be laid;
  Love, constant love, has been my constant guest,
    And yet last night, being at a masquerade,
  I saw the prettiest creature, fresh from Milan,
  Which gave me some sensations like a villain.

  But soon Philosophy came to my aid,
    And whisper'd, 'Think of every sacred tie!'
  'I will, my dear Philosophy!' I said,
    'But then her teeth, and then, oh, Heaven! her eye!
  I'll just inquire if she be wife or maid,
    Or neither- out of curiosity.'
  'Stop!' cried Philosophy, with air so Grecian
  (Though she was masqued then as a fair Venetian);

  'Stop!' so I stopp'd.- But to return: that which
    Men call inconstancy is nothing more
  Than admiration due where nature's rich
    Profusion with young beauty covers o'er
  Some favour'd object; and as in the niche
    A lovely statue we almost adore,
  This sort of adoration of the real
  Is but a heightening of the 'beau ideal.'

  'T is the perception of the beautiful,
    A fine extension of the faculties,
  Platonic, universal, wonderful,
    Drawn from the stars, and filter'd through the skies,
  Without which life would be extremely dull;
    In short, it is the use of our own eyes,
  With one or two small senses added, just
  To hint that flesh is form'd of fiery dust.

  Yet 't is a painful feeling, and unwilling,
    For surely if we always could perceive
  In the same object graces quite as killing
    As when she rose upon us like an Eve,
  'T would save us many a heartache, many a shilling
    (For we must get them any how or grieve),
  Whereas if one sole lady pleased for ever,
  How pleasant for the heart as well as liver!

  The heart is like the sky, a part of heaven,
    But changes night and day, too, like the sky;
  Now o'er it clouds and thunder must be driven,
    And darkness and destruction as on high:
  But when it hath been scorch'd, and pierced, and riven,
    Its storms expire in water-drops; the eye
  Pours forth at last the heart's blood turn'd to tears,
  Which make the English climate of our years.

  The liver is the lazaret of bile,
    But very rarely executes its function,
  For the first passion stays there such a while,
    That all the rest creep in and form a junction,
  Life knots of vipers on a dunghill's soil,-
    Rage, fear, hate, jealousy, revenge, compunction,-
  So that all mischiefs spring up from this entrail,
  Like earthquakes from the hidden fire call'd 'central,'

  In the mean time, without proceeding more
    In this anatomy, I 've finish'd now
  Two hundred and odd stanzas as before,
    That being about the number I 'll allow
  Each canto of the twelve, or twenty-four;
    And, laying down my pen, I make my bow,
  Leaving Don Juan and Haidee to plead
  For them and theirs with all who deign to read.
                 CANTO THE THIRD.

  HAIL, Muse! et cetera.- We left Juan sleeping,
    Pillow'd upon a fair and happy breast,
  And watch'd by eyes that never yet knew weeping,
    And loved by a young heart, too deeply blest
  To feel the poison through her spirit creeping,
    Or know who rested there, a foe to rest,
  Had soil'd the current of her sinless years,
  And turn'd her pure heart's purest blood to tears!

  Oh, Love! what is it in this world of ours
    Which makes it fatal to be loved? Ah, why
  With cypress branches hast thou Wreathed thy bowers,
    And made thy best interpreter a sigh?
  As those who dote on odours pluck the flowers,
    And place them on their breast- but place to die-
  Thus the frail beings we would fondly cherish
  Are laid within our bosoms but to perish.

  In her first passion woman loves her lover,
    In all the others all she loves is love,
  Which grows a habit she can ne'er get over,
    And fits her loosely- like an easy glove,
  As you may find, whene'er you like to prove her:
    One man alone at first her heart can move;
  She then prefers him in the plural number,
  Not finding that the additions much encumber.

  I know not if the fault be men's or theirs;
    But one thing 's pretty sure; a woman planted
  (Unless at once she plunge for life in prayers)
    After a decent time must be gallanted;
  Although, no doubt, her first of love affairs
    Is that to which her heart is wholly granted;
  Yet there are some, they say, who have had none,
  But those who have ne'er end with only one.

  'T is melancholy, and a fearful sign
    Of human frailty, folly, also crime,
  That love and marriage rarely can combine,
    Although they both are born in the same clime;
  Marriage from love, like vinegar from wine-
    A sad, sour, sober beverage- by time
  Is sharpen'd from its high celestial flavour
  Down to a very homely household savour.

  There 's something of antipathy, as 't were,
    Between their present and their future state;
  A kind of flattery that 's hardly fair
    Is used until the truth arrives too late-
  Yet what can people do, except despair?
    The same things change their names at such a rate;
  For instance- passion in a lover 's glorious,
  But in a husband is pronounced uxorious.

  Men grow ashamed of being so very fond;
    They sometimes also get a little tired
  (But that, of course, is rare), and then despond:
    The same things cannot always be admired,
  Yet 't is 'so nominated in the bond,'
    That both are tied till one shall have expired.
  Sad thought! to lose the spouse that was adorning
  Our days, and put one's servants into mourning.

  There 's doubtless something in domestic doings
    Which forms, in fact, true love's antithesis;
  Romances paint at full length people's wooings,
    But only give a bust of marriages;
  For no one cares for matrimonial cooings,
    There 's nothing wrong in a connubial kiss:
  Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife,
  He would have written sonnets all his life?

  All tragedies are finish'd by a death,
    All comedies are ended by a marriage;
  The future states of both are left to faith,
    For authors fear description might disparage
  The worlds to come of both, or fall beneath,
    And then both worlds would punish their miscarriage;
  So leaving each their priest and prayer-book ready,
  They say no more of Death or of the Lady.

  The only two that in my recollection
    Have sung of heaven and hell, or marriage, are
  Dante and Milton, and of both the affection
    Was hapless in their nuptials, for some bar
  Of fault or temper ruin'd the connection
    (Such things, in fact, it don't ask much to mar):
  But Dante's Beatrice and Milton's Eve
  Were not drawn from their spouses, you conceive.

  Some persons say that Dante meant theology
    By Beatrice, and not a mistress- I,
  Although my opinion may require apology,
    Deem this a commentator's fantasy,
  Unless indeed it was from his own knowledge he
    Decided thus, and show'd good reason why;
  I think that Dante's more abstruse ecstatics
  Meant to personify the mathematics.

  Haidee and Juan were not married, but
    The fault was theirs, not mine; it is not fair,
  Chaste reader, then, in any way to put
    The blame on me, unless you wish they were;
  Then if you 'd have them wedded, please to shut
    The book which treats of this erroneous pair,
  Before the consequences grow too awful;
  'T is dangerous to read of loves unlawful.

  Yet they were happy,- happy in the illicit
    Indulgence of their innocent desires;
  But more imprudent grown with every visit,
    Haidee forgot the island was her sire's;
  When we have what we like, 't is hard to miss it,
    At least in the beginning, ere one tires;
  Thus she came often, not a moment losing,
  Whilst her piratical papa was cruising.

  Let not his mode of raising cash seem strange,
    Although he fleeced the flags of every nation,
  For into a prime minister but change
    His title, and 't is nothing but taxation;
  But he, more modest, took an humbler range
    Of life, and in an honester vocation
  Pursued o'er the high seas his watery journey,
  And merely practised as a sea-attorney.

  The good old gentleman had been detain'd
    By winds and waves, and some important captures;
  And, in the hope of more, at sea remain'd,
    Although a squall or two had damp'd his raptures,
  By swamping one of the prizes; he had chain'd
    His prisoners, dividing them like chapters
  In number'd lots; they all had cuffs and collars,
  And averaged each from ten to a hundred dollars.

  Some he disposed of off Cape Matapan,
    Among his friends the Mainots; some he sold
  To his Tunis correspondents, save one man
    Toss'd overboard unsaleable (being old);
  The rest- save here and there some richer one,
    Reserved for future ransom- in the hold
  Were link'd alike, as for the common people he
  Had a large order from the Dey of Tripoli.

  The merchandise was served in the same way,
    Pieced out for different marts in the Levant;
  Except some certain portions of the prey,
    Light classic articles of female want,
  French stuffs, lace, tweezers, toothpicks, teapot, tray,
    Guitars and castanets from Alicant,
  All which selected from the spoil he gathers,
  Robb'd for his daughter by the best of fathers.

  A monkey, a Dutch mastiff, a mackaw,
    Two parrots, with a Persian cat and kittens,
  He chose from several animals he saw-
    A terrier, too, which once had been a Briton's,
  Who dying on the coast of Ithaca,
    The peasants gave the poor dumb thing a pittance;
  These to secure in this strong blowing weather,
  He caged in one huge hamper altogether.

  Then having settled his marine affairs,
    Despatching single cruisers here and there,
  His vessel having need of some repairs,
    He shaped his course to where his daughter fair
  Continued still her hospitable cares;
    But that part of the coast being shoal and bare,
  And rough with reefs which ran out many a mile,
  His port lay on the other side o' the isle.

  And there he went ashore without delay,
    Having no custom-house nor quarantine
  To ask him awkward questions on the way
    About the time and place where he had been:
  He left his ship to be hove down next day,
    With orders to the people to careen;
  So that all hands were busy beyond measure,
  In getting out goods, ballast, guns, and treasure.

  Arriving at the summit of a hill
    Which overlook'd the white walls of his home,
  He stopp'd.- What singular emotions fill
    Their bosoms who have been induced to roam!
  With fluttering doubts if all be well or ill-
    With love for many, and with fears for some;
  All feelings which o'erleap the years long lost,
  And bring our hearts back to their starting-post.

  The approach of home to husbands and to sires,
    After long travelling by land or water,
  Most naturally some small doubt inspires-
    A female family 's a serious matter
  (None trusts the sex more, or so much admires-
    But they hate flattery, so I never flatter);
  Wives in their husbands' absences grow subtler,
  And daughters sometimes run off with the butler.

  An honest gentleman at his return
    May not have the good fortune of Ulysses;
  Not all lone matrons for their husbands mourn,
    Or show the same dislike to suitors' kisses;
  The odds are that he finds a handsome urn
    To his memory- and two or three young misses
  Born to some friend, who holds his wife and riches,-
  And that his Argus- bites him by the breeches.

  If single, probably his plighted fair
    Has in his absence wedded some rich miser;
  But all the better, for the happy pair
    May quarrel, and the lady growing wiser,
  He may resume his amatory care
    As cavalier servente, or despise her;
  And that his sorrow may not be a dumb one,
  Write odes on the Inconstancy of Woman.

  And oh! ye gentlemen who have already
    Some chaste liaison of the kind- I mean
  An honest friendship with a married lady-
    The only thing of this sort ever seen
  To last- of all connections the most steady,
    And the true Hymen (the first 's but a screen)-
  Yet for all that keep not too long away,
  I 've known the absent wrong'd four times a day.

  Lambro, our sea-solicitor, who had
    Much less experience of dry land than ocean,
  On seeing his own chimney-smoke, felt glad;
    But not knowing metaphysics, had no notion
  Of the true reason of his not being sad,
    Or that of any other strong emotion;
  He loved his child, and would have wept the loss of her,
  But knew the cause no more than a philosopher.

  He saw his white walls shining in the sun,
    His garden trees all shadowy and green;
  He heard his rivulet's light bubbling run,
    The distant dog-bark; and perceived between
  The umbrage of the wood so cool and dun
    The moving figures, and the sparkling sheen
  Of arms (in the East all arm)- and various dyes
  Of colour'd garbs, as bright as butterflies.

  And as the spot where they appear he nears,
    Surprised at these unwonted signs of idling,
  He hears- alas! no music of the spheres,
    But an unhallow'd, earthly sound of fiddling!
  A melody which made him doubt his ears,
    The cause being past his guessing or unriddling;
  A pipe, too, and a drum, and shortly after,
  A most unoriental roar of laughter.

  And still more nearly to the place advancing,
    Descending rather quickly the declivity,
  Through the waved branches o'er the greensward glancing,
    'Midst other indications of festivity,
  Seeing a troop of his domestics dancing
    Like dervises, who turn as on a pivot, he
  Perceived it was the Pyrrhic dance so martial,
  To which the Levantines are very partial.

  And further on a group of Grecian girls,
    The first and tallest her white kerchief waving,
  Were strung together like a row of pearls,
    Link'd hand in hand, and dancing; each too having
  Down her white neck long floating auburn curls
    (The least of which would set ten poets raving);
  Their leader sang- and bounded to her song,
  With choral step and voice, the virgin throng.

  And here, assembled cross-legg'd round their trays,
    Small social parties just begun to dine;
  Pilaus and meats of all sorts met the gaze,
    And flasks of Samian and of Chian wine,
  And sherbet cooling in the porous vase;
    Above them their dessert grew on its vine,
  The orange and pomegranate nodding o'er
  Dropp'd in their laps, scarce pluck'd, their mellow store.

  A band of children, round a snow-white ram,
    There wreathe his venerable horns with flowers;
  While peaceful as if still an unwean'd lamb,
    The patriarch of the flock all gently cowers
  His sober head, majestically tame,
    Or eats from out the palm, or playful lowers
  His brow, as if in act to butt, and then
  Yielding to their small hands, draws back again.

  Their classical profiles, and glittering dresses,
    Their large black eyes, and soft seraphic cheeks,
  Crimson as cleft pomegranates, their long tresses,
    The gesture which enchants, the eye that speaks,
  The innocence which happy childhood blesses,
    Made quite a picture of these little Greeks;
  So that the philosophical beholder
  Sigh'd for their sakes- that they should e'er grow older.

  Afar, a dwarf buffoon stood telling tales
    To a sedate grey circle of old smokers,
  Of secret treasures found in hidden vales,
    Of wonderful replies from Arab jokers,
  Of charms to make good gold and cure bad ails,
    Of rocks bewitch'd that open to the knockers,
  Of magic ladies who, by one sole act,
  Transform'd their lords to beasts (but that 's a fact).

  Here was no lack of innocent diversion
    For the imagination or the senses,
  Song, dance, wine, music, stories from the Persian,
    All pretty pastimes in which no offence is;
  But Lambro saw all these things with aversion,
    Perceiving in his absence such expenses,
  Dreading that climax of all human ills,
  The inflammation of his weekly bills.

  Ah! what is man? what perils still environ
    The happiest mortals even after dinner-
  A day of gold from out an age of iron
    Is all that life allows the luckiest sinner;
  Pleasure (whene'er she sings, at least) 's a siren,
    That lures, to flay alive, the young beginner;
  Lambro's reception at his people's banquet
  Was such as fire accords to a wet blanket.

  He- being a man who seldom used a word
    Too much, and wishing gladly to surprise
  (In general he surprised men with the sword)
    His daughter- had not sent before to advise
  Of his arrival, so that no one stirr'd;
    And long he paused to re-assure his eyes
  In fact much more astonish'd than delighted,
  To find so much good company invited.

  He did not know (alas! how men will lie)
    That a report (especially the Greeks)
  Avouch'd his death (such people never die),
    And put his house in mourning several weeks,-
  But now their eyes and also lips were dry;
    The bloom, too, had return'd to Haidee's cheeks,
  Her tears, too, being return'd into their fount,
  She now kept house upon her own account.

  Hence all this rice, meat, dancing, wine, and fiddling,
    Which turn'd the isle into a place of pleasure;
  The servants all were getting drunk or idling,
    A life which made them happy beyond measure.
  Her father's hospitality seem'd middling,
    Compared with what Haidee did with his treasure;
  'T was wonderful how things went on improving,
  While she had not one hour to spare from loving.

  Perhaps you think in stumbling on this feast
    He flew into a passion, and in fact
  There was no mighty reason to be pleased;
    Perhaps you prophesy some sudden act,
  The whip, the rack, or dungeon at the least,
    To teach his people to be more exact,
  And that, proceeding at a very high rate,
  He show'd the royal penchants of a pirate.

  You 're wrong.- He was the mildest manner'd man
    That ever scuttled ship or cut a throat:
  With such true breeding of a gentleman,
    You never could divine his real thought;
  No courtier could, and scarcely woman can
    Gird more deceit within a petticoat;
  Pity he loved adventurous life's variety,
  He was so great a loss to good society.

  Advancing to the nearest dinner tray,
    Tapping the shoulder of the nighest guest,
  With a peculiar smile, which, by the way,
    Boded no good, whatever it express'd,
  He ask'd the meaning of this holiday;
    The vinous Greek to whom he had address'd
  His question, much too merry to divine
  The questioner, fill'd up a glass of wine,

  And without turning his facetious head,
    Over his shoulder, with a Bacchant air,
  Presented the o'erflowing cup, and said,
    'Talking 's dry work, I have no time to spare.'
  A second hiccup'd, 'Our old master 's dead,
    You 'd better ask our mistress who 's his heir.'
  'Our mistress!' quoth a third: 'Our mistress!- pooh!-
  You mean our master- not the old, but new.'

  These rascals, being new comers, knew not whom
    They thus address'd- and Lambro's visage fell-
  And o'er his eye a momentary gloom
    Pass'd, but he strove quite courteously to quell
  The expression, and endeavouring to resume
    His smile, requested one of them to tell
  The name and quality of his new patron,
  Who seem'd to have turn'd Haidee into a matron.

  'I know not,' quoth the fellow, 'who or what
    He is, nor whence he came- and little care;
  But this I know, that this roast capon 's fat,
    And that good wine ne'er wash'd down better fare;
  And if you are not satisfied with that,
    Direct your questions to my neighbour there;
  He 'll answer all for better or for worse,
  For none likes more to hear himself converse.'

  I said that Lambro was a man of patience,
    And certainly he show'd the best of breeding,
  Which scarce even France, the paragon of nations,
    E'er saw her most polite of sons exceeding;
  He bore these sneers against his near relations,
    His own anxiety, his heart, too, bleeding,
  The insults, too, of every servile glutton,
  Who all the time was eating up his mutton.

  Now in a person used to much command-
    To bid men come, and go, and come again-
  To see his orders done, too, out of hand-
    Whether the word was death, or but the chain-
  It may seem strange to find his manners bland;
    Yet such things are, which I can not explain,
  Though doubtless he who can command himself
  Is good to govern- almost as a Guelf.

  Not that he was not sometimes rash or so,
    But never in his real and serious mood;
  Then calm, concentrated, and still, and slow,
    He lay coil'd like the boa in the wood;
  With him it never was a word and blow,
    His angry word once o'er, he shed no blood,
  But in his silence there was much to rue,
  And his one blow left little work for two.

  He ask'd no further questions, and proceeded
    On to the house, but by a private way,
  So that the few who met him hardly heeded,
    So little they expected him that day;
  If love paternal in his bosom pleaded
    For Haidee's sake, is more than I can say,
  But certainly to one deem'd dead, returning,
  This revel seem'd a curious mode of mourning.

  If all the dead could now return to life
    (Which God forbid!) or some, or a great many,
  For instance, if a husband or his wife
    (Nuptial examples are as good as any),
  No doubt whate'er might be their former strife,
    The present weather would be much more rainy-
  Tears shed into the grave of the connection
  Would share most probably its resurrection.

  He enter'd in the house no more his home,
    A thing to human feelings the most trying,
  And harder for the heart to overcome,
    Perhaps, than even the mental pangs of dying;
  To find our hearthstone turn'd into a tomb,
    And round its once warm precincts palely lying
  The ashes of our hopes, is a deep grief,
  Beyond a single gentleman's belief.

  He enter'd in the house- his home no more,
    For without hearts there is no home; and felt
  The solitude of passing his own door
    Without a welcome; there he long had dwelt,
  There his few peaceful days Time had swept o'er,
    There his worn bosom and keen eye would melt
  Over the innocence of that sweet child,
  His only shrine of feelings undefiled.

  He was a man of a strange temperament,
    Of mild demeanour though of savage mood,
  Moderate in all his habits, and content
    With temperance in pleasure, as in food,
  Quick to perceive, and strong to bear, and meant
    For something better, if not wholly good;
  His country's wrongs and his despair to save her
  Had stung him from a slave to an enslaver.

  The love of power, and rapid gain of gold,
    The hardness by long habitude produced,
  The dangerous life in which he had grown old,
    The mercy he had granted oft abused,
  The sights he was accustom'd to behold,
    The wild seas, and wild men with whom he cruised,
  Had cost his enemies a long repentance,
  And made him a good friend, but bad acquaintance.

  But something of the spirit of old Greece
    Flash'd o'er his soul a few heroic rays,
  Such as lit onward to the Golden Fleece
    His predecessors in the Colchian days;
  T is true he had no ardent love for peace-
    Alas! his country show'd no path to praise:
  Hate to the world and war with every nation
  He waged, in vengeance of her degradation.

  Still o'er his mind the influence of the clime
    Shed its Ionian elegance, which show'd
  Its power unconsciously full many a time,-
    A taste seen in the choice of his abode,
  A love of music and of scenes sublime,
    A pleasure in the gentle stream that flow'd
  Past him in crystal, and a joy in flowers,
  Bedew'd his spirit in his calmer hours.

  But whatsoe'er he had of love reposed
    On that beloved daughter; she had been
  The only thing which kept his heart unclosed
    Amidst the savage deeds he had done and seen;
  A lonely pure affection unopposed:
    There wanted but the loss of this to wean
  His feelings from all milk of human kindness,
  And turn him like the Cyclops mad with blindness.

  The cubless tigress in her jungle raging
    Is dreadful to the shepherd and the flock;
  The ocean when its yeasty war is waging
    Is awful to the vessel near the rock;
  But violent things will sooner bear assuaging,
    Their fury being spent by its own shock,
  Than the stern, single, deep, and wordless ire
  Of a strong human heart, and in a sire.

  It is a hard although a common case
    To find our children running restive- they
  In whom our brightest days we would retrace,
    Our little selves re-form'd in finer clay,
  Just as old age is creeping on apace,
    And clouds come o'er the sunset of our day,
  They kindly leave us, though not quite alone,
  But in good company- the gout or stone.

  Yet a fine family is a fine thing
    (Provided they don't come in after dinner);
  'T is beautiful to see a matron bring
    Her children up (if nursing them don't thin her);
  Like cherubs round an altar-piece they cling
    To the fire-side (a sight to touch a sinner).
  A lady with her daughters or her nieces
  Shines like a guinea and seven-shilling pieces.

  Old Lambro pass'd unseen a private gate,
    And stood within his hall at eventide;
  Meantime the lady and her lover sate
    At wassail in their beauty and their pride:
  An ivory inlaid table spread with state
    Before them, and fair slaves on every side;
  Gems, gold, and silver, form'd the service mostly,
  Mother of pearl and coral the less costly.

  The dinner made about a hundred dishes;
    Lamb and pistachio nuts- in short, all meats,
  And saffron soups, and sweetbreads; and the fishes
    Were of the finest that e'er flounced in nets,
  Drest to a Sybarite's most pamper'd wishes;
    The beverage was various sherbets
  Of raisin, orange, and pomegranate juice,
  Squeezed through the rind, which makes it best for use.

  These were ranged round, each in its crystal ewer,
    And fruits, and date-bread loaves closed the repast,
  And Mocha's berry, from Arabia pure,
    In small fine China cups, came in at last;
  Gold cups of filigree made to secure
    The hand from burning underneath them placed,
  Cloves, cinnamon, and saffron too were boil'd
  Up with the coffee, which (I think) they spoil'd.

  The hangings of the room were tapestry, made
    Of velvet panels, each of different hue,
  And thick with damask flowers of silk inlaid;
    And round them ran a yellow border too;
  The upper border, richly wrought, display'd,
    Embroider'd delicately o'er with blue,
  Soft Persian sentences, in lilac letters,
  From poets, or the moralists their betters.

  These Oriental writings on the wall,
    Quite common in those countries, are a kind
  Of monitors adapted to recall,
    Like skulls at Memphian banquets, to the mind
  The words which shook Belshazzar in his hall,
    And took his kingdom from him: You will find,
  Though sages may pour out their wisdom's treasure,
  There is no sterner moralist than Pleasure.

  A beauty at the season's close grown hectic,
    A genius who has drunk himself to death,
  A rake turn'd methodistic, or Eclectic
    (For that 's the name they like to pray beneath)-
  But most, an alderman struck apoplectic,
    Are things that really take away the breath,-
  And show that late hours, wine, and love are able
  To do not much less damage than the table.

  Haidee and Juan carpeted their feet
    On crimson satin, border'd with pale blue;
  Their sofa occupied three parts complete
    Of the apartment- and appear'd quite new;
  The velvet cushions (for a throne more meet)
    Were scarlet, from whose glowing centre grew
  A sun emboss'd in gold, whose rays of tissue,
  Meridian-like, were seen all light to issue.

  Crystal and marble, plate and porcelain,
    Had done their work of splendour; Indian mats
  And Persian carpets, which the heart bled to stain,
    Over the floors were spread; gazelles and cats,
  And dwarfs and blacks, and such like things, that gain
    Their bread as ministers and favourites (that 's
  To say, by degradation) mingled there
  As plentiful as in a court, or fair.

  There was no want of lofty mirrors, and
    The tables, most of ebony inlaid
  With mother of pearl or ivory, stood at hand,
    Or were of tortoise-shell or rare woods made,
  Fretted with gold or silver:- by command,
    The greater part of these were ready spread
  With viands and sherbets in ice- and wine-
  Kept for all comers at all hours to dine.

  Of all the dresses I select Haidee's:
    She wore two jelicks- one was of pale yellow;
  Of azure, pink, and white was her chemise-
    'Neath which her breast heaved like a little billow;
  With buttons form'd of pearls as large as peas,
    All gold and crimson shone her jelick's fellow,
  And the striped white gauze baracan that bound her,
  Like fleecy clouds about the moon, flow'd round her.

  One large gold bracelet clasp'd each lovely arm,
    Lockless- so pliable from the pure gold
  That the hand stretch'd and shut it without harm,
    The limb which it adorn'd its only mould;
  So beautiful- its very shape would charm;
    And, clinging as if loath to lose its hold,
  The purest ore enclosed the whitest skin
  That e'er by precious metal was held in.

  Around, as princess of her father's land,
    A like gold bar above her instep roll'd
  Announced her rank; twelve rings were on her hand;
    Her hair was starr'd with gems; her veil's fine fold
  Below her breast was fasten'd with a band
    Of lavish pearls, whose worth could scarce be told;
  Her orange silk full Turkish trousers furl'd
  About the prettiest ankle in the world.

  Her hair's long auburn waves down to her heel
    Flow'd like an Alpine torrent which the sun
  Dyes with his morning light,- and would conceal
    Her person if allow'd at large to run,
  And still they seem resentfully to feel
    The silken fillet's curb, and sought to shun
  Their bonds whene'er some Zephyr caught began
  To offer his young pinion as her fan.

  Round her she made an atmosphere of life,
    The very air seem'd lighter from her eyes,
  They were so soft and beautiful, and rife
    With all we can imagine of the skies,
  And pure as Psyche ere she grew a wife-
    Too pure even for the purest human ties;
  Her overpowering presence made you feel
  It would not be idolatry to kneel.

  Her eyelashes, though dark as night, were tinged
    (It is the country's custom), but in vain;
  For those large black eyes were so blackly fringed,
    The glossy rebels mock'd the jetty stain,
  And in their native beauty stood avenged:
    Her nails were touch'd with henna; but again
  The power of art was turn'd to nothing, for
  They could not look more rosy than before.

  The henna should be deeply dyed to make
    The skin relieved appear more fairly fair;
  She had no need of this, day ne'er will break
    On mountain tops more heavenly white than her:
  The eye might doubt if it were well awake,
    She was so like a vision; I might err,
  But Shakspeare also says, 't is very silly
  'To gild refined gold, or paint the lily'

  Juan had on a shawl of black and gold,
    But a white baracan, and so transparent
  The sparkling gems beneath you might behold,
    Like small stars through the milky way apparent;
  His turban, furl'd in many a graceful fold,
    An emerald aigrette with Haidee's hair in 't
  Surmounted as its clasp- a glowing crescent,
  Whose rays shone ever trembling, but incessant.

  And now they were diverted by their suite,
    Dwarfs, dancing girls, black eunuchs, and a poet,
  Which made their new establishment complete;
    The last was of great fame, and liked to show it:
  His verses rarely wanted their due feet;
    And for his theme- he seldom sung below it,
  He being paid to satirize or flatter,
  As the psalm says, 'inditing a good matter.'

  He praised the present, and abused the past,
    Reversing the good custom of old days,
  An Eastern anti-jacobin at last
    He turn'd, preferring pudding to no praise-
  For some few years his lot had been o'ercast
    By his seeming independent in his lays,
  But now he sung the Sultan and the Pacha
  With truth like Southey, and with verse like Crashaw.

  He was a man who had seen many changes,
    And always changed as true as any needle;
  His polar star being one which rather ranges,
    And not the fix'd- he knew the way to wheedle:
  So vile he 'scaped the doom which oft avenges;
    And being fluent (save indeed when fee'd ill),
  He lied with such a fervour of intention-
  There was no doubt he earn'd his laureate pension.

  But he had genius,- when a turncoat has it,
    The 'Vates irritabilis' takes care
  That without notice few full moons shall pass it;
    Even good men like to make the public stare:-
  But to my subject- let me see- what was it?-
    Oh!- the third canto- and the pretty pair-
  Their loves, and feasts, and house, and dress, and mode
  Of living in their insular abode.

  Their poet, a sad trimmer, but no less
    In company a very pleasant fellow,
  Had been the favourite of full many a mess
    Of men, and made them speeches when half mellow;
  And though his meaning they could rarely guess,
    Yet still they deign'd to hiccup or to bellow
  The glorious meed of popular applause,
  Of which the first ne'er knows the second cause.

  But now being lifted into high society,
    And having pick'd up several odds and ends
  Of free thoughts in his travels for variety,
    He deem'd, being in a lone isle, among friends,
  That, without any danger of a riot, he
    Might for long lying make himself amends;
  And, singing as he sung in his warm youth,
  Agree to a short armistice with truth.

  He had travell'd 'mongst the Arabs, Turks, and Franks,
    And knew the self-loves of the different nations;
  And having lived with people of all ranks,
    Had something ready upon most occasions-
  Which got him a few presents and some thanks.
    He varied with some skill his adulations;
  To 'do at Rome as Romans do,' a piece
  Of conduct was which he observed in Greece.

  Thus, usually, when he was ask'd to sing,
    He gave the different nations something national;
  'T was all the same to him- 'God save the king,'
    Or 'Ca ira,' according to the fashion all:
  His muse made increment of any thing,
    From the high lyric down to the low rational:
  If Pindar sang horse-races, what should hinder
  Himself from being as pliable as Pindar?

  In France, for instance, he would write a chanson;
    In England a six canto quarto tale;
  In Spain, he'd make a ballad or romance on
    The last war- much the same in Portugal;
  In Germany, the Pegasus he 'd prance on
    Would be old Goethe's (see what says De Stael);
  In Italy he 'd ape the 'Trecentisti;'
  In Greece, he sing some sort of hymn like this t' ye:

                  THE ISLES OF GREECE.

        The isles of Greece, the Isles of Greece!
          Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
        Where grew the arts of war and peace,
          Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
        Eternal summer gilds them yet,
        But all, except their sun, is set.

        The Scian and the Teian muse,
          The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
        Have found the fame your shores refuse;
          Their place of birth alone is mute
        To sounds which echo further west
        Than your sires' 'Islands of the Blest.'

        The mountains look on Marathon-
          And Marathon looks on the sea;
        And musing there an hour alone,
          I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
        For standing on the Persians' grave,
        I could not deem myself a slave.

        A king sate on the rocky brow
          Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
        And ships, by thousands, lay below,
          And men in nations;- all were his!
        He counted them at break of day-
        And when the sun set where were they?

        And where are they? and where art thou,
          My country? On thy voiceless shore
        The heroic lay is tuneless now-
          The heroic bosom beats no more!
        And must thy lyre, so long divine,
        Degenerate into hands like mine?

        'T is something, in the dearth of fame,
          Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
        To feel at least a patriot's shame,
          Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
        For what is left the poet here?
        For Greeks a blush- for Greece a tear.

        Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
          Must we but blush?- Our fathers bled.
        Earth! render back from out thy breast
          A remnant of our Spartan dead!
        Of the three hundred grant but three,
        To make a new Thermopylae!

        What, silent still? and silent all?
          Ah! no;- the voices of the dead
        Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
          And answer, 'Let one living head,
        But one arise,- we come, we come!'
        'T is but the living who are dumb.

        In vain- in vain: strike other chords;
          Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
        Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
          And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
        Hark! rising to the ignoble call-
        How answers each bold Bacchanal!

        You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
          Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
        Of two such lessons, why forget
          The nobler and the manlier one?
        You have the letters Cadmus gave-
        Think ye he meant them for a slave?

        Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
          We will not think of themes like these!
        It made Anacreon's song divine:
          He served- but served Polycrates-
        A tyrant; but our masters then
        Were still, at least, our countrymen.

        The tyrant of the Chersonese
          Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
        That tyrant was Miltiades!
          Oh! that the present hour would lend
        Another despot of the kind!
        Such chains as his were sure to bind.

        Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
          On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
        Exists the remnant of a line
          Such as the Doric mothers bore;
        And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
        The Heracleidan blood might own.

        Trust not for freedom to the Franks-
          They have a king who buys and sells;
        In native swords, and native ranks,
          The only hope of courage dwells;
        But Turkish force, and Latin fraud,
        Would break your shield, however broad.

        Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
          Our virgins dance beneath the shade-
        I see their glorious black eyes shine;
          But gazing on each glowing maid,
        My own the burning tear-drop laves,
        To think such breasts must suckle slaves

        Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
          Where nothing, save the waves and I,
        May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
          There, swan-like, let me sing and die:
        A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine-
        Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!

  Thus sung, or would, or could, or should have sung,
    The modern Greek, in tolerable verse;
  If not like Orpheus quite, when Greece was young,
    Yet in these times he might have done much worse:
  His strain display'd some feeling- right or wrong;
    And feeling, in a poet, is the source
  Of others' feeling; but they are such liars,
  And take all colours- like the hands of dyers.

  But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
    Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
  That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think;
    'T is strange, the shortest letter which man uses
  Instead of speech, may form a lasting link
    Of ages; to what straits old Time reduces
  Frail man, when paper- even a rag like this,
  Survives himself, his tomb, and all that 's his.

  And when his bones are dust, his grave a blank,
    His station, generation, even his nation,
  Become a thing, or nothing, save to rank
    In chronological commemoration,
  Some dull MS. oblivion long has sank,
    Or graven stone found in a barrack's station
  In digging the foundation of a closet,
  May turn his name up, as a rare deposit.

  And glory long has made the sages smile;
    'T is something, nothing, words, illusion, wind-
  Depending more upon the historian's style
    Than on the name a person leaves behind:
  Troy owes to Homer what whist owes to Hoyle:
    The present century was growing blind
  To the great Marlborough's skill in giving knocks,
  Until his late life by Archdeacon Coxe.

  Milton 's the prince of poets- so we say;
    A little heavy, but no less divine:
  An independent being in his day-
    Learn'd, pious, temperate in love and wine;
  But, his life falling into Johnson's way,
    We 're told this great high priest of all the Nine
  Was whipt at college- a harsh sire- odd spouse,
  For the first Mrs. Milton left his house.

  All these are, certes, entertaining facts,
    Like Shakspeare's stealing deer, Lord Bacon's bribes;
  Like Titus' youth, and Caesar's earliest acts;
    Like Burns (whom Doctor Currie well describes);
  Like Cromwell's pranks;- but although truth exacts
    These amiable descriptions from the scribes,
  As most essential to their hero's story,
  They do not much contribute to his glory.

  All are not moralists, like Southey, when
    He prated to the world of 'Pantisocracy;'
  Or Wordsworth unexcised, unhired, who then
    Season'd his pedlar poems with democracy;
  Or Coleridge, long before his flighty pen
    Let to the Morning Post its aristocracy;
  When he and Southey, following the same path,
  Espoused two partners (milliners of Bath).

  Such names at present cut a convict figure,
    The very Botany Bay in moral geography;
  Their loyal treason, renegado rigour,
    Are good manure for their more bare biography.
  Wordsworth's last quarto, by the way, is bigger
    Than any since the birthday of typography;
  A drowsy frowzy poem, call'd the 'Excursion.'
  Writ in a manner which is my aversion.

  He there builds up a formidable dyke
    Between his own and others' intellect;
  But Wordsworth's poem, and his followers, like
    Joanna Southcote's Shiloh, and her sect,
  Are things which in this century don't strike
    The public mind,- so few are the elect;
  And the new births of both their stale virginities
  Have proved but dropsies, taken for divinities.

  But let me to my story: I must own,
    If I have any fault, it is digression-
  Leaving my people to proceed alone,
    While I soliloquize beyond expression;
  But these are my addresses from the throne,
    Which put off business to the ensuing session:
  Forgetting each omission is a loss to
  The world, not quite so great as Ariosto.

  I know that what our neighbours call 'longueurs'
    (We 've not so good a word, but have the thing
  In that complete perfection which ensures
    An epic from Bob Southey every spring),
  Form not the true temptation which allures
    The reader; but 't would not be hard to bring
  Some fine examples of the epopee,
  To prove its grand ingredient is ennui.

  We learn from Horace, 'Homer sometimes sleeps;'
    We feel without him, Wordsworth sometimes wakes,-
  To show with what complacency he creeps,
    With his dear 'Waggoners,' around his lakes.
  He wishes for 'a boat' to sail the deeps-
    Of ocean?- No, of air; and then he makes
  Another outcry for 'a little boat,'
  And drivels seas to set it well afloat.

  If he must fain sweep o'er the ethereal plain,
    And Pegasus runs restive in his 'Waggon,'
  Could he not beg the loan of Charles's Wain?
    Or pray Medea for a single dragon?
  Or if, too classic for his vulgar brain,
    He fear'd his neck to venture such a nag on,
  And he must needs mount nearer to the moon,
  Could not the blockhead ask for a balloon?

  'Pedlars,' and 'Boats,' and 'Waggons!' Oh! ye shades
    Of Pope and Dryden, are we come to this?
  That trash of such sort not alone evades
    Contempt, but from the bathos' vast abyss
  Floats scumlike uppermost, and these Jack Cades
    Of sense and song above your graves may hiss-
  The 'little boatman' and his 'Peter Bell'
  Can sneer at him who drew 'Achitophel'!

  T' our tale.- The feast was over, the slaves gone,
    The dwarfs and dancing girls had all retired;
  The Arab lore and poet's song were done,
    And every sound of revelry expired;
  The lady and her lover, left alone,
    The rosy flood of twilight's sky admired;-
  Ave Maria! o'er the earth and sea,
  That heavenliest hour of Heaven is worthiest thee!

  Ave Maria! blessed be the hour!
    The time, the clime, the spot, where I so oft
  Have felt that moment in its fullest power
    Sink o'er the earth so beautiful and soft,
  While swung the deep bell in the distant tower,
    Or the faint dying day-hymn stole aloft,
  And not a breath crept through the rosy air,
  And yet the forest leaves seem'd stirr'd with prayer.

  Ave Maria! 't is the hour of prayer!
    Ave Maria! 't is the hour of love!
  Ave Maria! may our spirits dare
    Look up to thine and to thy Son's above!
  Ave Maria! oh that face so fair!
    Those downcast eyes beneath the Almighty dove-
  What though 't is but a pictured image?- strike-
  That painting is no idol,- 't is too like.

  Some kinder casuists are pleased to say,
    In nameless print- that I have no devotion;
  But set those persons down with me to pray,
    And you shall see who has the properest notion
  Of getting into heaven the shortest way;
    My altars are the mountains and the ocean,
  Earth, air, stars,- all that springs from the great Whole,
  Who hath produced, and will receive the soul.

  Sweet hour of twilight!- in the solitude
    Of the pine forest, and the silent shore
  Which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood,
    Rooted where once the Adrian wave flow'd o'er,
  To where the last Caesarean fortress stood,
    Evergreen forest! which Boccaccio's lore
  And Dryden's lay made haunted ground to me,
  How have I loved the twilight hour and thee!

  The shrill cicadas, people of the pine,
    Making their summer lives one ceaseless song,
  Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine,
    And vesper bell's that rose the boughs along;
  The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line,
    His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the fair throng
  Which learn'd from this example not to fly
  From a true lover,- shadow'd my mind's eye.

  Oh, Hesperus! thou bringest all good things-
    Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer,
  To the young bird the parent's brooding wings,
    The welcome stall to the o'erlabour'd steer;
  Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clings,
    Whate'er our household gods protect of dear,
  Are gather'd round us by thy look of rest;
  Thou bring'st the child, too, to the mother's breast.

  Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart
    Of those who sail the seas, on the first day
  When they from their sweet friends are torn apart;
    Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way
  As the far bell of vesper makes him start,
    Seeming to weep the dying day's decay;
  Is this a fancy which our reason scorns?
  Ah! surely nothing dies but something mourns!

  When Nero perish'd by the justest doom
    Which ever the destroyer yet destroy'd,
  Amidst the roar of liberated Rome,
    Of nations freed, and the world overjoy'd,
  Some hands unseen strew'd flowers upon his tomb:
    Perhaps the weakness of a heart not void
  Of feeling for some kindness done, when power
  Had left the wretch an uncorrupted hour.

  But I 'm digressing; what on earth has Nero,
    Or any such like sovereign buffoons,
  To do with the transactions of my hero,
    More than such madmen's fellow man- the moon's?
  Sure my invention must be down at zero,
    And I grown one of many 'wooden spoons'
  Of verse (the name with which we Cantabs please
  To dub the last of honours in degrees).

  I feel this tediousness will never do-
    'T is being too epic, and I must cut down
  (In copying) this long canto into two;
    They 'll never find it out, unless I own
  The fact, excepting some experienced few;
    And then as an improvement 't will be shown:
  I 'll prove that such the opinion of the critic is
  From Aristotle passim.- See poietikes.
             CANTO THE FOURTH.

  NOTHING so difficult as a beginning
    In poesy, unless perhaps the end;
  For oftentimes when Pegasus seems winning
    The race, he sprains a wing, and down we tend,
  Like Lucifer when hurl'd from heaven for sinning;
    Our sin the same, and hard as his to mend,
  Being pride, which leads the mind to soar too far,
  Till our own weakness shows us what we are.

  But Time, which brings all beings to their level,
    And sharp Adversity, will teach at last
  Man,- and, as we would hope,- perhaps the devil,
    That neither of their intellects are vast:
  While youth's hot wishes in our red veins revel,
    We know not this- the blood flows on too fast;
  But as the torrent widens towards the ocean,
  We ponder deeply on each past emotion.

  As boy, I thought myself a clever fellow,
    And wish'd that others held the same opinion;
  They took it up when my days grew more mellow,
    And other minds acknowledged my dominion:
  Now my sere fancy 'falls into the yellow
    Leaf,' and Imagination droops her pinion,
  And the sad truth which hovers o'er my desk
  Turns what was once romantic to burlesque.

  And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
    'T is that I may not weep; and if I weep,
  'T is that our nature cannot always bring
    Itself to apathy, for we must steep
  Our hearts first in the depths of Lethe's spring,
    Ere what we least wish to behold will sleep:
  Thetis baptized her mortal son in Styx;
  A mortal mother would on Lethe fix.

  Some have accused me of a strange design
    Against the creed and morals of the land,
  And trace it in this poem every line:
    I don't pretend that I quite understand
  My own meaning when I would be very fine;
    But the fact is that I have nothing plann'd,
  Unless it were to be a moment merry,
  A novel word in my vocabulary.

  To the kind reader of our sober clime
    This way of writing will appear exotic;
  Pulci was sire of the half-serious rhyme,
    Who sang when chivalry was more Quixotic,
  And revell'd in the fancies of the time,
    True knights, chaste dames, huge giants, kings despotic:
  But all these, save the last, being obsolete,
  I chose a modern subject as more meet.

  How I have treated it, I do not know;
    Perhaps no better than they have treated me
  Who have imputed such designs as show
    Not what they saw, but what they wish'd to see:
  But if it gives them pleasure, be it so;
    This is a liberal age, and thoughts are free:
  Meantime Apollo plucks me by the ear,
  And tells me to resume my story here.

  Young Juan and his lady-love were left
    To their own hearts' most sweet society;
  Even Time the pitiless in sorrow cleft
    With his rude scythe such gentle bosoms; he
  Sigh'd to behold them of their hours bereft,
    Though foe to love; and yet they could not be
  Meant to grow old, but die in happy spring,
  Before one charm or hope had taken wing.

  Their faces were not made for wrinkles, their
    Pure blood to stagnate, their great hearts to fail;
  The blank grey was not made to blast their hair,
    But like the climes that know nor snow nor hail
  They were all summer: lightning might assail
    And shiver them to ashes, but to trail
  A long and snake-like life of dull decay
  Was not for them- they had too little day.

  They were alone once more; for them to be
    Thus was another Eden; they were never
  Weary, unless when separate: the tree
    Cut from its forest root of years- the river
  Damm'd from its fountain- the child from the knee
    And breast maternal wean'd at once for ever,-
  Would wither less than these two torn apart;
  Alas! there is no instinct like the heart-

  The heart- which may be broken: happy they!
    Thrice fortunate! who of that fragile mould,
  The precious porcelain of human clay,
    Break with the first fall: they can ne'er behold
  The long year link'd with heavy day on day,
    And all which must be borne, and never told;
  While life's strange principle will often lie
  Deepest in those who long the most to die.

  'Whom the gods love die young,' was said of yore,
    And many deaths do they escape by this:
  The death of friends, and that which slays even more-
    The death of friendship, love, youth, all that is,
  Except mere breath; and since the silent shore
    Awaits at last even those who longest miss
  The old archer's shafts, perhaps the early grave
  Which men weep over may be meant to save.

  Haidee and Juan thought not of the dead-
    The heavens, and earth, and air, seem'd made for them:
  They found no fault with Time, save that he fled;
    They saw not in themselves aught to condemn:
  Each was the other's mirror, and but read
    Joy sparkling in their dark eyes like a gem,
  And knew such brightness was but the reflection
  Of their exchanging glances of affection.

  The gentle pressure, and the thrilling touch,
    The least glance better understood than words,
  Which still said all, and ne'er could say too much;
    A language, too, but like to that of birds,
  Known but to them, at least appearing such
    As but to lovers a true sense affords;
  Sweet playful phrases, which would seem absurd
  To those who have ceased to hear such, or ne'er heard,-

  All these were theirs, for they were children still,
    And children still they should have ever been;
  They were not made in the real world to fill
    A busy character in the dull scene,
  But like two beings born from out a rill,
    A nymph and her beloved, all unseen
  To pass their lives in fountains and on flowers,
  And never know the weight of human hours.

  Moons changing had roll'd on, and changeless found
    Those their bright rise had lighted to such joys
  As rarely they beheld throughout their round;
    And these were not of the vain kind which cloys,
  For theirs were buoyant spirits, never bound
    By the mere senses; and that which destroys
  Most love, possession, unto them appear'd
  A thing which each endearment more endear'd.

  Oh beautiful! and rare as beautiful
    But theirs was love in which the mind delights
  To lose itself when the old world grows dull,
    And we are sick of its hack sounds and sights,
  Intrigues, adventures of the common school,
    Its petty passions, marriages, and flights,
  Where Hymen's torch but brands one strumpet more,
  Whose husband only knows her not a wh- re.

  Hard words; harsh truth; a truth which many know.
    Enough.- The faithful and the fairy pair,
  Who never found a single hour too slow,
    What was it made them thus exempt from care?
  Young innate feelings all have felt below,
    Which perish in the rest, but in them were
  Inherent- what we mortals call romantic,
  And always envy, though we deem it frantic.

  This is in others a factitious state,
    An opium dream of too much youth and reading,
  But was in them their nature or their fate:
    No novels e'er had set their young hearts bleeding,
  For Haidee's knowledge was by no means great,
    And Juan was a boy of saintly breeding;
  So that there was no reason for their loves
  More than for those of nightingales or doves.

  They gazed upon the sunset; 't is an hour
    Dear unto all, but dearest to their eyes,
  For it had made them what they were: the power
    Of love had first o'erwhelm'd them from such skies,
  When happiness had been their only dower,
    And twilight saw them link'd in passion's ties;
  Charm'd with each other, all things charm'd that brought
  The past still welcome as the present thought.

  I know not why, but in that hour to-night,
    Even as they gazed, a sudden tremor came,
  And swept, as 't were, across their hearts' delight,
    Like the wind o'er a harp-string, or a flame,
  When one is shook in sound, and one in sight;
    And thus some boding flash'd through either frame,
  And call'd from Juan's breast a faint low sigh,
  While one new tear arose in Haidee's eye.

  That large black prophet eye seem'd to dilate
    And follow far the disappearing sun,
  As if their last day! of a happy date
    With his broad, bright, and dropping orb were gone;
  Juan gazed on her as to ask his fate-
    He felt a grief, but knowing cause for none,
  His glance inquired of hers for some excuse
  For feelings causeless, or at least abstruse.

  She turn'd to him, and smiled, but in that sort
    Which makes not others smile; then turn'd aside:
  Whatever feeling shook her, it seem'd short,
    And master'd by her wisdom or her pride;
  When Juan spoke, too- it might be in sport-
    Of this their mutual feeling, she replied-
  'If it should be so,- but- it cannot be-
  Or I at least shall not survive to see.'

  Juan would question further, but she press'd
    His lip to hers, and silenced him with this,
  And then dismiss'd the omen from her breast,
    Defying augury with that fond kiss;
  And no doubt of all methods 't is the best:
    Some people prefer wine- 't is not amiss;
  I have tried both; so those who would a part take
  May choose between the headache and the heartache.

  One of the two, according to your choice,
    Woman or wine, you 'll have to undergo;
  Both maladies are taxes on our joys:
    But which to choose, I really hardly know;
  And if I had to give a casting voice,
    For both sides I could many reasons show,
  And then decide, without great wrong to either,
  It were much better to have both than neither.

  Juan and Haidee gazed upon each other
    With swimming looks of speechless tenderness,
  Which mix'd all feelings, friend, child, lover, brother,
    All that the best can mingle and express
  When two pure hearts are pour'd in one another,
    And love too much, and yet can not love less;
  But almost sanctify the sweet excess
  By the immortal wish and power to bless.

  Mix'd in each other's arms, and heart in heart,
    Why did they not then die?- they had lived too long
  Should an hour come to bid them breathe apart;
    Years could but bring them cruel things or wrong;
  The world was not for them, nor the world's art
    For beings passionate as Sappho's song;
  Love was born with them, in them, so intense,
  It was their very spirit- not a sense.

  They should have lived together deep in woods,
    Unseen as sings the nightingale; they were
  Unfit to mix in these thick solitudes
    Call'd social, haunts of Hate, and Vice, and Care:
  How lonely every freeborn creature broods!
    The sweetest song-birds nestle in a pair;
  The eagle soars alone; the gull and crow
  Flock o'er their carrion, just like men below.

  Now pillow'd cheek to cheek, in loving sleep,
    Haidee and Juan their siesta took,
  A gentle slumber, but it was not deep,
    For ever and anon a something shook
  Juan, and shuddering o'er his frame would creep;
    And Haidee's sweet lips murmur'd like a brook
  A wordless music, and her face so fair
  Stirr'd with her dream, as rose-leaves with the air.

  Or as the stirring of a deep dear stream
    Within an Alpine hollow, when the wind
  Walks o'er it, was she shaken by the dream,
    The mystical usurper of the mind-
  O'erpowering us to be whate'er may seem
    Good to the soul which we no more can bind;
  Strange state of being! (for 't is still to be)
  Senseless to feel, and with seal'd eyes to see.

  She dream'd of being alone on the sea-shore,
    Chain'd to a rock; she knew not how, but stir
  She could not from the spot, and the loud roar
    Grew, and each wave rose roughly, threatening her;
  And o'er her upper lip they seem'd to pour,
    Until she sobb'd for breath, and soon they were
  Foaming o'er her lone head, so fierce and high-
  Each broke to drown her, yet she could not die.

  Anon- she was released, and then she stray'd
    O'er the sharp shingles with her bleeding feet,
  And stumbled almost every step she made;
    And something roll'd before her in a sheet,
  Which she must still pursue howe'er afraid:
    'T was white and indistinct, nor stopp'd to meet
  Her glance nor grasp, for still she gazed, and grasp'd,
  And ran, but it escaped her as she clasp'd.

  The dream changed:- in a cave she stood, its walls
    Were hung with marble icicles, the work
  Of ages on its water-fretted halls,
    Where waves might wash, and seals might breed and lurk;
  Her hair was dripping, and the very balls
    Of her black eyes seem'd turn'd to tears, and mirk
  The sharp rocks look'd below each drop they caught,
  Which froze to marble as it fell,- she thought.

  And wet, and cold, and lifeless at her feet,
    Pale as the foam that froth'd on his dead brow,
  Which she essay'd in vain to clear (how sweet
    Were once her cares, how idle seem'd they now!),
  Lay Juan, nor could aught renew the beat
    Of his quench'd heart; and the sea dirges low
  Rang in her sad ears like a mermaid's song,
  And that brief dream appear'd a life too long.

  And gazing on the dead, she thought his face
    Faded, or alter'd into something new-
  Like to her father's features, till each trace-
    More like and like to Lambro's aspect grew-
  With all his keen worn look and Grecian grace;
    And starting, she awoke, and what to view?
  Oh! Powers of Heaven! what dark eye meets she there?
  'T is- 't is her father's- fix'd upon the pair!

  Then shrieking, she arose, and shrieking fell,
    With joy and sorrow, hope and fear, to see
  Him whom she deem'd a habitant where dwell
    The ocean-buried, risen from death, to be
  Perchance the death of one she loved too well:
    Dear as her father had been to Haidee,
  It was a moment of that awful kind-
  I have seen such- but must not call to mind.

  Up Juan sprung to Haidee's bitter shriek,
    And caught her falling, and from off the wall
  Snatch'd down his sabre, in hot haste to wreak
    Vengeance on him who was the cause of all:
  Then Lambro, who till now forbore to speak,
    Smiled scornfully, and said, 'Within my call,
  A thousand scimitars await the word;
  Put up, young man, put up your silly sword.'

  And Haidee clung around him; 'Juan, 't is-
    'T is Lambro- 't is my father! Kneel with me-
  He will forgive us- yes- it must be- yes.
    Oh! dearest father, in this agony
  Of pleasure and of pain- even while I kiss
    Thy garment's hem with transport, can it be
  That doubt should mingle with my filial joy?
  Deal with me as thou wilt, but spare this boy.'

  High and inscrutable the old man stood,
    Calm in his voice, and calm within his eye-
  Not always signs with him of calmest mood:
    He look'd upon her, but gave no reply;
  Then turn'd to Juan, in whose cheek the blood
    Oft came and went, as there resolved to die;
  In arms, at least, he stood, in act to spring
  On the first foe whom Lambro's call might bring.

  'Young man, your sword;' so Lambro once more said:
    Juan replied, 'Not while this arm is free.'
  The old man's cheek grew pale, but not with dread,
    And drawing from his belt a pistol, he
  Replied, 'Your blood be then on your own head.'
    Then look'd dose at the flint, as if to see
  'T was fresh- for he had lately used the lock-
  And next proceeded quietly to cock.

  It has a strange quick jar upon the ear,
    That cocking of a pistol, when you know
  A moment more will bring the sight to bear
    Upon your person, twelve yards off, or so;
  A gentlemanly distance, not too near,
    If you have got a former friend for foe;
  But after being fired at once or twice,
  The ear becomes more Irish, and less nice.

  Lambro presented, and one instant more
    Had stopp'd this Canto, and Don Juan's breath,
  When Haidee threw herself her boy before;
    Stern as her sire: 'On me,' she cried, 'let death
  Descend- the fault is mine; this fatal shore
    He found- but sought not. I have pledged my faith;
  I love him- I will die with him: I knew
  Your nature's firmness- know your daughter's too.'

  A minute past, and she had been all tears,
    And tenderness, and infancy; but now
  She stood as one who champion'd human fears-
    Pale, statue-like, and stern, she woo'd the blow;
  And tall beyond her sex, and their compeers,
    She drew up to her height, as if to show
  A fairer mark; and with a fix'd eye scann'd
  Her father's face- but never stopp'd his hand.

  He gazed on her, and she on him; 't was strange
    How like they look'd! the expression was the same;
  Serenely savage, with a little change
    In the large dark eye's mutual-darted flame;
  For she, too, was as one who could avenge,
    If cause should be- a lioness, though tame.
  Her father's blood before her father's face
  Boil'd up, and proved her truly of his race.

  I said they were alike, their features and
    Their stature, differing but in sex and years;
  Even to the delicacy of their hand
    There was resemblance, such as true blood wears;
  And now to see them, thus divided, stand
    In fix'd ferocity, when joyous tears
  And sweet sensations should have welcomed both,
  Show what the passions are in their full growth.

  The father paused a moment, then withdrew
    His weapon, and replaced it; but stood still,
  And looking on her, as to look her through,
    'Not I,' he said, 'have sought this stranger's ill;
  Not I have made this desolation: few
    Would bear such outrage, and forbear to kill;
  But I must do my duty- how thou hast
  Done thine, the present vouches for the past.

  'Let him disarm; or, by my father's head,
    His own shall roll before you like a ball!'
  He raised his whistle, as the word he said,
    And blew; another answer'd to the call,
  And rushing in disorderly, though led,
    And arm'd from boot to turban, one and all,
  Some twenty of his train came, rank on rank;
  He gave the word,- 'Arrest or slay the Frank.'

  Then, with a sudden movement, he withdrew
    His daughter; while compress'd within his clasp,
  'Twixt her and Juan interposed the crew;
    In vain she struggled in her father's grasp-
  His arms were like a serpent's coil: then flew
    Upon their prey, as darts an angry asp,
  The file of pirates; save the foremost, who
  Had fallen, with his right shoulder half cut through.

  The second had his cheek laid open; but
    The third, a wary, cool old sworder, took
  The blows upon his cutlass, and then put
    His own well in; so well, ere you could look,
  His man was floor'd, and helpless at his foot,
    With the blood running like a little brook
  From two smart sabre gashes, deep and red-
  One on the arm, the other on the head.

  And then they bound him where he fell, and bore
    Juan from the apartment: with a sign
  Old Lambro bade them take him to the shore,
    Where lay some ships which were to sail at nine.
  They laid him in a boat, and plied the oar
    Until they reach'd some galliots, placed in line;
  On board of one of these, and under hatches,
  They stow'd him, with strict orders to the watches.

  The world is full of strange vicissitudes,
    And here was one exceedingly unpleasant:
  A gentleman so rich in the world's goods,
    Handsome and young, enjoying all the present,
  Just at the very time when he least broods
    On such a thing is suddenly to sea sent,
  Wounded and chain'd, so that he cannot move,
  And all because a lady fell in love.

  Here I must leave him, for I grow pathetic,
    Moved by the Chinese nymph of tears, green tea!
  Than whom Cassandra was not more prophetic;
    For if my pure libations exceed three,
  I feel my heart become so sympathetic,
    That I must have recourse to black Bohea:
  'T is pity wine should be so deleterious,
  For tea and coffee leave us much more serious,

  Unless when qualified with thee, Cogniac!
    Sweet Naiad of the Phlegethontic rill!
  Ah! why the liver wilt thou thus attack,
    And make, like other nymphs, thy lovers ill?
  I would take refuge in weak punch, but rack
    (In each sense of the word), whene'er I fill
  My mild and midnight beakers to the brim,
  Wakes me next morning with its synonym.

  I leave Don Juan for the present, safe-
    Not sound, poor fellow, but severely wounded;
  Yet could his corporal pangs amount to half
    Of those with which his Haidee's bosom bounded?
  She was not one to weep, and rave, and chafe,
    And then give way, subdued because surrounded;
  Her mother was a Moorish maid, from Fez,
  Where all is Eden, or a wilderness.

  There the large olive rains its amber store
    In marble fonts; there grain, and flower, and fruit,
  Gush from the earth until the land runs o'er;
    But there, too, many a poison-tree has root,
  And midnight listens to the lion's roar,
    And long, long deserts scorch the camel's foot,
  Or heaving whelm the helpless caravan;
  And as the soil is, so the heart of man.

  Afric is all the sun's, and as her earth
    Her human day is kindled; full of power
  For good or evil, burning from its birth,
    The Moorish blood partakes the planet's hour,
  And like the soil beneath it will bring forth:
    Beauty and love were Haidee's mother's dower;
  But her large dark eye show'd deep Passion's force,
  Though sleeping like a lion near a source.

  Her daughter, temper'd with a milder ray,
    Like summer clouds all silvery, smooth, and fair,
  Till slowly charged with thunder they display
    Terror to earth, and tempest to the air,
  Had held till now her soft and milky way;
    But overwrought with passion and despair,
  The fire burst forth from her Numidian veins,
  Even as the Simoom sweeps the blasted plains.

  The last sight which she saw was Juan's gore,
    And he himself o'ermaster'd and cut down;
  His blood was running on the very floor
    Where late he trod, her beautiful, her own;
  Thus much she view'd an instant and no more,-
    Her struggles ceased with one convulsive groan;
  On her sire's arm, which until now scarce held
  Her writhing, fell she like a cedar fell'd.

  A vein had burst, and her sweet lips' pure dyes
    Were dabbled with the deep blood which ran o'er;
  And her head droop'd as when the lily lies
    O'ercharged with rain: her summon'd handmaids bore
  Their lady to her couch with gushing eyes;
    Of herbs and cordials they produced their store,
  But she defied all means they could employ,
  Like one life could not hold, nor death destroy.

  Days lay she in that state unchanged, though chill-
    With nothing livid, still her lips were red;
  She had no pulse, but death seem'd absent still;
    No hideous sign proclaim'd her surely dead;
  Corruption came not in each mind to kill
    All hope; to look upon her sweet face bred
  New thoughts of life, for it seem'd full of soul-
  She had so much, earth could not claim the whole.

  The ruling passion, such as marble shows
    When exquisitely chisell'd, still lay there,
  But fix'd as marble's unchanged aspect throws
    O'er the fair Venus, but for ever fair;
  O'er the Laocoon's all eternal throes,
    And ever-dying Gladiator's air,
  Their energy like life forms all their fame,
  Yet looks not life, for they are still the same.

  She woke at length, but not as sleepers wake,
    Rather the dead, for life seem'd something new,
  A strange sensation which she must partake
    Perforce, since whatsoever met her view
  Struck not on memory, though a heavy ache
    Lay at her heart, whose earliest beat still true
  Brought back the sense of pain without the cause,
  For, for a while, the furies made a pause.

  She look'd on many a face with vacant eye,
    On many a token without knowing what;
  She saw them watch her without asking why,
    And reck'd not who around her pillow sat;
  Not speechless, though she spoke not; not a sigh
    Relieved her thoughts; dull silence and quick chat
  Were tried in vain by those who served; she gave
  No sign, save breath, of having left the grave.

  Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not;
    Her father watch'd, she turn'd her eyes away;
  She recognized no being, and no spot,
    However dear or cherish'd in their day;
  They changed from room to room- but all forgot-
    Gentle, but without memory she lay;
  At length those eyes, which they would fain be weaning
  Back to old thoughts, wax'd full of fearful meaning.

  And then a slave bethought her of a harp;
    The harper came, and tuned his instrument;
  At the first notes, irregular and sharp,
    On him her flashing eyes a moment bent,
  Then to the wall she turn'd as if to warp
    Her thoughts from sorrow through her heart re-sent;
  And he begun a long low island song
  Of ancient days, ere tyranny grew strong.

  Anon her thin wan fingers beat the wall
    In time to his old tune; he changed the theme,
  And sung of love; the fierce name struck through all
    Her recollection; on her flash'd the dream
  Of what she was, and is, if ye could call
    To be so being; in a gushing stream
  The tears rush'd forth from her o'erclouded brain,
  Like mountain mists at length dissolved in rain.

  Short solace, vain relief!- thought came too quick,
    And whirl'd her brain to madness; she arose
  As one who ne'er had dwelt among the sick,
    And flew at all she met, as on her foes;
  But no one ever heard her speak or shriek,
    Although her paroxysm drew towards its dose;-
  Hers was a phrensy which disdain'd to rave,
  Even when they smote her, in the hope to save.

  Yet she betray'd at times a gleam of sense;
    Nothing could make her meet her father's face,
  Though on all other things with looks intense
    She gazed, but none she ever could retrace;
  Food she refused, and raiment; no pretence
    Avail'd for either; neither change of place,
  Nor time, nor skill, nor remedy, could give her
  Senses to sleep- the power seem'd gone for ever.

  Twelve days and nights she wither'd thus; at last,
    Without a groan, or sigh, or glance, to show
  A parting pang, the spirit from her past:
    And they who watch'd her nearest could not know
  The very instant, till the change that cast
    Her sweet face into shadow, dull and slow,
  Glazed o'er her eyes- the beautiful, the black-
  Oh! to possess such lustre- and then lack!

  She died, but not alone; she held within
    A second principle of life, which might
  Have dawn'd a fair and sinless child of sin;
    But closed its little being without light,
  And went down to the grave unborn, wherein
    Blossom and bough lie wither'd with one blight;
  In vain the dews of Heaven descend above
  The bleeding flower and blasted fruit of love.

  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.

  That isle is now all desolate and bare,
    Its dwellings down, its tenants pass'd away;
  None but her own and father's grave is there,
    And nothing outward tells of human clay;
  Ye could not know where lies a thing so fair,
    No stone is there to show, no tongue to say
  What was; no dirge, except the hollow sea's,
  Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades.

  But many a Greek maid in a loving song
    Sighs o'er her name; and many an islander
  With her sire's story makes the night less long;
    Valour was his, and beauty dwelt with her:
  If she loved rashly, her life paid for wrong-
    A heavy price must all pay who thus err,
  In some shape; let none think to fly the danger,
  For soon or late Love is his own avenger.

  But let me change this theme which grows too sad,
    And lay this sheet of sorrows on the shelf;
  I don't much like describing people mad,
    For fear of seeming rather touch'd myself-
  Besides, I 've no more on this head to add;
    And as my Muse is a capricious elf,
  We 'll put about, and try another tack
  With Juan, left half-kill'd some stanzas back.

  Wounded and fetter'd, 'cabin'd, cribb'd, confined,'
    Some days and nights elapsed before that he
  Could altogether call the past to mind;
    And when he did, he found himself at sea,
  Sailing six knots an hour before the wind;
    The shores of Ilion lay beneath their lee-
  Another time he might have liked to see 'em,
  But now was not much pleased with Cape Sigaeum.

  There, on the green and village-cotted hill, is
    (Flank'd by the Hellespont and by the sea)
  Entomb'd the bravest of the brave, Achilles;
    They say so (Bryant says the contrary):
  And further downward, tall and towering still, is
    The tumulus- of whom? Heaven knows! 't may be
  Patroclus, Ajax, or Protesilaus-
  All heroes, who if living still would slay us.

  High barrows, without marble or a name,
    A vast, untill'd, and mountain-skirted plain,
  And Ida in the distance, still the same,
    And old Scamander (if 't is he) remain;
  The situation seems still form'd for fame-
    A hundred thousand men might fight again
  With case; but where I sought for Ilion's walls,
  The quiet sheep feeds, and the tortoise crawls;

  Troops of untended horses; here and there
    Some little hamlets, with new names uncouth;
  Some shepherds (unlike Paris) led to stare
    A moment at the European youth
  Whom to the spot their school-boy feelings bear;
    A turk, with beads in hand and pipe in mouth,
  Extremely taken with his own religion,
  Are what I found there- but the devil a Phrygian.

  Don Juan, here permitted to emerge
    From his dull cabin, found himself a slave;
  Forlorn, and gazing on the deep blue surge,
    O'ershadow'd there by many a hero's grave;
  Weak still with loss of blood, he scarce could urge
    A few brief questions; and the answers gave
  No very satisfactory information
  About his past or present situation.

  He saw some fellow captives, who appear'd
    To be Italians, as they were in fact;
  From them, at least, their destiny he heard,
    Which was an odd one; a troop going to act
  In Sicily (all singers, duly rear'd
    In their vocation) had not been attack'd
  In sailing from Livorno by the pirate,
  But sold by the impresario at no high rate.

  By one of these, the buffo of the party,
    Juan was told about their curious case;
  For although destined to the Turkish mart, he
    Still kept his spirits up- at least his face;
  The little fellow really look'd quite hearty,
    And bore him with some gaiety and grace,
  Showing a much more reconciled demeanour,
  Than did the prima donna and the tenor.

  In a few words he told their hapless story,
    Saying, 'Our Machiavellian impresario,
  Making a signal off some promontory,
    Hail'd a strange brig- Corpo di Caio Mario!
  We were transferr'd on board her in a hurry,
    Without a Single scudo of salario;
  But if the Sultan has a taste for song,
  We will revive our fortunes before long.

  'The prima donna, though a little old,
    And haggard with a dissipated life,
  And subject, when the house is thin, to cold,
    Has some good notes; and then the tenor's wife,
  With no great voice, is pleasing to behold;
    Last carnival she made a deal of strife
  By carrying off Count Cesare Cicogna
  From an old Roman princess at Bologna.

  'And then there are the dancers; there 's the Nini,
    With more than one profession, gains by all;
  Then there 's that laughing slut the Pelegrini,
    She, too, was fortunate last carnival,
  And made at least five hundred good zecchini,
    But spends so fast, she has not now a paul;
  And then there 's the Grotesca- such a dancer!
  Where men have souls or bodies she must answer.

  'As for the figuranti, they are like
    The rest of all that tribe; with here and there
  A pretty person, which perhaps may strike,
    The rest are hardly fitted for a fair;
  There 's one, though tall and stiffer than a pike,
    Yet has a sentimental kind of air
  Which might go far, but she don't dance with vigour;
  The more 's the pity, with her face and figure.

  'As for the men, they are a middling set;
    The musico is but a crack'd old basin,
  But being qualified in one way yet,
    May the seraglio do to set his face in,
  And as a servant some preferment get;
    His singing I no further trust can place in:
  From all the Pope makes yearly 't would perplex
  To find three perfect pipes of the third sex.

  'The tenor's voice is spoilt by affectation,
    And for the bass, the beast can only bellow;
  In fact, he had no singing education,
    An ignorant, noteless, timeless, tuneless fellow;
  But being the prima donna's near relation,
    Who swore his voice was very rich and mellow,
  They hired him, though to hear him you 'd believe
  An ass was practising recitative.

  ''T would not become myself to dwell upon
    My own merits, and though young- I see, Sir- you
  Have got a travell'd air, which speaks you one
    To whom the opera is by no means new:
  You 've heard of Raucocanti?- I 'm the man;
    The time may come when you may hear me too;
  You was not last year at the fair of Lugo,
  But next, when I 'm engaged to sing there- do go.

  'Our baritone I almost had forgot,
    A pretty lad, but bursting with conceit;
  With graceful action, science not a jot,
    A voice of no great compass, and not sweet,
  He always is complaining of his lot,
    Forsooth, scarce fit for ballads in the street;
  In lovers' parts his passion more to breathe,
  Having no heart to show, he shows his teeth.'

  Here Raucocanti's eloquent recital
    Was interrupted by the pirate crew,
  Who came at stated moments to invite all
    The captives back to their sad berths; each threw
  A rueful glance upon the waves (which bright all
    From the blue skies derived a double blue,
  Dancing all free and happy in the sun),
  And then went down the hatchway one by one.

  They heard next day- that in the Dardanelles,
    Waiting for his Sublimity's firman,
  The most imperative of sovereign spells,
    Which every body does without who can,
  More to secure them in their naval cells,
    Lady to lady, well as man to man,
  Were to be chain'd and lotted out per couple,
  For the slave market of Constantinople.

  It seems when this allotment was made out,
    There chanced to be an odd male, and odd female,
  Who (after some discussion and some doubt,
    If the soprano might be deem'd to be male,
  They placed him o'er the women as a scout)
    Were link'd together, and it happen'd the male
  Was Juan,- who, an awkward thing at his age,
  Pair'd off with a Bacchante blooming visage.

  With Raucocanti lucklessly was chain'd
    The tenor; these two hated with a hate
  Found only on the stage, and each more pain'd
    With this his tuneful neighbour than his fate;
  Sad strife arose, for they were so cross-grain'd,
    Instead of bearing up without debate,
  That each pull'd different ways with many an oath,
  'Arcades ambo,' id est- blackguards both.

  Juan's companion was a Romagnole,
    But bred within the March of old Ancona,
  With eyes that look'd into the very soul
    (And other chief points of a 'bella donna'),
  Bright- and as black and burning as a coal;
    And through her dear brunette complexion shone
  Great wish to please- a most attractive dower,
  Especially when added to the power.

  But all that power was wasted upon him,
    For sorrow o'er each sense held stern command;
  Her eye might flash on his, but found it dim;
    And though thus chain'd, as natural her hand
  Touch'd his, nor that- nor any handsome limb
    (And she had some not easy to withstand)
  Could stir his pulse, or make his faith feel brittle;
  Perhaps his recent wounds might help a little.

  No matter; we should ne'er too much enquire,
    But facts are facts: no knight could be more true,
  And firmer faith no ladye-love desire;
    We will omit the proofs, save one or two:
  'T is said no one in hand 'can hold a fire
    By thought of frosty Caucasus;' but few,
  I really think; yet Juan's then ordeal
  Was more triumphant, and not much less real.

  Here I might enter on a chaste description,
    Having withstood temptation in my youth,
  But hear that several people take exception
    At the first two books having too much truth;
  Therefore I 'll make Don Juan leave the ship soon,
    Because the publisher declares, in sooth,
  Through needles' eyes it easier for the camel is
  To pass, than those two cantos into families.

  'T is all the same to me; I 'm fond of yielding,
    And therefore leave them to the purer page
  Of Smollett, Prior, Ariosto, Fielding,
    Who say strange things for so correct an age;
  I once had great alacrity in wielding
    My pen, and liked poetic war to wage,
  And recollect the time when all this cant
  Would have provoked remarks which now it shan't.

  As boys love rows, my boyhood liked a squabble;
    But at this hour I wish to part in peace,
  Leaving such to the literary rabble:
    Whether my verse's fame be doom'd to cease
  While the right hand which wrote it still is able,
    Or of some centuries to take a lease,
  The grass upon my grave will grow as long,
  And sigh to midnight winds, but not to song.

  Of poets who come down to us through distance
    Of time and tongues, the foster-babes of Fame,
  Life seems the smallest portion of existence;
    Where twenty ages gather o'er a name,
  'T is as a snowball which derives assistance
    From every flake, and yet rolls on the same,
  Even till an iceberg it may chance to grow;
  But, after all, 't is nothing but cold snow.

  And so great names are nothing more than nominal,
    And love of glory 's but an airy lust,
  Too often in its fury overcoming all
    Who would as 't were identify their dust
  From out the wide destruction, which, entombing all,
    Leaves nothing till 'the coming of the just'-
  Save change: I 've stood upon Achilles' tomb,
  And heard Troy doubted; time will doubt of Rome.

  The very generations of the dead
    Are swept away, and tomb inherits tomb,
  Until the memory of an age is fled,
    And, buried, sinks beneath its offspring's doom:
  Where are the epitaphs our fathers read?
    Save a few glean'd from the sepulchral gloom
  Which once-named myriads nameless lie beneath,
  And lose their own in universal death.

  I canter by the spot each afternoon
    Where perish'd in his fame the hero-boy,
  Who lived too long for men, but died too soon
    For human vanity, the young De Foix!
  A broken pillar, not uncouthly hewn,
    But which neglect is hastening to destroy,
  Records Ravenna's carnage on its face,
  While weeds and ordure rankle round the base.

  I pass each day where Dante's bones are laid:
    A little cupola, more neat than solemn,
  Protects his dust, but reverence here is paid
    To the bard's tomb, and not the warrior's column.
  The time must come, when both alike decay'd,
    The chieftain's trophy, and the poet's volume,
  Will sink where lie the songs and wars of earth,
  Before Pelides' death, or Homer's birth.

  With human blood that column was cemented,
    With human filth that column is defiled,
  As if the peasant's coarse contempt were vented
    To show his loathing of the spot he soil'd:
  Thus is the trophy used, and thus lamented
    Should ever be those blood-hounds, from whose wild
  Instinct of gore and glory earth has known
  Those sufferings Dante saw in hell alone.

  Yet there will still be bards: though fame is smoke,
    Its fumes are frankincense to human thought;
  And the unquiet feelings, which first woke
    Song in the world, will seek what then they sought;
  As on the beach the waves at last are broke,
    Thus to their extreme verge the passions brought
  Dash into poetry, which is but passion,
  Or at least was so ere it grew a fashion.

  If in the course of such a life as was
    At once adventurous and contemplative,
  Men, who partake all passions as they pass,
    Acquire the deep and bitter power to give
  Their images again as in a glass,
    And in such colours that they seem to live;
  You may do right forbidding them to show 'em,
  But spoil (I think) a very pretty poem.

  Oh! ye, who make the fortunes of all books!
    Benign Ceruleans of the second sex!
  Who advertise new poems by your looks,
    Your 'imprimatur' will ye not annex?
  What! must I go to the oblivious cooks,
    Those Cornish plunderers of Parnassian wrecks?
  Ah! must I then the only minstrel be,
  Proscribed from tasting your Castalian tea!

  What! can I prove 'a lion' then no more?
    A ball-room bard, a foolscap, hot-press darling?
  To bear the compliments of many a bore,
    And sigh, 'I can't get out,' like Yorick's starling;
  Why then I 'll swear, as poet Wordy swore
    (Because the world won't read him, always snarling),
  That taste is gone, that fame is but a lottery,
  Drawn by the blue-coat misses of a coterie.

  Oh! 'darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,'
    As some one somewhere sings about the sky,
  And I, ye learned ladies, say of you;
    They say your stockings are so (Heaven knows why,
  I have examined few pair of that hue);
    Blue as the garters which serenely lie
  Round the Patrician left-legs, which adorn
  The festal midnight, and the levee morn.

  Yet some of you are most seraphic creatures-
    But times are alter'd since, a rhyming lover,
  You read my stanzas, and I read your features:
    And- but no matter, all those things are over;
  Still I have no dislike to learned natures,
    For sometimes such a world of virtues cover;
  I knew one woman of that purple school,
  The loveliest, chastest, best, but- quite a fool.

  Humboldt, 'the first of travellers,' but not
    The last, if late accounts be accurate,
  Invented, by some name I have forgot,
    As well as the sublime discovery's date,
  An airy instrument, with which he sought
    To ascertain the atmospheric state,
  By measuring 'the intensity of blue:'
  Oh, Lady Daphne! let me measure you!

  But to the narrative:- The vessel bound
    With slaves to sell off in the capital,
  After the usual process, might be found
    At anchor under the seraglio wall;
  Her cargo, from the plague being safe and sound,
    Were landed in the market, one and all,
  And there with Georgians, Russians, and Circassians,
  Bought up for different purposes and passions.

  Some went off dearly; fifteen hundred dollars
    For one Circassian, a sweet girl, were given,
  Warranted virgin; beauty's brightest colours
    Had deck'd her out in all the hues of heaven:
  Her sale sent home some disappointed bawlers,
    Who bade on till the hundreds reach'd eleven;
  But when the offer went beyond, they knew
  'T was for the Sultan, and at once withdrew.

  Twelve negresses from Nubia brought a price
    Which the West Indian market scarce would bring;
  Though Wilberforce, at last, has made it twice
    What 't was ere Abolition; and the thing
  Need not seem very wonderful, for vice
    Is always much more splendid than a king:
  The virtues, even the most exalted, Charity,
  Are saving- vice spares nothing for a rarity.

  But for the destiny of this young troop,
    How some were bought by pachas, some by Jews,
  How some to burdens were obliged to stoop,
    And others rose to the command of crews
  As renegadoes; while in hapless group,
    Hoping no very old vizier might choose,
  The females stood, as one by one they pick'd 'em,
  To make a mistress, or fourth wife, or victim:

  All this must be reserved for further song;
    Also our hero's lot, howe'er unpleasant
  (Because this Canto has become too long),
    Must be postponed discreetly for the present;
  I 'm sensible redundancy is wrong,
    But could not for the muse of me put less in 't:
  And now delay the progress of Don Juan,
  Till what is call'd in Ossian the fifth Juan.
                 CANTO THE FIFTH.

  WHEN amatory poets sing their loves
    In liquid lines mellifluously bland,
  And pair their rhymes as Venus yokes her doves,
    They little think what mischief is in hand;
  The greater their success the worse it proves,
    As Ovid's verse may give to understand;
  Even Petrarch's self, if judged with due severity,
  Is the Platonic pimp of all posterity.

  I therefore do denounce all amorous writing,
    Except in such a way as not to attract;
  Plain- simple- short, and by no means inviting,
    But with a moral to each error tack'd,
  Form'd rather for instructing than delighting,
    And with all passions in their turn attack'd;
  Now, if my Pegasus should not be shod ill,
  This poem will become a moral model.

  The European with the Asian shore
    Sprinkled with palaces; the ocean stream
  Here and there studded with a seventy-four;
    Sophia's cupola with golden gleam;
  The cypress groves; Olympus high and hoar;
    The twelve isles, and the more than I could dream,
  Far less describe, present the very view
  Which charm'd the charming Mary Montagu.

  I have a passion for the name of 'Mary,'
    For once it was a magic sound to me;
  And still it half calls up the realms of fairy,
    Where I beheld what never was to be;
  All feelings changed, but this was last to vary,
    A spell from which even yet I am not quite free:
  But I grow sad- and let a tale grow cold,
  Which must not be pathetically told.

  The wind swept down the Euxine, and the wave
    Broke foaming o'er the blue Symplegades;
  'T is a grand sight from off 'the Giant's Grave
    To watch the progress of those rolling seas
  Between the Bosphorus, as they lash and lave
    Europe and Asia, you being quite at ease;
  There 's not a sea the passenger e'er pukes in,
  Turns up more dangerous breakers than the Euxine.

  'T was a raw day of Autumn's bleak beginning,
    When nights are equal, but not so the days;
  The Parcae then cut short the further spinning
    Of seamen's fates, and the loud tempests raise
  The waters, and repentance for past sinning
    In all, who o'er the great deep take their ways:
  They vow to amend their lives, and yet they don't;
  Because if drown'd, they can't- if spared, they won't.

  A crowd of shivering slaves of every nation,
    And age, and sex, were in the market ranged;
  Each bevy with the merchant in his station:
    Poor creatures! their good looks were sadly changed.
  All save the blacks seem'd jaded with vexation,
    From friends, and home, and freedom far estranged;
  The negroes more philosophy display'd,-
  Used to it, no doubt, as eels are to be flay'd.

  Juan was juvenile, and thus was full,
    As most at his age are, of hope and health;
  Yet I must own he looked a little dull,
    And now and then a tear stole down by stealth;
  Perhaps his recent loss of blood might pull
    His spirit down; and then the loss of wealth,
  A mistress, and such comfortable quarters,
  To be put up for auction amongst Tartars,

  Were things to shake a stoic; ne'ertheless,
    Upon the whole his carriage was serene:
  His figure, and the splendour of his dress,
    Of which some gilded remnants still were seen,
  Drew all eyes on him, giving them to guess
    He was above the vulgar by his mien;
  And then, though pale, he was so very handsome;
  And then- they calculated on his ransom.

  Like a backgammon board the place was dotted
    With whites and blacks, in groups on show for sale,
  Though rather more irregularly spotted:
    Some bought the jet, while others chose the pale.
  It chanced amongst the other people lotted,
    A man of thirty rather stout and hale,
  With resolution in his dark grey eye,
  Next Juan stood, till some might choose to buy.

  He had an English look; that is, was square
    In make, of a complexion white and ruddy,
  Good teeth, with curling rather dark brown hair,
    And, it might be from thought or toil or study,
  An open brow a little mark'd with care:
    One arm had on a bandage rather bloody;
  And there he stood with such sang-froid, that greater
  Could scarce be shown even by a mere spectator.

  But seeing at his elbow a mere lad,
    Of a high spirit evidently, though
  At present weigh'd down by a doom which had
    O'erthrown even men, he soon began to show
  A kind of blunt compassion for the sad
    Lot of so young a partner in the woe,
  Which for himself he seem'd to deem no worse
  Than any other scrape, a thing of course.

  'My boy!' said he, 'amidst this motley crew
    Of Georgians, Russians, Nubians, and what not,
  All ragamuffins differing but in hue,
    With whom it is our luck to cast our lot,
  The only gentlemen seem I and you;
    So let us be acquainted, as we ought:
  If I could yield you any consolation,
  'T would give me pleasure.- Pray, what is your nation?'

  When Juan answer'd- 'Spanish!' he replied,
    'I thought, in fact, you could not be a Greek;
  Those servile dogs are not so proudly eyed:
    Fortune has play'd you here a pretty freak,
  But that 's her way with all men, till they 're tried;
    But never mind,- she 'll turn, perhaps, next week;
  She has served me also much the same as you,
  Except that I have found it nothing new.'

  'Pray, sir,' said Juan, 'if I may presume,
    What brought you here?'- 'Oh! nothing very rare-
  Six Tartars and a drag-chain.'- 'To this doom
    But what conducted, if the question's fair,
  Is that which I would learn.'- 'I served for some
    Months with the Russian army here and there,
  And taking lately, by Suwarrow's bidding,
  A town, was ta'en myself instead of Widdin.'

  'Have you no friends?'- 'I had- but, by God's blessing,
    Have not been troubled with them lately. Now
  I have answer'd all your questions without pressing,
    And you an equal courtesy should show.'
  'Alas!' said Juan, ''t were a tale distressing,
    And long besides.'- 'Oh! if 't is really so,
  You 're right on both accounts to hold your tongue;
  A sad tale saddens doubly, when 't is long.

  'But droop not: Fortune at your time of life,
    Although a female moderately fickle,
  Will hardly leave you (as she 's not your wife)
    For any length of days in such a pickle.
  To strive, too, with our fate were such a strife
    As if the corn-sheaf should oppose the sickle:
  Men are the sport of circumstances, when
  The circumstances seem the sport of men.'

  ''T is not,' said Juan, 'for my present doom
    I mourn, but for the past;- I loved a maid:'-
  He paused, and his dark eye grew full of gloom;
    A single tear upon his eyelash staid
  A moment, and then dropp'd; 'but to resume,
    'T is not my present lot, as I have said,
  Which I deplore so much; for I have borne
  Hardships which have the hardiest overworn,

  'On the rough deep. But this last blow-' and here
    He stopp'd again, and turn'd away his face.
  'Ay,' quoth his friend, 'I thought it would appear
    That there had been a lady in the case;
  And these are things which ask a tender tear,
    Such as I, too, would shed if in your place:
  I cried upon my first wife's dying day,
  And also when my second ran away:

  'My third-'- 'Your third!' quoth Juan, turning round;
    'You scarcely can be thirty: have you three?'
  'No- only two at present above ground:
    Surely 't is nothing wonderful to see
  One person thrice in holy wedlock bound!'
    'Well, then, your third,' said Juan; 'what did she?
  She did not run away, too,- did she, sir?'
  'No, faith.'- 'What then?'- 'I ran away from her.'

  'You take things coolly, sir,' said Juan. 'Why,'
    Replied the other, 'what can a man do?
  There still are many rainbows in your sky,
    But mine have vanish'd. All, when life is new,
  Commence with feelings warm, and prospects high;
    But time strips our illusions of their hue,
  And one by one in turn, some grand mistake
  Casts off its bright skin yearly like the snake.

  ''T is true, it gets another bright and fresh,
    Or fresher, brighter; but the year gone through,
  This skin must go the way, too, of all flesh,
    Or sometimes only wear a week or two;-
  Love 's the first net which spreads its deadly mesh;
    Ambition, Avarice, Vengeance, Glory, glue
  The glittering lime-twigs of our latter days,
  Where still we flutter on for pence or praise.'

  'All this is very fine, and may be true,'
    Said Juan; 'but I really don't see how
  It betters present times with me or you.'
    'No?' quoth the other; 'yet you will allow
  By setting things in their right point of view,
    Knowledge, at least, is gain'd; for instance, now,
  We know what slavery is, and our disasters
  May teach us better to behave when masters.'

  'Would we were masters now, if but to try
    Their present lessons on our Pagan friends here,'
  Said Juan,- swallowing a heart-burning sigh:
    'Heaven help the scholar whom his fortune sends here!'
  'Perhaps we shall be one day, by and by,'
    Rejoin'd the other, when our bad luck mends here;
  Meantime (yon old black eunuch seems to eye us)

  'But after all, what is our present state?
    'T is bad, and may be better- all men's lot:
  Most men are slaves, none more so than the great,
    To their own whims and passions, and what not;
  Society itself, which should create
    Kindness, destroys what little we had got:
  To feel for none is the true social art
  Of the world's stoics- men without a heart.'

  Just now a black old neutral personage
    Of the third sex stept up, and peering over
  The captives, seem'd to mark their looks and age,
    And capabilities, as to discover
  If they were fitted for the purposed cage:
    No lady e'er is ogled by a lover,
  Horse by a blackleg, broadcloth by a tailor,
  Fee by a counsel, felon by a jailor,

  As is a slave by his intended bidder.
    'T is pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures;
  And all are to be sold, if you consider
    Their passions, and are dext'rous; some by features
  Are bought up, others by a warlike leader,
    Some by a place- as tend their years or natures;
  The most by ready cash- but all have prices,
  From crowns to kicks, according to their vices.

  The eunuch, having eyed them o'er with care,
    Turn'd to the merchant, and begun to bid
  First but for one, and after for the pair;
    They haggled, wrangled, swore, too- so they did!
  As though they were in a mere Christian fair
    Cheapening an ox, an ass, a lamb, or kid;
  So that their bargain sounded like a battle
  For this superior yoke of human cattle.

  At last they settled into simple grumbling,
    And pulling out reluctant purses, and
  Turning each piece of silver o'er, and tumbling
    Some down, and weighing others in their hand,
  And by mistake sequins with paras jumbling,
    Until the sum was accurately scann'd,
  And then the merchant giving change, and signing
  Receipts in full, began to think of dining.

  I wonder if his appetite was good?
    Or, if it were, if also his digestion?
  Methinks at meals some odd thoughts might intrude,
    And conscience ask a curious sort of question,
  About the right divine how far we should
    Sell flesh and blood. When dinner has opprest one,
  I think it is perhaps the gloomiest hour
  Which turns up out of the sad twenty-four.

  Voltaire says 'No:' he tells you that Candide
    Found life most tolerable after meals;
  He 's wrong- unless man were a pig, indeed,
    Repletion rather adds to what he feels,
  Unless he 's drunk, and then no doubt he 's freed
    From his own brain's oppression while it reels.
  Of food I think with Philip's son, or rather
  Ammon's (ill pleased with one world and one father);

  I think with Alexander, that the act
    Of eating, with another act or two,
  Makes us feel our mortality in fact
    Redoubled; when a roast and a ragout,
  And fish, and soup, by some side dishes back'd,
    Can give us either pain or pleasure, who
  Would pique himself on intellects, whose use
  Depends so much upon the gastric juice?

  The other evening ('t was on Friday last)-
    This is a fact and no poetic fable-
  Just as my great coat was about me cast,
    My hat and gloves still lying on the table,
  I heard a shot- 't was eight o'clock scarce past-
    And, running out as fast as I was able,
  I found the military commandant
  Stretch'd in the street, and able scarce to pant.

  Poor fellow! for some reason, surely bad,
    They had slain him with five slugs; and left him there
  To perish on the pavement: so I had
    Him borne into the house and up the stair,
  And stripp'd and look'd to- But why should I ad
    More circumstances? vain was every care;
  The man was gone: in some Italian quarrel
  Kill'd by five bullets from an old gun-barrel.

  I gazed upon him, for I knew him well;
    And though I have seen many corpses, never
  Saw one, whom such an accident befell,
    So calm; though pierced through stomach, heart, and liver,
  He seem'd to sleep,- for you could scarcely tell
    (As he bled inwardly, no hideous river
  Of gore divulged the cause) that he was dead:
  So as I gazed on him, I thought or said-

  'Can this be death? then what is life or death?
    Speak!' but he spoke not: 'Wake!' but still he slept:-
  'But yesterday and who had mightier breath?
    A thousand warriors by his word were kept
  In awe: he said, as the centurion saith,
    "Go," and he goeth; "come," and forth he stepp'd.
  The trump and bugle till he spake were dumb-
  And now nought left him but the muffled drum.'

  And they who waited once and worshipp'd- they
    With their rough faces throng'd about the bed
  To gaze once more on the commanding clay
    Which for the last, though not the first, time bled:
  And such an end! that he who many a day
    Had faced Napoleon's foes until they fled,-
  The foremost in the charge or in the sally,
  Should now be butcher'd in a civic alley.

  The scars of his old wounds were near his new,
    Those honourable scars which brought him fame;
  And horrid was the contrast to the view-
    But let me quit the theme; as such things claim
  Perhaps even more attention than is due
    From me: I gazed (as oft I have gazed the same)
  To try if I could wrench aught out of death
  Which should confirm, or shake, or make a faith;

  But it was all a mystery. Here we are,
    And there we go:- but where? five bits of lead,
  Or three, or two, or one, send very far!
    And is this blood, then, form'd but to be shed?
  Can every element our elements mar?
    And air- earth- water- fire live- and we dead?
  We whose minds comprehend all things? No more;
  But let us to the story as before.

  The purchaser of Juan and acquaintance
    Bore off his bargains to a gilded boat,
  Embark'd himself and them, and off they went thence
    As fast as oars could pull and water float;
  They look'd like persons being led to sentence,
    Wondering what next, till the caique was brought
  Up in a little creek below a wall
  O'ertopp'd with cypresses, dark-green and tall.

  Here their conductor tapping at the wicket
    Of a small iron door, 't was open'd, and
  He led them onward, first through a low thicket
    Flank'd by large groves, which tower'd on either hand:
  They almost lost their way, and had to pick it-
    For night was dosing ere they came to land.
  The eunuch made a sign to those on board,
  Who row'd off, leaving them without a word.

  As they were plodding on their winding way
    Through orange bowers, and jasmine, and so forth
  (Of which I might have a good deal to say,
    There being no such profusion in the North
  Of oriental plants, 'et cetera,'
    But that of late your scribblers think it worth
  Their while to rear whole hotbeds in their works
  Because one poet travell'd 'mongst the Turks)-

  As they were threading on their way, there came
    Into Don Juan's head a thought, which he
  Whisper'd to his companion:- 't was the same
    Which might have then occurr'd to you or me.
  'Methinks,' said he, 'it would be no great shame
    If we should strike a stroke to set us free;
  Let 's knock that old black fellow on the head,
  And march away- 't were easier done than said.'

  'Yes,' said the other, 'and when done, what then?
    How get out? how the devil got we in?
  And when we once were fairly out, and when
    From Saint Bartholomew we have saved our skin,
  To-morrow 'd see us in some other den,
    And worse off than we hitherto have been;
  Besides, I 'm hungry, and just now would take,
  Like Esau, for my birthright a beef-steak.

  'We must be near some place of man's abode;-
    For the old negro's confidence in creeping,
  With his two captives, by so queer a road,
    Shows that he thinks his friends have not been sleeping;
  A single cry would bring them all abroad:
    'T is therefore better looking before leaping-
  And there, you see, this turn has brought us through,
  By Jove, a noble palace!- lighted too.'

  It was indeed a wide extensive building
    Which open'd on their view, and o'er the front
  There seem'd to be besprent a deal of gilding
    And various hues, as is the Turkish wont,-
  A gaudy taste; for they are little skill'd in
    The arts of which these lands were once the font:
  Each villa on the Bosphorus looks a screen
  New painted, or a pretty opera-scene.

  And nearer as they came, a genial savour
    Of certain stews, and roast-meats, and pilaus,
  Things which in hungry mortals' eyes find favour,
    Made Juan in his harsh intentions pause,
  And put himself upon his good behaviour:
    His friend, too, adding a new saving clause,
  Said, 'In Heaven's name let's get some supper now,
  And then I 'm with you, if you 're for a row.'

  Some talk of an appeal unto some passion,
    Some to men's feelings, others to their reason;
  The last of these was never much the fashion,
    For reason thinks all reasoning out of season.
  Some speakers whine, and others lay the lash on,
    But more or less continue still to tease on,
  With arguments according to their 'forte;'
  But no one dreams of ever being short.-

  But I digress: of all appeals,- although
    I grant the power of pathos, and of gold,
  Of beauty, flattery, threats, a shilling,- no
    Method 's more sure at moments to take hold
  Of the best feelings of mankind, which grow
    More tender, as we every day behold,
  Than that all-softening, overpowering knell,
  The tocsin of the soul- the dinner-bell.

  Turkey contains no bells, and yet men dine;
    And Juan and his friend, albeit they heard
  No Christian knoll to table, saw no line
    Of lackeys usher to the feast prepared,
  Yet smelt roast-meat, beheld a huge fire shine,
    And cooks in motion with their clean arms bared,
  And gazed around them to the left and right
  With the prophetic eye of appetite.

  And giving up all notions of resistance,
    They follow'd close behind their sable guide,
  Who little thought that his own crack'd existence
    Was on the point of being set aside:
  He motion'd them to stop at some small distance,
    And knocking at the gate, 't was open'd wide,
  And a magnificent large hall display'd
  The Asian pomp of Ottoman parade.

  I won't describe; description is my forte,
    But every fool describes in these bright days
  His wondrous journey to some foreign court,
    And spawns his quarto, and demands your praise-
  Death to his publisher, to him 't is sport;
    While Nature, tortured twenty thousand ways,
  Resigns herself with exemplary patience
  To guide-books, rhymes, tours, sketches, illustrations.

  Along this hall, and up and down, some, squatted
    Upon their hams, were occupied at chess;
  Others in monosyllable talk chatted,
    And some seem'd much in love with their own dress.
  And divers smoked superb pipes decorated
    With amber mouths of greater price or less;
  And several strutted, others slept, and some
  Prepared for supper with a glass of rum.

  As the black eunuch enter'd with his brace
    Of purchased Infidels, some raised their eyes
  A moment without slackening from their pace;
    But those who sate ne'er stirr'd in anywise:
  One or two stared the captives in the face,
    Just as one views a horse to guess his price;
  Some nodded to the negro from their station,
  But no one troubled him with conversation.

  He leads them through the hall, and, without stopping,
    On through a farther range of goodly rooms,
  Splendid but silent, save in one, where, dropping,
    A marble fountain echoes through the glooms
  Of night which robe the chamber, or where popping
    Some female head most curiously presumes
  To thrust its black eyes through the door or lattice,
  As wondering what the devil a noise that is.

  Some faint lamps gleaming from the lofty walls
    Gave light enough to hint their farther way,
  But not enough to show the imperial halls,
    In all the flashing of their full array;
  Perhaps there 's nothing- I 'll not say appals,
    But saddens more by night as well as day,
  Than an enormous room without a soul
  To break the lifeless splendour of the whole.

  Two or three seem so little, one seems nothing:
    In deserts, forests, crowds, or by the shore,
  There solitude, we know, has her full growth in
    The spots which were her realms for evermore;
  But in a mighty hall or gallery, both in
    More modern buildings and those built of yore,
  A kind of death comes o'er us all alone,
  Seeing what 's meant for many with but one.

  A neat, snug study on a winter's night,
    A book, friend, single lady, or a glass
  Of claret, sandwich, and an appetite,
    Are things which make an English evening pass;
  Though certes by no means so grand a sight
    As is a theatre lit up by gas.
  I pass my evenings in long galleries solely,
  And that 's the reason I 'm so melancholy.

  Alas! man makes that great which makes him little:
    I grant you in a church 't is very well:
  What speaks of Heaven should by no means be brittle,
    But strong and lasting, till no tongue can tell
  Their names who rear'd it; but huge houses fit ill-
    And huge tombs worse- mankind, since Adam fell:
  Methinks the story of the tower of Babel
  Might teach them this much better than I 'm able.

  Babel was Nimrod's hunting-box, and then
    A town of gardens, walls, and wealth amazing,
  Where Nabuchadonosor, king of men,
    Reign'd, till one summer's day he took to grazing,
  And Daniel tamed the lions in their den,
    The people's awe and admiration raising;
  'T was famous, too, for Thisbe and for Pyramus,
  And the calumniated queen Semiramis.

  That injured Queen by chroniclers so coarse
    Has been accused (I doubt not by conspiracy)
  Of an improper friendship for her horse
    (Love, like religion, sometimes runs to heresy):
  This monstrous tale had probably its source
    (For such exaggerations here and there I see)
  In writing 'Courser' by mistake for 'Courier:'
  I wish the case could come before a jury here.

  But to resume,- should there be (what may not
    Be in these days?) some infidels, who don't,
  Because they can't find out the very spot
    Of that same Babel, or because they won't
  (Though Claudius Rich, Esquire, some bricks has got,
    And written lately two memoirs upon't),
  Believe the Jews, those unbelievers, who
  Must be believed, though they believe not you,

  Yet let them think that Horace has exprest
    Shortly and sweetly the masonic folly
  Of those, forgetting the great place of rest,
    Who give themselves to architecture wholly;
  We know where things and men must end at best:
    A moral (like all morals) melancholy,
  And 'Et sepulchri immemor struis domos'
  Shows that we build when we should but entomb us.

  At last they reach'd a quarter most retired,
    Where echo woke as if from a long slumber;
  Though full of all things which could be desired,
    One wonder'd what to do with such a number
  Of articles which nobody required;
    Here wealth had done its utmost to encumber
  With furniture an exquisite apartment,
  Which puzzled Nature much to know what Art meant.

  It seem'd, however, but to open on
    A range or suite of further chambers, which
  Might lead to heaven knows where; but in this one
    The movables were prodigally rich:
  Sofas 't was half a sin to sit upon,
    So costly were they; carpets every stitch
  Of workmanship so rare, they made you wish
  You could glide o'er them like a golden fish.

  The black, however, without hardly deigning
    A glance at that which wrapt the slaves in wonder,
  Trampled what they scarce trod for fear of staining,
    As if the milky way their feet was under
  With all its stars; and with a stretch attaining
    A certain press or cupboard niched in yonder-
  In that remote recess which you may see-
  Or if you don't the fault is not in me,-

  I wish to be perspicuous; and the black,
    I say, unlocking the recess, pull'd forth
  A quantity of clothes fit for the back
    Of any Mussulman, whate'er his worth;
  And of variety there was no lack-
    And yet, though I have said there was no dearth,
  He chose himself to point out what he thought
  Most proper for the Christians he had bought.

  The suit he thought most suitable to each
    Was, for the elder and the stouter, first
  A Candiote cloak, which to the knee might reach,
    And trousers not so tight that they would burst,
  But such as fit an Asiatic breech;
    A shawl, whose folds in Cashmire had been nurst,
  Slippers of saffron, dagger rich and handy;
  In short, all things which form a Turkish Dandy.

  While he was dressing, Baba, their black friend,
    Hinted the vast advantages which they
  Might probably attain both in the end,
    If they would but pursue the proper way
  Which fortune plainly seem'd to recommend;
    And then he added, that he needs must say,
  ''T would greatly tend to better their condition,
  If they would condescend to circumcision.

  'For his own part, he really should rejoice
    To see them true believers, but no less
  Would leave his proposition to their choice.'
    The other, thanking him for this excess
  Of goodness, in thus leaving them a voice
    In such a trifle, scarcely could express
  'Sufficiently' (he said) 'his approbation
  Of all the customs of this polish'd nation.

  'For his own share- he saw but small objection
    To so respectable an ancient rite;
  And, after swallowing down a slight refection,
    For which he own'd a present appetite,
  He doubted not a few hours of reflection
    Would reconcile him to the business quite.'
  'Will it?' said Juan, sharply: 'Strike me dead,
  But they as soon shall circumcise my head!

  'Cut off a thousand heads, before-'- 'Now, pray,'
    Replied the other, 'do not interrupt:
  You put me out in what I had to say.
    Sir!- as I said, as soon as I have supt,
  I shall perpend if your proposal may
    Be such as I can properly accept;
  Provided always your great goodness still
  Remits the matter to our own free-will.'

  Baba eyed Juan, and said, 'Be so good
    As dress yourself-' and pointed out a suit
  In which a Princess with great pleasure would
    Array her limbs; but Juan standing mute,
  As not being in a masquerading mood,
    Gave it a slight kick with his Christian foot;
  And when the old negro told him to 'Get ready,'
  Replied, 'Old gentleman, I 'm not a lady.'

  'What you may be, I neither know nor care,'
    Said Baba; 'but pray do as I desire:
  I have no more time nor many words to spare.'
    'At least,' said Juan, 'sure I may enquire
  The cause of this odd travesty?'- 'Forbear,'
    Said Baba, 'to be curious; 't will transpire,
  No doubt, in proper place, and time, and season:
  I have no authority to tell the reason.'

  'Then if I do,' said Juan, 'I 'll be-'- 'Hold!'
    Rejoin'd the negro, 'pray be not provoking;
  This spirit 's well, but it may wax too bold,
    And you will find us not top fond of joking.'
  'What, sir!' said Juan, 'shall it e'er be told
    That I unsex'd my dress?' But Baba, stroking
  The things down, said, 'Incense me, and I call
  Those who will leave you of no sex at all.

  'I offer you a handsome suit of clothes:
    A woman's, true; but then there is a cause
  Why you should wear them.'- 'What, though my soul loathes
    The effeminate garb?'- thus, after a short pause,
  Sigh'd Juan, muttering also some slight oaths,
    'What the devil shall I do with all this gauze?'
  Thus he profanely term'd the finest lace
  Which e'er set off a marriage-morning face.

  And then he swore; and, sighing, on he slipp'd
    A pair of trousers of flesh-colour'd silk;
  Next with a virgin zone he was equipp'd,
    Which girt a slight chemise as white as milk;
  But tugging on his petticoat, he tripp'd,
    Which- as we say- or, as the Scotch say, whilk
  (The rhyme obliges me to this; sometimes
  Monarchs are less imperative than rhymes)-

  Whilk, which (or what you please), was owing to
    His garment's novelty, and his being awkward:
  And yet at last he managed to get through
    His toilet, though no doubt a little backward:
  The negro Baba help'd a little too,
    When some untoward part of raiment stuck hard;
  And, wrestling both his arms into a gown,
  He paused, and took a survey up and down.

  One difficulty still remain'd- his hair
    Was hardly long enough; but Baba found
  So many false long tresses all to spare,
    That soon his head was most completely crown'd,
  After the manner then in fashion there;
    And this addition with such gems was bound
  As suited the ensemble of his toilet,
  While Baba made him comb his head and oil it.

  And now being femininely all array'd,
    With some small aid from scissors, paint, and tweezers,
  He look'd in almost all respects a maid,
    And Baba smilingly exclaim'd, 'You see, sirs,
  A perfect transformation here display'd;
    And now, then, you must come along with me, sirs,
  That is- the Lady:' clapping his hands twice,
  Four blacks were at his elbow in a trice.

  'You, sir,' said Baba, nodding to the one,
    'Will please to accompany those gentlemen
  To supper; but you, worthy Christian nun,
    Will follow me: no trifling, sir; for when
  I say a thing, it must at once be done.
    What fear you? think you this a lion's den?
  Why, 't is a palace; where the truly wise
  Anticipate the Prophet's paradise.

  'You fool! I tell you no one means you harm.'
    'So much the better,' Juan said, 'for them;
  Else they shall feel the weight of this my arm,
    Which is not quite so light as you may deem.
  I yield thus far; but soon will break the charm
    If any take me for that which I seem:
  So that I trust for everybody's sake,
  That this disguise may lead to no mistake.'

  'Blockhead! come on, and see,' quoth Baba; while
    Don Juan, turning to his comrade, who
  Though somewhat grieved, could scarce forbear a smile
    Upon the metamorphosis in view,-
  'Farewell!' they mutually exclaim'd: 'this soil
    Seems fertile in adventures strange and new;
  One 's turn'd half Mussulman, and one a maid,
  By this old black enchanter's unsought aid.'

  'Farewell!' said Juan: 'should we meet no more,
    I wish you a good appetite.'- 'Farewell!'
  Replied the other; 'though it grieves me sore;
    When we next meet we 'll have a tale to tell:
  We needs must follow when Fate puts from shore.
    Keep your good name; though Eve herself once fell.'
  'Nay,' quoth the maid, 'the Sultan's self shan't carry me,
  Unless his highness promises to marry me.

  And thus they parted, each by separate doors;
    Baba led Juan onward room by room
  Through glittering galleries and o'er marble floors,
    Till a gigantic portal through the gloom,
  Haughty and huge, along the distance lowers;
    And wafted far arose a rich perfume:
  It seem'd as though they came upon a shrine,
  For all was vast, still, fragrant, and divine.

  The giant door was broad, and bright, and high,
    Of gilded bronze, and carved in curious guise;
  Warriors thereon were battling furiously;
    Here stalks the victor, there the vanquish'd lies;
  There captives led in triumph droop the eye,
    And in perspective many a squadron flies:
  It seems the work of times before the line
  Of Rome transplanted fell with Constantine.

  This massy portal stood at the wide close
    Of a huge hall, and on its either side
  Two little dwarfs, the least you could suppose,
    Were sate, like ugly imps, as if allied
  In mockery to the enormous gate which rose
    O'er them in almost pyramidic pride:
  The gate so splendid was in all its features,
  You never thought about those little creatures,

  Until you nearly trod on them, and then
    You started back in horror to survey
  The wondrous hideousness of those small men,
    Whose colour was not black, nor white, nor grey,
  But an extraneous mixture, which no pen
    Can trace, although perhaps the pencil may;
  They were mis-shapen pigmies, deaf and dumb-
  Monsters, who cost a no less monstrous sum.

  Their duty was- for they were strong, and though
    They look'd so little, did strong things at times-
  To ope this door, which they could really do,
    The hinges being as smooth as Rogers' rhymes;
  And now and then, with tough strings of the bow,
    As is the custom of those Eastern climes,
  To give some rebel Pacha a cravat;
  For mutes are generally used for that.

  They spoke by signs- that is, not spoke at all;
    And looking like two incubi, they glared
  As Baba with his fingers made them fall
    To heaving back the portal folds: it scared
  Juan a moment, as this pair so small
    With shrinking serpent optics on him stared;
  It was as if their little looks could poison
  Or fascinate whome'er they fix'd their eyes on.

  Before they enter'd, Baba paused to hint
    To Juan some slight lessons as his guide:
  'If you could just contrive,' he said, 'to stint
    That somewhat manly majesty of stride,
  'T would be as well, and (though there 's not much in 't)
    To swing a little less from side to side,
  Which has at times an aspect of the oddest;-
  And also could you look a little modest,

  ''T would be convenient; for these mutes have eyes
    Like needles, which may pierce those petticoats;
  And if they should discover your disguise,
    You know how near us the deep Bosphorus floats;
  And you and I may chance, ere morning rise,
    To find our way to Marmora without boats,
  Stitch'd up in sacks- a mode of navigation
  A good deal practised here upon occasion.'

  With this encouragement, he led the way
    Into a room still nobler than the last;
  A rich confusion form'd a disarray
    In such sort, that the eye along it cast
  Could hardly carry anything away,
    Object on object flash'd so bright and fast;
  A dazzling mass of gems, and gold, and glitter,
  Magnificently mingled in a litter.

  Wealth had done wonders- taste not much; such things
    Occur in Orient palaces, and even
  In the more chasten'd domes of Western kings
    (Of which I have also seen some six or seven),
  Where I can't say or gold or diamond flings
    Great lustre, there is much to be forgiven;
  Groups of bad statues, tables, chairs, and pictures,
  On which I cannot pause to make my strictures.

  In this imperial hall, at distance lay
    Under a canopy, and there reclined
  Quite in a confidential queenly way,
    A lady; Baba stopp'd, and kneeling sign'd
  To Juan, who though not much used to pray,
    Knelt down by instinct, wondering in his mind,
  What all this meant: while Baba bow'd and bended
  His head, until the ceremony ended.

  The lady rising up with such an air
    As Venus rose with from the wave, on them
  Bent like an antelope a Paphian pair
    Of eyes, which put out each surrounding gem;
  And raising up an arm as moonlight fair,
    She sign'd to Baba, who first kiss'd the hem
  Of her deep purple robe, and speaking low,
  Pointed to Juan who remain'd below.

  Her presence was as lofty as her state;
    Her beauty of that overpowering kind,
  Whose force description only would abate:
    I 'd rather leave it much to your own mind,
  Than lessen it by what I could relate
    Of forms and features; it would strike you blind
  Could I do justice to the full detail;
  So, luckily for both, my phrases fail.

  Thus much however I may add,- her years
    Were ripe, they might make six-and-twenty springs;
  But there are forms which Time to touch forbears,
    And turns aside his scythe to vulgar things,
  Such as was Mary's Queen of Scots; true- tears
    And love destroy; and sapping sorrow wrings
  Charms from the charmer, yet some never grow
  Ugly; for instance- Ninon de l'Enclos.

  She spake some words to her attendants, who
    Composed a choir of girls, ten or a dozen,
  And were all clad alike; like Juan, too,
    Who wore their uniform, by Baba chosen;
  They form'd a very nymph-like looking crew,
    Which might have call'd Diana's chorus 'cousin,'
  As far as outward show may correspond;
  I won't be bail for anything beyond.

  They bow'd obeisance and withdrew, retiring,
    But not by the same door through which came in
  Baba and Juan, which last stood admiring,
    At some small distance, all he saw within
  This strange saloon, much fitted for inspiring
    Marvel and praise; for both or none things win;
  And I must say, I ne'er could see the very
  Great happiness of the 'Nil Admirari.'

  'Not to admire is all the art I know
    (Plain truth, dear Murray, needs few flowers of speech)
  To make men happy, or to keep them so'
    (So take it in the very words of Creech)-
  Thus Horace wrote we all know long ago;
    And thus Pope quotes the precept to re-teach
  From his translation; but had none admired,
  Would Pope have sung, or Horace been inspired?

  Baba, when all the damsels were withdrawn,
    Motion'd to Juan to approach, and then
  A second time desired him to kneel down,
    And kiss the lady's foot; which maxim when
  He heard repeated, Juan with a frown
    Drew himself up to his full height again,
  And said, 'It grieved him, but he could not stoop
  To any shoe, unless it shod the Pope.'

  Baba, indignant at this ill-timed pride,
    Made fierce remonstrances, and then a threat
  He mutter'd (but the last was given aside)
    About a bow-string- quite in vain; not yet
  Would Juan bend, though 't were to Mahomet's bride:
    There 's nothing in the world like etiquette
  In kingly chambers or imperial halls,
  As also at the race and county balls.

  He stood like Atlas, with a world of words
    About his ears, and nathless would not bend:
  The blood of all his line 's Castilian lords
    Boil'd in his veins, and rather than descend
  To stain his pedigree a thousand swords
    A thousand times of him had made an end;
  At length perceiving the 'foot' could not stand,
  Baba proposed that he should kiss the hand.

  Here was an honourable compromise,
    A half-way house of diplomatic rest,
  Where they might meet in much more peaceful guise;
    And Juan now his willingness exprest
  To use all fit and proper courtesies,
    Adding, that this was commonest and best,
  For through the South the custom still commands
  The gentleman to kiss the lady's hands.

  And he advanced, though with but a bad grace,
    Though on more thorough-bred or fairer fingers
  No lips e'er left their transitory trace;
    On such as these the lip too fondly lingers,
  And for one kiss would fain imprint a brace,
    As you will see, if she you love shall bring hers
  In contact; and sometimes even a fair stranger's
  An almost twelvemonth's constancy endangers.

  The lady eyed him o'er and o'er, and bade
    Baba retire, which he obey'd in style,
  As if well used to the retreating trade;
    And taking hints in good part all the while,
  He whisper'd Juan not to be afraid,
    And looking on him with a sort of smile,
  Took leave, with such a face of satisfaction
  As good men wear who have done a virtuous action.

  When he was gone, there was a sudden change:
    I know not what might be the lady's thought,
  But o'er her bright brow flash'd a tumult strange,
    And into her dear cheek the blood was brought,
  Blood-red as sunset summer clouds which range
    The verge of Heaven; and in her large eyes wrought,
  A mixture of sensations might be scann'd,
  Of half voluptuousness and half command.

  Her form had all the softness of her sex,
    Her features all the sweetness of the devil,
  When he put on the cherub to perplex
    Eve, and paved (God knows how) the road to evil;
  The sun himself was scarce more free from specks
    Than she from aught at which the eye could cavil;
  Yet, somehow, there was something somewhere wanting,
  As if she rather order'd than was granting.

  Something imperial, or imperious, threw
    A chain o'er all she did; that is, a chain
  Was thrown as 't were about the neck of you,-
    And rapture's self will seem almost a pain
  With aught which looks like despotism in view:
    Our souls at least are free, and 't is in vain
  We would against them make the flesh obey-
  The spirit in the end will have its way.

  Her very smile was haughty, though so sweet;
    Her very nod was not an inclination;
  There was a self-will even in her small feet,
    As though they were quite conscious of her station-
  They trod as upon necks; and to complete
    Her state (it is the custom of her nation),
  A poniard deck'd her girdle, as the sign
  She was a sultan's bride (thank Heaven, not mine!).

  'To hear and to obey' had been from birth
    The law of all around her; to fulfill
  All phantasies which yielded joy or mirth,
    Had been her slaves' chief pleasure, as her will;
  Her blood was high, her beauty scarce of earth:
    Judge, then, if her caprices e'er stood still;
  Had she but been a Christian, I 've a notion
  We should have found out the 'perpetual motion.'

  Whate'er she saw and coveted was brought;
    Whate'er she did not see, if she supposed
  It might be seen, with diligence was sought,
    And when 't was found straightway the bargain closed;
  There was no end unto the things she bought,
    Nor to the trouble which her fancies caused;
  Yet even her tyranny had such a grace,
  The women pardon'd all except her face.

  Juan, the latest of her whims, had caught
    Her eye in passing on his way to sale;
  She order'd him directly to be bought,
    And Baba, who had ne'er been known to fail
  In any kind of mischief to be wrought,
    At all such auctions knew how to prevail:
  She had no prudence, but he had; and this
  Explains the garb which Juan took amiss.

  His youth and features favour'd the disguise,
    And, should you ask how she, a sultan's bride,
  Could risk or compass such strange phantasies,
    This I must leave sultanas to decide:
  Emperors are only husbands in wives' eyes,
    And kings and consorts oft are mystified,
  As we may ascertain with due precision,
  Some by experience, others by tradition.

  But to the main point, where we have been tending:-
    She now conceived all difficulties past,
  And deem'd herself extremely condescending
    When, being made her property at last,
  Without more preface, in her blue eyes blending
    Passion and power, a glance on him she cast,
  And merely saying, 'Christian, canst thou love?'
  Conceived that phrase was quite enough to move

  And so it was, in proper time and place;
    But Juan, who had still his mind o'erflowing
  With Haidee's isle and soft Ionian face,
    Felt the warm blood, which in his face was glowing,
  Rush back upon his heart, which fill'd apace,
    And left his cheeks as pale as snowdrops blowing;
  These words went through his soul like Arab-spears,
  So that he spoke not, but burst into tears.

  She was a good deal shock'd; not shock'd at tears,
    For women shed and use them at their liking;
  But there is something when man's eye appears
    Wet, still more disagreeable and striking;
  A woman's tear-drop melts, a man's half sears,
    Like molten lead, as if you thrust a pike in
  His heart to force it out, for (to be shorter)
  To them 't is a relief, to us a torture.

  And she would have consoled, but knew not how:
    Having no equals, nothing which had e'er
  Infected her with sympathy till now,
    And never having dreamt what 't was to bear
  Aught of a serious, sorrowing kind, although
    There might arise some pouting petty care
  To cross her brow, she wonder'd how so near
  Her eyes another's eye could shed a tear.

  But nature teaches more than power can spoil,
    And, when a strong although a strange sensation
  Moves- female hearts are such a genial soil
    For kinder feelings, whatsoe'er their nation,
  They naturally pour the 'wine and oil,'
    Samaritans in every situation;
  And thus Gulbeyaz, though she knew not why,
  Felt an odd glistening moisture in her eye.

  But tears must stop like all things else; and soon
    Juan, who for an instant had been moved
  To such a sorrow by the intrusive tone
    Of one who dared to ask if 'he had loved,'
  Call'd back the stoic to his eyes, which shone
    Bright with the very weakness he reproved;
  And although sensitive to beauty, he
  Felt most indignant still at not being free.

  Gulbeyaz, for the first time in her days,
    Was much embarrass'd, never having met
  In all her life with aught save prayers and praise;
    And as she also risk'd her life to get
  Him whom she meant to tutor in love's ways
    Into a comfortable tete-a-tete,
  To lose the hour would make her quite a martyr,
  And they had wasted now almost a quarter.

  I also would suggest the fitting time
    To gentlemen in any such like case,
  That is to say in a meridian clime-
    With us there is more law given to the chase,
  But here a small delay forms a great crime:
    So recollect that the extremest grace
  Is just two minutes for your declaration-
  A moment more would hurt your reputation.

  Juan's was good; and might have been still better,
    But he had got Haidee into his head:
  However strange, he could not yet forget her,
    Which made him seem exceedingly ill-bred.
  Gulbeyaz, who look'd on him as her debtor
    For having had him to her palace led,
  Began to blush up to the eyes, and then
  Grow deadly pale, and then blush back again.

  At length, in an imperial way, she laid
    Her hand on his, and bending on him eyes
  Which needed not an empire to persuade,
    Look'd into his for love, where none replies:
  Her brow grew black, but she would not upbraid,
    That being the last thing a proud woman tries;
  She rose, and pausing one chaste moment, threw
  Herself upon his breast, and there she grew.

  This was an awkward test, as Juan found,
    But he was steel'd by sorrow, wrath, and pride:
  With gentle force her white arms he unwound,
    And seated her all drooping by his side,
  Then rising haughtily he glanced around,
    And looking coldly in her face, he cried,
  'The prison'd eagle will not pair, nor
  Serve a Sultana's sensual phantasy.

  'Thou ask'st if I can love? be this the proof
    How much I have loved- that I love not thee!
  In this vile garb, the distaff, web, and woof,
    Were fitter for me: Love is for the free!
  I am not dazzled by this splendid roof,
    Whate'er thy power, and great it seems to be;
  Heads bow, knees bend, eyes watch around a throne,
  And hands obey- our hearts are still our own.'

  This was a truth to us extremely trite;
    Not so to her, who ne'er had heard such things:
  She deem'd her least command must yield delight,
    Earth being only made for queens and kings.
  If hearts lay on the left side or the right
    She hardly knew, to such perfection brings
  Legitimacy its born votaries, when
  Aware of their due royal rights o'er men.

  Besides, as has been said, she was so fair
    As even in a much humbler lot had made
  A kingdom or confusion anywhere,
    And also, as may be presumed, she laid
  Some stress on charms, which seldom are, if e'er,
    By their possessors thrown into the shade:
  She thought hers gave a double 'right divine;'
  And half of that opinion 's also mine.

  Remember, or (if you can not) imagine,
    Ye, who have kept your chastity when young,
  While some more desperate dowager has been waging
    Love with you, and been in the dog-days stung
  By your refusal, recollect her raging!
    Or recollect all that was said or sung
  On such a subject; then suppose the face
  Of a young downright beauty in this case.

  Suppose,- but you already have supposed,
    The spouse of Potiphar, the Lady Booby,
  Phaedra, and all which story has disclosed
    Of good examples; pity that so few by
  Poets and private tutors are exposed,
    To educate- ye youth of Europe- you by!
  But when you have supposed the few we know,
  You can't suppose Gulbeyaz' angry brow.

  A tigress robb'd of young, a lioness,
    Or any interesting beast of prey,
  Are similes at hand for the distress
    Of ladies who can not have their own way;
  But though my turn will not be served with less,
    These don't express one half what I should say:
  For what is stealing young ones, few or many,
  To cutting short their hopes of having any?

  The love of offspring 's nature's general law,
    From tigresses and cubs to ducks and ducklings;
  There 's nothing whets the beak, or arms the claw
    Like an invasion of their babes and sucklings;
  And all who have seen a human nursery, saw
    How mothers love their children's squalls and chucklings;
  This strong extreme effect (to tire no longer
  Your patience) shows the cause must still be stronger.

  If I said fire flash'd from Gulbeyaz' eyes,
    'T were nothing- for her eyes flash'd always fire;
  Or said her cheeks assumed the deepest dyes,
    I should but bring disgrace upon the dyer,
  So supernatural was her passion's rise;
    For ne'er till now she knew a check'd desire:
  Even ye who know what a check'd woman is
  (Enough, God knows!) would much fall short of this.

  Her rage was but a minute's, and 't was well-
    A moment's more had slain her; but the while
  It lasted 't was like a short glimpse of hell:
    Nought 's more sublime than energetic bile,
  Though horrible to see yet grand to tell,
    Like ocean warring 'gainst a rocky isle;
  And the deep passions flashing through her form
  Made her a beautiful embodied storm.

  A vulgar tempest 't were to a typhoon
    To match a common fury with her rage,
  And yet she did not want to reach the moon,
    Like moderate Hotspur on the immortal page;
  Her anger pitch'd into a lower tune,
    Perhaps the fault of her soft sex and age-
  Her wish was but to 'kill, kill, kill,' like Lear's,
  And then her thirst of blood was quench'd in tears.

  A storm it raged, and like the storm it pass'd,
    Pass'd without words- in fact she could not speak;
  And then her sex's shame broke in at last,
    A sentiment till then in her but weak,
  But now it flow'd in natural and fast,
    As water through an unexpected leak;
  For she felt humbled- and humiliation
  Is sometimes good for people in her station

  It teaches them that they are flesh and blood,
    It also gently hints to them that others,
  Although of clay, are yet not quite of mud;
    That urns and pipkins are but fragile brothers,
  And works of the same pottery, bad or good,
    Though not all born of the same sires and mothers:
  It teaches- Heaven knows only what it teaches,
  But sometimes it may mend, and often reaches.

  Her first thought was to cut off Juan's head;
    Her second, to cut only his- acquaintance;
  Her third, to ask him where he had been bred;
    Her fourth, to rally him into repentance;
  Her fifth, to call her maids and go to bed;
    Her sixth, to stab herself; her seventh, to sentence
  The lash to Baba:- but her grand resource
  Was to sit down again, and cry of course.

  She thought to stab herself, but then she had
    The dagger close at hand, which made it awkward;
  For Eastern stays are little made to pad,
    So that a poniard pierces if 't is stuck hard:
  She thought of killing Juan- but, poor lad!
    Though he deserved it well for being so backward,
  The cutting off his head was not the art
  Most likely to attain her aim- his heart.

  Juan was moved; he had made up his mind
    To be impaled, or quarter'd as a dish
  For dogs, or to be slain with pangs refined,
    Or thrown to lions, or made baits for fish,
  And thus heroically stood resign'd,
    Rather than sin- except to his own wish:
  But all his great preparatives for dying
  Dissolved like snow before a woman crying.

  As through his palms Bob Acres' valour oozed,
    So Juan's virtue ebb'd, I know not how;
  And first he wonder'd why he had refused;
    And then, if matters could be made up now;
  And next his savage virtue he accused,
    Just as a friar may accuse his vow,
  Or as a dame repents her of her oath,
  Which mostly ends in some small breach of both.

  So he began to stammer some excuses;
    But words are not enough in such a matter,
  Although you borrow'd all that e'er the muses
    Have sung, or even a Dandy's dandiest chatter,
  Or all the figures Castlereagh abuses;
    Just as a languid smile began to flatter
  His peace was making, but before he ventured
  Further, old Baba rather briskly enter'd.

  'Bride of the Sun! and Sister of the Moon!'
    ('T was thus he spake) 'and Empress of the Earth!
  Whose frown would put the spheres all out of tune,
    Whose smile makes all the planets dance with mirth,
  Your slave brings tidings- he hopes not too soon-
    Which your sublime attention may be worth:
  The Sun himself has sent me like a ray,
  To hint that he is coming up this way.'

  'Is it,' exclaim'd Gulbeyaz, 'as you say?
    I wish to heaven he would not shine till morning!
  But bid my women form the milky way.
    Hence, my old comet! give the stars due warning-
  And, Christian! mingle with them as you may,
    And as you 'd have me pardon your past scorning-'
  Here they were interrupted by a humming
  Sound, and then by a cry, 'The Sultan 's coming!'

  First came her damsels, a decorous file,
    And then his Highness' eunuchs, black and white;
  The train might reach a quarter of a mile:
    His majesty was always so polite
  As to announce his visits a long while
    Before he came, especially at night;
  For being the last wife of the Emperour,
  She was of course the favorite of the four.

  His Highness was a man of solemn port,
    Shawl'd to the nose, and bearded to the eyes,
  Snatch'd from a prison to preside at court,
    His lately bowstrung brother caused his rise;
  He was as good a sovereign of the sort
    As any mention'd in the histories
  Of Cantemir, or Knolles, where few shine
  Save Solyman, the glory of their line.

  He went to mosque in state, and said his prayers
    With more than 'Oriental scrupulosity;'
  He left to his vizier all state affairs,
    And show'd but little royal curiosity:
  I know not if he had domestic cares-
    No process proved connubial animosity;
  Four wives and twice five hundred maids, unseen,
  Were ruled as calmly as a Christian queen.

  If now and then there happen'd a slight slip,
    Little was heard of criminal or crime;
  The story scarcely pass'd a single lip-
    The sack and sea had settled all in time,
  From which the secret nobody could rip:
    The Public knew no more than does this rhyme;
  No scandals made the daily press a curse-
  Morals were better, and the fish no worse.

  He saw with his own eyes the moon was round,
    Was also certain that the earth was square,
  Because he had journey'd fifty miles, and found
    No sign that it was circular anywhere;
  His empire also was without a bound:
    'T is true, a little troubled here and there,
  By rebel pachas, and encroaching giaours,
  But then they never came to 'the Seven Towers;'

  Except in shape of envoys, who were sent
    To lodge there when a war broke out, according
  To the true law of nations, which ne'er meant
    Those scoundrels, who have never had a sword in
  Their dirty diplomatic hands, to vent
    Their spleen in making strife, and safely wording
  Their lies, yclep'd despatches, without risk or
  The singeing of a single inky whisker.

  He had fifty daughters and four dozen sons,
    Of whom all such as came of age were stow'd,
  The former in a palace, where like nuns
    They lived till some Bashaw was sent abroad,
  When she, whose turn it was, was wed at once,
    Sometimes at six years old- though it seems odd,
  'T is true; the reason is, that the Bashaw
  Must make a present to his sire in law.

  His sons were kept in prison, till they grew
    Of years to fill a bowstring or the throne,
  One or the other, but which of the two
    Could yet be known unto the fates alone;
  Meantime the education they went through
    Was princely, as the proofs have always shown:
  So that the heir apparent still was found
  No less deserving to be hang'd than crown'd.

  His majesty saluted his fourth spouse
    With all the ceremonies of his rank,
  Who clear'd her sparkling eyes and smooth'd her brows,
    As suits a matron who has play'd a prank;
  These must seem doubly mindful of their vows,
    To save the credit of their breaking bank:
  To no men are such cordial greetings given
  As those whose wives have made them fit for heaven.

  His Highness cast around his great black eyes,
    And looking, as he always look'd, perceived
  Juan amongst the damsels in disguise,
    At which he seem'd no whit surprised nor grieved,
  But just remark'd with air sedate and wise,
    While still a fluttering sigh Gulbeyaz heaved,
  'I see you 've bought another girl; 't is pity
  That a mere Christian should be half so pretty.'

  This compliment, which drew all eyes upon
    The new-bought virgin, made her blush and shake.
  Her comrades, also, thought themselves undone:
    Oh! Mahomet! that his majesty should take
  Such notice of a giaour, while scarce to one
    Of them his lips imperial ever spake!
  There was a general whisper, toss, and wriggle,
  But etiquette forbade them all to giggle.

  The Turks do well to shut- at least, sometimes-
    The women up, because, in sad reality,
  Their chastity in these unhappy climes
    Is not a thing of that astringent quality
  Which in the North prevents precocious crimes,
    And makes our snow less pure than our morality;
  The sun, which yearly melts the polar ice,
  Has quite the contrary effect on vice.

  Thus in the East they are extremely strict,
    And Wedlock and a Padlock mean the same;
  Excepting only when the former 's pick'd
    It ne'er can be replaced in proper frame;
  Spoilt, as a pipe of claret is when prick'd:
    But then their own Polygamy 's to blame;
  Why don't they knead two virtuous souls for life
  Into that moral centaur, man and wife?

  Thus far our chronicle; and now we pause,
    Though not for want of matter; but 't is time
  According to the ancient epic laws,
    To slacken sail, and anchor with our rhyme.
  Let this fifth canto meet with due applause,
    The sixth shall have a touch of the sublime;
  Meanwhile, as Homer sometimes sleeps, perhaps
  You 'll pardon to my muse a few short naps.
                CANTO THE SIXTH.

  'THERE is a tide in the affairs of men
    Which,- taken at the flood,'- you know the rest,
  And most of us have found it now and then;
    At least we think so, though but few have guess'd
  The moment, till too late to come again.
    But no doubt every thing is for the best-
  Of which the surest sign is in the end:
  When things are at the worst they sometimes mend.

  There is a tide in the affairs of women
    Which, taken at the flood, leads- God knows where:
  Those navigators must be able seamen
    Whose charts lay down its current to a hair;
  Not all the reveries of Jacob Behmen
    With its strange whirls and eddies can compare:
  Men with their heads reflect on this and that-
  But women with their hearts on heaven knows what!

  And yet a headlong, headstrong, downright she,
    Young, beautiful, and daring- who would risk
  A throne, the world, the universe, to be
    Beloved in her own way, and rather whisk
  The stars from out the sky, than not be free
    As are the billows when the breeze is brisk-
  Though such a she 's a devil (if that there be one),
  Yet she would make full many a Manichean.

  Thrones, worlds, et cetera, are so oft upset
    By commonest ambition, that when passion
  O'erthrows the same, we readily forget,
    Or at the least forgive, the loving rash one.
  If Antony be well remember'd yet,
    'T is not his conquests keep his name in fashion,
  But Actium, lost for Cleopatra's eyes,
  Outbalances all Caesar's victories.

  He died at fifty for a queen of forty;
    I wish their years had been fifteen and twenty,
  For then wealth, kingdoms, worlds are but a sport- I
    Remember when, though I had no great plenty
  Of worlds to lose, yet still, to pay my court, I
    Gave what I had- a heart: as the world went, I
  Gave what was worth a world; for worlds could never
  Restore me those pure feelings, gone forever.

  'T was the boy's 'mite,' and, like the 'widow's,' may
    Perhaps be weigh'd hereafter, if not now;
  But whether such things do or do not weigh,
    All who have loved, or love, will still allow
  Life has nought like it. God is love, they say,
    And Love 's a god, or was before the brow
  Of earth was wrinkled by the sins and tears
  Of- but Chronology best knows the years.

  We left our hero and third heroine in
    A kind of state more awkward than uncommon,
  For gentlemen must sometimes risk their skin
    For that sad tempter, a forbidden woman:
  Sultans too much abhor this sort of sin,
    And don't agree at all with the wise Roman,
  Heroic, stoic Cato, the sententious,
  Who lent his lady to his friend Hortensius.

  I know Gulbeyaz was extremely wrong;
    I own it, I deplore it, I condemn it;
  But I detest all fiction even in song,
    And so must tell the truth, howe'er you blame it.
  Her reason being weak, her passions strong,
    She thought that her lord's heart (even could she claim it)
  Was scarce enough; for he had fifty-nine
  Years, and a fifteen-hundredth concubine.

  I am not, like Cassio, 'an arithmetician,'
    But by 'the bookish theoric' it appears,
  If 't is summ'd up with feminine precision,
    That, adding to the account his Highness' years,
  The fair Sultana err'd from inanition;
    For, were the Sultan just to all his dears,
  She could but claim the fifteen-hundredth part
  Of what should be monopoly- the heart.

  It is observed that ladies are litigious
    Upon all legal objects of possession,
  And not the least so when they are religious,
    Which doubles what they think of the transgression:
  With suits and prosecutions they besiege us,
    As the tribunals show through many a session,
  When they suspect that any one goes shares
  In that to which the law makes them sole heirs.

  Now, if this holds good in a Christian land,
    The heathen also, though with lesser latitude,
  Are apt to carry things with a high hand,
    And take what kings call 'an imposing attitude,'
  And for their rights connubial make a stand,
    When their liege husbands treat them with ingratitude:
  And as four wives must have quadruple claims,
  The Tigris hath its jealousies like Thames.

  Gulbeyaz was the fourth, and (as I said)
    The favourite; but what 's favour amongst four?
  Polygamy may well be held in dread,
    Not only as a sin, but as a bore:
  Most wise men, with one moderate woman wed,
    Will scarcely find philosophy for more;
  And all (except Mahometans) forbear
  To make the nuptial couch a 'Bed of Ware.'

  His Highness, the sublimest of mankind,-
    So styled according to the usual forms
  Of every monarch, till they are consign'd
    To those sad hungry jacobins the worms,
  Who on the very loftiest kings have dined,-
    His Highness gazed upon Gulbeyaz' charms,
  Expecting all the welcome of a lover
  (A 'Highland welcome' all the wide world over).

  Now here we should distinguish; for howe'er
    Kisses, sweet words, embraces, and all that,
  May look like what is- neither here nor there,
    They are put on as easily as a hat,
  Or rather bonnet, which the fair sex wear,
    Trimm'd either heads or hearts to decorate,
  Which form an ornament, but no more part
  Of heads, than their caresses of the heart.

  A slight blush, a soft tremor, a calm kind
    Of gentle feminine delight, and shown
  More in the eyelids than the eyes, resign'd
    Rather to hide what pleases most unknown,
  Are the best tokens (to a modest mind)
    Of love, when seated on his loveliest throne,
  A sincere woman's breast,- for over-warm
  Or over-cold annihilates the charm.

  For over-warmth, if false, is worse than truth;
    If true, 't is no great lease of its own fire;
  For no one, save in very early youth,
    Would like (I think) to trust all to desire,
  Which is but a precarious bond, in sooth,
    And apt to be transferr'd to the first buyer
  At a sad discount: while your over chilly
  Women, on t' other hand, seem somewhat silly.

  That is, we cannot pardon their bad taste,
    For so it seems to lovers swift or slow,
  Who fain would have a mutual flame confess'd,
    And see a sentimental passion glow,
  Even were St. Francis' paramour their guest,
    In his monastic concubine of snow;-
  In short, the maxim for the amorous tribe is
  Horatian, 'Medio tu tutissimus ibis.'

  The 'tu' 's too much,- but let it stand,- the verse
    Requires it, that 's to say, the English rhyme,
  And not the pink of old hexameters;
    But, after all, there 's neither tune nor time
  In the last line, which cannot well be worse,
    And was thrust in to close the octave's chime:
  I own no prosody can ever rate it
  As a rule, but truth may, if you translate it.

  If fair Gulbeyaz overdid her part,
    I know not- it succeeded, and success
  Is much in most things, not less in the heart
    Than other articles of female dress.
  Self-love in man, too, beats all female art;
    They lie, we lie, all lie, but love no less;
  And no one virtue yet, except starvation,
  Could stop that worst of vices- propagation.

  We leave this royal couple to repose:
    A bed is not a throne, and they may sleep,
  Whate'er their dreams be, if of joys or woes:
    Yet disappointed joys are woes as deep
  As any man's day mixture undergoes.
    Our least of sorrows are such as we weep;
  'T is the vile daily drop on drop which wears
  The soul out (like the stone) with petty cares.

  A scolding wife, a sullen son, a bill
    To pay, unpaid, protested, or discounted
  At a per-centage; a child cross, dog ill,
    A favourite horse fallen lame just as he 's mounted,
  A bad old woman making a worse will,
    Which leaves you minus of the cash you counted
  As certain;- these are paltry things, and yet
  I 've rarely seen the man they did not fret.

  I 'm a philosopher; confound them all!
    Bills, beasts, and men, and- no! not womankind!
  With one good hearty curse I vent my gall,
    And then my stoicism leaves nought behind
  Which it can either pain or evil call,
    And I can give my whole soul up to mind;
  Though what is soul or mind, their birth or growth,
  Is more than I know- the deuce take them both!

    As after reading Athanasius' curse,
  Which doth your true believer so much please:
    I doubt if any now could make it worse
  O'er his worst enemy when at his knees,
    'T is so sententious, positive, and terse,
  And decorates the book of Common Prayer,
  As doth a rainbow the just clearing air.

  Gulbeyaz and her lord were sleeping, or
    At least one of them!- Oh, the heavy night,
  When wicked wives, who love some bachelor,
    Lie down in dudgeon to sigh for the light
  Of the gray morning, and look vainly for
    Its twinkle through the lattice dusky quite-
  To toss, to tumble, doze, revive, and quake
  Lest their too lawful bed-fellow should wake!

  These are beneath the canopy of heaven,
    Also beneath the canopy of beds
  Four-posted and silk curtain'd, which are given
    For rich men and their brides to lay their heads
  Upon, in sheets white as what bards call 'driven
    Snow.' Well! 't is all hap-hazard when one weds.
  Gulbeyaz was an empress, but had been
  Perhaps as wretched if a peasant's quean.

  Don Juan in his feminine disguise,
    With all the damsels in their long array,
  Had bow'd themselves before th' imperial eyes,
    And at the usual signal ta'en their way
  Back to their chambers, those long galleries
    In the seraglio, where the ladies lay
  Their delicate limbs; a thousand bosoms there
  Beating for love, as the caged bird's for air.

  I love the sex, and sometimes would reverse
    The tyrant's wish, 'that mankind only had
  One neck, which he with one fell stroke might pierce:'
    My wish is quite as wide, but not so bad,
  And much more tender on the whole than fierce;
    It being (not now, but only while a lad)
  That womankind had but one rosy mouth,
  To kiss them all at once from North to South.

  Oh, enviable Briareus! with thy hands
    And heads, if thou hadst all things multiplied
  In such proportion!- But my Muse withstands
    The giant thought of being a Titan's bride,
  Or travelling in Patagonian lands;
    So let us back to Lilliput, and guide
  Our hero through the labyrinth of love
  In which we left him several lines above.

  He went forth with the lovely Odalisques,
    At the given signal join'd to their array;
  And though he certainly ran many risks,
    Yet he could not at times keep, by the way
  (Although the consequences of such frisks
    Are worse than the worst damages men pay
  In moral England, where the thing 's a tax),
  From ogling all their charms from breasts to backs.

  Still he forgot not his disguise:- along
    The galleries from room to room they walk'd,
  A virgin-like and edifying throng,
    By eunuchs flank'd; while at their head there stalk'd
  A dame who kept up discipline among
    The female ranks, so that none stirr'd or talk'd
  Without her sanction on their she-parades:
  Her title was 'the Mother of the Maids.'

  Whether she was a 'mother,' I know not,
    Or whether they were 'maids' who call'd her mother;
  But this is her seraglio title, got
    I know not how, but good as any other;
  So Cantemir can tell you, or De Tott:
    Her office was to keep aloof or smother
  All bad propensities in fifteen hundred
  Young women, and correct them when they blunder'd.

  A goodly sinecure, no doubt! but made
    More easy by the absence of all men-
  Except his majesty, who, with her aid,
    And guards, and bolts, and walls, and now and then
  A slight example, just to cast a shade
    Along the rest, contrived to keep this den
  Of beauties cool as an Italian convent,
  Where all the passions have, alas! but one vent.

  And what is that? Devotion, doubtless- how
    Could you ask such a question?- but we will
  Continue. As I said, this goodly row
    Of ladies of all countries at the will
  Of one good man, with stately march and slow,
    Like water-lilies floating down a rill-
  Or rather lake, for rills do not run slowly-
  Paced on most maiden-like and melancholy.

  But when they reach'd their own apartments, there,
    Like birds, or boys, or bedlamites broke loose,
  Waves at spring-tide, or women anywhere
    When freed from bonds (which are of no great use
  After all), or like Irish at a fair,
    Their guards being gone, and as it were a truce
  Establish'd between them and bondage, they
  Began to sing, dance, chatter, smile, and play.

  Their talk, of course, ran most on the new comer;
    Her shape, her hair, her air, her everything:
  Some thought her dress did not so much become her,
    Or wonder'd at her ears without a ring;
  Some said her years were getting nigh their summer,
    Others contended they were but in spring;
  Some thought her rather masculine in height,
  While others wish'd that she had been so quite.

  But no one doubted on the whole, that she
    Was what her dress bespoke, a damsel fair,
  And fresh, and 'beautiful exceedingly,'
    Who with the brightest Georgians might compare:
  They wonder'd how Gulbeyaz, too, could be
    So silly as to buy slaves who might share
  (If that his Highness wearied of his bride)
  Her throne and power, and every thing beside.

  But what was strangest in this virgin crew,
    Although her beauty was enough to vex,
  After the first investigating view,
    They all found out as few, or fewer, specks
  In the fair form of their companion new,
    Than is the custom of the gentle sex,
  When they survey, with Christian eyes or Heathen,
  In a new face 'the ugliest creature breathing.'

  And yet they had their little jealousies,
    Like all the rest; but upon this occasion,
  Whether there are such things as sympathies
    Without our knowledge or our approbation,
  Although they could not see through his disguise,
    All felt a soft kind of concatenation,
  Like magnetism, or devilism, or what
  You please- we will not quarrel about that:

  But certain 't is they all felt for their new
    Companion something newer still, as 't were
  A sentimental friendship through and through,
    Extremely pure, which made them all concur
  In wishing her their sister, save a few
    Who wish'd they had a brother just like her,
  Whom, if they were at home in sweet Circassia,
  They would prefer to Padisha or Pacha.

  Of those who had most genius for this sort
    Of sentimental friendship, there were three,
  Lolah, Katinka, and Dudu; in short
    (To save description), fair as fair can be
  Were they, according to the best report,
    Though differing in stature and degree,
  And clime and time, and country and complexion;
  They all alike admired their new connection.

  Lolah was dusk as India and as warm;
    Katinka was a Georgian, white and red,
  With great blue eyes, a lovely hand and arm,
    And feet so small they scarce seem'd made to tread,
  But rather skim the earth; while Dudu's form
    Look'd more adapted to be put to bed,
  Being somewhat large, and languishing, and lazy,
  Yet of a beauty that would drive you crazy.

  A kind of sleepy Venus seem'd Dudu,
    Yet very fit to 'murder sleep' in those
  Who gazed upon her cheek's transcendent hue,
    Her Attic forehead, and her Phidian nose:
  Few angles were there in her form, 't is true,
    Thinner she might have been, and yet scarce lose;
  Yet, after all, 't would puzzle to say where
  It would not spoil some separate charm to pare.

  She was not violently lively, but
    Stole on your spirit like a May-day breaking;
  Her eyes were not too sparkling, yet, half-shut,
    They put beholders in a tender taking;
  She look'd (this simile 's quite new) just cut
    From marble, like Pygmalion's statue waking,
  The mortal and the marble still at strife,
  And timidly expanding into life.

  Lolah demanded the new damsel's name-
    'Juanna.'- Well, a pretty name enough.
  Katinka ask'd her also whence she came-
    'From Spain.'- 'But where is Spain?'- 'Don't ask such stuff,
  Nor show your Georgian ignorance- for shame!'
    Said Lolah, with an accent rather rough,
  To poor Katinka: 'Spain 's an island near
  Morocco, betwixt Egypt and Tangier.'

  Dudu said nothing, but sat down beside
    Juanna, playing with her veil or hair;
  And looking at her steadfastly, she sigh'd,
    As if she pitied her for being there,
  A pretty stranger without friend or guide,
    And all abash'd, too, at the general stare
  Which welcomes hapless strangers in all places,
  With kind remarks upon their mien and faces.

  But here the Mother of the Maids drew near,
    With, 'Ladies, it is time to go to rest.
  I 'm puzzled what to do with you, my dear,'
    She added to Juanna, their new guest:
  'Your coming has been unexpected here,
    And every couch is occupied; you had best
  Partake of mine; but by to-morrow early
  We will have all things settled for you fairly.'

  Here Lolah interposed- 'Mamma, you know
    You don't sleep soundly, and I cannot bear
  That anybody should disturb you so;
    I 'll take Juanna; we 're a slenderer pair
  Than you would make the half of;- don't say no;
    And I of your young charge will take due care.'
  But here Katinka interfered, and said,
  'She also had compassion and a bed.

  'Besides, I hate to sleep alone,' quoth she.
    The matron frown'd: 'Why so?'- 'For fear of ghosts,'
  Replied Katinka; 'I am sure I see
    A phantom upon each of the four posts;
  And then I have the worst dreams that can be,
    Of Guebres, Giaours, and Ginns, and Gouls in hosts.'
  The dame replied, 'Between your dreams and you,
  I fear Juanna's dreams would be but few.

  'You, Lolah, must continue still to lie
    Alone, for reasons which don't matter; you
  The same, Katinka, until by and by;
    And I shall place Juanna with Dudu,
  Who 's quiet, inoffensive, silent, shy,
    And will not toss and chatter the night through.
  What say you, child?'- Dudu said nothing, as
  Her talents were of the more silent class;

  But she rose up, and kiss'd the matron's brow
    Between the eyes, and Lolah on both cheeks,
  Katinka, too; and with a gentle bow
    (Curt'sies are neither used by Turks nor Greeks)
  She took Juanna by the hand to show
    Their place of rest, and left to both their piques,
  The others pouting at the matron's preference
  Of Dudu, though they held their tongues from deference.

  It was a spacious chamber (Oda is
    The Turkish title), and ranged round the wall
  Were couches, toilets- and much more than this
    I might describe, as I have seen it all,
  But it suffices- little was amiss;
    'T was on the whole a nobly furnish'd hall,
  With all things ladies want, save one or two,
  And even those were nearer than they knew.

  Dudu, as has been said, was a sweet creature,
    Not very dashing, but extremely winning,
  With the most regulated charms of feature,
    Which painters cannot catch like faces sinning
  Against proportion- the wild strokes of nature
    Which they hit off at once in the beginning,
  Full of expression, right or wrong, that strike,
  And pleasing or unpleasing, still are like.

  But she was a soft landscape of mild earth,
    Where all was harmony, and calm, and quiet,
  Luxuriant, budding; cheerful without mirth,
    Which, if not happiness, is much more nigh it
  Than are your mighty passions and so forth,
    Which some call 'the sublime:' I wish they 'd try it:
  I 've seen your stormy seas and stormy women,
  And pity lovers rather more than seamen.

  But she was pensive more than melancholy,
    And serious more than pensive, and serene,
  It may be, more than either- not unholy
    Her thoughts, at least till now, appear to have been.
  The strangest thing was, beauteous, she was wholly
    Unconscious, albeit turn'd of quick seventeen,
  That she was fair, or dark, or short, or tall;
  She never thought about herself at all.

  And therefore was she kind and gentle as
    The Age of Gold (when gold was yet unknown,
  By which its nomenclature came to pass;
    Thus most appropriately has been shown
  'Lucus a non lucendo,' not what was,
    But what was not; a sort of style that 's grown
  Extremely common in this age, whose metal
  The devil may decompose, but never settle:

  I think it may be of 'Corinthian Brass,'
    Which was a mixture of all metals, but
  The brazen uppermost). Kind reader! pass
    This long parenthesis: I could not shut
  It sooner for the soul of me, and class
    My faults even with your own! which meaneth, Put
  A kind construction upon them and me:
  But that you won't- then don't- I am not less free.

  'T is time we should return to plain narration,
    And thus my narrative proceeds:- Dudu,
  With every kindness short of ostentation,
    Show'd Juan, or Juanna, through and through
  This labyrinth of females, and each station
    Described- what 's strange- in words extremely few:
  I have but one simile, and that 's a blunder,
  For wordless woman, which is silent thunder.

  And next she gave her (I say her, because
    The gender still was epicene, at least
  In outward show, which is a saving clause)
    An outline of the customs of the East,
  With all their chaste integrity of laws,
    By which the more a haram is increased,
  The stricter doubtless grow the vestal duties
  Of any supernumerary beauties.

  And then she gave Juanna a chaste kiss:
    Dudu was fond of kissing- which I 'm sure
  That nobody can ever take amiss,
    Because 't is pleasant, so that it be pure,
  And between females means no more than this-
    That they have nothing better near, or newer.
  'Kiss' rhymes to 'bliss' in fact as well as verse-
  I wish it never led to something worse.

  In perfect innocence she then unmade
    Her toilet, which cost little, for she was
  A child of Nature, carelessly array'd:
    If fond of a chance ogle at her glass,
  'T was like the fawn, which, in the lake display'd,
    Beholds her own shy, shadowy image pass,
  When first she starts, and then returns to peep,
  Admiring this new native of the deep.

  And one by one her articles of dress
    Were laid aside; but not before she offer'd
  Her aid to fair Juanna, whose excess
    Of modesty declined the assistance proffer'd:
  Which pass'd well off- as she could do no less;
    Though by this politesse she rather suffer'd,
  Pricking her fingers with those cursed pins,
  Which surely were invented for our sins,-

  Making a woman like a porcupine,
    Not to be rashly touch'd. But still more dread,
  Oh ye! whose fate it is, as once 't was mine,
    In early youth, to turn a lady's maid;-
  I did my very boyish best to shine
    In tricking her out for a masquerade;
  The pins were placed sufficiently, but not
  Stuck all exactly in the proper spot.

  But these are foolish things to all the wise,
    And I love wisdom more than she loves me;
  My tendency is to philosophise
    On most things, from a tyrant to a tree;
  But still the spouseless virgin Knowledge flies.
    What are we? and whence came we? what shall be
  Our ultimate existence? what 's our present?
  Are questions answerless, and yet incessant.

  There was deep silence in the chamber: dim
    And distant from each other burn'd the lights,
  And slumber hover'd o'er each lovely limb
    Of the fair occupants: if there be sprites,
  They should have walk'd there in their sprightliest trim,
    By way of change from their sepulchral sites,
  And shown themselves as ghosts of better taste
  Than haunting some old ruin or wild waste.

  Many and beautiful lay those around,
    Like flowers of different hue, and dime, and root,
  In some exotic garden sometimes found,
    With cost, and care, and warmth induced to shoot.
  One with her auburn tresses lightly bound,
    And fair brows gently drooping, as the fruit
  Nods from the tree, was slumbering with soft breath,
  And lips apart, which show'd the pearls beneath.

  One with her flush'd cheek laid on her white arm,
    And raven ringlets gather'd in dark crowd
  Above her brow, lay dreaming soft and warm;
    And smiling through her dream, as through a cloud
  The moon breaks, half unveil'd each further charm,
    As, slightly stirring in her snowy shroud,
  Her beauties seized the unconscious hour of night
  All bashfully to struggle into light.

  This is no bull, although it sounds so; for
    'T was night, but there were lamps, as hath been said.
  A third's all pallid aspect offer'd more
    The traits of sleeping sorrow, and betray'd
  Through the heaved breast the dream of some far shore
    Beloved and deplored; while slowly stray'd
  (As night-dew, on a cypress glittering, tinges
  The black bough) tear-drops through her eyes' dark fringes.

  A fourth as marble, statue-like and still,
    Lay in a breathless, hush'd, and stony sleep;
  White, cold, and pure, as looks a frozen rill,
    Or the snow minaret on an Alpine steep,
  Or Lot's wife done in salt,- or what you will;-
    My similes are gather'd in a heap,
  So pick and choose- perhaps you 'll be content
  With a carved lady on a monument.

  And lo! a fifth appears;- and what is she?
    A lady of a 'certain age,' which means
  Certainly aged- what her years might be
    I know not, never counting past their teens;
  But there she slept, not quite so fair to see,
    As ere that awful period intervenes
  Which lays both men and women on the shelf,
  To meditate upon their sins and self.

  But all this time how slept, or dream'd, Dudu?
    With strict inquiry I could ne'er discover,
  And scorn to add a syllable untrue;
    But ere the middle watch was hardly over,
  Just when the fading lamps waned dim and blue,
    And phantoms hover'd, or might seem to hover,
  To those who like their company, about
  The apartment, on a sudden she scream'd out:

  And that so loudly, that upstarted all
    The Oda, in a general commotion:
  Matron and maids, and those whom you may call
    Neither, came crowding like the waves of ocean,
  One on the other, throughout the whole hall,
    All trembling, wondering, without the least notion
  More than I have myself of what could make
  The calm Dudu so turbulently wake.

  But wide awake she was, and round her bed,
    With floating draperies and with flying hair,
  With eager eyes, and light but hurried tread,
    And bosoms, arms, and ankles glancing bare,
  And bright as any meteor ever bred
    By the North Pole,- they sought her cause of care,
  For she seem'd agitated, flush'd, and frighten'd,
  Her eye dilated and her colour heighten'd.

  But what was strange- and a strong proof how great
    A blessing is sound sleep- Juanna lay
  As fast as ever husband by his mate
    In holy matrimony snores away.
  Not all the clamour broke her happy state
    Of slumber, ere they shook her,- so they say
  At least,- and then she, too, unclosed her eyes,
  And yawn'd a good deal with discreet surprise.

  And now commenced a strict investigation,
    Which, as all spoke at once and more than once,
  Conjecturing, wondering, asking a narration,
    Alike might puzzle either wit or dunce
  To answer in a very clear oration.
    Dudu had never pass'd for wanting sense,
  But, being 'no orator as Brutus is,'
  Could not at first expound what was amiss.

  At length she said, that in a slumber sound
    She dream'd a dream, of walking in a wood-
  A 'wood obscure,' like that where Dante found
    Himself in at the age when all grow good;
  Life's half-way house, where dames with virtue crown'd
    Run much less risk of lovers turning rude;
  And that this wood was full of pleasant fruits,
  And trees of goodly growth and spreading roots;

  And in the midst a golden apple grew,-
    A most prodigious pippin,- but it hung
  Rather too high and distant; that she threw
    Her glances on it, and then, longing, flung
  Stones and whatever she could pick up, to
    Bring down the fruit, which still perversely clung
  To its own bough, and dangled yet in sight,
  But always at a most provoking height;-

  That on a sudden, when she least had hope,
    It fell down of its own accord before
  Her feet; that her first movement was to stoop
    And pick it up, and bite it to the core;
  That just as her young lip began to ope
    Upon the golden fruit the vision bore,
  A bee flew out and stung her to the heart,
  And so- she awoke with a great scream and start.

  All this she told with some confusion and
    Dismay, the usual consequence of dreams
  Of the unpleasant kind, with none at hand
    To expound their vain and visionary gleams.
  I 've known some odd ones which seem'd really plann'd
    Prophetically, or that which one deems
  A 'strange coincidence,' to use a phrase
  By which such things are settled now-a-days.

  The damsels, who had thoughts of some great harm,
    Began, as is the consequence of fear,
  To scold a little at the false alarm
    That broke for nothing on their sleeping car.
  The matron, too, was wroth to leave her warm
    Bed for the dream she had been obliged to hear,
  And chafed at poor Dudu, who only sigh'd,
  And said that she was sorry she had cried.

  'I 've heard of stories of a cock and bull;
    But visions of an apple and a bee,
  To take us from our natural rest, and pull
    The whole Oda from their beds at half-past three,
  Would make us think the moon is at its full.
    You surely are unwell, child! we must see,
  To-morrow, what his Highness's physician
  Will say to this hysteric of a vision.

  'And poor Juanna, too- the child's first night
    Within these walls to be broke in upon
  With such a clamour! I had thought it right
    That the young stranger should not lie alone,
  And, as the quietest of all, she might
    With you, Dudu, a good night's rest have known;
  But now I must transfer her to the charge
  Of Lolah- though her couch is not so large.'

  Lolah's eyes sparkled at the proposition;
    But poor Dudu, with large drops in her own,
  Resulting from the scolding or the vision,
    Implored that present pardon might be shown
  For this first fault, and that on no condition
    (She added in a soft and piteous tone)
  Juanna should be taken from her, and
  Her future dreams should all be kept in hand.

  She promised never more to have a dream,
    At least to dream so loudly as just now;
  She wonder'd at herself how she could scream-
    'T was foolish, nervous, as she must allow,
  A fond hallucination, and a theme
    For laughter- but she felt her spirits low,
  And begg'd they would excuse her; she 'd get over
  This weakness in a few hours, and recover.

  And here Juanna kindly interposed,
    And said she felt herself extremely well
  Where she then was, as her sound sleep disclosed
    When all around rang like a tocsin bell:
  She did not find herself the least disposed
    To quit her gentle partner, and to dwell
  Apart from one who had no sin to show,
  Save that of dreaming once 'mal-a-propos.'

  As thus Juanna spoke, Dudu turn'd round
    And hid her face within Juanna's breast:
  Her neck alone was seen, but that was found
    The colour of a budding rose's crest.
  I can't tell why she blush'd, nor can expound
    The mystery of this rupture of their rest;
  All that I know is, that the facts I state
  Are true as truth has ever been of late.

  And so good night to them,- or, if you will,
    Good morrow- for the cock had crown, and light
  Began to clothe each Asiatic hill,
    And the mosque crescent struggled into sight
  Of the long caravan, which in the chill
    Of dewy dawn wound slowly round each height
  That stretches to the stony belt, which girds
  Asia, where Kaff looks down upon the Kurds.

  With the first ray, or rather grey of morn,
    Gulbeyaz rose from restlessness; and pale
  As passion rises, with its bosom worn,
    Array'd herself with mantle, gem, and veil.
  The nightingale that sings with the deep thorn,
    Which fable places in her breast of wail,
  Is lighter far of heart and voice than those
  Whose headlong passions form their proper woes.

  And that 's the moral of this composition,
    If people would but see its real drift;-
  But that they will not do without suspicion,
    Because all gentle readers have the gift
  Of closing 'gainst the light their orbs of vision;
    While gentle writers also love to lift
  Their voices 'gainst each other, which is natural,
  The numbers are too great for them to flatter all.

  Rose the sultana from a bed of splendour,
    Softer than the soft Sybarite's, who cried
  Aloud because his feelings were too tender
    To brook a ruffled rose-leaf by his side,-
  So beautiful that art could little mend her,
    Though pale with conflicts between love and pride;-
  So agitated was she with her error,
  She did not even look into the mirror.

  Also arose about the self-same time,
    Perhaps a little later, her great lord,
  Master of thirty kingdoms so sublime,
    And of a wife by whom he was abhorr'd;
  A thing of much less import in that clime-
    At least to those of incomes which afford
  The filling up their whole connubial cargo-
  Than where two wives are under an embargo.

  He did not think much on the matter, nor
    Indeed on any other: as a man
  He liked to have a handsome paramour
    At hand, as one may like to have a fan,
  And therefore of Circassians had good store,
    As an amusement after the Divan;
  Though an unusual fit of love, or duty,
  Had made him lately bask in his bride's beauty.

  And now he rose; and after due ablutions
    Exacted by the customs of the East,
  And prayers and other pious evolutions,
    He drank six cups of coffee at the least,
  And then withdrew to hear about the Russians,
    Whose victories had recently increased
  In Catherine's reign, whom glory still adores,

  But oh, thou grand legitimate Alexander!
    Her son's son, let not this last phrase offend
  Thine ear, if it should reach- and now rhymes wander
    Almost as far as Petersburgh and lend
  A dreadful impulse to each loud meander
    Of murmuring Liberty's wide waves, which blend
  Their roar even with the Baltic's- so you be
  Your father's son, 't is quite enough for me.

  To call men love-begotten or proclaim
    Their mothers as the antipodes of Timon,
  That hater of mankind, would be a shame,
    A libel, or whate'er you please to rhyme on:
  But people's ancestors are history's game;
    And if one lady's slip could leave a crime on
  All generations, I should like to know
  What pedigree the best would have to show?

  Had Catherine and the sultan understood
    Their own true interests, which kings rarely know
  Until 't is taught by lessons rather rude,
    There was a way to end their strife, although
  Perhaps precarious, had they but thought good,
    Without the aid of prince or plenipo:
  She to dismiss her guards and he his haram,
  And for their other matters, meet and share 'em.

  But as it was, his Highness had to hold
    His daily council upon ways and means
  How to encounter with this martial scold,
    This modern Amazon and queen of queans;
  And the perplexity could not be told
    Of all the pillars of the state, which leans
  Sometimes a little heavy on the backs
  Of those who cannot lay on a new tax.

  Meantime Gulbeyaz, when her king was gone,
    Retired into her boudoir, a sweet place
  For love or breakfast; private, pleasing, lone,
    And rich with all contrivances which grace
  Those gay recesses:- many a precious stone
    Sparkled along its roof, and many a vase
  Of porcelain held in the fetter'd flowers,
  Those captive soothers of a captive's hours.

  Mother of pearl, and porphyry, and marble,
    Vied with each other on this costly spot;
  And singing birds without were heard to warble;
    And the stain'd glass which lighted this fair grot
  Varied each ray;- but all descriptions garble
    The true effect, and so we had better not
  Be too minute; an outline is the best,-
  A lively reader's fancy does the rest.

  And here she summon'd Baba, and required
    Don Juan at his hands, and information
  Of what had pass'd since all the slaves retired,
    And whether he had occupied their station;
  If matters had been managed as desired,
    And his disguise with due consideration
  Kept up; and above all, the where and how
  He had pass'd the night, was what she wish'd to know.

  Baba, with some embarrassment, replied
    To this long catechism of questions, ask'd
  More easily than answer'd,- that he had tried
    His best to obey in what he had been task'd;
  But there seem'd something that he wish'd to hide,
    Which hesitation more betray'd than mask'd;
  He scratch'd his ear, the infallible resource
  To which embarrass'd people have recourse.

  Gulbeyaz was no model of true patience,
    Nor much disposed to wait in word or deed;
  She liked quick answers in all conversations;
    And when she saw him stumbling like a steed
  In his replies, she puzzled him for fresh ones;
    And as his speech grew still more broken-kneed,
  Her cheek began to flush, her eyes to sparkle,
  And her proud brow's blue veins to swell and darkle.

  When Baba saw these symptoms, which he knew
    To bode him no great good, he deprecated
  Her anger, and beseech'd she 'd hear him through-
    He could not help the thing which he related:
  Then out it came at length, that to Dudu
    Juan was given in charge, as hath been stated;
  But not by Baba's fault, he said, and swore on
  The holy camel's hump, besides the Koran.

  The chief dame of the Oda, upon whom
    The discipline of the whole haram bore,
  As soon as they re-enter'd their own room,
    For Baba's function stopt short at the door,
  Had settled all; nor could he then presume
    (The aforesaid Baba) just then to do more,
  Without exciting such suspicion as
  Might make the matter still worse than it was.

  He hoped, indeed he thought, he could be sure
    Juan had not betray'd himself; in fact
  'T was certain that his conduct had been pure,
    Because a foolish or imprudent act
  Would not alone have made him insecure,
    But ended in his being found out and sack'd,
  And thrown into the sea.- Thus Baba spoke
  Of all save Dudu's dream, which was no joke.

  This he discreetly kept in the background,
    And talk'd away- and might have talk'd till now,
  For any further answer that he found,
    So deep an anguish wrung Gulbeyaz' brow:
  Her cheek turn'd ashes, ears rung, brain whirl'd round,
    As if she had received a sudden blow,
  And the heart's dew of pain sprang fast and chilly
  O'er her fair front, like Morning's on a lily.

  Although she was not of the fainting sort,
    Baba thought she would faint, but there he err'd-
  It was but a convulsion, which though short
    Can never be described; we all have heard,
  And some of us have felt thus 'all amort,'
    When things beyond the common have occurr'd;-
  Gulbeyaz proved in that brief agony
  What she could ne'er express- then how should I?

  She stood a moment as a Pythones
    Stands on her tripod, agonised, and full
  Of inspiration gather'd from distress,
    When all the heart-strings like wild horses pull
  The heart asunder;- then, as more or lees
    Their speed abated or their strength grew dull,
  She sunk down on her seat by slow degrees,
  And bow'd her throbbing head o'er trembling knees.

  Her face declined and was unseen; her hair
    Fell in long tresses like the weeping willow,
  Sweeping the marble underneath her chair,
    Or rather sofa (for it was all pillow,
  A low soft ottoman), and black despair
    Stirr'd up and down her bosom like a billow,
  Which rushes to some shore whose shingles check
  Its farther course, but must receive its wreck.

  Her head hung down, and her long hair in stooping
    Conceal'd her features better than a veil;
  And one hand o'er the ottoman lay drooping,
    White, waxen, and as alabaster pale:
  Would that I were a painter! to be grouping
    All that a poet drags into detail
  Oh that my words were colours! but their tints
  May serve perhaps as outlines or slight hints.

  Baba, who knew by experience when to talk
    And when to hold his tongue, now held it till
  This passion might blow o'er, nor dared to balk
    Gulbeyaz' taciturn or speaking will.
  At length she rose up, and began to walk
    Slowly along the room, but silent still,
  And her brow clear'd, but not her troubled eye;
  The wind was down, but still the sea ran high.

  She stopp'd, and raised her head to speak- but paused,
    And then moved on again with rapid pace;
  Then slacken'd it, which is the march most caused
    By deep emotion:- you may sometimes trace
  A feeling in each footstep, as disclosed
    By Sallust in his Catiline, who, chased
  By all the demons of all passions, show'd
  Their work even by the way in which he trode.

  Gulbeyaz stopp'd and beckon'd Baba:- 'Slave!
    Bring the two slaves!' she said in a low tone,
  But one which Baba did not like to brave,
    And yet he shudder'd, and seem'd rather prone
  To prove reluctant, and begg'd leave to crave
    (Though he well knew the meaning) to be shown
  What slaves her highness wish'd to indicate,
  For fear of any error, like the late.

  'The Georgian and her paramour,' replied
    The imperial bride- and added, 'Let the boat
  Be ready by the secret portal's side:
    You know the rest.' The words stuck in her throat,
  Despite her injured love and fiery pride;
    And of this Baba willingly took note,
  And begg'd by every hair of Mahomet's beard,
  She would revoke the order he had heard.

  'To hear is to obey,' he said; 'but still,
    Sultana, think upon the consequence:
  It is not that I shall not all fulfil
    Your orders, even in their severest sense;
  But such precipitation may end ill,
    Even at your own imperative expense:
  I do not mean destruction and exposure,
  In case of any premature disclosure;

  'But your own feelings. Even should all the rest
    Be hidden by the rolling waves, which hide
  Already many a once love-beaten breast
    Deep in the caverns of the deadly tide-
  You love this boyish, new, seraglio guest,
    And if this violent remedy be tried-
  Excuse my freedom, when I here assure you,
  That killing him is not the way to cure you.'

  'What dost thou know of love or feeling?- Wretch!
    Begone!' she cried, with kindling eyes- 'and do
  My bidding!' Baba vanish'd, for to stretch
    His own remonstrance further he well knew
  Might end in acting as his own 'Jack Ketch;'
    And though he wish'd extremely to get through
  This awkward business without harm to others,
  He still preferr'd his own neck to another's.

  Away he went then upon his commission,
    Growling and grumbling in good Turkish phrase
  Against all women of whate'er condition,
    Especially sultanas and their ways;
  Their obstinacy, pride, and indecision,
    Their never knowing their own mind two days,
  The trouble that they gave, their immorality,
  Which made him daily bless his own neutrality.

  And then he call'd his brethren to his aid,
    And sent one on a summons to the pair,
  That they must instantly be well array'd,
    And above all be comb'd even to a hair,
  And brought before the empress, who had made
    Inquiries after them with kindest care:
  At which Dudu look'd strange, and Juan silly;
  But go they must at once, and will I- nill I.

  And here I leave them at their preparation
    For the imperial presence, wherein whether
  Gulbeyaz show'd them both commiseration,
    Or got rid of the parties altogether,
  Like other angry ladies of her nation,-
    Are things the turning of a hair or feather
  May settle; but far be 't from me to anticipate
  In what way feminine caprice may dissipate.

  I leave them for the present with good wishes,
    Though doubts of their well doing, to arrange
  Another part of history; for the dishes
    Of this our banquet we must sometimes change;
  And trusting Juan may escape the fishes,
    Although his situation now seems strange
  And scarce secure, as such digressions are fair,
  The Muse will take a little touch at warfare.
               CANTO THE SEVENTH.

  O LOVE! O Glory! what are ye who fly
    Around us ever, rarely to alight?
  There 's not a meteor in the polar sky
    Of such transcendent and more fleeting flight.
  Chill, and chain'd to cold earth, we lift on high
    Our eyes in search of either lovely light;
  A thousand and a thousand colours they
  Assume, then leave us on our freezing way.

  And such as they are, such my present tale is,
    A non-descript and ever-varying rhyme,
  A versified Aurora Borealis,
    Which flashes o'er a waste and icy clime.
  When we know what all are, we must bewail us,
    But ne'ertheless I hope it is no crime
  To laugh at all things- for I wish to know
  What, after all, are all things- but a show?

  They accuse me- Me- the present writer of
    The present poem- of- I know not what-
  A tendency to under-rate and scoff
    At human power and virtue, and all that;
  And this they say in language rather rough.
    Good God! I wonder what they would be at!
  I say no more than hath been said in Dante's
  Verse, and by Solomon and by Cervantes;

  By Swift, by Machiavel, by Rochefoucault,
    By Fenelon, by Luther, and by Plato;
  By Tillotson, and Wesley, and Rousseau,
    Who knew this life was not worth a potato.
  'T is not their fault, nor mine, if this be so-
    For my part, I pretend not to be Cato,
  Nor even Diogenes.- We live and die,
  But which is best, you know no more than I.

  Socrates said, our only knowledge was
    'To know that nothing could be known;' a pleasant
  Science enough, which levels to an ass
    Each man of wisdom, future, past, or present.
  Newton (that proverb of the mind), alas!
    Declared, with all his grand discoveries recent,
  That he himself felt only 'like a youth
  Picking up shells by the great ocean- Truth.'

  Ecclesiastes said, 'that all is vanity'-
    Most modern preachers say the same, or show it
  By their examples of true Christianity:
    In short, all know, or very soon may know it;
  And in this scene of all-confess'd inanity,
    By saint, by sage, by preacher, and by poet,
  Must I restrain me, through the fear of strife,
  From holding up the nothingness of life?

  Dogs, or men!- for I flatter you in saying
    That ye are dogs- your betters far- ye may
  Read, or read not, what I am now essaying
    To show ye what ye are in every way.
  As little as the moon stops for the baying
    Of wolves, will the bright muse withdraw one ray
  From out her skies- then howl your idle wrath!
  While she still silvers o'er your gloomy path.

  'Fierce loves and faithless wars'- I am not sure
    If this be the right reading- 't is no matter;
  The fact 's about the same, I am secure;
    I sing them both, and am about to batter
  A town which did a famous siege endure,
    And was beleaguer'd both by land and water
  By Souvaroff, or Anglice Suwarrow,
  Who loved blood as an alderman loves marrow.

  The fortress is call'd Ismail, and is placed
    Upon the Danube's left branch and left bank,
  With buildings in the Oriental taste,
    But still a fortress of the foremost rank,
  Or was at least, unless 't is since defaced,
    Which with your conquerors is a common prank:
  It stands some eighty versts from the high sea,
  And measures round of toises thousands three.

  Within the extent of this fortification
    A borough is comprised along the height
  Upon the left, which from its loftier station
    Commands the city, and upon its site
  A Greek had raised around this elevation
    A quantity of palisades upright,
  So placed as to impede the fire of those
  Who held the place, and to assist the foe's.

  This circumstance may serve to give a notion
    Of the high talents of this new Vauban:
  But the town ditch below was deep as ocean,
    The rampart higher than you 'd wish to hang:
  But then there was a great want of precaution
    (Prithee, excuse this engineering slang),
  Nor work advanced, nor cover'd way was there,
  To hint at least 'Here is no thoroughfare.'

  But a stone bastion, with a narrow gorge,
    And walls as thick as most skulls born as yet;
  Two batteries, cap-a-pie, as our St. George,
    Case-mated one, and t' other 'a barbette,'
  Of Danube's bank took formidable charge;
    While two and twenty cannon duly set
  Rose over the town's right side, in bristling tier,
  Forty feet high, upon a cavalier.

  But from the river the town 's open quite,
    Because the Turks could never be persuaded
  A Russian vessel e'er would heave in sight;
    And such their creed was, till they were invaded,
  When it grew rather late to set things right.
    But as the Danube could not well be waded,
  They look'd upon the Muscovite flotilla,
  And only shouted, 'Allah!' and 'Bis Millah!'

  The Russians now were ready to attack:
    But oh, ye goddesses of war and glory!
  How shall I spell the name of each Cossacque
    Who were immortal, could one tell their story?
  Alas! what to their memory can lack?
    Achilles' self was not more grim and gory
  Than thousands of this new and polish'd nation,
  Whose names want nothing but- pronunciation.

  Still I 'll record a few, if but to increase
    Our euphony: there was Strongenoff, and Strokonoff,
  Meknop, Serge Lwow, Arsniew of modern Greece,
    And Tschitsshakoff, and Roguenoff, and Chokenoff,
  And others of twelve consonants apiece;
    And more might be found out, if I could poke enough
  Into gazettes; but Fame (capricious strumpet),
  It seems, has got an ear as well as trumpet,

  And cannot tune those discords of narration,
    Which may be names at Moscow, into rhyme;
  Yet there were several worth commemoration,
    As e'er was virgin of a nuptial chime;
  Soft words, too, fitted for the peroration
    Of Londonderry drawling against time,
  Ending in 'ischskin,' 'ousckin,' 'iffskchy,' 'ouski:
  Of whom we can insert but Rousamouski,

  Scherematoff and Chrematoff, Koklophti,
    Koclobski, Kourakin, and Mouskin Pouskin,
  All proper men of weapons, as e'er scoff'd high
    Against a foe, or ran a sabre through skin:
  Little cared they for Mahomet or Mufti,
    Unless to make their kettle-drums a new skin
  Out of their hides, if parchment had grown dear,
  And no more handy substitute been near.

  Then there were foreigners of much renown,
    Of various nations, and all volunteers;
  Not fighting for their country or its crown,
    But wishing to be one day brigadiers;
  Also to have the sacking of a town,-
    A pleasant thing to young men at their years.
  'Mongst them were several Englishmen of pith,
  Sixteen call'd Thomson, and nineteen named Smith.

  Jack Thomson and Bill Thomson; all the rest
    Had been call'd 'Jemmy,' after the great bard;
  I don't know whether they had arms or crest,
    But such a godfather 's as good a card.
  Three of the Smiths were Peters; but the best
    Amongst them all, hard blows to inflict or ward,
  Was he, since so renown'd 'in country quarters
  At Halifax;' but now he served the Tartars.

  The rest were jacks and Gills and Wills and Bills;
    But when I 've added that the elder jack Smith
  Was born in Cumberland among the hills,
    And that his father was an honest blacksmith,
  I 've said all I know of a name that fills
    Three lines of the despatch in taking 'Schmacksmith,'
  A village of Moldavia's waste, wherein
  He fell, immortal in a bulletin.

  I wonder (although Mars no doubt 's a god
    Praise) if a man's name in a bulletin
  May make up for a bullet in his body?
    I hope this little question is no sin,
  Because, though I am but a simple noddy,
    I think one Shakspeare puts the same thought in
  The mouth of some one in his plays so doting,
  Which many people pass for wits by quoting.

  Then there were Frenchmen, gallant, young, and gay:
    But I 'm too great a patriot to record
  Their Gallic names upon a glorious day;
    I 'd rather tell ten lies than say a word
  Of truth;- such truths are treason; they betray
    Their country; and as traitors are abhorr'd
  Who name the French in English, save to show
  How Peace should make John Bull the Frenchman's foe.

  The Russians, having built two batteries on
    An isle near Ismail, had two ends in view;
  The first was to bombard it, and knock down
    The public buildings and the private too,
  No matter what poor souls might be undone.
    The city's shape suggested this, 't is true;
  Form'd like an amphitheatre, each dwelling
  Presented a fine mark to throw a shell in.

  The second object was to profit by
    The moment of the general consternation,
  To attack the Turk's flotilla, which lay nigh
    Extremely tranquil, anchor'd at its station:
  But a third motive was as probably
    To frighten them into capitulation;
  A phantasy which sometimes seizes warriors,
  Unless they are game as bull-dogs and fox-terriers.

  A habit rather blamable, which is
    That of despising those we combat with,
  Common in many cases, was in this
    The cause of killing Tchitchitzkoff and Smith;
  One of the valorous 'Smiths' whom we shall miss
    Out of those nineteen who late rhymed to 'pith;'
  But 't is a name so spread o'er 'Sir' and 'Madam,'
  That one would think the first who bore it 'Adam.'

  The Russian batteries were incomplete,
    Because they were constructed in a hurry;
  Thus the same cause which makes a verse want feet,
    And throws a cloud o'er Longman and John Murray,
  When the sale of new books is not so fleet
    As they who print them think is necessary,
  May likewise put off for a time what story
  Sometimes calls 'murder,' and at others 'glory.'

  Whether it was their engineer's stupidity,
    Their haste, or waste, I neither know nor care,
  Or some contractor's personal cupidity,
    Saving his soul by cheating in the ware
  Of homicide, but there was no solidity
    In the new batteries erected there;
  They either miss'd, or they were never miss'd,
  And added greatly to the missing list.

  A sad miscalculation about distance
    Made all their naval matters incorrect;
  Three fireships lost their amiable existence
    Before they reach'd a spot to take effect:
  The match was lit too soon, and no assistance
    Could remedy this lubberly defect;
  They blew up in the middle of the river,
  While, though 't was dawn, the Turks slept fast as ever.

  At seven they rose, however, and survey'd
    The Russ flotilla getting under way;
  'T was nine, when still advancing undismay'd,
    Within a cable's length their vessels lay
  Off Ismail, and commenced a cannonade,
    Which was return'd with interest, I may say,
  And by a fire of musketry and grape,
  And shells and shot of every size and shape.

  For six hours bore they without intermission
    The Turkish fire, and aided by their own
  Land batteries, work'd their guns with great precision:
    At length they found mere cannonade alone
  By no means would produce the town's submission,
    And made a signal to retreat at one.
  One bark blew up, a second near the works
  Running aground, was taken by the Turks.

  The Moslem, too, had lost both ships and men;
    But when they saw the enemy retire,
  Their Delhis mann'd some boats, and sail'd again,
    And gall'd the Russians with a heavy fire,
  And tried to make a landing on the main;
    But here the effect fell short of their desire:
  Count Damas drove them back into the water
  Pell-mell, and with a whole gazette of slaughter.

  'If' (says the historian here) 'I could report
    All that the Russians did upon this day,
  I think that several volumes would fall short,
    And I should still have many things to say;'
  And so he says no more- but pays his court
    To some distinguish'd strangers in that fray;
  The Prince de Ligne, and Langeron, and Damas,
  Names great as any that the roll of Fame has.

  This being the case, may show us what Fame is:
    For out of these three 'preux Chevaliers,' how
  Many of common readers give a guess
    That such existed? (and they may live now
  For aught we know.) Renown 's all hit or miss;
    There 's fortune even in fame, we must allow.
  'T is true the Memoirs of the Prince de Ligne
  Have half withdrawn from him oblivion's screen.

  But here are men who fought in gallant actions
    As gallantly as ever heroes fought,
  But buried in the heap of such transactions
    Their names are rarely found, nor often sought.
  Thus even good fame may suffer sad contractions,
    And is extinguish'd sooner than she ought:
  Of all our modern battles, I will bet
  You can't repeat nine names from each Gazette.

  In short, this last attack, though rich in glory,
    Show'd that somewhere, somehow, there was a fault,
  And Admiral Ribas (known in Russian story)
    Most strongly recommended an assault;
  In which he was opposed by young and hoary,
    Which made a long debate; but I must halt,
  For if I wrote down every warrior's speech,
  I doubt few readers e'er would mount the breach.

  There was a man, if that he was a man,
    Not that his manhood could be call'd in question,
  For had he not been Hercules, his span
    Had been as short in youth as indigestion
  Made his last illness, when, all worn and wan,
    He died beneath a tree, as much unblest on
  The soil of the green province he had wasted,
  As e'er was locust on the land it blasted.

  This was Potemkin- a great thing in days
    When homicide and harlotry made great;
  If stars and titles could entail long praise,
    His glory might half equal his estate.
  This fellow, being six foot high, could raise
    A kind of phantasy proportionate
  In the then sovereign of the Russian people,
  Who measured men as you would do a steeple.

  While things were in abeyance, Ribas sent
    A courier to the prince, and he succeeded
  In ordering matters after his own bent;
    I cannot tell the way in which he pleaded,
  But shortly he had cause to be content.
    In the mean time, the batteries proceeded,
  And fourscore cannon on the Danube's border
  Were briskly fired and answer'd in due order.

  But on the thirteenth, when already part
    Of the troops were embark'd, the siege to raise,
  A courier on the spur inspired new heart
    Into all panters for newspaper praise,
  As well as dilettanti in war's art,
    By his despatches couch'd in pithy phrase;
  Announcing the appointment of that lover of
  Battles to the command, Field-Marshal Souvaroff.

  The letter of the prince to the same marshal
    Was worthy of a Spartan, had the cause
  Been one to which a good heart could be partial-
    Defence of freedom, country, or of laws;
  But as it was mere lust of power to o'er-arch all
    With its proud brow, it merits slight applause,
  Save for its style, which said, all in a trice,
  'You will take Ismail at whatever price.'

  'Let there be light! said God, and there was light!'
    'Let there be blood!' says man, and there 's a seal
  The fiat of this spoil'd child of the Night
    (For Day ne'er saw his merits) could decree
  More evil in an hour, than thirty bright
    Summers could renovate, though they should be
  Lovely as those which ripen'd Eden's fruit;
  For war cuts up not only branch, but root.

  Our friends the Turks, who with loud 'Allahs' now
    Began to signalise the Russ retreat,
  Were damnably mistaken; few are slow
    In thinking that their enemy is beat
  (Or beaten, if you insist on grammar, though
    I never think about it in a heat),
  But here I say the Turks were much mistaken,
  Who hating hogs, yet wish'd to save their bacon.

  For, on the sixteenth, at full gallop, drew
    In sight two horsemen, who were deem'd Cossacques
  For some time, till they came in nearer view.
    They had but little baggage at their backs,
  For there were but three shirts between the two;
    But on they rode upon two Ukraine hacks,
  Till, in approaching, were at length descried
  In this plain pair, Suwarrow and his guide.

  'Great joy to London now!' says some great fool,
    When London had a grand illumination,
  Which to that bottle-conjurer, John Bull,
    Is of all dreams the first hallucination;
  So that the streets of colour'd lamps are full,
    That Sage (said john) surrenders at discretion
  His purse, his soul, his sense, and even his nonsense,
  To gratify, like a huge moth, this one sense.

  'T is strange that he should farther 'damn his eyes,'
    For they are damn'd; that once all-famous oath
  Is to the devil now no farther prize,
    Since John has lately lost the use of both.
  Debt he calls wealth, and taxes Paradise;
    And Famine, with her gaunt and bony growth,
  Which stare him in the face, he won't examine,
  Or swears that Ceres hath begotten Famine.

  But to the tale:- great joy unto the camp!
    To Russian, Tartar, English, French, Cossacque,
  O'er whom Suwarrow shone like a gas lamp,
    Presaging a most luminous attack;
  Or like a wisp along the marsh so damp,
    Which leads beholders on a boggy walk,
  He flitted to and fro a dancing light,
  Which all who saw it follow'd, wrong or right.

  But certes matters took a different face;
    There was enthusiasm and much applause,
  The fleet and camp saluted with great grace,
    And all presaged good fortune to their cause.
  Within a cannon-shot length of the place
    They drew, constructed ladders, repair'd flaws
  In former works, made new, prepared fascines,
  And all kinds of benevolent machines.

  'T is thus the spirit of a single mind
    Makes that of multitudes take one direction,
  As roll the waters to the breathing wind,
    Or roams the herd beneath the bull's protection;
  Or as a little dog will lead the blind,
    Or a bell-wether form the flock's connection
  By tinkling sounds, when they go forth to victual;
  Such is the sway of your great men o'er little.

  The whole camp rung with joy; you would have thought
    That they were going to a marriage feast
  (This metaphor, I think, holds good as aught,
    Since there is discord after both at least):
  There was not now a luggage boy but sought
    Danger and spoil with ardour much increased;
  And why? because a little- odd- old man,
  Stript to his shirt, was come to lead the van.

  But so it was; and every preparation
    Was made with all alacrity: the first
  Detachment of three columns took its station,
    And waited but the signal's voice to burst
  Upon the foe: the second's ordination
    Was also in three columns, with a thirst
  For glory gaping o'er a sea of slaughter:
  The third, in columns two, attack'd by water.

  New batteries were erected, and was held
    A general council, in which unanimity,
  That stranger to most councils, here prevail'd,
    As sometimes happens in a great extremity;
  And every difficulty being dispell'd,
    Glory began to dawn with due sublimity,
  While Souvaroff, determined to obtain it,
  Was teaching his recruits to use the bayonet

  It is an actual fact, that he, commander
    In chief, in proper person deign'd to drill
  The awkward squad, and could afford to squander
    His time, a corporal's duty to fulfil:
  Just as you 'd break a sucking salamander
    To swallow flame, and never take it ill:
  He show'd them how to mount a ladder (which
  Was not like Jacob's) or to cross a ditch.

  Also he dress'd up, for the nonce, fascines
    Like men with turbans, scimitars, and dirks,
  And made them charge with bayonet these machines,
    By way of lesson against actual Turks:
  And when well practised in these mimic scenes,
    He judged them proper to assail the works;
  At which your wise men sneer'd in phrases witty:
  He made no answer; but he took the city.

  Most things were in this posture on the eve
    Of the assault, and all the camp was in
  A stern repose; which you would scarce conceive;
    Yet men resolved to dash through thick and thin
  Are very silent when they once believe
    That all is settled:- there was little din,
  For some were thinking of their home and friends,
  And others of themselves and latter ends.

  Suwarrow chiefly was on the alert,
    Surveying, drilling, ordering, jesting, pondering;
  For the man was, we safely may assert,
    A thing to wonder at beyond most wondering;
  Hero, buffoon, half-demon, and half-dirt,
    Praying, instructing, desolating, plundering;
  Now Mars, now Momus; and when bent to storm
  A fortress, Harlequin in uniform.

  The day before the assault, while upon drill-
    For this great conqueror play'd the corporal-
  Some Cossacques, hovering like hawks round a hill,
    Had met a party towards the twilight's fall,
  One of whom spoke their tongue- or well or ill,
    'T was much that he was understood at all;
  But whether from his voice, or speech, or manner,
  They found that he had fought beneath their banner.

  Whereon immediately at his request
    They brought him and his comrades to head-quarters;
  Their dress was Moslem, but you might have guess'd
    That these were merely masquerading Tartars,
  And that beneath each Turkish-fashion'd vest
    Lurk'd Christianity; which sometimes barters
  Her inward grace for outward show, and makes
  It difficult to shun some strange mistakes.

  Suwarrow, who was standing in his shirt
    Before a company of Calmucks, drilling,
  Exclaiming, fooling, swearing at the inert,
    And lecturing on the noble art of killing,-
  For deeming human clay but common dirt,
    This great philosopher was thus instilling
  His maxims, which to martial comprehension
  Proved death in battle equal to a pension;-

  Suwarrow, when he saw this company
    Of Cossacques and their prey, turn'd round and cast
  Upon them his slow brow and piercing eye:-
    'Whence come ye?'- 'From Constantinople last,
  Captives just now escaped,' was the reply.
    'What are ye?'- 'What you see us.' Briefly pass'd
  This dialogue; for he who answer'd knew
  To whom he spoke, and made his words but few.

  'Your names?'- 'Mine 's Johnson, and my comrade 's Juan;
    The other two are women, and the third
  Is neither man nor woman.' The chief threw on
    The party a slight glance, then said, 'I have heard
  Your name before, the second is a new one:
    To bring the other three here was absurd:
  But let that pass:- I think I have heard your name
  In the Nikolaiew regiment?'- 'The same.'

  'You served at Widdin?'- 'Yes.'- 'You led the attack?'
    'I did.'- 'What next?'- 'I really hardly know.'
  'You were the first i' the breach?'- 'I was not slack
    At least to follow those who might be so.'
  'What follow'd?'- 'A shot laid me on my back,
    And I became a prisoner to the foe.'
  'You shall have vengeance, for the town surrounded
  Is twice as strong as that where you were wounded.

  'Where will you serve?'- 'Where'er you please.'- 'I know
    You like to be the hope of the forlorn,
  And doubtless would be foremost on the foe
    After the hardships you 've already borne.
  And this young fellow- say what can he do?
    He with the beardless chin and garments torn?'
  'Why, general, if he hath no greater fault
  In war than love, he had better lead the assault.'

  'He shall if that he dare.' Here Juan bow'd
    Low as the compliment deserved. Suwarrow
  Continued: 'Your old regiment's allow'd,
    By special providence, to lead to-morrow,
  Or it may be to-night, the assault: I have vow'd
    To several saints, that shortly plough or harrow
  Shall pass o'er what was Ismail, and its tusk
  Be unimpeded by the proudest mosque.

  'So now, my lads, for glory!'- Here he turn'd
    And drill'd away in the most classic Russian,
  Until each high, heroic bosom burn'd
    For cash and conquest, as if from a cushion
  A preacher had held forth (who nobly spurn'd
    All earthly goods save tithes) and bade them push on
  To slay the Pagans who resisted, battering
  The armies of the Christian Empress Catherine.

  Johnson, who knew by this long colloquy
    Himself a favourite, ventured to address
  Suwarrow, though engaged with accents high
    In his resumed amusement. 'I confess
  My debt in being thus allow'd to die
    Among the foremost; but if you 'd express
  Explicitly our several posts, my friend
  And self would know what duty to attend.'

  'Right! I was busy, and forgot. Why, you
    Will join your former regiment, which should be
  Now under arms. Ho! Katskoff, take him to
    (Here he call'd up a Polish orderly)
  His post, I mean the regiment Nikolaiew:
    The stranger stripling may remain with me;
  He 's a fine boy. The women may be sent
  To the other baggage, or to the sick tent.'

  But here a sort of scene began to ensue:
    The ladies,- who by no means had been bred
  To be disposed of in a way so new,
    Although their haram education led
  Doubtless to that of doctrines the most true,
    Passive obedience,- now raised up the head,
  With flashing eyes and starting tears, and flung
  Their arms, as hens their wings about their young,

  O'er the promoted couple of brave men
    Who were thus honour'd by the greatest chief
  That ever peopled hell with heroes slain,
    Or plunged a province or a realm in grief.
  Oh, foolish mortals! Always taught in vain!
    Oh, glorious laurel! since for one sole leaf
  Of thine imaginary deathless tree,
  Of blood and tears must flow the unebbing sea.

  Suwarrow, who had small regard for tears,
    And not much sympathy for blood, survey'd
  The women with their hair about their ears
    And natural agonies, with a slight shade
  Of feeling: for however habit sears
    Men's hearts against whole millions, when their trade
  Is butchery, sometimes a single sorrow
  Will touch even heroes- and such was Suwarrow.

  He said,- and in the kindest Calmuck tone,-
    'Why, Johnson, what the devil do you mean
  By bringing women here? They shall be shown
    All the attention possible, and seen
  In safety to the waggons, where alone
    In fact they can be safe. You should have been
  Aware this kind of baggage never thrives:
  Save wed a year, I hate recruits with wives.'

  'May it please your excellency,' thus replied
    Our British friend, 'these are the wives of others,
  And not our own. I am too qualified
    By service with my military brothers
  To break the rules by bringing one's own bride
    Into a camp: I know that nought so bothers
  The hearts of the heroic on a charge,
  As leaving a small family at large.

  'But these are but two Turkish ladies, who
    With their attendant aided our escape,
  And afterwards accompanied us through
    A thousand perils in this dubious shape.
  To me this kind of life is not so new;
    To them, poor things, it is an awkward scrape.
  I therefore, if you wish me to fight freely,
  Request that they may both be used genteelly.'

  Meantime these two poor girls, with swimming eyes,
    Look'd on as if in doubt if they could trust
  Their own protectors; nor was their surprise
    Less than their grief (and truly not less just)
  To see an old man, rather wild than wise
    In aspect, plainly clad, besmear'd with dust,
  Stript to his waistcoat, and that not too clean,
  More fear'd than all the sultans ever seen.

  For every thing seem'd resting on his nod,
    As they could read in all eyes. Now to them,
  Who were accustom'd, as a sort of god,
    To see the sultan, rich in many a gem,
  Like an imperial peacock stalk abroad
    (That royal bird, whose tail 's a diadem),
  With all the pomp of power, it was a doubt
  How power could condescend to do without.

  John Johnson, seeing their extreme dismay,
    Though little versed in feelings oriental,
  Suggested some slight comfort in his way:
    Don Juan, who was much more sentimental,
  Swore they should see him by the dawn of day,
    Or that the Russian army should repent all:
  And, strange to say, they found some consolation
  In this- for females like exaggeration.

  And then with tears, and sighs, and some slight kisses,
    They parted for the present- these to await,
  According to the artillery's hits or misses,
    What sages call Chance, Providence, or Fate
  (Uncertainty is one of many blisses,
    A mortgage on Humanity's estate)-
  While their beloved friends began to arm,
  To burn a town which never did them harm.

  Suwarrow,- who but saw things in the gross,
    Being much too gross to see them in detail,
  Who calculated life as so much dross,
    And as the wind a widow'd nation's wail,
  And cared as little for his army's loss
    (So that their efforts should at length prevail)
  As wife and friends did for the boils of job,-
  What was 't to him to hear two women sob?

  Nothing.- The work of glory still went on
    In preparations for a cannonade
  As terrible as that of Ilion,
    If Homer had found mortars ready made;
  But now, instead of slaying Priam's son,
    We only can but talk of escalade,
  Bombs, drums, guns, bastions, batteries, bayonets, bullets,-
  Hard words, which stick in the soft Muses' gullets.

  Oh, thou eternal Homer! who couldst charm
    All cars, though long; all ages, though so short,
  By merely wielding with poetic arm
    Arms to which men will never more resort,
  Unless gunpowder should be found to harm
    Much less than is the hope of every court,
  Which now is leagued young Freedom to annoy;
  But they will not find Liberty a Troy:-

  Oh, thou eternal Homer! I have now
    To paint a siege, wherein more men were slain,
  With deadlier engines and a speedier blow,
    Than in thy Greek gazette of that campaign;
  And yet, like all men else, I must allow,
    To vie with thee would be about as vain
  As for a brook to cope with ocean's flood;
  But still we moderns equal you in blood;

  If not in poetry, at least in fact;
    And fact is truth, the grand desideratum!
  Of which, howe'er the Muse describes each act,
    There should be ne'ertheless a slight substratum.
  But now the town is going to be attack'd;
    Great deeds are doing- how shall I relate 'em?
  Souls of immortal generals! Phoebus watches
  To colour up his rays from your despatches.

  Oh, ye great bulletins of Bonaparte!
    Oh, ye less grand long lists of kill'd and wounded!
  Shade of Leonidas, who fought so hearty,
    When my poor Greece was once, as now, surrounded!
  Oh, Caesar's Commentaries! now impart, ye
    Shadows of glory! (lest I be confounded)
  A portion of your fading twilight hues,
  So beautiful, so fleeting, to the Muse.

  When I call 'fading' martial immortality,
    I mean, that every age and every year,
  And almost every day, in sad reality,
    Some sucking hero is compell'd to rear,
  Who, when we come to sum up the totality
    Of deeds to human happiness most dear,
  Turns out to be a butcher in great business,
  Afflicting young folks with a sort of dizziness.

  Medals, rank, ribands, lace, embroidery, scarlet,
    Are things immortal to immortal man,
  As purple to the Babylonian harlot:
    An uniform to boys is like a fan
  To women; there is scarce a crimson varlet
    But deems himself the first in Glory's van.
  But Glory's glory; and if you would find
  What that is- ask the pig who sees the wind!

  At least he feels it, and some say he sees,
    Because he runs before it like a pig;
  Or, if that simple sentence should displease,
    Say, that he scuds before it like a brig,
  A schooner, or- but it is time to ease
    This Canto, ere my Muse perceives fatigue.
  The next shall ring a peal to shake all people,
  Like a bob-major from a village steeple.

  Hark! through the silence of the cold, dull night,
    The hum of armies gathering rank on rank!
  Lo! dusky masses steal in dubious sight
    Along the leaguer'd wall and bristling bank
  Of the arm'd river, while with straggling light
    The stars peep through the vapours dim and dank,
  Which curl in curious wreaths:- how soon the smoke
  Of Hell shall pall them in a deeper cloak!

  Here pause we for the present- as even then
    That awful pause, dividing life from death,
  Struck for an instant on the hearts of men,
    Thousands of whom were drawing their last breath!
  A moment- and all will be life again!
    The march! the charge! the shouts of either faith!
  Hurra! and Allah! and- one moment more,
  The death-cry drowning in the battle's roar.
                 CANTO THE EIGHTH.

  OH blood and thunder! and oh blood and wounds!
    These are but vulgar oaths, as you may deem,
  Too gentle reader! and most shocking sounds:
    And so they are; yet thus is Glory's dream
  Unriddled, and as my true Muse expounds
    At present such things, since they are her theme,
  So be they her inspirers! Call them Mars,
  Bellona, what you will- they mean but wars.

  All was prepared- the fire, the sword, the men
    To wield them in their terrible array.
  The army, like a lion from his den,
    March'd forth with nerve and sinews bent to slay,-
  A human Hydra, issuing from its fen
    To breathe destruction on its winding way,
  Whose heads were heroes, which cut off in vain
  Immediately in others grew again.

  History can only take things in the gross;
    But could we know them in detail, perchance
  In balancing the profit and the loss,
    War's merit it by no means might enhance,
  To waste so much gold for a little dross,
    As hath been done, mere conquest to advance.
  The drying up a single tear has more
  Of honest fame, than shedding seas of gore.

  And why?- because it brings self-approbation;
    Whereas the other, after all its glare,
  Shouts, bridges, arches, pensions from a nation,
    Which (it may be) has not much left to spare,
  A higher title, or a loftier station,
    Though they may make Corruption gape or stare,
  Yet, in the end, except in Freedom's battles,
  Are nothing but a child of Murder's rattles.

  And such they are- and such they will be found:
    Not so Leonidas and Washington,
  Whose every battle-field is holy ground,
    Which breathes of nations saved, not worlds undone.
  How sweetly on the ear such echoes sound!
    While the mere victor's may appal or stun
  The servile and the vain, such names will be
  A watchword till the future shall be free.

  The night was dark, and the thick mist allow'd
    Nought to be seen save the artillery's flame,
  Which arch'd the horizon like a fiery cloud,
    And in the Danube's waters shone the same-
  A mirror'd hell! the volleying roar, and loud
    Long booming of each peal on peal, o'ercame
  The ear far more than thunder; for Heaven's flashes
  Spare, or smite rarely- man's make millions ashes!

  The column order'd on the assault scarce pass'd
    Beyond the Russian batteries a few toises,
  When up the bristling Moslem rose at last,
    Answering the Christian thunders with like voices:
  Then one vast fire, air, earth, and stream embraced,
    Which rock'd as 't were beneath the mighty noises;
  While the whole rampart blazed like Etna, when
  The restless Titan hiccups in his den.

  And one enormous shout of 'Allah!' rose
    In the same moment, loud as even the roar
  Of war's most mortal engines, to their foes
    Hurling defiance: city, stream, and shore
  Resounded 'Allah!' and the clouds which close
    With thick'ning canopy the conflict o'er,
  Vibrate to the Eternal name. Hark! through
  All sounds it pierceth 'Allah! Allah! Hu!'

  The columns were in movement one and all,
    But of the portion which attack'd by water,
  Thicker than leaves the lives began to fall,
    Though led by Arseniew, that great son of slaughter,
  As brave as ever faced both bomb and ball.
    'Carnage' (so Wordsworth tells you) 'is God's daughter:'
  If he speak truth, she is Christ's sister, and
  Just now behaved as in the Holy Land.

  The Prince de Ligne was wounded in the knee;
    Count Chapeau-Bras, too, had a ball between
  His cap and head, which proves the head to be
    Aristocratic as was ever seen,
  Because it then received no injury
    More than the cap; in fact, the ball could mean
  No harm unto a right legitimate head:
  'Ashes to ashes'- why not lead to lead?

  Also the General Markow, Brigadier,
    Insisting on removal of the prince
  Amidst some groaning thousands dying near,-
    All common fellows, who might writhe and wince,
  And shriek for water into a deaf ear,-
    The General Markow, who could thus evince
  His sympathy for rank, by the same token,
  To teach him greater, had his own leg broken.

  Three hundred cannon threw up their emetic,
    And thirty thousand muskets flung their pills
  Like hail, to make a bloody diuretic.
    Mortality! thou hast thy monthly bills;
  Thy plagues, thy famines, thy physicians, yet tick,
    Like the death-watch, within our ears the ills
  Past, present, and to come;- but all may yield
  To the true portrait of one battle-field.

  There the still varying pangs, which multiply
    Until their very number makes men hard
  By the infinities of agony,
    Which meet the gaze whate'er it may regard-
  The groan, the roll in dust, the all-white eye
    Turn'd back within its socket,- these reward
  Your rank and file by thousands, while the rest
  May win perhaps a riband at the breast!

  Yet I love glory;- glory 's a great thing:-
    Think what it is to be in your old age
  Maintain'd at the expense of your good king:
    A moderate pension shakes full many a sage,
  And heroes are but made for bards to sing,
    Which is still better; thus in verse to wage
  Your wars eternally, besides enjoying
  Half-pay for life, make mankind worth destroying.

  The troops, already disembark'd, push'd on
    To take a battery on the right; the others,
  Who landed lower down, their landing done,
    Had set to work as briskly as their brothers:
  Being grenadiers, they mounted one by one,
    Cheerful as children climb the breasts of mothers,
  O'er the entrenchment and the palisade,
  Quite orderly, as if upon parade.

  And this was admirable; for so hot
    The fire was, that were red Vesuvius loaded,
  Besides its lava, with all sorts of shot
    And shells or hells, it could not more have goaded.
  Of officers a third fell on the spot,
    A thing which victory by no means boded
  To gentlemen engaged in the assault:
  Hounds, when the huntsman tumbles, are at fault.

  But here I leave the general concern,
    To track our hero on his path of fame:
  He must his laurels separately earn;
    For fifty thousand heroes, name by name,
  Though all deserving equally to turn
    A couplet, or an elegy to claim,
  Would form a lengthy lexicon of glory,
  And what is worse still, a much longer story:

  And therefore we must give the greater number
    To the Gazette- which doubtless fairly dealt
  By the deceased, who lie in famous slumber
    In ditches, fields, or wheresoe'er they felt
  Their clay for the last time their souls encumber;-
    Thrice happy he whose name has been well spelt
  In the despatch: I knew a man whose loss
  Was printed Grove, although his name was Grose.

  Juan and Johnson join'd a certain corps,
    And fought away with might and main, not knowing
  The way which they had never trod before,
    And still less guessing where they might be going;
  But on they march'd, dead bodies trampling o'er,
    Firing, and thrusting, slashing, sweating, glowing,
  But fighting thoughtlessly enough to win,
  To their two selves, one whole bright bulletin.

  Thus on they wallow'd in the bloody mire
    Of dead and dying thousands,- sometimes gaining
  A yard or two of ground, which brought them nigher
    To some odd angle for which all were straining;
  At other times, repulsed by the close fire,
    Which really pour'd as if all hell were raining
  Instead of heaven, they stumbled backwards o'er
  A wounded comrade, sprawling in his gore.

  Though 't was Don Juan's first of fields, and though
    The nightly muster and the silent march
  In the chill dark, when courage does not glow
    So much as under a triumphal arch,
  Perhaps might make him shiver, yawn, or throw
    A glance on the dull clouds (as thick as starch,
  Which stiffen'd heaven) as if he wish'd for day;-
  Yet for all this he did not run away.

  Indeed he could not. But what if he had?
    There have been and are heroes who begun
  With something not much better, or as bad:
    Frederic the Great from Molwitz deign'd to run,
  For the first and last time; for, like a pad,
    Or hawk, or bride, most mortals after one
  Warm bout are broken into their new tricks,
  And fight like fiends for pay or politics.

  He was what Erin calls, in her sublime
    Old Erse or Irish, or it may be Punic
  (The antiquarians who can settle time,
    Which settles all things, Roman, Greek, or Runic,
  Swear that Pat's language sprung from the same clime
    With Hannibal, and wears the Tyrian tunic
  Of Dido's alphabet; and this is rational
  As any other notion, and not national);-

  But Juan was quite 'a broth of a boy,'
    A thing of impulse and a child of song;
  Now swimming in the sentiment of joy,
    Or the sensation (if that phrase seem wrong),
  And afterward, if he must needs destroy,
    In such good company as always throng
  To battles, sieges, and that kind of pleasure,
  No less delighted to employ his leisure;

  But always without malice: if he warr'd
    Or loved, it was with what we call 'the best
  Intentions,' which form all mankind's trump card,
    To be produced when brought up to the test.
  The statesman, hero, harlot, lawyer- ward
    Off each attack, when people are in quest
  Of their designs, by saying they meant well;
  'T is pity 'that such meaning should pave hell.'

  I almost lately have begun to doubt
    Whether hell's pavement- if it be so paved-
  Must not have latterly been quite worn out,
    Not by the numbers good intent hath saved,
  But by the mass who go below without
    Those ancient good intentions, which once shaved
  And smooth'd the brimstone of that street of hell
  Which bears the greatest likeness to Pall Mall.

  Juan, by some strange chance, which oft divides
    Warrior from warrior in their grim career,
  Like chastest wives from constant husbands' sides
    Just at the close of the first bridal year,
  By one of those odd turns of Fortune's tides,
    Was on a sudden rather puzzled here,
  When, after a good deal of heavy firing,
  He found himself alone, and friends retiring.

  I don't know how the thing occurr'd- it might
    Be that the greater part were kill'd or wounded,
  And that the rest had faced unto the right
    About; a circumstance which has confounded
  Caesar himself, who, in the very sight
    Of his whole army, which so much abounded
  In courage, was obliged to snatch a shield,
  And rally back his Romans to the field.

  Juan, who had no shield to snatch, and was
    No Caesar, but a fine young lad, who fought
  He knew not why, arriving at this pass,
    Stopp'd for a minute, as perhaps he ought
  For a much longer time; then, like an as
    (Start not, kind reader; since great Homer thought
  This simile enough for Ajax, Juan
  Perhaps may find it better than a new one)-

  Then, like an ass, he went upon his way,
    And, what was stranger, never look'd behind;
  But seeing, flashing forward, like the day
    Over the hills, a fire enough to blind
  Those who dislike to look upon a fray,
    He stumbled on, to try if he could find
  A path, to add his own slight arm and forces
  To corps, the greater part of which were corses.

  Perceiving then no more the commandant
    Of his own corps, nor even the corps, which had
  Quite disappear'd- the gods know howl (I can't
    Account for every thing which may look bad
  In history; but we at least may grant
    It was not marvellous that a mere lad,
  In search of glory, should look on before,
  Nor care a pinch of snuff about his corps):-

  Perceiving nor commander nor commanded,
    And left at large, like a young heir, to make
  His way to- where he knew not- single handed;
    As travellers follow over bog and brake
  An 'ignis fatuus;' or as sailors stranded
    Unto the nearest hut themselves betake;
  So Juan, following honour and his nose,
  Rush'd where the thickest fire announced most foes.

  He knew not where he was, nor greatly cared,
    For he was dizzy, busy, and his veins
  Fill'd as with lightning- for his spirit shared
    The hour, as is the case with lively brains;
  And where the hottest fire was seen and heard,
    And the loud cannon peal'd his hoarsest strains,
  He rush'd, while earth and air were sadly shaken
  By thy humane discovery, Friar Bacon!

  And as he rush'd along, it came to pass he
    Fell in with what was late the second column,
  Under the orders of the General Lascy,
    But now reduced, as is a bulky volume
  Into an elegant extract (much less massy)
    Of heroism, and took his place with solemn
  Air 'midst the rest, who kept their valiant faces
  And levell'd weapons still against the glacis.

  Just at this crisis up came Johnson too,
    Who had 'retreated,' as the phrase is when
  Men run away much rather than go through
    Destruction's jaws into the devil's den;
  But Johnson was a clever fellow, who
    Knew when and how 'to cut and come again,'
  And never ran away, except when running
  Was nothing but a valorous kind of cunning.

  And so, when all his corps were dead or dying,
    Except Don Juan, a mere novice, whose
  More virgin valour never dreamt of flying
    From ignorance of danger, which indues
  Its votaries, like innocence relying
    On its own strength, with careless nerves and thews,-
  Johnson retired a little, just to rally
  Those who catch cold in 'shadows of Death's valley.'

  And there, a little shelter'd from the shot,
    Which rain'd from bastion, battery, parapet,
  Rampart, wall, casement, house,- for there was not
    In this extensive city, sore beset
  By Christian soldiery, a single spot
    Which did not combat like the devil, as yet,
  He found a number of Chasseurs, all scatter'd
  By the resistance of the chase they batter'd.

  And these he call'd on; and, what 's strange, they came
    Unto his call, unlike 'the spirits from
  The vasty deep,' to whom you may exclaim,
    Says Hotspur, long ere they will leave their home.
  Their reasons were uncertainty, or shame
    At shrinking from a bullet or a bomb,
  And that odd impulse, which in wars or creeds
  Makes men, like cattle, follow him who leads.

  By Jove! he was a noble fellow, Johnson,
    And though his name, than Ajax or Achilles,
  Sounds less harmonious, underneath the sun soon
    We shall not see his likeness: he could kill his
  Man quite as quietly as blows the monsoon
    Her steady breath (which some months the same still is):
  Seldom he varied feature, hue, or muscle,
  And could be very busy without bustle;

  And therefore, when he ran away, he did so
    Upon reflection, knowing that behind
  He would find others who would fain be rid so
    Of idle apprehensions, which like wind
  Trouble heroic stomachs. Though their lids so
    Oft are soon closed, all heroes are not blind,
  But when they light upon immediate death,
  Retire a little, merely to take breath.

  But Johnson only ran off, to return
    With many other warriors, as we said,
  Unto that rather somewhat misty bourn,
    Which Hamlet tells us is a pass of dread.
  To Jack howe'er this gave but slight concern:
    His soul (like galvanism upon the dead)
  Acted upon the living as on wire,
  And led them back into the heaviest fire.

  Egad! they found the second time what they
    The first time thought quite terrible enough
  To fly from, malgre all which people say
    Of glory, and all that immortal stuff
  Which fills a regiment (besides their pay,
    That daily shilling which makes warriors tough)-
  They found on their return the self-same welcome,
  Which made some think, and others know, a hell come.

  They fell as thick as harvests beneath hail,
    Grass before scythes, or corn below the sickle,
  Proving that trite old truth, that life 's as frail
    As any other boon for which men stickle.
  The Turkish batteries thrash'd them like a flail,
    Or a good boxer, into a sad pickle
  Putting the very bravest, who were knock'd
  Upon the head, before their guns were cock'd.

  The Turks, behind the traverses and flanks
    Of the next bastion, fired away like devils,
  And swept, as gales sweep foam away, whole ranks:
    However, Heaven knows how, the Fate who levels
  Towns, nations, worlds, in her revolving pranks,
    So order'd it, amidst these sulphury revels,
  That Johnson and some few who had not scamper'd,
  Reach'd the interior talus of the rampart.

  First one or two, then five, six, and a dozen,
    Came mounting quickly up, for it was now
  All neck or nothing, as, like pitch or rosin,
    Flame was shower'd forth above, as well 's below,
  So that you scarce could say who best had chosen,
    The gentlemen that were the first to show
  Their martial faces on the parapet,
  Or those who thought it brave to wait as yet.

  But those who scaled, found out that their advance
    Was favour'd by an accident or blunder:
  The Greek or Turkish Cohorn's ignorance
    Had palisado'd in a way you 'd wonder
  To see in forts of Netherlands or France
    (Though these to our Gibraltar must knock under)-
  Right in the middle of the parapet
  Just named, these palisades were primly set:

  So that on either side some nine or ten
    Paces were left, whereon you could contrive
  To march; a great convenience to our men,
    At least to all those who were left alive,
  Who thus could form a line and fight again;
    And that which farther aided them to strive
  Was, that they could kick down the palisades,
  Which scarcely rose much higher than grass blades.

  Among the first,- I will not say the first,
    For such precedence upon such occasions
  Will oftentimes make deadly quarrels burst
    Out between friends as well as allied nations:
  The Briton must be bold who really durst
    Put to such trial John Bull's partial patience,
  As say that Wellington at Waterloo
  Was beaten- though the Prussians say so too;-

  And that if Blucher, Bulow, Gneisenau,
    And God knows who besides in 'au' and 'ow,'
  Had not come up in time to cast an awe
    Into the hearts of those who fought till now
  As tigers combat with an empty craw,
    The Duke of Wellington had ceased to show
  His orders, also to receive his pensions,
  Which are the heaviest that our history mentions.

  But never mind;- 'God save the king!' and kings!
    For if he don't, I doubt if men will longer-
  I think I hear a little bird, who sings
    The people by and by will be the stronger:
  The veriest jade will wince whose harness wrings
    So much into the raw as quite to wrong her
  Beyond the rules of posting,- and the mob
  At last fall sick of imitating Job.

  At first it grumbles, then it swears, and then,
    Like David, flings smooth pebbles 'gainst a giant;
  At last it takes to weapons such as men
    Snatch when despair makes human hearts less pliant.
  Then comes 'the tug of war;'- 't will come again,
    I rather doubt; and I would fain say 'fie on 't,'
  If I had not perceived that revolution
  Alone can save the earth from hell's pollution.

  But to continue:- I say not the first,
    But of the first, our little friend Don Juan
  Walk'd o'er the walls of Ismail, as if nursed
    Amidst such scenes- though this was quite a new one
  To him, and I should hope to most. The thirst
    Of glory, which so pierces through and through one,
  Pervaded him- although a generous creature,
  As warm in heart as feminine in feature.

  And here he was- who upon woman's breast,
    Even from a child, felt like a child; howe'er
  The man in all the rest might be confest,
    To him it was Elysium to be there;
  And he could even withstand that awkward test
    Which Rousseau points out to the dubious fair,
  'Observe your lover when he leaves your arms;'
  But Juan never left them, while they had charms,

  Unless compell'd by fate, or wave, or wind,
    Or near relations, who are much the same.
  But here he was!- where each tie that can bind
    Humanity must yield to steel and flame:
  And he whose very body was all mind,
    Flung here by fate or circumstance, which tame
  The loftiest, hurried by the time and place,
  Dash'd on like a spurr'd blood-horse in a race.

  So was his blood stirr'd while he found resistance,
    As is the hunter's at the five-bar gate,
  Or double post and rail, where the existence
    Of Britain's youth depends upon their weight,
  The lightest being the safest: at a distance
    He hated cruelty, as all men hate
  Blood, until heated- and even then his own
  At times would curdle o'er some heavy groan.

  The General Lascy, who had been hard press'd,
    Seeing arrive an aid so opportune
  As were some hundred youngsters all abreast,
    Who came as if just dropp'd down from the moon,
  To Juan, who was nearest him, address'd
    His thanks, and hopes to take the city soon,
  Not reckoning him to be a 'base Bezonian'
  (As Pistol calls it), but a young Livonian.

  Juan, to whom he spoke in German, knew
    As much of German as of Sanscrit, and
  In answer made an inclination to
    The general who held him in command;
  For seeing one with ribands, black and blue,
    Stars, medals, and a bloody sword in hand,
  Addressing him in tones which seem'd to thank,
  He recognised an officer of rank.

  Short speeches pass between two men who speak
    No common language; and besides, in time
  Of war and taking towns, when many a shriek
    Rings o'er the dialogue, and many a crime
  Is perpetrated ere a word can break
    Upon the ear, and sounds of horror chime
  In like church-bells, with sigh, howl, groan, yell, prayer,
  There cannot be much conversation there.

  And therefore all we have related in
    Two long octaves, pass'd in a little minute;
  But in the same small minute, every sin
    Contrived to get itself comprised within it.
  The very cannon, deafen'd by the din,
    Grew dumb, for you might almost hear a linnet,
  As soon as thunder, 'midst the general noise
  Of human nature's agonising voice!

  The town was enter'd. Oh eternity!-
    'God made the country and man made the town,'
  So Cowper says- and I begin to be
    Of his opinion, when I see cast down
  Rome, Babylon, Tyre, Carthage, Nineveh,
    All walls men know, and many never known;
  And pondering on the present and the past,
  To deem the woods shall be our home at last

  Of all men, saving Sylla the man-slayer,
    Who passes for in life and death most lucky,
  Of the great names which in our faces stare,
    The General Boon, back-woodsman of Kentucky,
  Was happiest amongst mortals anywhere;
    For killing nothing but a bear or buck, he
  Enjoy'd the lonely, vigorous, harmless days
  Of his old age in wilds of deepest maze.

  Crime came not near him- she is not the child
    Of solitude; Health shrank not from him- for
  Her home is in the rarely trodden wild,
    Where if men seek her not, and death be more
  Their choice than life, forgive them, as beguiled
    By habit to what their own hearts abhor-
  In cities caged. The present case in point I
  Cite is, that Boon lived hunting up to ninety;

  And what 's still stranger, left behind a name
    For which men vainly decimate the throng,
  Not only famous, but of that good fame,
    Without which glory 's but a tavern song-
  Simple, serene, the antipodes of shame,
    Which hate nor envy e'er could tinge with wrong;
  An active hermit, even in age the child
  Of Nature, or the man of Ross run wild.

  'T is true he shrank from men even of his nation,
    When they built up unto his darling trees,-
  He moved some hundred miles off, for a station
    Where there were fewer houses and more ease;
  The inconvenience of civilisation
    Is, that you neither can be pleased nor please;
  But where he met the individual man,
  He show'd himself as kind as mortal can.

  He was not all alone: around him grew
    A sylvan tribe of children of the chase,
  Whose young, unwaken'd world was ever new,
    Nor sword nor sorrow yet had left a trace
  On her unwrinkled brow, nor could you view
    A frown on Nature's or on human face;
  The free-born forest found and kept them free,
  And fresh as is a torrent or a tree.

  And tall, and strong, and swift of foot were they,
    Beyond the dwarfing city's pale abortions,
  Because their thoughts had never been the prey
    Of care or gain: the green woods were their portions;
  No sinking spirits told them they grew grey,
    No fashion made them apes of her distortions;
  Simple they were, not savage; and their rifles,
  Though very true, were not yet used for trifles.

  Motion was in their days, rest in their slumbers,
    And cheerfulness the handmaid of their toil;
  Nor yet too many nor too few their numbers;
    Corruption could not make their hearts her soil;
  The lust which stings, the splendour which encumbers,
    With the free foresters divide no spoil;
  Serene, not sullen, were the solitudes
  Of this unsighing people of the woods.

  So much for Nature:- by way of variety,
    Now back to thy great joys, Civilisation!
  And the sweet consequence of large society,
    War, pestilence, the despot's desolation,
  The kingly scourge, the lust of notoriety,
    The millions slain by soldiers for their ration,
  The scenes like Catherine's boudoir at threescore,
  With Ismail's storm to soften it the more.

  The town was enter'd: first one column made
    Its sanguinary way good- then another;
  The reeking bayonet and the flashing blade
    Clash'd 'gainst the scimitar, and babe and mother
  With distant shrieks were heard Heaven to upbraid:
    Still closer sulphury clouds began to smother
  The breath of morn and man, where foot by foot
  The madden'd Turks their city still dispute.

  Koutousow, he who afterward beat back
    (With some assistance from the frost and snow)
  Napoleon on his bold and bloody track,
    It happen'd was himself beat back just now;
  He was a jolly fellow, and could crack
    His jest alike in face of friend or foe,
  Though life, and death, and victory were at stake;
  But here it seem'd his jokes had ceased to take:

  For having thrown himself into a ditch,
    Follow'd in haste by various grenadiers,
  Whose blood the puddle greatly did enrich,
    He climb'd to where the parapet appears;
  But there his project reach'd its utmost pitch
    ('Mongst other deaths the General Ribaupierre's
  Was much regretted), for the Moslem men
  Threw them all down into the ditch again.

  And had it not been for some stray troops landing
    They knew not where, being carried by the stream
  To some spot, where they lost their understanding,
    And wander'd up and down as in a dream,
  Until they reach'd, as daybreak was expanding,
    That which a portal to their eyes did seem,-
  The great and gay Koutousow might have lain
  Where three parts of his column yet remain.

  And scrambling round the rampart, these same troops,
    After the taking of the 'Cavalier,'
  Just as Koutousow's most 'forlorn' of 'hopes'
    Took like chameleons some slight tinge of fear,
  Open'd the gate call'd 'Kilia,' to the groups
    Of baffled heroes, who stood shyly near,
  Sliding knee-deep in lately frozen mud,
  Now thaw'd into a marsh of human blood.

  The Kozacks, or, if so you please, Cossacques
    (I don't much pique myself upon orthography,
  So that I do not grossly err in facts,
    Statistics, tactics, politics, and geography)-
  Having been used to serve on horses' backs,
    And no great dilettanti in topography
  Of fortresses, but fighting where it pleases
  Their chiefs to order,- were all cut to pieces.

  Their column, though the Turkish batteries thunder'd
    Upon them, ne'ertheless had reach'd the rampart,
  And naturally thought they could have plunder'd
    The city, without being farther hamper'd;
  But as it happens to brave men, they blunder'd-
    The Turks at first pretended to have scamper'd,
  Only to draw them 'twixt two bastion corners,
  From whence they sallied on those Christian scorners.

  Then being taken by the tail- a taking
    Fatal to bishops as to soldiers- these
  Cossacques were all cut off as day was breaking,
    And found their lives were let at a short lease-
  But perish'd without shivering or shaking,
    Leaving as ladders their heap'd carcasses,
  O'er which Lieutenant-Colonel Yesouskoi
  March'd with the brave battalion of Polouzki:-

  This valiant man kill'd all the Turks he met,
    But could not eat them, being in his turn
  Slain by some Mussulmans, who would not yet,
    Without resistance, see their city burn.
  The walls were won, but 't was an even bet
    Which of the armies would have cause to mourn:
  'T was blow for blow, disputing inch by inch,
  For one would not retreat, nor t' other flinch.

  Another column also suffer'd much:-
    And here we may remark with the historian,
  You should but give few cartridges to such
    Troops as are meant to march with greatest glory on:
  When matters must be carried by the touch
    Of the bright bayonet, and they all should hurry on,
  They sometimes, with a hankering for existence,
  Keep merely firing at a foolish distance.

  A junction of the General Meknop's men
    (Without the General, who had fallen some time
  Before, being badly seconded just then)
    Was made at length with those who dared to climb
  The death-disgorging rampart once again;
    And though the Turk's resistance was sublime,
  They took the bastion, which the Seraskier
  Defended at a price extremely dear.

  Juan and Johnson, and some volunteers,
    Among the foremost, offer'd him good quarter,
  A word which little suits with Seraskiers,
    Or at least suited not this valiant Tartar.
  He died, deserving well his country's tears,
    A savage sort of military martyr.
  An English naval officer, who wish'd
  To make him prisoner, was also dish'd:

  For all the answer to his proposition
    Was from a pistol-shot that laid him dead;
  On which the rest, without more intermission,
    Began to lay about with steel and lead-
  The pious metals most in requisition
    On such occasions: not a single head
  Was spared;- three thousand Moslems perish'd here,
  And sixteen bayonets pierced the Seraskier.

  The city 's taken- only part by part-
    And death is drunk with gore: there 's not a street
  Where fights not to the last some desperate heart
    For those for whom it soon shall cease to beat.
  Here War forgot his own destructive art
    In more destroying Nature; and the heat
  Of carnage, like the Nile's sun-sodden slime,
  Engender'd monstrous shapes of every crime.

  A Russian officer, in martial tread
    Over a heap of bodies, felt his heel
  Seized fast, as if 't were by the serpent's head
    Whose fangs Eve taught her human seed to feel:
  In vain he kick'd, and swore, and writhed, and bled,
    And howl'd for help as wolves do for a meal-
  The teeth still kept their gratifying hold,
  As do the subtle snakes described of old.

  A dying Moslem, who had felt the foot
    Of a foe o'er him, snatch'd at it, and bit
  The very tendon which is most acute
    (That which some ancient Muse or modern wit
  Named after thee, Achilles), and quite through 't
    He made the teeth meet, nor relinquish'd it
  Even with his life- for (but they lie) 't is said
  To the live leg still clung the sever'd head.

  However this may be, 't is pretty sure
    The Russian officer for life was lamed,
  For the Turk's teeth stuck faster than a skewer,
    And left him 'midst the invalid and maim'd:
  The regimental surgeon could not cure
    His patient, and perhaps was to be blamed
  More than the head of the inveterate foe,
  Which was cut off, and scarce even then let go.

  But then the fact 's a fact- and 't is the part
    Of a true poet to escape from fiction
  Whene'er he can; for there is little art
    In leaving verse more free from the restriction
  Of truth than prose, unless to suit the mart
    For what is sometimes called poetic diction,
  And that outrageous appetite for lies
  Which Satan angles with for souls, like flies.

  The city 's taken, but not render'd!- No!
    There 's not a Moslem that hath yielded sword:
  The blood may gush out, as the Danube's flow
    Rolls by the city wall; but deed nor word
  Acknowledge aught of dread of death or foe:
    In vain the yell of victory is roar'd
  By the advancing Muscovite- the groan
  Of the last foe is echoed by his own.

  The bayonet pierces and the sabre cleaves,
    And human lives are lavish'd everywhere,
  As the year closing whirls the scarlet leaves
    When the stripp'd forest bows to the bleak air,
  And groans; and thus the peopled city grieves,
    Shorn of its best and loveliest, and left bare;
  But still it falls in vast and awful splinters,
  As oaks blown down with all their thousand winters.

  It is an awful topic- but 't is not
    My cue for any time to be terrific:
  For checker'd as is seen our human lot
    With good, and bad, and worse, alike prolific
  Of melancholy merriment, to quote
    Too much of one sort would be soporific;-
  Without, or with, offence to friends or foes,
  I sketch your world exactly as it goes.

  And one good action in the midst of crimes
    Is 'quite refreshing,' in the affected phrase
  Of these ambrosial, Pharisaic times,
    With all their pretty milk-and-water ways,
  And may serve therefore to bedew these rhymes,
    A little scorch'd at present with the blaze
  Of conquest and its consequences, which
  Make epic poesy so rare and rich.

  Upon a taken bastion, where there lay
    Thousands of slaughter'd men, a yet warm group
  Of murder'd women, who had found their way
    To this vain refuge, made the good heart droop
  And shudder;- while, as beautiful as May,
    A female child of ten years tried to stoop
  And hide her little palpitating breast
  Amidst the bodies lull'd in bloody rest.

  Two villainous Cossacques pursued the child
    With flashing eyes and weapons: match'd with them,
  The rudest brute that roams Siberia's wild
    Has feelings pure and polish'd as a gem,-
  The bear is civilised, the wolf is mild;
    And whom for this at last must we condemn?
  Their natures? or their sovereigns, who employ
  All arts to teach their subjects to destroy?

  Their sabres glitter'd o'er her little head,
    Whence her fair hair rose twining with affright,
  Her hidden face was plunged amidst the dead:
    When Juan caught a glimpse of this sad sight,
  I shall not say exactly what he said,
    Because it might not solace 'ears polite;'
  But what he did, was to lay on their backs,
  The readiest way of reasoning with Cossacques.

  One's hip he slash'd, and split the other's shoulder,
    And drove them with their brutal yells to seek
  If there might be chirurgeons who could solder
    The wounds they richly merited, and shriek
  Their baffled rage and pain; while waxing colder
    As he turn'd o'er each pale and gory cheek,
  Don Juan raised his little captive from
  The heap a moment more had made her tomb.

  And she was chill as they, and on her face
    A slender streak of blood announced how near
  Her fate had been to that of all her race;
    For the same blow which laid her mother here
  Had scarr'd her brow, and left its crimson trace,
    As the last link with all she had held dear;
  But else unhurt, she open'd her large eyes,
  And gazed on Juan with a wild surprise.

  Just at this instant, while their eyes were fix'd
    Upon each other, with dilated glance,
  In Juan's look, pain, pleasure, hope, fear, mix'd
    With joy to save, and dread of some mischance
  Unto his protege; while hers, transfix'd
    With infant terrors, glared as from a trance,
  A pure, transparent, pale, yet radiant face,
  Like to a lighted alabaster vase;-

  Up came John Johnson (I will not say 'Jack,'
    For that were vulgar, cold, and commonplace
  On great occasions, such as an attack
    On cities, as hath been the present case):
  Up Johnson came, with hundreds at his back,
    Exclaiming;- 'Juan! Juan! On, boy! brace
  Your arm, and I 'll bet Moscow to a dollar
  That you and I will win St. George's collar.

  'The Seraskier is knock'd upon the head,
    But the stone bastion still remains, wherein
  The old Pacha sits among some hundreds dead,
    Smoking his pipe quite calmly 'midst the din
  Of our artillery and his own: 't is said
    Our kill'd, already piled up to the chin,
  Lie round the battery; but still it batters,
  And grape in volleys, like a vineyard, scatters.

  'Then up with me!'- But Juan answer'd, 'Look
    Upon this child- I saved her- must not leave
  Her life to chance; but point me out some nook
    Of safety, where she less may shrink and grieve,
  And I am with you.'- Whereon Johnson took
    A glance around- and shrugg'd- and twitch'd his sleeve
  And black silk neckcloth- and replied, 'You 're right;
  Poor thing! what 's to be done? I 'm puzzled quite.'

  Said Juan: 'Whatsoever is to be
    Done, I 'll not quit her till she seems secure
  Of present life a good deal more than we.'
    Quoth Johnson: 'Neither will I quite ensure;
  But at the least you may die gloriously.'
    Juan replied: 'At least I will endure
  Whate'er is to be borne- but not resign
  This child, who is parentless, and therefore mine.'

  Johnson said: 'Juan, we 've no time to lose;
    The child 's a pretty child- a very pretty-
  I never saw such eyes- but hark! now choose
    Between your fame and feelings, pride and pity;-
  Hark! how the roar increases!- no excuse
    Will serve when there is plunder in a city;-
  I should be loth to march without you, but,
  By God! we 'll be too late for the first cut.'

  But Juan was immovable; until
    Johnson, who really loved him in his way,
  Pick'd out amongst his followers with some skill
    Such as he thought the least given up to prey;
  And swearing if the infant came to ill
    That they should all be shot on the next day;
  But if she were deliver'd safe and sound,
  They should at least have fifty rubles round,

  And all allowances besides of plunder
    In fair proportion with their comrades;- then
  Juan consented to march on through thunder,
    Which thinn'd at every step their ranks of men:
  And yet the rest rush'd eagerly- no wonder,
    For they were heated by the hope of gain,
  A thing which happens everywhere each day-
  No hero trusteth wholly to half pay.

  And such is victory, and such is man!
    At least nine tenths of what we call so;- God
  May have another name for half we scan
    As human beings, or his ways are odd.
  But to our subject: a brave Tartar khan-
    Or 'sultan,' as the author (to whose nod
  In prose I bend my humble verse) doth call
  This chieftain- somehow would not yield at all:

  But flank'd by five brave sons (such is polygamy,
    That she spawns warriors by the score, where none
  Are prosecuted for that false crime bigamy),
    He never would believe the city won
  While courage clung but to a single twig.- Am I
    Describing Priam's, Peleus', or Jove's son?
  Neither- but a good, plain, old, temperate man,
  Who fought with his five children in the van.

  To take him was the point. The truly brave,
    When they behold the brave oppress'd with odds,
  Are touch'd with a desire to shield and save;-
    A mixture of wild beasts and demigods
  Are they- now furious as the sweeping wave,
    Now moved with pity: even as sometimes nods
  The rugged tree unto the summer wind,
  Compassion breathes along the savage mind.

  But he would not be taken, and replied
    To all the propositions of surrender
  By mowing Christians down on every side,
    As obstinate as Swedish Charles at Bender.
  His five brave boys no less the foe defied;
    Whereon the Russian pathos grew less tender,
  As being a virtue, like terrestrial patience,
  Apt to wear out on trifling provocations.

  And spite of Johnson and of Juan, who
    Expended all their Eastern phraseology
  In begging him, for God's sake, just to show
    So much less fight as might form an apology
  For them in saving such a desperate foe-
    He hew'd away, like doctors of theology
  When they dispute with sceptics; and with curses
  Struck at his friends, as babies beat their nurses.

  Nay, he had wounded, though but slightly, both
    Juan and Johnson; whereupon they fell,
  The first with sighs, the second with an oath,
    Upon his angry sultanship, pell-mell,
  And all around were grown exceeding wroth
    At such a pertinacious infidel,
  And pour'd upon him and his sons like rain,
  Which they resisted like a sandy plain

  That drinks and still is dry. At last they perish'd-
    His second son was levell'd by a shot;
  His third was sabred; and the fourth, most cherish'd
    Of all the five, on bayonets met his lot;
  The fifth, who, by a Christian mother nourish'd,
    Had been neglected, ill-used, and what not,
  Because deform'd, yet died all game and bottom,
  To save a sire who blush'd that he begot him.

  The eldest was a true and tameless Tartar,
    As great a scorner of the Nazarene
  As ever Mahomet pick'd out for a martyr,
    Who only saw the black-eyed girls in green,
  Who make the beds of those who won't take quarter
    On earth, in Paradise; and when once seen,
  Those houris, like all other pretty creatures,
  Do just whate'er they please, by dint of features.

  And what they pleased to do with the young khan
    In heaven I know not, nor pretend to guess;
  But doubtless they prefer a fine young man
    To tough old heroes, and can do no less;
  And that 's the cause no doubt why, if we scan
    A field of battle's ghastly wilderness,
  For one rough, weather-beaten, veteran body,
  You 'll find ten thousand handsome coxcombs bloody.

  Your houris also have a natural pleasure
    In lopping off your lately married men,
  Before the bridal hours have danced their measure
    And the sad, second moon grows dim again,
  Or dull repentance hath had dreary leisure
    To wish him back a bachelor now and then.
  And thus your houri (it may be) disputes
  Of these brief blossoms the immediate fruits.

  Thus the young khan, with houris in his sight,
    Thought not upon the charms of four young brides,
  But bravely rush'd on his first heavenly night.
    In short, howe'er our better faith derides,
  These black-eyed virgins make the Moslems fight,
    As though there were one heaven and none besides,-
  Whereas, if all be true we hear of heaven
  And hell, there must at least be six or seven.

  So fully flash'd the phantom on his eyes,
    That when the very lance was in his heart,
  He shouted 'Allah!' and saw Paradise
    With all its veil of mystery drawn apart,
  And bright eternity without disguise
    On his soul, like a ceaseless sunrise, dart:-
  With prophets, houris, angels, saints, descried
  In one voluptuous blaze,- and then he died,

  But with a heavenly rapture on his face.
    The good old khan, who long had ceased to see
  Houris, or aught except his florid race
    Who grew like cedars round him gloriously-
  When he beheld his latest hero grace
    The earth, which he became like a fell'd tree,
  Paused for a moment, from the fight, and cast
  A glance on that slain son, his first and last.

  The soldiers, who beheld him drop his point,
    Stopp'd as if once more willing to concede
  Quarter, in case he bade them not 'aroynt!'
    As he before had done. He did not heed
  Their pause nor signs: his heart was out of joint,
    And shook (till now unshaken) like a reed,
  As he look'd down upon his children gone,
  And felt- though done with life- he was alone

  But 't was a transient tremor;- with a spring
    Upon the Russian steel his breast he flung,
  As carelessly as hurls the moth her wing
    Against the light wherein she dies: he clung
  Closer, that all the deadlier they might wring,
    Unto the bayonets which had pierced his young;
  And throwing back a dim look on his sons,
  In one wide wound pour'd forth his soul at once.

  'T is strange enough- the rough, tough soldiers, who
    Spared neither sex nor age in their career
  Of carnage, when this old man was pierced through,
    And lay before them with his children near,
  Touch'd by the heroism of him they slew,
    Were melted for a moment: though no tear
  Flow'd from their bloodshot eyes, all red with strife,
  They honour'd such determined scorn of life.

  But the stone bastion still kept up its fire,
    Where the chief pacha calmly held his post:
  Some twenty times he made the Russ retire,
    And baffled the assaults of all their host;
  At length he condescended to inquire
    If yet the city's rest were won or lost;
  And being told the latter, sent a bey
  To answer Ribas' summons to give way.

  In the mean time, cross-legg'd, with great sang-froid,
    Among the scorching ruins he sat smoking
  Tobacco on a little carpet;- Troy
    Saw nothing like the scene around:- yet looking
  With martial stoicism, nought seem'd to annoy
    His stern philosophy; but gently stroking
  His beard, he puff'd his pipe's ambrosial gales,
  As if he had three lives, as well as tails.

  The town was taken- whether he might yield
    Himself or bastion, little matter'd now:
  His stubborn valour was no future shield.
    Ismail 's no more! The crescent's silver bow
  Sunk, and the crimson cross glared o'er the field,
    But red with no redeeming gore: the glow
  Of burning streets, like moonlight on the water,
  Was imaged back in blood, the sea of slaughter.

  All that the mind would shrink from of excesses;
    All that the body perpetrates of bad;
  All that we read, hear, dream, of man's distresses;
    All that the devil would do if run stark mad;
  All that defies the worst which pen expresses;
    All by which hell is peopled, or as sad
  As hell- mere mortals who their power abuse-
  Was here (as heretofore and since) let loose.

  If here and there some transient trait of pity
    Was shown, and some more noble heart broke through
  Its bloody bond, and saved perhaps some pretty
    Child, or an aged, helpless man or two-
  What 's this in one annihilated city,
    Where thousand loves, and ties, and duties grew?
  Cockneys of London! Muscadins of Paris!
  Just ponder what a pious pastime war is.

  Think how the joys of reading a Gazette
    Are purchased by all agonies and crimes:
  Or if these do not move you, don't forget
    Such doom may be your own in aftertimes.
  Meantime the Taxes, Castlereagh, and Debt,
    Are hints as good as sermons, or as rhymes.
  Read your own hearts and Ireland's present story,
  Then feed her famine fat with Wellesley's glory.

  But still there is unto a patriot nation,
    Which loves so well its country and its king,
  A subject of sublimest exultation-
    Bear it, ye Muses, on your brightest wing!
  Howe'er the mighty locust, Desolation,
    Strip your green fields, and to your harvests cling,
  Gaunt famine never shall approach the throne-
  Though Ireland starve, great George weighs twenty stone.

  But let me put an end unto my theme:
    There was an end of Ismail- hapless town!
  Far flash'd her burning towers o'er Danube's stream,
    And redly ran his blushing waters down.
  The horrid war-whoop and the shriller scream
    Rose still; but fainter were the thunders grown:
  Of forty thousand who had mann'd the wall,
  Some hundreds breathed- the rest were silent all!

  In one thing ne'ertheless 't is fit to praise
    The Russian army upon this occasion,
  A virtue much in fashion now-a-days,
    And therefore worthy of commemoration:
  The topic 's tender, so shall be my phrase-
    Perhaps the season's chill, and their long station
  In winter's depth, or want of rest and victual,
  Had made them chaste;- they ravish'd very little.

  Much did they slay, more plunder, and no less
    Might here and there occur some violation
  In the other line;- but not to such excess
    As when the French, that dissipated nation,
  Take towns by storm: no causes can I guess,
    Except cold weather and commiseration;
  But all the ladies, save some twenty score,
  Were almost as much virgins as before.

  Some odd mistakes, too, happen'd in the dark,
    Which show'd a want of lanterns, or of taste-
  Indeed the smoke was such they scarce could mark
    Their friends from foes,- besides such things from haste
  Occur, though rarely, when there is a spark
    Of light to save the venerably chaste:
  But six old damsels, each of seventy years,
  Were all deflower'd by different grenadiers.

  But on the whole their continence was great;
    So that some disappointment there ensued
  To those who had felt the inconvenient state
    Of 'single blessedness,' and thought it good
  (Since it was not their fault, but only fate,
    To bear these crosses) for each waning prude
  To make a Roman sort of Sabine wedding,
  Without the expense and the suspense of bedding.

  Some voices of the buxom middle-aged
    Were also heard to wonder in the din
  (Widows of forty were these birds long caged)
    'Wherefore the ravishing did not begin!'
  But while the thirst for gore and plunder raged,
    There was small leisure for superfluous sin;
  But whether they escaped or no, lies hid
  In darkness- I can only hope they did.

  Suwarrow now was conqueror- a match
    For Timour or for Zinghis in his trade.
  While mosques and streets, beneath his eyes, like thatch
    Blazed, and the cannon's roar was scarce allay'd,
  With bloody hands he wrote his first despatch;
    And here exactly follows what he said:-
  'Glory to God and to the Empress!' (Powers
  Eternal! such names mingled!) 'Ismail 's ours.'

  Methinks these are the most tremendous words,
    Since 'Mene, Mene, Tekel,' and 'Upharsin,'
  Which hands or pens have ever traced of swords.
    Heaven help me! I 'm but little of a parson:
  What Daniel read was short-hand of the Lord's,
    Severe, sublime; the prophet wrote no farce on
  The fate of nations;- but this Russ so witty
  Could rhyme, like Nero, o'er a burning city.

  He wrote this Polar melody, and set it,
    Duly accompanied by shrieks and groans,
  Which few will sing, I trust, but none forget it-
    For I will teach, if possible, the stones
  To rise against earth's tyrants. Never let it
    Be said that we still truckle unto thrones;-
  But ye- our children's children! think how we
  Show'd what things were before the world was free!

  That hour is not for us, but 't is for you:
    And as, in the great joy of your millennium,
  You hardly will believe such things were true
    As now occur, I thought that I would pen you 'em;
  But may their very memory perish too!-
    Yet if perchance remember'd, still disdain you 'em
  More than you scorn the savages of yore,
  Who painted their bare limbs, but not with gore.

  And when you hear historians talk of thrones,
    And those that sate upon them, let it be
  As we now gaze upon the mammoth's bones,
    'And wonder what old world such things could see,
  Or hieroglyphics on Egyptian stones,
    The pleasant riddles of futurity-
  Guessing at what shall happily be hid,
  As the real purpose of a pyramid.

  Reader! I have kept my word,- at least so far
    As the first Canto promised. You have now
  Had sketches of love, tempest, travel, war-
    All very accurate, you must allow,
  And epic, if plain truth should prove no bar;
    For I have drawn much less with a long bow
  Than my forerunners. Carelessly I sing,
  But Phoebus lends me now and then a string,

  With which I still can harp, and carp, and fiddle.
    What farther hath befallen or may befall
  The hero of this grand poetic riddle,
    I by and by may tell you, if at all:
  But now I choose to break off in the middle,
    Worn out with battering Ismail's stubborn wall,
  While Juan is sent off with the despatch,
  For which all Petersburgh is on the watch.

  This special honour was conferr'd, because
    He had behaved with courage and humanity-
  Which last men like, when they have time to pause
    From their ferocities produced by vanity.
  His little captive gain'd him some applause
    For saving her amidst the wild insanity
  Of carnage,- and I think he was more glad in her
  Safety, than his new order of St. Vladimir.

  The Moslem orphan went with her protector,
    For she was homeless, houseless, helpless; all
  Her friends, like the sad family of Hector,
    Had perish'd in the field or by the wall:
  Her very place of birth was but a spectre
    Of what it had been; there the Muezzin's cal
  To prayer was heard no more!- and Juan wept,
  And made a vow to shield her, which he kept.
                CANTO THE NINTH.

  OH, Wellington! (or 'Villainton'- for Fame
    Sounds the heroic syllables both ways;
  France could not even conquer your great name,
    But punn'd it down to this facetious phrase-
  Beating or beaten she will laugh the same),
    You have obtain'd great pensions and much praise:
  Glory like yours should any dare gainsay,
  Humanity would rise, and thunder 'Nay!'

  I don't think that you used Kinnaird quite well
    In Marinet's affair- in fact, 't was shabby,
  And like some other things won't do to tell
    Upon your tomb in Westminster's old abbey.
  Upon the rest 't is not worth while to dwell,
    Such tales being for the tea-hours of some tabby;
  But though your years as man tend fast to zero,
  In fact your grace is still but a young hero.

  Though Britain owes (and pays you too) so much,
    Yet Europe doubtless owes you greatly more:
  You have repair'd Legitimacy's crutch,
    A prop not quite so certain as before:
  The Spanish, and the French, as well as Dutch,
    Have seen, and felt, how strongly you restore;
  And Waterloo has made the world your debtor
  (I wish your bards would sing it rather better).

  You are 'the best of cut-throats:'- do not start;
    The phrase is Shakspeare's, and not misapplied:
  War 's a brain-spattering, windpipe-slitting art,
    Unless her cause by right be sanctified.
  If you have acted once a generous part,
    The world, not the world's masters, will decide,
  And I shall be delighted to learn who,
  Save you and yours, have gain'd by Waterloo?

  I am no flatterer- you 've supp'd full of flattery:
    They say you like it too- 't is no great wonder.
  He whose whole life has been assault and battery,
    At last may get a little tired of thunder;
  And swallowing eulogy much more than satire, he
    May like being praised for every lucky blunder,
  Call'd 'Saviour of the Nations'- not yet saved,
  And 'Europe's Liberator'- still enslaved.

  I 've done. Now go and dine from off the plate
    Presented by the Prince of the Brazils,
  And send the sentinel before your gate
    A slice or two from your luxurious meals:
  He fought, but has not fed so well of late.
    Some hunger, too, they say the people feels:-
  There is no doubt that you deserve your ration,
  But pray give back a little to the nation.

  I don't mean to reflect- a man so great as
    You, my lord duke! is far above reflection:
  The high Roman fashion, too, of Cincinnatus,
    With modern history has but small connection:
  Though as an Irishman you love potatoes,
    You need not take them under your direction;
  And half a million for your Sabine farm
  Is rather dear!- I 'm sure I mean no harm.

  Great men have always scorn'd great recompenses:
    Epaminondas saved his Thebes, and died,
  Not leaving even his funeral expenses:
    George Washington had thanks and nought beside,
  Except the all-cloudless glory (which few men's is
    To free his country: Pitt too had his pride,
  And as a high-soul'd minister of state is
  Renown'd for ruining Great Britain gratis.

  Never had mortal man such opportunity,
    Except Napoleon, or abused it more:
  You might have freed fallen Europe from the unity
    Of tyrants, and been blest from shore to shore:
  And now- what is your fame? Shall the Muse tune it ye?
    Now- that the rabble's first vain shouts are o'er?
  Go! hear it in your famish'd country's cries!
  Behold the world! and curse your victories!

  As these new cantos touch on warlike feats,
    To you the unflattering Muse deigns to inscribe
  Truths, that you will not read in the Gazettes,
    But which 't is time to teach the hireling tribe
  Who fatten on their country's gore, and debts,
    Must be recited, and- without a bribe.
  You did great things; but not being great in mind,
  Have left undone the greatest- and mankind.

  Death laughs- Go ponder o'er the skeleton
    With which men image out the unknown thing
  That hides the past world, like to a set sun
    Which still elsewhere may rouse a brighter spring-
  Death laughs at all you weep for:- look upon
    This hourly dread of all! whose threaten'd sting
  Turns life to terror, even though in its sheath:
  Mark how its lipless mouth grins without breath!

  Mark how it laughs and scorns at all you are!
    And yet was what you are: from ear to ear
  It laughs not- there is now no fleshy bar
    So call'd; the Antic long hath ceased to hear,
  But still he smiles; and whether near or far,
    He strips from man that mantle (far more dear
  Than even the tailor's), his incarnate skin,
  White, black, or copper- the dead bones will grin.

  And thus Death laughs,- it is sad merriment,
    But still it is so; and with such example
  Why should not Life be equally content
    With his superior, in a smile to trample
  Upon the nothings which are daily spent
    Like bubbles on an ocean much less ample
  Than the eternal deluge, which devours
  Suns as rays- worlds like atoms- years like hours?

  'To be, or not to be? that is the question,'
    Says Shakspeare, who just now is much in fashion.
  I am neither Alexander nor Hephaestion,
    Nor ever had for abstract fame much passion;
  But would much rather have a sound digestion
    Than Buonaparte's cancer: could I dash on
  Through fifty victories to shame or fame-
  Without a stomach what were a good name?

  'O dura ilia messorum!'- 'Oh
    Ye rigid guts of reapers!' I translate
  For the great benefit of those who know
    What indigestion is- that inward fate
  Which makes all Styx through one small liver flow.
    A peasant's sweat is worth his lord's estate:
  Let this one toil for bread- that rack for rent,
  He who sleeps best may be the most content.

  'To be, or not to be?'- Ere I decide,
    I should be glad to know that which is being?
  'T is true we speculate both far and wide,
    And deem, because we see, we are all-seeing:
  For my part, I 'll enlist on neither side,
    Until I see both sides for once agreeing.
  For me, I sometimes think that life is death,
  Rather than life a mere affair of breath.

  'Que scais-je?' was the motto of Montaigne,
    As also of the first academicians:
  That all is dubious which man may attain,
    Was one of their most favourite positions.
  There 's no such thing as certainty, that 's plain
    As any of Mortality's conditions;
  So little do we know what we 're about in
  This world, I doubt if doubt itself be doubting.

  It is a pleasant voyage perhaps to float,
    Like Pyrrho, on a sea of speculation;
  But what if carrying sail capsize the boat?
    Your wise men don't know much of navigation;
  And swimming long in the abyss of thought
    Is apt to tire: a calm and shallow station
  Well nigh the shore, where one stoops down and gathers
  Some pretty shell, is best for moderate bathers.

  'But heaven,' as Cassio says, 'is above all-
    No more of this, then,- let us pray!' We have
  Souls to save, since Eve's slip and Adam's fall,
    Which tumbled all mankind into the grave,
  Besides fish, beasts, and birds. 'The sparrow's fall
    Is special providence,' though how it gave
  Offence, we know not; probably it perch'd
  Upon the tree which Eve so fondly search'd.

  Oh, ye immortal gods! what is theogony?
    Oh, thou too, mortal man! what is philanthropy?
  Oh, world! which was and is, what is cosmogony?
    Some people have accused me of misanthropy;
  And yet I know no more than the mahogany
    That forms this desk, of what they mean; lykanthropy
  I comprehend, for without transformation
  Men become wolves on any slight occasion.

  But I, the mildest, meekest of mankind,
    Like Moses, or Melancthon, who have ne'er
  Done anything exceedingly unkind,-
    And (though I could not now and then forbear
  Following the bent of body or of mind)
    Have always had a tendency to spare,-
  Why do they call me misanthrope? Because
  They hate me, not I them.- and here we 'll pause.

  'T is time we should proceed with our good poem,-
    For I maintain that it is really good,
  Not only in the body but the proem,
    However little both are understood
  Just now,- but by and by the Truth will show 'em
    Herself in her sublimest attitude:
  And till she doth, I fain must be content
  To share her beauty and her banishment.

  Our hero (and, I trust, kind reader, yours)
    Was left upon his way to the chief city
  Of the immortal Peter's polish'd boors
    Who still have shown themselves more brave than witty.
  I know its mighty empire now allures
    Much flattery- even Voltaire's, and that 's a pity.
  For me, I deem an absolute autocrat
  Not a barbarian, but much worse than that.

  And I will war, at least in words (and- should
    My chance so happen- deeds), with all who war
  With Thought;- and of Thought's foes by far most rude,
    Tyrants and sycophants have been and are.
  I know not who may conquer: if I could
    Have such a prescience, it should be no bar
  To this my plain, sworn, downright detestation
  Of every depotism in every nation.

  It is not that I adulate the people:
    Without me, there are demagogues enough,
  And infidels, to pull down every steeple,
    And set up in their stead some proper stuff.
  Whether they may sow scepticism to reap hell,
    As is the Christian dogma rather rough,
  I do not know;- I wish men to be free
  As much from mobs as kings- from you as me.

  The consequence is, being of no party,
    I shall offend all parties: never mind!
  My words, at least, are more sincere and hearty
    Than if I sought to sail before the wind.
  He who has nought to gain can have small art: he
    Who neither wishes to be bound nor bind,
  May still expatiate freely, as will I,
  Nor give my voice to slavery's jackal cry.

  That 's an appropriate simile, that jackal;-
    I 've heard them in the Ephesian ruins howl
  By night, as do that mercenary pack all,
    Power's base purveyors, who for pickings prowl,
  And scent the prey their masters would attack all.
    However, the poor jackals are less foul
  (As being the brave lions' keen providers)
  Than human insects, catering for spiders.

  Raise but an arm! 't will brush their web away,
    And without that, their poison and their claws
  Are useless. Mind, good people! what I say
    (Or rather peoples)- go on without pause!
  The web of these tarantulas each day
    Increases, till you shall make common cause:
  None, save the Spanish fly and Attic bee,
  As yet are strongly stinging to be free.

  Don Juan, who had shone in the late slaughter,
    Was left upon his way with the despatch,
  Where blood was talk'd of as we would of water;
    And carcasses that lay as thick as thatch
  O'er silenced cities, merely served to flatter
    Fair Catherine's pastime- who look'd on the match
  Between these nations as a main of cocks,
  Wherein she liked her own to stand like rocks.

  And there in a kibitka he roll'd on
    (A cursed sort of carriage without springs,
  Which on rough roads leaves scarcely a whole bone),
    Pondering on glory, chivalry, and kings,
  And orders, and on all that he had done-
    And wishing that post-horses had the wings
  Of Pegasus, or at the least post-chaises
  Had feathers, when a traveller on deep ways is.

  At every jolt- and they were many- still
    He turn'd his eyes upon his little charge,
  As if he wish'd that she should fare less ill
    Than he, in these sad highways left at large
  To ruts, and flints, and lovely Nature's skill,
    Who is no paviour, nor admits a barge
  On her canals, where God takes sea and land,
  Fishery and farm, both into his own hand.

  At least he pays no rent, and has best right
    To be the first of what we used to call
  'Gentlemen farmer'- a race worn out quite,
    Since lately there have been no rents at all,
  And 'gentlemen' are in a piteous plight,
    And 'farmers' can't raise Ceres from her fall:
  She fell with Buonaparte- What strange thoughts
  Arise, when we see emperors fall with oats!

  But Juan turn'd his eyes on the sweet child
    Whom he had saved from slaughter- what a trophy
  Oh! ye who build up monuments, defiled
    With gore, like Nadir Shah, that costive sophy,
  Who, after leaving Hindostan a wild,
    And scarce to the Mogul a cup of coffee
  To soothe his woes withal, was slain, the sinner!
  Because he could no more digest his dinner;-

  Oh ye! or we! or he! or she! reflect,
    That one life saved, especially if young
  Or pretty, is a thing to recollect
    Far sweeter than the greenest laurels sprung
  From the manure of human clay, though deck'd
    With all the praises ever said or sung:
  Though hymn'd by every harp, unless within
  Your heart joins chorus, Fame is but a din.

  Oh! ye great authors luminous, voluminous!
    Ye twice ten hundred thousand daily scribes!
  Whose pamphlets, volumes, newspapers, illumine us!
    Whether you 're paid by government in bribes,
  To prove the public debt is not consuming us-
    Or, roughly treading on the 'courtier's kibes'
  With clownish heel, your popular circulation
  Feeds you by printing half the realm's starvation;-

  Oh, ye great authors!- 'Apropos des bottes,'-
    I have forgotten what I meant to say,
  As sometimes have been greater sages' lots;
    'T was something calculated to allay
  All wrath in barracks, palaces, or cots:
    Certes it would have been but thrown away,
  And that 's one comfort for my lost advice,
  Although no doubt it was beyond all price.

  But let it go:- it will one day be found
    With other relics of 'a former world,'
  When this world shall be former, underground,
    Thrown topsy-turvy, twisted, crisp'd, and curl'd,
  Baked, fried, or burnt, turn'd inside-out, or drown'd,
    Like all the worlds before, which have been hurl'd
  First out of, and then back again to chaos,
  The superstratum which will overlay us.

  So Cuvier says;- and then shall come again
    Unto the new creation, rising out
  From our old crash, some mystic, ancient strain
    Of things destroy'd and left in airy doubt:
  Like to the notions we now entertain
    Of Titans, giants, fellows of about
  Some hundred feet in height, not to say miles,
  And mammoths, and your winged crocodiles.

  Think if then George the Fourth should be dug up!
    How the new worldlings of the then new East
  Will wonder where such animals could sup!
    (For they themselves will be but of the least:
  Even worlds miscarry, when too oft they pup,
    And every new creation hath decreased
  In size, from overworking the material-
  Men are but maggots of some huge Earth's burial.)

  How will- to these young people, just thrust out
    From some fresh Paradise, and set to plough,
  And dig, and sweat, and turn themselves about,
    And plant, and reap, and spin, and grind, and sow,
  Till all the arts at length are brought about,
    Especially of war and taxing,- how,
  I say, will these great relics, when they see 'em,
  Look like the monsters of a new museum?

  But I am apt to grow too metaphysical:
    'The time is out of joint,'- and so am I;
  I quite forget this poem 's merely quizzical,
    And deviate into matters rather dry.
  I ne'er decide what I shall say, and this I cal
    Much too poetical: men should know why
  They write, and for what end; but, note or text,
  I never know the word which will come next.

  So on I ramble, now and then narrating,
    Now pondering:- it is time we should narrate.
  I left Don Juan with his horses baiting-
    Now we 'll get o'er the ground at a great rate.
  I shall not be particular in stating
    His journey, we 've so many tours of late:
  Suppose him then at Petersburgh; suppose
  That pleasant capital of painted snows;

  Suppose him in a handsome uniform,-
    A scarlet coat, black facings, a long plume,
  Waving, like sails new shiver'd in a storm,
    Over a cock'd hat in a crowded room,
  And brilliant breeches, bright as a Cairn Gorme,
    Of yellow casimere we may presume,
  White stocking drawn uncurdled as new milk
  O'er limbs whose symmetry set off the silk;

  Suppose him sword by side, and hat in hand,
    Made up by youth, fame, and an army tailor-
  That great enchanter, at whose rod's command
    Beauty springs forth, and Nature's self turns paler,
  Seeing how Art can make her work more grand
    (When she don't pin men's limbs in like a gaoler),-
  Behold him placed as if upon a pillar! He
  Seems Love turn'd a lieutenant of artillery:-

  His bandage slipp'd down into a cravat;
    His wings subdued to epaulettes; his quiver
  Shrunk to a scabbard, with his arrows at
    His side as a small sword, but sharp as ever;
  His bow converted into a cock'd hat;
    But still so like, that Psyche were more clever
  Than some wives (who make blunders no less stupid),
  If she had not mistaken him for Cupid.

  The courtiers stared, the ladies whisper'd, and
    The empress smiled: the reigning favourite frown'd-
  I quite forget which of them was in hand
    Just then; as they are rather numerous found,
  Who took by turns that difficult command
    Since first her majesty was singly crown'd:
  But they were mostly nervous six-foot fellows,
  All fit to make a Patagonian jealous.

  Juan was none of these, but slight and slim,
    Blushing and beardless; and yet ne'ertheless
  There was a something in his turn of limb,
    And still more in his eye, which seem'd to express,
  That though he look'd one of the seraphim,
    There lurk'd a man beneath the spirit's dress.
  Besides, the empress sometimes liked a boy,
  And had just buried the fair-faced Lanskoi.

  No wonder then that Yermoloff, or Momonoff,
    Or Scherbatoff, or any other off
  Or on, might dread her majesty had not room enough
    Within her bosom (which was not too tough)
  For a new flame; a thought to cast of gloom enough
    Along the aspect, whether smooth or rough,
  Of him who, in the language of his station,
  Then held that 'high official situation.'

  O, gentle ladies! should you seek to know
    The import of this diplomatic phrase,
  Bid Ireland's Londonderry's Marquess show
    His parts of speech; and in the strange displays
  Of that odd string of words, all in a row,
    Which none divine, and every one obeys,
  Perhaps you may pick out some queer no meaning,
  Of that weak wordy harvest the sole gleaning.

  I think I can explain myself without
    That sad inexplicable beast of prey-
  That Sphinx, whose words would ever be a doubt,
    Did not his deeds unriddle them each day-
  That monstrous hieroglyphic- that long spout
    Of blood and water, leaden Castlereagh!
  And here I must an anecdote relate,
  But luckily of no great length or weight.

  An English lady ask'd of an Italian,
    What were the actual and official duties
  Of the strange thing some women set a value on,
    Which hovers oft about some married beauties,
  Called 'Cavalier servente?'- a Pygmalion
    Whose statues warm (I fear, alas! too true 't is)
  Beneath his art. The dame, press'd to disclose them,
  Said- 'Lady, I beseech you to suppose them.'

  And thus I supplicate your supposition,
    And mildest, matron-like interpretation,
  Of the imperial favourite's condition.
    'T was a high place, the highest in the nation
  In fact, if not in rank; and the suspicion
    Of any one's attaining to his station,
  No doubt gave pain, where each new pair of shoulders,
  If rather broad, made stocks rise and their holders.

  Juan, I said, was a most beauteous boy,
    And had retain'd his boyish look beyond
  The usual hirsute seasons which destroy,
    With beards and whiskers, and the like, the fond
  Parisian aspect which upset old Troy
    And founded Doctors' Commons:- I have conn'd
  The history of divorces, which, though chequer'd,
  Calls Ilion's the first damages on record.

  And Catherine, who loved all things (save her lord,
    Who was gone to his place), and pass'd for much
  Admiring those (by dainty dames abhorr'd)
    Gigantic gentlemen, yet had a touch
  Of sentiment; and he she most adored
    Was the lamented Lanskoi, who was such
  A lover as had cost her many a tear,
  And yet but made a middling grenadier.

  Oh thou 'teterrima causa' of all 'belli'-
    Thou gate of life and death- thou nondescript!
  Whence is our exit and our entrance,- well I
    May pause in pondering how all souls are dipt
  In thy perennial fountain:- how man fell I
    Know not, since knowledge saw her branches stript
  Of her first fruit; but how he falls and rises
  Since, thou hast settled beyond all surmises.

  Some call thee 'the worst cause of war,' but I
    Maintain thou art the best: for after all
  From thee we come, to thee we go, and why
    To get at thee not batter down a wall,
  Or waste a world? since no one can deny
    Thou dost replenish worlds both great and small:
  With, or without thee, all things at a stand
  Are, or would be, thou sea of life's dry land!

  Catherine, who was the grand epitome
    Of that great cause of war, or peace, or what
  You please (it causes all the things which be,
    So you may take your choice of this or that)-
  Catherine, I say. was very glad to see
    The handsome herald, on whose plumage sat
  Victory; and pausing as she saw him kneel
  With his despatch, forgot to break the seal.

  Then recollecting the whole empress, nor
    forgetting quite the woman (which composed
  At least three parts of this great whole), she tore
    The letter open with an air which posed
  The court, that watch'd each look her visage wore,
    Until a royal smile at length disclosed
  Fair weather for the day. Though rather spacious,
  Her face was noble, her eyes fine, mouth gracious.

  Great joy was hers, or rather joys: the first
    Was a ta'en city, thirty thousand slain.
  Glory and triumph o'er her aspect burst,
    As an East Indian sunrise on the main.
  These quench'd a moment her ambition's thirst-
    So Arab deserts drink in summer's rain:
  In vain!- As fall the dews on quenchless sands,
  Blood only serves to wash Ambition's hands!

  Her next amusement was more fanciful;
    She smiled at mad Suwarrow's rhymes, who threw
  Into a Russian couplet rather dull
    The whole gazette of thousands whom he slew.
  Her third was feminine enough to annul
    The shudder which runs naturally through
  Our veins, when things call'd sovereigns think it best
  To kill, and generals turn it into jest.

  The two first feelings ran their course complete,
    And lighted first her eye, and then her mouth:
  The whole court look'd immediately most sweet,
    Like flowers well water'd after a long drouth.
  But when on the lieutenant at her feet
    Her majesty, who liked to gaze on youth
  Almost as much as on a new despatch,
  Glanced mildly, all the world was on the watch.

  Though somewhat large, exuberant, and truculent,
    When wroth- while pleased, she was as fine a figure
  As those who like things rosy, ripe, and succulent,
    Would wish to look on, while they are in vigour.
  She could repay each amatory look you lent
    With interest, and in turn was wont with rigour
  To exact of Cupid's bills the full amount
  At sight, nor would permit you to discount.

  With her the latter, though at times convenient,
    Was not so necessary; for they tell
  That she was handsome, and though fierce look'd lenient,
    And always used her favourites too well.
  If once beyond her boudoir's precincts in ye went,
    Your 'fortune' was in a fair way 'to swell
  A man' (as Giles says); for though she would widow all
  Nations, she liked man as an individual.

  What a strange thing is man? and what a stranger
    Is woman! What a whirlwind is her head,
  And what a whirlpool full of depth and danger
    Is all the rest about her! Whether wed
  Or widow, maid or mother, she can change her
    Mind like the wind: whatever she has said
  Or done, is light to what she 'll say or do;-
  The oldest thing on record, and yet new!

  Oh Catherine! (for of all interjections,
    To thee both oh! and ah! belong of right
  In love and war) how odd are the connections
    Of human thoughts, which jostle in their flight!
  Just now yours were cut out in different sections:
    First Ismail's capture caught your fancy quite;
  Next of new knights, the fresh and glorious batch;
  And thirdly he who brought you the despatch!

  Shakspeare talks of 'the herald Mercury
    New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;'
  And some such visions cross'd her majesty,
    While her young herald knelt before her still.
  'T is very true the hill seem'd rather high,
    For a lieutenant to climb up; but skill
  Smooth'd even the Simplon's steep, and by God's blessing
  With youth and health all kisses are 'heaven-kissing.'

  Her majesty look'd down, the youth look'd up-
    And so they fell in love;- she with his face,
  His grace, his God-knows-what: for Cupid's cup
    With the first draught intoxicates apace,
  A quintessential laudanum or 'black drop,'
    Which makes one drunk at once, without the base
  Expedient of full bumpers; for the eye
  In love drinks all life's fountains (save tears) dry.

  He, on the other hand, if not in love,
    Fell into that no less imperious passion,
  Self-love- which, when some sort of thing above
    Ourselves, a singer, dancer, much in fashion,
  Or duchess, princess, empress, 'deigns to prove'
    ('T is Pope's phrase) a great longing, though a rash one,
  For one especial person out of many,
  Makes us believe ourselves as good as any.

  Besides, he was of that delighted age
    Which makes all female ages equal- when
  We don't much care with whom we may engage,
    As bold as Daniel in the lion's den,
  So that we can our native sun assuage
    In the next ocean, which may flow just then,
  To make a twilight in, just as Sol's heat is
  Quench'd in the lap of the salt sea, or Thetis.

  And Catherine (we must say thus much for Catherine),
    Though bold and bloody, was the kind of thing
  Whose temporary passion was quite flattering,
    Because each lover look'd a sort of king,
  Made up upon an amatory pattern,
    A royal husband in all save the ring-
  Which, being the damn'dest part of matrimony,
  Seem'd taking out the sting to leave the honey.

  And when you add to this, her womanhood
    In its meridian, her blue eyes or gray
  (The last, if they have soul, are quite as good,
    Or better, as the best examples say:
  Napoleon's, Mary's (queen of Scotland), should
    Lend to that colour a transcendent ray;
  And Pallas also sanctions the same hue,
  Too wise to look through optics black or blue)-

  Her sweet smile, and her then majestic figure,
    Her plumpness, her imperial condescension,
  Her preference of a boy to men much bigger
    (Fellows whom Messalina's self would pension),
  Her prime of life, just now in juicy vigour,
    With other extras, which we need not mention,-
  All these, or any one of these, explain
  Enough to make a stripling very vain.

  And that 's enough, for love is vanity,
    Selfish in its beginning as its end,
  Except where 't is a mere insanity,
    A maddening spirit which would strive to blend
  Itself with beauty's frail inanity,
    On which the passion's self seems to depend:
  And hence some heathenish philosophers
  Make love the main spring of the universe.

  Besides Platonic love, besides the love
    Of God, the love of sentiment, the loving
  Of faithful pairs (I needs must rhyme with dove,
    That good old steam-boat which keeps verses moving
  'Gainst reason- Reason ne'er was hand-and-glove
    With rhyme, but always leant less to improving
  The sound than sense)- beside all these pretences
  To love, there are those things which words name senses;

  Those movements, those improvements in our bodies
    Which make all bodies anxious to get out
  Of their own sand-pits, to mix with a goddess,
    For such all women are at first no doubt.
  How beautiful that moment! and how odd is
    That fever which precedes the languid rout
  Of our sensations! What a curious way
  The whole thing is of clothing souls in clay!

  The noblest kind of love is love Platonical,
    To end or to begin with; the next grand
  Is that which may be christen'd love canonical,
    Because the clergy take the thing in hand;
  The third sort to be noted in our chronicle
    As flourishing in every Christian land,
  Is when chaste matrons to their other ties
  Add what may be call'd marriage in disguise.

  Well, we won't analyse- our story must
    Tell for itself: the sovereign was smitten,
  Juan much flatter'd by her love, or lust;-
    I cannot stop to alter words once written,
  And the two are so mix'd with human dust,
    That he who names one, both perchance may hit on:
  But in such matters Russia's mighty empress
  Behaved no better than a common sempstress.

  The whole court melted into one wide whisper,
    And all lips were applied unto all ears!
  The elder ladies' wrinkles curl'd much crisper
    As they beheld; the younger cast some leers
  On one another, and each lovely lisper
    Smiled as she talk'd the matter o'er; but tears
  Of rivalship rose in each clouded eye
  Of all the standing army who stood by.

  All the ambassadors of all the powers
    Enquired, Who was this very new young man,
  Who promised to be great in some few hours?
    Which is full soon- though life is but a span.
  Already they beheld the silver showers
    Of rubles rain, as fast as specie can,
  Upon his cabinet, besides the presents
  Of several ribands, and some thousand peasants.

  Catherine was generous,- all such ladies are:
    Love, that great opener of the heart and all
  The ways that lead there, be they near or far,
    Above, below, by turnpikes great or small,-
  Love (though she had a cursed taste for war,
    And was not the best wife, unless we call
  Such Clytemnestra, though perhaps 't is better
  That one should die, than two drag on the fetter)-

  Love had made Catherine make each lover's fortune,
    Unlike our own half-chaste Elizabeth,
  Whose avarice all disbursements did importune,
    If history, the grand liar, ever saith
  The truth; and though grief her old age might shorten,
    Because she put a favourite to death,
  Her vile, ambiguous method of flirtation,
  And stinginess, disgrace her sex and station.

  But when the levee rose, and all was bustle
    In the dissolving circle, all the nations'
  Ambassadors began as 't were to hustle
    Round the young man with their congratulations.
  Also the softer silks were heard to rustle
    Of gentle dames, among whose recreations
  It is to speculate on handsome faces,
  Especially when such lead to high places.

  Juan, who found himself, he knew not how,
    A general object of attention, made
  His answers with a very graceful bow,
    As if born for the ministerial trade.
  Though modest, on his unembarrass'd brow
    Nature had written 'gentleman.' He said
  Little, but to the purpose; and his manner
  Flung hovering graces o'er him like a banner.

  An order from her majesty consign'd
    Our young lieutenant to the genial care
  Of those in office: all the world look'd kind
    (As it will look sometimes with the first stare,
  Which youth would not act ill to keep in mind),
    As also did Miss Protasoff then there,
  Named from her mystic office 'l'Eprouveuse,'
  A term inexplicable to the Muse.

  With her then, as in humble duty bound,
    Juan retired,- and so will I, until
  My Pegasus shall tire of touching ground.
    We have just lit on a 'heaven-kissing hill,'
  So lofty that I feel my brain turn round,
    And all my fancies whirling like a mill;
  Which is a signal to my nerves and brain,
  To take a quiet ride in some green Lane.
               CANTO THE TENTH.

  WHEN Newton saw an apple fall, he found
    In that slight startle from his contemplation-
  'T is said (for I 'll not answer above ground
    For any sage's creed or calculation)-
  A mode of proving that the earth turn'd round
    In a most natural whirl, called 'gravitation;'
  And this is the sole mortal who could grapple,
  Since Adam, with a fall or with an apple.

  Man fell with apples, and with apples rose,
    If this be true; for we must deem the mode
  In which Sir Isaac Newton could disclose
    Through the then unpaved stars the turnpike road,
  A thing to counterbalance human woes:
    For ever since immortal man hath glow'd
  With all kinds of mechanics, and full soon
  Steam-engines will conduct him to the moon.

  And wherefore this exordium?- Why, just now,
    In taking up this paltry sheet of paper,
  My bosom underwent a glorious glow,
    And my internal spirit cut a caper:
  And though so much inferior, as I know,
    To those who, by the dint of glass and vapour,
  Discover stars and sail in the wind's eye,
  I wish to do as much by poesy.

  In the wind's eye I have sail'd, and sail; but for
    The stars, I own my telescope is dim:
  But at least I have shunn'd the common shore,
    And leaving land far out of sight, would skim
  The ocean of eternity: the roar
    Of breakers has not daunted my slight, trim,
  But still sea-worthy skiff; and she may float
  Where ships have founder'd, as doth many a boat.

  We left our hero, Juan, in the bloom
    Of favouritism, but not yet in the blush;
  And far be it from my Muses to presume
    (For I have more than one Muse at a push)
  To follow him beyond the drawing-room:
    It is enough that Fortune found him flush
  Of youth, and vigour, beauty, and those things
  Which for an instant clip enjoyment's wings.

  But soon they grow again and leave their nest.
    'Oh!' saith the Psalmist, 'that I had a dove's
  Pinions to flee away, and be at rest!'
    And who that recollects young years and loves,-
  Though hoary now, and with a withering breast,
    And palsied fancy, which no longer roves
  Beyond its dimm'd eye's sphere,- but would much rather
  Sigh like his son, than cough like his grandfather?

  But sighs subside, and tears (even widows') shrink,
    Like Arno in the summer, to a shallow,
  So narrow as to shame their wintry brink,
    Which threatens inundations deep and yellow!
  Such difference doth a few months make. You 'd think
    Grief a rich field which never would lie fallow;
  No more it doth, its ploughs but change their boys,
  Who furrow some new soil to sow for joys.

  But coughs will come when sighs depart- and now
    And then before sighs cease; for oft the one
  Will bring the other, ere the lake-like brow
    Is ruffled by a wrinkle, or the sun
  Of life reach'd ten o'clock: and while a glow,
    Hectic and brief as summer's day nigh done,
  O'erspreads the cheek which seems too pure for clay,
  Thousands blaze, love, hope, die,- how happy they!

  But Juan was not meant to die so soon.
    We left him in the focus of such glory
  As may be won by favour of the moon
    Or ladies' fancies- rather transitory
  Perhaps; but who would scorn the month of June,
    Because December, with his breath so hoary,
  Must come? Much rather should he court the ray,
  To hoard up warmth against a wintry day.

  Besides, he had some qualities which fix
    Middle-aged ladies even more than young:
  The former know what 's what; while new-fledged chicks
    Know little more of love than what is sung
  In rhymes, or dreamt (for fancy will play tricks)
    In visions of those skies from whence Love sprung.
  Some reckon women by their suns or years,
  I rather think the moon should date the dears.

  And why? because she 's changeable and chaste.
    I know no other reason, whatsoe'er
  Suspicious people, who find fault in haste,
    May choose to tax me with; which is not fair,
  Nor flattering to 'their temper or their taste,'
    As my friend Jeffrey writes with such an air:
  However, I forgive him, and I trust
  He will forgive himself;- if not, I must.

  Old enemies who have become new friends
    Should so continue- 't is a point of honour;
  And I know nothing which could make amends
    For a return to hatred: I would shun her
  Like garlic, howsoever she extends
    Her hundred arms and legs, and fain outrun her.
  Old flames, new wives, become our bitterest foes-
  Converted foes should scorn to join with those.

  This were the worst desertion:- renegadoes,
    Even shuffling Southey, that incarnate lie,
  Would scarcely join again the 'reformadoes,'
    Whom he forsook to fill the laureate's sty:
  And honest men from Iceland to Barbadoes,
    Whether in Caledon or Italy,
  Should not veer round with every breath, nor seize
  To pain, the moment when you cease to please.

  The lawyer and the critic but behold
    The baser sides of literature and life,
  And nought remains unseen, but much untold,
    By those who scour those double vales of strife.
  While common men grow ignorantly old,
    The lawyer's brief is like the surgeon's knife,
  Dissecting the whole inside of a question,
  And with it all the process of digestion.

  A legal broom 's a moral chimney-sweeper,
    And that 's the reason he himself 's so dirty;
  The endless soot bestows a tint far deeper
    Than can be hid by altering his shirt; he
  Retains the sable stains of the dark creeper,
    At least some twenty-nine do out of thirty,
  In all their habits;- not so you, I own;
  As Caesar wore his robe you wear your gown.

  And all our little feuds, at least all mine,
    Dear Jefferson, once my most redoubted foe
  (As far as rhyme and criticism combine
    To make such puppets of us things below),
  Are over: Here 's a health to 'Auld Lang Syne!'
    I do not know you, and may never know
  Your face- but you have acted on the whole
  Most nobly, and I own it from my soul.

  And when I use the phrase of 'Auld Lang Syne!'
    'T is not address'd to you- the more 's the pity
  For me, for I would rather take my wine
    With you, than aught (save Scott) in your proud city.
  But somehow,- it may seem a schoolboy's whine,
    And yet I seek not to be grand nor witty,
  But I am half a Scot by birth, and bred
  A whole one, and my heart flies to my head,-

  As 'Auld Lang Syne' brings Scotland, one and all,
    Scotch plaids, Scotch snoods, the blue hills, and clear streams,
  The Dee, the Don, Balgounie's brig's black wall,
    All my boy feelings, all my gentler dreams
  Of what I then dreamt, clothed in their own pall,
    Like Banquo's offspring;- floating past me seems
  My childhood in this childishness of mine:
  I care not- 't is a glimpse of 'Auld Lang Syne.'

  And though, as you remember, in a fit
    Of wrath and rhyme, when juvenile and curly,
  I rail'd at Scots to show my wrath and wit,
    Which must be own'd was sensitive and surly,
  Yet 't is in vain such sallies to permit,
    They cannot quench young feelings fresh and early:
  I 'scotch'd not kill'd' the Scotchman in my blood,
  And love the land of 'mountain and of flood.'

  Don Juan, who was real, or ideal,-
    For both are much the same, since what men think
  Exists when the once thinkers are less real
    Than what they thought, for mind can never sink,
  And 'gainst the body makes a strong appeal;
    And yet 't is very puzzling on the brink
  Of what is call'd eternity, to stare,
  And know no more of what is here, than there;-

  Don Juan grew a very polish'd Russian-
    How we won't mention, why we need not say:
  Few youthful minds can stand the strong concussion
    Of any slight temptation in their way;
  But his just now were spread as is a cushion
    Smooth'd for a monarch's seat of honour; gay
  Damsels, and dances, revels, ready money,
  Made ice seem paradise, and winter sunny.

  The favour of the empress was agreeable;
    And though the duty wax'd a little hard,
  Young people at his time of life should be able
    To come off handsomely in that regard.
  He was now growing up like a green tree, able
    For love, war, or ambition, which reward
  Their luckier votaries, till old age's tedium
  Make some prefer the circulating medium.

  About this time, as might have been anticipated,
    Seduced by youth and dangerous examples,
  Don Juan grew, I fear, a little dissipated;
    Which is a sad thing, and not only tramples
  On our fresh feelings, but- as being participated
    With all kinds of incorrigible samples
  Of frail humanity- must make us selfish,
  And shut our souls up in us like a shell-fish.

  This we pass over. We will also pass
    The usual progress of intrigues between
  Unequal matches, such as are, alas!
    A young lieutenant's with a not old queen,
  But one who is not so youthful as she was
    In all the royalty of sweet seventeen.
  Sovereigns may sway materials, but not matter,

  And Death, the sovereign's sovereign, though the great
    Gracchus of all mortality, who levels
  With his Agrarian laws the high estate
    Of him who feasts, and fights, and roars, and revels,
  To one small grass-grown patch (which must await
    Corruption for its crop) with the poor devils
  Who never had a foot of land till now,-
  Death 's a reformer, all men must allow.

  He lived (not Death, but Juan) in a hurry
    Of waste, and haste, and glare, and gloss, and glitter,
  In this gay clime of bear-skins black and furry-
    Which (though I hate to say a thing that 's bitter)
  Peep out sometimes, when things are in a flurry,
    Through all the 'purple and fine linen,' fitter
  For Babylon's than Russia's royal harlot-
  And neutralize her outward show of scarlet.

  And this same state we won't describe: we would
    Perhaps from hearsay, or from recollection;
  But getting nigh grim Dante's 'obscure wood,'
    That horrid equinox, that hateful section
  Of human years, that half-way house, that rude
    Hut, whence wise travellers drive with circumspection
  Life's sad post-horses o'er the dreary frontier
  Of age, and looking back to youth, give one tear;-

  I won't describe,- that is, if I can help
    Description; and I won't reflect,- that is,
  If I can stave off thought, which- as a whelp
    Clings to its teat- sticks to me through the abyss
  Of this odd labyrinth; or as the kelp
    Holds by the rock; or as a lover's kiss
  Drains its first draught of lips:- but, as I said,
  I won't philosophise, and will be read.

  Juan, instead of courting courts, was courted,-
    A thing which happens rarely: this he owed
  Much to his youth, and much to his reported
    Valour; much also to the blood he show'd,
  Like a race-horse; much to each dress he sported,
    Which set the beauty off in which he glow'd,
  As purple clouds befringe the sun; but most
  He owed to an old woman and his post.

  He wrote to Spain:- and all his near relations,
    Perceiving fie was in a handsome way
  Of getting on himself, and finding stations
    For cousins also, answer'd the same day.
  Several prepared themselves for emigrations;
    And eating ices, were o'erheard to say,
  That with the addition of a slight pelisse,
  Madrid's and Moscow's climes were of a piece.

  His mother, Donna Inez, finding, too,
    That in the lieu of drawing on his banker,
  Where his assets were waxing rather few,
    He had brought his spending to a handsome anchor,-
  Replied, 'that she was glad to see him through
    Those pleasures after which wild youth will hanker;
  As the sole sign of man's being in his senses
  Is, learning to reduce his past expenses.

  'She also recommended him to God,
    And no less to God's Son, as well as Mother,
  Warn'd him against Greek worship, which looks odd
    In Catholic eyes; but told him, too, to smother
  Outward dislike, which don't look well abroad;
    Inform'd him that he had a little brother
  Born in a second wedlock; and above
  All, praised the empress's maternal love.

  'She could not too much give her approbation
    Unto an empress, who preferr'd young men
  Whose age, and what was better still, whose nation
    And climate, stopp'd all scandal (now and then):-
  At home it might have given her some vexation;
    But where thermometers sunk down to ten,
  Or five, or one, or zero, she could never
  Believe that virtue thaw'd before the river.'

  Oh for a forty-parson power to chant
    Thy praise, Hypocrisy! Oh for a hymn
  Loud as the virtues thou dost loudly vaunt,
    Not practise! Oh for trumps of cherubim!
  Or the ear-trumpet of my good old aunt,
    Who, though her spectacles at last grew dim,
  Drew quiet consolation through its hint,
  When she no more could read the pious print.

  She was no hypocrite at least, poor soul,
    But went to heaven in as sincere a way
  As any body on the elected roll,
    Which portions out upon the judgment day
  Heaven's freeholds, in a sort of doomsday scroll,
    Such as the conqueror William did repay
  His knights with, lotting others' properties
  Into some sixty thousand new knights' fees.

  I can't complain, whose ancestors are there,
    Erneis, Radulphus- eight-and-forty manors
  (If that my memory doth not greatly err)
    Were their reward for following Billy's banners:
  And though I can't help thinking 't was scarce fair
    To strip the Saxons of their hydes, like tanners;
  Yet as they founded churches with the produce,
  You 'll deem, no doubt, they put it to a good use.

  The gentle Juan flourish'd, though at times
    He felt like other plants called sensitive,
  Which shrink from touch, as monarchs do from rhymes,
    Save such as Southey can afford to give.
  Perhaps he long'd in bitter frosts for climes
    In which the Neva's ice would cease to live
  Before May-day: perhaps, despite his duty,
  In royalty's vast arms he sigh d for beauty:

  Perhaps- but, sans perhaps, we need not seek
    For causes young or old: the canker-worm
  Will feed upon the fairest, freshest cheek,
    As well as further drain the wither'd form:
  Care, like a housekeeper, brings every week
    His bills in, and however we may storm,
  They must be paid: though six days smoothly run,
  The seventh will bring blue devils or a dun.

  I don't know how it was, but he grew sick:
    The empress was alarm'd, and her physician
  (The same who physick'd Peter) found the tick
    Of his fierce pulse betoken a condition
  Which augur'd of the dead, however quick
    Itself, and show'd a feverish disposition;
  At which the whole court was extremely troubled,
  The sovereign shock'd, and all his medicines doubled.

  Low were the whispers, manifold the rumours:
    Some said he had been poison'd by Potemkin;
  Others talk'd learnedly of certain tumours,
    Exhaustion, or disorders of the same kin;
  Some said 't was a concoction of the humours,
    Which with the blood too readily will claim kin;
  Others again were ready to maintain,
  ''T was only the fatigue of last campaign.'

  But here is one prescription out of many:
    'Sodae sulphat. 3vj. 3fs. Mannae optim.
  Aq. fervent. f. 3ifs. 3ij. tinct. Sennae
    Haustus' (And here the surgeon came and cupp'd him)
  'Rx Pulv Com gr. iij. Ipecacuanhae'
    (With more beside if Juan had not stopp'd 'em).
  'Bolus Potassae Sulphuret. sumendus,
  Et haustus ter in die capiendus.'

  This is the way physicians mend or end us,
    Secundum artem: but although we sneer
  In health- when ill, we call them to attend us,
    Without the least propensity to jeer:
  While that 'hiatus maxime deflendus'
    To be fill'd up by spade or mattock's near,
  Instead of gliding graciously down Lethe,
  We tease mild Baillie, or soft Abernethy.

  Juan demurr'd at this first notice to
    Quit; and though death had threaten'd an ejection,
  His youth and constitution bore him through,
    And sent the doctors in a new direction.
  But still his state was delicate: the hue
    Of health but flicker'd with a faint reflection
  Along his wasted cheek, and seem'd to gravel
  The faculty- who said that he must travel.

  The climate was too cold, they said, for him,
    Meridian-born, to bloom in. This opinion
  Made the chaste Catherine look a little grim,
    Who did not like at first to lose her minion:
  But when she saw his dazzling eye wax dim,
    And drooping like an eagle's with clipt pinion,
  She then resolved to send him on a mission,
  But in a style becoming his condition.

  There was just then a kind of a discussion,
    A sort of treaty or negotiation
  Between the British cabinet and Russian,
    Maintain'd with all the due prevarication
  With which great states such things are apt to push on;
    Something about the Baltic's navigation,
  Hides, train-oil, tallow, and the rights of Thetis,
  Which Britons deem their 'uti possidetis.'

  So Catherine, who had a handsome way
    Of fitting out her favourites, conferr'd
  This secret charge on Juan, to display
    At once her royal splendour, and reward
  His services. He kiss'd hands the next day,
    Received instructions how to play his card,
  Was laden with all kinds of gifts and honours,
  Which show'd what great discernment was the donor's.

  But she was lucky, and luck 's all. Your queens
    Are generally prosperous in reigning;
  Which puzzles us to know what Fortune means.
    But to continue: though her years were waning
  Her climacteric teased her like her teens;
    And though her dignity brook'd no complaining,
  So much did Juan's setting off distress her,
  She could not find at first a fit successor.

  But time, the comforter, will come at last;
    And four-and-twenty hours, and twice that number
  Of candidates requesting to be placed,
    Made Catherine taste next night a quiet slumber:-
  Not that she meant to fix again in haste,
    Nor did she find the quantity encumber,
  But always choosing with deliberation,
  Kept the place open for their emulation.

  While this high post of honour 's in abeyance,
    For one or two days, reader, we request
  You 'll mount with our young hero the conveyance
    Which wafted him from Petersburgh: the best
  Barouche, which had the glory to display once
    The fair czarina's autocratic crest,
  When, a new lphigene, she went to Tauris,
  Was given to her favourite, and now bore his.

  A bull-dog, and a bullfinch, and an ermine,
    All private favourites of Don Juan;- for
  (Let deeper sages the true cause determine)
    He had a kind of inclination, or
  Weakness, for what most people deem mere vermin,
    Live animals: an old maid of threescore
  For cats and birds more penchant ne'er display'd,
  Although he was not old, nor even a maid;-

  The animals aforesaid occupied
    Their station: there were valets, secretaries,
  In other vehicles; but at his side
    Sat little Leila, who survived the parries
  He made 'gainst Cossacque sabres, in the wide
    Slaughter of Ismail. Though my wild Muse varies
  Her note, she don't forget the infant girl
  Whom he preserved, a pure and living pearl

  Poor little thing! She was as fair as docile,
    And with that gentle, serious character,
  As rare in living beings as a fossile
    Man, 'midst thy mouldy mammoths, 'grand Cuvier!'
  Ill fitted was her ignorance to jostle
    With this o'erwhelming world, where all must err:
  But she was yet but ten years old, and therefore
  Was tranquil, though she knew not why or wherefore.

  Don Juan loved her, and she loved him, as
    Nor brother, father, sister, daughter love.
  I cannot tell exactly what it was;
    He was not yet quite old enough to prove
  Parental feelings, and the other class,
    Call'd brotherly affection, could not move
  His bosom,- for he never had a sister:
  Ah! if he had, how much he would have miss'd her!

  And still less was it sensual; for besides
    That he was not an ancient debauchee
  (Who like sour fruit, to stir their veins' salt tides,
    As acids rouse a dormant alkali),
  Although ('t will happen as our planet guides)
    His youth was not the chastest that might be,
  There was the purest Platonism at bottom
  Of all his feelings- only he forgot 'em.

  Just now there was no peril of temptation;
    He loved the infant orphan he had saved,
  As patriots (now and then) may love a nation;
    His pride, too, felt that she was not enslaved
  Owing to him;- as also her salvation
    Through his means and the church's might be paved.
  But one thing 's odd, which here must be inserted,
  The little Turk refused to be converted.

  'T was strange enough she should retain the impression
    Through such a scene of change, and dread, and slaughter;
  But though three bishops told her the transgression,
    She show'd a great dislike to holy water:
  She also had no passion for confession;
    Perhaps she had nothing to confess:- no matter,
  Whate'er the cause, the church made little of it-
  She still held out that Mahomet was a prophet.

  In fact, the only Christian she could bear
    Was Juan; whom she seem'd to have selected
  In place of what her home and friends once were.
    He naturally loved what he protected:
  And thus they form'd a rather curious pair,
    A guardian green in years, a ward connected
  In neither clime, time, blood, with her defender;
  And yet this want of ties made theirs more tender.

  They journey'd on through Poland and through Warsaw,
    Famous for mines of salt and yokes of iron:
  Through Courland also, which that famous farce saw
    Which gave her dukes the graceless name of 'Biron.'
  'T is the same landscape which the modern Mars saw,
    Who march'd to Moscow, led by Fame, the siren!
  To lose by one month's frost some twenty years
  Of conquest, and his guard of grenadiers.

  Let this not seem an anti-climax:- 'Oh!
    My guard! my old guard exclaim'd!' exclaim'd that god of day.
  Think of the Thunderer's falling down below
    Carotid-artery-cutting Castlereagh!
  Alas, that glory should be chill'd by snow!
    But should we wish to warm us on our way
  Through Poland, there is Kosciusko's name
  Might scatter fire through ice, like Hecla's flame.

  From Poland they came on through Prussia Proper,
    And Konigsberg the capital, whose vaunt,
  Besides some veins of iron, lead, or copper,
    Has lately been the great Professor Kant.
  Juan, who cared not a tobacco-stopper
    About philosophy, pursued his jaunt
  To Germany, whose somewhat tardy millions
  Have princes who spur more than their postilions.

  And thence through Berlin, Dresden, and the like,
    Until he reach'd the castellated Rhine:-
  Ye glorious Gothic scenes! how much ye strike
    All phantasies, not even excepting mine;
  A grey wall, a green ruin, rusty pike,
    Make my soul pass the equinoctial line
  Between the present and past worlds, and hover
  Upon their airy confine, half-seas-over.

  But Juan posted on through Manheim, Bonn,
    Which Drachenfels frowns over like a spectre
  Of the good feudal times forever gone,
    On which I have not time just now to lecture.
  From thence he was drawn onwards to Cologne,
    A city which presents to the inspector
  Eleven thousand maidenheads of bone,
  The greatest number flesh hath ever known.

  From thence to Holland's Hague and Helvoetsluys,
    That water-land of Dutchmen and of ditches,
  Where juniper expresses its best juice,
    The poor man's sparkling substitute for riches.
  Senates and sages have condemn'd its use-
    But to deny the mob a cordial, which is
  Too often all the clothing, meat, or fuel,
  Good government has left them, seems but cruel.

  Here he embark'd, and with a flowing sail
    Went bounding for the island of the free,
  Towards which the impatient wind blew half a gale;
    High dash'd the spray, the bows dipp'd in the sea,
  And sea-sick passengers turn'd somewhat pale;
    But Juan, season'd, as he well might be,
  By former voyages, stood to watch the skiffs
  Which pass'd, or catch the first glimpse of the cliffs.

  At length they rose, like a white wall along
    The blue sea's border; and I Don Juan felt-
  What even young strangers feel a little strong
    At the first sight of Albion's chalky belt-
  A kind of pride that he should be among
    Those haughty shopkeepers, who sternly dealt
  Their goods and edicts out from pole to pole,
  And made the very billows pay them toll.

  I 've no great cause to love that spot of earth,
    Which holds what might have been the noblest nation;
  But though I owe it little but my birth,
    I feel a mix'd regret and veneration
  For its decaying fame and former worth.
    Seven years (the usual term of transportation)
  Of absence lay one's old resentments level,
  When a man's country 's going to the devil.

  Alas! could she but fully, truly, know
    How her great name is now throughout abhorr'd:
  How eager all the earth is for the blow
    Which shall lay bare her bosom to the sword;
  How all the nations deem her their worst foe,
    That worse than worst of foes, the once adored
  False friend, who held out freedom to mankind,
  And now would chain them, to the very mind:-

  Would she be proud, or boast herself the free,
    Who is but first of slaves? The nations are
  In prison,- but the gaoler, what is he?
    No less a victim to the bolt and bar.
  Is the poor privilege to turn the key
    Upon the captive, freedom? He 's as far
  From the enjoyment of the earth and air
  Who watches o'er the chain, as they who wear.

  Don Juan now saw Albion's earliest beauties,
    Thy cliffs, dear Dover! harbour, and hotel;
  Thy custom-house, with all its delicate duties;
    Thy waiters running mucks at every bell;
  Thy packets, all whose passengers are booties
    To those who upon land or water dwell;
  And last, not least, to strangers uninstructed,
  Thy long, long bills, whence nothing is deducted.

  Juan, though careless, young, and magnifique,
    And rich in rubles, diamonds, cash, and credit,
  Who did not limit much his bills per week,
    Yet stared at this a little, though he paid it
  (His Maggior Duomo, a smart, subtle Greek,
    Before him summ'd the awful scroll and read it);
  But doubtless as the air, though seldom sunny,
  Is free, the respiration's worth the money.

  On with the horses! Off to Canterbury!
    Tramp, tramp o'er pebble, and splash, splash through puddle;
  Hurrah! how swiftly speeds the post so merry!
    Not like slow Germany, wherein they muddle
  Along the road, as if they went to bury
    Their fare; and also pause besides, to fuddle
  With 'schnapps'- sad dogs! whom 'Hundsfot,' or 'Verflucter,'
  Affect no more than lightning a conductor.

  Now there is nothing gives a man such spirits,
    Leavening his blood as cayenne doth a curry,
  As going at full speed- no matter where its
    Direction be, so 't is but in a hurry,
  And merely for the sake of its own merits;
    For the less cause there is for all this flurry,
  The greater is the pleasure in arriving
  At the great end of travel- which is driving.

  They saw at Canterbury the cathedral;
    Black Edward's helm, and Becket's bloody stone,
  Were pointed out as usual by the bedral,
    In the same quaint, uninterested tone:-
  There 's glory again for you, gentle reader! All
    Ends in a rusty casque and dubious bone,
  Half-solved into these sodas or magnesias;
  Which form that bitter draught, the human species.

  The effect on Juan was of course sublime:
    He breathed a thousand Cressys, as he saw
  That casque, which never stoop'd except to Time.
    Even the bold Churchman's tomb excited awe,
  Who died in the then great attempt to climb
    O'er kings, who now at least must talk of law
  Before they butcher. Little Leila gazed,
  And ask'd why such a structure had been raised:

  And being told it was 'God's house,' she said
    He was well lodged, but only wonder'd how
  He suffer'd Infidels in his homestead,
    The cruel Nazarenes, who had laid low
  His holy temples in the lands which bred
    The True Believers:- and her infant brow
  Was bent with grief that Mahomet should resign
  A mosque so noble, flung like pearls to swine.

  Oh! oh! through meadows managed like a garden,
    A paradise of hops and high production;
  For after years of travel by a bard in
    Countries of greater heat, but lesser suction,
  A green field is a sight which makes him pardon
    The absence of that more sublime construction,
  Which mixes up vines, olives, precipices,
  Glaciers, volcanos, oranges, and ices.

  And when I think upon a pot of beer-
    But I won't weep!- and so drive on, postilions!
  As the smart boys spurr'd fast in their career,
    Juan admired these highways of free millions;
  A country in all senses the most dear
    To foreigner or native, save some silly ones,
  Who 'kick against the pricks' just at this juncture,
  And for their pains get only a fresh puncture.

  What a delightful thing 's a turnpike road!
    So smooth, so level, such a mode of shaving
  The earth, as scarce the eagle in the broad
    Air can accomplish, with his wide wings waving.
  Had such been cut in Phaeton's time, the god
    Had told his son to satisfy his craving
  With the York mail;- but onward as we roll,
  'Surgit amari aliquid'- the toll

  Alas, how deeply painful is all payment!
    Take lives, take wives, take aught except men's purses:
  As Machiavel shows those in purple raiment,
    Such is the shortest way to general curses.
  They hate a murderer much less than a claimant
    On that sweet ore which every body nurses;-
  Kill a man's family, and he may brook it,
  But keep your hands out of his breeches' pocket.

  So said the Florentine: ye monarchs, hearken
    To your instructor. Juan now was borne,
  Just as the day began to wane and darken,
    O'er the high hill, which looks with pride or scorn
  Toward the great city.- Ye who have a spark in
    Your veins of Cockney spirit, smile or mourn
  According as you take things well or ill;-
  Bold Britons, we are now on Shooter's Hill!

  The sun went down, the smoke rose up, as from
    A half-unquench'd volcano, o'er a space
  Which well beseem'd the 'Devil's drawing-room,'
    As some have qualified that wondrous place:
  But Juan felt, though not approaching home,
    As one who, though he were not of the race,
  Revered the soil, of those true sons the mother,
  Who butcher'd half the earth, and bullied t' other.

  A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping,
    Dirty and dusky, but as wide as eye
  Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping
    In sight, then lost amidst the forestry
  Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping
    On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy;
  A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown
  On a fool's head- and there is London Town!

  But Juan saw not this: each wreath of smoke
    Appear'd to him but as the magic vapour
  Of some alchymic furnace, from whence broke
    The wealth of worlds (a wealth of tax and paper):
  The gloomy clouds, which o'er it as a yoke
    Are bow'd, and put the sun out like a taper,
  Were nothing but the natural atmosphere,
  Extremely wholesome, though but rarely clear.

  He paused- and so will I; as doth a crew
    Before they give their broadside. By and by,
  My gentle countrymen, we will renew
    Our old acquaintance; and at least I 'll try
  To tell you truths you will not take as true,
    Because they are so;- a male Mrs. Fry,
  With a soft besom will I sweep your halls,
  And brush a web or two from off the walls.

  Oh Mrs. Fry! Why go to Newgate? Why
    Preach to poor rogues? And wherefore not begin
  With Carlton, or with other houses? Try
    Your head at harden'd and imperial sin.
  To mend the people 's an absurdity,
    A jargon, a mere philanthropic din,
  Unless you make their betters better:- Fy!
  I thought you had more religion, Mrs. Fry.

  Teach them the decencies of good threescore;
    Cure them of tours, hussar and highland dresses;
  Tell them that youth once gone returns no more,
    That hired huzzas redeem no land's distresses;
  Tell them Sir William Curtis is a bore,
    Too dull even for the dullest of excesses,
  The witless Falstaff of a hoary Hal,
  A fool whose bells have ceased to ring at all.

  Tell them, though it may be perhaps too late,
    On life's worn confine, jaded, bloated, sated,
  To set up vain pretence of being great,
    'T is not so to be good; and be it stated,
  The worthiest kings have ever loved least state;
    And tell them- But you won't, and I have prated
  Just now enough; but by and by I 'll prattle
  Like Roland's horn in Roncesvalles' battle.
                CANTO THE ELEVENTH.

  WHEN Bishop Berkeley said 'there was no matter,'
    And proved it- 't was no matter what he said:
  They say his system 't is in vain to batter,
    Too subtle for the airiest human head;
  And yet who can believe it? I would shatter
    Gladly all matters down to stone or lead,
  Or adamant, to find the world a spirit,
  And wear my head, denying that I wear it.

  What a sublime discovery 't was to make the
    Universe universal egotism,
  That all 's ideal- all ourselves: I 'll stake the
    World (be it what you will) that that 's no schism.
  Oh Doubt!- if thou be'st Doubt, for which some take thee;
    But which I doubt extremely- thou sole prism
  Of the Truth's rays, spoil not my draught of spirit!
  Heaven's brandy, though our brain can hardly bear it.

  For ever and anon comes Indigestion,
    (Not the most 'dainty Ariel') and perplexes
  Our soarings with another sort of question:
    And that which after all my spirit vexes,
  Is, that I find no spot where man can rest eye on,
    Without confusion of the sorts and sexes,
  Of beings, stars, and this unriddled wonder,
  The world, which at the worst 's a glorious blunder-

  If it be chance; or if it be according
    To the old text, still better:- lest it should
  Turn out so, we 'll say nothing 'gainst the wording,
    As several people think such hazards rude.
  They 're right; our days are too brief for affording
    Space to dispute what no one ever could
  Decide, and every body one day will
  Know very clearly- or at least lie still.

  And therefore will I leave off metaphysical
    Discussion, which is neither here nor there:
  If I agree that what is, is; then this I call
    Being quite perspicuous and extremely fair;
  The truth is, I 've grown lately rather phthisical:
    I don't know what the reason is- the air
  Perhaps; but as I suffer from the shocks
  Of illness, I grow much more orthodox.

  The first attack at once proved the Divinity
    (But that I never doubted, nor the Devil);
  The next, the Virgin's mystical virginity;
    The third, the usual Origin of Evil;
  The fourth at once establish'd the whole Trinity
    On so uncontrovertible a level,
  That I devoutly wish'd the three were four,
  On purpose to believe so much the more.

  To our Theme.- The man who has stood on the Acropolis,
    And look'd down over Attica; or he
  Who has sail'd where picturesque Constantinople is,
    Or seen Timbuctoo, or hath taken tea
  In small-eyed China's crockery-ware metropolis,
    Or sat amidst the bricks of Nineveh,
  May not think much of London's first appearance-
  But ask him what he thinks of it a year hence?

  Don Juan had got out on Shooter's Hill;
    Sunset the time, the place the same declivity
  Which looks along that vale of good and ill
    Where London streets ferment in full activity;
  While every thing around was calm and still,
    Except the creak of wheels, which on their pivot he
  Heard,- and that bee-like, bubbling, busy hum
  Of cities, that boil over with their scum:-

  I say, Don Juan, wrapt in contemplation,
    Walk'd on behind his carriage, o'er the summit,
  And lost in wonder of so great a nation,
    Gave way to 't, since he could not overcome it.
  'And here,' he cried, 'is Freedom's chosen station;
    Here peals the people's voice, nor can entomb it
  Racks, prisons, inquisitions; resurrection
  Awaits it, each new meeting or election.

  'Here are chaste wives, pure lives; here people pay
    But what they please; and if that things be dear,
  'T is only that they love to throw away
    Their cash, to show how much they have a-year.
  Here laws are all inviolate; none lay
    Traps for the traveller; every highway 's clear:
  Here-' he was interrupted by a knife,
  With,- 'Damn your eyes! your money or your life!'

  These freeborn sounds proceeded from four pads
    In ambush laid, who had perceived him loiter
  Behind his carriage; and, like handy lads,
    Had seized the lucky hour to reconnoitre,
  In which the heedless gentleman who gads
    Upon the road, unless he prove a fighter,
  May find himself within that isle of riches
  Exposed to lose his life as well as breeches.

  Juan, who did not understand a word
    Of English, save their shibboleth, 'God damn!'
  And even that he had so rarely heard,
    He sometimes thought 't was only their 'Salam,'
  Or 'God be with you!'- and 't is not absurd
    To think so: for half English as I am
  (To my misfortune), never can I say
  I heard them wish 'God with you,' save that way;-

  Juan yet quickly understood their gesture,
    And being somewhat choleric and sudden,
  Drew forth a pocket pistol from his vesture,
    And fired it into one assailant's pudding-
  Who fell, as rolls an ox o'er in his pasture,
    And roar'd out, as he writhed his native mud in,
  Unto his nearest follower or henchman,
  'Oh Jack! I 'm floor'd by that 'ere bloody Frenchman!'

  On which Jack and his train set off at speed,
    And Juan's suite, late scatter'd at a distance,
  Came up, all marvelling at such a deed,
    And offering, as usual, late assistance.
  Juan, who saw the moon's late minion bleed
    As if his veins would pour out his existence,
  Stood calling out for bandages and lint,
  And wish'd he had been less hasty with his flint.

  'Perhaps,' thought he, 'it is the country's wont
    To welcome foreigners in this way: now
  I recollect some innkeepers who don't
    Differ, except in robbing with a bow,
  In lieu of a bare blade and brazen front.
    But what is to be done? I can't allow
  The fellow to lie groaning on the road:
  So take him up; I 'll help you with the load.'

  But ere they could perform this pious duty,
    The dying man cried, 'Hold! I 've got my gruel!
  Oh for a glass of max! We 've miss'd our booty;
    Let me die where I am!' And as the fuel
  Of life shrunk in his heart, and thick and sooty
    The drops fell from his death-wound, and he drew ill
  His breath,- he from his swelling throat untied
  A kerchief, crying, 'Give Sal that!'- and died.

  The cravat stain'd with bloody drops fell down
    Before Don Juan's feet: he could not tell
  Exactly why it was before him thrown,
    Nor what the meaning of the man's farewell.
  Poor Tom was once a kiddy upon town,
    A thorough varmint, and a real swell,
  Full flash, all fancy, until fairly diddled,
  His pockets first and then his body riddled.

  Don Juan, having done the best he could
    In all the circumstances of the case,
  As soon as 'Crowner's quest' allow'd, pursued
    His travels to the capital apace;-
  Esteeming it a little hard he should
    In twelve hours' time, and very little space,
  Have been obliged to slay a freeborn native
  In self-defence: this made him meditative.

  He from the world had cut off a great man,
    Who in his time had made heroic bustle.
  Who in a row like Tom could lead the van,
    Booze in the ken, or at the spellken hustle?
  Who queer a flat? Who (spite of Bow Street's ban)
    On the high toby-spice so flash the muzzle?
  Who on a lark, with black-eyed Sal (his blowing),
  So prime, so swell, so nutty, and so knowing?

  But Tom's no more- and so no more of Tom.
    Heroes must die; and by God's blessing 't is
  Not long before the most of them go home.
    Hail! Thamis, Hail! Upon thy verge it is
  That Juan's chariot, rolling like a drum
    In thunder, holds the way it can't well miss,
  Through Kennington and all the other 'tons,'
  Which makes us wish ourselves in town at once;-

  Through Groves, so call'd as being void of trees
    (Like lucus from no light); through prospects named
  Mount Pleasant, as containing nought to please,
    Nor much to climb; through little boxes framed
  Of bricks, to let the dust in at your ease,
    With 'To be let' upon their doors proclaim'd;
  Through 'Rows' most modestly call'd 'Paradise,'
  Which Eve might quit without much sacrifice;-

  Through coaches, drays, choked turnpikes, and a whirl
    Of wheels, and roar of voices, and confusion;
  Here taverns wooing to a pint of 'purl,'
    There mails fast flying off like a delusion;
  There barbers' blocks with periwigs in curl
    In windows; here the lamplighter's infusion
  Slowly distill'd into the glimmering glass
  (For in those days we had not got to gas);-

  Through this, and much, and more, is the approach
    Of travellers to mighty Babylon:
  Whether they come by horse, or chaise, or coach,
    With slight exceptions, all the ways seem one.
  I could say more, but do not choose to encroach
    Upon the Guide-book's privilege. The sun
  Had set some time, and night was on the ridge
  Of twilight, as the party cross'd the bridge,-

  That 's rather fine. The gentle sound of Thamis-
    Who vindicates a moment, too, his stream,
  Though hardly heard through multifarious 'damme's'-
    The lamps of Westminster's more regular gleam,
  The breadth of pavement, and yon shrine where fame is
    A spectral resident- whose pallid beam
  In shape of moonshine hovers o'er the pile-
  Make this a sacred part of Albion's isle.

  The Druids' groves are gone- so much the better:
    Stone-Henge is not- but what the devil is it?-
  But Bedlam still exists with its sage fetter,
    That madmen may not bite you on a visit;
  The Bench too seats or suits full many a debtor;
    The Mansion House too (though some people quiz it)
  To me appears a stiff yet grand erection;
  But then the Abbey 's worth the whole collection.

  The line of lights, too, up to Charing Cross,
    Pall Mall, and so forth, have a coruscation
  Like gold as in comparison to dross,
    Match'd with the Continent's illumination,
  Whose cities Night by no means deigns to gloss.
    The French were not yet a lamp-lighting nation,
  And when they grew so- on their new-found lantern,
  Instead of wicks, they made a wicked man turn.

  A row of gentlemen along the streets
    Suspended may illuminate mankind,
  As also bonfires made of country seats;
    But the old way is best for the purblind:
  The other looks like phosphorus on sheets,
    A sort of ignis fatuus to the mind,
  Which, though 't is certain to perplex and frighten,
  Must burn more mildly ere it can enlighten.

  But London 's so well lit, that if Diogenes
    Could recommence to hunt his honest man,
  And found him not amidst the various progenies
    Of this enormous city's spreading span,
  'T were not for want of lamps to aid his dodging his
    Yet undiscover'd treasure. What I can,
  I 've done to find the same throughout life's journey,
  But see the world is only one attorney.

  Over the stones still rattling up Pall Mall,
    Through crowds and carriages, but waxing thinner
  As thunder'd knockers broke the long seal'd spell
    Of doors 'gainst duns, and to an early dinner
  Admitted a small party as night fell,-
    Don Juan, our young diplomatic sinner,
  Pursued his path, and drove past some hotels,
  St. James's Palace and St. James's 'Hells.'

  They reach'd the hotel: forth stream'd from the front door
    A tide of well-clad waiters, and around
  The mob stood, and as usual several score
    Of those pedestrian Paphians who abound
  In decent London when the daylight 's o'er;
    Commodious but immoral, they are found
  Useful, like Malthus, in promoting marriage.-
  But Juan now is stepping from his carriage

  Into one of the sweetest of hotels,
    Especially for foreigners- and mostly
  For those whom favour or whom fortune swells,
    And cannot find a bill's small items costly.
  There many an envoy either dwelt or dwells
    (The den of many a diplomatic lost lie),
  Until to some conspicuous square they pass,
  And blazon o'er the door their names in brass.

  Juan, whose was a delicate commission,
    Private, though publicly important, bore
  No title to point out with due precision
    The exact affair on which he was sent o'er.
  'T was merely known, that on a secret mission
    A foreigner of rank had graced our shore,
  Young, handsome, and accomplish'd, who was said
  (In whispers) to have turn'd his sovereign's head.

  Some rumour also of some strange adventures
    Had gone before him, and his wars and loves;
  And as romantic heads are pretty painters,
    And, above all, an Englishwoman's roves
  Into the excursive, breaking the indentures
    Of sober reason wheresoe'er it moves,
  He found himself extremely in the fashion,
  Which serves our thinking people for a passion.

  I don't mean that they are passionless, but quite
    The contrary; but then 't is in the head;
  Yet as the consequences are as bright
    As if they acted with the heart instead,
  What after all can signify the site
    Of ladies' lucubrations? So they lead
  In safety to the place for which you start,
  What matters if the road be head or heart?

  Juan presented in the proper place,
    To proper placemen, every Russ credential;
  And was received with all the due grimace
    By those who govern in the mood potential,
  Who, seeing a handsome stripling with smooth face,
    Thought (what in state affairs is most essential)
  That they as easily might do the youngster,
  As hawks may pounce upon a woodland songster.

  They err'd, as aged men will do; but by
    And by we 'll talk of that; and if we don't,
  'T will be because our notion is not high
    Of politicians and their double front,
  Who live by lies, yet dare not boldly lie:-
    Now what I love in women is, they won't
  Or can't do otherwise than lie, but do it
  So well, the very truth seems falsehood to it.

  And, after all, what is a lie? 'T is but
    The truth in masquerade; and I defy
  Historians, heroes, lawyers. priests, to put
    A fact without some leaven of a lie.
  The very shadow of true Truth would shut
    Up annals, revelations, poesy,
  And prophecy- except it should be dated
  Some years before the incidents related.

  Praised be all liars and all lies! Who now
    Can tax my mild Muse with misanthropy?
  She rings the world's 'Te Deum,' and her brow
    Blushes for those who will not:- but to sigh
  Is idle; let us like most others bow,
    Kiss hands, feet, any part of majesty,
  After the good example of 'Green Erin,'
  Whose shamrock now seems rather worse for wearing.

  Don Juan was presented, and his dress
    And mien excited general admiration-
  I don't know which was more admired or less:
    One monstrous diamond drew much observation,
  Which Catherine in a moment of 'ivresse'
    (In love or brandy's fervent fermentation)
  Bestow'd upon him, as the public learn'd;
  And, to say truth, it had been fairly earn'd.

  Besides the ministers and underlings,
    Who must be courteous to the accredited
  Diplomatists of rather wavering kings,
    Until their royal riddle 's fully read,
  The very clerks,- those somewhat dirty springs
    Of office, or the house of office, fed
  By foul corruption into streams,- even they
  Were hardly rude enough to earn their pay:

  And insolence no doubt is what they are
    Employ'd for, since it is their daily labour,
  In the dear offices of peace or war;
    And should you doubt, pray ask of your next neighbour,
  When for a passport, or some other bar
    To freedom, he applied (a grief and a bore),
  If he found not his spawn of taxborn riches,

  But Juan was received with much 'empressement:'-
    These phrases of refinement I must borrow
  From our next neighbours' land, where, like a chessman,
    There is a move set down for joy or sorrow
  Not only in mere talking, but the press. Man
    In islands is, it seems, downright and thorough,
  More than on continents- as if the sea
  (See Billingsgate) made even the tongue more free.

  And yet the British 'Damme' 's rather Attic:
    Your continental oaths are but incontinent,
  And turn on things which no aristocratic
    Spirit would name, and therefore even I won't anent
  This subject quote; as it would be schismatic
    In politesse, and have a sound affronting in 't:-
  But 'Damme' 's quite ethereal, though too daring-
  Platonic blasphemy, the soul of swearing.

  For downright rudeness, ye may stay at home;
    For true or false politeness (and scarce that
  Now) you may cross the blue deep and white foam-
    The first the emblem (rarely though) of what
  You leave behind, the next of much you come
    To meet. However, 't is no time to chat
  On general topics: poems must confine
  Themselves to unity, like this of mine.

  In the great world,- which, being interpreted,
    Meaneth the west or worst end of a city,
  And about twice two thousand people bred
    By no means to be very wise or witty,
  But to sit up while others lie in bed,
    And look down on the universe with pity,-
  Juan, as an inveterate patrician,
  Was well received by persons of condition.

  He was a bachelor, which is a matter
    Of import both to virgin and to bride,
  The former's hymeneal hopes to flatter;
    And (should she not hold fast by love or pride)
  'T is also of some moment to the latter:
    A rib 's a thorn in a wed gallant's side,
  Requires decorum, and is apt to double
  The horrid sin- and what 's still worse, the trouble.

  But Juan was a bachelor- of arts,
    And parts, and hearts: he danced and sung, and had
  An air as sentimental as Mozart's
    Softest of melodies; and could be sad
  Or cheerful, without any 'flaws or starts,'
    Just at the proper time; and though a lad,
  Had seen the world- which is a curious sight,
  And very much unlike what people write.

  Fair virgins blush'd upon him; wedded dames
    Bloom'd also in less transitory hues;
  For both commodities dwell by the Thames,
    The painting and the painted; youth, ceruse,
  Against his heart preferr'd their usual claims,
    Such as no gentleman can quite refuse:
  Daughters admired his dress, and pious mothers
  Inquired his income, and if he had brothers.

  The milliners who furnish 'drapery Misses'
    Throughout the season, upon speculation
  Of payment ere the honey-moon's last kisses
    Have waned into a crescent's coruscation,
  Thought such an opportunity as this is,
    Of a rich foreigner's initiation,
  Not to be overlook'd- and gave such credit,
  That future bridegrooms swore, and sigh'd, and paid it.

  The Blues, that tender tribe who sigh o'er sonnets,
    And with the pages of the last Review
  Line the interior of their heads or bonnets,
    Advanced in all their azure's highest hue:
  They talk'd bad French or Spanish, and upon its
    Late authors ask'd him for a hint or two;
  And which was softest, Russian or Castilian?
  And whether in his travels he saw Ilion?

  Juan, who was a little superficial,
    And not in literature a great Drawcansir,
  Examined by this learned and especial
    Jury of matrons, scarce knew what to answer:
  His duties warlike, loving or official,
    His steady application as a dancer,
  Had kept him from the brink of Hippocrene,
  Which now he found was blue instead of green.

  However, he replied at hazard, with
    A modest confidence and calm assurance,
  Which lent his learned lucubrations pith,
    And pass'd for arguments of good endurance.
  That prodigy, Miss Araminta Smith
    (Who at sixteen translated 'Hercules Furens'
  Into as furious English), with her best look,
  Set down his sayings in her common-place book.

  Juan knew several languages- as well
    He might- and brought them up with skill, in time
  To save his fame with each accomplish'd belle,
    Who still regretted that he did not rhyme.
  There wanted but this requisite to swell
    His qualities (with them) into sublime:
  Lady Fitz-Frisky, and Miss Maevia Mannish,
  Both long'd extremely to be sung in Spanish.

  However, he did pretty well, and was
    Admitted as an aspirant to all
  The coteries, and, as in Banquo's glass,
    At great assemblies or in parties small,
  He saw ten thousand living authors pass,
    That being about their average numeral;
  Also the eighty 'greatest living poets,'
  As every paltry magazine can show its.

  In twice five years the 'greatest living poet,'
    Like to the champion in the fisty ring,
  Is call'd on to support his claim, or show it,
    Although 't is an imaginary thing.
  Even I- albeit I 'm sure I did not know it,
    Nor sought of foolscap subjects to be king-
  Was reckon'd a considerable time,
  The grand Napoleon of the realms of rhyme.

  But Juan was my Moscow, and Faliero
    My Leipsic, and my Mount Saint Jean seems Cain:
  'La Belle Alliance' of dunces down at zero,
    Now that the Lion 's fall'n, may rise again:
  But I will fall at least as fell my hero;
    Nor reign at all, or as a monarch reign;
  Or to some lonely isle of gaolers go,
  With turncoat Southey for my turnkey Lowe.

  Sir Walter reign'd before me; Moore and Campbell
    Before and after; but now grown more holy,
  The Muses upon Sion's hill must ramble
    With poets almost clergymen, or wholly;
  And Pegasus hath a psalmodic amble
    Beneath the very Reverend Rowley Powley,
  Who shoes the glorious animal with stilts,
  A modern Ancient Pistol- by the hilts?

  Then there 's my gentle Euphues, who, they say,
    Sets up for being a sort of moral me;
  He 'll find it rather difficult some day
    To turn out both, or either, it may be.
  Some persons think that Coleridge hath the sway;
    And Wordsworth has supporters, two or three;
  And that deep-mouth'd Boeotian 'Savage Landor'
  Has taken for a swan rogue Southey's gander.

  John Keats, who was kill'd off by one critique,
    Just as he really promised something great,
  If not intelligible, without Greek
    Contrived to talk about the gods of late,
  Much as they might have been supposed to speak.
    Poor fellow! His was an untoward fate;
  'T is strange the mind, that very fiery particle,
  Should let itself be snuff'd out by an article.

  The list grows long of live and dead pretenders
    To that which none will gain- or none will know
  The conqueror at least; who, ere Time renders
    His last award, will have the long grass grow
  Above his burnt-out brain, and sapless cinders.
    If I might augur, I should rate but low
  Their chances; they 're too numerous, like the thirty
  Mock tyrants, when Rome's annals wax'd but dirty.

  This is the literary lower empire,
    Where the praetorian bands take up the matter;-
  A 'dreadful trade,' like his who 'gathers samphire,'
    The insolent soldiery to soothe and flatter,
  With the same feelings as you 'd coax a vampire.
    Now, were I once at home, and in good satire,
  I 'd try conclusions with those Janizaries,
  And show them what an intellectual war is.

  I think I know a trick or two, would turn
    Their flanks;- but it is hardly worth my while
  With such small gear to give myself concern:
    Indeed I 've not the necessary bile;
  My natural temper 's really aught but stern,
    And even my Muse's worst reproof 's a smile;
  And then she drops a brief and modern curtsy,
  And glides away, assured she never hurts ye.

  My Juan, whom I left in deadly peril
    Amongst live poets and blue ladies, past
  With some small profit through that field so sterile,
    Being tired in time, and, neither least nor last,
  Left it before he had been treated very ill;
    And henceforth found himself more gaily class'd
  Amongst the higher spirits of the day,
  The sun's true son, no vapour, but a ray.

  His morns he pass'd in business- which, dissected,
    Was like all business a laborious nothing
  That leads to lassitude, the most infected
    And Centaur Nessus garb of mortal clothing,
  And on our sofas makes us lie dejected,
    And talk in tender horrors of our loathing
  All kinds of toil, save for our country's good-
  Which grows no better, though 't is time it should.

  His afternoons he pass'd in visits, luncheons,
    Lounging and boxing; and the twilight hour
  In riding round those vegetable puncheons
    Call'd 'Parks,' where there is neither fruit nor flower
  Enough to gratify a bee's slight munchings;
    But after all it is the only 'bower'
  (In Moore's phrase), where the fashionable fair
  Can form a slight acquaintance with fresh air.

  Then dress, then dinner, then awakes the world!
    Then glare the lamps, then whirl the wheels, then roar
  Through street and square fast flashing chariots hurl'd
    Like harness'd meteors; then along the floor
  Chalk mimics painting; then festoons are twirl'd;
    Then roll the brazen thunders of the door,
  Which opens to the thousand happy few
  An earthly paradise of 'Or Molu.'

  There stands the noble hostess, nor shall sink
    With the three-thousandth curtsy; there the waltz,
  The only dance which teaches girls to think,
    Makes one in love even with its very faults.
  Saloon, room, hall, o'erflow beyond their brink,
    And long the latest of arrivals halts,
  'Midst royal dukes and dames condemn'd to climb,
  And gain an inch of staircase at a time.

  Thrice happy he who, after a survey
    Of the good company, can win a corner,
  A door that's in or boudoir out of the way,
    Where he may fix himself like small 'Jack Horner,'
  And let the Babel round run as it may,
    And look on as a mourner, or a scorner,
  Or an approver, or a mere spectator,
  Yawning a little as the night grows later.

  But this won't do, save by and by; and he
    Who, like Don Juan, takes an active share,
  Must steer with care through all that glittering sea
    Of gems and plumes and pearls and silks, to where
  He deems it is his proper place to be;
    Dissolving in the waltz to some soft air,
  Or proudlier prancing with mercurial skill
  Where Science marshals forth her own quadrille.

  Or, if he dance not, but hath higher views
    Upon an heiress or his neighbour's bride,
  Let him take care that that which he pursues
    Is not at once too palpably descried.
  Full many an eager gentleman oft rues
    His haste: impatience is a blundering guide,
  Amongst a people famous for reflection,
  Who like to play the fool with circumspection.

  But, if you can contrive, get next at supper;
    Or, if forestalled, get opposite and ogle:-
  Oh, ye ambrosial moments! always upper
    In mind, a sort of sentimental bogle,
  Which sits for ever upon memory's crupper,
    The ghost of vanish'd pleasures once in vogue! Ill
  Can tender souls relate the rise and fall
  Of hopes and fears which shake a single ball.

  But these precautionary hints can touch
    Only the common run, who must pursue,
  And watch, and ward; whose plans a word too much
    Or little overturns; and not the few
  Or many (for the number's sometimes such)
    Whom a good mien, especially if new,
  Or fame, or name, for wit, war, sense, or nonsense,
  Permits whate'er they please, or did not long since.

  Our hero, as a hero, young and handsome,
    Noble, rich, celebrated, and a stranger,
  Like other slaves of course must pay his ransom,
    Before he can escape from so much danger
  As will environ a conspicuous man. Some
    Talk about poetry, and 'rack and manger,'
  And ugliness, disease, as toil and trouble;-
  I wish they knew the life of a young noble.

  They are young, but know not youth- it is anticipated;
    Handsome but wasted, rich without a sou;
  Their vigour in a thousand arms is dissipated;
    Their cash comes from, their wealth goes to a Jew;
  Both senates see their nightly votes participated
    Between the tyrant's and the tribunes' crew;
  And having voted, dined, drunk, gamed, and whored,
  The family vault receives another lord.

  'Where is the world?' cries Young, at eighty- 'Where
    The world in which a man was born? 'Alas!
  Where is the world of eight years past? 'T was there-
    I look for it- 't is gone, a globe of glass!
  Crack'd, shiver'd, vanish'd, scarcely gazed on, ere
    A silent change dissolves the glittering mass.
  Statesmen, chiefs, orators, queens, patriots, kings,
  And dandies, all are gone on the wind's wings.

  Where is Napoleon the Grand? God knows.
    Where little Castlereagh? The devil can tell:
  Where Grattan, Curran, Sheridan, all those
    Who bound the bar or senate in their spell?
  Where is the unhappy Queen, with all her woes?
    And where the Daughter, whom the Isles loved well?
  Where are those martyr'd saints the Five per Cents?
  And where- oh, where the devil are the rents?

  Where 's Brummel? Dish'd. Where 's Long Pole Wellesley? Diddled.
    Where 's Whitbread? Romilly? Where 's George the Third?
  Where is his will? (That 's not so soon unriddled.)
    And where is 'Fum' the Fourth, our 'royal bird?'
  Gone down, it seems, to Scotland to be fiddled
    Unto by Sawney's violin, we have heard:
  'Caw me, caw thee'- for six months hath been hatching
  This scene of royal itch and loyal scratching.

  Where is Lord This? And where my Lady That?
    The Honourable Mistresses and Misses?
  Some laid aside like an old Opera hat,
    Married, unmarried, and remarried (this is
  An evolution oft performed of late).
    Where are the Dublin shouts- and London hisses?
  Where are the Grenvilles? Turn'd as usual. Where
  My friends the Whigs? Exactly where they were.

  Where are the Lady Carolines and Franceses?
    Divorced or doing thereanent. Ye annals
  So brilliant, where the list of routs and dances is,-
    Thou Morning Post, sole record of the panels
  Broken in carriages, and all the phantasies
    Of fashion,- say what streams now fill those channels?
  Some die, some fly, some languish on the Continent,
  Because the times have hardly left them one tenant.

  Some who once set their caps at cautious dukes,
    Have taken up at length with younger brothers:
  Some heiresses have bit at sharpers' hooks:
    Some maids have been made wives, some merely mothers;
  Others have lost their fresh and fairy looks:
    In short, the list of alterations bothers.
  There 's little strange in this, but something strange is
  The unusual quickness of these common changes.

  Talk not of seventy years as age; in seven
    I have seen more changes, down from monarchs to
  The humblest individual under heaven,
    Than might suffice a moderate century through.
  I knew that nought was lasting, but now even
    Change grows too changeable, without being new:
  Nought 's permanent among the human race,
  Except the Whigs not getting into place.

  I have seen Napoleon, who seem'd quite a Jupiter,
    Shrink to a Saturn. I have seen a Duke
  (No matter which) turn politician stupider,
    If that can well be, than his wooden look.
  But it is time that I should hoist my 'blue Peter,'
    And sail for a new theme:- I have seen- and shook
  To see it- the king hiss'd, and then caress'd;
  But don't pretend to settle which was best.

  I have seen the Landholders without a rap-
    I have seen Joanna Southcote- I have seen-
  The House of Commons turn'd to a tax-trap-
    I have seen that sad affair of the late Queen-
  I have seen crowns worn instead of a fool's cap-
    I have seen a Congress doing all that 's mean-
  I have seen some nations like o'erloaded asses
  Kick off their burthens, meaning the high classes.

  I have seen small poets, and great prosers, and
    Interminable- not eternal- speakers-
  I have seen the funds at war with house and land-
    I have seen the country gentlemen turn squeakers-
  I have seen the people ridden o'er like sand
    By slaves on horseback- I have seen malt liquors
  Exchanged for 'thin potations' by John Bull-
  I have seen john half detect himself a fool.-

  But 'carpe diem,' Juan, 'carpe, carpe!'
    To-morrow sees another race as gay
  And transient, and devour'd by the same harpy.
    'Life 's a poor player,'- then 'play out the play,
  Ye villains!' above all keep a sharp eye
    Much less on what you do than what you say:
  Be hypocritical, be cautious, be
  Not what you seem, but always what you see.

  But how shall I relate in other cantos
    Of what befell our hero in the land,
  Which 't is the common cry and lie to vaunt as
    A moral country? But I hold my hand-
  For I disdain to write an Atalantis;
    But 't is as well at once to understand,
  You are not a moral people, and you know it
  Without the aid of too sincere a poet.

  What Juan saw and underwent shall be
    My topic, with of course the due restriction
  Which is required by proper courtesy;
    And recollect the work is only fiction,
  And that I sing of neither mine nor me,
    Though every scribe, in some slight turn of diction,
  Will hint allusions never meant. Ne'er doubt
  This- when I speak, I don't hint, but speak out.

  Whether he married with the third or fourth
    Offspring of some sage husband-hunting countess,
  Or whether with some virgin of more worth
    (I mean in Fortune's matrimonial bounties)
  He took to regularly peopling Earth,
    Of which your lawful awful wedlock fount is,-
  Or whether he was taken in for damages,
  For being too excursive in his homages,-

  Is yet within the unread events of time.
    Thus far, go forth, thou lay, which I will back
  Against the same given quantity of rhyme,
    For being as much the subject of attack
  As ever yet was any work sublime,
    By those who love to say that white is black.
  So much the better!- I may stand alone,
  But would not change my free thoughts for a throne.
                  CANTO THE TWELFTH.

  OF all the barbarous middle ages, that
    Which is most barbarous is the middle age
  Of man; it is- I really scarce know what;
    But when we hover between fool and sage,
  And don't know justly what we would be at-
    A period something like a printed page,
  Black letter upon foolscap, while our hair
  Grows grizzled, and we are not what we were;-

  Too old for youth,- too young, at thirty-five,
    To herd with boys, or hoard with good threescore,-
  I wonder people should be left alive;
    But since they are, that epoch is a bore:
  Love lingers still, although 't were late to wive;
    And as for other love, the illusion 's o'er;
  And money, that most pure imagination,
  Gleams only through the dawn of its creation.

  O Gold! Why call we misers miserable?
    Theirs is the pleasure that can never pall;
  Theirs is the best bower anchor, the chain cable
    Which holds fast other pleasures great and small.
  Ye who but see the saving man at table,
    And scorn his temperate board, as none at all,
  And wonder how the wealthy can be sparing,
  Know not what visions spring from each cheese-paring.

  Love or lust makes man sick, and wine much sicker;
    Ambition rends, and gaming gains a loss;
  But making money, slowly first, then quicker,
    And adding still a little through each cross
  (Which will come over things), beats love or liquor,
    The gamester's counter, or the statesman's dross.
  O Gold! I still prefer thee unto paper,
  Which makes bank credit like a bank of vapour.

  Who hold the balance of the world? Who reign
    O'er congress, whether royalist or liberal?
  Who rouse the shirtless patriots of Spain?
    (That make old Europe's journals squeak and gibber all.)
  Who keep the world, both old and new, in pain
    Or pleasure? Who make politics run glibber all?
  The shade of Buonaparte's noble daring?-
  Jew Rothschild, and his fellow-Christian, Baring.

  Those, and the truly liberal Lafitte,
    Are the true lords of Europe. Every loan
  Is not a merely speculative hit,
    But seats a nation or upsets a throne.
  Republics also get involved a bit;
    Columbia's stock hath holders not unknown
  On 'Change; and even thy silver soil, Peru,
  Must get itself discounted by a Jew.

  Why call the miser miserable? as
    I said before: the frugal life is his,
  Which in a saint or cynic ever was
    The theme of praise: a hermit would not miss
  Canonization for the self-same cause,
    And wherefore blame gaunt wealth's austerities?
  Because, you 'll say, nought calls for such a trial;-
  Then there 's more merit in his self-denial.

  He is your only poet;- passion, pure
    And sparkling on from heap to heap, displays,
  Possess'd, the ore, of which mere hopes allure
    Nations athwart the deep: the golden rays
  Flash up in ingots from the mine obscure;
    On him the diamond pours its brilliant blaze,
  While the mild emerald's beam shades down the dies
  Of other stones, to soothe the miser's eyes.

  The lands on either side are his; the ship
    From Ceylon, Inde, or far Cathay, unloads
  For him the fragrant produce of each trip;
    Beneath his cars of Ceres groan the roads,
  And the vine blushes like Aurora's lip;
    His very cellars might be kings' abodes;
  While he, despising every sensual call,
  Commands- the intellectual lord of all.

  Perhaps he hath great projects in his mind,
    To build a college, or to found a race,
  A hospital, a church,- and leave behind
    Some dome surmounted by his meagre face:
  Perhaps he fain would liberate mankind
    Even with the very ore which makes them base;
  Perhaps he would be wealthiest of his nation,
  Or revel in the joys of calculation.

  But whether all, or each, or none of these
    May be the hoarder's principle of action,
  The fool will call such mania a disease:-
    What is his own? Go- look at each transaction,
  Wars, revels, loves- do these bring men more ease
    Than the mere plodding through each 'vulgar fraction'?
  Or do they benefit mankind? Lean miser!
  Let spendthrifts' heirs enquire of yours- who 's wiser?

  How beauteous are rouleaus! how charming chests
    Containing ingots, bags of dollars, coins
  (Not of old victors, all whose heads and crests
    Weigh not the thin ore where their visage shines,
  But) of fine unclipt gold, where dully rests
    Some likeness, which the glittering cirque confines,
  Of modern, reigning, sterling, stupid stamp:-
  Yes! ready money is Aladdin's lamp.

  'Love rules the camp, the court, the grove,'- 'for love
    Is heaven, and heaven is love:'- so sings the bard;
  Which it were rather difficult to prove
    (A thing with poetry in general hard).
  Perhaps there may be something in 'the grove,'
    At least it rhymes to 'love;' but I 'm prepared
  To doubt (no less than landlords of their rental)
  If 'courts' and 'camps' be quite so sentimental.

  But if Love don't, Cash does, and Cash alone:
    Cash rules the grove, and fells it too besides;
  Without cash, camps were thin, and courts were none;
    Without cash, Malthus tells you- 'take no brides.'
  So Cash rules Love the ruler, on his own
    High ground, as virgin Cynthia sways the tides:
  And as for Heaven 'Heaven being Love,' why not say honey
  Is wax? Heaven is not Love, 't is Matrimony.

  Is not all love prohibited whatever,
    Excepting marriage? which is love, no doubt,
  After a sort; but somehow people never
    With the same thought the two words have help'd out:
  Love may exist with marriage, and should ever,
    And marriage also may exist without;
  But love sans bans is both a sin and shame,
  And ought to go by quite another name.

  Now if the 'court,' and 'camp,' and 'grove,' be not
    Recruited all with constant married men,
  Who never coveted their neighbour's lot,
    I say that line 's a lapsus of the pen;-
  Strange too in my 'buon camerado' Scott,
    So celebrated for his morals, when
  My Jeffrey held him up as an example
  To me;- of whom these morals are a sample.

  Well, if I don't succeed, I have succeeded,
    And that 's enough; succeeded in my youth,
  The only time when much success is needed:
    And my success produced what I, in sooth,
  Cared most about; it need not now be pleaded-
    Whate'er it was, 't was mine; I 've paid, in truth,
  Of late the penalty of such success,
  But have not learn'd to wish it any less.

  That suit in Chancery,- which some persons plead
    In an appeal to the unborn, whom they,
  In the faith of their procreative creed,
    Baptize posterity, or future clay,-
  To me seems but a dubious kind of reed
    To lean on for support in any way;
  Since odds are that posterity will know
  No more of them, than they of her, I trow.

  Why, I 'm posterity- and so are you;
    And whom do we remember? Not a hundred.
  Were every memory written down all true,
    The tenth or twentieth name would be but blunder'd;
  Even Plutarch's Lives have but pick'd out a few,
    And 'gainst those few your annalists have thunder'd;
  And Mitford in the nineteenth century
  Gives, with Greek truth, the good old Greek the lie.

  Good people all, of every degree,
    Ye gentle readers and ungentle writers,
  In this twelfth Canto 't is my wish to be
    As serious as if I had for inditers
  Malthus and Wilberforce:- the last set free
    The Negroes and is worth a million fighters;
  While Wellington has but enslaved the Whites,
  And Malthus does the thing 'gainst which he writes.

  I 'm serious- so are all men upon paper;
    And why should I not form my speculation,
  And hold up to the sun my little taper?
    Mankind just now seem wrapt in mediation
  On constitutions and steam-boats of vapour;
    While sages write against all procreation,
  Unless a man can calculate his means
  Of feeding brats the moment his wife weans.

  That 's noble! That 's romantic! For my part,
    I think that 'Philo-genitiveness' is
  (Now here 's a word quite after my own heart,
    Though there 's a shorter a good deal than this,
  If that politeness set it not apart;
    But I 'm resolved to say nought that 's amiss)-
  I say, methinks that 'Philo-genitiveness'
  Might meet from men a little more forgiveness.

  And now to business.- O my gentle Juan,
    Thou art in London- in that pleasant place,
  Where every kind of mischief 's daily brewing,
    Which can await warm youth in its wild race.
  'T is true, that thy career is not a new one;
    Thou art no novice in the headlong chase
  Of early life; but this is a new land,
  Which foreigners can never understand.

  What with a small diversity of climate,
    Of hot or cold, mercurial or sedate,
  I could send forth my mandate like a primate
    Upon the rest of Europe's social state;
  But thou art the most difficult to rhyme at,
    Great Britain, which the Muse may penetrate.
  All countries have their 'Lions,' but in the
  There is but one superb menagerie.

  But I am sick of politics. Begin,
    'Paulo Majora.' Juan, undecided
  Amongst the paths of being 'taken in,'
    Above the ice had like a skater glided:
  When tired of play, he flirted without sin
    With some of those fair creatures who have prided
  Themselves on innocent tantalisation,
  And hate all vice except its reputation.

  But these are few, and in the end they make
    Some devilish escapade or stir, which shows
  That even the purest people may mistake
    Their way through virtue's primrose paths of snows;
  And then men stare, as if a new ass spake
    To Balaam, and from tongue to ear o'erflows
  Quicksilver small talk, ending (if you note it)
  With the kind world's amen- 'Who would have thought it?'

  The little Leila, with her orient eyes,
    And taciturn Asiatic disposition
  (Which saw all western things with small surprise,
    To the surprise of people of condition,
  Who think that novelties are butterflies
    To be pursued as food for inanition),
  Her charming figure and romantic history
  Became a kind of fashionable mystery.

  The women much divided- as is usual
    Amongst the sex in little things or great.
  Think not, fair creatures, that I mean to abuse you all-
    I have always liked you better than I state:
  Since I 've grown moral, still I must accuse you all
    Of being apt to talk at a great rate;
  And now there was a general sensation
  Amongst you, about Leila's education.

  In one point only were you settled- and
    You had reason; 't was that a young child of grace,
  As beautiful as her own native land,
    And far away, the last bud of her race,
  Howe'er our friend Don Juan might command
    Himself for five, four, three, or two years' space,
  Would be much better taught beneath the eye
  Of peeresses whose follies had run dry.

  So first there was a generous emulation,
    And then there was a general competition,
  To undertake the orphan's education.
    As Juan was a person of condition,
  It had been an affront on this occasion
    To talk of a subscription or petition;
  But sixteen dowagers, ten unwed she sages,
  Whose tale belongs to 'Hallam's Middle Ages,'

  And one or two sad, separate wives, without
    A fruit to bloom upon their withering bough-
  Begg'd to bring up the little girl and 'out,'-
    For that 's the phrase that settles all things now,
  Meaning a virgin's first blush at a rout,
    And all her points as thorough-bred to show:
  And I assure you, that like virgin honey
  Tastes their first season (mostly if they have money).

  How all the needy honourable misters,
    Each out-at-elbow peer, or desperate dandy,
  The watchful mothers, and the careful sisters
    (Who, by the by, when clever, are more handy
  At making matches, where ''t is gold that glisters,'
    Than their he relatives), like flies o'er candy
  Buzz round 'the Fortune' with their busy battery,
  To turn her head with waltzing and with flattery!

  Each aunt, each cousin, hath her speculation;
    Nay, married dames will now and then discover
  Such pure disinterestedness of passion,
    I 've known them court an heiress for their lover.
  'Tantaene!' Such the virtues of high station,
    Even in the hopeful Isle, whose outlet 's 'Dover!'
  While the poor rich wretch, object of these cares,
  Has cause to wish her sire had had male heirs.

  Some are soon bagg'd, and some reject three dozen.
    'T is fine to see them scattering refusals
  And wild dismay o'er every angry cousin
    (Friends of the party), who begin accusals,
  Such as- 'Unless Miss (Blank) meant to have chosen
    Poor Frederick, why did she accord perusals
  To his billets? Why waltz with him? Why, I pray,
  Look yes last night, and yet say no to-day?

  'Why?- Why?- Besides, Fred really was attach'd;
    'T was not her fortune- he has enough without:
  The time will come she 'll wish that she had snatch'd
    So good an opportunity, no doubt:-
  But the old marchioness some plan had hatch'd,
    As I 'll tell Aurea at to-morrow's rout:
  And after all poor Frederick may do better-
  Pray did you see her answer to his letter?'

  Smart uniforms and sparkling coronets
    Are spurn'd in turn, until her turn arrives,
  After male loss of time, and hearts, and bets
    Upon the sweepstakes for substantial wives;
  And when at last the pretty creature gets
    Some gentleman, who fights, or writes, or drives,
  It soothes the awkward squad of the rejected
  To find how very badly she selected.

  For sometimes they accept some long pursuer,
    Worn out with importunity; or fall
  (But here perhaps the instances are fewer)
    To the lot of him who scarce pursued at all.
  A hazy widower turn'd of forty 's sure
    (If 't is not vain examples to recall)
  To draw a high prize: now, howe'er he got her, I
  See nought more strange in this than t' other lottery.

  I, for my part (one 'modern instance' more,
    'True, 't is a pity- pity 't is, 't is true'),
  Was chosen from out an amatory score,
    Albeit my years were less discreet than few;
  But though I also had reform'd before
    Those became one who soon were to be two,
  I 'll not gainsay the generous public's voice,
  That the young lady made a monstrous choice.

  Oh, pardon my digression- or at least
    Peruse! 'T is always with a moral end
  That I dissert, like grace before a feast:
    For like an aged aunt, or tiresome friend,
  A rigid guardian, or a zealous priest,
    My Muse by exhortation means to mend
  All people, at all times, and in most places,
  Which puts my Pegasus to these grave paces.

  But now I 'm going to be immoral; now
    I mean to show things really as they are,
  Not as they ought to be: for I avow,
    That till we see what 's what in fact, we 're far
  From much improvement with that virtuous plough
    Which skims the surface, leaving scarce a scar
  Upon the black loam long manured by Vice,
  Only to keep its corn at the old price.

  But first of little Leila we 'll dispose;
    For like a day-dawn she was young and pure,
  Or like the old comparison of snows,
    Which are more pure than pleasant to be sure.
  Like many people everybody knows,
    Don Juan was delighted to secure
  A goodly guardian for his infant charge,
  Who might not profit much by being at large.

  Besides, he had found out he was no tutor
    (I wish that others would find out the same);
  And rather wish'd in such things to stand neuter,
    For silly wards will bring their guardians blame:
  So when he saw each ancient dame a suitor
    To make his little wild Asiatic tame,
  Consulting 'the Society for Vice
  Suppression,' Lady Pinchbeck was his choice.

  Olden she was- but had been very young;
    Virtuous she was- and had been, I believe;
  Although the world has such an evil tongue
    That- but my chaster ear will not receive
  An echo of a syllable that 's wrong:
    In fact, there 's nothing makes me so much grieve,
  As that abominable tittle-tattle,
  Which is the cud eschew'd by human cattle.

  Moreover I 've remark'd (and I was once
    A slight observer in a modest way),
  And so may every one except a dunce,
    That ladies in their youth a little gay,
  Besides their knowledge of the world, and sense
    Of the sad consequence of going astray,
  Are wiser in their warnings 'gainst the woe
  Which the mere passionless can never know.

  While the harsh prude indemnifies her virtue
    By railing at the unknown and envied passion,
  Seeking far less to save you than to hurt you,
    Or, what 's still worse, to put you out of fashion,-
  The kinder veteran with calm words will court you,
    Entreating you to pause before you dash on;
  Expounding and illustrating the riddle
  Of epic Love's beginning, end, and middle.

  Now whether it be thus, or that they are stricter,
    As better knowing why they should be so,
  I think you 'll find from many a family picture,
    That daughters of such mothers as may know
  The world by experience rather than by lecture,
    Turn out much better for the Smithfield Show
  Of vestals brought into the marriage mart,
  Than those bred up by prudes without a heart.

  I said that Lady Pinchbeck had been talk'd about-
    As who has not, if female, young, and pretty?
  But now no more the ghost of Scandal stalk'd about;
    She merely was deem'd amiable and witty,
  And several of her best bon-mots were hawk'd about:
    Then she was given to charity and pity,
  And pass'd (at least the latter years of life)
  For being a most exemplary wife.

  High in high circles, gentle in her own,
    She was the mild reprover of the young,
  Whenever- which means every day- they 'd shown
    An awkward inclination to go wrong.
  The quantity of good she did 's unknown,
    Or at the least would lengthen out my song:
  In brief, the little orphan of the East
  Had raised an interest in her, which increased.

  Juan, too, was a sort of favourite with her,
    Because she thought him a good heart at bottom,
  A little spoil'd, but not so altogether;
    Which was a wonder, if you think who got him,
  And how he had been toss'd, he scarce knew whither:
    Though this might ruin others, it did not him,
  At least entirely- for he had seen too many
  Changes in youth, to be surprised at any.

  And these vicissitudes tell best in youth;
    For when they happen at a riper age,
  People are apt to blame the Fates, forsooth,
    And wonder Providence is not more sage.
  Adversity is the first path to truth:
    He who hath proved war, storm, or woman's rage,
  Whether his winters be eighteen or eighty,
  Hath won the experience which is deem'd so weighty.

  How far it profits is another matter.-
    Our hero gladly saw his little charge
  Safe with a lady, whose last grown-up daughter
    Being long married, and thus set at large,
  Had left all the accomplishments she taught her
    To be transmitted, like the Lord Mayor's barge,
  To the next comer; or- as it will tell
  More Muse-like- like to Cytherea's shell.

  I call such things transmission; for there is
    A floating balance of accomplishment
  Which forms a pedigree from Miss to Miss,
    According as their minds or backs are bent.
  Some waltz; some draw; some fathom the abyss
    Of metaphysics; others are content
  With music; the most moderate shine as wits;
  While others have a genius turn'd for fits.

  But whether fits, or wits, or harpsichords,
    Theology, fine arts, or finer stays,
  May be the baits for gentlemen or lords
    With regular descent, in these our days,
  The last year to the new transfers its hoards;
    New vestals claim men's eyes with the same praise
  Of 'elegant' et caetera, in fresh batches-
  All matchless creatures, and yet bent on matches.

  But now I will begin my poem. 'T is
    Perhaps a little strange, if not quite new,
  That from the first of Cantos up to this
    I 've not begun what we have to go through.
  These first twelve books are merely flourishes,
    Preludios, trying just a string or two
  Upon my lyre, or making the pegs sure;
  And when so, you shall have the overture.

  My Muses do not care a pinch of rosin
    About what 's call'd success, or not succeeding:
  Such thoughts are quite below the strain they have chosen;
    'T is a 'great moral lesson' they are reading.
  I thought, at setting off, about two dozen
    Cantos would do; but at Apollo's pleading,
  If that my Pegasus should not be founder'd,
  I think to canter gently through a hundred.

  Don Juan saw that microcosm on stilts,
    Yclept the Great World; for it is the least,
  Although the highest: but as swords have hilts
    By which their power of mischief is increased,
  When man in battle or in quarrel tilts,
    Thus the low world, north, south, or west, or east,
  Must still obey the high- which is their handle,
  Their moon, their sun, their gas, their farthing candle.

  He had many friends who had many wives, and was
    Well look'd upon by both, to that extent
  Of friendship which you may accept or pass,
    It does nor good nor harm being merely meant
  To keep the wheels going of the higher class,
    And draw them nightly when a ticket 's sent:
  And what with masquerades, and fetes, and balls,
  For the first season such a life scarce palls.

  A young unmarried man, with a good name
    And fortune, has an awkward part to play;
  For good society is but a game,
    'The royal game of Goose,' as I may say,
  Where every body has some separate aim,
    An end to answer, or a plan to lay-
  The single ladies wishing to be double,
  The married ones to save the virgins trouble.

  I don't mean this as general, but particular
    Examples may be found of such pursuits:
  Though several also keep their perpendicular
    Like poplars, with good principles for roots;
  Yet many have a method more reticular-
    'Fishers for men,' like sirens with soft lutes:
  For talk six times with the same single lady,
  And you may get the wedding dresses ready.

  Perhaps you 'll have a letter from the mother,
    To say her daughter's feelings are trepann'd;
  Perhaps you 'll have a visit from the brother,
    All strut, and stays, and whiskers, to demand
  What 'your intentions are?'- One way or other
    It seems the virgin's heart expects your hand:
  And between pity for her case and yours,
  You 'll add to Matrimony's list of cures.

  I 've known a dozen weddings made even thus,
    And some of them high names: I have also known
  Young men who- though they hated to discuss
    Pretensions which they never dream'd to have shown-
  Yet neither frighten'd by a female fuss,
    Nor by mustachios moved, were let alone,
  And lived, as did the broken-hearted fair,
  In happier plight than if they form'd a pair.

  There 's also nightly, to the uninitiated,
    A peril- not indeed like love or marriage,
  But not the less for this to be depreciated:
    It is- I meant and mean not to disparage
  The show of virtue even in the vitiated-
    It adds an outward grace unto their carriage-
  But to denounce the amphibious sort of harlot,
  'Couleur de rose,' who 's neither white nor scarlet.

  Such is your cold coquette, who can't say 'No,'
    And won't say 'Yes,' and keeps you on and off-ing
  On a lee-shore, till it begins to blow-
    Then sees your heart wreck'd, with an inward scoffing.
  This works a world of sentimental woe,
    And sends new Werters yearly to their coffin;
  But yet is merely innocent flirtation,
  Not quite adultery, but adulteration.

  'Ye gods, I grow a talker!' Let us prate.
    The next of perils, though I place it sternest,
  Is when, without regard to 'church or state,'
    A wife makes or takes love in upright earnest.
  Abroad, such things decide few women's fate-
    (Such, early traveller! is the truth thou learnest)-
  But in old England, when a young bride errs,
  Poor thing! Eve's was a trifling case to hers.

  For 't is a low, newspaper, humdrum, lawsuit
    Country, where a young couple of the same ages
  Can't form a friendship, but the world o'erawes it.
  A verdict- grievous foe to those who cause it!-
    Forms a sad climax to romantic homages;
  Besides those soothing speeches of the pleaders,
  And evidences which regale all readers.

  But they who blunder thus are raw beginners;
    A little genial sprinkling of hypocrisy
  Has saved the fame of thousand splendid sinners,
    The loveliest oligarchs of our gynocracy;
  You may see such at all the balls and dinners,
    Among the proudest of our aristocracy,
  So gentle, charming, charitable, chaste-
  And all by having tact as well as taste.

  Juan, who did not stand in the predicament
    Of a mere novice, had one safeguard more;
  For he was sick- no, 't was not the word sick I meant-
    But he had seen so much love before,
  That he was not in heart so very weak;- I meant
    But thus much, and no sneer against the shore
  Of white cliffs, white necks, blue eyes, bluer stockings,
  Tithes, taxes, duns, and doors with double knockings.

  But coming young from lands and scenes romantic,
    Where lives, not lawsuits, must be risk'd for Passion,
  And Passion's self must have a spice of frantic,
    Into a country where 't is half a fashion,
  Seem'd to him half commercial, half pedantic,
    Howe'er he might esteem this moral nation:
  Besides (alas! his taste- forgive and pity!)
  At first he did not think the women pretty.

  I say at first- for he found out at last,
    But by degrees, that they were fairer far
  Than the more glowing dames whose lot is cast
    Beneath the influence of the eastern star.
  A further proof we should not judge in haste;
    Yet inexperience could not be his bar
  To taste:- the truth is, if men would confess,
  That novelties please less than they impress.

  Though travell'd, I have never had the luck to
    Trace up those shuffling negroes, Nile or Niger,
  To that impracticable place, Timbuctoo,
    Where Geography finds no one to oblige her
  With such a chart as may be safely stuck to-
    For Europe ploughs in Afric like 'bos piger:'
  But if I had been at Timbuctoo, there
  No doubt I should be told that black is fair.

  It is. I will not swear that black is white;
    But I suspect in fact that white is black,
  And the whole matter rests upon eyesight.
    Ask a blind man, the best judge. You 'll attack
  Perhaps this new position- but I 'm right;
    Or if I 'm wrong, I 'll not be ta'en aback:-
  He hath no morn nor night, but all is dark
  Within; and what seest thou? A dubious spark.

  But I 'm relapsing into metaphysics,
    That labyrinth, whose clue is of the same
  Construction as your cures for hectic phthisics,
    Those bright moths fluttering round a dying flame;
  And this reflection brings me to plain physics,
    And to the beauties of a foreign dame,
  Compared with those of our pure pearls of price,
  Those polar summers, all sun, and some ice.

  Or say they are like virtuous mermaids, whose
    Beginnings are fair faces, ends mere fishes;-
  Not that there 's not a quantity of those
    Who have a due respect for their own wishes.
  Like Russians rushing from hot baths to snows
    Are they, at bottom virtuous even when vicious:
  They warm into a scrape, but keep of course,
  As a reserve, a plunge into remorse.

  But this has nought to do with their outsides.
    I said that Juan did not think them pretty
  At the first blush; for a fair Briton hides
    Half her attractions- probably from pity-
  And rather calmly into the heart glides,
    Than storms it as a foe would take a city;
  But once there (if you doubt this, prithee try)
  She keeps it for you like a true ally.

  She cannot step as does an Arab barb,
    Or Andalusian girl from mass returning,
  Nor wear as gracefully as Gauls her garb,
    Nor in her eye Ausonia's glance is burning;
  Her voice, though sweet, is not so fit to warb-
    le those bravuras (which I still am learning
  To like, though I have been seven years in Italy,
  And have, or had, an ear that served me prettily);-

  She cannot do these things, nor one or two
    Others, in that off-hand and dashing style
  Which takes so much- to give the devil his due;
    Nor is she quite so ready with her smile,
  Nor settles all things in one interview
    (A thing approved as saving time and toil);-
  But though the soil may give you time and trouble,
  Well cultivated, it will render double.

  And if in fact she takes to a 'grande passion,'
    It is a very serious thing indeed:
  Nine times in ten 't is but caprice or fashion,
    Coquetry, or a wish to take the lead,
  The pride of a mere child with a new sash on,
    Or wish to make a rival's bosom bleed:
  But the tenth instance will be a tornado,
  For there 's no saying what they will or may do.

  The reason 's obvious; if there 's an eclat,
    They lose their caste at once, as do the Parias;
  And when the delicacies of the law
    Have fill'd their papers with their comments various,
  Society, that china without flaw
    (The hypocrite!), will banish them like Marius,
  To sit amidst the ruins of their guilt:
  For Fame 's a Carthage not so soon rebuilt.

  Perhaps this is as it should be;- it is
    A comment on the Gospel's 'Sin no more,
  And be thy sins forgiven:'- but upon this
    I leave the saints to settle their own score.
  Abroad, though doubtless they do much amiss,
    An erring woman finds an opener door
  For her return to Virtue- as they cal
  That lady, who should be at home to all.

  For me, I leave the matter where I find it,
    Knowing that such uneasy virtue leads
  People some ten times less in fact to mind it,
    And care but for discoveries and not deeds.
  And as for chastity, you 'll never bind it
    By all the laws the strictest lawyer pleads,
  But aggravate the crime you have not prevented,
  By rendering desperate those who had else repented.

  But Juan was no casuist, nor had ponder'd
    Upon the moral lessons of mankind:
  Besides, he had not seen of several hundred
    A lady altogether to his mind.
  A little 'blase'- 't is not to be wonder'd
    At, that his heart had got a tougher rind:
  And though not vainer from his past success,
  No doubt his sensibilities were less.

  He also had been busy seeing sights-
    The Parliament and all the other houses;
  Had sat beneath the gallery at nights,
    To hear debates whose thunder roused (not rouses)
  The world to gaze upon those northern lights
    Which flash'd as far as where the musk-bull browses;
  He had also stood at times behind the throne-
  But Grey was not arrived, and Chatham gone.

  He saw, however, at the closing session,
    That noble sight, when really free the nation,
  A king in constitutional possession
    Of such a throne as is the proudest station,
  Though despots know it not- till the progression
    Of freedom shall complete their education.
  'T is not mere splendour makes the show august
  To eye or heart- it is the people's trust.

  There, too, he saw (whate'er he may be now)
    A Prince, the prince of princes at the time,
  With fascination in his very bow,
    And full of promise, as the spring of prime.
  Though royalty was written on his brow,
    He had then the grace, too, rare in every clime,
  Of being, without alloy of fop or beau,
  A finish'd gentleman from top to toe.

  And Juan was received, as hath been said,
    Into the best society: and there
  Occurr'd what often happens, I 'm afraid,
    However disciplined and debonnaire:-
  The talent and good humour he display'd,
    Besides the mark'd distinction of his air,
  Exposed him, as was natural, to temptation,
  Even though himself avoided the occasion.

  But what, and where, with whom, and when, and why,
    Is not to be put hastily together;
  And as my object is morality
    (Whatever people say), I don't know whether
  I 'll leave a single reader's eyelid dry,
    But harrow up his feelings till they wither,
  And hew out a huge monument of pathos,
  As Philip's son proposed to do with Athos.

  Here the twelfth Canto of our introduction
    Ends. When the body of the book 's begun,
  You 'll find it of a different construction
    From what some people say 't will be when done:
  The plan at present 's simply in concoction,
    I can't oblige you, reader, to read on;
  That 's your affair, not mine: a real spirit
  Should neither court neglect, nor dread to bear it.

  And if my thunderbolt not always rattles,
    Remember, reader! you have had before
  The worst of tempests and the best of battles
    That e'er were brew'd from elements or gore,
  Besides the most sublime of- Heaven knows what else:
    An usurer could scarce expect much more-
  But my best canto, save one on astronomy,
  Will turn upon 'political economy.'

  That is your present theme for popularity:
    Now that the public hedge hath scarce a stake,
  It grows an act of patriotic charity,
    To show the people the best way to break.
  My plan (but I, if but for singularity,
    Reserve it) will be very sure to take.
  Meantime, read all the national debt-sinkers,
  And tell me what you think of your great thinkers.
               CANTO THE THIRTEENTH.

  I NOW mean to be serious;- it is time,
    Since laughter now-a-days is deem'd too serious.
  A jest at Vice by Virtue 's call'd a crime,
    And critically held as deleterious:
  Besides, the sad 's a source of the sublime,
    Although when long a little apt to weary us;
  And therefore shall my lay soar high and solemn,
  As an old temple dwindled to a column.

  The Lady Adeline Amundeville
    ('T is an old Norman name, and to be found
  In pedigrees, by those who wander still
    Along the last fields of that Gothic ground)
  Was high-born, wealthy by her father's will,
    And beauteous, even where beauties most abound,
  In Britain- which of course true patriots find
  The goodliest soil of body and of mind.

  I 'll not gainsay them; it is not my cue;
    I 'll leave them to their taste, no doubt the best:
  An eye 's an eye, and whether black or blue,
    Is no great matter, so 't is in request,
  'T is nonsense to dispute about a hue-
    The kindest may be taken as a test.
  The fair sex should be always fair; and no man,
  Till thirty, should perceive there 's a plain woman.

  And after that serene and somewhat dull
    Epoch, that awkward corner turn'd for days
  More quiet, when our moon 's no more at full,
    We may presume to criticise or praise;
  Because indifference begins to lull
    Our passions, and we walk in wisdom's ways;
  Also because the figure and the face
  Hint, that 't is time to give the younger place.

  I know that some would fain postpone this era,
    Reluctant as all placemen to resign
  Their post; but theirs is merely a chimera,
    For they have pass'd life's equinoctial line:
  But then they have their claret and Madeira
    To irrigate the dryness of decline;
  And county meetings, and the parliament,
  And debt, and what not, for their solace sent.

  And is there not religion, and reform,
    Peace, war, the taxes, and what 's call'd the 'Nation'?
  The struggle to be pilots in a storm?
    The landed and the monied speculation?
  The joys of mutual hate to keep them warm,
    Instead of love, that mere hallucination?
  Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
  Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.

  Rough Johnson, the great moralist, profess'd,
    Right honestly, 'he liked an honest hater!'-
  The only truth that yet has been confest
    Within these latest thousand years or later.
  Perhaps the fine old fellow spoke in jest:-
    For my part, I am but a mere spectator,
  And gaze where'er the palace or the hovel is,
  Much in the mode of Goethe's Mephistopheles;

  But neither love nor hate in much excess;
    Though 't was not once so. If I sneer sometimes,
  It is because I cannot well do less,
    And now and then it also suits my rhymes.
  I should be very willing to redress
    Men's wrongs, and rather check than punish crimes,
  Had not Cervantes, in that too true tale
  Of Quixote, shown how all such efforts fail.

  Of all tales 't is the saddest- and more sad,
    Because it makes us smile: his hero 's right,
  And still pursues the right;- to curb the bad
    His only object, and 'gainst odds to fight
  His guerdon: 't is his virtue makes him mad!
    But his adventures form a sorry sight;
  A sorrier still is the great moral taught
  By that real epic unto all who have thought.

  Redressing injury, revenging wrong,
    To aid the damsel and destroy the caitiff;
  Opposing singly the united strong,
    From foreign yoke to free the helpless native:-
  Alas! must noblest views, like an old song,
    Be for mere fancy's sport a theme creative,
  A jest, a riddle, Fame through thin and thick sought!
  And Socrates himself but Wisdom's Quixote?

  Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away;
    A single laugh demolish'd the right arm
  Of his own country;- seldom since that day
    Has Spain had heroes. While Romance could charm,
  The world gave ground before her bright array;
    And therefore have his volumes done such harm,
  That all their glory, as a composition,
  Was dearly purchased by his land's perdition.

  I 'm 'at my old lunes'- digression, and forget
    The Lady Adeline Amundeville;
  The fair most fatal Juan ever met,
    Although she was not evil nor meant ill;
  But Destiny and Passion spread the net
    (Fate is a good excuse for our own will),
  And caught them;- what do they not catch, methinks?
  But I 'm not OEdipus, and life 's a Sphinx.

  I tell the tale as it is told, nor dare
    To venture a solution: 'Davus sum!'
  And now I will proceed upon the pair.
    Sweet Adeline, amidst the gay world's hum,
  Was the Queen-Bee, the glass of all that 's fair;
    Whose charms made all men speak, and women dumb.
  The last 's a miracle, and such was reckon'd,
  And since that time there has not been a second.

  Chaste was she, to detraction's desperation,
    And wedded unto one she had loved well-
  A man known in the councils of the nation,
    Cool, and quite English, imperturbable,
  Though apt to act with fire upon occasion,
    Proud of himself and her: the world could tell
  Nought against either, and both seem'd secure-
  She in her virtue, he in his hauteur.

  It chanced some diplomatical relations,
    Arising out of business, often brought
  Himself and Juan in their mutual stations
    Into close contact. Though reserved, nor caught
  By specious seeming, Juan's youth, and patience,
    And talent, on his haughty spirit wrought,
  And form'd a basis of esteem, which ends
  In making men what courtesy calls friends.

  And thus Lord Henry, who was cautious as
    Reserve and pride could make him, and full slow
  In judging men- when once his judgment was
    Determined, right or wrong, on friend or foe,
  Had all the pertinacity pride has,
    Which knows no ebb to its imperious flow,
  And loves or hates, disdaining to be guided,
  Because its own good pleasure hath decided.

  His friendships, therefore, and no less aversions,
    Though oft well founded, which confirm'd but more
  His prepossessions, like the laws of Persians
    And Medes, would ne'er revoke what went before.
  His feelings had not those strange fits, like tertians,
    Of common likings, which make some deplore
  What they should laugh at- the mere ague still
  Of men's regard, the fever or the chill.

  ''T is not in mortals to command success:
    But do you more, Sempronius- don't deserve it,'
  And take my word, you won't have any less.
    Be wary, watch the time, and always serve it;
  Give gently way, when there 's too great a press;
    And for your conscience, only learn to nerve it,
  For, like a racer, or a boxer training,
  'T will make, if proved, vast efforts without paining.

  Lord Henry also liked to be superior,
    As most men do, the little or the great;
  The very lowest find out an inferior,
    At least they think so, to exert their state
  Upon: for there are very few things wearier
    Than solitary Pride's oppressive weight,
  Which mortals generously would divide,
  By bidding others carry while they ride.

  In birth, in rank, in fortune likewise equal,
    O'er Juan he could no distinction claim;
  In years he had the advantage of time's sequel;
    And, as he thought, in country much the same-
  Because bold Britons have a tongue and free quill,
    At which all modern nations vainly aim;
  And the Lord Henry was a great debater,
  So that few members kept the house up later.

  These were advantages: and then he thought-
    It was his foible, but by no means sinister-
  That few or none more than himself had caught
    Court mysteries, having been himself a minister:
  He liked to teach that which he had been taught,
    And greatly shone whenever there had been a stir;
  And reconciled all qualities which grace man,
  Always a patriot, and sometimes a placeman.

  He liked the gentle Spaniard for his gravity;
    He almost honour'd him for his docility;
  Because, though young, he acquiesced with suavity,
    Or contradicted but with proud humility.
  He knew the world, and would not see depravity
    In faults which sometimes show the soil's fertility,
  If that the weeds o'erlive not the first crop-
  For then they are very difficult to stop.

  And then he talk'd with him about Madrid,
    Constantinople, and such distant places;
  Where people always did as they were bid,
    Or did what they should not with foreign graces.
  Of coursers also spake they: Henry rid
    Well, like most Englishmen, and loved the races;
  And Juan, like a true-born Andalusian,
  Could back a horse, as despots ride a Russian.

  And thus acquaintance grew, at noble routs,
    And diplomatic dinners, or at other-
  For Juan stood well both with Ins and Outs,
    As in freemasonry a higher brother.
  Upon his talent Henry had no doubts;
    His manner show'd him sprung from a high mother;
  And all men like to show their hospitality
  To him whose breeding matches with his quality.

  At Blank-Blank Square;- for we will break no squares
    By naming streets: since men are so censorious,
  And apt to sow an author's wheat with tares,
    Reaping allusions private and inglorious,
  Where none were dreamt of, unto love's affairs,
    Which were, or are, or are to be notorious,
  That therefore do I previously declare,
  Lord Henry's mansion was in Blank-Blank Square.

  Also there bin another pious reason
    For making squares and streets anonymous;
  Which is, that there is scarce a single season
    Which doth not shake some very splendid house
  With some slight heart-quake of domestic treason-
    A topic scandal doth delight to rouse:
  Such I might stumble over unawares,
  Unless I knew the very chastest squares.

  'T is true, I might have chosen Piccadilly,
    A place where peccadillos are unknown;
  But I have motives, whether wise or silly,
    For letting that pure sanctuary alone.
  Therefore I name not square, street, place, until I
    Find one where nothing naughty can be shown,
  A vestal shrine of innocence of heart:

  At Henry's mansion then, in Blank-Blank Square,
    Was Juan a recherche, welcome guest,
  As many other noble scions were;
    And some who had but talent for their crest;
  Or wealth, which is a passport every where;
    Or even mere fashion, which indeed 's the best
  Recommendation; and to be well drest
  Will very often supersede the rest.

  And since 'there 's safety in a multitude
    Of counsellors,' as Solomon has said,
  Or some one for him, in some sage, grave mood;-
    Indeed we see the daily proof display'd
  In senates, at the bar, in wordy feud,
    Where'er collective wisdom can parade,
  Which is the only cause that we can guess
  Of Britain's present wealth and happiness;-

  But as 'there 's safety' grafted in the number
    'Of counsellors' for men, thus for the sex
  A large acquaintance lets not Virtue slumber;
    Or should it shake, the choice will more perplex-
  Variety itself will more encumber.
    'Midst many rocks we guard more against wrecks;
  And thus with women: howsoe'er it shocks some's
  Self-love, there 's safety in a crowd of coxcombs.

  But Adeline had not the least occasion
    For such a shield, which leaves but little merit
  To virtue proper, or good education.
    Her chief resource was in her own high spirit,
  Which judged mankind at their due estimation;
    And for coquetry, she disdain'd to wear it:
  Secure of admiration, its impression
  Was faint, as of an every-day possession.

  To all she was polite without parade;
    To some she show'd attention of that kind
  Which flatters, but is flattery convey'd
    In such a sort as cannot leave behind
  A trace unworthy either wife or maid;-
    A gentle, genial courtesy of mind,
  To those who were, or pass'd for meritorious,
  Just to console sad glory for being glorious;

  Which is in all respects, save now and then,
    A dull and desolate appendage. Gaze
  Upon the shades of those distinguish'd men
    Who were or are the puppet-shows of praise,
  The praise of persecution; gaze again
    On the most favour'd; and amidst the blaze
  Of sunset halos o'er the laurel-brow'd,
  What can ye recognise?- a gilded cloud.

  There also was of course in Adeline
    That calm patrician polish in the address,
  Which ne'er can pass the equinoctial line
    Of any thing which nature would express;
  Just as a mandarin finds nothing fine,-
    At least his manner suffers not to guess
  That any thing he views can greatly please.
  Perhaps we have borrow'd this from the Chinese-

  Perhaps from Horace: his 'Nil admirari'
    Was what he call'd the 'Art of Happiness;'
  An art on which the artists greatly vary,
    And have not yet attain'd to much success.
  However, 't is expedient to be wary:
    Indifference certes don't produce distress;
  And rash enthusiasm in good society
  Were nothing but a moral inebriety.

  But Adeline was not indifferent: for
    (Now for a common-place!) beneath the snow,
  As a volcano holds the lava more
    Within- et caetera. Shall I go on?- No!
  I hate to hunt down a tired metaphor,
    So let the often-used volcano go.
  Poor thing! How frequently, by me and others,
  It hath been stirr'd up till its smoke quite smothers!

  I 'll have another figure in a trice:-
    What say you to a bottle of champagne?
  Frozen into a very vinous ice,
    Which leaves few drops of that immortal rain,
  Yet in the very centre, past all price,
    About a liquid glassful will remain;
  And this is stronger than the strongest grape
  Could e'er express in its expanded shape:

  'T is the whole spirit brought to a quintessence;
    And thus the chilliest aspects may concentre
  A hidden nectar under a cold presence.
    And such are many- though I only meant her
  From whom I now deduce these moral lessons,
    On which the Muse has always sought to enter.
  And your cold people are beyond all price,
  When once you have broken their confounded ice.

  But after all they are a North-West Passage
    Unto the glowing India of the soul;
  And as the good ships sent upon that message
    Have not exactly ascertain'd the Pole
  (Though Parry's efforts look a lucky presage),
    Thus gentlemen may run upon a shoal;
  For if the Pole 's not open, but all frost
  (A chance still), 't is a voyage or vessel lost.

  And young beginners may as well commence
    With quiet cruising o'er the ocean woman;
  While those who are not beginners should have sense
    Enough to make for port, ere time shall summon
  With his grey signal-flag; and the past tense,
    The dreary 'Fuimus' of all things human,
  Must be declined, while life's thin thread 's spun out
  Between the gaping heir and gnawing gout.

  But heaven must be diverted; its diversion
    Is sometimes truculent- but never mind:
  The world upon the whole is worth the assertion
    (If but for comfort) that all things are kind:
  And that same devilish doctrine of the Persian,
    Of the two principles, but leaves behind
  As many doubts as any other doctrine
  Has ever puzzled Faith withal, or yoked her in.

  The English winter- ending in July,
    To recommence in August- now was done.
  'T is the postilion's paradise: wheels fly;
    On roads, east, south, north, west, there is a run.
  But for post-horses who finds sympathy?
    Man's pity 's for himself, or for his son,
  Always premising that said son at college
  Has not contracted much more debt than knowledge.

  The London winter 's ended in July-
    Sometimes a little later. I don't err
  In this: whatever other blunders lie
    Upon my shoulders, here I must aver
  My Muse a glass of weatherology;
    For parliament is our barometer:
  Let radicals its other acts attack,
  Its sessions form our only almanack.

  When its quicksilver 's down at zero,- lo
    Coach, chariot, luggage, baggage, equipage!
  Wheels whirl from Carlton palace to Soho,
    And happiest they who horses can engage;
  The turnpikes glow with dust; and Rotten Row
    Sleeps from the chivalry of this bright age;
  And tradesmen, with long bills and longer faces,
  Sigh- as the postboys fasten on the traces.

  They and their bills, 'Arcadians both,' are left
    To the Greek kalends of another session.
  Alas! to them of ready cash bereft,
    What hope remains? Of hope the full possession,
  Or generous draft, conceded as a gift,
    At a long date- till they can get a fresh one-
  Hawk'd about at a discount, small or large;
  Also the solace of an overcharge.

  But these are trifles. Downward flies my lord,
    Nodding beside my lady in his carriage.
  Away! away! 'Fresh horses!' are the word,
    And changed as quickly as hearts after marriage;
  The obsequious landlord hath the change restored;
    The postboys have no reason to disparage
  Their fee; but ere the water'd wheels may hiss hence,
  The ostler pleads too for a reminiscence.

  'T is granted; and the valet mounts the dickey-
    That gentleman of lords and gentlemen;
  Also my lady's gentlewoman, tricky,
    Trick'd out, but modest more than poet's pen
  Can paint,- 'Cosi viaggino i Ricchi!'
    (Excuse a foreign slipslop now and then,
  If but to show I 've travell'd; and what 's travel,
  Unless it teaches one to quote and cavil?)

  The London winter and the country summer
    Were well nigh over. 'T is perhaps a pity,
  When nature wears the gown that doth become her,
    To lose those best months in a sweaty city,
  And wait until the nightingale grows dumber,
    Listening debates not very wise or witty,
  Ere patriots their true country can remember;-
  But there 's no shooting (save grouse) till September.

  I 've done with my tirade. The world was gone;
    The twice two thousand, for whom earth was made,
  Were vanish'd to be what they call alone-
    That is, with thirty servants for parade,
  As many guests, or more; before whom groan
    As many covers, duly, daily, laid.
  Let none accuse Old England's hospitality-
  Its quantity is but condensed to quality.

  Lord Henry and the Lady Adeline
    Departed like the rest of their compeers,
  The peerage, to a mansion very fine;
    The Gothic Babel of a thousand years.
  None than themselves could boast a longer line,
    Where time through heroes and through beauties steers;
  And oaks as olden as their pedigree
  Told of their sires, a tomb in every tree.

  A paragraph in every paper told
    Of their departure: such is modern fame:
  'T is pity that it takes no farther hold
    Than an advertisement, or much the same;
  When, ere the ink be dry, the sound grows cold.
    The Morning Post was foremost to proclaim-
  'Departure, for his country seat, to-day,
  Lord H. Amundeville and Lady A.

  'We understand the splendid host intends
    To entertain, this autumn, a select
  And numerous party of his noble friends;
    'Midst whom we have heard, from sources quite correct,
    With many more by rank and fashion deck'd;
  Also a foreigner of high condition,
  The envoy of the secret Russian mission.'

  And thus we see- who doubts the Morning Post?
    (Whose articles are like the 'Thirty-nine,'
  Which those most swear to who believe them most)-
    Our gay Russ Spaniard was ordain'd to shine,
  Deck'd by the rays reflected from his host,
    With those who, Pope says, 'greatly daring dine.'
  'T is odd, but true,- last war the News abounded
  More with these dinners than the kill'd or wounded;-

  As thus: 'On Thursday there was a grand dinner;
    Present, Lords A. B. C.'- Earls, dukes, by name
  Announced with no less pomp than victory's winner:
    Then underneath, and in the very same
  Column; date, 'Falmouth. There has lately been here
    The Slap-dash regiment, so well known to fame,
  Whose loss in the late action we regret:
  The vacancies are fill'd up- see Gazette.'

  To Norman Abbey whirl'd the noble pair,-
    An old, old monastery once, and now
  Still older mansion; of a rich and rare
    Mix'd Gothic, such as artists all allow
  Few specimens yet left us can compare
    Withal: it lies perhaps a little low,
  Because the monks preferr'd a hill behind,
  To shelter their devotion from the wind.

  It stood embosom'd in a happy valley,
    Crown'd by high woodlands, where the Druid oak
  Stood like Caractacus in act to rally
    His host, with broad arms 'gainst the thunderstroke;
  And from beneath his boughs were seen to sally
    The dappled foresters- as day awoke,
  The branching stag swept down with all his herd,
  To quaff a brook which murmur'd like a bird.

  Before the mansion lay a lucid lake,
    Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed
  By a river, which its soften'd way did take
    In currents through the calmer water spread
  Around: the wildfowl nestled in the brake
    And sedges, brooding in their liquid bed:
  The woods sloped downwards to its brink, and stood
  With their green faces fix'd upon the flood.

  Its outlet dash'd into a deep cascade,
    Sparkling with foam, until again subsiding,
  Its shriller echoes- like an infant made
    Quiet- sank into softer ripples, gliding
  Into a rivulet; and thus allay'd,
    Pursued its course, now gleaming, and now hiding
  Its windings through the woods; now clear, now blue,
  According as the skies their shadows threw.

  A glorious remnant of the Gothic pile
    (While yet the church was Rome's) stood half apart
  In a grand arch, which once screen'd many an aisle.
    These last had disappear'd- a loss to art:
  The first yet frown'd superbly o'er the soil,
    And kindled feelings in the roughest heart,
  Which mourn'd the power of time's or tempest's march,
  In gazing on that venerable arch.

  Within a niche, nigh to its pinnacle,
    Twelve saints had once stood sanctified in stone;
  But these had fallen, not when the friars fell,
    But in the war which struck Charles from his throne,
  When each house was a fortalice, as tell
    The annals of full many a line undone,-
  The gallant cavaliers, who fought in vain
  For those who knew not to resign or reign.

  But in a higher niche, alone, but crowned,
    The Virgin Mother of the God-born Child,
  With her Son in her blessed arms, look'd round,
    Spared by some chance when all beside was spoil'd;
  She made the earth below seem holy ground.
    This may be superstition, weak or wild,
  But even the faintest relics of a shrine
  Of any worship wake some thoughts divine.

  A mighty window, hollow in the centre,
    Shorn of its glass of thousand colourings,
  Through which the deepen'd glories once could enter,
    Streaming from off the sun like seraph's wings,
  Now yawns all desolate: now loud, now fainter,
    The gale sweeps through its fretwork, and oft sings
  The owl his anthem, where the silenced quire
  Lie with their hallelujahs quench'd like fire.

  But in the noontide of the moon, and when
    The wind is winged from one point of heaven,
  There moans a strange unearthly sound, which then
    Is musical- a dying accent driven
  Through the huge arch, which soars and sinks again.
    Some deem it but the distant echo given
  Back to the night wind by the waterfall,
  And harmonised by the old choral wall:

  Others, that some original shape, or form
    Shaped by decay perchance, hath given the power
  (Though less than that of Memnon's statue, warm
    In Egypt's rays, to harp at a fix'd hour)
  To this grey ruin, with a voice to charm.
    Sad, but serene, it sweeps o'er tree or tower;
  The cause I know not, nor can solve; but such
  The fact:- I 've heard it- once perhaps too much.

  Amidst the court a Gothic fountain play'd,
    Symmetrical, but deck'd with carvings quaint-
  Strange faces, like to men in masquerade,
    And here perhaps a monster, there a saint:
  The spring gush'd through grim mouths of granite made,
    And sparkled into basins, where it spent
  Its little torrent in a thousand bubbles,
  Like man's vain glory, and his vainer troubles.

  The mansion's self was vast and venerable,
    With more of the monastic than has been
  Elsewhere preserved: the cloisters still were stable,
    The cells, too, and refectory, I ween:
  An exquisite small chapel had been able,
    Still unimpair'd, to decorate the scene;
  The rest had been reform'd, replaced, or sunk,
  And spoke more of the baron than the monk.

  Huge halls, long galleries, spacious chambers, join'd
    By no quite lawful marriage of the arts,
  Might shock a connoisseur; but when combined,
    Form'd a whole which, irregular in parts,
  Yet left a grand impression on the mind,
    At least of those whose eyes are in their hearts:
  We gaze upon a giant for his stature,
  Nor judge at first if all be true to nature.

  Steel barons, molten the next generation
    To silken rows of gay and garter'd earls,
  Glanced from the walls in goodly preservation;
    And Lady Marys blooming into girls,
  With fair long locks, had also kept their station;
    And countesses mature in robes and pearls:
  Also some beauties of Sir Peter Lely,
  Whose drapery hints we may admire them freely.

  Judges in very formidable ermine
    Were there, with brows that did not much invite
  The accused to think their lordships would determine
    His cause by leaning much from might to right:
  Bishops, who had not left a single sermon:
    Attorneys-general, awful to the sight,
  As hinting more (unless our judgments warp us)
  Of the 'Star Chamber' than of 'Habeas Corpus.'

  Generals, some all in armour, of the old
    And iron time, ere lead had ta'en the lead;
  Others in wigs of Marlborough's martial fold,
    Huger than twelve of our degenerate breed:
  Lordlings, with staves of white or keys of gold:
    Nimrods, whose canvass scarce contain'd the steed;
  And here and there some stern high patriot stood,
  Who could not get the place for which he sued.

  But ever and anon, to soothe your vision,
    Fatigued with these hereditary glories,
  There rose a Carlo Dolce or a Titian,
    Or wilder group of savage Salvatore's;
  Here danced Albano's boys, and here the sea shone
    In Vernet's ocean lights; and there the stories
  Of martyrs awed, as Spagnoletto tainted
  His brush with all the blood of all the sainted.

  Here sweetly spread a landscape of Lorraine;
    There Rembrandt made his darkness equal light,
  Or gloomy Caravaggio's gloomier stain
    Bronzed o'er some lean and stoic anchorite:-
  But, lo! a Teniers woos, and not in vain,
    Your eyes to revel in a livelier sight:
  His bell-mouth'd goblet makes me feel quite Danish
  Or Dutch with thirst- What, ho! a flask of Rhenish.

  O reader! if that thou canst read,- and know,
    'T is not enough to spell, or even to read,
  To constitute a reader; there must go
    Virtues of which both you and I have need;-
  Firstly, begin with the beginning (though
    That clause is hard); and secondly, proceed;
  Thirdly, commence not with the end- or, sinning
  In this sort, end at least with the beginning.

  But, reader, thou hast patient been of late,
    While I, without remorse of rhyme, or fear,
  Have built and laid out ground at such a rate,
    Dan Phoebus takes me for an auctioneer.
  That poets were so from their earliest date,
    By Homer's 'Catalogue of ships' is clear;
  But a mere modern must be moderate-
  I spare you then the furniture and plate.

  The mellow autumn came, and with it came
    The promised party, to enjoy its sweets.
  The corn is cut, the manor full of game;
    The pointer ranges, and the sportsman beats
  In russet jacket:- lynx-like is his aim;
    Full grows his bag, and wonderful his feats.
  Ah, nut-brown partridges! Ah, brilliant pheasants!
  And ah, ye poachers!- 'T is no sport for peasants.

  An English autumn, though it hath no vines,
    Blushing with Bacchant coronals along
  The paths, o'er which the far festoon entwines
    The red grape in the sunny lands of song,
  Hath yet a purchased choice of choicest wines;
    The claret light, and the Madeira strong.
  If Britain mourn her bleakness, we can tell her,
  The very best of vineyards is the cellar.

  Then, if she hath not that serene decline
    Which makes the southern autumn's day appear
  As if 't would to a second spring resign
    The season, rather than to winter drear,
  Of in-door comforts still she hath a mine,-
    The sea-coal fires the 'earliest of the year;'
  Without doors, too, she may compete in mellow,
  As what is lost in green is gain'd in yellow.

  And for the effeminate villeggiatura-
    Rife with more horns than hounds- she hath the chase,
  So animated that it might allure
    Saint from his beads to join the jocund race;
  Even Nimrod's self might leave the plains of Dura,
    And wear the Melton jacket for a space:
  If she hath no wild boars, she hath a tame
  Preserve of bores, who ought to be made game.

  The noble guests, assembled at the Abbey,
    Consisted of- we give the sex the pas-
  The Duchess of Fitz-Fulke; the Countess Crabby;
    The Ladies Scilly, Busey;- Miss Eclat,
  Miss Bombazeen, Miss Mackstay, Miss O'Tabby,
    And Mrs. Rabbi, the rich banker's squaw;
  Also the honourable Mrs. Sleep,
  Who look'd a white lamb, yet was a black sheep:

  With other Countesses of Blank- but rank;
    At once the 'lie' and the 'elite' of crowds;
  Who pass like water filter'd in a tank,
    All purged and pious from their native clouds;
  Or paper turn'd to money by the Bank:
    No matter how or why, the passport shrouds
  The 'passee' and the past; for good society
  Is no less famed for tolerance than piety,-

  That is, up to a certain point; which point
    Forms the most difficult in punctuation.
  Appearances appear to form the joint
    On which it hinges in a higher station;
  And so that no explosion cry 'Aroint
    Thee, witch!' or each Medea has her Jason;
  Or (to the point with Horace and with Pulci)
  'Omne tulit punctum, quae miscuit utile dulci.'

  I can't exactly trace their rule of right,
    Which hath a little leaning to a lottery.
  I 've seen a virtuous woman put down quite
    By the mere combination of a coterie;
  Also a so-so matron boldly fight
    Her way back to the world by dint of plottery,
  And shine the very Siria of the spheres,
  Escaping with a few slight, scarless sneers.

  I have seen more than I 'll say:- but we will see
    How our villeggiatura will get on.
  The party might consist of thirty-three
    Of highest caste- the Brahmins of the ton.
  I have named a few, not foremost in degree,
    But ta'en at hazard as the rhyme may run.
  By way of sprinkling, scatter'd amongst these,
  There also were some Irish absentees.

  There was Parolles, too, the legal bully,
    Who limits all his battles to the bar
  And senate: when invited elsewhere, truly,
    He shows more appetite for words than war.
  There was the young bard Rackrhyme, who had newly
    Come out and glimmer'd as a six weeks' star.
  There was Lord Pyrrho, too, the great freethinker;
  And Sir John Pottledeep, the mighty drinker.

  There was the Duke of Dash, who was a- duke,
    'Ay, every inch a' duke; there were twelve peers
  Like Charlemagne's- and all such peers in look
    And intellect, that neither eyes nor ears
  For commoners had ever them mistook.
    There were the six Miss Rawbolds- pretty dears!
  All song and sentiment; whose hearts were set
  Less on a convent than a coronet.

  There were four Honourable Misters, whose
    Honour was more before their names than after;
  There was the preux Chevalier de la Ruse,
    Whom France and Fortune lately deign'd to waft here,
  Whose chiefly harmless talent was to amuse;
    But the clubs found it rather serious laughter,
  Because- such was his magic power to please-
  The dice seem'd charm'd, too, with his repartees.

  There was Dick Dubious, the metaphysician,
    Who loved philosophy and a good dinner;
  Angle, the soi-disant mathematician;
    Sir Henry Silvercup, the great race-winner.
  There was the Reverend Rodomont Precisian,
    Who did not hate so much the sin as sinner;
  And Lord Augustus Fitz-Plantagenet,
  Good at all things, but better at a bet.

  There was jack jargon, the gigantic guardsman;
    And General Fireface, famous in the field,
  A great tactician, and no less a swordsman,
    Who ate, last war, more Yankees than he kill'd.
  There was the waggish Welsh Judge, Jefferies Hardsman,
    In his grave office so completely skill'd,
  That when a culprit came far condemnation,
  He had his judge's joke for consolation.

  Good company 's a chess-board- there are kings,
    Queens, bishops, knights, rooks, pawns; the world 's a game;
  Save that the puppets pull at their own strings,
    Methinks gay Punch hath something of the same.
  My Muse, the butterfly hath but her wings,
    Not stings, and flits through ether without aim,
  Alighting rarely:- were she but a hornet,
  Perhaps there might be vices which would mourn it.

  I had forgotten- but must not forget-
    An orator, the latest of the session,
  Who had deliver'd well a very set
    Smooth speech, his first and maidenly transgression
  Upon debate: the papers echoed yet
    With his debut, which made a strong impression,
  And rank'd with what is every day display'd-
  'The best first speech that ever yet was made.'

  Proud of his 'Hear hims!' proud, too, of his vote
    And lost virginity of oratory,
  Proud of his learning (just enough to quote),
    He revell'd in his Ciceronian glory:
  With memory excellent to get by rote,
    With wit to hatch a pun or tell a story,
  Graced with some merit, and with more effrontery,
  'His country's pride,' he came down to the country.

  There also were two wits by acclamation,
    Longbow from Ireland, Strongbow from the Tweed,
  Both lawyers and both men of education;
    But Strongbow's wit was of more polish'd breed:
  Longbow was rich in an imagination
    As beautiful and bounding as a steed,
  But sometimes stumbling over a potato,-
  While Strongbow's best things might have come from Cato.

  Strongbow was like a new-tuned harpsichord;
    But Longbow wild as an AEolian harp,
  With which the winds of heaven can claim accord,
    And make a music, whether flat or sharp.
  Of Strongbow's talk you would not change a word:
    At Longbow's phrases you might sometimes carp:
  Both wits- one born so, and the other bred-
  This by his heart, his rival by his head.

  If all these seem a heterogeneous mas
    To be assembled at a country seat,
  Yet think, a specimen of every class
    Is better than a humdrum tete-a-tete.
  The days of Comedy are gone, alas!
    When Congreve's fool could vie with Moliere's bete:
  Society is smooth'd to that excess,
  That manners hardly differ more than dress.

  Our ridicules are kept in the back-ground-
    Ridiculous enough, but also dull;
  Professions, too, are no more to be found
    Professional; and there is nought to cull
  Of folly's fruit; for though your fools abound,
    They're barren, and not worth the pains to pull.
  Society is now one polish'd horde,
  Form'd of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored.

  But from being farmers, we turn gleaners, gleaning
    The scanty but right-well thresh'd ears of truth;
  And, gentle reader! when you gather meaning,
    You may be Boaz, and I- modest Ruth.
  Farther I 'd quote, but Scripture intervening
    Forbids. it great impression in my youth
  Was made by Mrs. Adams, where she cries,
  'That Scriptures out of church are blasphemies.'

  But what we can we glean in this vile age
    Of chaff, although our gleanings be not grist.
  I must not quite omit the talking sage,
    Kit-Cat, the famous Conversationist,
  Who, in his common-place book, had a page
    Prepared each morn for evenings. 'List, oh, list!'-
  'Alas, poor ghost!'- What unexpected woes
  Await those who have studied their bon-mots!

  Firstly, they must allure the conversation
    By many windings to their clever clinch;
  And secondly, must let slip no occasion,
    Nor bate (abate) their hearers of an inch,
  But take an ell- and make a great sensation,
    If possible; and thirdly, never flinch
  When some smart talker puts them to the test,
  But seize the last word, which no doubt 's the best.

  Lord Henry and his lady were the hosts;
    The party we have touch'd on were the guests:
  Their table was a board to tempt even ghosts
    To pass the Styx for more substantial feasts.
  I will not dwell upon ragouts or roasts,
    Albeit all human history attests
  That happiness for man- the hungry sinner!-
  Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner.

  Witness the lands which 'flow'd with milk and honey,'
    Held out unto the hungry Israelites;
  To this we have added since, the love of money,
    The only sort of pleasure which requites.
  Youth fades, and leaves our days no longer sunny;
    We tire of mistresses and parasites;
  But oh, ambrosial cash! Ah! who would lose thee?
  When we no more can use, or even abuse thee!

  The gentlemen got up betimes to shoot,
    Or hunt: the young, because they liked the sport-
  The first thing boys like after play and fruit;
    The middle-aged to make the day more short;
  For ennui is a growth of English root,
    Though nameless in our language:- we retort
  The fact for words, and let the French translate
  That awful yawn which sleep can not abate.

  The elderly walk'd through the library,
    And tumbled books, or criticised the pictures,
  Or saunter'd through the gardens piteously,
    And made upon the hot-house several strictures,
  Or rode a nag which trotted not too high,
    Or on the morning papers read their lectures,
  Or on the watch their longing eyes would fix,
  Longing at sixty for the hour of six.

  But none were 'gene:' the great hour of union
    Was rung by dinner's knell; till then all were
  Masters of their own time- or in communion,
    Or solitary, as they chose to bear
  The hours, which how to pass is but to few known.
    Each rose up at his own, and had to spare
  What time he chose for dress, and broke his fast
  When, where, and how he chose for that repast.

  The ladies- some rouged, some a little pale-
    Met the morn as they might. If fine, they rode,
  Or walk'd; if foul, they read, or told a tale,
    Sung, or rehearsed the last dance from abroad;
  Discuss'd the fashion which might next prevail,
    And settled bonnets by the newest code,
  Or cramm'd twelve sheets into one little letter,
  To make each correspondent a new debtor.

  For some had absent lovers, all had friends.
    The earth has nothing like a she epistle,
  And hardly heaven- because it never ends.
    I love the mystery of a female missal,
  Which, like a creed, ne'er says all it intends,
    But full of cunning as Ulysses' whistle,
  When he allured poor Dolon:- you had better
  Take care what you reply to such a letter.

  Then there were billiards; cards, too, but no dice;-
    Save in the clubs no man of honour plays;-
  Boats when 't was water, skating when 't was ice,
    And the hard frost destroy'd the scenting days:
  And angling, too, that solitary vice,
    Whatever Izaak Walton sings or says;
  The quaint, old, cruel coxcomb, in his gullet
  Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it.

  With evening came the banquet and the wine;
    The conversazione; the duet,
  Attuned by voices more or less divine
    (My heart or head aches with the memory yet).
  The four Miss Rawbolds in a glee would shine;
    But the two youngest loved more to be set
  Down to the harp- because to music's charms
  They added graceful necks, white hands and arms.

  Sometimes a dance (though rarely on field days,
    For then the gentlemen were rather tired)
  Display'd some sylph-like figures in its maze;
    Then there was small-talk ready when required;
  Flirtation- but decorous; the mere praise
    Of charms that should or should not be admired.
  The hunters fought their fox-hunt o'er again,
  And then retreated soberly- at ten.

  The politicians, in a nook apart,
    Discuss'd the world, and settled all the spheres;
  The wits watch'd every loophole for their art,
    To introduce a bon-mot head and ears;
  Small is the rest of those who would be smart,
    A moment's good thing may have cost them years
  Before they find an hour to introduce it;
  And then, even then, some bore may make them lose it.

  But all was gentle and aristocratic
    In this our party; polish'd, smooth, and cold,
  As Phidian forms cut out of marble Attic.
    There now are no Squire Westerns as of old;
  And our Sophias are not so emphatic,
    But fair as then, or fairer to behold.
  We have no accomplish'd blackguards, like Tom Jones,
  But gentlemen in stays, as stiff as stones.

  They separated at an early hour;
    That is, ere midnight- which is London's noon:
  But in the country ladies seek their bower
    A little earlier than the waning moon.
  Peace to the slumbers of each folded flower-
    May the rose call back its true colour soon!
  Good hours of fair cheeks are the fairest tinters,
  And lower the price of rouge- at least some winters.
               CANTO THE FOURTEENTH.

  IF from great nature's or our own abyss
    Of thought we could but snatch a certainty,
  Perhaps mankind might find the path they miss-
    But then 't would spoil much good philosophy.
  One system eats another up, and this
    Much as old Saturn ate his progeny;
  For when his pious consort gave him stones
  In lieu of sons, of these he made no bones.

  But System doth reverse the Titan's breakfast,
    And eats her parents, albeit the digestion
  Is difficult. Pray tell me, can you make fast,
    After due search, your faith to any question?
  Look back o'er ages, ere unto the stake fast
    You bind yourself, and call some mode the best one.
  Nothing more true than not to trust your senses;
  And yet what are your other evidences?

  For me, I know nought; nothing I deny,
    Admit, reject, contemn; and what know you,
  Except perhaps that you were born to die?
    And both may after all turn out untrue.
  An age may come, Font of Eternity,
    When nothing shall be either old or new.
  Death, so call'd, is a thing which makes men weep,
  And yet a third of life is pass'd in sleep.

  A sleep without dreams, after a rough day
    Of toil, is what we covet most; and yet
  How clay shrinks back from more quiescent clay!
    The very Suicide that pays his debt
  At once without instalments (an old way
    Of paying debts, which creditors regret)
  Lets out impatiently his rushing breath,
  Less from disgust of life than dread of death.

  'T is round him, near him, here, there, every where;
    And there 's a courage which grows out of fear,
  Perhaps of all most desperate, which will dare
    The worst to know it:- when the mountains rear
  Their peaks beneath your human foot, and there
    You look down o'er the precipice, and drear
  The gulf of rock yawns,- you can't gaze a minute
  Without an awful wish to plunge within it.

  'T is true, you don't- but, pale and struck with terror,
    Retire: but look into your past impression!
  And you will find, though shuddering at the mirror
    Of your own thoughts, in all their self-confession,
  The lurking bias, be it truth or error,
    To the unknown; a secret prepossession,
  To plunge with all your fears- but where? You know not,
  And that's the reason why you do- or do not.

  But what 's this to the purpose? you will say.
    Gent. reader, nothing; a mere speculation,
  For which my sole excuse is- 't is my way;
    Sometimes with and sometimes without occasion
  I write what 's uppermost, without delay:
    This narrative is not meant for narration,
  But a mere airy and fantastic basis,
  To build up common things with common places.

  You know, or don't know, that great Bacon saith,
    'Fling up a straw, 't will show the way the wind blows;'
  And such a straw, borne on by human breath,
    Is poesy, according as the mind glows;
  A paper kite which flies 'twixt life and death,
    A shadow which the onward soul behind throws:
  And mine 's a bubble, not blown up for praise,
  But just to play with, as an infant plays.

  The world is all before me- or behind;
    For I have seen a portion of that same,
  And quite enough for me to keep in mind;-
    Of passions, too, I have proved enough to blame,
  To the great pleasure of our friends, mankind,
    Who like to mix some slight alloy with fame;
  For I was rather famous in my time,
  Until I fairly knock'd it up with rhyme.

  I have brought this world about my ears, and eke
    The other; that 's to say, the clergy, who
  Upon my head have bid their thunders break
    In pious libels by no means a few.
  And yet I can't help scribbling once a week,
    Tiring old readers, nor discovering new.
  In youth I wrote because my mind was full,
  And now because I feel it growing dull.

  But 'why then publish?'- There are no rewards
    Of fame or profit when the world grows weary.
  I ask in turn,- Why do you play at cards?
    Why drink? Why read?- To make some hour less dreary.
  It occupies me to turn back regards
    On what I 've seen or ponder'd, sad or cheery;
  And what I write I cast upon the stream,
  To swim or sink- I have had at least my dream.

  I think that were I certain of success,
    I hardly could compose another line:
  So long I 've battled either more or less,
    That no defeat can drive me from the Nine.
  This feeling 't is not easy to express,
    And yet 't is not affected, I opine.
  In play, there are two pleasures for your choosing-
  The one is winning, and the other losing.

  Besides, my Muse by no means deals in fiction:
    She gathers a repertory of facts,
  Of course with some reserve and slight restriction,
    But mostly sings of human things and acts-
  And that 's one cause she meets with contradiction;
    For too much truth, at first sight, ne'er attracts;
  And were her object only what 's call'd glory,
  With more ease too she 'd tell a different story.

  Love, war, a tempest- surely there 's variety;
    Also a seasoning slight of lucubration;
  A bird's-eye view, too, of that wild, Society;
    A slight glance thrown on men of every station.
  If you have nought else, here 's at least satiety
    Both in performance and in preparation;
  And though these lines should only line portmanteaus,
  Trade will be all the better for these Cantos.

  The portion of this world which I at present
    Have taken up to fill the following sermon,
  Is one of which there 's no description recent.
    The reason why is easy to determine:
  Although it seems both prominent and pleasant,
    There is a sameness in its gems and ermine,
  A dull and family likeness through all ages,
  Of no great promise for poetic pages.

  With much to excite, there 's little to exalt;
    Nothing that speaks to all men and all times;
  A sort of varnish over every fault;
    A kind of common-place, even in their crimes;
  Factitious passions, wit without much salt,
    A want of that true nature which sublimes
  Whate'er it shows with truth; a smooth monotony
  Of character, in those at least who have got any.

  Sometimes, indeed, like soldiers off parade,
    They break their ranks and gladly leave the drill;
  But then the roll-call draws them back afraid,
    And they must be or seem what they were: still
  Doubtless it is a brilliant masquerade;
    But when of the first sight you have had your fill,
  It palls- at least it did so upon me,
  This paradise of pleasure and ennui.

  When we have made our love, and gamed our gaming,
    Drest, voted, shone, and, may be, something more;
  With dandies dined; heard senators declaiming;
    Seen beauties brought to market by the score,
  Sad rakes to sadder husbands chastely taming;
    There 's little left but to be bored or bore.
  Witness those 'ci-devant jeunes hommes' who stem
  The stream, nor leave the world which leaveth them.

  'T is said- indeed a general complaint-
    That no one has succeeded in describing
  The monde, exactly as they ought to paint:
    Some say, that authors only snatch, by bribing
  The porter, some slight scandals strange and quaint,
    To furnish matter for their moral gibing;
  And that their books have but one style in common-
  My lady's prattle, filter'd through her woman.

  But this can't well be true, just now; for writers
    Are grown of the beau monde a part potential:
  I 've seen them balance even the scale with fighters,
    Especially when young, for that 's essential.
  Why do their sketches fail them as inditers
    Of what they deem themselves most consequential,
  The real portrait of the highest tribe?
  'T is that, in fact, there 's little to describe.

  'Haud ignara loquor;' these are Nugae, 'quarum
    Pars parva fui,' but still art and part.
  Now I could much more easily sketch a harem,
    A battle, wreck, or history of the heart,
  Than these things; and besides, I wish to spare 'em,
    For reasons which I choose to keep apart.
  'Vetabo Cereris sacrum qui vulgarit-'
  Which means that vulgar people must not share it.

  And therefore what I throw off is ideal-
    Lower'd, leaven'd, like a history of freemasons;
  Which bears the same relation to the real,
    As Captain Parry's voyage may do to Jason's.
  The grand arcanum 's not for men to see all;
    My music has some mystic diapasons;
  And there is much which could not be appreciated
  In any manner by the uninitiated.

  Alas! worlds fall- and woman, since she fell'd
    The world (as, since that history less polite
  Than true, hath been a creed so strictly held)
    Has not yet given up the practice quite.
  Poor thing of usages! coerced, compell'd,
    Victim when wrong, and martyr oft when right,
  Condemn'd to child-bed, as men for their sins
  Have shaving too entail'd upon their chins,-

  A daily plague, which in the aggregate
    May average on the whole with parturition.
  But as to women, who can penetrate
    The real sufferings of their she condition?
  Man's very sympathy with their estate
    Has much of selfishness, and more suspicion.
  Their love, their virtue, beauty, education,
  But form good housekeepers, to breed a nation.

  All this were very well, and can't be better;
    But even this is difficult, Heaven knows,
  So many troubles from her birth beset her,
    Such small distinction between friends and foes,
  The gilding wears so soon from off her fetter,
    That- but ask any woman if she'd choose
  (Take her at thirty, that is) to have been
  Female or male? a schoolboy or a queen?

  'Petticoat influence' is a great reproach,
    Which even those who obey would fain be thought
  To fly from, as from hungry pikes a roach;
    But since beneath it upon earth we are brought,
  By various joltings of life's hackney coach,
    I for one venerate a petticoat-
  A garment of a mystical sublimity,
  No matter whether russet, silk, or dimity.

  Much I respect, and much I have adored,
    In my young days, that chaste and goodly veil,
  Which holds a treasure, like a miser's hoard,
    And more attracts by all it doth conceal-
  A golden scabbard on a Damasque sword,
    A loving letter with a mystic seal,
  A cure for grief- for what can ever rankle
  Before a petticoat and peeping ankle?

  And when upon a silent, sullen day,
    With a sirocco, for example, blowing,
  When even the sea looks dim with all its spray,
    And sulkily the river's ripple 's flowing,
  And the sky shows that very ancient gray,
    The sober, sad antithesis to glowing,-
  'T is pleasant, if then any thing is pleasant,
  To catch a glimpse even of a pretty peasant.

  We left our heroes and our heroines
    In that fair clime which don't depend on climate,
  Quite independent of the Zodiac's signs,
    Though certainly more difficult to rhyme at,
  Because the sun, and stars, and aught that shines,
    Mountains, and all we can be most sublime at,
  Are there oft dull and dreary as a dun-
  Whether a sky's or tradesman's is all one.

  An in-door life is less poetical;
    And out of door hath showers, and mists, and sleet,
  With which I could not brew a pastoral.
    But be it as it may, a bard must meet
  All difficulties, whether great or small,
    To spoil his undertaking or complete,
  And work away like spirit upon matter,
  Embarrass'd somewhat both with fire and water.

  Juan- in this respect, at least, like saints-
    Was all things unto people of all sorts,
  And lived contentedly, without complaints,
    In camps, in ships, in cottages, or courts-
  Born with that happy soul which seldom faints,
    And mingling modestly in toils or sports.
  He likewise could be most things to all women,
  Without the coxcombry of certain she men.

  A fox-hunt to a foreigner is strange;
    'T is also subject to the double danger
  Of tumbling first, and having in exchange
    Some pleasant jesting at the awkward stranger:
  But Juan had been early taught to range
    The wilds, as doth an Arab turn'd avenger,
  So that his horse, or charger, hunter, hack,
  Knew that he had a rider on his back.

  And now in this new field, with some applause,
    He clear'd hedge, ditch, and double post, and rail,
  And never craned, and made but few 'faux pas,'
    And only fretted when the scent 'gan fail.
  He broke, 't is true, some statutes of the laws
    Of hunting- for the sagest youth is frail;
  Rode o'er the hounds, it may be, now and then,
  And once o'er several country gentlemen.

  But on the whole, to general admiration
    He acquitted both himself and horse: the squires
  Marvell'd at merit of another nation;
    The boors cried 'Dang it? who 'd have thought it?'- Sires,
  The Nestors of the sporting generation,
    Swore praises, and recall'd their former fires;
  The huntsman's self relented to a grin,
  And rated him almost a whipper-in.

  Such were his trophies- not of spear and shield,
    But leaps, and bursts, and sometimes foxes' brushes;
  Yet I must own,- although in this I yield
    To patriot sympathy a Briton's blushes,-
  He thought at heart like courtly Chesterfield,
    Who, after a long chase o'er hills, dales, bushes,
  And what not, though he rode beyond all price,
  Ask'd next day, 'If men ever hunted twice?'

  He also had a quality uncommon
    To early risers after a long chase,
  Who wake in winter ere the cock can summon
    December's drowsy day to his dull race,-
  A quality agreeable to woman,
    When her soft, liquid words run on apace,
  Who likes a listener, whether saint or sinner,-
  He did not fall asleep just after dinner;

  But, light and airy, stood on the alert,
    And shone in the best part of dialogue,
  By humouring always what they might assert,
    And listening to the topics most in vogue;
  Now grave, now gay, but never dull or pert;
    And smiling but in secret- cunning rogue!
  He ne'er presumed to make an error clearer;-
  In short, there never was a better hearer.

  And then he danced;- all foreigners excel
    The serious Angles in the eloquence
  Of pantomime;- he danced, I say, right well,
    With emphasis, and also with good sense-
  A thing in footing indispensable;
    He danced without theatrical pretence,
  Not like a ballet-master in the van
  Of his drill'd nymphs, but like a gentleman.

  Chaste were his steps, each kept within due bound,
    And elegance was sprinkled o'er his figure;
  Like swift Camilla, he scarce skimm'd the ground,
    And rather held in than put forth his vigour;
  And then he had an ear for music's sound,
    Which might defy a crotchet critic's rigour.
  Such classic pas- sans flaws- set off our hero,
  He glanced like a personified Bolero;

  Or, like a flying Hour before Aurora,
    In Guido's famous fresco which alone
  Is worth a tour to Rome, although no more a
    Remnant were there of the old world's sole throne.
  The 'tout ensemble' of his movements wore a
    Grace of the soft ideal, seldom shown,
  And ne'er to be described; for to the dolour
  Of bards and prosers, words are void of colour.

  No marvel then he was a favourite;
    A full-grown Cupid, very much admired;
  A little spoilt, but by no means so quite;
    At least he kept his vanity retired.
  Such was his tact, he could alike delight
    The chaste, and those who are not so much inspired.
  The Duchess of Fitz-Fulke, who loved 'tracasserie,'
  Began to treat him with some small 'agacerie.'

  She was a fine and somewhat full-blown blonde,
    Desirable, distinguish'd, celebrated
  For several winters in the grand, grand monde.
    I 'd rather not say what might be related
  Of her exploits, for this were ticklish ground;
    Besides there might be falsehood in what 's stated:
  Her late performance had been a dead set
  At Lord Augustus Fitz-Plantagenet.

  This noble personage began to look
    A little black upon this new flirtation;
  But such small licences must lovers brook,
    Mere freedoms of the female corporation.
  Woe to the man who ventures a rebuke!
    'T will but precipitate a situation
  Extremely disagreeable, but common
  To calculators when they count on woman.

  The circle smiled, then whisper'd, and then sneer'd;
    The Misses bridled, and the matrons frown'd;
  Some hoped things might not turn out as they fear'd;
    Some would not deem such women could be found;
  Some ne'er believed one half of what they heard;
    Some look'd perplex'd, and others look'd profound;
  And several pitied with sincere regret
  Poor Lord Augustus Fitz-Plantagenet.

  But what is odd, none ever named the duke,
    Who, one might think, was something in the affair;
  True, he was absent, and, 't was rumour'd, took
    But small concern about the when, or where,
  Or what his consort did: if he could brook
    Her gaieties, none had a right to stare:
  Theirs was that best of unions, past all doubt,
  Which never meets, and therefore can't fall out.

  But, oh! that I should ever pen so sad a line!
    Fired with an abstract love of virtue, she,
  My Dian of the Ephesians, Lady Adeline,
    Began to think the duchess' conduct free;
  Regretting much that she had chosen so bad a line,
    And waxing chiller in her courtesy,
  Look'd grave and pale to see her friend's fragility,
  For which most friends reserve their sensibility.

  There 's nought in this bad world like sympathy:
    'T is so becoming to the soul and face,
  Sets to soft music the harmonious sigh,
    And robes sweet friendship in a Brussels lace.
  Without a friend, what were humanity,
    To hunt our errors up with a good grace?
  Consoling us with- 'Would you had thought twice!
  Ah, if you had but follow'd my advice!'

  O job! you had two friends: one 's quite enough,
    Especially when we are ill at ease;
  They are but bad pilots when the weather 's rough,
    Doctors less famous for their cures than fees.
  Let no man grumble when his friends fall off,
    As they will do like leaves at the first breeze:
  When your affairs come round, one way or t' other,
  Go to the coffee-house, and take another.

  But this is not my maxim: had it been,
    Some heart-aches had been spared me: yet I care not-
  I would not be a tortoise in his screen
    Of stubborn shell, which waves and weather wear not.
  'T is better on the whole to have felt and seen
    That which humanity may bear, or bear not:
  'T will teach discernment to the sensitive,
  And not to pour their ocean in a sieve.

  Of all the horrid, hideous notes of woe,
    Sadder than owl-songs or the midnight blast,
  Is that portentous phrase, 'I told you so,'
    Utter'd by friends, those prophets of the past,
  Who, 'stead of saying what you now should do,
    Own they foresaw that you would fall at last,
  And solace your slight lapse 'gainst 'bonos mores,'
  With a long memorandum of old stories.

  The Lady Adeline's serene severity
    Was not confined to feeling for her friend,
  Whose fame she rather doubted with posterity,
    Unless her habits should begin to mend:
  But Juan also shared in her austerity,
    But mix'd with pity, pure as e'er was penn'd:
  His inexperience moved her gentle ruth,
  And (as her junior by six weeks) his youth.

  These forty days' advantage of her years-
    And hers were those which can face calculation,
  Boldly referring to the list of peers
    And noble births, nor dread the enumeration-
  Gave her a right to have maternal fears
    For a young gentleman's fit education,
  Though she was far from that leap year, whose leap,
  In female dates, strikes Time all of a heap.

  This may be fix'd at somewhere before thirty-
    Say seven-and-twenty; for I never knew
  The strictest in chronology and virtue
    Advance beyond, while they could pass for new.
  O Time! why dost not pause? Thy scythe, so dirty
    With rust, should surely cease to hack and hew.
  Reset it; shave more smoothly, also slower,
  If but to keep thy credit as a mower.

  But Adeline was far from that ripe age,
    Whose ripeness is but bitter at the best:
  'T was rather her experience made her sage,
    For she had seen the world and stood its test,
  As I have said in- I forget what page;
    My Muse despises reference, as you have guess'd
  By this time;- but strike six from seven-and-twenty,
  And you will find her sum of years in plenty.

  At sixteen she came out; presented, vaunted,
    She put all coronets into commotion:
  At seventeen, too, the world was still enchanted
    With the new Venus of their brilliant ocean:
  At eighteen, though below her feet still panted
    A hecatomb of suitors with devotion,
  She had consented to create again
  That Adam, call'd 'The happiest of men.'

  Since then she had sparkled through three glowing winters,
    Admired, adored; but also so correct,
  That she had puzzled all the acutest hinters,
    Without the apparel of being circumspect:
  They could not even glean the slightest splinters
    From off the marble, which had no defect.
  She had also snatch'd a moment since her marriage
  To bear a son and heir- and one miscarriage.

  Fondly the wheeling fire-flies flew around her,
    Those little glitterers of the London night;
  But none of these possess'd a sting to wound her-
    She was a pitch beyond a coxcomb's flight.
  Perhaps she wish'd an aspirant profounder;
    But whatsoe'er she wish'd, she acted right;
  And whether coldness, pride, or virtue dignify
  A woman, so she 's good, what does it signify?

  I hate a motive, like a lingering bottle
    Which with the landlord makes too long a stand,
  Leaving all-claretless the unmoisten'd throttle,
    Especially with politics on hand;
  I hate it, as I hate a drove of cattle,
    Who whirl the dust as simooms whirl the sand;
  I hate it, as I hate an argument,
  A laureate's ode, or servile peer's 'content.'

  'T is sad to hack into the roots of things,
    They are so much intertwisted with the earth;
  So that the branch a goodly verdure flings,
    I reck not if an acorn gave it birth.
  To trace all actions to their secret springs
    Would make indeed some melancholy mirth;
  But this is not at present my concern,
  And I refer you to wise Oxenstiern.

  With the kind view of saving an eclat,
    Both to the duchess and diplomatist,
  The Lady Adeline, as soon 's she saw
    That Juan was unlikely to resist
  (For foreigners don't know that a faux pas
    In England ranks quite on a different list
  From those of other lands unblest with juries,
  Whose verdict for such sin a certain cure is);-

  The Lady Adeline resolved to take
    Such measures as she thought might best impede
  The farther progress of this sad mistake.
    She thought with some simplicity indeed;
  But innocence is bold even at the stake,
    And simple in the world, and doth not need
  Nor use those palisades by dames erected,
  Whose virtue lies in never being detected.

  It was not that she fear'd the very worst:
    His Grace was an enduring, married man,
  And was not likely all at once to burst
    Into a scene, and swell the clients' clan
  Of Doctors' Commons: but she dreaded first
    The magic of her Grace's talisman,
  And next a quarrel (as he seem'd to fret)
  With Lord Augustus Fitz-Plantagenet.

  Her Grace, too, pass'd for being an intrigante,
    And somewhat mechante in her amorous sphere;
  One of those pretty, precious plagues, which haunt
    A lover with caprices soft and dear,
  That like to make a quarrel, when they can't
    Find one, each day of the delightful year;
  Bewitching, torturing, as they freeze or glow,
  And- what is worst of all- won't let you go:

  The sort of thing to turn a young man's head,
    Or make a Werter of him in the end.
  No wonder then a purer soul should dread
    This sort of chaste liaison for a friend;
  It were much better to be wed or dead,
    Than wear a heart a woman loves to rend.
  'T is best to pause, and think, ere you rush on,
  If that a 'bonne fortune' be really 'bonne.'

  And first, in the o'erflowing of her heart,
    Which really knew or thought it knew no guile,
  She call'd her husband now and then apart,
    And bade him counsel Juan. With a smile
  Lord Henry heard her plans of artless art
    To wean Don Juan from the siren's wile;
  And answer'd, like a statesman or a prophet,
  In such guise that she could make nothing of it.

  Firstly, he said, 'he never interfered
    In any body's business but the king's:'
  Next, that 'he never judged from what appear'd,
    Without strong reason, of those sort of things:'
  Thirdly, that 'Juan had more brain than beard,
    And was not to be held in leading strings;'
  And fourthly, what need hardly be said twice,
  'That good but rarely came from good advice.'

  And, therefore, doubtless to approve the truth
    Of the last axiom, he advised his spouse
  To leave the parties to themselves, forsooth-
    At least as far as bienseance allows:
  That time would temper Juan's faults of youth;
    That young men rarely made monastic vows;
  That opposition only more attaches-
  But here a messenger brought in despatches:

  And being of the council call'd 'the Privy,'
    Lord Henry walk'd into his cabinet,
  To furnish matter for some future Livy
    To tell how he reduced the nation's debt;
  And if their full contents I do not give ye,
    It is because I do not know them yet;
  But I shall add them in a brief appendix,
  To come between mine epic and its index.

  But ere he went, he added a slight hint,
    Another gentle common-place or two,
  Such as are coin'd in conversation's mint,
    And pass, for want of better, though not new:
  Then broke his packet, to see what was in 't,
    And having casually glanced it through,
  Retired; and, as went out, calmly kiss'd her,
  Less like a young wife than an aged sister.

  He was a cold, good, honourable man,
    Proud of his birth, and proud of every thing;
  A goodly spirit for a state divan,
    A figure fit to walk before a king;
  Tall, stately, form'd to lead the courtly van
    On birthdays, glorious with a star and string;
  The very model of a chamberlain-
  And such I mean to make him when I reign.

  But there was something wanting on the whole-
    I don't know what, and therefore cannot tell-
  Which pretty women- the sweet souls!- call soul.
    Certes it was not body; he was well
  Proportion'd, as a poplar or a pole,
    A handsome man, that human miracle;
  And in each circumstance of love or war
  Had still preserved his perpendicular.

  Still there was something wanting, as I 've said-
    That undefinable 'Je ne scais quoi,'
  Which, for what I know, may of yore have led
    To Homer's Iliad, since it drew to Troy
  The Greek Eve, Helen, from the Spartan's bed;
    Though on the whole, no doubt, the Dardan boy
  Was much inferior to King Menelaus:-
  But thus it is some women will betray us.

  There is an awkward thing which much perplexes,
    Unless like wise Tiresias we had proved
  By turns the difference of the several sexes;
    Neither can show quite how they would be loved.
  The sensual for a short time but connects us,
    The sentimental boasts to be unmoved;
  But both together form a kind of centaur,
  Upon whose back 't is better not to venture.

  A something all-sufficient for the heart
    Is that for which the sex are always seeking:
  But how to fill up that same vacant part?
    There lies the rub- and this they are but weak in.
  Frail mariners afloat without a chart,
    They run before the wind through high seas breaking;
  And when they have made the shore through every shock,
  'T is odd, or odds, it may turn out a rock.

  There is a flower call'd 'Love in Idleness,'
    For which see Shakspeare's everblooming garden;-
  I will not make his great description less,
    And beg his British godship's humble pardon,
  If in my extremity of rhyme's distress,
    I touch a single leaf where he is warden;-
  But though the flower is different, with the French
  Or Swiss Rousseau, cry 'Voila la Pervenche!'

  Eureka! I have found it! What I mean
    To say is, not that love is idleness,
  But that in love such idleness has been
    An accessory, as I have cause to guess.
  Hard labour's an indifferent go-between;
    Your men of business are not apt to express
  Much passion, since the merchant-ship, the Argo,
  Convey'd Medea as her supercargo.

  'Beatus ille procul!' from 'negotiis,'
    Saith Horace; the great little poet 's wrong;
  His other maxim, 'Noscitur a sociis,'
    Is much more to the purpose of his song;
  Though even that were sometimes too ferocious,
    Unless good company be kept too long;
  But, in his teeth, whate'er their state or station,
  Thrice happy they who have an occupation!

  Adam exchanged his Paradise for ploughing,
    Eve made up millinery with fig leaves-
  The earliest knowledge from the tree so knowing,
    As far as I know, that the church receives:
  And since that time it need not cost much showing,
    That many of the ills o'er which man grieves,
  And still more women, spring from not employing
  Some hours to make the remnant worth enjoying.

  And hence high life is oft a dreary void,
    A rack of pleasures, where we must invent
  A something wherewithal to be annoy'd.
    Bards may sing what they please about Content;
  Contented, when translated, means but cloy'd;
    And hence arise the woes of sentiment,
  Blue devils, and blue-stockings, and romances
  Reduced to practice, and perform'd like dances.

  I do declare, upon an affidavit,
    Romances I ne'er read like those I have seen;
  Nor, if unto the world I ever gave it,
    Would some believe that such a tale had been:
  But such intent I never had, nor have it;
    Some truths are better kept behind a screen,
  Especially when they would look like lies;
  I therefore deal in generalities.

  'An oyster may be cross'd in love,'- and why?
    Because he mopeth idly in his shell,
  And heaves a lonely subterraqueous sigh,
    Much as a monk may do within his cell:
  And a-propos of monks, their piety
    With sloth hath found it difficult to dwell;
  Those vegetables of the Catholic creed
  Are apt exceedingly to run to seed.

  O Wilberforce! thou man of black renown,
    Whose merit none enough can sing or say,
  Thou hast struck one immense Colossus down,
    Thou moral Washington of Africa!
  But there 's another little thing, I own,
    Which you should perpetrate some summer's day,
  And set the other halt of earth to rights;
  You have freed the blacks- now pray shut up the whites.

  Shut up the bald-coot bully Alexander!
    Ship off the Holy Three to Senegal;
  Teach them that 'sauce for goose is sauce for gander,'
    And ask them how they like to be in thrall?
  Shut up each high heroic salamander,
    Who eats fire gratis (since the pay 's but small);
  Shut up- no, not the King, but the Pavilion,
  Or else 't will cost us all another million.

  Shut up the world at large, let Bedlam out;
    And you will be perhaps surprised to find
  All things pursue exactly the same route,
    As now with those of soi-disant sound mind.
  This I could prove beyond a single doubt,
    Were there a jot of sense among mankind;
  But till that point d'appui is found, alas!
  Like Archimedes, I leave earth as 't was.

  Our gentle Adeline had one defect-
    Her heart was vacant, though a splendid mansion;
  Her conduct had been perfectly correct,
    As she had seen nought claiming its expansion.
  A wavering spirit may be easier wreck'd,
    Because 't is frailer, doubtless, than a stanch one;
  But when the latter works its own undoing,
  Its inner crash is like an earthquake's ruin.

  She loved her lord, or thought so; but that love
    Cost her an effort, which is a sad toil,
  The stone of Sisyphus, if once we move
    Our feelings 'gainst the nature of the soil.
  She had nothing to complain of, or reprove,
    No bickerings, no connubial turmoil:
  Their union was a model to behold,
  Serene and noble,- conjugal, but cold.

  There was no great disparity of years,
    Though much in temper; but they never clash'd:
  They moved like stars united in their spheres,
    Or like the Rhone by Leman's waters wash'd,
  Where mingled and yet separate appears
    The river from the lake, all bluely dash'd
  Through the serene and placid glassy deep,
  Which fain would lull its river-child to sleep.

  Now when she once had ta'en an interest
    In any thing, however she might flatter
  Herself that her intentions were the best,
    Intense intentions are a dangerous matter:
  Impressions were much stronger than she guess'd,
    And gather'd as they run like growing water
  Upon her mind; the more so, as her breast
  Was not at first too readily impress'd.

  But when it was, she had that lurking demon
    Of double nature, and thus doubly named-
  Firmness yclept in heroes, kings, and seamen,
    That is, when they succeed; but greatly blamed
  As obstinacy, both in men and women,
    Whene'er their triumph pales, or star is tamed:-
  And 't will perplex the casuist in morality
  To fix the due bounds of this dangerous quality.

  Had Buonaparte won at Waterloo,
    It had been firmness; now 't is pertinacity:
  Must the event decide between the two?
    I leave it to your people of sagacity
  To draw the line between the false and true,
    If such can e'er be drawn by man's capacity:
  My business is with Lady Adeline,
  Who in her way too was a heroine.

  She knew not her own heart; then how should I?
    I think not she was then in love with Juan:
  If so, she would have had the strength to fly
    The wild sensation, unto her a new one:
  She merely felt a common sympathy
    (I will not say it was a false or true one)
  In him, because she thought he was in danger,-
  Her husband's friend, her own, young, and a stranger,

  She was, or thought she was, his friend- and this
    Without the farce of friendship, or romance
  Of Platonism, which leads so oft amiss
    Ladies who have studied friendship but in France,
  Or Germany, where people purely kiss.
    To thus much Adeline would not advance;
  But of such friendship as man's may to man be
  She was as capable as woman can be.

  No doubt the secret influence of the sex
    Will there, as also in the ties of blood,
  An innocent predominance annex,
    And tune the concord to a finer mood.
  If free from passion, which all friendship checks,
    And your true feelings fully understood,
  No friend like to a woman earth discovers,
  So that you have not been nor will be lovers.

  Love bears within its breast the very germ
    Of change; and how should this be otherwise?
  That violent things more quickly find a term
    Is shown through nature's whole analogies;
  And how should the most fierce of all be firm?
    Would you have endless lightning in the skies?
  Methinks Love's very title says enough:
  How should 'the tender passion' e'er be tough?

  Alas! by all experience, seldom yet
    (I merely quote what I have heard from many)
  Had lovers not some reason to regret
    The passion which made Solomon a zany.
  I 've also seen some wives (not to forget
    The marriage state, the best or worst of any)
  Who were the very paragons of wives,
  Yet made the misery of at least two lives.

  I 've also seen some female friends ( 't is odd,
    But true- as, if expedient, I could prove)
  That faithful were through thick and thin, abroad,
    At home, far more than ever yet was Love-
  Who did not quit me when Oppression trod
    Upon me; whom no scandal could remove;
  Who fought, and fight, in absence, too, my battles,
  Despite the snake Society's loud rattles.

  Whether Don Juan and chaste Adeline
    Grew friends in this or any other sense,
  Will be discuss'd hereafter, I opine:
    At present I am glad of a pretence
  To leave them hovering, as the effect is fine,
    And keeps the atrocious reader in suspense;
  The surest way for ladies and for books
  To bait their tender, or their tenter, hooks.

  Whether they rode, or walk'd, or studied Spanish
    To read Don Quixote in the original,
  A pleasure before which all others vanish;
    Whether their talk was of the kind call'd 'small,'
  Or serious, are the topics I must banish
    To the next Canto; where perhaps I shall
  Say something to the purpose, and display
  Considerable talent in my way.

  Above all, I beg all men to forbear
    Anticipating aught about the matter:
  They 'll only make mistakes about the fair,
    And Juan too, especially the latter.
  And I shall take a much more serious air
    Than I have yet done, in this epic satire.
  It is not clear that Adeline and Juan
  Will fall; but if they do, 't will be their ruin.

  But great things spring from little:- Would you think,
    That in our youth, as dangerous a passion
  As e'er brought man and woman to the brink
    Of ruin, rose from such a slight occasion,
  As few would ever dream could form the link
    Of such a sentimental situation?
  You 'll never guess, I 'll bet you millions, milliards-
  It all sprung from a harmless game at billiards.

  'T is strange,- but true; for truth is always strange;
    Stranger than fiction; if it could be told,
  How much would novels gain by the exchange!
    How differently the world would men behold!
  How oft would vice and virtue places change!
    The new world would be nothing to the old,
  If some Columbus of the moral seas
  Would show mankind their souls' antipodes.

  What 'antres vast and deserts idle' then
    Would be discover'd in the human soul!
  What icebergs in the hearts of mighty men,
    With self-love in the centre as their pole!
  What Anthropophagi are nine of ten
    Of those who hold the kingdoms in control
  Were things but only call'd by their right name,
  Caesar himself would be ashamed of fame.
               CANTO THE FIFTEENTH.

  AH!- What should follow slips from my reflection;
    Whatever follows ne'ertheless may be
  As a-propos of hope or retrospection,
    As though the lurking thought had follow'd free.
  All present life is but an interjection,
    An 'Oh!' or 'Ah!' of joy or misery,
  Or a 'Ha! ha!' or 'Bah!'- a yawn, or 'Pooh!'
  Of which perhaps the latter is most true.

  But, more or less, the whole 's a syncope
    Or a singultus- emblems of emotion,
  The grand antithesis to great ennui,
    Wherewith we break our bubbles on the ocean,-
  That watery outline of eternity,
    Or miniature at least, as is my notion,
  Which ministers unto the soul's delight,
  In seeing matters which are out of sight.

  But all are better than the sigh supprest,
    Corroding in the cavern of the heart,
  Making the countenance a masque of rest,
    And turning human nature to an art.
  Few men dare show their thoughts of worst or best;
    Dissimulation always sets apart
  A corner for herself; and therefore fiction
  Is that which passes with least contradiction.

  Ah! who can tell? Or rather, who can not
    Remember, without telling, passion's errors?
  The drainer of oblivion, even the sot,
    Hath got blue devils for his morning mirrors:
  What though on Lethe's stream he seem to float,
    He cannot sink his tremors or his terrors;
  The ruby glass that shakes within his hand
  Leaves a sad sediment of Time's worst sand.

  And as for love- O love!- We will proceed.
    The Lady Adeline Amundeville,
  A pretty name as one would wish to read,
    Must perch harmonious on my tuneful quill.
  There 's music in the sighing of a reed;
    There 's music in the gushing of a rill;
  There 's music in all things, if men had ears:
  Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.

  The Lady Adeline, right honourable;
    And honour'd, ran a risk of growing less so;
  For few of the soft sex are very stable
    In their resolves- alas! that I should say so!
  They differ as wine differs from its label,
    When once decanted;- I presume to guess so,
  But will not swear: yet both upon occasion,
  Till old, may undergo adulteration.

  But Adeline was of the purest vintage,
    The unmingled essence of the grape; and yet
  Bright as a new Napoleon from its mintage,
    Or glorious as a diamond richly set;
  A page where Time should hesitate to print age,
    And for which Nature might forego her debt-
  Sole creditor whose process doth involve in 't
  The luck of finding every body solvent.

  O Death! thou dunnest of all duns! thou daily
    Knockest at doors, at first with modest tap,
  Like a meek tradesman when, approaching palely,
    Some splendid debtor he would take by sap:
  But oft denied, as patience 'gins to fail, he
    Advances with exasperated rap,
  And (if let in) insists, in terms unhandsome,
  On ready money, or 'a draft on Ransom.'

  Whate'er thou takest, spare a while poor Beauty!
    She is so rare, and thou hast so much prey.
  What though she now and then may slip from duty,
    The more 's the reason why you ought to stay.
  Gaunt Gourmand! with whole nations for your booty,
    You should be civil in a modest way:
  Suppress, then, some slight feminine diseases,
  And take as many heroes as Heaven pleases.

  Fair Adeline, the more ingenuous
    Where she was interested (as was said),
  Because she was not apt, like some of us,
    To like too readily, or too high bred
  To show it (points we need not now discuss)-
    Would give up artlessly both heart and head
  Unto such feelings as seem'd innocent,
  For objects worthy of the sentiment.

  Some parts of Juan's history, which Rumour,
    That live gazette, had scatter'd to disfigure,
  She had heard; but women hear with more good humour
    Such aberrations than we men of rigour:
  Besides, his conduct, since in England, grew more
    Strict, and his mind assumed a manlier vigour;
  Because he had, like Alcibiades,
  The art of living in all climes with ease.

  His manner was perhaps the more seductive,
    Because he ne'er seem'd anxious to seduce;
  Nothing affected, studied, or constructive
    Of coxcombry or conquest: no abuse
  Of his attractions marr'd the fair perspective,
    To indicate a Cupidon broke loose,
  And seem to say, 'Resist us if you can'-
  Which makes a dandy while it spoils a man.

  They are wrong- that 's not the way to set about it;
    As, if they told the truth, could well be shown.
  But, right or wrong, Don Juan was without it;
    In fact, his manner was his own alone;
  Sincere he was- at least you could not doubt it,
    In listening merely to his voice's tone.
  The devil hath not in all his quiver's choice
  An arrow for the heart like a sweet voice.

  By nature soft, his whole address held off
    Suspicion: though not timid, his regard
  Was such as rather seem'd to keep aloof,
    To shield himself than put you on your guard:
  Perhaps 't was hardly quite assured enough,
    But modesty 's at times its own reward,
  Like virtue; and the absence of pretension
  Will go much farther than there 's need to mention.

  Serene, accomplish'd, cheerful but not loud;
    Insinuating without insinuation;
  Observant of the foibles of the crowd,
    Yet ne'er betraying this in conversation;
  Proud with the proud, yet courteously proud,
    So as to make them feel he knew his station
  And theirs:- without a struggle for priority,
  He neither brook'd nor claim'd superiority.

  That is, with men: with women he was what
    They pleased to make or take him for; and their
  Imagination 's quite enough for that:
    So that the outline 's tolerably fair,
  They fill the canvas up- and 'verbum sat.'
    If once their phantasies be brought to bear
  Upon an object, whether sad or playful,
  They can transfigure brighter than a Raphael.

  Adeline, no deep judge of character,
    Was apt to add a colouring from her own:
  'T is thus the good will amiably err,
    And eke the wise, as has been often shown.
  Experience is the chief philosopher,
    But saddest when his science is well known:
  And persecuted sages teach the schools
  Their folly in forgetting there are fools.

  Was it not so, great Locke? and greater Bacon?
    Great Socrates? And thou, Diviner still,
  Whose lot it is by man to be mistaken,
    And thy pure creed made sanction of all ill?
  Redeeming worlds to be by bigots shaken,
    How was thy toil rewarded? We might fill
  Volumes with similar sad illustrations,
  But leave them to the conscience of the nations.

  I perch upon an humbler promontory,
    Amidst life's infinite variety:
  With no great care for what is nicknamed glory,
    But speculating as I cast mine eye
  On what may suit or may not suit my story,
    And never straining hard to versify,
  I rattle on exactly as I 'd talk
  With any body in a ride or walk.

  I don't know that there may be much ability
    Shown in this sort of desultory rhyme;
  But there 's a conversational facility,
    Which may round off an hour upon a time.
  Of this I 'm sure at least, there 's no servility
    In mine irregularity of chime,
  Which rings what 's uppermost of new or hoary,
  Just as I feel the 'Improvvisatore.'

  'Omnia vult belle Matho dicere- dic aliquando
    Et bene, dic neutrum, dic aliquando male.'
  The first is rather more than mortal can do;
    The second may be sadly done or gaily;
  The third is still more difficult to stand to;
    The fourth we hear, and see, and say too, daily.
  The whole together is what I could wish
  To serve in this conundrum of a dish.

  A modest hope- but modesty 's my forte,
    And pride my feeble:- let us ramble on.
  I meant to make this poem very short,
    But now I can't tell where it may not run.
  No doubt, if I had wish' to pay my court
    To critics, or to hail the setting sun
  Of tyranny of all kinds, my concision
  Were more;- but I was born for opposition.

  But then 't is mostly on the weaker side;
    So that I verily believe if they
  Who now are basking in their full-blown pride
    Were shaken down, and 'dogs had had their day,'
  Though at the first I might perchance deride
    Their tumble, I should turn the other way,
  And wax an ultra-royalist in loyalty,
  Because I hate even democratic royalty.

  I think I should have made a decent spouse,
    If I had never proved the soft condition;
  I think I should have made monastic vows,
    But for my own peculiar superstition:
  'Gainst rhyme I never should have knock'd my brows,
    Nor broken my own head, nor that of Priscian,
  Nor worn the motley mantle of a poet,
  If some one had not told me to forego it.

  But 'laissez aller'- knights and dames I sing,
    Such as the times may furnish. 'T is a flight
  Which seems at first to need no lofty wing,
    Plumed by Longinus or the Stagyrite:
  The difficultly lies in colouring
    (Keeping the due proportions still in sight)
  With nature manners which are artificial,
  And rend'ring general that which is especial.

  The difference is, that in the days of old
    Men made the manners; manners now make men-
  Pinn'd like a flock, and fleeced too in their fold,
    At least nine, and a ninth beside of ten.
  Now this at all events must render cold
    Your writers, who must either draw again
  Days better drawn before, or else assume
  The present, with their common-place costume.

  We 'll do our best to make the best on 't:- March!
    March, my Muse! If you cannot fly, yet flutter;
  And when you may not be sublime, be arch,
    Or starch, as are the edicts statesmen utter.
  We surely may find something worth research:
    Columbus found a new world in a cutter,
  Or brigantine, or pink, of no great tonnage,
  While yet America was in her non-age.

  When Adeline, in all her growing sense
    Of Juan's merits and his situation,
  Felt on the whole an interest intense,-
    Partly perhaps because a fresh sensation,
  Or that he had an air of innocence,
    Which is for innocence a sad temptation,-
  As women hate half measures, on the whole,
  She 'gan to ponder how to save his soul.

  She had a good opinion of advice,
    Like all who give and eke receive it gratis,
  For which small thanks are still the market price,
    Even where the article at highest rate is:
  She thought upon the subject twice or thrice,
    And morally decided, the best state is
  For morals, marriage; and this question carried,
  She seriously advised him to get married.

  Juan replied, with all becoming deference,
    He had a predilection for that tie;
  But that, at present, with immediate reference
    To his own circumstances, there might lie
  Some difficulties, as in his own preference,
    Or that of her to whom he might apply:
  That still he 'd wed with such or such a lady,
  If that they were not married all already.

  Next to the making matches for herself,
    And daughters, brothers, sisters, kith or kin,
  Arranging them like books on the same shelf,
    There 's nothing women love to dabble in
  More (like a stock-holder in growing pelf)
    Than match-making in general: 't is no sin
  Certes, but a preventative, and therefore
  That is, no doubt, the only reason wherefore.

  But never yet (except of course a miss
    Unwed, or mistress never to be wed,
  Or wed already, who object to this)
    Was there chaste dame who had not in her head
  Some drama of the marriage unities,
    Observed as strictly both at board and bed
  As those of Aristotle, though sometimes
  They turn out melodrames or pantomimes.

  They generally have some only son,
    Some heir to a large property, some friend
  Of an old family, some gay Sir john,
    Or grave Lord George, with whom perhaps might end
  A line, and leave posterity undone,
    Unless a marriage was applied to mend
  The prospect and their morals: and besides,
  They have at hand a blooming glut of brides.

  From these they will be careful to select,
    For this an heiress, and for that a beauty;
  For one a songstress who hath no defect,
    For t' other one who promises much duty;
  For this a lady no one can reject,
    Whose sole accomplishments were quite a booty;
  A second for her excellent connections;
  A third, because there can be no objections.

  When Rapp the Harmonist embargo'd marriage
    In his harmonious settlement (which flourishes
  Strangely enough as yet without miscarriage,
    Because it breeds no more mouths than it nourishes,
  Without those sad expenses which disparage
    What Nature naturally most encourages)-
  Why call'd he 'Harmony' a state sans wedlock?
  Now here I 've got the preacher at a dead lock.

  Because he either meant to sneer at harmony
    Or marriage, by divorcing them thus oddly.
  But whether reverend Rapp learn'd this in Germany
    Or no, 't is said his sect is rich and godly,
  Pious and pure, beyond what I can term any
    Of ours, although they propagate more broadly.
  My objection 's to his title, not his ritual,
  Although I wonder how it grew habitual.

  But Rapp is the reverse of zealous matrons,
    Who favour, malgre Malthus, generation-
  Professors of that genial art, and patrons
    Of all the modest part of propagation;
  Which after all at such a desperate rate runs,
    That half its produce tends to emigration,
  That sad result of passions and potatoes-
  Two weeds which pose our economic Catos.

  Had Adeline read Malthus? I can't tell;
    I wish she had: his book 's the eleventh commandment,
  Which says, 'Thou shalt not marry,' unless well:
    This he (as far as I can understand) meant.
  'T is not my purpose on his views to dwell
    Nor canvass what so 'eminent a hand' meant;
  But certes it conducts to lives ascetic,
  Or turning marriage into arithmetic.

  But Adeline, who probably presumed
    That Juan had enough of maintenance,
  Or separate maintenance, in case 't was doom'd-
    As on the whole it is an even chance
  That bridegrooms, after they are fairly groom'd,
    May retrograde a little in the dance
  Of marriage (which might form a painter's fame,
  Like Holbein's 'Dance of Death'- but 't is the same);-

  But Adeline determined Juan's wedding
    In her own mind, and that 's enough for woman:
  But then, with whom? There was the sage Miss Reading,
    Miss Raw, Miss Flaw, Miss Showman, and Miss Knowman.
  And the two fair co-heiresses Giltbedding.
    She deem'd his merits something more than common:
  All these were unobjectionable matches,
  And might go on, if well wound up, like watches.

  There was Miss Millpond, smooth as summer's sea,
    That usual paragon, an only daughter,
  Who seem'd the cream of equanimity
    Till skimm'd- and then there was some milk and water,
  With a slight shade of blue too, it might be,
    Beneath the surface; but what did it matter?
  Love 's riotous, but marriage should have quiet,
  And being consumptive, live on a milk diet.

  And then there was the Miss Audacia Shoestring,
    A dashing demoiselle of good estate,
  Whose heart was fix'd upon a star or blue string;
    But whether English dukes grew rare of late,
  Or that she had not harp'd upon the true string,
    By which such sirens can attract our great,
  She took up with some foreign younger brother,
  A Russ or Turk- the one 's as good as t' other.

  And then there was- but why should I go on,
    Unless the ladies should go off?- there was
  Indeed a certain fair and fairy one,
    Of the best class, and better than her class,-
  Aurora Raby, a young star who shone
    O'er life, too sweet an image for such glass,
  A lovely being, scarcely form'd or moulded,
  A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded;

  Rich, noble, but an orphan; left an only
    Child to the care of guardians good and kind;
  But still her aspect had an air so lonely!
    Blood is not water; and where shall we find
  Feelings of youth like those which overthrown lie
    By death, when we are left, alas! behind,
  To feel, in friendless palaces, a home
  Is wanting, and our best ties in the tomb?

  Early in years, and yet more infantine
    In figure, she had something of sublime
  In eyes which sadly shone, as seraphs' shine.
    All youth- but with an aspect beyond time;
  Radiant and grave- as pitying man's decline;
    Mournful- but mournful of another's crime,
  She look'd as if she sat by Eden's door.
  And grieved for those who could return no more.

  She was a Catholic, too, sincere, austere,
    As far as her own gentle heart allow'd,
  And deem'd that fallen worship far more dear
    Perhaps because 't was fallen: her sires were proud
  Of deeds and days when they had fill'd the ear
    Of nations, and had never bent or bow'd
  To novel power; and as she was the last,
  She held their old faith and old feelings fast.

  She gazed upon a world she scarcely knew,
    As seeking not to know it; silent, lone,
  As grows a flower, thus quietly she grew,
    And kept her heart serene within its zone.
  There was awe in the homage which she drew;
    Her spirit seem'd as seated on a throne
  Apart from the surrounding world, and strong
  In its own strength- most strange in one so young!

  Now it so happen'd, in the catalogue
    Of Adeline, Aurora was omitted,
  Although her birth and wealth had given her vogue
    Beyond the charmers we have already cited;
  Her beauty also seem'd to form no clog
    Against her being mention'd as well fitted,
  By many virtues, to be worth the trouble
  Of single gentlemen who would be double.

  And this omission, like that of the bust
    Of Brutus at the pageant of Tiberius,
  Made Juan wonder, as no doubt he must.
    This he express'd half smiling and half serious;
  When Adeline replied with some disgust,
    And with an air, to say the least, imperious,
  She marvell'd 'what he saw in such a baby
  As that prim, silent, cold Aurora Raby?'

  Juan rejoin'd- 'She was a Catholic,
    And therefore fittest, as of his persuasion;
  Since he was sure his mother would fall sick,
    And the Pope thunder excommunication,
  If-' But here Adeline, who seem'd to pique
    Herself extremely on the inoculation
  Of others with her own opinions, stated-
  As usual- the same reason which she late did.

  And wherefore not? A reasonable reason,
    If good, is none the worse for repetition;
  If bad, the best way 's certainly to tease on,
    And amplify: you lose much by concision,
  Whereas insisting in or out of season
    Convinces all men, even a politician;
  Or- what is just the same- it wearies out.
  So the end 's gain'd, what signifies the route?

  Why Adeline had this slight prejudice-
    For prejudice it was- against a creature
  As pure as sanctity itself from vice,
    With all the added charm of form and feature,
  For me appears a question far too nice,
    Since Adeline was liberal by nature;
  But nature 's nature, and has more caprices
  Than I have time, or will, to take to pieces.

  Perhaps she did not like the quiet way
    With which Aurora on those baubles look'd,
  Which charm most people in their earlier day:
    For there are few things by mankind less brook'd,
  And womankind too, if we so may say,
    Than finding thus their genius stand rebuked,
  Like 'Anthony's by Caesar,' by the few
  Who look upon them as they ought to do.

  It was not envy- Adeline had none;
    Her place was far beyond it, and her mind.
  It was not scorn- which could not light on one
    Whose greatest fault was leaving few to find.
  It was not jealousy, I think: but shun
    Following the 'ignes fatui' of mankind.
  It was not- but 't is easier far, alas!
  To say what it was not than what it was.

  Little Aurora deem'd she was the theme
    Of such discussion. She was there a guest;
  A beauteous ripple of the brilliant stream
    Of rank and youth, though purer than the rest,
  Which flow'd on for a moment in the beam
    Time sheds a moment o'er each sparkling crest.
  Had she known this, she would have calmly smiled-
  She had so much, or little, of the child.

  The dashing and proud air of Adeline
    Imposed not upon her: she saw her blaze
  Much as she would have seen a glow-worm shine,
    Then turn'd unto the stars for loftier rays.
  Juan was something she could not divine,
    Being no sibyl in the new world's ways;
  Yet she was nothing dazzled by the meteor,
  Because she did not pin her faith on feature.

  His fame too,- for he had that kind of fame
    Which sometimes plays the deuce with womankind,
  A heterogeneous mass of glorious blame,
    Half virtues and whole vices being combined;
  Faults which attract because they are not tame;
    Follies trick'd out so brightly that they blind:-
  These seals upon her wax made no impression,
  Such was her coldness or her self-possession.

  Juan knew nought of such a character-
    High, yet resembling not his lost Haidee;
  Yet each was radiant in her proper sphere:
    The island girl, bred up by the lone sea,
  More warm, as lovely, and not less sincere,
    Was Nature's all: Aurora could not be,
  Nor would be thus:- the difference in them
  Was such as lies between a flower and gem.

  Having wound up with this sublime comparison,
    Methinks we may proceed upon our narrative,
  And, as my friend Scott says, 'I sound my warison;'
    Scott, the superlative of my comparative-
  Scott, who can paint your Christian knight or Saracen,
    Serf, lord, man, with such skill as none would share it, if
  There had not been one Shakspeare and Voltaire,
  Of one or both of whom he seems the heir.

  I say, in my slight way I may proceed
    To play upon the surface of humanity.
  I write the world, nor care if the world read,
    At least for this I cannot spare its vanity.
  My Muse hath bred, and still perhaps may breed
    More foes by this same scroll: when I began it, I
  Thought that it might turn out so- now I know it,
  But still I am, or was, a pretty poet.

  The conference or congress (for it ended
    As congresses of late do) of the Lady
  Adeline and Don Juan rather blended
    Some acids with the sweets- for she was heady;
  But, ere the matter could be marr'd or mended,
    The silvery bell rang, not for 'dinner ready,
  But for that hour, call'd half-hour, given to dress,
  Though ladies' robes seem scant enough for less.

  Great things were now to be achieved at table,
    With massy plate for armour, knives and forks
  For weapons; but what Muse since Homer 's able
    (His feasts are not the worst part of his works)
  To draw up in array a single day-bill
    Of modern dinners? where more mystery lurks,
  In soups or sauces, or a sole ragout,

  There was a goodly 'soupe a la bonne femme,'
    Though God knows whence it came from; there was, too,
  A turbot for relief of those who cram,
    Relieved with 'dindon a la Parigeux;'
    How shall I get this gourmand stanza through?-
  'Soupe a la Beauveau,' whose relief was dory,
  Relieved itself by pork, for greater glory.

  But I must crowd all into one grand mess
    Or mass; for should I stretch into detail,
  My Muse would run much more into excess,
    Than when some squeamish people deem her frail.
  But though a 'bonne vivante,' I must confess
    Her stomach 's not her peccant part; this tale
  However doth require some slight refection,
  Just to relieve her spirits from dejection.

  Fowls 'a la Conde,' slices eke of salmon,
    With 'sauces Genevoises,' and haunch of venison;
  Wines too, which might again have slain young Ammon-
    A man like whom I hope we shan't see many soon;
  They also set a glazed Westphalian ham on,
    Whereon Apicius would bestow his benison;
  And then there was champagne with foaming whirls,
  As white as Cleopatra's melted pearls.

  Then there was God knows what 'a l'Allemande,'
    'A l'Espagnole,' 'timballe,' and 'salpicon'-
  With things I can't withstand or understand,
    Though swallow'd with much zest upon the whole;
  And 'entremets' to piddle with at hand,
    Gently to lull down the subsiding soul;
  While great Lucullus' Robe triumphal muffles
  (There 's fame) young partridge fillets, deck'd with truffles.

  What are the fillets on the victor's brow
    To these? They are rags or dust. Where is the arch
  Which nodded to the nation's spoils below?
    Where the triumphal chariots' haughty march?
  Gone to where victories must like dinners go.
    Farther I shall not follow the research:
  But oh! ye modern heroes with your cartridges,
  When will your names lend lustre e'en to partridges?

  Those truffles too are no bad accessaries,
    Follow'd by 'petits puits d'amour'- a dish
  Of which perhaps the cookery rather varies,
    So every one may dress it to his wish,
  According to the best of dictionaries,
    Which encyclopedize both flesh and fish;
  But even sans 'confitures,' it no less true is,
  There 's pretty picking in those 'petits puits.'

  The mind is lost in mighty contemplation
    Of intellect expanded on two courses;
  And indigestion's grand multiplication
    Requires arithmetic beyond my forces.
  Who would suppose, from Adam's simple ration,
    That cookery could have call'd forth such resources,
  As form a science and a nomenclature
  From out the commonest demands of nature?

  The glasses jingled, and the palates tingled;
    The diners of celebrity dined well;
  The ladies with more moderation mingled
    In the feast, pecking less than I can tell;
  Also the younger men too: for a springald
    Can't, like ripe age, in gormandize excel,
  But thinks less of good eating than the whisper
  (When seated next him) of some pretty lisper.

  Alas! I must leave undescribed the gibier,
    The salmi, the consomme, the puree,
  All which I use to make my rhymes run glibber
    Than could roast beef in our rough John Bull way:
  I must not introduce even a spare rib here,
    'Bubble and squeak' would spoil my liquid lay:
  But I have dined, and must forego, Alas!
  The chaste description even of a 'becasse;'

  And fruits, and ice, and all that art refines
    From nature for the service of the gout-
  Taste or the gout,- pronounce it as inclines
    Your stomach! Ere you dine, the French will do;
  But after, there are sometimes certain signs
    Which prove plain English truer of the two.
  Hast ever had the gout? I have not had it-
  But I may have, and you too, reader, dread it.

  The simple olives, best allies of wine,
    Must I pass over in my bill of fare?
  I must, although a favourite 'plat' of mine
    In Spain, and Lucca, Athens, every where:
  On them and bread 't was oft my luck to dine,
    The grass my table-cloth, in open-air,
  On Sunium or Hymettus, like Diogenes,
  Of whom half my philosophy the progeny is.

  Amidst this tumult of fish, flesh, and 'fowl,
    And vegetables, all in masquerade,
  The guests were placed according to their roll,
    But various as the various meats display'd:
  Don Juan sat next 'an l'Espagnole'-
    No damsel, but a dish, as hath been said;
  But so far like a lady, that 't was drest
  Superbly, and contain'd a world of zest.

  By some odd chance too, he was placed between
    Aurora and the Lady Adeline-
  A situation difficult, I ween,
    For man therein, with eyes and heart, to dine.
  Also the conference which we have seen
    Was not such as to encourage him to shine;
  For Adeline, addressing few words to him,
  With two transcendent eyes seem'd to look through him.

  I sometimes almost think that eyes have ears:
    This much is sure, that, out of earshot, things
  Are somehow echoed to the pretty dears,
    Of which I can't tell whence their knowledge springs.
  Like that same mystic music of the spheres,
    Which no one bears, so loudly though it rings,
  'T is wonderful how oft the sex have heard
  Long dialogues- which pass'd without a word!

  Aurora sat with that indifference
    Which piques a preux chevalier- as it ought:
  Of all offences that 's the worst offence,
    Which seems to hint you are not worth a thought.
  Now Juan, though no coxcomb in pretence,
    Was not exactly pleased to be so caught;
  Like a good ship entangled among ice,
  And after so much excellent advice.

  To his gay nothings, nothing was replied,
    Or something which was nothing, as urbanity
  Required. Aurora scarcely look'd aside,
    Nor even smiled enough for any vanity.
  The devil was in the girl! Could it be pride?
    Or modesty, or absence, or inanity?
  Heaven knows? But Adeline's malicious eyes
  Sparkled with her successful prophecies,

  And look'd as much as if to say, 'I said it;'
    A kind of triumph I 'll not recommend,
  Because it sometimes, as I have seen or read it,
    Both in the case of lover and of friend,
  Will pique a gentleman, for his own credit,
    To bring what was a jest to a serious end:
  For all men prophesy what is or was,
  And hate those who won't let them come to pass.

  Juan was drawn thus into some attentions,
    Slight but select, and just enough to express,
  To females of perspicuous comprehensions,
    That he would rather make them more than less.
  Aurora at the last (so history mentions,
    Though probably much less a fact than guess)
  So far relax'd her thoughts from their sweet prison,
  As once or twice to smile, if not to listen.

  From answering she began to question; this
    With her was rare: and Adeline, who as yet
  Thought her predictions went not much amiss,
    Began to dread she'd thaw to a coquette-
  So very difficult, they say, it is
    To keep extremes from meeting, when once set
  In motion; but she here too much refined-
  Aurora's spirit was not of that kind.

  But Juan had a sort of winning way,
    A proud humility, if such there be,
  Which show'd such deference to what females say,
    As if each charming word were a decree.
  His tact, too, temper'd him from grave to gay,
    And taught him when to be reserved or free:
  He had the art of drawing people out,
  Without their seeing what he was about.

  Aurora, who in her indifference
    Confounded him in common with the crowd
  Of flatterers, though she deem'd he had more sense
    Than whispering foplings, or than witlings loud-
  Commenced (from such slight things will great commence)
    To feel that flattery which attracts the proud
  Rather by deference than compliment,
  And wins even by a delicate dissent.

  And then he had good looks;- that point was carried
    Nem. con. amongst the women, which I grieve
  To say leads oft to crim. con. with the married-
    A case which to the juries we may leave,
  Since with digressions we too long have tarried.
    Now though we know of old that looks deceive,
  And always have done, somehow these good looks
  Make more impression than the best of books.

  Aurora, who look'd more on books than faces,
    Was very young, although so very sage,
  Admiring more Minerva than the Graces,
    Especially upon a printed page.
  But Virtue's self, with all her tightest laces,
    Has not the natural stays of strict old age;
  And Socrates, that model of all duty,
  Own'd to a penchant, though discreet, for beauty.

  And girls of sixteen are thus far Socratic,
    But innocently so, as Socrates;
  And really, if the sage sublime and Attic
    At seventy years had phantasies like these,
  Which Plato in his dialogues dramatic
    Has shown, I know not why they should displease
  In virgins- always in a modest way,
  Observe; for that with me 's a 'sine qua.'

  Also observe, that, like the great Lord Coke
    (See Littleton), whene'er I have express'd
  Opinions two, which at first sight may look
    Twin opposites, the second is the best.
  Perhaps I have a third, too, in a nook,
    Or none at all- which seems a sorry jest:
  But if a writer should be quite consistent,
  How could he possibly show things existent?

  If people contradict themselves, can
    Help contradicting them, and every body,
  Even my veracious self?- But that 's a lie:
    I never did so, never will- how should I?
  He who doubts all things nothing can deny:
    Truth's fountains may be clear- her streams are muddy,
  And cut through such canals of contradiction,
  That she must often navigate o'er fiction.

  Apologue, fable, poesy, and parable,
    Are false, but may he render'd also true,
  By those who sow them in a land that 's arable.
    'T is wonderful what fable will not do!
  'T is said it makes reality more bearable:
    But what 's reality? Who has its clue?
  Philosophy? No: she too much rejects.
  Religion? Yes; but which of all her sects?

  Some millions must be wrong, that 's pretty dear;
    Perhaps it may turn out that all were right.
  God help us! Since we have need on our career
    To keep our holy beacons always bright,
  'T is time that some new prophet should appear,
    Or old indulge man with a second sight.
  Opinions wear out in some thousand years,
  Without a small refreshment from the spheres.

  But here again, why will I thus entangle
    Myself with metaphysics? None can hate
  So much as I do any kind of wrangle;
    And yet, such is my folly, or my fate,
  I always knock my head against some angle
    About the present, past, or future state.
  Yet I wish well to Trojan and to Tyrian,
  For I was bred a moderate Presbyterian.

  But though I am a temperate theologian,
    And also meek as a metaphysician,
  Impartial between Tyrian and Trojan,
    As Eldon on a lunatic commission-
  In politics my duty is to show John
    Bull something of the lower world's condition.
  It makes my blood boil like the springs of Hecla,
  To see men let these scoundrel sovereigns break law.

  But politics, and policy, and piety,
    Are topics which I sometimes introduce,
  Not only for the sake of their variety,
    But as subservient to a moral use;
  Because my business is to dress society,
    And stuff with sage that very verdant goose.
  And now, that we may furnish with some matter all
  Tastes, we are going to try the supernatural.

  And now I will give up all argument;
    And positively henceforth no temptation
  Shall 'fool me to the top up of my bent:'-
    Yes, I' ll begin a thorough reformation.
  Indeed, I never knew what people meant
    By deeming that my Muse's conversation
  Was dangerous;- I think she is as harmless
  As some who labour more and yet may charm less.

  Grim reader! did you ever see a ghost?
    No; but you have heard- I understand- be dumb!
  And don't regret the time you may have lost,
    For you have got that pleasure still to come:
  And do not think I mean to sneer at most
    Of these things, or by ridicule benumb
  That source of the sublime and the mysterious:-
  For certain reasons my belief is serious.

  Serious? You laugh;- you may: that will I not;
    My smiles must be sincere or not at all.
  I say I do believe a haunted spot
    Exists- and where? That shall I not recall,
  Because I 'd rather it should be forgot,
    'Shadows the soul of Richard' may appal.
  In short, upon that subject I 've some qualms very
  Like those of the philosopher of Malmsbury.

  The night (I sing by night- sometimes an owl,
    And now and then a nightingale) is dim,
  And the loud shriek of sage Minerva's fowl
    Rattles around me her discordant hymn:
  Old portraits from old walls upon me scowl-
    I wish to heaven they would not look so grim;
  The dying embers dwindle in the grate-
  I think too that I have sate up too late:

  And therefore, though 't is by no means my way
    To rhyme at noon- when I have other things
  To think of, if I ever think- I say
    I feel some chilly midnight shudderings,
  And prudently postpone, until mid-day,
    Treating a topic which, alas! but brings
  Shadows;- but you must be in my condition
  Before you learn to call this superstition.

  Between two worlds life hovers like a star,
    'Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's verge.
  How little do we know that which we are!
    How less what we may be! The eternal surge
  Of time and tide rolls on, and bears afar
    Our bubbles; as the old burst, new emerge,
  Lash'd from the foam of ages; while the graves
  Of empires heave but like some passing waves.
               CANTO THE SIXTEENTH.

  THE antique Persians taught three useful things,
    To draw the bow, to ride, and speak the truth.
  This was the mode of Cyrus, best of kings-
    A mode adopted since by modern youth.
  Bows have they, generally with two strings;
    Horses they ride without remorse or ruth;
  At speaking truth perhaps they are less clever,
  But draw the long bow better now than ever.

  The cause of this effect, or this defect,-
    'For this effect defective comes by cause,'-
  Is what I have not leisure to inspect;
    But this I must say in my own applause,
  Of all the Muses that I recollect,
    Whate'er may be her follies or her flaws
  In some things, mine 's beyond all contradiction
  The most sincere that ever dealt in fiction.

  And as she treats all things, and ne'er retreats
    From any thing, this epic will contain
  A wilderness of the most rare conceits,
    Which you might elsewhere hope to find in vain.
  'T is true there be some bitters with the sweets,
    Yet mix'd so slightly, that you can't complain,
  But wonder they so few are, since my tale is
  'De rebus cunctis et quibusdam aliis.'

  But of all truths which she has told, the most
    True is that which she is about to tell.
  I said it was a story of a ghost-
    What then? I only know it so befell.
  Have you explored the limits of the coast,
    Where all the dwellers of the earth must dwell?
  'T is time to strike such puny doubters dumb as
  The sceptics who would not believe Columbus.

  Some people would impose now with authority,
    Turpin's or Monmouth Geoffry's Chronicle;
  Men whose historical superiority
    Is always greatest at a miracle.
  But Saint Augustine has the great priority,
    Who bids all men believe the impossible,
  Because 't is so. Who nibble, scribble, quibble, he
  Quiets at once with 'quia impossibile.'

  And therefore, mortals, cavil not at all;
    Believe:- if 't is improbable you must,
  And if it is impossible, you shall:
    'T is always best to take things upon trust.
  I do not speak profanely, to recall
    Those holier mysteries which the wise and just
  Receive as gospel, and which grow more rooted,
  As all truths must, the more they are disputed:

  I merely mean to say what Johnson said,
    That in the course of some six thousand years,
  All nations have believed that from the dead
    A visitant at intervals appears;
  And what is strangest upon this strange head,
    Is, that whatever bar the reason rears
  'Gainst such belief, there 's something stronger still
  In its behalf, let those deny who will.

  The dinner and the soiree too were done,
    The supper too discuss'd, the dames admired,
  The banqueteers had dropp'd off one by one-
    The song was silent, and the dance expired:
  The last thin petticoats were vanish'd, gone
    Like fleecy Clouds into the sky retired,
  And nothing brighter gleam'd through the saloon
  Than dying tapers- and the peeping moon.

  The evaporation of a joyous day
    Is like the last glass of champagne, without
  The foam which made its virgin bumper gay;
    Or like a system coupled with a doubt;
  Or like a soda bottle when its spray
    Has sparkled and let half its spirit out;
  Or like a billow left by storms behind,
  Without the animation of the wind;

  Or like an opiate, which brings troubled rest,
    Or none; or like- like nothing that I know
  Except itself;- such is the human breast;
    A thing, of which similitudes can show
  No real likeness,- like the old Tyrian vest
    Dyed purple, none at present can tell how,
  If from a shell-fish or from cochineal.
  So perish every tyrant's robe piece-meal!

  But next to dressing for a rout or ball,
    Undressing is a woe; our robe de chambre
  May sit like that of Nessus, and recall
    Thoughts quite as yellow, but less clear than amber.
  Titus exclaim'd, 'I 've lost a day!' Of all
    The nights and days most people can remember
  (I have had of both, some not to be disdain'd),
  I wish they 'd state how many they have gain'd.

  And Juan, on retiring for the night,
    Felt restless, and perplex'd, and compromised:
  He thought Aurora Raby's eyes more bright
    Than Adeline (such is advice) advised;
  If he had known exactly his own plight,
    He probably would have philosophised:
  A great resource to all, and ne'er denied
  Till wanted; therefore Juan only sigh'd.

  He sigh'd;- the next resource is the full moon,
    Where all sighs are deposited; and now
  It happen'd luckily, the chaste orb shone
    As clear as such a climate will allow;
  And Juan's mind was in the proper tone
    To hail her with the apostrophe- 'O thou!'
  Of amatory egotism the Tuism,
  Which further to explain would be a truism.

  But lover, poet, or astronomer,
    Shepherd, or swain, whoever may behold,
  Feel some abstraction when they gaze on her:
    Great thoughts we catch from thence (besides a cold
  Sometimes, unless my feelings rather err);
    Deep secrets to her rolling light are told;
  The ocean's tides and mortals' brains she sways,
  And also hearts, if there be truth in lays.

  Juan felt somewhat pensive, and disposed
    For contemplation rather than his pillow:
  The Gothic chamber, where he was enclosed,
    Let in the rippling sound of the lake's billow,
  With all the mystery by midnight caused;
    Below his window waved (of course) a willow;
  And he stood gazing out on the cascade
  That flash'd and after darken'd in the shade.

  Upon his table or his toilet,- which
    Of these is not exactly ascertain'd
  (I state this, for I am cautious to a pitch
    Of nicety, where a fact is to be gain'd),-
  A lamp burn'd high, while he leant from a niche,
    Where many a Gothic ornament remain'd,
  In chisell'd stone and painted glass, and all
  That time has left our fathers of their hall.

  Then, as the night was clear though cold, he threw
    His chamber door wide open- and went forth
  Into a gallery, of a sombre hue,
    Long, furnish'd with old pictures of great worth,
  Of knights and dames heroic and chaste too,
    As doubtless should be people of high birth.
  But by dim lights the portraits of the dead
  Have something ghastly, desolate, and dread.

  The forms of the grim knight and pictured saint
    Look living in the moon; and as you turn
  Backward and forward to the echoes faint
    Of your own footsteps- voices from the urn
  Appear to wake, and shadows wild and quaint
    Start from the frames which fence their aspects stern,
  As if to ask how you can dare to keep
  A vigil there, where all but death should sleep.

  And the pale smile of beauties in the grave,
    The charms of other days, in starlight gleams,
  Glimmer on high; their buried locks still wave
    Along the canvas; their eyes glance like dreams
  On ours, or spars within some dusky cave,
    But death is imaged in their shadowy beams.
  A picture is the past; even ere its frame
  Be gilt, who sate hath ceased to be the same.

  As Juan mused on mutability,
    Or on his mistress- terms synonymous-
  No sound except the echo of his sigh
    Or step ran sadly through that antique house;
  When suddenly he heard, or thought so, nigh,
    A supernatural agent- or a mouse,
  Whose little nibbling rustle will embarrass
  Most people as it plays along the arras.

  It was no mouse, but lo! a monk, array'd
    In cowl and beads and dusky garb, appear'd,
  Now in the moonlight, and now lapsed in shade,
    With steps that trod as heavy, yet unheard;
  His garments only a slight murmur made;
    He moved as shadowy as the sisters weird,
  But slowly; and as he pass'd Juan by,
  Glanced, without pausing, on him a bright eye.

  Juan was petrified; he had heard a hint
    Of such a spirit in these halls of old,
  But thought, like most men, there was nothing in 't
    Beyond the rumour which such spots unfold,
  Coin'd from surviving superstition's mint,
    Which passes ghosts in currency like gold,
  But rarely seen, like gold compared with paper.
  And did he see this? or was it a vapour?

  Once, twice, thrice pass'd, repass'd- the thing of air,
    Or earth beneath, or heaven, or t' other place;
  And Juan gazed upon it with a stare,
    Yet could not speak or move; but, on its base
  As stands a statue, stood: he felt his hair
    Twine like a knot of snakes around his face;
  He tax'd his tongue for words, which were not granted,
  To ask the reverend person what he wanted.

  The third time, after a still longer pause,
    The shadow pass'd away- but where? the hall
  Was long, and thus far there was no great cause
    To think his vanishing unnatural:
  Doors there were many, through which, by the laws
    Of physics, bodies whether short or tall
  Might come or go; but Juan could not state
  Through which the spectre seem'd to evaporate.

  He stood- how long he knew not, but it seem'd
    An age- expectant, powerless, with his eyes
  Strain'd on the spot where first the figure gleam'd;
    Then by degrees recall'd his energies,
  And would have pass'd the whole off as a dream,
    But could not wake; he was, he did surmise,
  Waking already, and return'd at length
  Back to his chamber, shorn of half his strength.

  All there was as he left it: still his taper
    Burnt, and not blue, as modest tapers use,
  Receiving sprites with sympathetic vapour;
    He rubb'd his eyes, and they did not refuse
  Their office; he took up an old newspaper;
    The paper was right easy to peruse;
  He read an article the king attacking,
  And a long eulogy of 'patent blacking.'

  This savour'd of this world; but his hand shook-
    He shut his door, and after having read
  A paragraph, I think about Horne Tooke,
    Undrest, and rather slowly went to bed.
  There, couch'd all snugly on his pillow's nook,
    With what he had seen his phantasy he fed;
  And though it was no opiate, slumber crept
  Upon him by degrees, and so he slept.

  He woke betimes; and, as may be supposed,
    Ponder'd upon his visitant or vision,
  And whether it ought not to be disclosed,
    At risk of being quizz'd for superstition.
  The more he thought, the more his mind was posed:
    In the mean time, his valet, whose precision
  Was great, because his master brook'd no less,
  Knock'd to inform him it was time to dress.

  He dress'd; and like young people he was wont
    To take some trouble with his toilet, but
  This morning rather spent less time upon 't;
    Aside his very mirror soon was put;
  His curls fell negligently o'er his front,
    His clothes were not curb'd to their usual cut,
  His very neckcloth's Gordian knot was tied
  Almost an hair's breadth too much on one side.

  And when he walk'd down into the saloon,
    He sate him pensive o'er a dish of tea,
  Which he perhaps had not discover'd soon,
    Had it not happen'd scalding hot to be,
  Which made him have recourse unto his spoon;
    So much distrait he was, that all could see
  That something was the matter- Adeline
  The first- but what she could not well divine.

  She look'd, and saw him pale, and turn'd as pale
    Herself; then hastily look'd down, and mutter'd
  Something, but what 's not stated in my tale.
    Lord Henry said his muffin was ill butter'd;
  The Duchess of Fitz-Fulke play'd with her veil,
    And look'd at Juan hard, but nothing utter'd.
  Aurora Raby with her large dark eyes
  Survey'd him with a kind of calm surprise.

  But seeing him all cold and silent still,
    And everybody wondering more or less,
  Fair Adeline enquired, 'If he were ill?'
    He started, and said, 'Yes- no- rather- yes.'
  The family physician had great skill,
    And being present, now began to express
  His readiness to feel his pulse and tell
  The cause, but Juan said, 'He was quite well.'

  'Quite well; yes,- no.'- These answers were mysterious,
    And yet his looks appear'd to sanction both,
  However they might savour of delirious;
    Something like illness of a sudden growth
  Weigh'd on his spirit, though by no means serious:
    But for the rest, as he himself seem'd loth
  To state the case, it might be ta'en for granted
  It was not the physician that he wanted.

  Lord Henry, who had now discuss'd his chocolate,
    Also the muffin whereof he complain'd,
  Said, Juan had not got his usual look elate,
    At which he marvell'd, since it had not rain'd;
  Then ask'd her Grace what news were of the duke of late?
    Her Grace replied, his Grace was rather pain'd
  With some slight, light, hereditary twinges
  Of gout, which rusts aristocratic hinges.

  Then Henry turn'd to Juan, and address'd
    A few words of condolence on his state:
  'You look,' quoth he, 'as if you had had your rest
    Broke in upon by the Black Friar of late.'
  'What friar?' said Juan; and he did his best
    To put the question with an air sedate,
  Or careless; but the effort was not valid
  To hinder him from growing still more pallid.

  'Oh! have you never heard of the Black Friar?
    The spirit of these walls?'- 'In truth not I.'
  'Why Fame- but Fame you know 's sometimes a liar-
    Tells an odd story, of which by and by:
  Whether with time the spectre has grown shyer,
    Or that our sires had a more gifted eye
  For such sights, though the tale is half believed,
  The friar of late has not been oft perceived.

    (Who watch'd the changes of Don Juan's brow,
  And from its context thought she could divine
    Connexions stronger then he chose to avow
  With this same legend)- 'if you but design
    To jest, you 'll choose some other theme just now,
  Because the present tale has oft been told,
  And is not much improved by growing old.'

  'Jest!' quoth Milor; 'why, Adeline, you know
    That we ourselves- 't was in the honey-moon-
    But, come, I 'll set your story to a tune.'
  Graceful as Dian, when she draws her bow,
    She seized her harp, whose strings were kindled soon
  As touch'd, and plaintively began to play
  The air of ''T was a Friar of Orders Gray.'

  'But add the words,' cried Henry, 'which you made;
    For Adeline is half a poetess,'
  Turning round to the rest, he smiling said.
    Of course the others could not but express
  In courtesy their wish to see display'd
    By one three talents, for there were no less-
  The voice, the words, the harper's skill, at once
  Could hardly be united by a dunce.

  After some fascinating hesitation,-
    The charming of these charmers, who seem bound,
  I can't tell why, to this dissimulation,-
    Fair Adeline, with eyes fix'd on the ground
  At first, then kindling into animation,
    Added her sweet voice to the lyric sound,
  And sang with much simplicity,- a merit
  Not the less precious, that we seldom hear it.

       Beware! beware! of the Black Friar,
         Who sitteth by Norman stone,
       For he mutters his prayer in the midnight air,
         And his mass of the days that are gone.
       When the Lord of the Hill, Amundeville,
         Made Norman Church his prey,
       And expell'd the friars, one friar still
         Would not be driven away.

       Though he came in his might, with King Henry's right,
         To turn church lands to lay,
       With sword in hand, and torch to light
         Their walls, if they said nay;
       A monk remain'd, unchased, unchain'd,
         And he did not seem form'd of clay,
       For he 's seen in the porch, and he 's seen in the church,
         Though he is not seen by day.

       And whether for good, or whether for ill,
         It is not mine to say;
       But still with the house of Amundeville
         He abideth night and day.
       By the marriage-bed of their lords, 't is said,
         He flits on the bridal eve;
       And 't is held as faith, to their bed of death
         He comes- but not to grieve.

       When an heir is born, he 's heard to mourn,
         And when aught is to befall
       That ancient line, in the "we moonshine
         He walks from hall to hall.
       His form you may trace, but not his face,
         'T is shadow'd by his cowl;
       But his eyes may be seen from the folds between,
         And they seem of a parted soul.

       But beware! beware! of the Black Friar,
         He still retains his sway,
       For he is yet the church's heir
         Whoever may be the lay.
       Amundeville is lord by day,
         But the monk is lord by night;
       Nor wine nor wassail could raise a vassal
         To question that friar's right.

       Say nought to him as he walks the hall,
         And he 'll say nought to you;
       He sweeps along in his dusky pall,
         As o'er the grass the dew.
       Then grammercy! for the Black Friar;
         Heaven sain him, fair or foul!
       And whatsoe'er may be his prayer,
         Let ours be for his soul.

  The lady's voice ceased, and the thrilling wires
    Died from the touch that kindled them to sound;
  And the pause follow'd, which when song expires
    Pervades a moment those who listen round;
  And then of course the circle much admires,
    Nor less applauds, as in politeness bound,
  The tones, the feeling, and the execution,
  To the performer's diffident confusion.

  Fair Adeline, though in a careless way,
    As if she rated such accomplishment
  As the mere pastime of an idle day,
    Pursued an instant for her own content,
  Would now and then as 't were without display,
    Yet with display in fact, at times relent
  To such performances with haughty smile,
  To show she could, if it were worth her while.

  Now this (but we will whisper it aside)
    Was- pardon the pedantic illustration-
  Trampling on Plato's pride with greater pride,
    As did the Cynic on some like occasion;
  Deeming the sage would be much mortified,
    Or thrown into a philosophic passion,
  For a spoil'd carpet- but the 'Attic Bee'
  Was much consoled by his own repartee.

  Thus Adeline would throw into the shade
    (By doing easily, whene'er she chose,
  What dilettanti do with vast parade)
    Their sort of half profession; for it grows
  To something like this when too oft display'd;
    And that it is so everybody knows
  Who have heard Miss That or This, or Lady T'other,
  Show off- to please their company or mother.

  Oh! the long evenings of duets and trios!
    The admirations and the speculations;
  The 'Mamma Mia's!' and the 'Amor Mio's!'
    The 'Tanti palpiti's' on such occasions:
  The 'Lasciami's,' and quavering 'Addio's!'
    Amongst our own most musical of nations;
  With 'Tu mi chamas's' from Portingale,
  To soothe our ears, lest Italy should fail.

  In Babylon's bravuras- as the home
    Heart-ballads of Green Erin or Gray Highlands,
  That bring Lochaber back to eyes that roam
    O'er far Atlantic continents or islands,
  The calentures of music which o'ercome
    All mountaineers with dreams that they are nigh lands,
  No more to be beheld but in such visions-
  Was Adeline well versed, as compositions.

  She also had a twilight tinge of 'Blue,'
    Could write rhymes, and compose more than she wrote,
  Made epigrams occasionally too
    Upon her friends, as everybody ought.
  But still from that sublimer azure hue,
    So much the present dye, she was remote;
  Was weak enough to deem Pope a great poet,
  And what was worse, was not ashamed to show it.

  Aurora- since we are touching upon taste,
    Which now-a-days is the thermometer
  By whose degrees all characters are class'd-
    Was more Shakspearian, if I do not err.
  The worlds beyond this world's perplexing waste
    Had more of her existence, for in her
  There was a depth of feeling to embrace
  Thoughts, boundless, deep, but silent too as Space.

  Not so her gracious, graceful, graceless Grace,
    The full-grown Hebe of Fitz-Fulke, whose mind,
  If she had any, was upon her face,
    And that was of a fascinating kind.
  A little turn for mischief you might trace
    Also thereon,- but that 's not much; we find
  Few females without some such gentle leaven,
  For fear we should suppose us quite in heaven.

  I have not heard she was at all poetic,
    Though once she was seen reading the 'Bath Guide,'
  And 'Hayley's Triumphs,' which she deem'd pathetic,
    Because she said her temper had been tried
  So much, the bard had really been prophetic
    Of what she had gone through with- since a bride.
  But of all verse, what most ensured her praise
  Were sonnets to herself, or 'bouts rimes.'

  'T were difficult to say what was the object
    Of Adeline, in bringing this same lay
  To bear on what appear'd to her the subject
    Of Juan's nervous feelings on that day.
  Perhaps she merely had the simple project
    To laugh him out of his supposed dismay;
  Perhaps she might wish to confirm him in it,
  Though why I cannot say- at least this minute.

  But so far the immediate effect
    Was to restore him to his self-propriety,
  A thing quite necessary to the elect,
    Who wish to take the tone of their society:
  In which you cannot be too circumspect,
    Whether the mode be persiflage or piety,
  But wear the newest mantle of hypocrisy,
  On pain of much displeasing the gynocracy.

  And therefore Juan now began to rally
    His spirits, and without more explanation
  To jest upon such themes in many a sally.
    Her Grace, too, also seized the same occasion,
  With various similar remarks to tally,
    But wish'd for a still more detail'd narration
  Of this same mystic friar's curious doings,
  About the present family's deaths and wooings.

  Of these few could say more than has been said;
    They pass'd as such things do, for superstition
  With some, while others, who had more in dread
    The theme, half credited the strange tradition;
  And much was talk'd on all sides on that head:
    But Juan, when cross-question'd on the vision,
  Which some supposed (though he had not avow'd it)
  Had stirr'd him, answer'd in a way to cloud it.

  And then, the mid-day having worn to one,
    The company prepared to separate;
  Some to their several pastimes, or to none,
    Some wondering 't was so early, some so late.
  There was a goodly match too, to be run
    Between some greyhounds on my lord's estate,
  And a young race-horse of old pedigree
  Match'd for the spring, whom several went to see.

  There was a picture-dealer who had brought
    A special Titian, warranted original,
  So precious that it was not to be bought,
    Though princes the possessor were besieging all.
  The king himself had cheapen'd it, but thought
    The civil list he deigns to accept (obliging all
  His subjects by his gracious acceptation)
  Too scanty, in these times of low taxation.

  But as Lord Henry was a connoisseur,-
    The friend of artists, if not arts,- the owner,
  With motives the most classical and pure,
    So that he would have been the very donor,
  Rather than seller, had his wants been fewer,
    So much he deem'd his patronage an honour,
  Had brought the capo d'opera, not for sale,
  But for his judgment- never known to fail.

  There was a modern Goth, I mean a Gothic
    Bricklayer of Babel, call'd an architect,
  Brought to survey these grey walls, which though so thick,
    Might have from time acquired some slight defect;
  Who after rummaging the Abbey through thick
    And thin, produced a plan whereby to erect
  New buildings of correctest conformation,
  And throw down old- which he call'd restoration.

  The cost would be a trifle- an 'old song,'
    Set to some thousands ('t is the usual burden
  Of that same tune, when people hum it long)-
    The price would speedily repay its worth in
  An edifice no less sublime than strong,
    By which Lord Henry's good taste would go forth in
  Its glory, through all ages shining sunny,
  For Gothic daring shown in English money.

  There were two lawyers busy on a mortgage
    Lord Henry wish'd to raise for a new purchase;
  Also a lawsuit upon tenures burgage,
    And one on tithes, which sure are Discord's torches,
  Kindling Religion till she throws down her gage,
    'Untying' squires 'to fight against the churches;'
  There was a prize ox, a prize pig, and ploughman,
  For Henry was a sort of Sabine showman.

  There were two poachers caught in a steel trap,
    Ready for gaol, their place of convalescence;
  There was a country girl in a close cap
    And scarlet cloak (I hate the sight to see, since-
  Since- since- in youth, I had the sad mishap-
    But luckily I have paid few parish fees since):
  That scarlet cloak, alas! unclosed with rigour,
  Presents the problem of a double figure.

  A reel within a bottle is a mystery,
    One can't tell how it e'er got in or out;
  Therefore the present piece of natural history
    I leave to those who are fond of solving doubt;
  And merely state, though not for the consistory,
    Lord Henry was a justice, and that Scout
  The constable, beneath a warrant's banner,
  Had bagg'd this poacher upon Nature's manor.

  Now justices of peace must judge all pieces
    Of mischief of all kinds, and keep the game
  And morals of the country from caprices
    Of those who have not a license for the same;
  And of all things, excepting tithes and leases,
    Perhaps these are most difficult to tame:
  Preserving partridges and pretty wenches
  Are puzzles to the most precautious benches.

  The present culprit was extremely pale,
    Pale as if painted so; her cheek being red
  By nature, as in higher dames less hale
    'T is white, at least when they just rise from bed.
  Perhaps she was ashamed of seeming frail,
    Poor soul! for she was country born and bred,
  And knew no better in her immorality
  Than to wax white- for blushes are for quality.

  Her black, bright, downcast, yet espiegle eye,
    Had gather'd a large tear into its corner,
  Which the poor thing at times essay'd to dry,
    For she was not a sentimental mourner
  Parading all her sensibility,
    Nor insolent enough to scorn the scorner,
  But stood in trembling, patient tribulation,
  To be call'd up for her examination.

  Of course these groups were scatter'd here and there,
    Not nigh the gay saloon of ladies gent.
  The lawyers in the study; and in air
    The prize pig, ploughman, poachers; the men sent
  From town, viz., architect and dealer, were
    Both busy (as a general in his tent
  Writing despatches) in their several stations,
  Exulting in their brilliant lucubrations.

  But this poor girl was left in the great hall,
    While Scout, the parish guardian of the frail,
  Discuss'd (he hated beer yclept the 'small')
    A mighty mug of moral double ale.
  She waited until justice could recall
    Its kind attentions to their proper pale,
  To name a thing in nomenclature rather
  Perplexing for most virgins- a child's father.

  You see here was enough of occupation
    For the Lord Henry, link'd with dogs and horses.
  There was much bustle too, and preparation
    Below stairs on the score of second courses;
  Because, as suits their rank and situation,
    Those who in counties have great land resources
  Have 'Public days,' when all men may carouse,
  Though not exactly what 's call'd 'open house.'

  But once a week or fortnight, uninvited
    (Thus we translate a general invitation),
  All country gentlemen, esquired or knighted,
    May drop in without cards, and take their station
  At the full board, and sit alike delighted
    With fashionable wines and conversation;
  And, as the isthmus of the grand connection,
  Talk o'er themselves the past and next election.

  Lord Henry was a great electioneerer,
    Burrowing for boroughs like a rat or rabbit;
  But county contests cost him rather dearer,
    Because the neighbouring Scotch Earl of Giftgabbit
  Had English influence in the self-same sphere here;
    His son, the Honourable Dick Dicedrabbit,
  Was member for the 'other interest' (meaning
  The same self-interest, with a different leaning).

  Courteous and cautious therefore in his county,
    He was all things to all men, and dispensed
  To some civility, to others bounty,
    And promises to all- which last commenced
  To gather to a somewhat large amount, he
    Not calculating how much they condensed;
  But what with keeping some, and breaking others,
  His word had the same value as another's.

  A friend to freedom and freeholders- yet
    No less a friend to government- he held,
  That he exactly the just medium hit
    'Twixt place and patriotism- albeit compell'd,
  Such was his sovereign's pleasure (though unfit,
    He added modestly, when rebels rail'd),
  To hold some sinecures he wish'd abolish'd,
  But that with them all law would be demolish'd.

  He was 'free to confess' (whence comes this phrase?
    Is 't English? No- 't is only parliamentary)
  That innovation's spirit now-a-days
    Had made more progress than for the last century.
  He would not tread a factious path to praise,
    Though for the public weal disposed to venture high;
  As for his place, he could but say this of it,
  That the fatigue was greater than the profit.

  Heaven, and his friends, knew that a private life
    Had ever been his sole and whole ambition;
  But could he quit his king in times of strife,
    Which threaten'd the whole country with perdition?
  When demagogues would with a butcher's knife
    Cut through and through (oh! damnable incision!)
  The Gordian or the Geordi-an knot, whose strings
  Have tied together commons, lords, and kings.

  Sooner 'come lace into the civil list
    And champion him to the utmost'- he would keep it,
  Till duly disappointed or dismiss'd:
    Profit he care not for, let others reap it;
  But should the day come when place ceased to exist,
    The country would have far more cause to weep it:
  For how could it go on? Explain who can!
  He gloried in the name of Englishman.

  He was as independent- ay, much more-
    Than those who were not paid for independence,
  As common soldiers, or a common- shore,
    Have in their several arts or parts ascendance
  O'er the irregulars in lust or gore,
    Who do not give professional attendance.
  Thus on the mob all statesmen are as eager
  To prove their pride, as footmen to a beggar.

  All this (save the last stanza) Henry said,
    And thought. I say no more- I 've said too much;
  For all of us have either heard or read-
    Off- or upon the hustings- some slight such
  Hints from the independent heart or head
    Of the official candidate. I 'll touch
  No more on this- the dinner-bell hath rung,
  And grace is said; the grace I should have sung-

  But I 'm too late, and therefore must make play.
    'T was a great banquet, such as Albion old