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XCVIII. 'T is all the same to me, I'm fond of yielding,
And therefore leave them to the purer page Of Smollet, 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,
But at this hour I wish to part in peace,
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 time and tongues, the foster-babes of famne, Life seems the smallest portion of existence;
Where iwenty 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.
CI. 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 woull, as 't were, identify their dust From out the wide destruction which, entombing all,
Leaves nothing will the coming of the justSave change: I've stood upon Achilles' tomb, And beard Troy doubted; time will doubt of Rome.
CII. 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 glead from the sepulchral Gloom, Which once-nained myriad, nameless lie beneallı, And lose their own in universal death,
Waiting for his sublimity's firman-
Which every body does without who can,-
Lady to lady, well as man to man,
There chanced to be an odd male and odd female, Who ( after some discussion and some doubt
If the soprano might be doom'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
agePair'd off with a Bacchante's blooming visage.
The tenor; these two liated with a hate
With this bis tuneful neighbour than his fate; Sad strife arose, for they were so cross-grain d,
Instead of bearing up without debate, That caclı puld different ways with many an oath, « Arcades ambo,» id est-blackguards both.
But bred within the March of old Ancona,
soul (Aud other chief points of a « bella donna»), Bright-and as black and burning as a coal;
And through her clear brunette complexion slione a Great wislı to please-a most attractive dower, Especially when added to the power.
For sorrow oer cach sense lield stere command; Her eye might thash on his, but found it dimn;
And though thus chain'd, as natural her hand Touchd luis, nor Urut-Dor any budsome limb
(And she had some vot easy to withstan:)) Could stir bis puse, or make his futh feel brittle; Perhaps lois recent wounds might belp a lilile.
But facts are facts,-no knight could be more true, And firmer faithi no ladyc-love desire;
We will omit the proofs, save one or two.
By thought of frosty Caucasus, but few
Having withood temptation in my youth,
At the first two books having too much truth; Therefore I'll make Don Juan leave the ship soon,
Because the publisher declues, in sooth, Througlu needles'cyes it casier for de camel is To pass, than those two cantos into families.
Where perished in his fame the bero-boy, Who lived too long for men, but died too soon
For human vanity, the young De Foix ! A broken pillar not unconthly bewil,
But which neglect is hastening to destroy, Piccords liavenna's carnage on its face, While weeds and ordure rankle round the base. 5
A little cupola, more neat than solemu,
To the band's tomb, and not the warrior's column. The time must come when both, alike derard,
The chieftain's trophy and the poet's volume, Will sink where lie the songs and wars of earth, Before Pelides' death or lomer's birth.
The last, if late accounts be accurate,
As well as the sublime discovery's date, Thus is the trophy used, and thus lamented
An airy instrument, with which he sought Should ever be those blood-hounds, from whose wild To ascertain the atmospheric state, Instinct of gore and glory earth has known
By measuring the intensity of blue :»
Oh, Lady Daphne! let me measure you!
Its fumes are frankincense to human thought; With slaves to sell off in the capital,
After the usual process, might be found
Her cargo, from the plague being safe and sound,
And there, with Georgians, Russians, and Circassians, Or at least was so ere it grew a fashion.
Bought up for different purposes and passions.
Some went off dearly: fifteen hundred dollars At once adventurous and contemplative,
For one Circassian, a sweet girl, were given, Men who partake all passions as they pass,
Warranted virgin; beauty's brightest colours Acquire the deep and bitter power to give
Had deck'd her out in all the hues of heaven: Their images again, as in a glass,
Her sale sent home some disappointed bawlers, And in such colours that they seem to live;
Who bade on till the hundreds reach'd eleven; You may do right forbidding them to show 'em, But when the offer went beyond, they knew But spoil (I think) a very pretty poem.
*T was for the sultan, and at once withdrew. CVIII.
CXV. Oh! ye, who make the fortunes of all books!
Twelve negresses from Nubia brought a price Benign ceruleans of the second sex!
Which the West-Indian market scarce would bring; Who advertise new poems by your looks,
- Though Wilberforce, at last, has made it twice Your « imprimatur» will ye not annex ?
What 't was ere abolition; and the thing
Need not seem very wonderful, for vice
The virtues, even the most exalted, charity,
Are saving-vice spares nothing for a rarity.
But for the destiny of this young troop, A ball-room bard, a foolscap, hol-press darling, How some were bought by pachas, some by Jews, To bear the compliments of many a bore,
Ilow some to burdens were obliged to stoop, And sigh « I can't get out,» like Yorick's starling. And others rose to the command of crews Why then I 'll swear, as poet Wordy swore
As renegadoes; while in hapless group, (Because the world won't read him, always snarling), Hoping no very old vizier might chuse, That taste is gone, that fame is but a lottery,
The females slood, as one by one they pick'd 'em, Drawn by the blue-coal misses of a coterie.
To make a mistress, or fourth wife, or victim.
All this must be reserved for further song; As some one somewhere sings about the sky,
Also our hero's lot, howe'er unpleasant And I, ye learned ladies, say of you;
(Because this canto has become too long), They say your stockings are so (Heaven knows why, Must be postponed discreetly for the present; I have examined few pair of that hue);
I'm sensible redundancy is wrong, Blue as the garters which serenely lie
But could not for the muse of me put less in 't : Round the patrician left-legs, which adorn
And now delay the progress of Don Juan,
Till what is call'd in Ossian the fifth Duan.
But times are alter'd since, a rhyming lover,
And—but no matter, all those things are over.
For sometimes such a world of virtues cover:
In liquid lines mellilluously bland,
They little think what mischief is in land; The greater their success the worse it proves, As Ovid's verse may
you understand; Even Peirarchi's self, if judged with due severity, Is the Platonic pimp of all posterity.
Except in such a way as not to attract;
But with a moral to eaclı error tack'd,
And with all passions in their turn attack'd.
Sprinkled with palaces; the ocean stream,'
Sophia's cupola with golden gleam;
The twelve isles, and die more than I could drcam,
it. I have a passion for the name of « Mary,»
For once it was a magic sound to me,
Where I beheld what never was to be;
A spell froin which even yet I am not quite free: But I grow sad-and let a tale
grow cold, Which must not be pathetically told.
And age, and sex, were in the market ranged;
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;
As most at his age are, of hope, and health;
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 a
comfortable quarters, To be put up for auction amongst Tartars,
Upon the whole liis carriage was serene :
Of which some gilded remnants still were seen,
He was above the vulyar by his mien;
With whites and blacks, in groups on show for sal, Though rather more irregularly spotted :
Some bought the jet, while others close the pale. li chanced, amongst the other people lotted,
linan of thirty, rather stout and hale,
In make, of a complexion white and ruddy,
And, it might be from thought, or toil, or study, An open brow a lite markil with care :
One arm had on a bandage rather bloody;
Of a high spirit evidenty, though
O'erthrown even men, be soon began to show
Lot of so young a partner in the woe,
Of licorgians, Russians, Nubins, and what not,
Willa 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's
The wind swept down the Euxine, and the wave
Broke foaming o'er the blue Symplegades, 'T is a grand sight, from off « the Giants Grave, »2
To watch the progress of those rolling seas Cetween the Bosphorus, as they lash and have
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.
1. 'T was a raw day of Autumn's bleak beginning,
When rights are equal, but not so the days; The Prex then cut short the further spinning
Of seamen's fates, and the loud tempeats raise The waters, and repentance for past sinuing
In all who o'er the great deep take their ways: They vow to annend their lives, and yet they don't; Decause if drown'd, they can'ı-if spired, they won't.
XXI. When Juan answer'd «Spanish !» he replied,
« You take things coolly, sir,” said Juan. «Why,» « I thought, in fact, you could not be a Greek;
Replied the other, « what can a mau do? Those servile dogs are not so proudly eyed :
There still are many rainbows in your sky, Fortune has play'd you here a pretty freak,
But mine have vanish'd. All, when life is new, But that's her way with all men till they 're tried : Commence with feelings warm and prospects light;
But never mind, -she'll turo, perhaps, next week; But time strips our illusions of their hue, She has served me also much the same as you,
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, What brought you here ?»-« Oh! nothing very rare- Or fresher, brighter, but, the year gone through, Six Tartars and a drag-chain--»-«To this doom This skin must go the way tvo of all tlesli, But what conducted, if the question's fair,
Or sometimes only wear a week or two. Is that which I would learn.»—« I served for some Love's the first net which spreads its deadly mesh;
Months with the Russian army here and there, Ambition, avarice, vengeance, glory, gluc And taking lately, by Suwarrow's bidding,
The glittering lime-twigs of our latter days,
Where still we flutter on for pence or praise.»
Have not been troubled with them lately. Now Said Juin; « but I really don't see how
« No!» quoth the other ; « yet you will allow Alas!» said Juan, « 't were a tale disfressing,
By setting things in their right point of view, And long besides,»-« Oh! if 'i is really so,
Knowledge, at least, is gain'd; for instance, now,
May teach us better to behave when masters.»
Their present lessons on our Pagan friends here,» Will hardly leave you (as she's not your wife)
Said Juan--swallowing a heart-burning sigh : For any length of days in such a pickle.
alleav'n help the scholar whom his fortune sends liere!» To strive too with our fate were such a strife
« Perhaps we shall be one day, by and by, As if the corn-sheaf should oppose the sickle :
Rejoin'd the other, « when our bad luck mends hiere; Men are the sport of circumstances, when
Meantime (yon old black eunuch seems to eye us) The circumstances seem the sport of men.»
I wish to G-d that somebody would buy us!
« But after all, what is our present state? I mourn, but for the past;-I loved a maid: »
'Tis bad, and may be better-all men's lot. lle paused, and his dark eye grew full of gloom; Most men are slaves, none more so than the great, A single tear upon his eyelash staid
To their own whims and passions, and what not ; A moment, and then droppd; « but to resume, Society itself, which should create 'Tis not my present lot, as I have said,
Kiodness, destroys what little we had got : Which I deplore so much; for I have borne
To feel for pone is the true social art
Of the world's stoics-men without a heart.»
Of the third sex stepp'd up, and peering over Ay,» quoth his friend, « I thought it would appear
The captives, seem'd to mark their looks, and age, That there had been a lady in the case;
And capabilities, as to discover And these are things which ask a tender tear,
If they were fitted for the purposed cage: Such as I too would shed if in your place :
No lady c'er is ogled by a lover, I cried upon my first wife's dying day,
Horse by a blackleg, broadcloth by a tailor,
Fee by a counsel, felon by a jailor,
You scarcely can be thiriy: have you three? » 'Tis pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures;
And all are to be sold, if you consider
Their passions, and are dext'rous; some by features Onc person thrice in holy wedlock bound'»
Are bought up, others by a warlike leader, Well, then, your third,» said Juan; « what did she? Some by a place-as tend their years or natures : She did not run away, too, did she, sir ?»
The most by ready cash--but all have prices, « No , faith.»-«What then?»---- I ran away from her.» From crowns to kicks, according to their vices.
Turn'd to the merchant, and began to bid
They haveled, wrangled, swore, too-so they did ! As though they were in a mere christiau fair,
Cheapeving an ox, an ass, a lamb, or kid;
And pulling out reluctant purses, and
Some down, and weighing others in their hand,
Until the sum was accurately scano'd,
Or, if it were, if also his digestion.
And conscience ask a curious sort of question, About the right divine how far we should
Sell flesta and blood. When dinner has oppress'd one,
Found life most tolerable after meals:
Repletion rather adds to what he feels;
From his own brain's oppression while it reels.
Of eating, with another act or two,
Kedoubled; when a roase and a ragout, and list and soup, by some side dishes back'd,
Can give us cither pain or pleasure, who
This is a fact, and no poetic fable-
My hat and gloves still lying on the table,
And running out as fast as I was able, 3
They liad slain him with five slugs; and left him there
the stair, And stripp'd, and look'd lo----But why should I add
More circumstances ? vain was every care ; ! The man was gone : in some Italian quarrel
Killd by live bullets from an old gun-barrel.
And, though I have seen many corpses, never
and liver, lle seem'd to sleep, for you could scarcely tell
(as he bled inwardly, no lidcous river Of gore divulged the cause) that he was dead:So as I gazed ou him, I thought or said,
XXXVI. «Can this be death? then what is life or death?
Speak!' but he spoke not: 'wake! but still be slept: But yesterday and who had mightier breath?
thousand warriors by his word were kept In awe: he said, as the centurion saith,
"Go,' and lie gocth; * come,' and forth he steppi.
With their rough faces throng'd about the bed,
Which for the last though not the first time bled: And such an end! that he who many a day
llad 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.
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
From me: I gazed (as oft I have gazed the same
And there we go:- but where? five bits of lead.
And is this blood, then, form'd but to be sbed? Can every clement our clements inar?
and air-earth-water-fire, live-and we dead? WC, whose minds comprehend all things? No moreButlet us to the story as before.
Dore off liis bargains to a gilded boat,
As fast as oars could pull and water tloat. They look'd like persons being led to sentence,
Wondering what next, till the caique was brought
Of a small irou door, 'I was open'd, and
Flank'd by large groves which towerd on either hani They almost lost their way, and had to pick il
For night was closing cre they came to land. Tir cumuch made a sign to those on board, Who rowd off, leaving them without a word.