« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
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.
In more destroying nature; and the heat
Over a heap of bodies, felt his heel
Whose fangs Eve taught her human seed to feel. Ja vain he kick'd, and swore, and writhed, and bled,
And howld for help as wolves do for a meal-
Of a foe o'er him, spatchd at it, and bil
(That which some ancient muse or modern wit Named after thee, Achilles) and quite through 't
He made the teeth meet; nor relinquishi'd it Even with his life-for (but they lie) 't is said To the live leg still clung the sever'd head.
The Russian officer for life was lamed,
And left him 'midst the invalid and maim'd:
His patient, and perhaps was to be blamed
Of a true poet to escape from fiction
In leaving verse more free from the restriction
For what is sometimes callid poetic diction,
There's not a Moslem that hath yielded sword:
Rolls by the city wall; but deed nor word
In vain the yell of victory is roar'd
And human lives are lavish'd every where,
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 with vast and awful splinters, As oaks blown down with all their Ulousand winters.
LXXXIX. It is an awful topic-but 't is not
My cue for any time to be terrific: For chequer'd as is seen our human lot
With good, and bad, and worse, alike prolific
Too much of one sort would be soporific;-
Is « quite refreshing »-in the affected phrase
With all their pretty milk-and-water ways,And may serve therefore to bedew these rlıymes,
A little scorchd at present with the blaze
Thousands of slaughter'd men, a yet warm group
To this vain refuge, made the good heart droop
A female child of ten years tried to stoop
With tashing 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 civilized, the wolf is mild ;
And whom for this at last must we condemn?
Whence her fair hair rose twining with affright,
When Juan caught a glimpse of this sad sight, I shall not exactly say what he said,
Because it might not solace « ears polite;»
And drove them with their brutal yells to seek
The wounds they richly merited, and shriek
As he turn d o'er each pale and gory cheek,
A slender streak of blood announced how near ller fate had been to that of all her race;
For the same blow which laid her mother here Hlad scarrd her brow, and left its crimson trace
As the last link with all she had held dear; But else unlıurt, she open'd her large eyes, And gazed on Juan with a wild surprise.
CII. Jerse at this instant, while their eyes were fix'a
And all allowances besides of plunder l'pon each other, with dilated glance,
In fair proportion with their comrades; -hen in Juan's look, pain, pleasure, biope, fear, mix'd Juan consented to marchion through thunder,
With joy to save, and dread of some mischance Wbichi chinu'il at every step their ranks of men : l'intolis protégée ; while hers, traustix’d
the rest rashid eagerly- -no wonder, Willa infant terror clared as from a trance,
For were heated by the hope of gain, pure, transparent, pale, yet radiant face,
I thing which happens every where each day-
No hero trustethi wholly to half-pay.
For that were vulgar, cold, and common-place At least nine-tents of what we call so;-God
Jay have ano:her name for half we scan On cities, as latlı been the present case)
As buman beings, or his ways are odd. Ip Jobinson came, with hundreds at his back,
But to our subject, a brave Tartar Khan, Exclining : --« Juan! Juan! Ou, boy! brace
Or « sultan, as the author (to whose nod Your arm, and I'll bet Moscow to a dollar,
In prose I bend my humble verse) doth call That you and I will win Saint George's collar 8
This chieftain-someliow would not yield at all. XCVII.
CV. « The Seraskier is knockilypou the head,
But, flank'd by five brave sons (such is polygamy, But the stone bastion still remains, wherein
where none The old pacha sits among some hundreds dead, Are prosecuted for that false crime bigamy) Smoking his pipe quite calmly 'midst the din
He never woull believe the city won Of our aruilery and liis own : 't is said
While courage clung bul to a single twis. — Am ! Our kill'd, already piled up to the chin,
Describing Priam's. Peleus, or Jose's son? Lie round the battery; but still it batters,
Seither, -but a good, plain, old, temperate man, And grapein volleys, like a vineyard, seatters.
Who fought with his five children in the van.
CVI. " Then
To the lim was the point. The truly brave, l'pon this child-] saved her-must not leave
When they behold the brave oppress d with odd-, Her life to chancr; but poiut me out some hook
Are touchid with a desire to shield and save;Of safety, where she less may shrink am grieve,
A mixture of wild beasts and demi-gods And I am will you.»-- Whereon Johnson 100k
Are they-now furious us the sweeping wave, A glance around -and slingeel- and twitched his
Now moved with pity: even as sometimes nods sleeve
The rugged tree unto the summer wind,
But he would not be tnhen, and replied Done, I'll not quit her till sloe Sexins secure
Toll the propositions of surrender al present life a good deal more than we--
By mowing Christians down on every side. Quoth Jolmson --- Veither will quite
As obscoate a SwedishChirles at Bender. But at the least you may din gloriously.»
llis five brave boys no long the foe defied : Juan replied --- At least I will endure
Whereon the Russian pathos grew less tender, Whateer is to be lorne--but not resign
is being a virtue, like terrestrial patience, This child, who is parenties, and therefore mine, ipe to wear out on trilling provocations. CI.
CITII. Juluson said-« Junn, we've no time to lose;
And spire of Johnson and of Juan, who The child's a pretty childid very pretty—
Expended all their eastern ploraseology I never saw such eyes about lork! now chuse
In being lim, for God's sakr, just to show Brewerns your fame and fuelings, priile and py:
So much less light as might form an apology Tark! how the roar increase! 10 rruse
For them to saving such a desperate foeWill cerve when there is planner in a city:
the best owav, like doctors of theology Iliould be loth to in ireli without you, bul,
When they dispulle with scepries; and with curses !'y Gou! well be too late for the first cut
Struck at his friends, as babies beit their nunes. CI
CIX. But Jumu was inmovible; unul
Nay, he had woundert, though but slightly, both Joli-on, who really love him in luis way,
Juan and Johnson, whereupon they fellPick it out amongst his followers with some skill The first with sighs, the second with an oathSuchen be thought the least given up to prey :
T'pon luis angry sulanslip, pell-mell, And wearing of the intant came to ill.
dudllaround were grown exceeding wroch That they should all be shot on the next day.
At suchu pertinacious infidel, but if she wore deliverid safe and sound,
Sul pour'd aspon liim and his sons like rain, They dould at these lifly roubles round,
Whichtling repüleel like ! Handy plain,
Stopp'd as if once more willing to concede llis third was sabred; and the fourth, most cherish'd Quarter, in case he bade them not « aroint !» Of all the five, on bayonets met his lot;
As he before had done. He did not heed
And shook (till now unshaken) like a reed,
And felt--though done with life-he was alone.
CXVIII. The eldest was a true and tameless Tartar,
But 'I was a transient tremor :-with a spring As great a scorner of the Nazarene
Upon the Russian steel his breast he flung, As ever Mahomet pick d out for a martyr,
As carelessly as hurls the motlı her wing Who only saw the black-eyed girls in green,
Against the light wherein she dies : he clung Who make the beds of those who won't take quarter Closer, that all the deadlier they might wring, On earth, in Paradise; and, when once seen,
Unto the bayonets which bad pierced his young; Those houris, like all other pretty creatures,
And, throwing back a dim look on his sons, Do just whate'er they please, by dint of features. In one wide wound pour'd forth his soul at once. CXII.
CXIX. And what they pleased to do with the young Khan *T is strange enough-the rough, tough soldiers, who In heaven, I know not, nor pretend to guess;
Spared neither sex nor age in their career But doubtless they prefer a fine young mau
Of carnage, whien this old man was pierced through, To tough old heroes, and can do no less;
And lay before them with his children pcar,
Were melted for a moment; though no tear
Flow'd from their blood-shot eyes, all red with strife, You 'Il find ten thousand handsome coxcombs bloody. They honour'd such determined scorn of life. СХІІІ.
CXX. Your houris also have a natural pleasure
But the stone bastion still kept up its fire, In lopping off your lately married men
Where the chief Pacha calmly held his post : Before the bridal hours have danced their measure, Some twenty times he made the Russ retire, And the sad second moon grows dim again,
And baftled the assaults of all their host; Or dull Repentance hath had dreary leisure
At length he condescended to inquire To wish him back a bachelor now and then.
If yet the city's rest were won or lost ; And thus your houri (it may be) disputes
And, being told the latter, sent a Bey
To answer Riba's summons to give way.
Thought not upon de charms of four young brides, Among the scorching ruins he sat smoking
Saw nothing like the scene around ;-yet, looking These black-eyed virgins make the Moslems fight, With martial stoicism, nought seem'd to annoy
As though there were one ficaven and none besides, – His stern pluilosophy: but gently stroking Whereas, if all be true we hear of heaven
llis beard, he puffd his pipe's ambrosial gales, And hell, there must at least be six or seven.
As if he had three lives as well as tails.
The town was taken— whether be might yield That when the very lance was in his heart,
Dimself or bastion, little matter'd now; Ile shouted « Allah!» and saw Paradise
Bis stubborn valour was no future shield. With all its veil of mystery drawn apart,
Ismail is no more! The crescent's silver bow And bright eternity without disguise
Suok, and the crimson cross glared o'er the field, On bis soul, like a ceaseless sunrise, dart,
But red with no redeeming gore : the glow With prophets, houris, angels, saints, descried
Of burning streets, like moonlight on the water, To one voluptuous blaze, -and then he died :
Was imaged back in blood, the sea of slaughter. CXVI.
CXXIII. But, with a heavenly rapture on his face,
All that the mind would shrink from of excesses; The good old Khan-who long had ceased to see All that the body perpetrates of bad; flouris, or aught except his florid race,
All that we read, liear, dream, of man's distresses; Who grew like ccdars round him gloriously
All that the devil would do if run stark mad; When he beheld his latest hero grace
All that deties the worst which pen expresses; The earth, which he became like a felld tree,
All by which hell is peopled, or as sad Paused for a moment from the fight, and cast
As hell-mere mortals who their power abuse, A glance on that slain son, his first and last.
Was here (as heretofore and since) let loose.
CXXXI. If here and there some transient trait of pity,
But on the whole their continence was great; Was shown, and some more noble heart broke through So that some disappointment there ensued Jis bloody bond, and saved perhaps some pretty
To those who had felt the inconvenient state Child, or an aged helpless man or two
Of a single blessedness, and thought it good What's this in one annihilated city,
(Since it was not their fault, but only fate, Where thousand loves, and ries, and duties grow? To bear these crosses) for cach waning prude Cockneys of London! Muscadins of Paris!
To make a Roman sort of Sabine wedding, Just ponder what a pious pastime war is.
Without the expense and the suspense of bedding. CXIV.
CXXXII. Think how the joys of reading a gazette
Some voices of the buxom middle-aged Are purchased by all agonies and crimes :
Were also heard to wonder in the din Or, if these do not move you, don't forget
(Widows of forty were these birds long caged) Suchi doom may be your owu in after times.
« Wherefore the ravishing did not begin!» Meantime the taxes, Castlereagh, and debt,
But, while the thirst for gore and plunder raced, Are hints as good as serinous, or as rhymes.
There was small leisure for superfluous sio ;
In darkness—I can only hope they did.
Suwarrow now was conqueror-a match Which Joves so well its country and its king,
For Timor or for Zinghis in his trade, A subject of sublimest exultation
While mosques and streets, beneath his eyes, like thatch Bear it, ye Muses, on your brightest wing!
Blazed, and the cannon's roar was scarce allaya, Howe'er the mighty locust, Desolation,
With bloody hands he wrote his first dispatch; Strip your greeu tields, and to your harvests cling, And here exactly follows what he said :Gaunt Fainine never shall approach the throne
Glory to God and to the Empresa!» (Powers Though Ireland starve, reat George weighs twenty stone. Eternal! such names mingled !) « Ismail's ours '» 9 CXXVII.
CXXXIV. But let me put an end unto iny theme:
Methinks these are the most tremendous words, There was an end of Ismail-hapless town!
Since « Menė, Menė, Tekel,» avd. Cpharsia, Far flash'd lier burning towers o'er Danube's stream, Which hands or pins have ever traced of swords. And redly ran his blushing waters down.
Heaven help me! I'm but little of a parson : The horrid war-whoop and the shriller scream
What Daniel read was short-hand of the Lord's, Rose still; but fainter were the thunders grown: Severe, sublime; the prophet wrote no farce on Of forty thousand who had mann'd the wall,
The fate of nations ;— but this Russ, so witty, Some hundreds breathed-the rest were silent all! Could rhyme, like Nero, o'er a burning city. CXXVIII.
CXXXV. In one thing ne'ertheless iis fie to praise
He wrote this polar melody, and set it, The Russian ariny upon this occasion,
Duly accompanied by shirieks and
groans, A virtue much in fashion now-a-days,
Which few will sing, I trust, but none forget itAnd therefore worthy of commemoration:
For I will teach, if possible, the stones The topic 's tender, so shall be my phrase
To rise against earth's tyrants. Never let it Perhaps the season's cluill, and their long station Be said, ibat we still truckle unto thrones;In winter's depth, or want of rest and victual,
Put ye-our children's children! think how we Had made them chaste;- they ravish'd very little. Show'd what things were before the world was free' CXXIX.
CXXXVI. Much did they slay, more plunder, and no less
That hour is not for us, but it is for vou; Might here and there occur some violatiou
And as, in the great joy of your millennium, In the other line;- but not to such excess
You hardly will believe such things were true As when the French, that dissipated nation,
As now occur, I thought that I would pen you em, Take towns by storm : no causes can I guess,
very memory perish foo! Except colil weather and commiseration;
Yet, if perchance rememberi, still disdain yon 'em, But all the ladies, save some twenty score,
More than you scorn the savages
yore, Were almost as much virgins as before.
Who painteil their bare limbs, but not with gore. С
CXXXVU. Some odd mistakes too happend in the dark,
ind when you hear historians talk of thrones, Which slowda want of lanthorns, or of taste
And those that sate upon them, let it be Indeel the smoke was such they scarce could mark As we now gaze upon the Mammoth's bones, Their friends from foes, besides such things from And wonder what old world such things could see: hasta
Or hieroglyphics on Egyptian stones, Occur, though rarely, when there is a spark
The pleasant ridelles of futurityOf light to save the venerably chaste :
Guessing at what shall happily be bid But six old damsels, each of seventy years,
As the real purpose of a pyramid. Were all dellowerd by different grenadiers.
CSXXVIU. 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,
For I have drawn much less with a long bow
What further hath befallen or may befal
I by and by may tell you, if at all:
Worn out with battering Ismail's stubborn wall,
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' 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 Si Vladimir.
For she was homeless, houseless, helpless: all
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 call To prayer was heard no more!--and Juan wept, And made a vow to shield her, which he kept.
III. Though Britain owes (and pays you too) so much,
Yet Europe doubtless owes you greatly more:
A prop not quite so certain as before:
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.)
IV. 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,
she world, not the world's masters, will decide, And I shall be delighted to learn who, Save you and yours, have gain' by Waterloo ?
V. 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:
You, my Lord Duke! is far above reflection.
With modern history has but small connexion :
You need not take them under your direction;
Epaminondas saved his Thebes, and died,
George Washington had thanks and nought beside, Except the all-cloudless glory (which few men's is)
To frec his country: Pilt too had his pride,
Except Napoleon, or abused it more:
Of tyrants, and been bless'd from sbore 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?
Sounds the heroic syllables both ways;
But puond it down to this facetious phrase-
You have obtain'd great pensions and much praise;
In Marinet's affair- in fact 't was shabby,
Upon your tomb in Westminster's old abbey. l'pon the rest 't is pot 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.