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And shown themselves as ghosts of better taste, Matrons and maids, and those whom you may call Than haunting some old ruin or wild waste.
Neither, came crowding like the waves of ocean LXV.
One on the other, throughout the whole hall, Many and beautiful lay those around,
All trembling, wondering, without the least
notion Like flowers of different hue, and clime, and root, In some exotic garden sometimes found,
More than I have myself of what could make
The calm Dudù so turbulent) wake.
With floating draperies and with flying hair, breath,
With eager eyes, and light but hurried tread, And lips apart, which show'd the pearls beneath.
And bosoms, arms, and ankles, glancing bare, LXVI.
And bright as any meteor ever bred
And raven ringlets gather'd in dark crowd For she seem'd agitated, flush'd, and frighten'd,
But what is strange-and a strong proof how great The moon breaks, half unveil'd each further charin,
A blessing is sound sleep, Juanna lay As, slightly stirring in her snowy shroud,
As fast as ever husband by his mate Her beauties seized the unconscious hour of night
In holy matrimony snores away.
Not all the clamour broke her happy state
Of slumber, ere they shook her-so they say This is no bull, although it sounds so; for
At least-and then she, too, unclosed her eyes, 'Twas night, but there were lamps, as hath been
And yawn'd a good deal with discreet surprise. A third's all pallid aspect offer'd more (said.
And now commenced a strict investigation,
all spoke at once, and more than once Beloved and deplored; while slowly stray'd
Conjecturing, wondering, asking a narration, (As night-dew, on a cypress glittering, tinges
Alike might puzzle either wit or dunce The black bough) tear-drops through her eyes'
To answer in a very clear oration. dark fringes.
Dudů had never pass'd for wanting sense,
But, being.no orator, as Brutus is,'
Could not at first expound what was amiss. Lay in a breathless, hush'd, and stony sleep;
LXXV. White, cold, and pure, as looks a frozen rill,
At length she said that, in a slumber sound, Or the snow minaret on an Alpine steep,
She dream'd a dream of walking in a woodOr Lot's wife done in salt-or what you will:
A wood obscure,'* like that where Dante found My similes are gather'd in a lieap,
Himself in at the age when all grow good; So pick and choose--perhaps you'll be content
Life's half-way house, where dames with virtue With a carved lady on a monument.
Run much less risk of lovers turning rude; And lo! a fifth appears: and what is she?
And that this wood was full of pleasant fruits, A lady of a 'certain age,' which means
And trees of goodly growth and spreading roots Certainly aged-what her years might be
LXXVI. I know not, never counting past their teens;
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, fang
Stones, and whatever she could pick up, to
Bring down the fruit, which still perverseiy clung But all this time how slept, or drcam'd Dudù ?
To its own bough and dangled yet in sight,
But always at a most provoking height;
And phantoms hover'd, or might seem to hover, It fell down of its owr: accord, before
Her feet; that her first movement was to stoop The apartment, on a sudden she scream'd out; And pick it up, and bite it to the core ;
Nel mezzo del canimin di nostra vita
Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura.'
Inferno, Canto I.
That just as her young lip began to op
And here Juanna kindly interposed,
And said she felt herself extremely well And so-she woke with a great scream and start.
Where she then was, as her sound sleep disclosed, LXXVIII.
When all around rang like a tocsin bell. All this she told with some confusion and
She did not find herself the least disposed Dismay, the usual consequence of dreams
To quit her gentle partner, and to dwell Of the unpleasant kind, with none at hand
Apart from one who had no sin to show, To expound their vain and visionary gleams.
Save that of drearning once mal-à-propos. I've known some odd ones which seem'd really
As thus Juanna spoke, Dudu turn d round, Prophetically, or that which one deems
And hid her face within Juanna's breast; A ‘strange coincidence,' to use a phrase
Her neck alone was seen, but that was found By which such things are settled now-a-days.
The colour of a budding rose's crest.
I can't tell why she Llush'd, nor can expound LXXIX. The damsels, who had thoughts of some great
The mystery of this rupture of their rest; Began, as is the consequence of fear, (harm,
All that I know is, that the facts I state To scold a little at the false alarm
Are true as truth has ever been of late. That broke for nothing on their sleeping ear.
LXXXVI The matron, too, was wroth to leave her warın
And so good night to them-or, if you will, Bed, for the dream she had been obliged to hear. Good morrow-for the cock had crown, and And chased at poor Dudů, who only sigh'd,
light And said that she was sorry she had cried
Began to clothe each Asiatic hill,
And the mosque-crescent struggled into sight • I've heard of stories of a cock and bull;
of the long caravan, which, in the chill But visions of an apple and a bee,
Of dewy dawn, wound slowly down each height, To take us from our natural rest, and pull
That stretches to the stony belt which girds The whole Oda from their beds at half-past
Asia, where Kaff looks down upon the Kurds. three,
LXXXVII. Would make us think the moon is at its full.
With the first ray, or rather grey, of morn, You surely are unwell, child ! we must see,
Gulbeyaz rose from restlessness: and pale To-morrow, what his Highness's physician
As passion rises, with its bosoin worn, Will say to this hysteric of a vision.
Array'd herself with inantie, gem, and veil. LXXXI.
The nightingale that sings with the deep thoril, • And poor Juanna, too, the child's first night
Which faole places in her breast of wail, Within these walls, to be broke in upon
Is lighter far of heart and voice than those With such a clamour-I had thought it right
Whose head'long passions form their proper woes. That the young stranger should not lie alone,
LXXXVIII. And, as the quietest of all, she might
And that's the moral of this composition, With you, Dudů, a good night's rest have
If people would but see its real drift; known;
But that they will not co without suspicion, But now I must transfer her to the charge
Because all gentle readers have the gift Of Lolah--though her couch is not so large.'
Of closing 'gainst the light their orbs of vision; LXXXII
While gentle writers also love to list Lolah's eyes sparkled at the proposition;
Their voices 'gainst each other, which is natural, But poor Dudù, with large drops in her own,
The numbers are too great for them to flatter all. Resulting from the scolding or the vision,
LXXXIX Implored that present pardon might be shown
Rose the Sultana from a bed of splendour, For this first fault, and that on no condition
Softer than the soft Sybarite's, who cried (She added in a soft and piteous tone)
Aloud because his feelings were too tender Juanna should be taken from her, and
To brook a ruffled rose-leaf by his side;
So beautiful, that art could little mend her,
Though pale with conflicts between love and She promised never more to have a dream,
pride : At least to dream so loudly as just now.
So agitated was she with her error, She wonder'd at herself how she could scream
She did not even look into the mirror. 'Twas foolish nervous, as she must allow;
XC. A fond hallucination, and a theme
Also arose about the self-same time, For laughter--but she felt her spirits low,
Perhaps a little later, her great lord, And begg'd they would excuse her: she'd get over Master of thirty kingdoms, so sublime, This weakness in a few hours, and recover,
And of a wife by whom he was abhorrdi
A thing of much less import in that clime
For love or breakfast; private, pleasing, lone, At least to those of incomes which afford
And rich with all contrivances which grace The filling up their whole connubial cargo
Those gay recesses: many a precious stone Than where two wives are under an embargo. Sparkled along its roof, and many a vase XCI.
Of porcelain held in the fetter'd flowers, He did not think much on the matter, nor
Those captive soothers of a captive's hours. Indeed on any other : as a man,
XCVIII. He liked to have a handsome paramour
Mother-of-pearl, and porphyry, and marble, At hand, as one may like to have a fan,
Vied with each other in this costly spot; And therefore of Circassians had good store, And singing birds without were heard to warble; As an amusement after the Divan;
And the stain'd glass which lighted this fair grot Though an unusual fit of love or duty,
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. Exacted by the customs of the East,
XCIX. And prayers and other pious evolutions,
And here she summond Baba, and required He drank six cups of coffee at the least,
Don Juan at his hands, and inforination And then withdrew to hear about the Russians, Of what had pass d since all the slaves retired, Whose victories had recently increased
And whether he had occupied their station;
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 Her son's son, let not this last phrase offend
c. Thine ear, if it should reach-and now rhymes Baba, with some embarrassment, replied wander
To this long catechism of questions ask'd Almost as far as Petersburg, and lend
More easily than answer'd-that he had tried A dreadful impulse to each loud meander
His best to obey in what he had been task'd : of murmuring Liberty's wide waves, which But there seem'd something that he wish'd to hide blend
Which hesitation more betray'd than mask'd: Their roar even with the Baltic's-so you be
He scratch'd his ear, the infallible resource Your father's son, 'tis quite enough for me.
To which embarrass'd people have recourse. XCI.
CI. To call men love-begotten, or proclaiin
Gulbeyaz was no model of true patience, Their mothers as the antipodes of Timon,
Nor much disposed to wait in word or deed: That hater of mankind, would be a shame,
She liked quick answers in all conversations; A libel, or whate'er you please to rhyme on; And when she saw him stumbling like a steed But people's ancestors are history's game,
In his replies, she puzzled him for fresh ones: And if one lady's slip could leave a crime on And as his speech grew still more broken-kneed. All generations, I should like to know
Her cheek began to flush, her eyes to sparkle, What pedigree the best would have to show? And her proud brow's blue veins to swell and darkle xcv.
CII. Had Catharine and the Sultan understood
When Baba saw these symptoms, which he knew Their own true interest, which kings rarely know To bode himn no great good, he deprecated Until 'tis taught by lessons rather rude,
Her anger, and beseech'd she'd hear him throughThere was a way to end their strife, although He could not help the thing which he related : Perhaps precarious, had they but thought good, Then out it came, at length, that to Dudu Without the aid of prince or plenipo:
Juan was given in charge, as hath been stated: She to dismiss her guards, and he his harem, But not by Baba's fault, he said, and swore oa And for their other matters meet and share 'em. The holy camel's hump, besides the Koran. XCVI.
CIII. But, as it was, his Highness had to hold
The chief dame of the Oda, upon whom His daily council upon ways and means,
The discipline of the whole harem bors. How to encounter with this martial scold,
As soon as they re-enter'd their own roomThis modern Amazon and queen of queans;
For Baba's function stopt short at the door And the perplexity could not be told
Had settled all; nor could he then presume Of all the pillars of the state, which leans
(The aforesaid Baba) just then to do more, Sometimes a little heavy on the backs
Without exciting such suspicion as or those who cannot lay on a new tax
Might make the matter still worse than it was. XCVII.
CIV. Meantime Gulbeyaz, when her king was gone, He hoped, indeed he thought, he could be sure, Retired into her boudoir-a sweet place
Juan had not betray't niinse!f; in fact,
'Twas certain that his conduct had been pure,
CXI. Because a foolish or imprudent act
She stopp'd, and raised her head to speak--but Would not alone have made him insecure,
paused, But ended in his being found out and sack'd,
And then moved on again with rapid pace; And thrown into the sea.—Thus Baba spoke
Then slacken'd it, which is the march most caused Of all save Dudu's dream, which was no joke.
By deep emotion: you may sometimes trace CV.
A feeling in each footstep, as disclosed This he discreetly kept in the background,
By Sallust in his Catiline, who, chased And talk'd away-and might have talk'd till now, By all the demons of all passions, show'd For any further answer that he found,
Their work even by the way in which he trodc. So deep an anguish wrung Gulbeyaz' brow.
CXII. Her cheeks turn'd ashes, ears rung, brain whirld Gulbeyaz stopp d, and beckon'd Baba : 'Slave!
As if she had received a sudden blow; (round, Bring the two slaves!' she said in a low tone, And the heart's dew of pain sprang fast and chilly But one which Baba did not like to braic; O'er her fair front, like morning's on a lily
And yet he shudder'd, and seem'd rather prone CVI.
To prove reluctant, and begg'd leave to crave
(Though he well knew the meaning) to be shown Although she was not of the fainting sort,
What slaves her Highness wish'd to indicate, Baba thought she would faint; but there lie err'd
For fear of any error, like the late.
*The Georgian and her paramour,' replied When things beyond the common have occurr'd.
The imperial bride; and added, Let the boat Gulbeyaz proved, in that brief agony,
Be ready by the secret portal's side. What she could ne'er express-then how should I?
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 Malomct's beard. Stands on her tripod, agonized, and full
She would revoke the order he had heard. Of inspiration gather'd from distress,
CXIV. When all the heart-strings, like wild horses, pull
• To hear is to obey,' he said ; 'but still, The heart asunder; then, as more or less
Sultana, think upon the consequence :
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, Fell in long tresses like the weeping willow,
In case of any premature disclosure; Sweeping the marble underneath her chair,
CXV. Or rather sofa (for it was all pillow,
* But your own feelings. Even should all the rest A low, soft ottoman), and black despair
Be hidden by the rolling waves, which hide
And if this violent remedy be tricd-
Excuse my freedom, when I here assure you
CXVI. And one hand o'er the ottoman lay drooping,
• What dost thou know of love or feeling ?-Wretch! White, waxen, and as alabaster pale : Would that I were a painter, to be grouping
Begone!' she cried, with kindling eyes, 'and do
My bidding! Baba vanish'd, for to stretch All that a poet drags into detail !
His own remonstrance further, he well knew Oh that my words were colours I but thcir tints
Might end in acting as his own 'Jack Ketch; May serve perhaps as outlines or slight hints.
And though he wish'd extremely to get through CX.
This awkward business without harm to others, Baba, who knew by experience when to talk
He still preferr'd his own neck to another's.
Growling and grumbling in good Turkish phrase, At length she rose up, and began to walk
Ag all women of whate'er condition, Slowly along the room, but silent still,
Especially sultanas and their ways; And her brow clear'd, but not ler troubled eye: Their obstinacy, pride, and indecision, The wind was down, but still the sea ran high, Their never knowing their own mind two days,
The trouble that they gave, their immorality, Gulbeyaz show'd them both commiseration,
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 And sent one on a summons to the pair,
In what way feminine caprice may dissipate. That they must instantly be well array'd,
CXX. And above all be comb'd even to a hair,
I leave them for the present with good wishes, And brought before the Empress, who had made
Though doubts of their well-coing, to arrange Inquiries after them with kindest care ; At which Dudù look'd strange, and Juan silly,
Another part of history; for the dishes
Of this our banquet we must sometimes change, But they must go at once, and will 1-nill I.
And trusting Juan may escape the fishes,
Although his situation now seems strange,
And scarce secure, as such digressions are fair, For the imperial presence, wlierein whetlier The muse will take a little touch at warfa:e.
CANTO THE SEVENTH.
Newton (that proverb of the mind), alas,
Declared, with all his grand discoveries recent,
Most modern preachers say the same, or show it
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 strisc, From holding up the nothingness of life?
1. 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 nondescript and ever-varying rhyme,
Which flashes o'er a waste and icy clime.
But ne'ertheless I hope it is no crime
The present poem-of-I know not whatA tendency to underrate 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 !
By Fénélon, by Luther, and by Plato;
Who knew this life was not worth a potato. 'Tis not their fault, nor mine, if this be so
For my part, I pretend not to be Cato,
Each man of wisdom, future, past, or present.
That ye are dogs-your betters far-ye may
To show ye what ye are in every way.
Of wolves, will the bright muse withdraw one ray
. Fierce loves and faithless wars --I am not sure
If this be the right reading-'tis no matter;
I sing them both, and am about to batter
And was Leleaguer'd, both by land and water,
Upon the Danube's left branch and left bank,
But still a fortress of the foremost rank,
Which with your conquerors is a common prank: