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Closer, that all the deadlier they might wring,
Are purchased by all agonies and crimes:
Such doom may be your own in after-times, CXIX.
Meantime the Taxes, Castlereagh, and Debt, 'Tis strange enough-the rough, tough soldiers,
Are hints as good as sermons, or as rhymes. who
Read your own hearts and Ireland's present story, Spared neither sex nor age in their career
Then feed her famine fat with Wellesley's glory. Of carnage, when this old man was pierced through,
But still there is unto a patriot nation,
Which loves so well its country and its king, Flow'd from their bloodshot eyes, all red with A subject of sublimest exultationstrife,
Bear it, ye Muses, on your brightest wing! They honour'd such determined scorn of life.
Howe'er the mighty locust, Desolation,
Strip your green fields, and to your harvests cing, CXX.
Gaunt famine never shall approach the throne-But the stone bastion still kept up its fire,
Though Ireland starve, great George weighs twenty Where the chief pacha calmly held his post :
stone. Some twenty times he made the Russ retire,
CXXVII And bafiled the assaults of all their host.
But let me put an end unto my theme : At length he condescended to inquire
There was an end of Ismail-hapless town! If yet the city's rest were won or lost;
Far flash'd her burning towers o'er Danube's stream, And, being told the latter, sent a bey
And redly ran his blushing waters down. To answer Ribas' summons to give way,
The horrid war-whoop and the shriller scream CXXI.
Rose still; but fainter were the thunders grown: In the meantime, cross-legg'd, with great sang. Of forty thousand who had mannd the will, froid,
Some hundreds breathed--the rest were silent a!!! Among the scorching ruins he sat smoking
In one thing, ne ertheless, 'tis fit to praise
And therefore worthy of commemoration.
Perhaps the season's chill, and their long station CXXII.
In winter's depth, or want of rest and victual, The town was taken—whether he might yield
Had made them chaste-they ravish'd very littic. Himself or bastion, little matter'd now;
CXXIX His stubborn valour was no further shield.
Much did they slay, more plunder, and no less Ismail's no more! the crescent's silver bow
Might here and there occur some violation
As when the French, that dissipated nation, Of burning streets, like moonlight on the water, Take towns by storm: no causes can I guess Was imaged back in blood, the sea of slaughter. Except cold weather and commiseration; CXXIII.
But all the ladies, save some twenty score, All that the mind would shrink from, of excesses;
Were almost as much virgins as before. All that the body perpetrates, of bad ;
CXXX. All that we read, hear, dream, of man's distresses; Some odd mistakes, too, happen'd in the dark,
All that the devil would do, if run stark mad; Which show'd a want of lanterns, or of taste All that defies the worst which pen expresses, Indeed, the smoke was such they scarce could mark All by which hell is peopled, or as sad
Their friends from foes,-besides, such things from As hell-mere mortals who their power abuse
haste Was here (as heretofore and since) let loose.
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. through
CXXXI. Its bloody bond, and saved, perhaps, some pretty But, on the whole, their continence was great ; Child, or an aged helpless man or two
So that some disappointment there ensued What's this in one annihilated city,
To those who had felt the inconvenient state Where thousand loves, and ties, and duties, grew? Of'single blessedness,' and thought it good Cockneys of London! Muscadins of Paris !
(Since it was not their fault, but only fate, Just ponder what a pious pastime war is.
To bear these crosses) for each waning prude
To make a Roman sort of Sabine wedding,
More than you scorn the savages of yore, Without the expense and the suspense of bedding. Who painted their bare limbs, but not with gore. CXXXII.
CXXXVII. Some voices of the buxom middle-aged
And when you hear historians talk of thrones, Were also heard to wonder, in the din
And those that sate upon them, let it be (Widows of forty were these birds long caged), As we now gaze upon the mammoth's bones, •Wherefore the ravishing did not begin!'
And wonder what old world such things could see, But while the thirst for gore and plunder raged, Or hieroglyphics on Egyptian stones, There was small leisure for superfluous sin;
The pleasant riddles of futurityBut whether they escaped or no, lies hid
Guessing at what shall happily be hid, In darkness-I can only hope they did.
As the real purpose of a pyramid.
Reader ! I've kept my word-at least so far
As the first canto promised. You have now
Had sketches of love, tempest, travel, warWhile mosques and streets, beneath his eyes, like thatch
All very accurate, you must allow, Blazed, and the cannon's roar was scarce allay d,
And epic, if plain truth should prove no bar; With bloody hands he wrote his first despatch;
For I have drawn much less with a long bow
Than my forerunners. Carelessly I sing, And here exactly follows what he said:
But Phoebus lends me now and then a string, "Glory to God and to the Empress !' (Powers Eternal! such names mingled !) 'Ismail's ours.
With which I still can harp, and carp, and fiddle. CXXXIV.
What further hath befallen, or may befall, Methinks these are the most tremendous words
The hero of this grand pcetic riddle, Since ‘Menė, Menė, Tekel, and .Upharsin,'
I by and by may tell you, if at all : Which hands or pens have ever traced of swords.
But now I choose to break off in the middle, Heaven help me! I'm but little of a parson!
Worn o’t with battering Ismail's stubborn wall, What Daniel read was shorthand of the Lord's,
While Juan is sent off with the despatch, Severe, sublime ! the prophet wrote no farce on
For which all Petersburg is on the watch. The fate of nations; but this Russ, so witty,
This special honour was conferr'd, because
He had behaved with courage and humanity; He wrote this Polar melody, and set it,
Which last men like, when they have time to pause Duly accompanied by shrieks and groans,
From their ferocities, produced by vanity. Which few will sing, I trust, but none forget it; His little captive gain d him some applause, For I will teach, if possible, the stones
For saving her amidst the wild insanity To rise against earth's tyrants. Never let it
Of carnage; and I think he was more glad in her Be said that we still truckle unto thrones;
Safety, than his new order of St. Vladimir. But ye-our children's children! think how we
CXLI. Show'd what things were before the world was free
The Moslem orphan went with her protector, CXXXVI.
For she was homeless, houseless, helpless : all That hour is not for us, but 'tis for you:
Her friends, like the sad family of Hector, And as, in the great joy of your millennium,
Had perish'd on the field or by the wall. You hardly will believe such things were true Her very place of birth was but a spectre
As now occur, I thought that I would pen you 'em; Of what it had been; there the Muezzin's call But may their very memory perish too!
To prayer was heard no more ! and Juan wept, Yet if perchance remember'd, still disdain you 'em 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:
But punn'd it down to this facetious phrase-
In Marinėt's affair-in fact, 'twas shabby;
Upon your tomb in Westminster's old Abbey.
Such tales being for the tea hours of some tabby!
Yet Europe doubtless owes you greatly more:
* Query, Ney?-Printer's Devil.
You have repair'd Legitimacy's crutch,
Go! licar it in your famish'd country's cries ! A prop not quite so certain as before;
Behold the world! and curse your victories. The Spanish and the French, as well as Dutch,
X. • Have seen, and felt, how strongly you restore ;
As these new cantos touch on warlike feats, And Waterloo has made the world your debtor
To you the unflattering Muse deigns to inscribe (I wish your bards would sing it rather better).
Truths, that you will not read in the Gazetes, IV.
But which 'tis time to teach the hireling tribe You are the best of cut-throats :--do not start : Who fatten on their country's gore and debts, The phrase is Shakspeare's, and not inisap. Must be recited-and without a bribe. plied :
You did great things; but not being great in mind, War's a brain-spattering, windpipe-slitting art, Have left ur!done the greatest—an:) mankind. Unless her cause by right be sanctified.
Death laughs-Go, ponder o'er the skeleton
With which men image out the unknown thing And I shall be delighted to learn who,
That hides the past world, like to a set sun Sare you and yours, have gaind by Waterloo
Which still elsewhere may rouse a brighter V.
springI am no fatterer-you've supp'd full of flattery :
Death laughs at all you weep for: look upon They say you like it too-tis no great wonder:
This hourly dread of all, whose threatend sting He whose whole life has been assault and battery, Turns life to terror, even though in its sheath! At last may get a little tired of thunder;
Mark how its lipless mouth grins without breath! And, swallowing eulogy much more than satire, he
X11. May like being praised for every lucky blunder;
Mark how it laughs and scorns at all you are ; Called Saviour of the Nations' not yet saved,
And yet was what you are: from ear to ear And • Europe's Liberator --still enslaved.
It laughs not-there is now 110 fleshy bar
So call'd; the Antic long hath ceased to hear, I've done. Now go, and dine from off the plate But still he smiles ; and, whether near or far, Preserted by the Prince of the Brazils;
He strips from man that mantle (far more dear And send the sentinel before your gate
Than even the tailor's), his incarnate skin, A slice or two from your luxurious meals:
White, Llack, or copper-the dead bones will grin. He fought, but has not fed so well of late.
XIII. Some hunger, too, they say the people feels:
And thus Death laughs: it is sad merriment, There is no doubt that you deserve your ration, But still it is so: and with such example, But pray give back a little to the nation.
Why should not Life be equally content
With his superior in a smile to trample
Upon the nothings which are daily spent You, my Lord Duke, is far above reflection :
Like bubbles on an ocean much less ample The high Roman fashion, too, of Cincinnatus. Than the eternal deluge which devours
With modern history has but small connection : Suns as rays-worlds like atoins-years like hours:
Says Shakspeare, who just now is much in fashion Is rather dear!-I'm sure I mean no harm.
I am neither Alexander nor Hephaestion,
Nor ever had for avstract same much passion; Great men have always scorned great recom.
But would much rather have a sound digestion,
Than Buonaparte's cancer : could I dash on penses: Epaminondas saved his Thebes, and died,
Through fifty victories to shame or fame, Not leaving even his funeral expenses :
Without a stomach-what were a good name? George Washington had thanks, and nought
*Oh! dura ilia messorum !'--Oh! Except the all-cloudless glory (which few men's is)
Ye rigid guts of reapers!' I translate To free his country : Pitt, too, had his pride, For the great benefit of those who know And, as a high-soul'd minister of state, is
What indigestion is that inward fate Renown'd for ruining Great Britain gratis.
Which makes all Styx through one small liver fios, IX.
A peasant's sweat is worth his lord's estate: Never had mortal man such opportunity,
Let this one toil for bread, that rack for rent, Except Napoleon, or abused it more:
He who sleeps best may be the most content, You might have freed fallen Europe from the unity
XVI. Of tyrants, and been blest from shore to shore: • To be, or not to be ?-Ere I decide, And now-what is your fame? Shall the Muse I should be glad to know that which is öcing: tune it ye?
"Tis true we speculate both far and wide, Now-that the rabble's first vain shorts are o'er And deem, because we sre; we are all sering:
For my part, I'll enlist on neither side,
XXIII. Until I see both sides for once agreeing.
Our hero (and, I trust, kind reader, yours) For me, I soinetimes think that life is death,
Was left upon his way to the chief city Rather than life a mere affair of breath.
Of the immortal Peter's polish'd boors,
Who still have shown themselves more brave XVII. Que sçais-je ?' was the motto of Montaigne,
than witty. As also of the first academicians :
I know its mighty empire now allures That all is dubious which man may attain,
Much flattery-even Voltaire's, and that's a pity. Was one of their most favourite positions.
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 This world, I doubt if doubt itself be doubting. My chance so happen-deeds), with all who war
With Thought; and of Thought's foes by far most XVIII.
rude, It is a pleasant voyage, perhaps, to float, Like Pyrrho, on a sea of speculation :
Tyrants and sycophants have been and are. But what if carrying sail capsize the boat?
I know not who may conquer : If I could Your wise men don't know much of navigation;
Have such a prescience, it should be no bar
To this my plain, sworn downright detestation And swimming long in the abyss of thought Is apt to tire: a calm and shallow station
Of every despotism in every nation. Well-nigh the shore, where one stoops down and
It is not that I adulate the people:
And infidels, to pull down every steeple,
And set up in their stead some common stuff. • But heaven,'as Cassio says, 'is above all:
Whether they may sow scepticism to reap hell, No more of this, then-let us pray.'* We have
As is the Christian dogma rather rough, Souls to save, since Eve's slip and Adam's fall,
I do not know : I wish men to be free Which tumbled all mankind into the grave,
As much from mobs as kings-from you as me. Besides fish, beasts, and birds. The sparrow's fall
The consequence is, being of no party,
I shall offend all parties :-never mind!
My words, at least, are more sincere and hearty XX.
Than if I sought to sail before the wind. O ye immortal gods! what is theogony?
He who has nought to gain can have smallart: he O thou, too, mortal man! what is philanthropy? Who neither wishes to be bound nor bind, O world, which was and is! what is cosmogony? May still expatiate freely, as will I, Some people have accused me of misanthropy;
Nor give my voice to slavery's jackal cry. And yet I know no more than the mahogany
XXVII. That forms this desk, of what they mean: lykan.
That's an appropriate simile, that jackal,thropy
I've heard them in the Ephesian ruins howl* I comprehend; for, without transformation,
By night, as do that mercenary pack all, Men become wolves on any slight occasion,
Power's base purveyors, who for pickings prowl, XXI.
And scent the prey their masters would attack all. But I, the mildest, meekest of mankind,
However, the poor jackals are less soul Like Moses, or Melancthon, who have ne'er (As being the brave lion's keen providers) Done anything exceedingly unkind,
Than human insects, catering for spiders. And (though I could not now and then forbear
XXVIII. * Following the bent of body or of mind)
Raise but an arm, 'twill brush their web away; Have always had a tendency to spare
And without that, their poison and their claws Why do they call me misanthrope? Because Are useless. Mind, good people, what I sayThey hate me, not I them : -and here we'll pause. (Or rather peoples)-go on without pause ! XXII.
The web of these tarantulas each day 'Tis time we should proceed with our good poem
Increases, till you shall make common cause: For I maintain that it is really good,
None, save the Spanish fly and Attic bee, Not only in the body, but the proem,
As yet are strongly stinging to be free. However little both are understood
Was left upon his way with the despatch,
* In Greece, I never saw or heard these aniinals ;
put among the ruins of Ephesus I have heard them in . See Othello,
Where blood was talk'd of as we would of water; To prove the public debt is not consuming us, And carcases, that lay as thick as thatch
Or roughly treading on the courtier's kibes,' O'er silenced cities, merely served to flatter
With clownish heel, your popular circulation Fair Catharine's pastime, who look'd on the match Feeds you by printing half the realm's starvations Between these nations as a inain of cocks,
O ye great authors -Apropos des bottes,
I have forgotten what I meant to say,
As sometimes have been greater sages' lots: (A cursed sort of carriage without springs,
'Twas soinething calculated to allay Which on rough roads leaves scarcely a whole
All wrath in barracks, palaces, or cots : bone),
Certes it would have been but thrown away ; Pondering on glory, chivalry, and kings,
And that's one comfort for my lost advice;
Although, no doubt, it was beyond all price.
With other relics of 'a foriner world,'
When this world shall be former, underground, He turn'd his eyes upon his little charge,
Thrown topsy-turvy, twisted, crisp'd, and curl'dl, As if he wish'd that she should fare less ill
Baked, fried, or burnt, turn'd inside out, or Than he, in these sad highways left at large
drown'd, To ruts, and flints, and lovely Nature's skill,
Like all the worlds before, which have been Who is no paviour, nor admits a barge
hurl'd On her canals, where God takes sea and land,
First out of, and then back again to, chaos,
The superstratum which will overlay us.
Unto the new creation, rising out
From our old crash, some mystic, ancient strain Since lately there have been no rents at all,
Of things destroy'd and left in airy doubt ; And 'gentlemen' are in a piteous plight,
Like to the notions we now entertain And .farmers' can't raise Ceres from her fall:
Of Titans, giants, fellows of about She fell with Buonaparte : what strange thoughts
Some hundred feet in height, not to say miles, Arise, when we see emperors fall with oats!
And mammoths and your winged crocodiles.
Think if then George the Fourth should be dug Whom he had saved from slaughter - what a trophy!
How the new worldlings of the then new East Oye who build up monuments defiled
Will wonder where such animals could sup! With gore, like Nadir Shah, that costive sophy (For they themselves will be but of the least: Who, after leaving Hindostan a wild,
Even worlds miscarry, when too oft they pup, And scarce to the Mogul a cup of coffee
And every new creation hath decreased To soothe his woes withal, was slain, the sinnet ! In size, from overworking the materialBecause he could no more digest his dinner. Men are but maggots of some huge Earth's burial) XXXIV.
XL. O yel or wel or hel or she i reflect,
How will-to these young people just thrust out That one life saved, especially if young
From some fresh Paradise, and set to plough, Or pretty, is a thing to recollect,
And dig, and sweat, and turn themselves about, Far sweeter than the greenest laurels sprung And plant, and reap, and spin, and grind, and From the manure of human clay, though deck'd
SOW, With all the praises 'ever said or sung:
Till all the arts at length are brought about, Though hymn'd by every harp, unless within
Especially of war and taxing-how, Your heart joins chorus, Fame is but a din.
I say, will these great relics, when they see 'em,
Look like the monsters of a new museum?
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 call He was killed in a conspiracy, after his temper
Much too poetical: men should know why had been exasperated by his extreme costivity to a
They write, and for what end; but, note or text. degree of insanity,
I never know the word which will come next.