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Pluck the others, but still remember
Cæs. (singing). The wars are all over,
The steed bites the bridle.
But his armour is rusty,
He drinks but what's drinking?
No bugle awakes him with life-and-death call.
Cæs. Oh! shadow of glory!
When the lion was young,
In the pride of his might,
For a spear, 'gainst the mammoth,
At the foaming behemoth;
As towers in our time,
But the wars are over,
ITALY AND ENGLAND
(From Beppo, xli-xlix)
WITH all its sinful doings, I must say,
Have sought their home;
They are happy, and we rejoice;
And vines (not nail'd to walls) from tree to tree
I like on Autumn evenings to ride out,
Without being forced to bid my groom be sure 10 My cloak is round his middle strapp'd about,
Because the skies are not the most secure ;
I know too that, if stopp'd upon my route,
Where the green alleys windingly allure,
I also like to dine on becaficas,
To see the Sun set, sure he'll rise to-morrow, Not through a misty morning twinkling weak as A drunken man's dead eye in maudlin sorrow, But with all Heaven t'himself; the day will break as Beauteous as cloudless, nor be forced to borrow That sort of farthing candlelight which glimmers Where reeking London's smoky caldron simmers.
I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,
Which melts like kisses from a female mouth, And sounds as if it should be writ on satin,
With syllables which breathe of the sweet South, And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in,
That not a single accent seems uncouth, Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural, Which we're obliged to hiss, and spit, and sputter all.
I like the women too (forgive my folly),
From the rich peasant cheek of ruddy bronze, And large black eyes that flash on you a volley Of rays that say a thousand things at once, To the high dama's brow, more melancholy,
But clear, and with a wild and liquid glance, Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes, Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies.
Eve of the land which still is Paradise!
Italian beauty! didst thou not inspire
'England! with all thy faults I love thee still,'
I like the government (but that is not it);
I like the Habeas Corpus (when we've got it);
I like the taxes, when they're not too many;
That is, I like two months of every year.
Our standing army, and disbanded seamen,
Poor's rate, Reform, my own, the nation's debt, Our little riots just to show we are free men,
Our trifling bankruptcies in the Gazette, Our cloudy climate, and our chilly women,
All these I can forgive, and those forget,
FROM 'DON JUAN'
WANTED A HERO
(CANTO I, i-v)
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 :
I'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan-
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 Buonaparté and Dumourier Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier.
Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau,
Pétion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayette,
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,
'Tis 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.