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LXXXI.

« And poor Juanna too! the child's first night
Within these walls, to be broke in upon
With such a clamour-I had thought it right
That the young stranger should not lie alone,
And, as the quietest of all she might

With you, Dudù, a good night's rest have known;
But now I must transfer her to the charge
Of Lolah-though her couch is not so large.»

LXXXII

Lolah's eyes sparkled at the proposition;

But poor Dudu, with large drops in her own, Resulting from the scolding or the vision,

Implored that present pardon might be shown For this first fault, and that on no condition

(She added in a soft and piteous tone), Juanna should be taken from her, and

Her future dreams should all be kept in hand.

LXXXIII.

She promised never more to have a dream,
At least to dream so loudly as just now;
She wonder'd at herself how she could scream-
'T was foolish, nervous, as she must allow,
A fond hallucination, and a theme

For laughter-but she felt her spirits low,
And begg'd they would excuse her; she'd get over
This weakness in a few hours, and recover.

LXXXIV.

And here Juanna kindly interposed,

And said she felt herself extremely well Where she then was, as her sound sleep disclosed

When all around rang like a tocsin-bell: She did not find herself the least disposed

To quit her gentle partner, and to dwell Apart from one who had no sin to show, Save that of dreaming once « mal-à-propos, >>

LXXXV.

As thus Juanna spoke, Dudit turn'd round,
And hid her face within Juanna's breast;
Her neck alone was seen, but that was found
The colour of a budding rose's crest.

I can't tell why she blush'd, nor can expound
The mystery of this rupture of their rest;
All that I know is, that the facts I state
Are true as truth has ever been of late.

LXXXVI.

And so good night to them,-or, if you will,
Good morrow-for the cock had crown, and light
Began to clothe each Asiatic hill,

And the mosque crescent struggled into sight
Of the long caravan, which in the chill

Of dewy dawn wound slowly round each height That stretches to the stony belt which girds Asia, where Kaff looks down upon the Kurds.

LXXXVII.

With the first ray, or rather grey of morn,
Gulbeyaz rose from restlessness; and pale
As Passion rises, with its bosom worn,
Array'd herself with mantle, gem, and veil :
The nightingale that sings with the deep thorn,
Which Fable places in her breast of wail,
Is lighter far of heart and voice than those
Whose headlong passions form their proper woes

LXXXVIII.

And that's the moral of this composition,
If people would but see its real drift ;-
But that they will not do without suspicion,
Because all gentle readers have the gift
Of closing 'gainst the light their orbs of vision;
While gentle writers also love to lift

Their voices 'gainst each other, which is natural—
The numbers are too great for them to flatter all.
LXXXIX.

Rose the Sultana from a bed of splendour,-
Softer than the soft Sybarite's, who cried
Aloud because his feelings were too tender

To brook a ruffled rose-leaf by his side,-
So beantiful that art could little mend her,

Though pale with conflicts between love and pride.— So agitated was she with her error,

She did not even look into the mirror.

XC.

Also arose about the self-same time,
Perhaps a little later, her great lord,
Master of thirty kingdoms so sublime,

And of a wife by whom he was abhorr'd,
A thing of much less import in that clime—
At least to those of incomes which afford
The filling up their whole connubial cargo-
Than where two wives are under an embargo.
XCL

He did not think much on the matter, nor
Indeed on any other as a man,

He liked to have a handsome paramour

At hand, as one may like to have a fan, And therefore of Circassians had good store,

As an amusement after the Divan; Though an unusual fit of love, or duty, Had made him lately bask in his bride's beauty.

XCH

And now he rose and after due ablutions,
Exacted by the customs of the East,
And prayers and other pious evolutions,

He drank six cups of coffee at the least,
And then withdrew to hear about the Russians,
Whose victories had recently increased,
In Catherine's reign, whom glory still adores
As greatest of all sovereigns and w▬▬s.

XCII.

But oh, thou grand legitimate Alexander!

Her son's son, let not this last phrase offend Thine ear, if it should reach,—and now rhymes wander Almost as far as Petersburgh, and lend

A dreadful impulse to each loud meander

Of murmuring Liberty's wide waves, which blen 1 Their roar even with the Baltics,—so you be Your father s son, 't is quite enough for me.

XCIV.

To call men love-begotten, or proclaim

Their mothers as the antipodes of Timon, That hater of mankind, would be a shame,

A libel, or whate'er you please to rhyme ou But people's ancestors are history's game;

And if one lady's slip could leave a crime on All generations, I should like to know What pedigree the best would have to show?

XCV.

Had Catherine and the Sultan understood

Their own true interests, which kings rarely know, Until 't is taught by lessons rather rude,

There was a way to end their strife, although
Perhaps precarious, had they but thought good,
Without the aid of prince or plenipo:

She to dismiss her guards, and he his haram,
And for their other matters, meet and share 'em.

XCVI.

But as it was, bis Highness had to hold

His daily council upon ways and means,
How to encounter with this martial scold,
This modern Amazon and Queen of queans;
And the perplexity could not be told

Of all the pillars of the state, which leans
Sometimes a little heavy on the backs
Of those who cannot lay on a new tax.
XCVII.

Meantime Gulbeyaz, when her king was gone,
Retired into her boudoir, a sweet place
For love or breakfast; private, pleasing, lone,
And rich with all contrivances which grace
Those gay recesses:-many a precious stone
Sparkled along its roof, and many a vase
Of porcelain held in the fetter'd flowers,
Those captive soothers of a captive's hours.
XCVIII.

Mother of pearl, and porphyry, and marble,
Vied with each other on this costly spot;
And singing-birds without were heard to warble;
And the stain'd glass which lighted this fair grot
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.

XCIX.

And here she summon'd Baba, and required
Don Juan at his hands, and information
Of what had past since all the slaves retired,
And whether he had occupied their station;

If matters had been managed as desired,
And his disguise with due consideration
Kept up; and, above all, the where and how

CII.

When Baba saw these symptoms, which he knew
To bode him no great good, he deprecated
Her anger, and beseech'd she 'd hear him through--
He could not help the thing which he related:
Then out it came at length, that to Dudù

Juan was given in charge, as hath been stated;
But not by Baba's fault, he said, and swore on
The holy camel's hump, besides the Koran.
CIII.

The chief dame of the Oda, upon whom

The discipline of the whole harem bore, As soon as they re-enter'd their own room,

For Baba's function stopp'd short at the door,
Had settled all; nor could he then presume

(The aforesaid Baba) just then to do more,
Without exciting such suspicion as
Might make the matter still worse than it was.
CIV.

He hoped, indeed he thought he could be sure,
Juan had not betray'd himself; in fact

'T was certain that his conduct had been pure,
Because a foolish or imprudent act

Would not alone have made him insecure,
But ended in his being found out and sack'd,
And thrown into the sea. Thus Baba spoke
Of all save Dudu's dream, which was no joke.
CV.

This he discreetly kept in the back ground,
And talk'd away-and might have talk'd till now,
For any further answer that he found,

So deep an anguish wrung Gulbeyaz' brow;
Her cheek turn'd ashes, ears rung, brain whirl'd round,
As if she had received a sudden blow,

And the heart's dew of pain sprang fast and chilly
O'er her fair front, like morning's on a lily.

CVI.

Although she was not of the fainting sort,

Baba thought she would faint, but there he err'dIt was but a convulsion, which, though short, Can never be described; we all have heard, And some of us have felt thus « all amort,» When things beyond the common have occurr'd; Gulbeyaz proved in that brief agony

He had pass'd the night, was what she wish'd to know. What she could ne'er express-then how should I?

C.

Baba, with some embarrassment, replied

To this long catechism of questions ask'd More easily than answer'd,-that he had tried His best to obey in what he had been task'd; But there seem'd something that he wish'd to hide, Which hesitation more betray'd than mask'd; He scratch'd his ear, the infallible resource To which embarrass'd people have recourse. CI.

Gulbeyaz was no model of true patience,

Nor much disposed to wait in word or deed; She liked quick answers in all conversations;

And when she saw him stumbling like a steed In his replies, she puzzled him for fresh ones;

And as his speech grew still more broken-knee'd, Her check began to flush, her eyes to sparkle, And her proud brow's blue veins to swell and darkle.

CVII.

She stood a moment, as a Pythoness
Stands on her tripod, agonized, and full

Of inspiration gather'd from distress,

When all the heart-strings like wild horses pull The heart asunder;-then, as more or less

Their speed abated or their strength grew dull, She sunk down on her seat by slow degrees, And bow'd her throbbing head o'er trembling knees.

CVIII.

Her face declined and was unseen; her hair
Fell in long tresses like the weeping willow,
Sweeping the marble underneath her chair,
Or rather sofa (for it was all pillow,-
A low, soft ottoman), and black despair

Stirr'd up and down her bosom like a billow, Which rushes to some shore whose shingles check Its farther course, but must receive its wreck.

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CXVI.

What dost thou know of love or feeling?-wretch Begone!» she cried, with kindling eyes, and do My bidding!» Baba vanish'd; for to stretch

His own remonstrance further, he well knew, Might end in acting as his own «Jack Ketch;» And, though he wish'd extremely to get through This awkward business without harm to others, He still preferr'd his own neck to another's.

CXVIL

Away he went then upon his commission,
Growling and grumbling in good Turkish phrase
Against all women, of whate'er condition,

Especially Sultanas and their ways;

Their obstinacy, pride, and indecision,

Their never knowing their own mind two days, The trouble that they gave, their immorality, Which made him daily bless his own neutrality. CXVIII

And then he call'd his brethren to his aid,
And sent one on a summons to the pair,
That they must instantly be well array'd,

And, above all, be comb'd even to a hair,
And brought before the empress, who had made
Inquiries after them with kindest care :
At which Dudù look'd strange, and Juan silly;
But go they must at once, and will I-nill I.
CXIX.

And here I leave them at their preparation
For the imperial presence, wherein whether
Gulbeyaz show'd them both commiseration,
Or got rid of the parties altogether—
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
In what way feminine caprice may dissipate.

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II.

And such as they are, such my present tale is,
A non-descript and ever-varying rhyme,
A versified Aurora Borealis,

Which flashes o'er a waste and icy clime.
When we know what all are, we must bewail us,
But ne'er the less I hope it is no crime
To laugh at all things: for I wish to know
What, after all, are all things-but a show?

III.

They accuse me-me-the present writer of The present poem, of-I know not what,A tendency to under-rate 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?
I say no more than has been said in Dante's
Verse, and by Solomon, and by Cervantes;
IV.

By Swift, by Machiavel, by Rochefoucault,
By Fenelon, by Luther, and by Plato;
By Tillotson, and Wesley, and Rousseau,

Who knew this life was not worth a potato.
"T is not their fault, nor mine, if this be so-
For my part, I pretend not to be Cato,
Nor even Diogenes. We live and die,
But which is best, you know no more than I.

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IX.

The fortress is call'd Ismail, and is placed
Upon the Danube's left branch and left bank,
With buildings in the oriental taste,

But still a fortress of the foremost rank;
Or was, at least, unless 't is since defaced,
Which with your conquerors is a common prank:
It stands some eighty versts from the high sea,
And measures round of toises thousands three.
X.

Within the extent of this fortification

A borough is comprised, along the height
Upon the left, which, from its loftier station,
Commands the city, and upon its site

A Greek had raised around this elevation
A quantity of palisades upright,

So placed as to impede the fire of those
Who held the place, and to assist the foe's.
XI.

This circumstance may serve to give a notion
Of the high talents of this new Vauban :
But the town ditch below was deep as ocean,

The rampart higher than you'd wish to hang:
But then there was a great want of precaution
(Prithee, excuse this engineering slang),
Nor work advanced, nor cover'd-way was there,
To hint, at least, « Here is no thoroughfare. »
XII.

But a stone bastion, with a narrow gorge,

And walls as thick as most sculls born as yet;
Two batteries, cap-à-pié, as our Saint George,
Case-mated one, and t'other « à barbette,»
Of Danube's bank took formidable charge;

While two-and-twenty cannon, duly set,
Rose o'er the town's right side, in bristling tier,
Forty feet high, upon a cavalier.

XIII.

But from the river the town's open quite,

Because the Turks could never be persuaded
A Russian vessel e'er would heave in sight;
And such their creed was, till they were invaded,
When it grew rather late to set things right.

But as the Danube could not well be waded,
They look'd upon the Muscovite flotilla,
And only shouted, « Alla!» and «< Bis Millah!»>
XIV.

The Russians now were ready to attack;

But oh, ye goddesses of war and glory! How shall I spell the name of each Cossack Who were immortal, could one tell their story? Alas! what to their memory can lack?

Achilles self was not more grim and gory Than thousands of this new and polish'd nation, Whose names want nothing but-pronunciation.

XV.

Still I'll record a few, if but to increase

Our euphony-there was Strongenoff, and Strokonoff, Meknop, Serge Lwdw, Arseniew of modern Greece, And Tschitsshakoff, and Roguenoff, and Chokenoff, And others of twelve consonants a piece:

And more might be found out, if I could poke enough Into gazettes; but fame (capricious strumpet!)

It seems has got an ear as well as trumpet,

XVI.

And cannot tune those discords of narration,
Which may be names at Moscow, into rhyme.
Yet there were several worth commemoration,
As e'er was virgin of a nuptial chime;
Soft words too, fitted for the peroration

Of Londonderry, drawling against time,

XXIII.

The Russians, having built two batteries on An isle near Ismail, had two ends in view; The first was to bombard it, and knock down The public buildings, and the private too, No matter what poor souls might be undone. The city's shape suggested this, 't is true;

Ending in «ischskin,» «ousekin,» «iffskehy,» «ouski,» Form'd like an amphitheatre, each dwelling

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Presented a fine mark to throw a shell in.
XXIV.

The second object was to profit by

The moment of the general consternation, To attack the Turk's flotilla, which lay nigh, Extremely tranquil, anchor'd at its station : But a third motive was as probably

To frighten them into capitulation;

A phantasy which sometimes seizes warriors, Unless they are game as bull-dogs and fox-terriers.

XXV.

A habit rather blameable, which is

That of despising those we combat with, Common in many cases, was in this

The cause of killing Tchitchitzkoff and Smith; One of the valorous «Smiths» whom we shall miss Out of those nineteen who late rhymed to « pita,* But 't is a name so spread o'er «Sir» and « Madam,» That one would think the FIRST who bore it « ADAM. D XXVI.

The Russian batteries were incomplete,

Because they were constructed in a hurry. Thus, the same cause which makes a verse want feet, And throws a cloud o'er Longman and John Murczy When the sale of new books is not so fleet

As they who print them think is necessary, May likewise put off for a time what story Sometimes calls « murder,» and at others « glory. »

XXVII.

Whether it was their engineers' stupidity,
Their haste, or waste, I neither know nor care,
Or some contractor's personal cupidity,

Saving his soul by cheating in the ware
Of homicide; but there was no solidity
In the new batteries erected there;
They either miss'd, or they were never miss'd,
And added greatly to the missing list.

XXVIII.

A sad miscalculation about distance

Made all their naval matters incorrect;
Three fire-ships lost their amiable existence
Before they reach'd a spot to take effect;
The match was lit too soon, and no assistance
Could remedy this lubberly defect;

They blew up in the middle of the river,
While, thought was dawn, the Turks slept fast as ever

XXIX.

At seven they rose, however, and survey'd
The Russ flotilla getting under way;

T was nine, when still advancing undismay'd,
Within a cable's length their vessels lay
Off Ismail, and commenced a cannonade,
Which was return'd with interest, I may say,
And by a fire of musketry and grasse,
And shells and shot of every size and shape.

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