« AnteriorContinuar »
CXLVII. I say, the sun is a most glorious sigát,
For still he lay, and on his thin worn cheek I've seen him rise full oft, indeed of late
A purple hectic play'd, like dying day I have set up on purpose all the night,
On the snow-tops of distant hills; the streak Which hastens, as physicians say, one's fate; Of sufferance yet upon his forehead lay, (weak, And so all ye, who would be in the right
Where the blue veins look'd shadowy, shrunk, and
Her own was freshest, though a feverish flush Hush'd as the babe upon its mother's breast,
From heart to cheek is curb’d into a blush, Lull'd like the depth of ocean when at rest, Like to a torrent which a mountain's base, Fair as the crowning rose of the whole wreath,
That overpowers some Alpine river's rush, Soft as the callow cygnet in its nest; Checks to a lake, whose waves in circles spread, In short he was a very pretty fellow, Or the Red Sea-but the sea is not red.
Although his woes had turn'd him rather yellow. CXLII.
CXLIX. And down the cliff the island virgin came, He woke and gazed, and would have slept again,
And near the cave her quick light footsteps drew, But the fair face which met his eyes, forbade While the sun smiled on her with his first flame, Those eyes to close, though weariness and pain
And young Aurora kiss'd her lips with dew, Had further sleep a further pleasure made;
For woman's face was never form'd in vain Mistake you would have made on seeing the two, For Juan, so that even when he pray'd, Although the mortal, quite as fresh and fair, He turn'd from grisly saints, and martyrs hairy, Had all the advantage too of not being air. To the sweet portraits of the Virgin Mary.
And look'd upon the lady in whose cheek
The pale contented with the purple rose, And then she stopp'd, and stood as if in awe, As with an effort she began to speak; (For sleep is awful,) and on tiptoe crept
Her eyes were eloquent, her words would pose,
Who die in righteousness, she lean’d; and there Being no Grecian; but he had an ear,
So soft, so sweet, so delicately clear,
Since, after all, no doubt the youthful pair The sort of sound we echo with a tear,
And that a shipwreck'd youth would hungry be ; By a distant organ, doubting if he be
And felt her veins chill'd by the neighboring sea; By the watchman, or some such reality,
At least it is a heavy sound to me,
The coffee made, would fain have waken'd Juan; Or sleep, or whatsoe'er it was, by feeling But Haidee stopp'd her with her quick small hand, A most prodigious appetite: the steam
And without word, a sign her finger drew on Of Zoe's cookery no doubt was stealing Her lip, which Zoe needs must understand; Upon his senses, and the kindling beam
And, the first breakfast spoil'd, prepared a new one, of the new fire which Zoë kept up, kneeling Because her mistress would not let her break To stir her viands, made him quite awake That sleep which seem'd as it would ne'er awake. And long for food, but chiefly a beef-steak
CLXI. But beef is rare within these oxless isles; And then fair Haidee tried her tongue at speaking
Goats'flesh there is, no doubt, and kid, and uutton, But not a word could Juan comprehend, And when a holiday upon them smiles,
Although he listen'd so that the young Greek in A joint upon their barbarous spits they put on: Her earnestness would ne'er have made ar sod: But this occurs but seldom, between whiles, And, as he interrupted not, went eking
For some of these are rocks with scarce a hut on, Her speech out to her protégé and friend, Others are fair and fertile, among which,
Till, pausing at the last her breath to take, This, though not large, was one of the most rich. She saw he did not understand Romaic. CLV.
CLXII. I say that beef is rare, and can't help thinking And then she had recourse to nods, and signs, That the old fable of the Minotaur
And smiles, and sparkles of the speaking eye, From which our modern morals rightly shrinking, And read (the only book she could) the lines Condemn the royal lady's taste who wore
Of his fair face, and found, by sympathy, A cow's shape for a mask-was only (sinking The answer eloquent, where the soul shines The allegory) a mere type, no more,
And darts in one quick glance a long reply; That Pasiphae promoted breeding cattle, And thus in every look she saw express'd To make the Cretans bloodier in battle.
A world of words, and things at which she guess'd CLVI.
CLXIII. For we all know that English people are
And now, by dint of fingers and of eyes, Fed upon beef-I won't say much of beer,
And words repeated after her, he took Because 'tis liquor only, and being far
A lesson in her tongue; but by surmise, From this my subject, has no business here :- No doubt, less of her language than her look: We know, too, they are very fond of war,
As he who studies fervently the skies A pleasure-like all pleasures-rather dear; Turns oftener
to the stars than to his book, So were the Cretans-from which I infer
Thus Juan learn'd his alpha beta better That beef and battles both were owing to her From Haidee's glance than any graven letter. CLVII.
CLXIV. But to resume. The languid Juan raised
'Tis pleasing to be school'd in a strange tongue His head upon his elbow, and he saw
By female lips and eyes—that is, I mean, A sight on which he had not lately gazed,
When both the teacher and the taught are young, As all his latter meals had been quite raw,
As was the case, at least where I have been; Three or four things for which the Lord be praised, They smile so when one's right, and when one's And, feeling still the famish'd vulture gnaw,
wrong He fell upon whate'er was offer'd, like
They smile still more, and then there intervene A priest, a shark, an alderman, or pike.
Pressure of hands, perhaps even a chaste kiss ;
I learn'd the little that I know by this:
That is, some words of Spanish, Turk, or Greek,
Italian not at all, having no teachers,
Much English I cannot pretend to speak,
Learning that language chiefly from its preachers, Knew (by tradition, for she ne'er had read)
Barrow, South, Tillotson, whom every week
I study, also Blair, the highest reachers
of eloquence in piety and prose
I hate your poets, so read none of those.
As for the ladies, I have nought to say, Rather by deeds than words, because the case
A wanderer from the British world of fashion, Was urgent, that the gentleman, whose fate
Where I, like other dogs, have had my day," Had made her mistress quit her bed to trace
Like other men, too, may have had my passionThe seashore at this hour, must leave his plate, But that, like other things, has pass'd away: Unless he wish'd to die upon the place
And all her fools whom I could lay the lash on, She snatch'd it, and refused another morsel,
Foes, friends, men, women, now are nought to mo Saying, he had gorged enough to make a horse ill. But dreams of what has been, no more to be. CLX.
Pair of scarce decent trousers-went to work, To hear new words, and to repeat them; but
And dress'd him, for the present, like a Turk, Were such as could not in his breast be shut Or Greek--that is, although it not much matter'd, More than within the bosom of a nun: Omitting turban, slippers, pistols, dirk,
He was in love-as you would be, no doubt, They furnish'd him, entire except some stitches, With a young benefactress, -50 was she Vith a clean shirt, and very spacious breeches. 'Just in the way we very often see.
CLXXV. And every day by daybreak-rather early Then came her freedom, for she had no mother,
For Juan, who was somewhat fond of rest- So that, her father being at sea, she was Bhe came into the cave, but it was merely Freed as a married woman, or such other To see her bird reposing in his nest;
Female, as where she likes may freely pass, And she would softly stir his locks so curly, Without even the encumbrance of a brother, Without disturbing her yet slumbering guest,
The freest she that ever gazed on glass : Breathing all gently o'er his cheek and mouth, I speak of Christian lands in this comparison, As o'er a bed of roses the sweet south.
Where wives, at least, are seldom kept in garrison. CLXIX.
CLXXVI. And every morn his color freshlier came,
Now she prolong'd her visits and her talk, And every day help'd on his convalescence, (For they must talk,) and he had learnt to say Twas well, because health in the human frame So much as to propose to take a walk,Is pleasant, besides being true love's essence,
For little had he wander'd since the day For health and idleness to passion's flame On which, like a young flower snapp'd from the stalk,
Are oil and gunpowder; and some good lessons Drooping and dewy on the beach he lay, Are also learnt from Ceres and from Bacchus, And thus they walk'd out in the afternoon, Without whom Venus will not long attack us. And saw the sun set opposite the moon. CLXX.
CLXXVII. While Venus fills the heart, (without heart really
It was a wild and breaker-beaten coast, Love, though good always, is not quite so good,)
With cliffs above, and a broad sandy shore, Ceres presents a plate of vermicelli,
Guarded by shoals and rocks as by a host, For love must be sustain'd like flesh and blood.
With here and there a creek, whose aspect wore While Bacchus pours out wine, or hands a jelly:
A better welcome to the tempest-toss'd; Eggs, oysters too, are amatory food;
And rarely ceased the haughty billows' roar, But who is their purveyors from above
Save on the dead long summer days, which make Heaven knows,-it may be Neptune, Pan, or Jove. The outstretch'd ocean glitter like a lake. CLXXI.
CLXXVIII. When Juan woke, he found some good things ready,
And the small ripple spilt upon the beach A bath, a breakfast, and the finest eyes
Scarcely o'erpass'd the cream of your champagne, That ever made a youthful heart less steady,
When o'er the brim the sparkling bumpers reach, Besides her maid's, as pretty for their size;
That springdew of the spirit ! the heart's rain! But I have spoken of all this already
Few things surpass old wine; and they may preach And repetition's tiresome and unwise.
Who please,-the more because they preach in Well-Juan, after bathing in the sea,
Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, Came always back to coffee and Haidee.
Sermons and soda-water the day after.
Man, being reasonable, must get drunk;
The best of life is but intoxication :
Glory, the grape, love, gold, in these are sunk
The hopes of all men, and of every nation; A something to be loved, a creature meant
Without their sap, how branchless were the trunk To be her happiness, and whom she deem'd
Of life's strange tree, so fruitful on occasion! To render happy; all who joy would win
But to return-get very drunk; and when Must sha:e it,-happiness was born a twin.
You wake with headache, you shall see what then CLXXIII.
CLXXX. It was such pleasure to behold him, such
Ring for your valet-bid him quickly bring Enlargement of existence to partake
Some hock and soda-water, then you'll know Nature with him, to thrill beneath his touch, A pleasure worthy Xerxes the great king;
To watch him slumbering, and to see him wake: For not the blest sherbet, sublimed with snow, To live with him for ever were too much;
Nor the first sparkle of the desert-spring, But then the ought of parting made her quake: Nor Burgundy in all its sunset glow, He was her own, her ocean treasure, cast
After long travel, ennui, love, or slaughter, Like a rich wreck-her first love and her last. Vie with that draught of hock and soda-water! CLXXIV.
Was just describing-Yes, it was the coast Such plentiful precautions, that still he
Lay at this period quiet as the sky, Remain'd unknown within his craggy nook: The sands untumbled, the blue waves untoss'do At last her father's prows put out to sea,
And all was stillness, save the sea-bird's cry, For certain merchantmen upon the look,
And dolphin's leap, and little billow cross'd Not as of yore to carry off an Io,
By some low rock or shelve that made it fret But three Ragusan vessels, bound for Scio. 'Against the boundary it scarcely wet.
CLXXXIX. And forth they wander'd, her sire being gone, They fear'd no eyes nor ears on that lone beach, As I have said, upon an expedition;
They felt no terrors from the night, they were And mother, brother, guardian, she had none, All in all to each other: though their speech
Save Zoe, who, although with due precision Was broken words, they thought a language there She waited on her lady with the sun,
And all the burning tongues the passions teach, Thought daily service was her only mission, Found in one sigh the best interpreter Bringing warm water, wreathing her iong tresses, Of nature's oracle--first love,-that all And asking now and then for cast-off dresses. Which Eve has left her daughters since her fall. CLXXXIII.
. It was the cooling hour, just when the rounded Haidee spoke not of scruples, ask'd no vows, Red sun sinks down behind the azure hill,
Nor offer'd any; she had never heard Which then seems as if the whole earth it bounded, Of plight and promises to be a spouse,
Circling all nature, hush'd, and dim, and still, Or perils by a loving maid incurrid; With the far mountain-crescent, half surrounded She was all which pure ignorance allows,
On one side, and the deep sea calm and chill And flew to her young mate like a young bird ; Cpon the other, and the rosy sky,
And, never having dreamt of falsehood, she With one star sparkling through it like an eye. Had not one word to say of constancy. CLXXXIV.
CXCI. And thus they wander'd forth, and hand in hand,
She loved, and was beloved-she adored, Over the shining pebbles and the shells,
And she was worshipp'd; after nature's fashion, Glided along the smooth and harden'd sand,
Their intense souls, into each other pour'd, And in the worn and wild receptacles
If souls could die, had perish'd in that passion, Work'd by the storms, yet work'd as it were plann'd, But by degrees their seases were restored, In hollow halls, with sparry roofs and cells,
Again to be o'ercome, again to dash on; They turn'd to rest; and, each clasp'd by an arm,
And, beating 'gainst his bosom, Haidee's heart Yielded to the deep twilight's purple charm.
Felt as if never more to beat apart.
Alas! they were so young, so beautiful,
So lonely, loving, helpless, and the hour
Was that in which the heart is always full,
And, having o'er itself no further power,
But pays off moments in an endless shower
Of hell-fire-all prepared for people giving l'heir lips drew near, and clung into a kiss ;
Pleasure or pain to one another living.
Alas! for Juan and Haidee! they were
So loving and so lovely—till then never, Such kisses as belong to early days,
Excepting our first parents, such a pair Where heart, and soul, and sense, in concert move,
Had run the risk of being damn'd for ever; And the blood's lava, and the pulse a blaze,
And Haidee, being devout as well as fair, Each kiss a heart-quake,—for a kiss's strength,
Had, doubtless, heard about the Stygian river I think it must be reckon'd by its length.
And hell and purgatory—but forgot
Just in the very crisis she should not.
Gleam in the moonlight; and her white arm clasps And if they had, they could not have secured Round Juan's head, and his around her lies The sum of their sensations to a second :
Half buried in the tresses which it grasps ; They had not spoken; but they felt allured, She sits upon his knee, and drinks his sighs,
As if their souls and lips each other beckon'd, He hers, until they end in broken gasps ; Which, being join'd, like swarming bees they clung-And thus they form a group that's quite antique, Their hearts the flowers from whence the honey Half naked, loving, natural, and Greek. sprung. CLXXXVIII.
. They were alone, yet not alone as they
And when those deep and burning moments passa Who, shut in chambers, think it loneliness ; And Juan sunk to sleep within her arms, The silent ocean, and the starlight bay,
She slept not, but all tenderly, though fast, The twilight glow, which momently grew less, Sustain'd his head upon her bosom's charms; The voiceless sands, and dropping caves, that lay And now and then her eye to heaven is cast,
Around them, made them to each other press, And then on the pale cheek her breast now warms As if there were no life beneath the sky
Pillow'd on her o'erflowing heart, which pants Save theirs, and that their life could never die. With all it granted, and with all it grants.
CCIII. An infant when it gazes on a light,
And oh! that quickening of the heart, that beat! A child the moment when it drains the breast, How much it costs us, yet each rising throb A devotee when soars the host in sight,
Is in its cause as its effect so sweet,
That wisdom, ever on the watch to rob
Fine truths; even conscience, too, has a tough job
CCIV. For there it lies so tranquil, so beloved,
And now 'twas done-on the lone shore were plighted All that it hath of life with us is living;
Their hearts; the stars, their nuptial torches, shed So gentle, stirless, helpless, and unmoved, Beauty upon the beautiful they lighted : And all unconscious of the joy 'tis giving,
Ocean their witness, and the cave their bed, All it hath felt, inflicted, pass'd, and proved, By their own feelings hallow'd and united,
Hush'd into depths beyond the watcher's diving; Their priest was solitude, and they were wed: There lies the thing we love with all its errors, And they were happy, for to their young eyes And all its charms, like death without its terrors. Each was an angel, and earth paradise.
Of Love's, and Night's, and Ocean's solitude, Titus the master, Antony the slave,
Amidst the barren sand and rocks so rude, Sappho the sage blue-stocking, in whose grave
Where nought upon their passion could intrude, (Leucadia's rock still overlooks the wave)—
Thou makest the chaste connubial state precarious, To be a lovely and a fearful thing;
And jestest with the brows of mightiest men: For all of theirs upon that die is thrown,
Cæsar and Pompey, Mahomet, Belisarius, And if 'tis lost, life hath no more to bring Have much employed the muse of history's pen ; To them bút mockeries of the past alone,
Their lives and fortunes were extremely various,And their revenge is as the tiger's spring, Such worthies time will never see again : Deadly, and quick, and crushing : yet as real Yet to these four in three things the same luck holds, Torture is theirs—what they inflict they feel. They all were heroes, conquerors, and cuckolds. CC.
CCVII. They're right; for man, to man so oft unjust, Thou makest philosophers: there's Epicurus Is always so to women; one sole bond
And Aristippus, a material crew! Awaits them, treachery is all their trust;
Who to immoral courses would allure us Taught to conceal, their bursting hearts despond By theories, quite practicable too; Over their idol, till some wealthier lust
If only from the devil they would insure us,
Some mind their household, others dissipation, And should he have forgotten her so soon?
Does these things for us, and whenever newly a Theirs being an unnatural situation,
Palpitation rises, 'tis her boon, From the dull palace to the dirty hovel :
Else how the devil is it that fresh features
Haidee was passion's child, born where the sun Abhor, condemn, abjure the mortal made
Of his gazelle-eyed daughters; she was one No permanent foundation can be laid;
Who was her chosen : what was said or done And yet last night, being at a masquerade,