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And fruits and date-bread loaves closed the repast, She wore two jelicks-one was of pale yellow;
Of azure, pink, and white, was her chemise In small fine China cups, came in at last 'Neath which her breast heaved like a little billow; Gold cups of filigree, made to secure
With buttons form'd of pearls as large as peas, The hand from burning, underneath them placed ; All gold and crimson shone her jelick’s fellow, Cloves, cinnamon, and saffron too were boil'd And the striped white gauze baracan that bound her, Up with the coffee, which (I think) they spoil'd. Like fleecy clouds about the moon, flow'd round her. LXIV.
LXXI. The hangings of the room were tapestry, made One large gold bracelet clasp'd each lovely arm, Of velvet pannels, each of different hue,
Lockless--so pliable from the pure gold, And thick with damask flowers of silk inlaid: That the hand stretch'd and shut it without harm, And round them ran a yellow border too ;
The limb which it adorn'd its only mould; The upper border, richly wrought, display'd, So beautiful-its very shape would charm, Embroider'd delicately o'er with blue,
And clinging as if loth to lose its hold, Soft Persian sentences, in lilac letters,
The purest ore inclosed the whitest skin From poets, or the moralists their betters. That e'er by precious metal was held in.? LXV.
LXXII. These oriental writings on the wall,
Around, as princess of her father's land, Quite common in those countries, are a kind A like gold bar, above her instep roll'd,3 Of monitors, adapted to recall,
Announced her rank: twelve rings were on her hana; Like skulls at Memphian banquets, to the mind Her hair was starr'd with gems; her veil's fine fold The words which shook Belshazzar in his hall, Below her breast was fasten'd with a band
And took his kingdom from him.-You will find, Of lavish pearls, whose worth could scarce be told; Though sages may pour out their wisdom's treasure, Her orange silk full Turkish trowsers furl'd There is no sterner moralist than pleasure. About the prettiest ankle in the world. LXVI.
LXXIII. A beauty at the season's close grown hectic, Her hair's long auburn waves down to her heel
A genius who has drunk himself to death, Flow'd like an Alpine torrent which the sun A rake turn'd methodistic or eclectic
Dyes with his morning light,--and would conceal (For that's the name they like to pray beneath) Her person* if allow'd at large to run; But most, an alderman struck apoplectic, And still they seem resentfully to feel
Are things that really take away the breath, The silken fillet's curb, and sought to shun And show that late hours, wine and love, are able Their bonds whene'er some zephyr caught began To do not much less damage than the table. To offer his young pinion as her fan. LXVII.
LXXIV. Haidee and Juan carpeted their feet
Round her she made an atmosphere of life, On crimson satin, border'd with pale blue; The very air seem'd lighter from her eyes, Their sofa occupied three parts complete
They were so soft and beautiful, and rife Of the apartment—and appear'd quite new;
With all we can imagine of the skies,
Too pure even for the purest human ties;
Her eyelashes, though dark as night, were tir.ged, Had done their work of splendor, Indian mats (It is the country's custom,) but in vain ; And Persian carpets, the heart bled to stain, For those large black eyes were so blackly fringede
Over the floors were spread; gazelles and cats, The glossy rebels mock'd the jetty stain, And dwarfs and blacks, and such like, things that gain and in their native beauty stood avenged :
Their bread as ministers and favorites-(that's Her nails were touch'd with henna; but again To say, by degradation)-mingled there
The power of art was turn'd to nothing, for
They could not look more rosy than before.
The henna should be deeply dyed to make The tables, most of ebony inlaid
The skin relieved appear more fairly fair: With mother-of-pearl or ivory, stood at hand, She had no need of this day ne'er will break
Or were of torsoise-shell or rare woods made, On mountain tops more heavenly white than her ; Fretted with gold or silver: by command, The eye might doubt if it were well awake,
The greater part of these were ready spread She was so like a vision; I might err, With viands, and sherbets in ice, and wine But Shakspeare also says 'tis very silly Kept for all comers, at all hours to dine.
" To gild refined gold, or paint the lily.”
LXXXIV. Juan had on a shawl of black and gold,
He had travell’d’mong the Arabs, Turks, and Franks But a white baracan, and so transparent,
And knew the self-loves of the different nations : The sparkling gems beneath you might oehold, And, having lived with people of all ranks,
Like small stars through the milky way apparent; Had something ready upon most occasions, His turban, furl'd in many a graceful fold, Which got him a few presents and some thanks
An emerald aigrette with Haidee's hair in't, He varied with some skill his adulations;
Dwarfs, dancing girls, black eunuch's, and a poet, Thus, usually, when he was ask'd to sing,
He gave the different nations something national The last was of great fame, and liked to show it; 'Twas all the same to him—"God save the King," His verses rarely wanted their due feet
Or “ Calira,” according to the fashion all; And for his theme-he seldom sung below it,
His muse made increment of any thing, He being paid to satirize or flatter,
From the high lyrical to the low rational : As the psalm says, “inditing a good matter."
If Pindar sang horseraces, what should hinder
Himself from being as pliable as Pindar?
In France, for instance, he would write a chanson; An eastern anti-jacobin at last
In England, a six-canto quarto tale; He turn'd, preferring pudding to no praise
In Spain, he'd make a ballad or romance on For some few years his lot had been o'ercast
The last war-much the same in Portugal; By his seeming independent in his lays, In Germany, the Pegasus he'd prance on But now he sung the Sultan and the Pacha,
Would be old Goethe's—(see what says de Staël; With truth like Southey, and with verse like In Italy, he'd ape the “ Trecentisti ;" Crashaw.
In Greece, he'd sing some sort of hymn like this t' ya LXXX. He was a man who had seen many changes, And always changed as true as any needle,
The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece! His polar star being one which rather ranges,
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where Delos rose and Phæbus sprung!
But all, except their sun, is set.
The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute, The “vates irritabilis" takes care
Have found the fame your shores refuse; That without notice few full moons shall pass it:
Their place of birth alone is mute Even good men like to make the public stare :
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires' " Islands of the Bless'd."
The mountains look on Marathon-
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
For, standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below, Of which the first ne'er knows the second cause.
And men in nations ;-all were his !
He counted them at break of day-
And when the sun set, where were they?
And having pick'd up several odds and ends Of free thoughts in his travels, for variety,
And where are they! and where art thou, He deem'd, being in a lone isle among friends, My country ? On thy voiceless shore That without any danger of a riot, he
The heroic lay is tuneless now, Might for long lying make himself amends :
The heroic bosom beats no more! And, singing as he sung in his warm youth,
And must thy lyre, so long divine, Agree to a short armistice with truth.
Degenerate into hands like mine?
Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though link'd among a fetter'd race, To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face ; For what is left the poet here? For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear.
Must we but weep o'er days more bless'd ?
Must we but blush ?-Our fathers bled. Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
What, silent still ? and silent all?
Ah! no;- the voices of the dead Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
And answer, “Let one living head, But one arise,-we come, we come!” "Tis but the living who are dumb.
In vain-in vain : strike other chords;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine! Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine ! Hark! rising to the ignoble callHow answers each bold bacchanal!
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone? Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one? You have the letters Cadmus gave Think ye he meant them for a slave?
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
We will not think of themes like these ! It made Anacreon's song divine;
He served—but served Polycrates A tyrant; but our masters then Were still, at least, our countrymen.
The tyrant or the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend; That tyrant was Miltiades !
Oh! that the present hour would lend Another despot of the kind ! Such chains as his were sure to bind.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore, Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore; And there, perhaps, some seed is sown, The Heracleidan blood might own.
Trust not for freedom to the Franks-
They have a king who buys and sells: In native swords, and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells: But Turkish force, and Latin fraud, Would break your shield, however broad.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
Our virgins dance beneath the shadeI see their glorious black eyes shine;
But, gazing on each glowing maid, My own the burning tear-drop laves, To think such breasts must suckle slaves.
Place me on Sunium's marble steep
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
There, swan-like, let me sing and die ;
The modern Greek, in tolerable verse; If not like Orpheus quite, when Greece was young,
Yet in these times he might have done much worse, His strain display'd some feeling-right or wrong:
And feeling, in a poet, is the source
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces [think, That which makes thousands, perhaps millions
'Tis strange, the shortest letter which man uses, Instead of speech, may form a lasting link
Of ages ; to what straits old Time reduces
His station, generation, even his nation,
In chronological commemoration,
Or graven stone found in a barrack's station,
'Tis something, nothing, words, illusion, windDepending more upon the historian's style
Than on the name a person leaves behind : Troy owes to Homer what whist owes to Hoyle;
The present century was growing blind
A little heavy, but no less divine;
Learn'd, pious, temperate in love and wine; But his life falling into Johnson's way,
We're told this great high priest of all the Nine Was whipt at college-a harsh sire-odd spouse, For the first Mrs. Milton left his house.
XCII. All these are, certes, entertaining facts, [bribes;
Like Shakspeare's stealing deer, Lord Bacon's Like Titus' youth, and Cæsar's earliest acts;
Like Burns, (whom Doctor Currie well describes ;) Like Cromwell's pranks;—but although truth exacts
These amiable descriptions from the scribes,
C. All are not moralists like Southey, when
“Pedlars," and “boats," and " wagons!" Oh! ye He prated to the world of “Pantisocracy;" Of Pope and Dryden, are we come to this ? (shades Or Wordsworth unexcised, unhired, who then That trash of such sort not alone evades
Season'd his pedlar poems with democracy; Contempt, but from the bathos' vast abyss Or Coleridge, long before his flighty pen
Floats scum-like uppermost, and these Jack Cades Let to the Morning Post its aristocracy;
of sense and song above your graves may hiss When he and Southey, following the same path, The “ little boatman" and his “ Peter Bell" Espoused two partners, (milliners of Bath.) Can sneer at him who drew “Achitophel !" XCIV.
CI. Such names at present cut a convict figure, T' our tale.-The feast was over, the slaves gone,
The very Botany Bay in moral geography: The dwarfs and dancing girls had all retired; Their loyal treason, renegado vigor,
The Arab lore and poet's song were done, Are good manure for their more bare biography. And every sound of reyelry expired; Wordsworth's last quarto, by the way, is bigger The lady and her lover, left alone,
Than any since the birthday of typography: The rosy flood of twilight sky admired;A clumsy frowzy poem, called the “Excursion," Ave Maria! o'er the earth and sea, Writ in a manner which is my aversion.
That heavenliest hour of Heaven is worthiest thee! xCV.
CII. He there builds up a formidable dyke
Ave Maria! blessed be the hour! Between his own and others' intellect;
The time, the clime, the spot, where I so oft But Wordsworth's poem, and his followers, like
Have felt that moment in its fullest power Joanna Southcote's Shiloh and her sect,
Sink o'er the earth so beautiful and soft, Are things which in this century don't strike While swung the deep bell in the distant tower, The public mind, so few are the elect;
Or the faint dying day-hymn stole aloft, And the new births of both their stale virginities
And not a breath crept through the rosy air, Have proved but dropsies taken for divinities.
And yet the forest leaves seem stirr'd with prayer. XCVI.
CIII. But let me to my story: I must own
Ave Maria ! 'tis the hour of prayer ! If I have any fault, it is digression;
Ave Maria ! 'tis the hour of love! Leaving my people to proceed alone,
Ave Maria! may our spirits dare While I soliloquize beyond expression;
Look up to thine and to thy Son's above! But these are my addresses from the throne,
Ave Maria! oh that face so fair! Which put off business to the ensuing session :
Those downcast eyes beneath the almighty dove Forgetting each omission is a loss to
What though 'tis but a pictured image strike The world, not quite so great as Ariosto.
That painting is no idol, 'tis too like.
In nameless print-that I have no devotion, (We've not so good a word, but have the thing
But set those persons down with me to pray, In that complete perfection, which ensures An epic from Bob Southey every spring)
And you shall see who has the properest notion Form not the true temptation which allures
Of getting into heaven the shortest way; The reader; but 'twould not be hard to bring
My altars are the mountains and the ocean, Some fine examples of the épopée,
Earth, air, stars,—all that springs from the great
whole, To prove its grand ingredient is ennui.
Who hath produced, and will receive the soul. XCVIII.
CV. We learn from Horace, Homer sometimes sleeps,
Sweet hour of twilight !-in the solitude We feel without him, Wordsworth sometimes To show with what complacency he creeps, (wakes, which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood,
Of the pine forest, and the silent shore With his dear “Wagoners,” around his lakes;
Rooted where once the Adrian wave flow'd o'er, He wishes for “a boat" to sail the deeps To where the last Cæsarean fortress stood, Of Oceani-no, of air ; and then he makes
Ever-green forest! which Boccaccio's lore Another outcry for “ a little boat,"
And Dryden's lay made haunted ground to me, And drivels seas to set it well afloat.
How have I loved the twilight hour and thee'
And Pegasus runs restive in his “wagon," Making their summer lives one ceaseless song, Could he not beg the loan of Charles's wain? Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine, Or pray Medea for a single dragon ?
And vesper-bell's that rose the boughs along; Or if, too classic for his vulgar brain,
The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line, He fear'd his neck to venture such a nag on, His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the fair throng And he must needs mount nearer to the moon, Which learn'd from this example not to fly Could not the blockhead ask for a balloonal From a true lover, shadow'd my mind's eye.
II. Oh Hesperus !5 thou bringest all good things But time, which brings all beings to their level, Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer,
And sharp adversity, will teach at last To the young bird the parent's brooding wings, Man,—and, as we would hope,-perhaps the devil The welcome stall to the o'erlabor'd steer ;
That neither of their intellects are vast: Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clings, While youth's hot wishes in our red veins revel,
Whace'er our household gods protect of dear, We know not this—the blood flows on too fast;
And wish'd that others held the same opinion: When they from their sweet friends are torn apart; They took it up when my days grew more mellow, Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way,
And other minds acknowledged my dominion : As the far bell of vesper makes him start,
Now my sere fancy “falls into the yellow Seeming to weep the dying day's decay;
Leaf,” and imagination droops her pinion, Is this a fancy which our reason scorns ?
And the sad truth which hovers o'er my desk
Turns what was once romantic to burlesque.
And if I laugh at any mortal thing, Which ever the destroyer yet destroy'd
'Tis that I may not weep; and if I weep, Amid the roar of liberated Rome,
'Tis that our nature cannot always bring Of nations freed, and the world overjoy'd,
Itself to apathy, which we must steep Some hands unseen strewd flowers upon his tomb ;? First in the icy depths of Lethe's spring, Perhaps the weakness of a heart not void
Ere what we least wish to behold will sleep; Of feeling for some kindness done, when power
Thetis baptized her mortal son in Styx;
A mortal mother would on Lethe fix.
Some have accused me of a strange design Or any such like sovereign buffoons,
Against the creed and morals of the land,
More than such madmen's fellow-man-the I don't pretend that I quite understand
My own meaning when I would be very fine;
A novel word in my vocabulary.
To the kind reader of our sober clime, 'Tis being too epic, and I must cut down
This way of writing will appear exotic; (In copying) this long canto into two:
Pulci was sire of the half-serious rhyme, They'll never find it out, unless I own
Who sung when chivalry was more Quixotic, The fact, excepting some experienced few;
And revell’d in the fancies of the time, [despotis; And then as an improvement 'twill be shown:
True knights, chaste dames, huge giants, kings I'll prove that such the opinion of the critic is, But all these, save the last, being obsolete, From Aristotle passim.-- See IOINTIKUS.
I chose a modern subject as more meet.
Pertaps no better than they have treated me
Not what they saw, but what they wish'd to see; But if it gives them pleasure, be it s0,
This is a liberal age, and thoughts are free:
Meantime Apollo plucks me by the ear, .
VIII. NOTHING so difficult as a beginning
Young Juan and his lady-love were left In poesy, unless perhaps the end:
To their own heart's most sweet society; For oftentimes when Pegasus seems winning Even Time the pitiless in sorrow cleft
The race, he sprains a wing, and down we tend, With his rude scythe such gentle bosoms; he
Our sin the same, and hard as his to mend, Though foe to love; and yet they could not be