« AnteriorContinuar »
And whisper'a, “ Think of every sacred tie !"
“But then her teeth, and then, oh heaven! her eye! I'll just inquire if she be wife or maid,
Or neither out of curiosity."
I. “Stop!” so I stopp'd.—But to return : that which Hail, Muse! et cetera.-We left Juan sleeping, Men call inconstancy is nothing more
Pillow'd upon a fair and happy breast, Than admiration, due where nature's rich And watch'd by eyes that never yet knew weeping Profusion with young beauty covers o'er
And loved by a young heart too deeply bless'd Some favor'd object; and as in the niche To feel the poison through her spirit creeping, A lovely statue we almost adore,
Or know who rested there; a foe to rest, This sort of admiration of the real
Had soil'd the current of her sinless years, Is but a heightening of the beau ideal.” And turn'd her pure heart's purest blood to tears.
CCXII. 'Tis the perception of the beautiful,
Oh, love! what is it in this world of ours A fine extension of the faculties,
Which makes it fatal to be loved? Ah, why Platonic, universal, wonderful,
[skies, With cypress branches hast thou wreathed thy Drawn from the stars, and filter'd through the And made thy best interpreter a sigh? bowers, Without which life would be extremely dull; As those who dote on odors pluck the flowers, In short, it is the use of our own eyes,
And place them on their breast-but place to die
Are laid within our bosoms but to perish.
In all the others all she loves is love, In the same object graces quite as killing
Which grows a habit she can ne'er get over, As when she rose upon us like an Eve,
And fits her loosely-like an easy glove, 'Twould save us many a heartache, many a shilling, As you may find whene'er you like to prove her:
(For we must get them any how, or grieve,) One man alone at first her heart can move; Whereas, if one sole lady pleased for ever, She then prefers him in the plural number, How pleasant for the heart, as well as liver ! Not finding that the additions much encumber. CCXIV.
IV. The heart is like the sky, a part of heaven, I know not if the fault be men's or theirs ;
But changes night and day too, like the sky; But one thing's pretty sure; a woman planted, Now o'er it clouds and thunder must be driven, Unless at once she plunge for life in prayers,)
And darkness and destruction as on high ; [riven, After a decent time must be gallanted; But when it hath been scorch'd, and pierced, and Although, no doubt, her first of love affairs
Its storms expire in water-drops ; the eye Is that to which her heart is wholly granted ; Pours forth at last the heart's blood turn'd to tears, Yet there are some, they say, who have had notit, Which make the English climate of our years. But those who have ne'er end with only one. CCXV.
V. The liver is the lazaret of bile,
'Tis melancholy, and a fearful sign But very rarely executes its function,
of human frailty, folly, also crime, For the first passion stays there such a while, That love and marriage rarely can combine,
Wat all the rest creep in and form a junction, Although they both are born in the same clime; Like knots of vipers on a dunghill's soil, Marriage from love, like vinegar from wine
Rage, fear, hate, jealousy, revenge, compunction, A sad, sour, sober beverage—by time
Between their present and their future state; Two hundred and odd stanzas as before,
A kind of flattery that's hardly fair That being about the number I'll allow
Is used, until the truth arrives too lateEach canto of the twelve, or twenty-four ; Yet what can people do, except despair ?
And, laying down my pen; I make my bow, The same things change their names at such arabe Leaving Don Juan and Haidee, to plead
For instance-passion in a lover's glorious, For them and theirs with all who deign to read. But in a husband is pronounced uxorious.
XIV. Men grow ashamed of being so very fond : Let not his mode of raising cash seem strange, They sometimes also get a little tired,
Although he fleeced the flags of every nation, (But that, of course, is rare,) and then despond : For into a prime minister but change
The same things cannot always be admired, His title, and 'tis nothing but taxation; Yet 'tis “so nominated in the bond,"
But he, more modest, took an humbler range
Which forms, in fact, true love's antithesis ; By winds and waves, and some important captures,
Although a squall or two had damped his raptures For no one cares for matrimonial cooings. By swamping one of the prizes; he had chain'd
There's nothing wrong in a connubial kiss; His prisoners, dividing them like chapters, Think you, if Laura had teen Petrarch's wife, In number'd lots; they all had cuffs and collars, He would have written sonnets all his life? And averaged each from ten to a hundred dollars.
XVI. All tragedies are finish'd by a death,
Some he disposed of off Cape Matapan, All comedies are ended by a marriage;
Among his friends the Mainots; some he sold The future states of both are left to faith, To his Tunis correspondents, save one man
For authors fear description might disparage Toss'd overboard unsaleable, (being old ;) The worlds to come of both, or fall beneath, [riage, The rest—save here and there some richer one,
And then both worlds would punish their miscar- Reserved for future ransom in the hold, -
The merchandise was served in the same way, Hare sung of heaven and hell, or marriage, are, Pieced out for different marts in the Levant, Dante and Milton, and of both the affection Except some certain portions of the prey,
Was hapless in their nuptials, for some bar Light classic articles of female want, Of fault or temper ruin'd the connexion,
French stuffs, lace, tweezers, toothpicks, teapot, tray, (Such things, in fact, it don't ask much to mar ;) Guitars and castanets from Alicant, But Dante's Beatrice and Milton's Eve
All which selected from the spoil he gathers, Were not drawn from their spouses, you conceive. Robb’d for his daughter by the best of fathers. XI.
Two parrots, with a Persian cat and kittens,
A terrier too, which once had been a Briton's, Unless indeed 'twas from his own knowledge he Who dying on the coast of Ithica,
Decided thus, and show'd good reason why; The peasants gave the poor dumb thing a pittance I think that Dante's more abstruse ecstatics These to secure in this strong blowing weather, Meant to personify the mathematics.
He caged in one huge hamper altogether.
Then having settled his marine affairs,
His vessel having need of some repairs,
The book which treats of this erroneous pair, But that part of the coast being shoal and bare, Before the consequences grow too awful
And rough with reefs which ran out many a mile, 'Tis dangerous to read of loves unlawful.
His port lay on the other side o' the isle.
Having no custom-house or quarantine
About the time and place where he had been;
With orders to the people to careen ;
\In getting out goods, ballast, guns, and treasure.
XXVIII. Arriving at the summit of a hill
And as the spot where they appear he nears Which overlook'd the white walls of his home, Surprised at these unwonted signs of idling, He stopp'd.—What singular emotions fill He hears-alas! no music of the spheres,
Their bosoms who have been induced to roam ! But an unhallow'd, earthly sound of fiddling! With fluttering doubts if all be well or ill- A melody which made him doubt his ears,
With love for many, and with fears for some; The cause being past his guessing or unriddling; All feelings which o'erleap the years long lost, A pipe too and a drum, and, shortly after, And bring our hearts back to their starting-post. A most unoriental roar of laughter. XXII.
XXIX. The approach of home to husbands and to sires, And still more nearly to the place advancing, After long travelling by land or water,
Descending rather quickly the declivity, Most naturally some small doubt inspires- Through the waved branches, o'er the greensward A female family's a serious matter;
'Midst other indications of festivity, [glancing, (None trusts the sex more, or so much admires, Seeing a troop of his domestics dancing
But they hate flattery, so I never flatter ;) Like dervises, who turn as on a pivot, he Wives in their husbands' absences grow subtler, Perceived it was the Pyrrhic dance so martial, And daughters sometimes run off with the butler. To which the Levantines are very partial.
And further on a group of Grecian girls, May not have the good fortune of Ulysses : The first and tallest her white kerchief waving, Not all lone matrons for their husbands mourn, Were strung together like a row of pearls;
Or show the same dislike to suitors' kisses ; Link'd hand in hand, and dancing; each too having The odds are that he finds a handsome urn Down her white neck long floating auburn curls
To his memory, and two or three young misses (The least of which would set ten poets raving,) Born to some friend, who holds his wife and riches, Their leader sang-and bounded to her song, And that his Argus bites him by-the breeches. With choral step and voice, the virgin throng. XXIV.
XXXI. If single, probably his plighted fair
And here, assembled cross-legg'd round their trays, Has in his absence wedded some rich miser ; Small social parties just begun to dine; But all the better, for the happy pair
Pilaus and meats of all sorts met the gaze, May quarrel, and the lady growing wiser,
And flasks of Samian and of Chian wine, He may resume his amatory care
And sherbet cooling in the porous vase; As cavalier servente, or despise her ;
Above them their dessert grew on its vine, And, that his sorrow may not be a dumb one, The orange and the pomegranate, nodding o'er, Writes odes on the inconstancy of woman Dropp'd in their laps, scarce pluck'd, their mellow
XXXII. And oh! ye gentlemen who have already A band of children, round a snow-white ram, Some chaste liason of the kind- I mean
There wreathe his venerable horns with flowers; An honest friendship for a married lady- While peaceful as if still an unwean'd lamb, The only thing of this sort ever seen
The patriarch of the flock all gently cowers To last-of all connexions the most steady, His sober head, majestically tame,
And the true Hymen (the first's but a screen)- Or eats from out the palm, or playful lowers Yet for all that keep not too long away;
His brow is if in act to butt, and then, I've known the absent wrong'd four times a day. Yielding to their small hands, draws back again XXVI.
XXXIII. Lambro, our sea-solicitor, who had
Their classical profiles, and glittering dresses, Much less experience of dry land than ocean, Their large black eyes, and soft seraphic cheeks, On seeing his own chimney smoke, felt glad ; Crimson as cleft pomegranates, their long tresses,
But not knowing metaphysics, had no notion The gesture which enchants, the eye that speaks, of the true reason of his not being sad,
The innocence which happy childhood blesses, Or that of any other strong emotion; [her, Made quite a picture of these little Greeks; He loved his child, and would have wept the loss of So that the philosophical beholder But knew the cause no more than a philosopher. Sigh'd for their sakes-that they should e'er gron
To a sedate gray circle of old smokers,
Of secret treasures found in hidden vales, The distant dog-bark; and perceived between Of wonderful replies from Arab jokers, The umbrage of the wood, so cool and dun, Of charms to make good gold and cure bad ails,
The moving figures and the sparkling sheen Of rocks bewitch'd that open to the knockers, Of arms, (in the East, all arm,) and various dyes Of magic ladies, who, by one sole act, Of color'd garbs, as bright as butterflies.
Transform'd their lords to beasts, (but that's a fact'
XLII. Here was no lack of innocent diversion
Advancing to the nearest dinner-tray, For the imagination or the senses,
Tapping the shoulder of the nighest guest, Song, dance, wine, music, stories from the Persian, With a peculiar smile, which, by the way. All pretty pastime in which no offence is;
Boded no good, whatever it express'd, But Lambro saw all these things with aversion, He ask'd the meaning of this holiday? Perceiving in his absence such expenses,
The vinous Greek to whom he had address'd Dreading that climax of all human ills,
His question, much too merry to divine
The questioner, fill'd up a glass of wine,
Over his shoulder, with a Bacchant air,
Presented the o'erflowing cup, and said, Is all that life allows the luckiest sinner;
“Talking's dry work, I have no time to spare." Pleasure (whene'er she sings, at least's) a siren, A second hiccup'd, “Our old master's dead,
That lures to flay alive the young beginner; You'd better ask our mistress, who's his heir." Lambro's reception at his people's banquet “Our mistress !"-quoth a third : “Our mistress ! Was such as fire accords to a wet blanket.
You mean our master-not the old, but new.” (pooh!
XLIV. He-being a man who seldom used a word These rascals, being new comers, knew not whom Too much, and wishing gladly to surprise
They thus address'd-and Lambro's visage felt(In general he surprised men with the sword) And o'er his eye a momentary gloom
His daughter-had not sent before to advise Pass'd, but he strove quite courteously to quell Of his arrival, so that no one stirr'd;
The expression, and, endeavoring to resume And long he paused to reassure his eyes,
His smile, requested one of them to tell In fact much more astonish'd than delighted, The name and quality of his new patron, To find so much good company invited.
Who seem'd to have turn'd Haidee into a matron. XXXVIII.
XLV. He did not know (alas ! how men will lie) “I know not,” quoth the fellow, “who or what That a report (especially the Greeks)
He is, nor whence he came-and little care; Avouch'd his death, (such people never die,) But this I know, that this roast capon's fat,
And put his house in mourning several weeks. And that good wine ne'er wash'd down better fare;
The bloom, too, had return'd to Haidee's cheek; Direct your questions to my neighbor there ;
Which turn'd the isle into a place of pleasure ; And certainly he show'd the best of breeding,
A life which made them happy beyond measure. E'er saw her most polite of sons exceeding; Her father's hospitality seem'd middling,
He bore these sneers against his near relations, Compared with what Haidee did with his treasure ; His own anxiety, his heart, too, bleeding, 'Twas wonderful how things went on improving, The insults, too, of every servile glutton, While she had not one hour to spare from loving. Who all the time was cating up his mutton.
To bid men come, and go, and come again, There was no mighty reason to be pleased ; To see his orders done, too, out of handPerhaps you prophecy some sudden act,
Whether the word was death, or but the chain. The whip, the rack, or dungeon at the least, It may seem strange to find his manners bland; To teach his people to be more exact,
Yet, such things are, which I cannot explain,
But never in his real and serious mood;
Then calm, concentrated, and still, and slow, You never could divine his real thought;
He lay coil'd like the boa in the wood; No courtier could, and scarcely woman can With him it never was a word and blow. Gird more deceit within a petticoat;
His angry word once o'er, he shed no blood, Pity he loved adventurous life's variety
But in his silence there was much to rue, He was so great a loss to good society
And his one blow left little work for two.
LVI. He ask'd no further questions, and proceeded Still o'er his mind the influence of the clime On to the house, but by a private way,
Shed its Ionian elegance, which show'd So that the few who met him hardly heeded, Its power unconsciously full many a time,So little they expected him that day;
A taste seen in the choice of his abode, If love paternal in his bosom pleaded
A love of music and of scenes sublime, For Haidee's sake, more than I can say, A pleasure in the gentle stream that flowd But certainly to one, deem'd dead, returning, Past him in crystals, and a joy in flowers, This revel seem'd a curious mode of mourning. Bedew'd his spirit in his calmer hours. L.
LVII. If all the dead could now return to life,
But whatsoe'er he had of love, reposed (Which God forbid !) or some, or a great many; On that beloved daughter; she had been For instance, if a husband or his wife,
The only thing which kept his heart unclosed (Nuptial examples are as good as any)
Amidst the savage deeds he had done and seen, No doubt whate'er might be their former strife, A lonely pure affection unopposed :
The present weather would be much more rainy There wanted but the loss of this to wean Tears shed into the grave of the connexion His feelings from all milk of human kindness, Would share most probably its resurrection. And turn him, like the Cyclops, mad with blindness LI.
A thing to human feelings the most trying, Is dreadful to the shepherd and the flock; And harder for the heart to overcome
The ocean when its yeasty war is waging Perhaps, than even the mental pangs of dying ; Is awful to the vessel near the rock : To find our hearthstone turn'd into a tomb, But violent things will sooner bear assuaging,
And round its once warm precincts palely lying Their fury being spent by its own shockThe ashes of our hopes, is a deep grief,
Than the stern, single, deep, and worldless ire Beyond a single gentleman's belief.
Of a strong human heart, and in a sire.
For without hearts there is no home and felt To find our children running restive-they The solitude of passing his own door
In whom our brightest days we would retrace, Without a welcome; there he long had dwelt, Our little selves reformed in finer clay; There his few peaceful days Time had swept o'er, Just as old age is creeping on apace,
There his worn bosom and keen eye would melt And clouds come o'er the sunset of our day, Over the innocence of that sweet child,
They kindly leave us, though not quite alone, His only shrine of feelings undefiled.
But in good company—the gout or stone.
Of mild demeanor though of savage mood, (Provided they don't come in after dinner :) Moderate in all his habits, and content
"Tis beautiful to see a matron bring With temperance in pleasure, as in food,
Her children up, (if nursing them don't thin her;) Quick to perceive, and strong to bear, and meant Like cherubs round an altar-piece they cling
For something better, if not wholly good; To the fireside, (a sight to touch a sinner :)
And stood within his hall at eventide ;
At wassail in their beauty and their pride : The sights he was accustom'd to behold,
An ivory inlaid table spread with state The wild seas and wild men with whom he cruised, Before them, and fair slaves on every side ; Had cost his enemies a long repentance,
Gems, gold, and silver, form'd the service mostly,
Lamb and pistachio-nuts-in short, all meats, Such as lit onward to the golden fleece
And saffron soups, and sweetbreads; and the fiske His predecessors in the Colchian days :
Were of the finest that e'er flounced in nets, Tis true he had no ardent love for peace; Dress'd to a Sybarite's most pamper'd wishes ; Alas! his country show'd no path to praise : The beverage was various sherbets flate to the world and war with every nation of raisin, orange, and pomegranate juice, (use. He waged, in rengeance of her degredation. 'Squeezed through the rind which makes it best for