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The Turkish fire; and, aided by their own
great precision: At length they found mere capuopade alone By no ineaps would produce the town's submission,
And made a signal to retreat at one.
But when they saw the enemy retire,
And gall'd the Russians with a heavy fire,
But here the effect fell short of their desire : Count Damas drove them back into the water Pell-mell, and with a whole gazette of slaughter.
II. « If» (says the historian here) «I could report All that the Russians did
upon I think that several volumes would fall short,
And I should still have many things to say ;» And so he says no more-but pays his court
To some distinguish'd strangers in that fray,
For out of three « preux chevaliers,» how
That such existed ? (and they may live now
There's fortune even in fame, we must allow.
As gallantly as ever heroes fought,
Their names are seldom found, nor often sought. Thus even good fame may suffer sad contractions,
And is extinguished sooner than she ought:
Show'd that somewhere, somehow, there was a fault; And Admiral Ribas (known in Russian story)
Most strongly recommended an assault;
Which made a long debate:—but I must halt;
Not that his manhood could be called in question, For, had he not been Hercules, his span
Had been as short in youth as indigestion Made his last illness, when, all worn and wan,
He died bencath a tree, as much unbless'd on The soil of the green province he had wasted, As e'er was locust on the land it blasted;
When homicide and harlotry made great,
His glory might half equal his estate.
A kind of phantasy proportionate
A courier to the prince, and he succeeded
I cannot tell the way in which he pleaded, But shortly he had cause to be content.
la the mean time the batteries proceeded, And fourscore cannon on the Danube's border Were briskly fired, and answerd in due order.
Of the troops were embark'd, llac siege to raise,
Into all panters for newspaper praise, As well as dilettanti in war's art,
By his dispatches couch'd in pithy phrase,
Was worthy of a Spartan, had the cause
Defence of freedom, country, or of laws ;
With his proud brow, it merits slight applause,
XLI. « Let there be light!» said God, « and there was light!»
« Let there be blood !» says man, and there's a sea! The fiat of this spoild child of the night
(For day ne'er saw his merits) could decree More evil in an hour, than thirty bright
Summers could renovate, though they should be
Began to signalize the Russ retreat,
In thinking that their chemy is beat
I never think about it in a heat);
In sight two horsemen, who were deem'd Cossacks For some time, till they came in nearer view.
They had but little baggage at their backs,
But on they rode upon iwo Ukraine hacks,
XLIV. « Great joy to London now !» says some great fool,
When London had a grand illumination,
Is of all dreams the first hallucination;
That sage (said Jolin) surrenders at discretion
and even his nonsense, To gratify, like a huge moth, this one sense.
XLV. 'T is strange that he should further « damn lois eyes,»
For they are damn'd: that ouce all-famous oath Is to the devil now no further prize,
Since John has lately lost the use of both. Debt he calls wealth, and taxes, paradise :
And famine, with her gauut and bony growth,
To Russian, Tartar, English, French, Cossack,
Presaging a most luminous attack ;
Which leads beholders on a bogey walk,
There was enthusiasm and much applause,
And all presaged food fortune to their cause. Within a cannon-sliot length of the place
They drew, constructed ladders, repair'd tlaws In former works, made new, prepared fascines, And all kinds of benevolent machines.
XLVIII. 'Tis thus the spirit of a single mind
Makes that of multitudes take one direction, As roll the waters to the breathing wind,
Or roams the herd beneath the bul's protection : Or as a little dog will lead the blind,
Or a bell-wether form the flock's connexion
That they were going to a marriage-feast (This metaphor, I think, holds good as aught,
Since there is discord after both at least),
Danger and spoil with ardour much increased ;
Was made with all alacrity; the first
And waited but the signal's voice to burst
Was also in three columns, with a thirst
A general council, in which unanimity,
As sometimes happens in a great extremity;
Glory began to dawn with due sublimity :
In-chief, in proper person, deignd to drill
His time, a corporal's duties to fulfil: Just as you a break a sucking salamander
To swallow fame, and never take it ill; le shows them how to mount a ladder (which Was not like Jacob's) or to cross a ditch.
LIII. Also he dressid
ир, for the nonce, fascines Like meo, with turbans, scimitars, and dirks, And made them charge with bayonets these machines,
By way of lesson against actual Turks;
lle judged them proper to assail the works; At which
your wise meo sneerd, in phrases witty: lle made no answer; but he took the city.
Of the assault, and all the camp was in
Yet men, resolved to dash through thick and thin, Are very silent when they once believe
That all is settled :--there was little din, For some were thinking of their home and friends, And others of themselves and latter ends.
LV. Suwarrow chietly was on the alert,
Surveying, drilling, ordering, jesting, pondering : For the man was, we safely may assert,
A thing to wonder at beyond most wondering; Hero, buffoon, half-clemon, and half-dirt,
Praying, instructing, desolating, blundering i
Had met a party towards the twilight's fall, One of whom spokr their tongue, or well or ill
"T was much that he was understood at all; But wlicther from his voice, or speech, or mander, They found that be had fought beneath their banner.
LVU. Whereon, immediately at his request,
They brought him and his comrades to liead-quarters Their dress was Moslem, but you might have guess i
That these were merely masquerading Tartars, And that beneath each Turkislı-fashion'd vest
Lurkil Christianity; who sometimes barters Der inward grace for outward slow, and makes It difficult to shun some strange mistakes.
LXV. Suwarrow, who was standing in his shirt,
Johnson, who knew by this long colloquy Before a company of Calmucks, drilling,
Himself a favourite, ventured to address Exclaiming, fooling, swearing at the inert,
Suwarrow, though engaged with accents high And lecturing on the noble art of killing,–
In his resumed amusement. « I confess For, deeming human clay but common dirt,
My debt in being thus allow'd to die This great philosopher was thus instilling
Among the foremost; but if you 'd express
And self would know what duty to attend.»—
« Right! I was busy, and forgot. Why, you Of Cossacks and their prey, turn'd round and cast
Will join your former regiment, which should be Upon them his slow brow and piercing eye :
Now under arms. Ho! Katskoff, take him to« Whence come ye ?»- « From Constantinople last,
(Here he calld up a Polish orderly) Captives just now escaped,» was the reply.
His post, I mean the regiment Nikolaiew. « What are ye ?»-« What you see us.» Brietly past
The stranger stripling may remain with me; This dialogue; for he who answer'd knew
He's a fine boy. The women may be sent
To the other baggage, or to the sick tent.»
But here a sort of scene began to ensue :
The ladies,—who by no means had been bred Is neither man nor woman.» The chief threw on To be disposed of in a way so new,
The party a slight glance, then said: « I have heard Although their harem education led Your name before, the second is a new one;
Doubtless to that of doctrines the most true, To bring the other three here was absurd;
Passive obedience, now raised up the head, But let that pass;—I think I've heard your name With flashing eyes and starting tears, and flung In the Nikolaiew regiment ?»- « The same.»— Their arms, as hens their wings about their young, LXI.
LXVIII. «You served at Widin?»— «Yes.»— «You led the attack?» O'er the promoted couple of brave men
« I did.»—«What next?»--«I really hardly know.» Who were thus honour'd by the greatest chief « You were the first i the breach ?»—«I was not slack, That ever peopled hell with heroes slain, At least, to follow those who might be so.»
Or plunged a province or a realm in grief. «What follow'd ?»—« A shot laid me on my back, Oh, foolish mortals! always taught in vain! And I became a prisoner to the foe.»
Oh, glorious laurel! since for one sole leaf « You shall have vengeance, for the town surrounded
Of thine imaginary deathless tree,
know You like to be the hope of the forlorn,
And not much sympathy for blood, survey'd
The women with their hair about their ears
And natural agonies with a slight shade
Of feeling: for, however habit sears He with the beardless chin and garments torn.»—
Men's hearts against whole millions, when their trade
Is butchery, sometimes a single sorrow « Why, general, if he hath no greater fault
Will touch even heroes--and such was Suwarrow. In war than love, he had better lead the assault.»— LXIII.
LXX. « He shall, if that he dare.» Here Juan bow'd He said—and in the kindest Calmuck toneLow as the compliment deserved. Suwarrow
« Why, Johnson, what the devil do you mean Continued : « Your old regiment 's allowa,
By bringing women here? They shall be shown By special providence, to lead to-morrow,
All the attention possible, and seen Or it may be to-night, the assault : I've vow'd
In safety to the waggons, where alone To several saints, that shortly plough or barrow In fact they can be safe. You should have been Shall pass o'er what was Ismail
, and its tusk
Aware this kind of baggage never thrives :
Save wed a year, I hate recruits with wives. »
Our British friend, « these are the wives of others, Until each high, heroic bosom burn'd
And pot our own. I am too qualified
By service with my military brothers,
All earthly goods save tithes) and bade them push on Into a camp; I know that nought so bothers
The hearts of the heroic on a charge, The armies of the Christian Empress Catherine. As leaving a small family at large.
LXXIX. « But these are but two Turkislı ladies, who
Oh, thou eternal llomer! who couldst charm With their attendant aided our escape,
All ears, though long,—all ages, though so short, And afterwards accompanied us through
By merely wielding with poetic arm A thousand perils in this dubious shape.
Arms to whiclı men will never more resort, To me this kind of life is not so new,
Unless gunpowder should be found to harm To them, poor things! it is an awkward step;
Much less than is the hope of every court,
Which now is leagued young Freedom to annoy;-
To paint a siege, wherein more men were slain, Their own protectors; nor was their surprise
With deadlier engines and a speedier blow, Less than their grief (and truly not less just)
Than in thy Greek gazette of that campaign; To see an old man, rather wild than wise
And yet, like all men else, I must allow, In aspect, plainly clad, besmeard with dust,
To vie with thee would be abont as vain Stript to his waistcoat, and that not too clean,
As for a brook to cope with ocean's flood;
But still we moderns equal you in blood-
If not in poetry, at least in fact; As they could read in all eyes. Now, to them,
And fict is truth, the grand desideratum' Who were accustom'd, as a sort of god,
Of which, howe'er the Muse describes each act, To see the sultan, rich in many a gem,
There should be, ne'ertheless, a slight substratum. Like an imperial peacock stalk abroad
But now the town is going to be attackil; (That royal bird, whose tail's a diadem),
Great deeds are doing-how shall I relate 'em? With all the
Souls of immortal generals! Phæbus watches llow power could condescend to do without.
from your dispatches. LXIV.
LXXXII. John Johnson, sccing their extreme dismay
Oh, ye great bulletins of Bonaparte! Though little versed in feelings oriental,
Ob, ye less grand long lists of kill'd and wounded: Suggested some slight comfort in his way.
Shade of Leonidas! who fought so hearty, Don Juan, who was much more sentimental,
Greece was once, as now, surrounded!
Shadows of glory! (lest I be confounded)
So beautiful, so fleeting, to the Muse.
I mean, that every age and every year,
And almost every day, in sad reality, What sages call Chance. Providence, or Fate
Some sucking hero is compellid to rear, (Uncertainty is one of many blisses,
Who, when we come in sum up the totality A mortgage on Humanity's estate)
Of deeds to human happiness most dear, While their beloved friends began to arm,
Turns out to be a butcher in great business,
Afllicting young folks with a sort of dizziness.
Medals, ranks, riband Jace, embroidery, scarlet, Being much too gross to see them in detail;
Are things immortal to immortal man, Who calculated life as so much dross,
As purple to the Babylonian harlot: And as the wind a widow'd nation's wail,
An uniform to boys is like a fan And cared as little for his army's loss
To women; there is scarce a crimson varlet (So that their efforts should at length prevail)
But deems himself the first in glory's vau. As wife and friends did for the boils of Job:
But glory's glory; and if you would find
What that is-ask the pig who sees the wind!
At least he feels it, and some say he sees, In preparations for a cannonade
Because he runs before it like a pig; As terrible as that of Ilion,
Or, if that simple sentence should displease, If Blomer had found mortars ready made;
Say that hie scuds before it like a brig, But now, instead of slaving Prian's son,
A schooner, or- but it is time to ease We only can but talk of escalade,
This Canto, cre my Muse perceives fatigue. Bombsdrums, guns, bastions, batteries, bayonets, bullets, The next shall riga peal to sbake all people, Hard words which slick in the soft Muses gullets. Like a bob-major from a village-stecple.
When my poor
The hum of armies gathering rank on rank !
Along the leaguer'd wall and bristling bank Of the arm'd river, while with straggling light
The stars peep through the vapours dim and dank, Which curl in curious wreaths-How soon the smoke Of hell shall pall them in a deeper cloak!
LXXXVII. llere pause we for the present--as even then
That awful pause, dividing life from death, Struck for an instant on the hearts of men,
Thousands of whom were drawing their last breath! A moment-and all will be life again!
The march! the charge! the shouts of either faith! Hurra! and Allah! and-one moment moreThe death-cry drowning in the battle's roar.
1. Ou blood and thunder! and oh blood and wounds!
These are but vulgar oaths, as you may deem, Too gentle reader! and most shocking sounds :
And so they are; yet thus is Glory's dream Unriddled, and as my true Muse expounds
Al present such things, since they are her theme,
To wield them in their terrible array.
like a lion from his deu, Marchi'd forth with nerve and sinews bent to slayA human Hydra, issuing from its fen
To breathe destruction on its winding way, Whose heads were heroes, which, cut off in vain, Immediately in others grew again.
But could we know them in detail, perchance
War's merit il by no means might enhance,
As hath been done, mere conquest to advance.
Whereas the other, after all its glare,
Which (it may be) has not much left to spareA higher title, or a loftier station,
Though they may make corruption gape or stare, Yet, in the end, except in freedom's battles, Are nothing but a child of murder's rattles.
Not so Leonidas and Washington,
Which breathes of nations saved, not worlds undone. How sweetly on the ear such echoes sound!
While the mere victor's may appal or stun
Nought to be seen save the artillery's Name,
And in the Danube's waters shone the same,
Long booming of each peal on peal, o'ercame
Beyond the Russian batteries a few toises,
Answering the christian thunders with like voices; Then one vast fire, air, earth, and stream embraced,
Which rock'd as 't were beneath the mighty noises;
In the same moment, loud as even the roar
Hurling defiance: city, stream, and shore Resounded « Allah!» and the clouds, which close
With thickening canopy the conflict o'er,
But, of the portion which attack d by water,
Though led by Arseniew, that great son of slaughter, As brave as ever faced both bomb and ball. « Carnage (so Wordsworth tells you) is God's
Count Chapeau-Bras too bad a ball belween
Aristocratic as was ever seen, Because it then received no injury
More than the cap; in fact the ball could mean
Insisting on removal of the prince,
All common fellows, who might writhe and wince And shriek for water into a deaf ear,
The General Markow, who could thus evince