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But still there is unto a patriot nation,
Which loves so well its country and its king, A subject of sublimest exultation
Bear it, ye muses, on your brightest wing! Howe'er the mighty locust, desolation,
Strip your green fields, and to your harvests cling, Gaunt famine never shall approach the throneThough Ireland starve, great George weighs twenty stone.
But let me put an end unto my
theme: There was an end of Ismail-hapless town! Far flash'd her burning towers o'er Danube's stream,
And redly ran his blushing waters down.
Rose still; but fainter were the thunders grown:
In one thing ne'ertheless 't is fit to praise
The Russian army upon this occasion, , A virtue much in fashion now-a-days,
And therefore worthy of commemoration:
Perhaps the season's chill, and their long station
Much did they slay, more plunder, and no less
Might here and there occur some violation In the other line;—but not to such excess
As when the French, that dissipated nation, Take towns by storm: no causes can I guess,
Except cold weather and commiseration; But all the ladies, save some twenty score, Were almost as much virgins as before.
Some odd mistakes too happen'd in the dark,
Which shew'd a want of lanthorns, or of tasteIndeed the smoke was such they scarce could mark
Their friends from foes,-besides such things from haste Occur, though rarely when there is a spark
Of light to save the venerably chaste:But six old damsels, each of seventy years, Were all deflower'd by different grenadiers.
But on the whole their continence was great;
So that some disappointment there ensued To those who had felt the inconvenient state
Of « single blessedness,» and thought it good, (Since it was not their fault, but only fate,
To bear these crosses) for each waning prude To make a Roman sort of Sabine wedding, Without the expense and the suspense of bedding.
Some voices of the buxom middle-aged
Were also heard to wonder in the din (Widows of forty were these birds long caged)
«Wherefore the ravishing did not begin!» But while the thirst for gore and plunder raged,
There was small leisure for superfluous sin;
Suwarrow now was conqueror
-a match For Timour or for Zinghis in his trade. While mosques and streets, beneath his eyes, like thatch
Blazed, and the cannon's roar was scarce allayed, With bloody hands he wrote his first dispatch;
And here exactly follows what he said: « Glory to God and to the Empress!» (Powers Eternal! such names mingled!) «Ismail's ours !»9
Methinks these are the most tremendous words,
Since « Menè, Menė, Tekel,» and « Upharsin,» Which hands
have ever traced of swords. Heaven help me! I 'm but little of a parson : What Daniel read was short-hand of the Lord's,
Severe, sublime; the prophet wrote no farce on
He wrote this polar melody and set it,
Duly accompanied by shrieks and groans,
For I will teach if possible the stones
Be said, that we still truckle unto thrones;-
That hour is not for us, but 't is for you,
And as, in the great joy of your millennium, You hardly will believe such things were true
As now occur, I thought that I would pen you 'em; But may their very memory perish too!
Yet if perchance remember'd, still disdain you 'em More than you scorn the savages of yore, Who painted their bare limbs, but not with
And when you hear historians talk of thrones,
And those that sate upon them, let it be
And wonder what old world such things could see, Or hieroglyphics on Egyptian stones,
The pleasant riddles of futurityGuessing at what shall happily be hid As the real purpose of a pyramid.
Reader! I have kept my word,—at least so far
As the first canto promised. You have now
All very accurate, you must allow,
For 1 have drawn much less with a long bow
With which I still can harp, and carp, and fiddle.
What further bath befallen or may befal
I by and bye may tell you, if at all:
Worn out with battering Ismail's stubborn wall,0
This special honour was conferred, because
He had behaved with courage and humanity :Which last, men like, when they have time to pause
From their ferocities produced by vanity.
For saving her amidst the wild insanity