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CXXVI.

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.

CXXVII.

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.
The horrid war-whoop and the shriller scream

Rose still; but fainter were the thunders grown:
Of forty thousand who had manned the wall,
Some hundreds breathed—the rest were silent all!

CXXVIII.

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:
The topic's tender, so shall be my phrase-

Perhaps the season's chill, and their long station
In winter's depth, or want of rest and victual,
Had made them chaste—they ravish'd very

little.

CXXIX.

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.

CXXX.

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.

CXXXI.

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.

CXXXII.

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;
But whether they escaped or no, lies hid
In darkness—I can only hope they did.

CXXXIII.

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

CXXXIV.

or

Methinks these are the most tremendous words,

Since « Menè, Menė, Tekel,» and « Upharsin,» Which hands

pens

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
The fate of nations;—but this Russ so witty
Could rhyme, like Nero, o'er a burning city.

CXXXV.

He wrote this polar melody and set it,

Duly accompanied by shrieks and groans,
Which few will sing, I trust, but none forget it-

For I will teach if possible the stones
To rise against earth's tyrants. Never let it

Be said, that we still truckle unto thrones;-
But ye-our children's children! think how we
Show'd what things were before the world was free!

CXXXVI.

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

gore.

CXXXVII.

And when you hear historians talk of thrones,

And those that sate upon them, let it be
As we now gaze upon the mammoth's bones,

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.

CXXXVIII.

Reader! I have kept my word,—at least so far

As the first canto promised. You have now
Had sketches of love, tempest, travel, war-

All very accurate, you must allow,
And epic, if plain truth should prove no bar;

For 1 have drawn much less with a long bow
Than my fore-runners. Carelessly I sing,
But Phæbus lends me now and then a string,

CXXXIX.

With which I still can harp, and carp, and fiddle.

What further bath befallen or may befal
The hero of this grand poetic riddle,

I by and bye may tell you, if at all:
But now I choose to break off in the middle,

Worn out with battering Ismail's stubborn wall,0
While Juan is sent off with the dispatch,
For which all Petersburgh is on the watch.

CXL.

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.
His little captive gained him some applause,

For saving her amidst the wild insanity
Of carnage; and I think he was more glad in her
Safety than his new order of St Vladimir.

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