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Because he runs before it like a pig;
Say, that he scuds before it like a brig,
This Canto, ere my Muse perceives fatigue. The next shall ring a peal to shake all people, Like a bob-major from a village steeple.
Hark! through the silence of the cold, dull night,
The hum of armies gathering rank on rank ! Lol dusky masses steal in dubious sight
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 !
Here 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.
DON JUA N.
CANTO THE EIGHTH. (1)
(1) [This Canto is almost entirely filled with the taking of Ismail by storm. It would be absurd to attempt, in prose, even a feeble outline of the varied horrors which marked that celebrated scene of ruthless and indiscriminate carnage; the noble writer has depicted them with all that vivid and appalling fidelity, which, on such a theme, might be expected from his powerful muse; and, if any thing can add to the shuddering sensation we experience in reading these terrific details, it is the consideration, that poetry, in this instance, instead of dealing in fiction, must necessarily relate a tale that falls short of the truth. - CAMPBELL.]
DON JU A N.
CANTO THE EIGHTH.
Oh 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
At present such things, since they are her theme, So be they her inspirers! Call them Mars, Bellona, what you will — they mean but wars.
All was prepared — the fire, the sword, the men
To wield them in their terrible array. The army, like a lion from his den,
March'd forth with nerve and sinews bent to slay, A 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.