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LXXVIII. Another column also suffer'd much :

And here we may remark with the historian, You should but give few cartridges to such

Troops as are meant to march with greatest glory on: When matters must be carried by the touch

Of the bright bayonet, and they all should hurry on, They sometimes, with a hankering for existence, Keep merely firing at a foolish distance. (1)


A junction of the General Meknop's men

(Without the General, who had fallen some time Before, being badly seconded just then)

Was made at length with those who dared to climb The death-disgorging rampart once again ;

And though the Turk's resistance was sublime, They took the bastion, which the Seraskier Defended at a price extremely dear.(?)

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(1) “ L'autre partie des Kozaks, qu'Orlow commandait, souffrit de la manière la plus cruelle : elle attaqua à maintes reprises, fut souvent repoussée, et perdit les deux tiers de son monde. Et c'est ici le lieu de placer une observation, que nous prenons dans les mémoires qui nous guident; elle fait remarquer combien il est mal vu de donner beaucoup de cartouches aux soldats qui doivent emporter un poste de vive force, et par conséquent où la baïonnette doit principalement agir; ils pensent ne devoir se servir de cette dernière arme, que lorsque les cartouches sont épuisées : dans cette persuasion, ils retardent leur marche, et restent plus long-temps exposés au canon et à la mitraille de l'ennemi.” - Hist. de la N. R. p. 214.]

(2) [“ La jonction de la colonne de Meknop – (le général étant mal secondé fut tué) - s'étant effectuée avec celle qui l'avoisinait, ces colonnes attaquèrent un bastion, et éprouvèrent un résistance opiniâtre; mais bientôt des cris de victoire se font entendre de toutes parts, et le bastion est emporté ; le séraskier défendait cette partie." - Ibid. p. 214.]


Juan and Johnson, and some volunteers

Among the foremost, offer'd him good quarter, A word which little suits with Seraskiers,

Or at least suited not this valiant Tartar. He died, deserving well his country's tears,

A savage sort of military martyr. An English naval officer, who wish'd To make him prisoner, was also dish'd:

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For all the answer to his proposition

Was from a pistol-shot that laid him dead ;(1) On which the rest, without more intermission,

Began to lay about with steel and leadThe pious metals most in requisition

On such occasions : not a single head Was spared;-three thousand Moslems perish'd here, And sixteen bayonets pierced the Seraskier. (2)


The city's taken-only part by part

And Death is drunk with gore: there's not a street Where fights not to the last some desperate heart

For those for whom it soon shall cease to beat. (3)

(1) [...“un officier de marine anglais, veut le faire prisonnier, et reçoit un coup de pistolet qui l'étend roide mort.” – Hist. de la N.R. p. 214.]

(2) [“ Les Russes passent trois mille Turcs au fil de l'épće; seize baïon. nettes percent à la fois le séraskier.". Ibid. p. 214.]

(3) [" La ville est emportée; l'image de la mort et de la destruction se représente de tous les côtés ; le soldat furieux n'écoute plus la voix de ses officiers, il ne respire que le carnage; altéré de sang, tout est indifferent pour lui." - Ibid. p. 214.]

Here War forgot his own destructive art

In more destroying Nature; and the heat Of carnage, like the Nile's sun-sodden slime, Engender'd monstrous shapes of every crime.


A Russian officer, in martial tread

Over a heap of bodies, felt his heel
Seized fast, as if 't were by the serpent's head

Whose fangs Eve taught her human seed to feel : In vain he kick'd, and swore, and writhed, and bled,

And howlid for help as wolves do for a meal — The teeth still kept their gratifying hold, As do the subtle snakes described of old.

A dying Moslem, who had felt the foot

Of a foe o'er him, snatch'd at it, and bit

tendon which is most acute (That which some ancient Muse or modern wit Named after thee, Achilles) and quite through't

He made the teeth meet, nor relinquish'd it Even with his life--for (but they lie) 't is said To the live leg still clung the sever'd head.

However this may be, 'tis pretty sure

The Russian officer for life was lamed,
For the Turk's teeth stuck faster than a skewer,

And left him 'midst the invalid and maim'd:

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The regimental surgeon could not cure

His patient, and perhaps was to be blamed More than the head of the inveterate foe, Which was cut off, and scarce even then let go.


But then the fact 's a fact- and 't is the part

Of a true poet to escape from fiction Whene'er he can ; for there is little art

In leaving verse more free from the restriction
Of truth than prose, unless to suit the mart

For what is sometimes call'd poetic diction,
And that outrageous appetite for lies
Which Satan angles with for souls, like flies.


The city's taken, but not render'd !--No!

There's not a Moslem that hath yielded sword: The blood may gush out, as the Danube's flow

Rolls by the city wall ; but deed nor word
Acknowledge aught of dread of death or foe:

In vain the yell of victory is roar'd
By the advancing Muscovite— the groan
Of the last foe is echoed by his own.

The bayonet pierces and the sabre cleaves,
And human lives are lavish'd


where, As the

closing whirls the scarlet leaves When the stripp'd forest bows to the bleak air, And groans; and thus the peopled city grieves,


Shorn of its best and loveliest, and left bare; But still it falls with vast and awful splinters, As oaks blown down with all their thousand winters.


It is an awful topic - but 'tis not

My cue for any time to be terrific: For checker'd as is seen our human lot

With good, and bad, and worse, alike prolific
Of melancholy merriment, to quote

Too much of one sort would be soporific;-
Without, or with, offence to friends or foes,
I sketch your world exactly as it goes.


And one good action in the midst of crimes

Is " quite refreshing," in the affected phrase Of these ambrosial, Pharisaic times,

With all their pretty milk-and-water ways, And may serve therefore to bedew these rhymes,

A little scorch'd at present with the blaze Of conquest and its consequences, which Make epic poesy so rare and rich.


Upon a taken bastion, where there lay

Thousands of slaughter'd men, a yet warm group Of murder'd women, who had found their way

To this vain refuge, made the good heart droop

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