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A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping, Dirty and dusky, but as wide as eye

Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping
In sight, then lost amidst the forestry

Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping
On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy;
A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown
On a fool's head-and there is London Town!


(Don Juan, Canto i. Stanzas 123-127).

'TIS sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near home; 'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark

Our coming, and look brighter when we come ;

'Tis sweet to be awaken'd by the lark,

Or lull'd by falling waters; sweet the hum Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds, The lisp of children, and their earliest words.

Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes
In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth
Purple and gushing: sweet are our escapes

From civic revelry to rural mirth;

Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps,
Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth,
Sweet is revenge-especially to women,
Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen.

Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet

The unexpected death of some old lady Or gentleman of seventy years complete,

Who've made "us youth" wait too-too long already For an estate, or cash, or country-seat,

Still breaking, but with stamina so steady,
That all the Israelites are fit to mob its
Next owner for their double-damn'd post-obits.

'Tis sweet to win, no matter how, one's laurels,
By blood or ink; 'tis sweet to put an end
To strife; 'tis sometimes sweet to have our quarrels,
Particularly with a tiresome friend :

Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels ;

Dear is the helpless creature we defend Against the world; and dear the schoolboy spot We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot.

But sweeter still, than this, than these, than all,
Is first and passionate love-it stands alone,

Like Adam's recollection of his fall;

The tree of knowledge has been pluck'd-all's knownAnd life yields nothing further to recall

Worthy of this ambrosial sin, so shown,

No doubt in fable, as the unforgiven

Fire which Prometheus filch'd for us from heaven.


(DON JUAN, Canto iii. Stanzas 27, 29-41.)

He saw his white walls shining in the sun,
His garden trees all shadowy and green;
He heard his rivulet's light bubbling run,
The distant dog-bark; and perceived between
The umbrage of the wood so cool and dun

The moving figures, and the sparkling sheen
Of arms (in the East all arm)—and various dyes
Of colour'd garbs, as bright as butterflies.

And still more nearly to the place advancing,
Descending rather quickly the declivity,

Through the waved branches, o'er the greensward glancing,

'Midst other indications of festivity, Seeing a troop of his domestics dancing

Like dervises, who turn as on a pivot, he Perceived it was the Pyrrhic dance so martial, To which the Levantines are very partial.

And further on a group of Grecian girls,

The first and tallest her white kerchief waving, Were strung together like a row of pearls,

Link'd hand in hand, and dancing; each too having Down her white neck long floating auburn curls— (The least of which would set ten poets raving); Their leader sang-and bounded to her song, With choral step and voice, the virgin throng.

And here, assembled cross-legg'd round their trays,
Small social parties just begun to dine;
Pilaus and meats of all sorts met the gaze,
And flasks of Samian and of Chian wine,
And sherbet cooling in the porous vase;

Above them their dessert grew on its vine,
The orange and pomegranate nodding o'er,
Dropp'd in their laps, scarce pluck'd, their mellow store.

A band of children, round a snow-white ram,
There wreathe his venerable horns with flowers;
While peaceful, as if still an unwean'd lamb,
The patriarch of the flock all gently cowers
His sober head, majestically tame,

Or eats from out the palm, or playful lowers
His brow, as if in act to butt, and then
Yielding to their small hands, draws back again.

Their classic profiles, and glittering dresses,

Their large black eyes, and soft seraphic cheeks, Crimson as cleft pomegranates, their long tresses, The gesture which enchants, the eye that speaks, The innocence which happy childhood blesses,

Made quite a picture of these little Greeks; So that the philosophical beholder

Sigh'd, for their sakes-that they should e'er grow older.

Afar, a dwarf buffoon stood telling tales
To a sedate grey circle of old smokers
Of secret treasures found in hidden vales,
Of wonderful replies from Arab jokers,
Of charms to make good gold and cure bad ails,
Of rocks bewitch'd that open to the knockers,

Of magic ladies who, by one sole act,

Transform'd their lords to beasts (but that's a fact).

Here was no lack of innocent diversion
For the imagination or the senses,

Song, dance, wine, music, stories from the Persian,
All pretty pastimes in which no offence is ;
But Lambro saw all these things with aversion,
Perceiving in his absence such expenses,
Dreading that climax of all human ills,
The inflammation of his weekly bills.

Ah! what is man? what perils still environ
The happiest mortals even after dinner—
A day of gold from out an age of iron

Is all that life allows the luckiest sinner;
Pleasure (whene'er she sings, at least) 's a siren,
That lures, to flay alive, the young beginner;
Lambro's reception at his people's banquet
Was such as fire accords to a wet blanket.

He-being a man who seldom used a word
Too much, and wishing gladly to surprise
(In general he surprised men with the sword)
His daughter-had not sent before to advise
Of his arrival, so that no one stirr'd;

And long he paused to re-assure his eyes,
In fact much more astonish'd than delighted,
To find so much good company invited.

He did not know (alas! how men will lie)
That a report (especially the Greeks)
Avouch'd his death (such people never die),

And put his house in mourning several weeks,— But now their eyes and also lips were dry;

The bloom, too, had return'd to Haidée's cheeks.

Her tears, too, being return'd into their fount,
She now kept house upon her own account.


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