« PreviousContinue »
And when to hold his tongue, now held it till
Gulbeyaz' taciturn or speaking will.
Slowly along the room, but silent still,
And then moved on again with rapid pace ;
By deep emotion :—you may sometimes trace
By Sallust in his Catiline, who, chased
Bring the two slaves !” she said in a low tone,
And yet he shudder’d, and seem'd rather prone To prove reluctant, and begg’d leave to crave
(Though he well knew the meaning) to be shown What slaves her highness wish'd to indicate, For fear of any error,
like the late.
CXIII. “ The Georgian and her paramour,” replied
The imperial bridemand added, “ Let the boat . Be ready by the secret portal's side: You know the rest.
.” The words stuck in her throat, Despite her injured love and fiery pride;
And of this Baba willingly took note,
CXIV. " To hear is to obey,” he said ; “ but still, Sultana, think
the consequence : It is not that I shall not all fulfil
Your orders, even in their severest sense ; But such precipitation may end ill,
Even at your own imperative expense ; I do not mean destruction and exposure In case of any premature disclosure ;
CXV. “But your own feelings.--Even should all the rest
Be hidden by the rolling waves, which hide Already many a once love-beaten breast
Deep in the caverns of the deadly tideYou love this boyish, new seraglio guest,
And—if this violent remedy be tried Excuse my freedom, when I here assure you, That killing him is not the way to cure you."
CXVI. “What dost thou know of love or feeling ?-wretch! Begone!" she cried, with kindling eyes, and do
66 My bidding !” Baba vanish'd ; for to stretch
His own remonstrance further, he well knew,
And, though he wish'd extremely to get through
Growling and grumbling in good Turkish phrase Against all women, of whate'er condition,
Especially sultanas and their ways; Their obstinacy, pride, and indecision,
Their never knowing their own mind two days, The trouble that they gave, their immorality; Which made him daily bless his own neutrality.
And sent one on a summons to the pair,
And, above all, be comb'd even to a hair,
Inquiries after them with kindest care :
For the imperial presence, wherein whether
Or got rid of the parties altogether, Like other
ladies of her nation-
Though doubts of their well doing, to arrange Another part of history ;
for the dishes Of this our banquet we must sometimes change : And, trusting Juan may escape the fishes,
Although his situation now seems strange And scarce secure, as such digressions are fair, The Muse will take a little touch at warfare.
NOTE TO CANTO VI.
A “wood obscure,» like that where Dante found.
Nel mezzo del Cammin' di nostra vita
Oh Love! oh Glory! what are ye? who fly
Around us ever, rarely to alight: There 's not a meteor in the polar sky
Of such transcendent and more fleeting flight. Chill, and chain’d to cold earth, we lift on high
Our eyes in search of either lovely light; A thousand and a thousand colours they Assume, then leave us on our freezing way.
II. And such as they are, such my present tale is,
A non-descript and ever-varying rhyme, A versified aurora borealis,
Which flashes o’er a waste and icy clime. When we know what all are, we must bewail us,
But ne'ertheless I hope it is no crime
The present poem, of-I know not what,-
At human power and virtue, and all that ; And this they say in language rather rough.
Good God! I wonder what they would be at? I say no more than has been said in Dante's Verse, and by Solomon, and by Cervantes ;
By Fenelon, by Luther, and by Plato ;
Who knew this life was not worth a potato. ’T is not their fault, nor mine, if this be so
For my part, I pretend not to be Cato,