Don Juan 08-106 ~ 110

Don Juan 08-106
Canto the Eighth
To take him was the point. The truly brave,
     When they behold the brave oppress'd with odds,
Are touch'd with a desire to shield and save; --
     A mixture of wild beasts and demigods
Are they -- now furious as the sweeping wave,
     Now moved with pity: even as sometimes nods
The rugged tree unto the summer wind,
Compassion breathes along the savage mind.


Don Juan 08-107
Canto the Eighth

But he would not be taken, and replied
     To all the propositions of surrender
By mowing Christians down on every side,
     As obstinate as Swedish Charles at Bender.
His five brave boys no less the foe defied;
     Whereon the Russian pathos grew less tender,
As being a virtue, like terrestrial patience,
Apt to wear out on trifling provocations.


Don Juan 08-108
Canto the Eighth

And spite of Johnson and of Juan, who
     Expended all their Eastern phraseology
In begging him, for God's sake, just to show
     So much less fight as might form an apology
For them in saving such a desperate foe --
     He hew'd away, like doctors of theology
When they dispute with sceptics; and with curses
Struck at his friends, as babies beat their nurses.


Don Juan 08-109
Canto the Eighth

Nay, he had wounded, though but slightly, both
     Juan and Johnson; whereupon they fell,
The first with sighs, the second with an oath,
     Upon his angry sultanship, pell-mell,
And all around were grown exceeding wroth
     At such a pertinacious infidel,
And pour'd upon him and his sons like rain,
Which they resisted like a sandy plain


Don Juan 08-110
Canto the Eighth

That drinks and still is dry. At last they perish'd --
     His second son was levell'd by a shot;
His third was sabred; and the fourth, most cherish'd
     Of all the five, on bayonets met his lot;
The fifth, who, by a Christian mother nourish'd,
     Had been neglected, ill-used, and what not,
Because deform'd, yet died all game and bottom,
To save a sire who blush'd that he begot him.

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)