Don Juan 07-51 ~ 55

Don Juan 07-51
Canto the Seventh

New batteries were erected, and was held
     A general council, in which unanimity,
That stranger to most councils, here prevail'd,
     As sometimes happens in a great extremity;
And every difficulty being dispell'd,
     Glory began to dawn with due sublimity,
While Souvaroff, determined to obtain it,
Was teaching his recruits to use the bayonet.

Don Juan 07-52
Canto the Seventh

It is an actual fact, that he, commander
     In chief, in proper person deign'd to drill
The awkward squad, and could afford to squander
     His time, a corporal's duty to fulfil:
Just as you'd break a sucking salamander
     To swallow flame, and never take it ill:
He show'd them how to mount a ladder (which
Was not like Jacob's) or to cross a ditch.

Don Juan 07-53
Canto the Seventh

Also he dress'd up, for the nonce, fascines
     Like men with turbans, scimitars, and dirks,
And made them charge with bayonet these machines,
     By way of lesson against actual Turks:
And when well practised in these mimic scenes,
     He judged them proper to assail the works;
At which your wise men sneer'd in phrases witty:
He made no answer; but he took the city.

Don Juan 07-54
Canto the Seventh

Most things were in this posture on the eve
     Of the assault, and all the camp was in
A stern repose; which you would scarce conceive;
     Yet men resolved to dash through thick and thin
Are very silent when they once believe
     That all is settled: -- there was little din,
For some were thinking of their home and friends,
And others of themselves and latter ends.

Don Juan 07-55
Canto the Seventh

Suwarrow chiefly was on the alert,
     Surveying, drilling, ordering, jesting, pondering;
For the man was, we safely may assert,
     A thing to wonder at beyond most wondering;
Hero, buffoon, half-demon, and half-dirt,
     Praying, instructing, desolating, plundering;
Now Mars, now Momus; and when bent to storm
A fortress, Harlequin in uniform.
George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)