Don Juan 07-66 ~ 70

Don Juan 07-66
Canto the Seventh

"Right! I was busy, and forgot. Why, you
     Will join your former regiment, which should be
Now under arms. Ho! Katskoff, take him to
     (Here he call'd up a Polish orderly)
His post, I mean the regiment Nikolaiew:
     The stranger stripling may remain with me;
He's a fine boy. The women may be sent
To the other baggage, or to the sick tent."

Don Juan 07-67
Canto the Seventh

But here a sort of scene began to ensue:
     The ladies, -- who by no means had been bred
To be disposed of in a way so new,
     Although their haram education led
Doubtless to that of doctrines the most true,
     Passive obedience, -- now raised up the head,
With flashing eyes and starting tears, and flung
Their arms, as hens their wings about their young,

Don Juan 07-68
Canto the Seventh

O'er the promoted couple of brave men
     Who were thus honour'd by the greatest chief
That ever peopled hell with heroes slain,
     Or plunged a province or a realm in grief.
Oh, foolish mortals! Always taught in vain!
     Oh, glorious laurel! since for one sole leaf
Of thine imaginary deathless tree,
Of blood and tears must flow the unebbing sea.

Don Juan 07-69
Canto the Seventh

Suwarrow, who had small regard for tears,
     And not much sympathy for blood, survey'd
The women with their hair about their ears
     And natural agonies, with a slight shade
Of feeling: for however habit sears
     Men's hearts against whole millions, when their trade
Is butchery, sometimes a single sorrow
Will touch even heroes -- and such was Suwarrow.

Don Juan 07-70
Canto the Seventh

He said, -- and in the kindest Calmuck tone, --
     "Why, Johnson, what the devil do you mean
By bringing women here? They shall be shown
     All the attention possible, and seen
In safety to the waggons, where alone
     In fact they can be safe. You should have been
Aware this kind of baggage never thrives:
Save wed a year, I hate recruits with wives."

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)