Don Juan 07-71 ~ 75
Don Juan 07-71
Canto the Seventh

"May it please your excellency," thus replied
     Our British friend, "these are the wives of others,
And not our own. I am too qualified
     By service with my military brothers
To break the rules by bringing one's own bride
     Into a camp: I know that nought so bothers
The hearts of the heroic on a charge,
As leaving a small family at large.

Don Juan 07-72
Canto the Seventh

"But these are but two Turkish ladies, who
     With their attendant aided our escape,
And afterwards accompanied us through
     A thousand perils in this dubious shape.
To me this kind of life is not so new;
     To them, poor things, it is an awkward scrape.
I therefore, if you wish me to fight freely,
Request that they may both be used genteelly."

Don Juan 07-73
Canto the Seventh

Meantime these two poor girls, with swimming eyes,
     Look'd on as if in doubt if they could trust
Their own protectors; nor was their surprise
     Less than their grief (and truly not less just)
To see an old man, rather wild than wise
     In aspect, plainly clad, besmear'd with dust,
Stript to his waistcoat, and that not too clean,
More fear'd than all the sultans ever seen.

Don Juan 07-74
Canto the Seventh

For every thing seem'd resting on his nod,
     As they could read in all eyes. Now to them,
Who were accustom'd, as a sort of god,
     To see the sultan, rich in many a gem,
Like an imperial peacock stalk abroad
     (That royal bird, whose tail "s a diadem),
With all the pomp of power, it was a doubt
How power could condescend to do without.

Don Juan 07-75
Canto the Seventh

John Johnson, seeing their extreme dismay,
     Though little versed in feelings oriental,
Suggested some slight comfort in his way:
     Don Juan, who was much more sentimental,
Swore they should see him by the dawn of day,
     Or that the Russian army should repent all:
And, strange to say, they found some consolation
In this -- for females like exaggeration.

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)