Don Juan 07-76 ~ 80

Don Juan 07-76
Canto the Seventh

And then with tears, and sighs, and some slight kisses,
     They parted for the present -- these to await,
According to the artillery"s hits or misses,
     What sages call Chance, Providence, or Fate
(Uncertainty is one of many blisses,
     A mortgage on Humanity"s estate) --
While their beloved friends began to arm,
To burn a town which never did them harm.

Don Juan 07-77
Canto the Seventh

Suwarrow, -- who but saw things in the gross,
     Being much too gross to see them in detail,
Who calculated life as so much dross,
     And as the wind a widow'd nation's wail,
And cared as little for his army's loss
     (So that their efforts should at length prevail)
As wife and friends did for the boils of job, --
What was 't to him to hear two women sob?

Don Juan 07-78
Canto the Seventh

Nothing. -- The work of glory still went on
     In preparations for a cannonade
As terrible as that of Ilion,
     If Homer had found mortars ready made;
But now, instead of slaying Priam's son,
     We only can but talk of escalade,
Bombs, drums, guns, bastions, batteries, bayonets, bullets, --
Hard words, which stick in the soft Muses' gullets.

Don Juan 07-79
Canto the Seventh

Oh, thou eternal Homer! who couldst charm
     All cars, though long; all ages, though so short,
By merely wielding with poetic arm
     Arms to which men will never more resort,
Unless gunpowder should be found to harm
     Much less than is the hope of every court,
Which now is leagued young Freedom to annoy;
But they will not find Liberty a Troy: --

Don Juan 07-80
Canto the Seventh

Oh, thou eternal Homer! I have now
     To paint a siege, wherein more men were slain,
With deadlier engines and a speedier blow,
     Than in thy Greek gazette of that campaign;
And yet, like all men else, I must allow,
     To vie with thee would be about as vain
As for a brook to cope with ocean's flood;
But still we moderns equal you in blood;

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)