Don Juan 05-041
Canto the Fifth

Here their conductor tapping at the wicket
     Of a small iron door, 't was open'd, and
He led them onward, first through a low thicket
     Flank'd by large groves, which tower'd on either hand:
They almost lost their way, and had to pick it --
     For night was dosing ere they came to land.
The eunuch made a sign to those on board,
Who row'd off, leaving them without a word.
Don Juan 05-042

As they were plodding on their winding way
     Through orange bowers, and jasmine, and so forth
(Of which I might have a good deal to say,
     There being no such profusion in the North
Of oriental plants, "et cetera,"
     But that of late your scribblers think it worth
Their while to rear whole hotbeds in their works
Because one poet travell'd 'mongst the Turks) --
Don Juan 05-043

As they were threading on their way, there came
     Into Don Juan's head a thought, which he
Whisper'd to his companion: -- 't was the same
     Which might have then occurr'd to you or me.
"Methinks," said he, "it would be no great shame
     If we should strike a stroke to set us free;
Let's knock that old black fellow on the head,
And march away -- 't were easier done than said."

Don Juan 05-044

"Yes," said the other, "and when done, what then?
     How get out? how the devil got we in?
And when we once were fairly out, and when
     From Saint Bartholomew we have saved our skin,
To-morrow'd see us in some other den,
     And worse off than we hitherto have been;
Besides, I'm hungry, and just now would take,
Like Esau, for my birthright a beef-steak.
Don Juan 05-045

"We must be near some place of man's abode; --
     For the old negro's confidence in creeping,
With his two captives, by so queer a road,
     Shows that he thinks his friends have not been sleeping;
A single cry would bring them all abroad:
     'T is therefore better looking before leaping --
And there, you see, this turn has brought us through,
By Jove, a noble palace! -- lighted too."

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)