Don Juan 05-051
Canto the Fifth

And giving up all notions of resistance,
     They follow'd close behind their sable guide,
Who little thought that his own crack'd existence
     Was on the point of being set aside:
He motion'd them to stop at some small distance,
     And knocking at the gate, 't was open'd wide,
And a magnificent large hall display'd
The Asian pomp of Ottoman parade.
Don Juan 05-052

I won't describe; description is my forte,
     But every fool describes in these bright days
His wondrous journey to some foreign court,
     And spawns his quarto, and demands your praise --
Death to his publisher, to him 't is sport;
     While Nature, tortured twenty thousand ways,
Resigns herself with exemplary patience
To guide-books, rhymes, tours, sketches, illustrations.
Don Juan 05-053
Canto the Fifth

Along this hall, and up and down, some, squatted
     Upon their hams, were occupied at chess;
Others in monosyllable talk chatted,
     And some seem'd much in love with their own dress.
And divers smoked superb pipes decorated
     With amber mouths of greater price or less;
And several strutted, others slept, and some
Prepared for supper with a glass of rum.

Don Juan 05-054
Canto the Fifth

As the black eunuch enter'd with his brace
     Of purchased Infidels, some raised their eyes
A moment without slackening from their pace;
     But those who sate ne'er stirr'd in anywise:
One or two stared the captives in the face,
     Just as one views a horse to guess his price;
Some nodded to the negro from their station,
But no one troubled him with conversation.

Don Juan 05-055
Canto the Fifth

He leads them through the hall, and, without stopping,
     On through a farther range of goodly rooms,
Splendid but silent, save in one, where, dropping,
     A marble fountain echoes through the glooms
Of night which robe the chamber, or where popping
     Some female head most curiously presumes
To thrust its black eyes through the door or lattice,
As wondering what the devil a noise that is.

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)