Don Juan 05-086
Canto the Fifth

The giant door was broad, and bright, and high,
     Of gilded bronze, and carved in curious guise;
Warriors thereon were battling furiously;
     Here stalks the victor, there the vanquish'd lies;
There captives led in triumph droop the eye,
     And in perspective many a squadron flies:
It seems the work of times before the line
Of Rome transplanted fell with Constantine.

Don Juan 05-087
Canto the Fifth

This massy portal stood at the wide close
     Of a huge hall, and on its either side
Two little dwarfs, the least you could suppose,
     Were sate, like ugly imps, as if allied
In mockery to the enormous gate which rose
     O'er them in almost pyramidic pride:
The gate so splendid was in all its features,
You never thought about those little creatures,

Don Juan 05-088
Canto the Fifth

Until you nearly trod on them, and then
     You started back in horror to survey
The wondrous hideousness of those small men,
     Whose colour was not black, nor white, nor grey,
But an extraneous mixture, which no pen
     Can trace, although perhaps the pencil may;
They were mis-shapen pigmies, deaf and dumb --
Monsters, who cost a no less monstrous sum.

Don Juan 05-089
Canto the Fifth

Their duty was -- for they were strong, and though
     They look'd so little, did strong things at times --
To ope this door, which they could really do,
     The hinges being as smooth as Rogers' rhymes;
And now and then, with tough strings of the bow,
     As is the custom of those Eastern climes,
To give some rebel Pacha a cravat;
For mutes are generally used for that.

Don Juan 05-090
Canto the Fifth

They spoke by signs -- that is, not spoke at all;
     And looking like two incubi, they glared
As Baba with his fingers made them fall
     To heaving back the portal folds: it scared
Juan a moment, as this pair so small
     With shrinking serpent optics on him stared;
It was as if their little looks could poison
Or fascinate whome'er they fix'd their eyes on.

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)