Don Juan 05-146 ~ 150


Don Juan 05-146
Canto the Fifth

First came her damsels, a decorous file,
     And then his Highness' eunuchs, black and white;
The train might reach a quarter of a mile:
     His majesty was always so polite
As to announce his visits a long while
     Before he came, especially at night;
For being the last wife of the Emperour,
She was of course the favorite of the four.
Don Juan 05-147
Canto the Fifth

His Highness was a man of solemn port,
     Shawl'd to the nose, and bearded to the eyes,
Snatch'd from a prison to preside at court,
     His lately bowstrung brother caused his rise;
He was as good a sovereign of the sort
     As any mention'd in the histories
Of Cantemir, or Knolles, where few shine
Save Solyman, the glory of their line.
Don Juan 05-148
Canto the Fifth

He went to mosque in state, and said his prayers
     With more than "Oriental scrupulosity;"
He left to his vizier all state affairs,
     And show'd but little royal curiosity:
I know not if he had domestic cares --
     No process proved connubial animosity;
Four wives and twice five hundred maids, unseen,
Were ruled as calmly as a Christian queen.
Don Juan 05-149
Canto the Fifth

If now and then there happen'd a slight slip,
     Little was heard of criminal or crime;
The story scarcely pass'd a single lip --
     The sack and sea had settled all in time,
From which the secret nobody could rip:
     The Public knew no more than does this rhyme;
No scandals made the daily press a curse --
Morals were better, and the fish no worse.
Don Juan 05-150
Canto the Fifth

He saw with his own eyes the moon was round,
     Was also certain that the earth was square,
Because he had journey'd fifty miles, and found
     No sign that it was circular anywhere;
His empire also was without a bound:
     'T is true, a little troubled here and there,
By rebel pachas, and encroaching giaours,
But then they never came to "the Seven Towers;"

George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)