Don Juan 05-151 ~ 155
Don Juan 05-151
Canto the Fifth

Except in shape of envoys, who were sent
     To lodge there when a war broke out, according
To the true law of nations, which ne'er meant
     Those scoundrels, who have never had a sword in
Their dirty diplomatic hands, to vent
     Their spleen in making strife, and safely wording
Their lies, yclep'd despatches, without risk or
The singeing of a single inky whisker.
Don Juan 05-152
Canto the Fifth

He had fifty daughters and four dozen sons,
     Of whom all such as came of age were stow'd,
The former in a palace, where like nuns
     They lived till some Bashaw was sent abroad,
When she, whose turn it was, was wed at once,
     Sometimes at six years old -- though it seems odd,
'T is true; the reason is, that the Bashaw
Must make a present to his sire in law.
Don Juan 05-153
Canto the Fifth

His sons were kept in prison, till they grew
     Of years to fill a bowstring or the throne,
One or the other, but which of the two
     Could yet be known unto the fates alone;
Meantime the education they went through
     Was princely, as the proofs have always shown:
So that the heir apparent still was found
No less deserving to be hang'd than crown'd.
Don Juan 05-154
Canto the Fifth

His majesty saluted his fourth spouse
     With all the ceremonies of his rank,
Who clear'd her sparkling eyes and smooth'd her brows,
     As suits a matron who has play'd a prank;
These must seem doubly mindful of their vows,
     To save the credit of their breaking bank:
To no men are such cordial greetings given
As those whose wives have made them fit for heaven.
Don Juan 05-155
Canto the Fifth

His Highness cast around his great black eyes,
     And looking, as he always look'd, perceived
Juan amongst the damsels in disguise,
     At which he seem'd no whit surprised nor grieved,
But just remark'd with air sedate and wise,
     While still a fluttering sigh Gulbeyaz heaved,
"I see you've bought another girl; 't is pity
That a mere Christian should be half so pretty."
George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron (1788-1824)