LV. Suwarrow chiefly was on the alert,

Surveying, drilling, ordering, jesting, pondering, For the man was, we safely may assert,

A thing to wonder at beyond most wondering; Hero, buffoon, half-demon, and half-dirt,

Praying, instructing, desolating, plundering ; Now Mars, now Momus; and when bent to storm A fortress, harlequin in uniform.

The day before the assault, while upon drill

For this great conqueror play'd the corporal
Some Cossacks, hovering like hawks round a hill,

Had met a party towards the twilight's fall,
One of whom spoke their tongue, or well or ill

'T was mu that he was understood at all;
But whether from his voice, or speech, or manner,
They found that he had fought beneath their banner.

LVII. Whereon, immediately at his request,

They brought him and his comrades to head-quarters : Their dress was Moslem, but you might have guess'd

That these were merely masquerading Tartars, And that beneath each Turkish-fashion'd vest

Lurk’d Christianity; who sometimes barters Her inward grace for outward show, and makes It difficult to shun some strange mistakes.

LVIII. Suwarrow, who was standing in his shirt

Before a company of Calmucks, drilling, Exclaiming, fooling, swearing at the inert,

And lecturing on the noble art of killing, For, deeming human clay but common dirt,

This great philosopher was thus instilling His maxims, which, to martial comprehension, Proved death in battle equal to a pension ;

LIX. Suwarrow, when he saw this company

Of Cossacks and their prey, turn'd round and cast Upon them his slow brow and piercing eye :

“Whence come ye?”—“From Constantinople last, Captives just now escaped,” was the reply.

“What are ye?”—“What you see us. Briefly past This dialogue; for he who answer'd knew To whom he spoke, and made his words but few.

LX. “ Your names ?”—“Mine 's Johnson, and my comrade's Juan;

The other two are women, and the third
Is neither man nor woman.” The chief threw on

The party a slight glance, then said : “ I have heard
Your naine before, the second is a new one ;

To bring the other three here was absurd ;
But let that pass ;-I think I 've heard your name
In the Nikolaiew regiment ?'

-66 The same.

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LXI. 6. You served at Widin?”.

'_- Yes.”_" You led the attack ? " “I did.”—“What next?”—“I really hardly know." " You were the first i' the breach ?”—“I was not slack,

At least, to follow those who might be so." “What follow'd ?”—“ A shot laid me on my back,

And I became a prisoner to the foe.” “ You shall have vengeance, for the town surrounded Is twice as strong as that where you were wounded."


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LXII. “ Where will you serve ?”. --- Where'er you please."-"I know

You like to be the hope of the forlorn, And doubtless would be foremost on the foe

After the hardships you ’ve already borne.
And this young fellow ? say, what can be do,

He with the beardless chin and garments torn ?”
Why, general, if he hath no greater fault
In war than love, he had better lead the assault."

LXII. “He shall, if that he dare.” Here Juan bow'd

Low as the compliment deserved. Suwarrow
Continued : “ Your old regiment 's allow'd,

By special providence, to lead to-morrow,
Or it may be to-night, the assault : I 've vowd

To several saints, that shortly plough or harrow

pass o'er what was Ismail, and its tusk Be unimpeded by the proudest mosque.

LXIV. “ So now, my lads, for glory!”-Here he turn'd, And drillid


in the most classic Russian, Until each high heroic bosom burn'd

For cash and conquest, as if from a cushion
A preacher had held forth (who nobly spurn'd

All earthly goods save tithes) and bade them push on
To slay the pagans who resisted, battering
The armies of the christian Empress Catherine.

LXV. Johnson, who knew by this long colloquy

Himself a favourite, ventured to address Suwarrow, though engaged with accents high

In his resumed amusement. “I confess My deht in being thus allow'd to die Among the foremost; but if you 'd

Explicitly our several posts, my friend
And self would know what duty to attend.”

Right! I was busy, and forgot. Why, you

Will join your former regiment, which should be
Now under arms. Ho! Katskoff, take him to-

(Here he call'd up a Polish orderly)His post, I mean the regiment Nikolaiew.

The stranger stripling may remain with me;
He's a fine boy. The women may be sent
To the other baggage, or to the sick tent.”

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But here a sort of scene began to ensue :

The ladies, who by no means had been bred
To be disposed of in a way so new,

Although their harem education led Doubtless to that of doctrines the most true, Passive obedience,- raised


the head, With flashing eyes and starting tears, and flung Their arms, as hens their wings about their young,


LXVIII. O'er the promoted couple of brave men

Who were thus honour'd by the greatest chief That ever peopled hell with heroes slain,

Or plunged a province or a realm in grief.
Oh, foolish mortals ! always taught in vain !

Oh, glorious laurel! since for one sole leaf
Of thine imaginary deathless tree,
Of blood and tears müst flow the unebbing sea.

LXIX. Suwarrow, who had small regard for tears,

And not much sympathy for blood, survey'd The women with their hair about their ears,

And natural agonies, with a slight shade Of feeling : for, however habit sears

Men's hearts against whole millions, when their trade Is butchery, sometimes a single sorrow Will touch even heroes--and such was Suwarrow.

He said-and in the kindest Calmuck tone,

Why, Johnson, what the devil do you mean
By bringing women here? They shall be shown

All the attention possible, and seen In safety to the waggons, where alone

In fact they can be safe. You should have been Aware this kind of baggage never thrives : Save wed a year, I hate recruits with wives.”

LXXI. "May it please your excellency," thus replied

Our British friend,“ these are the wives of others, And not our own. I am too qualified

By service with my military brothers,
To break the rules by bringing one's own bride

Into a camp; I know that nought so bothers
The hearts of the heroic on a charge,
As leaving a small family at large.

“But these are but two Turkish ladies, who

With their attendant aided our escape, And afterwards accompanied us through

A thousand perils in this dubious shape. To me this kind of life is not so new ;

To them, poor things! it is an awkward step ; I therefore, if you wish me to fight freely, Request that they may both be used genteelly."

LXXIII. Meantime these two poor girls, with swimming eyes,

Look'd on as if in doubt if they could trust Their own protectors; nor was their surprise

Less than their grief (and truly not less just) To see an old man, rather wild than wise

In aspect, plainly clad, besmear’d with dust, Stript to his waistcoat, and that not too clean, More fear'd than all the sultans ever seen.


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For every thing seem'd resting on his nod,

As they could read in all eyes. Now, to them,
Who were accustom’d, as a sort of god,

To see the sultan, rich in many a gem, Like an imperial peacock stalk abroad

(That royal bird, whose tail 's a diadem), With all the pomp of power, it was a doubt How power could condescend to do without.

John Johnson, seeing their extreme dismay,'

Though little versed in feelings oriental,
Suggested some slight comfort in his

Don Juan, who was much more sentimental,
Swore they should see him by the dawn of day,
that the Russian


repent all; And, strange to say, they found some consolation In this—for females like exaggeration.

And then with tears, and sighs, and some slight kisses,

They parted for the present—these to await,
According to the artillery's hits or misses,

What sages call chance, providence, or fate(Uncertainty is one of many blisses,

A mortgage on humanity's estate) —
While their beloved friends began to arm,
To burn a town which never did them harm.



Suwarrow, who but saw things in the gross,

Being much too gross to see them in detail ; Who calculated life as so much dross,

And as the wind a widow'd nation's wail, And cared as little for his army's loss

(So that their efforts should at length prevail) As wife and friends did for the boils of Job ;What was ’t to him to hear two women sob?


LXXVIII. Nothing. The work of glory still went on

In preparations for a cannonade As terrible as that of Ilion,

If Homer had found mortars ready made ; But now, instead of slaying Priam's son,

We only can but talk of escalade, Bombs, drums, guns, bastions, batteries, bayonets, bullets ; Hard words which stick in the soft Muses' gullets.

Oh, thou eternal Homer! who couldst charm

All ears, though long,-all ages, though so short,
By merely wielding with poetic arm

Arms to which men will never more resort, Unless gunpowder should be found to harm Much less than is the hope of

every court, Which now is leagued young freedom to annoy; But they will not find liberty a Troy :

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