Just at this crisis up came Johnson too,

Who had "retreated," as the phrase is when
Men run away much rather than go through
Destruction's jaws into the devil's den;
But Johnson was a clever fellow, who

Knew when and how to cut and come again,"
And never ran away, except when running
Was nothing but a valorous kind of cunning.


And so, when all his corps were dead or dying,
Except Don Juan,- —a mere novice, whose
More virgin valour never dream'd of flying,
From ignorance of danger, which indues
Its votaries, like innocence relying

On its own strength, with careless nerves and thews,--Johnson retired a little, just to rally

Those who catch cold in "shadows of death's valley."


And there, a little shelter'd from the shot,

Which rain'd from bastion, battery, parapet, Rampart, wall, casement, house-for there was not In this extensive city, sore beset

By christian soldiery, a single spot

Which did not combat like the devil as yet, He found a number of chasseurs, all scatter'd By the resistance of the chase they batter❜d.


And these he call'd on; and, what 's strange, they came Unto his call, unlike "the spirits from

The vasty deep," to whom you may exclaim,

Says Hotspur, long ere they will leave their home. Their reasons were uncertainty, or shame

At shrinking from a bullet or a bomb,

And that old impulse, which, in wars or creeds,
Makes men, like cattle, follow him who leads.


By Jove! he was a noble fellow Johnson,

And though his name, than Ajax or Achilles, Sounds less harmonious, underneath the sun soon We shall not see his likeness: he could kill his

Man quite as quietly as blows the monsoon

Her steady breath (which some months the same still is); Seldom he varied feature, hue, or muscle,

And could be very busy without bustle.


And therefore, when he ran away, he did so
Upon reflection, knowing that behind
He would find others who would fain be rid so
Of idle apprehensions, which, like wind,
Trouble heroic stomachs. Though their lids
Oft are soon closed, all heroes are not blind,
But when they light upon immediate death,
Retire a little, merely to take breath.


But Johnson only ran off to return
With many other warriors, as we said,
Unto that rather somewhat misty bourn,
Which Hamlet tells us is a pass of dread.
To Jack, howe'er, this gave but slight concern:
His soul (like galvanism upon the dead)
Acted upon the living as on wire,

And led them back into the heaviest fire.


Egad! they found the second time what they
The first time thought quite terrible enough
To fly from, malgré all which people say
Of glory and all that immortal stuff
Which fills a regiment (besides their pay,

That daily shilling which makes warriors tough)— They found on their return the self-same welcome, Which made some think, and others know, a hell come


They fell as thick as harvests beneath hail,

Grass before scythes, or corn below the sickle,

Proving that trite old truth, that life 's as frail

The Turkish batteries thrash'd them like a flail,
Or a good boxer, into a sad pickle
Putting the very bravest, who were knock'd
Upon the head, before their guns were cock'd.

any other boon for which men stickle.


The Turks, behind the traverses and flanks
Of the next bastion, fired away like devils,
And swept, as gales sweep foam away, whole ranks :
However, Heaven knows how, the Fate who levels
Towns, nations, worlds, in her revolving pranks,
So order'd it, amidst these sulphury revels,
That Johnson, and some few who had not scamper'd,
Reach'd the interior talus of the rampart.


First one or two, then five, six, and a dozen,
Came mounting quickly up, for it was now
All neck or nothing, as, like pitch or rosin,

Flame was showered forth above as well 's below,
So that you scarce could say who best had chosen,
The gentlemen that were the first to show
Their martial faces on the parapet,

Or those who thought it brave to wait as yet.


But those who scaled, found out that their advance
Was favour'd by an accident or blunder :
The Greek or Turkish Cohorn's ignorance

Had palisado'd in a way you 'd wonder
To see in forts of Netherlands or France-

(Though these to our Gibraltar must knock under)— Right in the middle of the parapet

Just named, these palisades were primly set :


So that on either side some nine or ten

Paces were left, whereon you could contrive
To march; a great convenience to our men,
At least to all those who were left alive,
Who thus could form a line and fight again;

And that which further aided them to strive

Was, that they could kick down the palisades,
Which scarcely rose much higher than grass blades. 7


Among the first, I will not say the first,
For such precedence upon such occasions
Will oftentimes make deadly quarrels burst
Out between friends as well as allied nations;
The Briton must be bold who really durst

Put to such trial John Bull's partial patience,
As say that Wellington at Waterloo

Was beaten, though the Prussians say so too;—


And that if Blucher, Bulow, Gneisenau,

And God knows who besides in "au" and "ou,"

Had not come up in time to cast an awe

Into the hearts of those who fought till now

As tigers combat with an empty craw,

The Duke of Wellington has ceased to show!

His orders, also to receive his pensions,

Which are the heaviest that our history mentions.


But never mind ;—" God save the king!" and kings!
For if he don't, I doubt if men will longer,-
I think I hear a little bird, who sings

The people by and by will be the stronger :
The veriest jade will wince whose harness wrings
So much into the raw as quite to wrong her
Beyond the rules of posting,—and the mob
At last fall sick of imitating Job.


At first it grumbles, then it swears, and then,
Like David, flings smooth pebbles 'gainst a giant;

At last it takes to weapons, such as men

Snatch when despair makes human hearts less pliant. war ;"-'t will come again,

Then " comes the tug of

I rather doubt; and I would fain say "fie on 't,"

If I had not perceived that revolution

Alone can save the earth from hell's pollution.


But to continue -I say not the first,

But of the first, our little friend Don Juan Walk'd o'er the walls of Ismail, as if nurst

Amidst such scenes-though this was quite a new one To him, and I should hope to most. The thirst

Of glory, which so pierces through and through one, Pervaded him-although a generous creature, As warm in heart as feminine in feature.


And here he was—who, upon woman's breast,
Even from a child, felt like a child; howe'er
The man in all the rest might be confest;

To him it was Elysium to be there;

And he could even withstand that awkward test

Which Rousseau points out to the dubious fair, "Observe your lover when he leaves your arms;" But Juan never left them, while they'd charms,


Unless compell'd by fate, or wave, or wind,
Or near relations, who are much the same,
But here he was!-where each tie that can bind

Humanity must yield to steel and flame :
And he whose very body was all mind,

Flung here by fate or circumstance, which tame The loftiest, hurried by the time and place, Dash'd on like a spurr'd blood-horse in a race.


So was his blood stirr'd while he found resistance,
As is the hunter's at the five-bar gate,~
Or double post and rail, where the existence

Of Britain's youth depends upon their weight,
The lightest being the safest: at a distance
He hated cruelty, as all men hate
Blood, until heated-and even there his own
At times would curdle o'er some heavy groan.


The General Lascy, who had been hard prest,
Seeing arrive an aid so opportune
As were some hundred youngsters all abreast,
Who came as if just dropp'd down from the moon,

To Juan, who was nearest him, address'd

His thanks, and hopes to take the city soon, Not reckoning him to be a "base Bezonian " (As Pistol calls it), but a young Livonian.


Juan, to whom he spoke in German, knew
As much of German as of Sanscrit, and
In answer made an inclination to

The general who held him in command ;
For, seeing one with ribbons, black and blue,
Stars, medals, and a bloody sword in hand,
Addressing him in tones which seem'd to thank,
He recognized an officer of rank.


Short speeches pass between two men who speak
No common language; and besides, in time
Of war and taking towns, when many a shriek
Rings o'er the dialogue, and many a crime

Is perpetrated ere a word can break

Upon the ear, and sounds of horror chime

In, like church-bells, with sigh, howl, groan, yell, prayer, There cannot be much conversation there.


And therefore all we have related in

Two long octaves, pass'd in a little minute ; But in the same small minute, every sin Contrived to get itself comprised within it.

The very cannon, deafen'd by the din,

Grew dumb, for you might almost hear a linnet,
As soon as thunder, 'midst the general noise
Of human nature's agonizing voice!

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