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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 5.djvu/655

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CANTO II.
615
THE ISLAND.

XIX.

But here the herald of the self-same mouth[1]
Came breathing o'er the aromatic south,
Not like a "bed of violets" on the gale,
But such as wafts its cloud o'er grog or ale,
Borne from a short frail pipe, which yet had blown
Its gentle odours over either zone,
And, puffed where'er winds rise or waters roll,440
Had wafted smoke from Portsmouth to the Pole,
Opposed its vapour as the lightning flashed,
And reeked, 'midst mountain-billows, unabashed,
To Æolus a constant sacrifice,
Through every change of all the varying skies.
And what was he who bore it?—I may err,
But deem him sailor or philosopher.[2]
Sublime Tobacco! which from East to West
Cheers the tar's labour or the Turkman's rest;
Which on the Moslem's ottoman divides450
His hours, and rivals opium and his brides;
Magnificent in Stamboul, but less grand,
Though not less loved, in Wapping or the Strand;
Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe,
When tipped with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;
Like other charmers, wooing the caress,
More dazzlingly when daring in full dress;
Yet thy true lovers more admire by far[3]
Thy naked beauties—Give me a cigar![4]


  1. In his Preface to Cantos I., II. of Childe Harold (Poetical Works, 1899, ii. 5), Byron relies on the authority of "Ariosto, Thomson, and Beattie" for the inclusion of droll or satirical "variations" in a serious poem. Nevertheless, Dallas prevailed on him to omit certain "ludicrous stanzas." It is to be regretted that no one suggested the exclsion of sections xix.-xxi. from the second canto of The Island.]
  2. Hobbes, the father of Locke's and other philosophy, was an inveterate smoker,—even to pipes beyond computation.

    ["Soon after dinner he [Hobbes] retired to his study, and had his candle, with ten or twelve pipes of tobacco laid by him; then, shutting his door, he fell to smoking, and thinking, and writing for several hours."—Memoirs of the Family of Cavendish, by White Kennet, D.D., 1708, pp. 14, 15.]

  3. Yet they who love thee best prefer by far.—[MS. D. erased.]
  4. ["I shall now smoke two cigars, and get me to bed.... The Havannah are the best;—but neither are so pleasant as a hooka or chiboque."—Journal, December 6, 1813, Letters, 1898, ii. 368.]