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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 6.djvu/334

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[CANTO VII.
DON JUAN.

CANTO THE SEVENTH.

I. O Love ! O Glory ! what are ye who fly Around us ever, rarely to alight ? There 's not a meteor in the polar sky Of such transcendent and more fleeting flight. Chill, and chained to cold earth, we lift on high Our eyes in search of either lovely light ; A thousand and a thousand colours they Assume, then leave us on our freezing way. II. And such as they are, such my present tale is, A nondescript and ever-varying rhyme, A versified Aurora Borealis, Which flashes o'er a waste and icy clime. When we know what all are, we must bewail us, But ne'ertheless I hope it is no crime To laugh at all things — for I wish to know What^ after all^ are all things — but a show 1 III. They accuse me — Me — the present writer of The present poem — of — I know not what — I. ["These [the seventh and eif:hth] Cantos contain a full detail (like the storm in Canto Second) of the siege and assault of Ismael, with much of sarcasm on those butchers in large business, your mercenary soldiery. . . . With these things and these fellows it is necessary, in the present clash of philosophy and tyranny, to throw away the scab- bard. I know it is against fearful odds ; but the battle must be fought ; and it will be eventually for the good of mankind, whatever it may be for the individual who risks himself."— Letter to Moore,

August 8, 1822, Letters, 1901, vi. loi.]