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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 6.djvu/576

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[CANTO XV.
DON JUAN.

CANTO THE FIFTEENTH.

I. Ah ! — What should follow slips from my reflection ; Whatever follows ne'ertheless may be As k-propos of Hope or Retrospection, As though the lurking thought had followed free. All present life is but an Interjection, An " Oh ! " or " Ah ! " of Joy or Misery, Or a " Ha ! ha ! " or " Bah ! "—a yawn, or " Pooh 1 " Of which perhaps the latter is most true. II. But, more or less, the whole 's a Syncope Or a Singtdtus — emblems of Emotion, The grand Antithesis to great Eimui^ Wherewith we break our bubbles on the Ocean — That Watery Outline of Eternity, Or miniature, at least, as is my notion — Which ministers unto the Soul's delight. In seeing matters which are out of sight.^ III. But all are better than the sigh suppressed, Corroding in the cavern of the heart, I. [It is impossible to persuade the metaphor to march "on all- fours," but, to drag it home, by a kind of "frog's march," the unfulfilled wants of the soul, the "lurking thoughts" are as it were bubbles, which we would fain "break on the invisible Ocean" of Passion or Emotion the begetter of bubbles — Passion which, like the visible Ocean, images Eternity and portrays, but not to the sensual eye, the beatific vision of the things which are not seen, and, even so, "ministers to

the Soul's delight " ! But " who can tell " ?]