Don Juan By Lord Byron Canto II

And every morn his colour freshlier came,
  And every day help'd on his convalescence;
'T was well, because health in the human frame
  Is pleasant, besides being true love's essence,
For health and idleness to passion's flame
  Are oil and gunpowder; and some good lessons
Are also learnt from Ceres and from Bacchus,
Without whom Venus will not long attack us.

While Venus fills the heart (without heart really
  Love, though good always, is not quite so good),
Ceres presents a plate of vermicelli, —
  For love must be sustain'd like flesh and blood, —
While Bacchus pours out wine, or hands a jelly:
  Eggs, oysters, too, are amatory food;
But who is their purveyor from above
Heaven knows, — it may be Neptune, Pan, or Jove.

When Juan woke he found some good things ready,
  A bath, a breakfast, and the finest eyes
That ever made a youthful heart less steady,
  Besides her maid's as pretty for their size;
But I have spoken of all this already —
  And repetition 's tiresome and unwise, —
Well — Juan, after bathing in the sea,
Came always back to coffee and Haidee.

Both were so young, and one so innocent,
  That bathing pass'd for nothing; Juan seem'd
To her, as 'twere, the kind of being sent,
  Of whom these two years she had nightly dream'd,
A something to be loved, a creature meant
  To be her happiness, and whom she deem'd
To render happy; all who joy would win
Must share it, — Happiness was born a twin.

It was such pleasure to behold him, such
  Enlargement of existence to partake
Nature with him, to thrill beneath his touch,
  To watch him slumbering, and to see him wake:
To live with him forever were too much;
  But then the thought of parting made her quake;
He was her own, her ocean-treasure, cast
Like a rich wreck — her first love, and her last.

And thus a moon roll'd on, and fair Haidee
  Paid daily visits to her boy, and took
Such plentiful precautions, that still he
  Remain'd unknown within his craggy nook;
At last her father's prows put out to sea
  For certain merchantmen upon the look,
Not as of yore to carry off an Io,
But three Ragusan vessels, bound for Scio.

Then came her freedom, for she had no mother,
  So that, her father being at sea, she was
Free as a married woman, or such other
  Female, as where she likes may freely pass,
Without even the incumbrance of a brother,
  The freest she that ever gazed on glass;
I speak of Christian lands in this comparison,
Where wives, at least, are seldom kept in garrison.

Now she prolong'd her visits and her talk
  (For they must talk), and he had learnt to say
So much as to propose to take a walk, —
  For little had he wander'd since the day
On which, like a young flower snapp'd from the stalk,
  Drooping and dewy on the beach he lay, —
And thus they walk'd out in the afternoon,
And saw the sun set opposite the moon.

It was a wild and breaker-beaten coast,
  With cliffs above, and a broad sandy shore,
Guarded by shoals and rocks as by an host,
  With here and there a creek, whose aspect wore
A better welcome to the tempest-tost;
  And rarely ceased the haughty billow's roar,
Save on the dead long summer days, which make
The outstretch'd ocean glitter like a lake.

And the small ripple spilt upon the beach
  Scarcely o'erpass'd the cream of your champagne,
When o'er the brim the sparkling bumpers reach,
  That spring-dew of the spirit! the heart's rain!
Few things surpass old wine; and they may preach
  Who please, — the more because they preach in vain, —
Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after.

Man, being reasonable, must get drunk;
  The best of life is but intoxication:
Glory, the grape, love, gold, in these are sunk
  The hopes of all men, and of every nation;
Without their sap, how branchless were the trunk
  Of life's strange tree, so fruitful on occasion:
But to return, — Get very drunk; and when
You wake with headache, you shall see what then.

Ring for your valet — bid him quickly bring
  Some hock and soda-water, then you 'll know
A pleasure worthy Xerxes the great king;
  For not the bless'd sherbet, sublimed with snow,
Nor the first sparkle of the desert-spring,
  Nor Burgundy in all its sunset glow,
After long travel, ennui, love, or slaughter,
Vie with that draught of hock and soda-water.

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