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Lord Byron (1788–1824). Poetry of Byron. 1881.

IV. Satiric


(Don Juan, Canto x. Stanzas 81, 82.)

THE SUN went down, the smoke rose up as from

A half-unquench’d volcano, o’er a space

Which well beseem’d the “Devil’s drawing-room,”

As some have qualified that wondrous place:

But Juan felt, though not approaching home,

As one who, though he were not of the race,

Revered the soil, of those true sons the mother,

Who butcher’d half the earth, and bullied t’other.

A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping,

Dirty and dusky, but as wide as eye

Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping

In sight, then lost amidst the forestry

Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping

On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy;

A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown

On a fool’s head—and there is London Town!