Don Juan: Canto the Second


  The ship, call'd the most holy "Trinidada,"
  Was steering duly for the port Leghorn;
  For there the Spanish family Moncada
  Were settled long ere Juan's sire was born:
  They were relations, and for them he had a
  Letter of introduction, which the morn
  Of his departure had been sent him by
  His Spanish friends for those in Italy.XXV

  His suite consisted of three servants and
  A tutor, the licentiate Pedrillo,
  Who several languages did understand,
  But now lay sick and speechless on his pillow,
  And, rocking in his hammock, long'd for land,
  His headache being increas'd by every billow;
  And the waves oozing through the port-hole made
  His berth a little damp, and him afraid.XXVI

  'Twas not without some reason, for the wind
  Increas'd at night, until it blew a gale;
  And though 'twas not much to a naval mind,
  Some landsmen would have look'd a little pale,
  For sailors are, in fact, a different kind:
  At sunset they began to take in sail,
  For the sky show'd it would come on to blow,
  And carry away, perhaps, a mast or so.XXVII

  At one o'clock the wind with sudden shift
  Threw the ship right into the trough of the sea,
  Which struck her aft, and made an awkward rift,
  Started the stern-post, also shatter'd the
  Whole of her stern-frame, and, ere she could lift
  Herself from out her present jeopardy,
  The rudder tore away: 'twas time to sound
  The pumps, and there were four feet water found.XXVIII

  One gang of people instantly was put
  Upon the pumps, and the remainder set
  To get up part of the cargo, and what not,
  But they could not come at the leak as yet;
  At last they did get at it really, but
  Still their salvation was an even bet:
  The water rush'd through in a way quite puzzling,
  While they thrust sheets, shirts, jackets, bales of muslin,XXIX

  Into the opening; but all such ingredients
  Would have been vain, and they must have gone down,
  Despite of all their efforts and expedients,
  But for the pumps: I'm glad to make them known
  To all the brother tars who may have need hence,
  For fifty tons of water were upthrown
  By them per hour, and they had all been undone,
  But for the maker, Mr. Mann, of London.XXX

  As day advanc'd the weather seem'd to abate,
  And then the leak they reckon'd to reduce,
  And keep the ship afloat, though three feet yet
  Kept two hand- and one chain-pump still in use.
  The wind blew fresh again: as it grew late
  A squall came on, and while some guns broke loose,
  A gust--which all descriptive power transcends--
  Laid with one blast the ship on her beam ends.XXXI

  There she lay, motionless, and seem'd upset;
  The water left the hold, and wash'd the decks,
  And made a scene men do not soon forget;
  For they remember battles, fires and wrecks,
  Or any other thing that brings regret,
  Or breaks their hopes, or hearts, or heads, or necks:
  Thus drownings are much talked of by the divers
  And swimmers who may chance to be survivors.XXXII

  Immediately the masts were cut away,
  Both main and mizen; first the mizen went,
  The mainmast follow'd: but the ship still lay
  Like a mere log, and baffled our intent.
  Foremast and bowsprit were cut down, and they
  Eas'd her at last (although we never meant
  To part with all till every hope was blighted),
  And then with violence the old ship righted.XXXIII

  It may be easily suppos'd, while this
  Was going on, some people were unquiet,
  That passengers would find it much amiss
  To lose their lives, as well as spoil their diet;
  That even the able seaman, deeming his
  Days nearly o'er, might be dispos'd to riot,
  As upon such occasions tars will ask
  For grog, and sometimes drink rum from the cask.XXXIV

  There's nought, no doubt, so much the spirit calms
  As rum and true religion: thus it was,
  Some plunder'd, some drank spirits, some sung psalms,
  The high wind made the treble, and as bass
  The hoarse harsh waves kept time; fright cur'd the qualms
  Of all the luckless landsmen's sea-sick maws:
  Strange sounds of wailing, blasphemy, devotion,
  Clamour'd in chorus to the roaring ocean.XXXV

  Perhaps more mischief had been done, but for
  Our Juan, who, with sense beyond his years,
  Got to the spirit-room, and
Rate this poem:(4.00 / 1 vote)


Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss this George Gordon Lord Byron poem with the community:


Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


"Don Juan: Canto the Second" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 May 2020. <>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets


Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.