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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Oriental Royalty

By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

From ‘Don Juan’

HE had fifty daughters and four dozen sons,

Of whom all such as came of age were stowed—

The former in a palace, where like nuns

They lived till some Bashaw was sent abroad,

When she whose turn it was, was wed at once,

Sometimes at six years old—though this seems odd,

’Tis true: the reason is, that the Bashaw

Must make a present to his sire-in-law.

His sons were kept in prison, till they grew

Of years to fill a bowstring or the throne,—

One or the other, but which of the two

Could yet be known unto the Fates alone:

Meantime the education they went through

Was princely, as the proofs have always shown;

So that the heir-apparent still was found

No less deserving to be hanged than crowned.