Farewell to Malta

Communicated by Miss C. Richardson

Adieu ye joys of La Valette!
Adieu Siroccos, sun, and sweat,
Adieu thou palace rarely enter'd!
Adieu ye mansions where I've ventur’d!
Adieu ye vilest streets of stairs!
How surely he who mounts you swears!
Adieu ye merchants often failing!
Adieu thou mob for ever railing!
Adieu ye packets without letters!
Adieu ye fools who ape your betters!
Adieu thou damned'st quarantine,
That gave me fever, and the spleen!
Adieu red coats, and redder faces!
Adieu ye females fraught with graces!
Adieu the supercilious air
Of all that strut en militaire!

I go — but God knows when, or why,
To smoky towns and cloudy sky,
To things, the honest truth to say
As bad, but in a different way.
Farewell to these, but not adieu,
Triumphant sons of truest blue,
Whom constant smiles and daily dinners
Proclaim both wars and womens winners.
Pardon my Muse, who apt to prate is,
And take my rhymes — because they’re gratis.
And now I've got to Mrs. Fraser,
Perhaps you think I mean to praise her­
And were I vain enough to think
My praise was worth this drop of ink,
A line or two were no hard matter,
As here, indeed, I need not flatter;
But she must be content to shine
In better praises than in mine,
With lively air, and open heart,
And fashion's ease, without its art;
Her hours can gaily glide along,
Nor ask the aid of idle song.

And now, O Malta! since thou'st got us,
Thou little military hot-house!
I'll not offend with words uncivil,
And wish thee rudely at the Devil,
But only stare from out my casement,
And ask, for what is such a place meant?
Then, in my solitary nook,
Return to scribbling, and my book,
Or take my physic while I'm able
Two spoonfuls hourly by the label.

Lord Byron