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|Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893)|
The Finding of Don Juan by Haidee, 1878
This painting is based on a scene in Canto II of Byron's Don Juan, during which the shipwrecked Don Juan is discovered by the Greek girl Haidee. Below are stanzas nine through twelve of the second canto.
CIX With slow and staggering effort he arose, But sunk again upon his bleeding knee And quivering hand; and then he look'd for those Who long had been his mates upon the sea; But none of them appear'd to share his woes, Save one, a corpse, from out the famish'd three, Who died two days before, and now had found An unknown barren beach for burial ground. CX And as he gazed, his dizzy brain spun fast, And down he sunk; and as he sunk, the sand Swam round and round, and all his senses pass'd: He fell upon his side, and his stretch'd hand Droop'd dripping on the oar (their jurymast), And, like a wither'd lily, on the land His slender frame and pallid aspect lay, As fair a thing as e'er was form'd of clay. CXI How long in his damp trance young Juan lay He knew not, for the earth was gone for him, And Time had nothing more of night nor day For his congealing blood, and senses dim; And how this heavy faintness pass'd away He knew not, till each painful pulse and limb, And tingling vein, seem'd throbbing back to life, For Death, though vanquish'd, still retired with strife. CXII His eyes he open'd, shut, again unclosed, For all was doubt and dizziness; he thought He still was in the boat and had but dozed, And felt again with his despair o'erwrought, And wish'd it death in which he had reposed; And then once more his feelings back were brought, And slowly by his swimming eyes was seen A lovely female face of seventeen.
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