"Sweet Is Revenge–especially To Women"

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Last Updated on June 3, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 203

Context: This quotation is similar to our common saying, "Revenge is sweet." It is also similar to Satan's comment, enviously thinking of Adam and Eve, "Revenge, at first though sweet,/ Bitter ere long back on itself recoils," in Book IX of Milton's Paradise Lost. In Don Juan the quotation in question is part of a series of statements, taking up several stanzas, about things that one can consider "sweet": a miser's gold to him, the hum of bees, the voices of young girls, the birth of one's first son, the taste of new vintage wine, and many more. None be so sweet, however, concludes the poet, as "first and passionate love–it stands alone,/ Like Adam's recollection of his fall." Such love is worth the sum of all the other "sweets," says Lord Byron, that he can name. The lines about the sweetness of revenge appear in the following context:

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Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes
In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth,
Purple and gushing; sweet are our escapes
From civic revelry to rural mirth;
Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps,
Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth,
Sweet is revenge–especially to women,
Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen.

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