From Byron's Don Juan:
But those who scaled, found out that their advance
Was favour'd by an accident or blunder:
The Greek or Turkish Cohorn's ignorance
Had palisado'd in a way you'd wonder
To see in forts of Netherlands or France
(Though these to our Gibraltar must knock under) --
Right in the middle of the parapet
Just named, these palisades were primly set:
So that on either side some nine or ten
Paces were left, whereon you could contrive
To march; a great convenience to our men,
At least to all those who were left alive,
Who thus could form a line and fight again;
And that which farther aided them to strive
Was, that they could kick down the palisades,
Which scarcely rose much higher than grass blades.
I first thought that "Ignorance had palisadoed cohorns there, just like you may see in forts of Netherlands".
But why is there the possessive s after "cohorn"? Okay.. let's try to assume that "Cohorn's ignorance" is subject in this clause. This "ignorance" had "palisadoed" something - but what exactly?
And "palisades not higher than grass blades"? What is he talking about? I can't wrap my mind around this, and thus I fail to understand these three lines. What do they mean, in plain English?