Page:The Corsair (Byron).djvu/31

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17
THE CORSAIR.


"And, if my plan but hold, and Fortune smile,
"We'll furnish mourners for our funeral-pile.
"Ay—let them slumber—peaceful be their dreams!
"Morn ne'er awoke them with such brilliant beams
"As kindle high to-night (but blow, thou breeze!)
"To warm these slow avengers of the seas. 320
"Now to Medora—Oh! my sinking heart,
"Long may her own be lighter than thou art!
"Yet was I brave—mean boast! where all are brave—
"Ev'n insects sting for aught they seek to save—
"This common courage which with brutes we share,
"That owes its deadliest efforts to despair,
"Small merit claims—but 'twas my nobler hope
"To teach my few with numbers still to cope;
"Long have I led them—not to vainly bleed:
"No medium now—we perish or succeed! 330
"So let it be—it irks not me to die;
"But thus to urge them whence they cannot fly—
"My lot hath long had little of my care,
"But chafes my pride thus baffled in the snare:
"Is this my skill? my craft? to set at last
"Hope, power and life upon a single cast?