Page:The Corsair (Byron).djvu/100

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86
THE CORSAIR


He—half forgetting danger and defeat,
Returns their greeting as a chief may greet, 1670
Wrings with a cordial grasp Anselmo's hand,
And feels he yet can conquer and command!


XVI.

These greetings o'er, the feelings that o'erflow,
Yet grieve to win him back without a blow;
They sail'd prepared for vengeance—had they known
A woman's hand secured that deed her own.
She were their queen—less scrupulous are they
Than haughty Conrad how they win their way.
With many an asking smile, and wondering stare,
They whisper round, and gaze upon Gulnare; 1680
And her, at once above—beneath her sex.
Whom blood appall'd not, their regards perplex.
To Conrad turns her faint imploring eye.
She drops her veil, and stands in silence by;
Her arms are meekly folded on that breast.
Which—Conrad safe—to fate resign'd the rest.
Though worse than phrenzy could that bosom fill,
Extreme in love or hate—in good or ill.
The worst of crimes had left her woman still!