Page:The Corsair (Byron).djvu/16

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2
THE CORSAIR.


"Not thou, vain lord of wantonness and ease!
"Whom slumber soothes not—pleasure cannot please—
"Oh, who can tell, save he whose heart hath tried,
"And danc’d in triumph o'er the waters wide,
"The exulting sense—the pulse's maddening play,
"That thrills the wanderer of that trackless way?
"That for itself can woo the approaching fight,
"And turn what some deem danger to delight;
"That seeks what cravens shun with more than zeal,
"And where the feebler faint—can only feel— 20
"Feel—to the rising bosom's inmost core,
"Its hope awaken and its spirit soar?
"No dread of death—if with us die our foes—
"Save that it seems even duller than repose:
"Come when it will—we snatch the life of life—
"When lost—what recks it—by disease or strife?
"Let him who crawls enamoured of decay,
"Cling to his couch, and sicken years away;
"Heave his thick breath; and shake his palsied head;
"Ours—the fresh turf, and not the feverish bed. 30
"While gasp by gasp he faulters forth his soul,
"Ours with one pang—one bound—escapes controul.