Page:The Corsair (Byron).djvu/28

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14
THE CORSAIR.


His soul was changed—before his deeds had driven
Him forth to war with man and forfeit heaven.
Warp'd by the world in Disappointment's school,
In words too wise—in conduct there a fool—
Too firm to yield—and far too proud to stoop—
Doom'd by his very virtues for a dupe,
He curs'd those virtues as the cause of ill,
And not the traitors who betrayed him still; 260
Nor deem'd that gifts bestowed on better men
Had left him joy, and means to give again.
Fear'd—shunn'd—belied—ere youth had lost her force,
He hated man too much to feel remorse—
And thought the voice of wrath a sacred call,
To pay the injuries of some on all.
He knew himself a villain—but he deem'd
The rest no better than the thing he seem'd;
And scorn'd the best as hypocrites who hid
Those deeds the bolder spirit plainly did. 270
He knew himself detested, but he knew
The hearts that loath'd him, crouch'd and dreaded too.
Lone, wild, and strange, he stood alike exempt
From all affection and from all contempt: