Page:The Corsair (Byron).djvu/46

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32
THE CORSAIR.


'Tis but to sail—no doubt to-morrow's Sun
Will see the Pirates bound—their haven won!
Meantime the watch may slumber, if they will,
Nor only wake to war, but dreaming kill:
Though all, who can, disperse on shore and seek 620
To flesh their glowing valour on the Greek;
How well such deed becomes the turban’d brave—
To bare the sabre's edge before a slave!
Infest his dwelling—but forbear to slay,
Their arms are strong, yet merciful to-day,
And do not deign to smite because they may!
Unless some gay caprice suggests the blow,
To keep in practice for the coming foe.
Revel and rout the evening hours beguile,
And they who wish to wear a head must smile; 630
For Moslem mouths produce their choicest cheer,
And hoard their curses, till the coast is clear.


II.

High in his hall reclines the turban’d Seyd:
Around—the bearded chiefs he came to lead.
Removed the banquet, and the last pilaff—
Forbidden draughts, 'tis said, he dared to quaff,