Page:The Corsair (Byron).djvu/52

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38
THE CORSAIR.


"Infringed our Order's rule, the Prophet's rage
"To Mecca's dome might bar my pilgrimage."


"Well—as thou wilt—ascetic as thou art—
"One question answer; then in peace depart.
"How many?—Ha! it cannot sure be day? 740
"What star—what sun is bursting on the bay?
"It shines a lake of fire!—away—away!
"Ho! treachery! my guards! my scimitar!
"The galleys feed the flames—and I afar!
"Accursed Dervise!—these thy tidings—thou
"Some villain spy—seize—cleave him—slay him now!"


Up rose the Dervise with that burst of light,
Nor less his change of form appall'd the sight:
Up rose that Dervise—not in saintly garb,
But like a warrior bounding from his barb, 750
Dash'd his high cap, and tore his robe away—
Shone his mail'd breast, and flash'd his sabre's ray!
His close but glittering casque, and sable plume,
More glittering eye, and black brow's sabler gloom,
Glared on the Moslems' eyes some Afrit Sprite,
Whose demon death-blow left no hope for fight.