Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/262

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230
[CANTO I.
THE CORSAIR.


But while he shuns the grosser joys of sense,
His mind seems nourished by that abstinence.
"Steer to that shore!"—they sail. "Do this!"—'tis done:
"Now form and follow me!"—the spoil is won.
Thus prompt his accents and his actions still,
And all obey and few inquire his will; 80
To such, brief answer and contemptuous eye
Convey reproof, nor further deign reply.


III.

"A sail!—a sail!"—a promised prize to Hope!
Her nation—flag—how speaks the telescope?[1]
No prize, alas! but yet a welcome sail:
The blood-red signal glitters in the gale.
Yes—she is ours—a home-returning bark—
Blow fair, thou breeze!—she anchors ere the dark.
Already doubled is the cape—our bay
Receives that prow which proudly spurns the spray. 90
How gloriously her gallant course she goes!
Her white wings flying—never from her foes—
She walks the waters like a thing of Life,[2]
And seems to dare the elements to strife.
Who would not brave the battle-fire, the wreck,
To move the monarch of her peopled deck!


IV.

Hoarse o'er her side the rustling cable rings:
The sails are furled; and anchoring round she swings;

  1. Her nation—flag—how tells the telescope.—[MS.]
  2. [Compare The Isle of Palms, by John Wilson, Canto I. (1812, p. 8)—

    "She sailed amid the loveliness
    Like a thing with heart and mind."]