Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/276

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244
[CANTO I.
THE CORSAIR.


She rose—she sprung—she clung to his embrace,
Till his heart heaved beneath her hidden face:
He dared not raise to his that deep-blue eye,
Which downcast drooped in tearless agony.
Her long fair hair lay floating o'er his arms, 470
In all the wildness of dishevelled charms;
Scarce beat that bosom where his image dwelt
So full—that feeling seem'd almost unfelt!
Hark—peals the thunder of the signal-gun!
It told 'twas sunset, and he cursed that sun.
Again—again—that form he madly pressed,
Which mutely clasped, imploringly caressed![1]
And tottering to the couch his bride he bore,
One moment gazed—as if to gaze no more;
Felt that for him Earth held but her alone, 480
Kissed her cold forehead—turned—is Conrad gone?


XV.

"And is he gone?"—on sudden solitude
How oft that fearful question will intrude!
"'Twas but an instant past, and here he stood!
And now"—without the portal's porch she rushed,
And then at length her tears in freedom gushed;
Big, bright, and fast, unknown to her they fell;
But still her lips refused to send—"Farewell!"
For in that word—that fatal word—howe'er
We promise—hope—believe—there breathes Despair.
O'er every feature of that still, pale face, 491
Had Sorrow fixed what Time can ne'er erase:
The tender blue of that large loving eye
Grew frozen with its gaze on vacancy,

  1. Oh! he could bear no more—but madly grasped
    Her form—and trembling there his own unclasped.—[MS.]