Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/279

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
CANTO I.]
247
THE CORSAIR.


"They are—nay more—embarked: the latest boat
Waits but my chief——"
 "My sword, and my capote."
Soon firmly girded on, and lightly slung,
His belt and cloak were o'er his shoulders flung: 560
"Call Pedro here!" He comes—and Conrad bends,
With all the courtesy he deigned his friends;
"Receive these tablets, and peruse with care,
Words of high trust and truth are graven there;
Double the guard, and when Anselmo's bark
Arrives, let him alike these orders mark:
In three days (serve the breeze) the sun shall shine
On our return—till then all peace be thine!"
This said, his brother Pirate's hand he wrung,
Then to his boat with haughty gesture sprung. 570
Flashed the dipt oars, and sparkling with the stroke,
Around the waves' phosphoric[1] brightness broke;
They gain the vessel—on the deck he stands,—
Shrieks the shrill whistle, ply the busy hands—
He marks how well the ship her helm obeys,
How gallant all her crew, and deigns to praise.
His eyes of pride to young Gonsalvo turn—
Why doth he start, and inly seem to mourn?
Alas! those eyes beheld his rocky tower,
And live a moment o'er the parting hour; 580
She—his Medora—did she mark the prow?
Ah! never loved he half so much as now!
But much must yet be done ere dawn of day—
Again he mans himself and turns away;
Down to the cabin with Gonsalvo bends,
And there unfolds his plan—his means, and ends;

  1. By night, particularly in a warm latitude, every stroke of the oar, every motion of the boat or ship, is followed by a sliglit flash like sheet lightning from the water.