Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/294

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262
[CANTO II.
THE CORSAIR.


The withering sense of Evil unrevealed,
Not cankering less because the more concealed;
All, in a word, from which all eyes must start, 960
That opening sepulchre, the naked heart[1]
Bares with its buried woes—till Pride awake,
To snatch the mirror from the soul, and break.
Aye, Pride can veil, and Courage brave it all—
All—all—before—beyond—the deadliest fall.
Each hath some fear, and he who least betrays,
The only hypocrite deserving praise:
Not the loud recreant wretch who boasts and flies;
But he who looks on Death—and silent dies:
So, steeled by pondering o'er his far career, 970
He half-way meets Him should He menace near!


XI.

In the high chamber of his highest tower
Sate Conrad, fettered in the Pacha's power.
His palace perished in the flame—this fort
Contained at once his captive and his court.
Not much could Conrad of his sentence blame,
His foe, if vanquished, had but shared the same:—
Alone he sate—in solitude had scanned
His guilty bosom, but that breast he manned:
One thought alone he could not—dared not meet— 980
"Oh, how these tidings will Medora greet?"
Then—only then—his clanking hands he raised,
And strained with rage the chain on which he gazed;
But soon he found, or feigned, or dreamed relief,

And smiled in self-derision of his grief,
  1. [Compare—

    "That hideous sight, a naked human heart."
    Night Thoughts, by Edward Young (Night III.)

    (Anderson's British Poets, x. 71).]