Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/309

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CANTO III.]
277
THE CORSAIR.


"His capture could!—and shall I then resign
One day to him—the wretch already mine?
Release my foe!—at whose remonstrance?—thine!
Fair suitor!—to thy virtuous gratitude, 1340
That thus repays this Giaour's relenting mood,
Which thee and thine alone of all could spare—
No doubt, regardless—if the prize were fair—
My thanks and praise alike are due—now hear!
I have a counsel for thy gentler ear:
I do mistrust thee, Woman! and each word
Of thine stamps truth on all Suspicion heard.[1]
Borne in his arms through fire from yon Serai—
Say, wert thou lingering there with him to fly?
Thou need'st not answer—thy confession speaks, 1350
Already reddening on thy guilty cheeks:
Then—lovely Dame—bethink thee! and beware:
'Tis not his life alone may claim such care!
Another word and—nay—I need no more.
Accurséd was the moment when he bore
Thee from the flames, which better far—but no—
I then had mourned thee with a lover's woe—
Now 'tis thy lord that warns—deceitful thing!
Know'st thou that I can clip thy wanton wing?
In words alone I am not wont to chafe: 1360
Look to thyself—nor deem thy falsehood safe!"


He rose—and slowly, sternly thence withdrew,
Rage in his eye, and threats in his adieu:
Ah! little recked that Chief of womanhood—
Which frowns ne'er quelled, nor menaces subdued,
And little deemed he what thy heart, Gulnare!
When soft could feel—and when incensed could dare!

  1. Of thine adds certainty to all I heard.—[MS.]