Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/313

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CANTO III.]
281
THE CORSAIR.


VIII.

The midnight passed, and to the massy door
A light step came—it paused—it moved once more;
Slow turns the grating bolt and sullen key: 1440
'Tis as his heart foreboded—that fair She!
Whate'er her sins, to him a Guardian Saint,
And beauteous still as hermit's hope can paint;
Yet changed since last within that cell she came,
More pale her cheek, more tremulous her frame:
On him she cast her dark and hurried eye,
Which spoke before her accents—"Thou must die!
Yes, thou must die—there is but one resource,
The last—the worst—if torture were not worse."


"Lady! I look to none; my lips proclaim 1450
What last proclaimed they—Conrad still the same:
Why should'st thou seek an outlaw's life to spare,
And change the sentence I deserve to bear?
Well have I earned—nor here alone—the meed
Of Seyd's revenge, by many a lawless deed."


"Why should I seek? because—Oh! did'st thou not
Redeem my life from worse than Slavery's lot?
Why should I seek?—hath Misery made thee blind
To the fond workings of a woman's mind?
And must I say?—albeit my heart rebel 1460
With all that Woman feels, but should not tell—
Because—despite thy crimes—that heart is moved:
It feared thee—thanked thee—pitied—maddened—loved.
Reply not, tell not now thy tale again,
Thou lov'st another—and I love in vain:
Though fond as mine her bosom, form more fair,
I rush through peril which she would not dare.