Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/318

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286
[CANTO III.
THE CORSAIR.


So thrilled, so shuddered every creeping vein,
As now they froze before that purple stain.
That spot of blood, that light but guilty streak,
Had banished all the beauty from her cheek!
Blood he had viewed—could view unmoved—but then
It flowed in combat, or was shed by men![1]


XI.

"'Tis done—he nearly waked—but it is done.
Corsair! he perished—thou art dearly won.
All words would now be vain—away—away!1600
Our bark is tossing—'tis already day.
The few gained over, now are wholly mine,
And these thy yet surviving band shall join:
Anon my voice shall vindicate my hand,
When once our sail forsakes this hated strand."


XII.

She clapped her hands, and through the gallery pour.
Equipped for flight, her vassals—Greek and Moor;
Silent but quick they stoop, his chains unbind;
Once more his limbs are free as mountain wind!
But on his heavy heart such sadness sate,1610
As if they there transferred that iron weight.
No words are uttered—at her sign, a door
Reveals the secret passage to the shore;
The city lies behind—they speed, they reach
The glad waves dancing on the yellow beach;

  1. A variant of lines 1596, 1597 first appeared in MS. in a revise numbering 1780 lines—

    Blood he had viewed, could view unmoved—but then
    It reddened on the scarfs and swords of men.

    In a later revise line 1597 was altered to—

    It flowed a token of the deeds of men.