Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/322

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290
[CANTO III.
THE CORSAIR.


And now he turned him to that dark-eyed slave
Whose brow was bowed beneath the glance he gave, 1700
Who now seemed changed and humbled, faint and meek,
But varying oft the colour of her cheek
To deeper shades of paleness—all its red
That fearful spot which stained it from the dead!
He took that hand—it trembled—now too late—
So soft in love—so wildly nerved in hate;
He clasped that hand—it trembled—and his own
Had lost its firmness, and his voice its tone.
"Gulnare!"—but she replied not—"dear Gulnare!"[1]
She raised her eye—her only answer there— 1710
At once she sought and sunk in his embrace:
If he had driven her from that resting-place,
His had been more or less than mortal heart,
But—good or ill—it bade her not depart.
Perchance, but for the bodings of his breast,
His latest virtue then had joined the rest.
Yet even Medora might forgive the kiss[2]
That asked from form so fair no more than this,
The first, the last that Frailty stole from Faith—
To lips where Love had lavished all his breath, 1720
To lips—whose broken sighs such fragrance fling,
As he had fanned them freshly with his wing!"[3]


XVIII.

They gain by twilight's hour their lonely isle.
To them the very rocks appear to smile;

  1. "Gulnare"—she answered not again—"Gulnare"
    She raised her glance—her sole reply was there.—[MS.]

  2. That sought from form so fair no more than this
    That kiss—the first that Frailty wrung frorn Faith
    That last—on lips so warm with rosy breath.—[MS. erased.]

  3. As he had fanned them with his rosy wing.—[MS.]