Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/325

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CANTO III.]
293
THE CORSAIR.


Oh! o'er the eye Death most exerts his might[1]
And hurls the Spirit from her throne of light; 1780
Sinks those blue orbs in that long last eclipse,
But spares, as yet, the charm around her lips—
Yet, yet they seem as they forebore to smile,
And wished repose,—but only for a while;
But the white shroud, and each extended tress,
Long, fair—but spread in utter lifelessness,
Which, late the sport of every summer wind,
Escaped the baffled wreath that strove to bind;[2]
These—and the pale pure cheek, became the bier—
But She is nothing—wherefore is he here? 1790


XXI.

He asked no question—all were answered now
By the first glance on that still, marble brow.[3]
It was enough—she died—what recked it how?
The love of youth, the hope of better years,
The source of softest wishes, tenderest fears,
The only living thing he could not hate,
Was reft at once—and he deserved his fate,
But did not feel it less;—the Good explore,
For peace, those realms where Guilt can never soar:
The proud, the wayward—who have fixed below 1800
Their joy, and find this earth enough for woe,
Lose in that one their all—perchance a mite—
But who in patience parts with all delight?
Full many a stoic eye and aspect stern

  1. Escaped the idle braid that could not bind.—[MS.]
  2. By the first glance on that cold soulless brow.—[MS.]
  3. [Compare—

    "And—but for that sad shrouded eye," etc.


    and the whole of the famous passage in the Giaour (line 68, sq., vide ante, p. 88), beginning—

    "He who hath bent bim o'er the dead."]