The Corsair vowed protection, soothed affright,
As if his homage were a Woman's right.
"The wish is wrong—nay, worse for female—vain:
Yet much I long to view that Chief again;
If but to thank for, what my fear forgot,
The life—my loving Lord remembered not!"
And him she saw, where thickest carnage spread,
But gathered breathing from the happier dead;880
Far from his band, and battling with a host
That deem right dearly won the field he lost,
Felled—bleeding—baffled of the death he sought,
And snatched to expiate all the ills he wrought;
Preserved to linger and to live in vain,
While Vengeance pondered o'er new plans of pain,
And stanched the blood she saves to shed again—
But drop by drop, for Seyd's unglutted eye
Would doom him ever dying—ne'er to die!
Can this be he? triumphant late she saw,890
When his red hand's wild gesture waved, a law!
'Tis he indeed—disarmed but undeprest,
His sole regret the life he still possest;
His wounds too slight, though taken with that will,
Which would have kissed the hand that then could kill.
Oh were there none, of all the many given,
To send his soul—he scarcely asked to Heaven?
- [The word "to" had been left out by the printer, and in a late revise Byron supplies the omission, and writes—
"To Mr. Murray or Mr. Davison.In the MS. the line ran—
"Do not omit words—it is quite enough to alter or mis-spell them.
"To send his soul—he scarcely cared to Heaven."
"Asked" is written over in pencil, but "cared" has not been erased.]