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THE CORSAIR.

CANTO II.

“ Conosceste i dubiosi desiri?"

DANTE.

I. IN Coron's bay floats many a Galley light, Through Coron's lattices the lamps are bright, 610 For Seyd, the Pacha, makes a feast to-night: A feast for promised triumph yet to come, When he shall drag the fettered Rovers home; This hath he sworn by Alla and his sword, And faithful to his firman and his word, His summoned prows collect along the coast, And great the gathering crews, and loud the boast;

Already shared the captives and the prize,
Though far the distant foe they thus despise ;

'Tis but to sail no doubt to-morrow's Sun

620

Will see the Pirates bound their haven won!

Mean time the watch may slumber, if they will,
Nor only wake to war, but dreaming kill.
Though all, who can, disperse on shore and seek
To flesh their glowing valour on the Greek;
How well such deed becomes the turbaned brave-
To bare the sabre's edge before a slave!
Infest his dwelling—but forbear to slay,
Their arms are strong, yet merciful to-day,
And do not deign to smite because they may! 630
Unless some gay caprice suggests the blow,
To keep in practice for the coming foe.
Revel and rout the evening hours beguile,
And they who wish to wear a head must smile;
For Moslem mouths produce their choicest cheer,
And hoard their curses, till the coast is clear.

II.

High in his hall reclines the turbaned Seyd;
Around the bearded chiefs he came to lead.
Removed the banquet, and the last pilaff-
Forbidden draughts, 'tis said, he dared to quaff, 640
Though to the rest the sober berry's juice, 3
The slaves bear round for rigid-Moslem's use;
The long Chibouque's* dissolving cloud supply,
While dance the Almas5 to wild minstrelsy.
The rising morn will view the chiefs embark ;
But waves are somewhat treacherous in the dark:
And revellers may more securely sleep
On silken couch than o'er the rugged deep;
Feast there, who can-nor combat till they must,
And less to conquest-than to Korans trust';: 650
And yet the numbers. crowded in his host
Might warrant more than even the Pacha's boast.

VOL. 111,

III.
With cautious reverence from the outer gate,
Slow stalks the slave, whose office there to wait,
Bows his bent head-his hand salutes the floor,
Ere yet his tongue the trusted tidings bore:
“A captive Dervise, from the pirate's nest

Escaped, is here himself would tell the rest."
He took the sign from Seyd's assenting eye,
And led the holy man in silence nigh.

660
His arms were folded on his dark-green vest,
His step was feeble, and his look deprest ;
Yet worn he seemed of hardship more than years,
And pale his cheek with penance, not from fears.
Vowed to his God-his sable locks he wore,
And these his lofty cap rose proudly o’er:
Around his form his loose long robe was thrown,
And wrapt a breast bestowed on heaven alone;
Submissive, yet with self-possession manned,
He calmly met the curious eyes that scanned ; 670
And question of his coming fain would seek,
Before the Pacha's will allowed to speak.

IV.

Whence com'st thou, Dervise?".

“ From the outlaw's den, A fugitive-"

Thy capture where and when ?" From Scalanova's port to Scio's isle, The Saick was bound; but Alla did not smile

Upon our course—the Moslem merchant's gains “ The Rovers won: our limbs have worn their chains. “ I had no death to fear, nor wealth to boast,

Beyond the wandering freedom which I lost ; At length a fisher's humble boat by night

681 “ Afforded hope, and offered chance of flight: “ I seized the hour, and find my safety here“ With thee-most mighty Pacha! who can fear?"

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