« AnteriorContinuar »
“ I come through darkness---and I scarce know why.-“ Yet not to hurt---I would not see thee die." 1050
“ If so, kind lady! thine the only eye 6 That would not here in that gay hope delight: “ Theirs is the chance---and let them use their right. " But still I thank their courtesy or thine, “ That would confess me at so fair a shrine !" 1055
Strange though it seem--
---yet with extremest grief Is link'd a mirth---it doth not bring relief--That playfulness of Sorrow ne'er beguiles, And smiles in bitterness---but still it smiles; And sometimes with the wisest and the best, 1060 Till even the scaffold (10) echoes with their jest! Yet not the joy to which it seems akin--It may deceive all hearts, save that within. Whate'er it was that flash'd on Conrad, now A laughing wildness half unbent his brow: 1065 And these his accents had a sound of mirth, As if the last he could enjoy on earth ; Yet 'gainst his nature---for through that short life, Few thoughts had he to-spare from gloom and strife.
“ Corsair! thy doom is named-but I have power " To sooth the Pacha in his weaker hour. 1071 “ Thee would I spare-nay more-would save thee
-time--hope--nor even thy strength allow; “ But all I can, I will: at least, delay “ The sentence that remits thee scarce a day. 1075 “ More now were ruin-even thyself were loth “ The vain attempt should bring but doom to both.”
“ Yes !_loth indeed:-my soul is nerved to all, “ Or fall'n too low to fear a further fall : * Tempt not thyself with peril; me with hope, 1080
Of flight from foes with whom I could not cope: “ Unfit to vanquish-shall I meanly fly, “ The one of all my band that would not die? “ Yet there is one-to whom my memory clings, “ Till to these eyes her own wild softness springs. 1085
My sole resources in the path I trod “ Were these---my bark---my sword---my love---my
God! * The last I left in youth---he leaves me now--" And Man but works his will to lay me low. 1089
I have no thought to mock his throne with prayer “ Wrung from the coward crouching of despair; “ It is enough---I breathe---and I can bear, “My sword is shaken from the worthless hand “ That might have better kept so true a brand; “My bark is sunk or captive---but my love--- 1095
For her in sooth my voice would mount above: “Oh! she is all that still to earth can bind--“ And this will break a heart so more than kind, " And blight a form---till thine appear’d, Gulnare! " Mine eye ne'er ask'd if others were as fair ?” 1100
“ Thou lov'st another then ?---but what to me “ Is this---'tis nothing---nothing e'er can be: “ But yet---thou lov'st---and---Oh! I envy those “ Whose hearts on hearts as faithful can repose, 1104 " Who never feel the void---the wandering thought " That sighs o'er visions---such as mine hath wrought.”
Lady---methought thy love was his, for whom « This arm redeem'd thee from a fiery tomba"
“ My love stern Seyd's! Oh---No---No---not my
love--« Yet much this heart, that strives no more, once strove “ To meet his passion---but it would not be. 1111 “ 1 felt---I feel---love dwells with---with the free. “I am a slave, a favour'd slave at best, " To share his splendour, and seem very blest! « Oft must my soul the question undergo,
1115 « Of--- Dost thou love?' and burn to answer No!' 66 Oh! hard it is that fondness to sustain, " And struggle not to feel averse in vain; “ But harder still the heart's recoil to bear, " And hide from one---perhaps another there. 1120 “ He takes the hand I give not---nor withhold--“ Its pulse nor check’d---nor quicken'd---calmly cold: " And when resign'd, it drops a lifeless weight " From one I never loved enough to hate. “ No warmth these lips return by his imprest, 1125
And chill'd remembrance shudders o'er the rest.
“ Yes---had I ever proved that passion's zeal, “ The change to hatred were at least to feel : “ But still--- he goes unmourn’d---returns unsought--“ And oft when present---absent from my thought. “ Or when reflection comes, and come it must--- 1131 56 I fear that henceforth 'twill but bring disgust; “ I am his slave---but, in despite of pride, “ "Twere worse than bondage to become his bride. “ Oh! that this dotage of his breast would cease! 1135 " Or seek another and give mine release, “ But yesterday---I could have said, to peace ! “ Yeg---if unwonted fondness now I feign, “ Remember---captive ! 'tis to break thy chain;
Repay the life that to thy hand I owe; 1140 “ To give thee back to all endear'd below, “ Who share such love as I can never know. “ Farewell---morn breaks---and I must now away: “ 'Twill cost me dear---but dread no death to-day!"
She press'd his fetter'd fingers to her heart, 1145
Oh! too convincing---dangerously dear---
'Tis morn---and o'er his alter'd features play 1165
END OF CANTO II.