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She turn'd, and vanish'd ere he could reply,
“ Thanks to that softening heart-she could not kill!" · Again he look'd, the wildness of her eye 1585 Starts from the day abrupt and fearfully. She stopp'd-threw back her dark far-floating hair, That nearly veil'd her face and bosom fair :
As if she late had bent her leaning head
X. He had seen battle--he had brooded lone 1595 O'er promised pangs to sentenced guilt foreshown; He had been tempted--chasten'd-and the chain Yet on his arms might ever there remain : But ne'er from strife, captivity, remorse, From all his feelings in their inmost force, 1600 So thrill'd-so shudder'd every creeping vein, As now they froze before that purple stain. That spot of blood, that light but guilty streak, Had banish'd all the beauty from her cheek! 1604 Blood he had view'd, could view unmov'd, but then It flow'd in combat, or was shed by men !
“ 'Tis done, he nearly waked, but it is done.
“Anon my voice shall vindicate my hand,
XII. She clapp'd her hands, and through the gallery pour, Equipp'd for flight, her vassals—Greek and Moor; 1616 Silent but quick they stoop, his chains unbind; Once more his limbs are free as mountain wind ! But on his heavy heart such sadness sate, As if they there transferr'd that iron weight. 1620 No words are utter'd--at her sign, a door Reveals the secret passage to the shore; The city lies behind, they speed, they reach The glad waves dancing on the yellow beach; And Conrad following, at her beck, obey'd, 1625 Nor cared he now if rescued or betray'd ; Resistance were as useless as if Seyd Yet lived to view the doom his ire decreed.
XIII. Embark'd, the sail unfurld, the light breeze blewHow much had Conrad's memory to review! 1630 Sunk he in contemplation, till the cape Where last he anchor'd rear'd its giant shape. Ah!-since that fatal night, though brief the time, Had swept an age of terror, grief, and crime. As its far shadow frown'd above the mast, 1635 He veil'd his face, and sorrow'd as he past;
He thought of all, Gonsalvo and his band,
XIV. She watch'd his features till she could not bear Their freezing aspect and averted air, And that strange fierceness foreign to her eye, Fell quench'd in tears, too late to shed or dry. She knelt beside him and his hand she prest, 1645 “ Thou may'st forgive, though Alla's self detest; “But for that deed of darkness what wert thou ? “Reproach me, but not yet, Oh! spare me now! “I am not what I seem, this fearful night “My brain bewilderd, do not madden quite! 1650 “ If I had never loved, though less my guilt, . “ Thou hadst not lived to hate me if thou wilt."
She wrongs his thoughts, they more himself upbraid
She bears her down majestically near,
1670 They own the signal, answer to the hail, Hoist out the boat at once, and slacken sail. “ 'Tis Conrad ! Conrad !" shouting from the deck, Command nor duty could their transport check! With light alacrity and gaze of pride,
1675 They view him mount once more his vessel's side; A smile relaxing in each rugged face, Their arms can scarce forbear a rough embrace. He, half forgetting danger and defeat, Returns their greetings as a chief may greet, 1680 Wrings with a cordial grasp Anselmo's hand, And feels he yet can conquer and command !
XVI. These greetings o'er, the feelings that o’erflow, Yet grieve to win him back without a blow; They sail'd prepared for vengeance-had they known A woman's hand secured that deed her own, 1686 She were their queen-less scrupulous are they Than haughty Conrad how they win their way.