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Fear'st thou for him —may I expire
One bound he made, and gained the sand :
Already at his feet hath sunk
A gasping head, a quivering trunk:
And almost met the meeting wave:
Oh! are they yet in time to save ?
His feet the foremost breakers lave;
Escaped from shot, unharmed by steel,
i. Or grazed by wounds he scorned to feel.-[ 115,1
There as his last step left the land,
For her his eye but sought in vain ?
Hath doomed his death, or fixed his chain.
i. Three MS. variants of these lines were rejected in turn before the text was finally adopted
(1) | Ah! wherefore did he turn to look
I know not why he turned to look
How late will Lover's hope remain.
Ah! wherefore did he turn to look ?
Sad proof, etc. -
So far escaped from death or chain ?
Sad proof, etc.—
That glance he paused to send again
The father slowly rued thy hate,
Morn slowly rolls the clouds away;
Few trophies of the fight are there :
That strand of strife may bear,
May there be marked; nor far remote
A broken torch, an oarless boat; And tangled on the weeds that heap The beach where shelving to the deep
There lies a white capote !
But where is he who wore ?
And cast on Lemnos' shore :
i. O'er which their talons yet delay.-[MS. erased.
That hand, whose motion is not life,
Then levelled with the wave-1
Within a living grave?
And mourned above his turban-stone,?
Yea-closed before his own!
By Helle's stream there is a voice of wail !
Thy destined lord is come too late :
Can he not hear
Thy handmaids weeping at the gate,
i. And that changed hand whose only life
Is motion-seems to menace strife.-(MS.] 1. [" While the Salsette lay off the Dardanelles, Lord Byron saw the body of a man who had been executed by being cast into the sea, floating on the stream, moving to and fro with the tumbling of the water, which gave to his arms the effect of scaring away several sea-fowl that were hovering to devour. This incident he has strikingly depicted in the Bride of Abydos.”- Life of Lord Byron, by John Galt, 1830, p. 144.) 2. A túrban is carved in stone above the graves of men only.
3. The death-song of the Turkish women. The “silent slaves are the men, whose notions of decorum forbid complaint in public,
The Koran-chanters of the Hymn of Fate, 1
The silent slaves with folded arms that wait,
Tell him thy tale !
Thy heart grew chill :
1120 Burst forth in one wild cry—and all was still.
Peace to thy broken heart-and virgin grave! Ah! happy! but of life to lose the worst ! That grief-though deep-though fatal—was thy first Thrice happy! ne'er to feel nor fear the force Of absence-shame-pride-hate-revenge-remorse! And, oh ! that pang where more than Madness lies The Worm that will not sleep-and never dies; Thought of the gloomy day and ghastly night, That dreads the darkness, and yet loathes the light, 1130 That winds around, and tears the quivering heart! Ah! wherefore not consume it—and depart!
i. The Koran-chapter chaunts thy fate.[1/5.) 1. (At a Turkish funeral, after the interment has taken place, the Imâm “assis sur les genoux à côté de la tombe," offers the prayer Telkin, and at the conclusion of the prayer recites the Fathah, or “opening chapter" of the Korân. ("In the name of the merciful and compassionate God. Praise belongs to God, the Lord of the worlds, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Ruler of the day of judgment. Thee we serve, and Thee we ask for aid. Guide us in the right path, the path of those Thou art gracious to; not of those
Thou art wroth with ; nor of those who err."-- The Qur'an, p. I, translated by E. H. Palmer, Oxford, 1880): Tableau Générale de l'Empire Ottoman, par Mouradja D'Ohsson, Paris, 1787, i. 235-248. Writing to Murray, November 14, 1813, Byron instances the funeral (in the Bride of Abydos) as proof of his correctness with regard to local colouring - Letters, 1898, ii. 283.)