« 前へ次へ »
66 Gulnare - Gulnare I never felt till now
My abject fortune, wither'd fame so low:
Seyd is mine enemy: had swept my band
From earth with ruthless but with
And therefore came I, in my bark of war,
To smite the smiter with the scimitar;
Such is my weapon
not the secret knife
Who spares a woman's seeks not slumber's life.
Thine saved I gladly, Lady, not for this —
Let me not deem that mercy shown amiss.
Now fare thee well more peace be with thy breast!
Night wears apace
my last of earthly rest!”
“Rest! rest! by sunrise must thy sinews shake,
And thy limbs writhe around the ready stake.
I heard the order
I will not see
If thou wilt perish, I will fall with thee.
all below Are on this cast - Corsair ! 't is but a blow! Without it flight were idle — how evade His sure pursuit ? my wrongs too unrepaid, My youth disgraced — the long, long wasted years, One blow shall cancel with our future fears; But since the dagger suits thee less than brand, I 'll try the firmness of a female hand, The guards are gain'd - one moment all were o'er Corsair! we meet in safety or no more; If errs my feeble hand, the morning cloud Will hover o'er thy scaffold, and my
She turn'd, and vanish'd ere he could reply,
But his glance follow'd far with eager eye;
And gathering, as he could, the links that bound
His form, to curl their length, and curb their sound,
Since bar and bolt no more his steps preclude,
He, fast as fetter'd limbs allow, pursued.
’T was dark and winding, and he knew not where
That passage led; nor lamp nor guard were there :
He sees a dusky glimmering - shall he seek
Or shun that ray so indistinct and weak?
Chance guides his steps a freshness seems to bear
Full on his brow, as if from morning air -
He reach'd an open gallery on his eye
Gleam'd the last star of night, the clearing sky:
Yet scarcely heeded these — another light
From a lone chamber struck upon his sight.
Towards it he moved ; a scarcely closing door
Reveal’d the ray within, but nothing more.
With hasty step a figure outward past,
and turn'd — and paused — 't is She at last !
No poniard in that hand — nor sign of ill
“ Thanks to that softening heart she could not kill ! "
Again he look’d, the wildness of her eye
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
Above some object of her doubt or dread.
They meet — upon her brow -- unknown -- forgot --
Her hurrying hand had left -'t was but a spot-
Its hue was all he saw, and scarce withstood -
Oh! slight but certain pledge of crime 't is blood !
X. He had seen battle he had brooded lone 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 From all his feelings in their inmost forceSo thrilld — 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! Blood he had view'd — could view unmoved - but then It flow'd in combat, or was shed by men.
“ 'T is done — he nearly waked - but it is done.
Corsair ! he perish'd thou art dearly won.
All words would now be vain - away — away!
Our bark is tossing - 't is already day.
The few gain'd over, now are wholly mine,
And these thy yet surviving band shall join :
Anon my voice shall vindicate my hand,
When once our sail forsakes this hated strand.”
She clapp'd her hands - and through the gallery pour,
Equipp'd for flight, her vassals - Greek and Moor;
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.
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,
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.
Embark'd, the sail unfurl'd, the light breeze blew...
How much had Conrad's memory to review!
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,
He veild his face, and sorrow'd as he pass’d;
He thought of all — Gonsalvo and his band,
His fleeting triumph and his failing hand;
He thought on her afar, his lonely bride:
He turn'd and saw Gulnare, the homicide!
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 press'd, * Thou may'st forgive though Allah'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 ! 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
Than her, though undesign'd, the wretch he made;
But speechless all, deep, dark, and unexprest,
They bleed within that silent cell - his breast.
Still onward, fair the breeze, nor rough the surge,
The blue waves sport around the stern they urge ;
Far on the horizon's verge appears a speck,
an armed deck!
Their little bark her men of watch descry,
And ampler canvass woos the wind from high ;
She bears her down majestically near,
Speed on her prow, and terror in her tier ;
A flash is seen – the ball beyond her bo.v
Booms harmless, hissing to the deep below.
Up rose keen Conrad from his silent trance,
A long, long absent gladness in his glance;
“'T is mine - my blood-red flag ! again again.
I am not all deserted on the main ! "
They own the signal, answer to the hail,
Hoist out the boat at once, and slacken sail.
6°T is Conrad! Conrad !” shouting from the deck,
Command nor duty could their transport check!.
With light alacrity and gaze of pride,
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 greeting as a chief may greet,
Wrings with a cordial grasp Anselmo's hand,
And feels he yet can conquer and command !
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,
She were their queen less scrupulous are they
Than haughty Conrad how they win their way.
With many an asking smile, and wondering stare,
They whisper round, and gaze upon Gulnare ;
And her, at once above- beneath her sex,
Whom blood appalld not, their regards perplex.
To Conrad turns her faint imploring eye,
She drops her veil, and stands in silence by ;
Her arms are meekly folded on that breast,
Which Conrad safe - to fate resign’d the rest.
Though worse than frenzy could that bosom fill,
Extreme in love or hate, in good or ill,
The worst of crimes had left her woman still!
This Conrad mark’d, and felt ah! could he less ?
Hate of that deed — but grief for her distress ;
What she has done no tears can wash away,
And Heaven must punish on its angry day:
But - it was done : he knew, whate'er her guilt,
For him that poniard smote, that blood was spilt ;
And he was free! - and she for him had given
Her all on earth, and more than all in heaven!
And now he turn'd him to that dark-eyed slave
Whose brow was bow'd beneath the glance he gave,
Who now seem'd changed and humbled : — faint and meek,
But varying oft the colour of her cheek
To deeper shades of paleness - all its red
That fearful spot which stain'd it from the dead !
He took that hand - it trembled - now too late
So soft in love - so wildly nerved in hate;
He clasp'd that hand it trembled
and his own
Had lost its firmness, and his voice its tone.
6 Gulnare !” – but she replied not 66 dear Gulnare !"
She raised her eye — her only answer there
At once she sought and sunk in his embrace:
If he had driven her from that resting-place,
His had been more or less than mortal heart,
But — good or ill — it bade her not depart.
Perchance, but for the bodings of his breast,
His latest virtue then had join'd the rest.
Yet even Medora might forgive the kiss
That ask'd from form so fair no more than this,
The first, the last that Frailty stole from Faith
To lips where Love had lavish'd all his breath,
To lips --- whose broken sighs such fragrance fling,
As he had fann'd them freshly with his wing!
They gain by twilight's hour their lonely isle.
To them the very rocks appear to smile ;
The haven hums with many a cheering sound,
The beacons blaze their wonted stations round,
The boats are darting o'er the curly bay,
And sportive dolphins bend them through the spray;
Even the hoarse sea-bird's shrill, discordant shriek,
Greets like the welcome of his tuneless beak!
Beneath each lamp that through its lattice gleams,
Their fancy paints the friends that trim the beains.