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"For to-morrow we give to the slaughter and flame "The sons and the shrines of the Christian name. "None, save thou and thine, I've sworn 540 "Shall be left upon the morn: "But thee will I bear to a lovely spot, ** Where our hands shall be joined, and our sorrow forgot.
"There thou yet shalt be my bride,
"When once again I've quelled the pride 545
"Of Venice; and her hated race
"Have felt the arm they would debase
"Scourge, with a whip of scorpions, those
"Whom vice and envy made my foes."
Upon his hand she laid her own— , 550
Light was the touch, but it thrilled to the bone,
And shot a chillness to his heart,
Which fixed him beyond the power to start.
Though slight was that grasp so mortal cold,
He could not loose him from its hold; 55 5
But never did clasp of one so dear
Strike on the pulse with such feeling of fear,
As those thin fingers, long and white,
Froze through his blood by their touch that night.
The feverish glow of his brow was gone, 560
Of mind, that made each feature play 565
From the shadowy wall where their images frown;
Fearfully flitting to and fro,
As the gusts on the tapestry come and go.
"If not for love of me be given
• Thus much, then, for the love of heaven,—
"Again I say—that turban tear
"From off thy faithless brow, and swear
"Thine injured country's sons to spare,
"Or thou art lost; and never shalt see
"Not earth—that's past—but heaven or me.
"If this thou dost accord, albeit
"A heavy doom 'tis thine to meet,
"That doom shall half absolve thy sin,
"And mercy's gate may receive thee within:
"But pause one moment more, and take
"The curse of him thou didst forsake;
"And look once more to heaven, and see
"Its love for ever shut from thee.
"There is a light cloud by the moon—7
"'Tis passing, and will pass full soon—
"If, by the time its vapoury sail
"Hath ceased her shaded orb to veil,
"Thy heart within thee is not changed,
"Then GoeKand man are both avenged;
"Dark will thy doom be, darker still * Thine immortality of ill."
Alp looked to heaven, and saw on high
The sign she spake of in the sky;
But his heart was swollen, and turned aside,
By deep interminable pride.
This first false passion of his breast
Rolled like a torrent o'er the rest.
He sue for mercy! He dismayed
By wild words of a timid maid!
He, wronged by Venice, vow to save
Her sons, devoted to the grave!
No—though that cloud were thunder's worst,
And charged to crush him—let it burst!
He looked upon it earnestly,
Without an accent of reply;
He watched it passing; it is flown:
Full on his eye the clear moon shone,
And thus he spake—" Whate'er my fate,
"I am no changeling—'tis too late:
"The reed in storms may bow and quiver,
"Then rise again; the tree must shiver.
"What Venice made me, I must be,
Nothing is there but the column stone. 630
The night is past, and shines the sun
From its sheath; and they form, and but wait for the word.