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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/554

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"It is not that I dread the death—
For thou hast seen me by thy side
All redly through the battle ride,
And that—not once a useless brand—
Thy slaves have wrested from my hand
Hath shed more blood in cause of thine,
Than e'er can stain the axe of mine:[1]240
Thou gav'st, and may'st resume my breath,
A gift for which I thank thee not;
Nor are my mother's wrongs forgot,
Her slighted love and ruined name,
Her offspring's heritage of shame;
But she is in the grave, where he,
Her son—thy rival—soon shall be.
Her broken heart—my severed head—
Shall witness for thee from the dead
How trusty and how tender were250
Thy youthful love—paternal care.
'Tis true that I have done thee wrong—
But wrong for wrong:—this,—deemed thy bride,
The other victim of thy pride,—
Thou know'st for me was destined long;
Thou saw'st, and coveted'st her charms;
And with thy very crime—my birth,—
Thou taunted'st me—as little worth;
A match ignoble for her arms;
Because, forsooth, I could not claim260
The lawful heirship of thy name,
Nor sit on Este's lineal throne;
Yet, were a few short summers mine,

My name should more than Este's shine
  1. [The meaning is plain, but the construction is involved. The contrast is between the blood of foes, which Hugo has shed for Azo, and Hugo's own blood, which Azo is about to shed on the scaflfold. But this is one of Byron's incurious infelicities.]