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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/561

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523
PARISINA.

His beads and sins are all recounted,[1]
His hours to their last minute mounted;
His mantling cloak before was stripped,
His bright brown locks must now be clipped;
'Tis done—all closely are they shorn;
The vest which till this moment worn—
The scarf which Parisina gave—
Must not adorn him to the grave.
Even that must now be thrown aside,440
And o'er his eyes the kerchief tied;
But no—that last indignity
Shall ne'er approach his haughty eye.
All feelings seemingly subdued,
In deep disdain were half renewed,
When headsman's hands prepared to bind
Those eyes which would not brook such blind,
As if they dared not look on death.
"No—yours my forfeit blood and breath;
These hands are chained, but let me die450
At least with an unshackled eye—
Strike:"—and as the word he said,
Upon the block he bowed his head;
These the last accents Hugo spoke:
"Strike"—and flashing fell the stroke—
Rolled the head—and, gushing, sunk
Back the stained and heaving trunk,
In the dust, which each deep vein
Slaked with its ensanguined rain;
His eyes and lips a moment quiver,460
Convulsed and quick—then fix for ever.


He died, as erring man should die,
Without display, without parade;

  1. His latest beads and sins are counted.—[Copy.]