Open main menu

Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 5.djvu/665

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
CANTO III.]
625
THE ISLAND.

Then gazed upon the pair, as in his den
A lion looks upon his cubs again;210
And then relapsed into his sullen guise,
As heedless of his further destinies.


X.

But brief their time for good or evil thought;
The billows round the promontory brought
The plash of hostile oars.—Alas! who made
That sound a dread? All around them seemed arrayed
Against them, save the bride of Toobonai:
She, as she caught the first glimpse o'er the bay
Of the armed boats, which hurried to complete
The remnant's ruin with their flying feet,[1]220
Beckoned the natives round her to their prows,
Embarked their guests and launched their light canoes;
In one placed Christian and his comrades twain—
But she and Torquil must not part again.
She fixed him in her own.—Away! away!
They cleared the breakers, dart along the bay,
And towards a group of islets, such as bear
The sea-bird's nest and seal's surf-hollowed lair,
They skim the blue tops of the billows; fast
They flew, and fast their fierce pursuers chased.230
They gain upon them—now they lose again,—
Again make way and menace o'er the main;
And now the two canoes in chase divide,
And follow different courses o'er the tide,
To baffle the pursuit.—Away! away!
As Life is on each paddle's flight to-day,
And more than Life or lives to Neuha: Love
Freights the frail bark and urges to the cove;
And now the refuge and the foe are nigh—
Yet, yet a moment! Fly, thou light ark, fly!240


  1. The ruined remnant of the land's defeat.—[MS. D. erased.]