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Straight, but as lissome as a hazel wand;

Her eyes a bashful azure, and her hair
In gloss and hue the chestnut, when the shell

Divides threefold to show the fruit within.

'Sweet Katie, once I did her a good turn, Her and her far-off cousin and betrothed,

James Willows, of one name and heart with her.
For here I came, twenty years back-the week
Before I parted with poor Edmund; crost
By that old bridge which, half in ruins then,

Still makes a hoary eyebrow for the gleam
Beyond it, where the waters marry--crost,
Whistling a random bar of Bonny Doon,
And push'd at Philip's garden-gate. The gate,
Half-parted from a weak and scolding hinge,


Stuck; and he clamour'd from a casement; “run ”

To Katie somewhere in the walks below,

Run, Katie!” Katie never ran: she moved

To meet me, winding under woodbine bowers,

A little flutter'd, with her eyelids down,

Fresh apple-blossom, blushing for a boon.

• What was it? less of sentiment than sense

Had Katie; not illiterate; neither one
Who dabbling in the fount of fictive tears,
And nursed by mealy-mouth'd philanthropies,
Divorce the Feeling from her mate the Deed.


• She told me.

She and James had quarrell’d.

What cause of quarrel ? None, she said, no cause ;
James had no cause: but when I prest the cause,
I learnt that James had flickering jealousies
Which anger'd her. Who anger'd James ? I said.
But Katie snatch'd her eyes at once from mine,
And sketching with her slender pointed foot
Some figure like a wizard's pentagram
On garden gravel, let my query pass
Unclaim'd, in flushing silence, till I ask'd

If James were coming. “Coming every day,"
She answer'd, “ever longing to explain,

But evermore her father came across

With some long-winded tale, and broke him short;
And James departed vext with him and her."
How could I help her ?

66 Would I—was it wrong? (Claspt hands and that petitionary grace Of sweet seventeen subdued me ere she spoke) “O would I take her father for one hour,

For one half-hour, and let him talk to me!”

And even while she spoke, I saw where James Made toward us, like a wader in the surf, Beyond the brook, waist-deep in meadow-sweet.

O Katie, what I suffer'd for your sake!
For in I went, and call’d old Philip out
To show the farm : full willingly he rose :
He led me thro' the short sweet-smelling lanes
Of his wheat-suburb, babbling as he went.

He praised his land, his horses, his machines ;
He praised his ploughs, his cows, his hogs, his dogs;
He praised his hens, his geese, his guinea-hens;
His pigeons, who in session on their roofs
Approved him, bowing at their own deserts :
Then from the plaintive mother's teat he took
Her blind and shuddering puppies, naming each,
And naming those, his friends, for whom they


Then crost the common into Darnley chase
To show Sir Arthur's deer. In copse and fern

Twinkled the innumerable ear and tail.


Then, seated on a serpent-rooted beech,
He pointed out a pasturing colt, and said :

That was the four-year-old I sold the Squire.'
And there he told a long long-winded tale
Of how the Squire had seen the colt at grass,
And how it was the thing his daughter wish'd,

And how he sent the bailiff to the farm

To learn the price, and what the price he ask'd,

And how the bailiff swore that he was mad,

But he stood firm; and so the matter hung ;
He gave them line : and five days after that

He met the bailiff at the Golden Fleece,

Who then and there had offer'd something more,
But he stood firm; and so the matter hung;
He knew the man; the colt would fetch its price;

gave them line : and how by chance at last (It might be May or April, he forgot, The last of April or the first of May) He found the bailiff riding by the farm, And, talking from the point, he drew him in, And there he mellow'd all his heart with ale, Until they closed a bargain, hand in hand.

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* Then, while I breathed in sight of haven, he, Poor fellow, could he help it ? recommenced, And ran thro' all the coltish chronicle, Wild Will, Black Bess, Tantivy, Tallyho,

Reform, White Rose, Bellerophon, the Jilt,

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