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Who shall call me ungentle, unfair,
Why sits he here in his father's chair?
That old man never comes to his place : Shall I believe him ashamed to be seen ?
For only once, in the village street,
old wolf and a lean. Scarcely, now, would I call him a cheat ;
For then, perhaps, as a child of deceit, She might by a true descent be untrue ;
And Maud is as true as Maud is sweet :
Tho' I fancy her sweetness only due
However she came to be so allied.
And fair without, faithful within,
And heap'd the whole inherited sin
On that huge scapegoat of the race,
All, all upon the brother.
Peace, angry spirit, and let him be!
Has not his sister smiled on me ?
And stood by her garden-gate;
Maud's own little oak-room
(Which Maud, like a precious stone
Set in the heart of the carven gloom,
Lights with herself, when alone
She sits by her music and books,
With a roystering company) looks
As ocean-foam in the moon, were laid
On the hasp of the window, and my Delight
There were but a step to be made.
The fancy flatter'd my mind,
And again seem'd overbold;
I heard no sound where I stood
But the rivulet on from the lawn
Running down to my own dark wood;
But I look'd, and round, all round the house I
The death-white curtain drawn;
Felt a horror over me creep,
Knew that the death-white curtain meant but
Yet I shudder'd and thought like a fool of the
sleep of death.