Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Then Violet, she that sang the mournful song
And had a cousin tumbled on the plain,
Petition'd too for him. ‘Ay so,” she said,
“I stagger in the stream: I cannot keep
My heart an eddy from the brawling hour:
We break our laws with ease, but let it be.”
‘Ay so?” said Blanche: “I am all amaze to hear
Your Highness: but your Highness breaks with ease
The law your Highness did not make : ’t was I.
I had been wedded wife, I knew mankind,
And block'd them out; but these men came to woo

Your Highness — verily I think to win.”

So she, and turn’d askance a wintry eye:
But Ida with a voice, that like a bell
Toll'd by an earthquake in a trembling tower,

Rang ruin, answer'd full of grief and scorn:

“What! in our time of glory when the cause

Now stands up, first, a trophied pillar — now

So clipt, so stinted in our triumph — barr'd
Ev’n from our free heart-thanks, and every way
Thwarted and vext, and lastly catechised
By our own creature one that made our laws!
Our great she-Solon her that built the nest
To hatch the cuckoo! whom we call'd our friend!
But we will crush the lie that glances at us
As cloaking in the larger charities
Some baby predilection: all amazed
We must amaze this legislator more.
Fling our doors widel all, all, not one, but all,
Not only he, but by my mother's soul,
Whatever man lies wounded, friend or foe,
Shall enter, if he will. Let our girls flit,
Till the storm die! but had you stood by us,
The roar that breaks the Pharos from his base
Had left us rock. She fain would sting us too,
But shall not. Pass, and mingle with your likes.
Go, help the half-brain'd dwarf, Society,

To find low motives unto noble deeds,

To fix all doubt upon the darker side;
Go, fitter thou for narrowest neighbourhoods,
Old talker, haunt where gossip breeds and seethes
And festers in provincial sloth : and, you,
That think we sought to practise on a life
Risk’d for our own and trusted to our hands,
What say you, Sir 2 you hear us: deem ye not
'T is all too like that even now we scheme,
In one broad death confounding friend and foe,
To drug them all? revolve it ityou are man,
And therefore no doubt wise; but after this

We brook no further insult, but are gone.’

She turn’d ; the very nape of her white neck Was rosed with indignation : but the Prince Her brother came ; the king her father charm'd Her wounded soul with words; nor did mine own

Refuse her proffer, lastly gave his hand.

Then us they lifted up, dead weights, and bare

Straight to the doors: to them the doors gave way
Groaning, and in the Westal entry shriek'd
The virgin marble under iron heels:
And they moved on and gain'd the hall, and there
Rested: but great the crush was, and each base,
To left and right, of those tall columns drown'd
In silken fluctuation and the swarm
Of female whisperers: at the further end
Was Ida by the throne, the two great cats
Close by her, like supporters on a shield
Bow-back’d with fear : but in the centre stood
The common men with rolling eyes; amazed
They glared upon the women, and aghast
The women stared at these, all silent, save
When armour clash'd or jingled, while the day,
Descending, struck athwart the hall and shot
A flying splendour out of brass and steel,
That o'er the statues leapt from head to head,
Now fired an angry Pallas on the helm,

Now set a wrathful Dian's moon on flame,

( And now and then an echo started up, And shuddering fled from room to room, and died

Of fright in far apartments.

Then the voice Of Ida sounded, issuing ordinance: And me they bore up the broad stairs and thro' The long-laid galleries past a hundred doors To one deep chamber shut from sound, and due To languid limbs and sickness; left me in it; And others otherwhere they laid; and all That afternoon a sound arose of hoof And chariot, many a maiden passing home Till happier times; but some were left of those Held sagest, and the great lords out and in, From those two hosts that lay beside the walls,

Walk'd at their will, and everything was changed.

10

« PoprzedniaDalej »