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The creature laid his muzzle on your lap, And sobb'd, and you sobb'd with it, and the blood Was sprinkled on your kirtle, and you wept. That was fawn’s blood, not brother's, yet you wept. O by the bright head of my little niece, You were that Psyche, and what are you now !’ ‘You are that Psyche, Cyril said again, (‘The mother of the sweetest little maid,
That ever crow'd for kisses.')
‘Out upon it!” She answer'd, ‘peace and why should I not play The Spartan Mother with emotion, be The Lucius Junius Brutus of my kind 7 Him you call great : he for the common weal, The fading politics of mortal Rome, As I might slay this child, if good need were, Slew both his sons: and I, shall I, on whom The secular emancipation turns
Of half this world, be swerved from right to save
A prince, a brother ? a little will I yield.
They fled, who might have shamed us: promise, all.’
What could we else, we promised each; and slie, Like some wild creature newly-caged, commenced A to-and-fro, so pacing till she paused By Florian; holding out her lily arms Took both his hands, and smiling faintly said:
‘You are grown, and yet I knew you at the first. I am very glad, and I am very vext To see you, Florian. I give thee to death,
My brother it was duty spoke, not I.
My needful seeming harshness, pardon it.
His forehead, and a moment after clung
(That clad her like an April daffodilly |
In crystal currents of clear morning seas.
So stood that same fair creature at the door. Then Lady Psyche, ‘Ah — Melissa — you ! You heard us?” and Melissa, “O pardon me ! I heard, I could not help it, did not mean: But, dearest Lady, I pray you fear me not, Nor think I bear that heart within my breast, To give three gallant gentlemen to death.’ “I trust you,' said the other, ‘for we two Were always friends, none closer, elm and vine: But yet your mother's jealous temperament— Let not your prudence, dearest, drowse, or prove The Danaid of a leaky vase, for fear This whole foundation ruin, and I lose My honour, these their lives.” “Ah, fear me not,’ Replied Melissa, “no — I would not tell, No, not for all Aspasia's cleverness, No, not to answer, Madam, all those hard things That Sheba came to ask of Solomon.’ “Be it so, the other, ‘that we may live to lead
The new light up, and culminate in peace,
For Solomon may come to Sheba yet.'
Speak little; mix not with the rest; and hold
Your promise: all, I trust, may yet be well.'
We turn'd to go, but Cyril took the child,
And thus our conference closed.