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(Mons in the white wake of the morning star
Came furrowing all the orient into gold.)
We rose, and each by other drest with care
Descended to the court that lay three parts
In shadow, but the Muses' heads were touch'd
Above the darkness from their native East.
And while we stood beside the fount, and watch'd
Or seem'd to watch the dancing bubble, approach'd
Melissa, tinged with wan from lack of sleep,
Or sorrow, and glowing round her dewy eyes
The circled Iris of a night of tears;)
‘And fly, she cried, “O fly, while yet you may !
My mother knows:’ and we demanding “how,'
“My fault, she wept, ‘my fault! and yet not mine;
Yet mine in part. O hear me, pardon me.
My mother, 'tis her wont from night to night
To rail at Lady Psyche and her side.
She says the Princess should have been the Head,
Herself and Lady Psyche the two arms;
And so it was agreed when first they came;
But Lady Psyche was the right hand now,
And she the left, or not, or seldom used;
Hers more than half the students, all the love.
And so last night she fell to canvass you :
Her countrywomen! she did not envy her.
“Who ever saw such wild barbarians?
Girls?—more like men!” and at these words the snake,
My secret, seem'd to stir within my breast;
And oh, Sirs, could I help it, but my cheek
Began to burn and burn, and her lynx eye
To fix and make me hotter, till she laugh'd :
“O marvellously modest maiden, you!
Men girls, like men why, if they had been men,
And in their fulsome fashion woo'd you, child,
You need not take so deep a rouge: like men—
And so they are, — very like men indeed —
And closeted with her for hours. Aha!”
Then came these dreadful words out one by one,
“Why — these—are — men:” I shudder'd : “ and
you know it.”
“O ask me nothing,” I said: “And she knows too,
And she conceals it.” So my mother clutch'd
The truth at once, but with no word from me;
And now thus early risen she goes to inform
The Princess: Lady Psyche will be crush'd;
But you may yet be saved, and therefore fly:
But heal me with your pardon ere you go.”
“What pardon, sweet Melissa, for a blush 2'
Said Cyril: “Pale one, blush again: than wear
Those lilies, better blush our lives away. "
Yet let us breathe for one hour more in Heaven,”
He added, “lest some classic Angel speak
In scorn of us, “they mounted, Ganymedes,
To tumble, Vulcans, on the second morn.”
But I will melt this marble into wax
To yield us farther furlough:’ and he went.
Melissa shook her doubtfill curls, and though He scarce would prosper. ‘Tell us,’ Florian ask'd, ‘How grew this feud betwixt the right and left.” “O long ago,' she said, ‘betwixt these two Division smoulders hidden : *t is my mother, Too jealous, often fretful as the wind Pent in a crevice : much I bear with her : I never knew my father, but she says . (God pardon her) she was wedded to a fool; And still she rail'd against the state of things. She had the care of Lady Ida's youth, And from the Queen's decease she brought her up. But when your sister came she won the love Of the Princess: they were still together, grew (For so they said themselves) inosculated; Consonant chords that shiver to one note;
One mind in all things: only Lady Blanche
Affirms your Psyche thieved her theories,
And angled with them for the Royal heart:
She calls her plagiarist; I know not what:
But I must go: I dare not tarry,' and light
As flies the shadow of a bird she fled.
Then murmur'd Florian, gazing after her : ‘An open-hearted maiden, true and pure. If I could love, why this were she how pretty Her blushing was, and how she blush'd again, As if to close with Cyril's random wish : Not like your Princess cramm'd with erring pride,
Nor like poor Psyche whom she drags in tow.’
‘The crane,' I said, ‘may chatter of the crane, The dove may murmur of the dove, but I An eagle clang an eagle to the sphere. My princess, O my princess! true she errs; For being, and wise in knowing that she is,
Three times more noble than threescore of men,