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She sees herself in every woman else,
And so she wears her error like a crown
To blind the truth and me: for her, and her,
They are Hebes meet to hand ambrosia, mix
The nectar; but — ah she — whene'er she moves
The Samian Here rises and she speaks

A Memnon smitten with the morning Sun.’

So saying from out the court we paced, and gain'd The terrace ranged along the Northern front, And leaning there on those balusters, high Above the empurpled champaign, drank the gale That blown about the foliage underneath, And sated with the innumerable rose, Beat balm upon our eyelid. Hither came Cyril, and yawning, “O hard task,’ he cried, ‘Better to clear prime forests, heave and thump A league of street in summer solstice down, Than hammer at this reverend gentlewoman.

I knock'd and bidden went in : I found her there

At point to sally, and settled in her eyes
The green malignant light of coming storm.
Sir, I was courteous, every phrase well-oil'd,
As man could be; yet maiden-meek I pray'd
Concealment: she demanded who we were,
And why we came? I minted nothing false,
But, your example pilot, told her all.
Up went the hush'd amaze of hand and eye.
But when I dwelt upon your old affiance,
She answer'd sharply that I talk’d astray.
I urged the fierce inscription on the gate,
And our three lives. She said we had limed ourselves
With open eyes, and we must take the chance.
But such extremes, I told her, well might harm
The woman's cause. “Not more than now,” she said,
“So puddled as it is with favouritism.”
I tried the mother's heart. Shame might befall
Melissa, knowing, saying not she knew :
Her answer was, “Leave me to deal with that.”

I spoke of war to come and many deaths,

And she replied, her duty was to speak,
And duty duty, clear of consequences.
I grew discouraged, Sir; but since I knew
No rock so hard, but that a little wave
May beat admission in a thousand years,
I recommenced; “Decide not ere you pause.
I find you here but in the second place,
Some say the third — the authentic foundress you.
I offer boldly : we will seat you highest :
Wink at our advent: help my prince to gain
His rightful bride, and here I promise you
A palace in our own land, where you shall reign
The head and heart of all our fair she-world,
And your great name flow on with broadening time
For ever.” Well, she balanced this a little,
And told me she would answer us to-day,

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The dip of certain strata to the North.
Would we go with her ? we should find the land
Worth seeing; and the river made a fall
Out yonder:' then she pointed on to where
A double hill ran up his dark-blue forks
Beyond the full-leaved platans of the vale.

Agreed to, this, the day fled on thro' all Its range of duties to the appointed hour. Then summon'd to the porch we went. She stood Among her maidens, higher by the head, Her back against a pillar, her foot on one Of those tame leopards. Kittenlike he roll’d And paw'd about her sandal. I drew near : My heart beat thick with passion and with awe, And from my breast the involuntary sigh Brake, as she smote me with the light of eyes That lent my knee desire to kneel, and shook My pulses, till to horse we clomb, and so

Went forth in long retinue following up

The river as it narrow'd to the hills.

I rode beside her, and to me she said: ‘O friend, we trust that you esteem'd us not Too harsh to your companion yestermorn; Unwillingly we spake.” “No — not to her, I answer'd, “but to one of whom we spake Your Highness might have seem'd the thing you say.” ‘Again 7" she cried, “are you ambassadresses From him to me? we give you, being strange,

A license: speak, and let the topic die.”

I stammer'd that I knew him — could have wish’d— ‘Our king expects — was there no precontract — There is no truer-hearted — ah, you seem All he prefigured, and he could not see The bird of passage flying south but long'd To follow: surely, if your Highness keep Your purport, you will shock him ev’n to death,

Or baser courses, children of despair.’

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