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She sees herself in every woman else,
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
I spoke of war to come and many deaths,
And she replied, her duty was to speak,
The dip of certain strata to the North.
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.’