Obrazy na stronie

Barbarians, grosser than your native bears—
O would I had his sceptre for one hour
You that have dared to break our bound, and gull'd
Our tutors, wrong'd and lied and thwarted us —
I wed with thee! I bound by precontract
Your bride, your bondslave not tho' all the gold
That veins the world were pack'd to make your crown,
And every spoken tongue should lord you. Sir,
Your falsehood and your face are loathsome to us:
I trample on your offers and on you :
Begone ! we will not look upon you more.
Here, push them out at gates.’

In wrath she spake.
Then those eight mighty daughters of the plough
Bent their broad faces toward us and addressed
Their motion: twice I sought to plead my cause,
But on my shoulder hung their heavy hands,
The weight of destiny: so from her face
They push’d us, down the steps, and thro' the court,

And with grim laughter thrust us out at gates.

We cross'd the street and gain’d a petty mound Beyond it, whence we saw the lights and heard The voices murmuring; till upon my spirits

Settled a gentle cloud of melancholy,

Which I shook off, for I was young, and one
To whom the shadow of all mischance but came
As night to him that sitting on a hill

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Set into sunrise : then we moved away.


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Now scarce three paces measured from the mound
We stumbled on a stationary voice,
And ‘Stand, who goes '' ‘Two from the palace, I.
“The second two: they wait,” he said, ‘pass on ;
His Highness wakes:’ and one, that clash'd in arms
By glimmering lanes and walls of canvas, led
Threading the soldier-city, until we heard
The drowsy folds of our great ensign shake
From blazon'd lions o'er the imperial tent

Whispers of war.

Entering, the sudden light Dazed me half-blind : I stood and seem'd to hear, As in a poplar grove when a light wind wakes

A lisping of the innumerous leaf and dies,

Each hissing in his neighbour's ear; and then
A strangled titter, out of which outbrake
On all sides, clamouring etiquette to death,
Unmeasured mirth; while now the two old kings
Began to wag their baldness up and down,
The fresh young captains flash'd their glittering teeth,
The huge bush-bearded Barons heaved and blew,

And slain with laughter roll'd the gilded Squire.

At length my Sire, his rough cheek wet with tears, Panted from weary sides, “You are free, O King ! We did but keep you surety for our son, If this be he, – or a draggled mawkin, thou, That tends her bristled grunters in the sludge: ' For I was drench'd with ooze, and torn with briers, o More crumpled than a poppy from the sheath, And all one rag, disprinced from head to heel: “But hence,’ he said, ‘indue yourselves like men. Your Cyril told us all.” As boys that slink

From ferule and the trespass-chiding eye,
Away we stole, and transient in a trice
From what was left of faded woman-slough
To sheathing splendours and the golden scale
Of harness, issued in the sun that now
Leapt from the dewy shoulders of the Earth,
And hit the northern hills. Here Cyril met us
A little shy at first, but by and by
We twain, with mutual pardon ask’d and given
For stroke and song, resolder'd peace, whereon
Follow'd his tale. Amazed he fled away
Thro' the dark land, and later in the night
Had come on Psyche weeping: ‘then we fell
Into your father's hand, and there she lies,

But will not speak, nor stir.’

He show’d a tent A stone-shot off: we entered in, and there Among piled arms and rough accoutrements,

Pitiful sight, wrapt in a soldier's cloak,

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