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XIII.

1.

SCORN'D, to be scorn’d by one that I scorn,

Is th

a matter to make me fret ?

That a calamity hard to be borne ?
Well, he may live to hate me yet.
Fool that I am to be vext with his pride !
I past him, I was crossing his lands ;
He stood on the path a little aside;
His face, as I grant, in spite of spite,
Has a broad-blown comeliness, red and white,

And six feet two, as I think, he stands ;
But his essences turn’d the live air sick,

And barbarous opulence jewel-thick

Sunn'd itself on his breast and his hands.

Who shall call me ungentle, unfair,

I long'd so heartily then and there
To give him the grasp of fellowship;
But while I past he was humming an air,
Stopt, and then with a riding whip
Leisurely tapping a glossy boot,
And curving a contumelious lip,

Gorgonised me from head to foot

With a stony British stare.

3

Why sits he here in his father's chair ?

That old man never comes to his place :

Shall I believe him ashamed to be seen ?

For only once, in the village street,

Last year, I caught a glimpse of his face,

A gray

old wolf and a lean.

Scarcely, now, would I call him a cheat;

For then, perhaps, as a child of deceit,

She might by a true descent be untrue ;

And Maud is as true as Maud is sweet :

Tho' I fancy her sweetness only due
To the sweeter blood by the other side ;
Her mother has been a thing complete,

However she came to be so allied.

And fair without, faithful within,

Maud to him is nothing akin :

Some peculiar mystic grace

Made her only the child of her mother, And heap'd the whole inherited sin

On that huge scapegoat of the race,

All, all upon the brother.

4.

Peace, angry spirit, and let him be!

Has not his sister smiled on me?

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Set in the heart of the carven gloom,

Lights with herself, when alone

She sits by her music and books,
And her brother lingers late
With a roystering company) looks
Upon Maud's own garden-gate:
And I thought as I stood, if a hand, as white
As ocean-foam in the moon, were laid
On the hasp of the window, and my Delight
Had a sudden desire, like a glorious ghost, to glide,
Like a beam of the seventh Heaven, down to my

side,

There were but a step to be made.

3.

The fancy flatter'd my mind,
And again seem'd overbold;
Now I thought that she cared for me,
Now I thought she was kind
Only because she was cold.

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