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GIVE her but a least excuse to love me !

How-can this arm establish her above me,

If fortune fixed her as my lady there,
There already, to eternally reprove me?

(“ Hist!"—said Kate the queen ; But “Oh,” cried the maiden, binding her tresses,

“'T is only a page that carols unseen, “ Crumbling your hounds their messes !”)


Is she wronged ?—To the rescue of her honour,

My heart !
Is she poor?-What costs it to become a donour ?

Merely an earth to cleave, a sea to part.
But that fortune should have thrust all this upon her !

(“Nay, list !”—bade Kate the queen ;
And still cried the maiden, binding her tresses,

“”T is only a page that carols unseen,
Fitting your hawks their jesses !")

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She should never have looked at me if she meant I

should not love her! There are plenty . . men, you call such, I suppose

she may discover All her soul to, if she pleases, and yet leave much as she

found them : But I 'm not so, and she knew it when she fixed me,

glancing round them.


What? To fix me thus meant nothing? But I can't tell

(there's my weakness) What her look said :—no vile cant, sure, about "need

to strew the bleakness “Of some lone shore with its pearl-seed, that the sea

feels”-no “strange yearning “That such souls have, most to lavish where there 's

chance of least returning."

III Oh, we ’re sunk enough here, God knows ! but not quite

so sunk that moments, Sure tho' seldom, are denied us, when the spirit's true

endowments Stand out plainly from its false ones, and apprise it if

pursuing Or the right way or the wrong way, to its triumph or



There are flashes struck from midnights, there are fire

flames noondays kindle, Whereby piled-up honours perish, whereby swollen

ambitions dwindle, While just this or that poor impulse, which for once had

play unstified, Seems the sole work of a life-time that away the rest have



Doubt you if, in some such moment, as she fixed me, she

felt clearly, Ages past the soul existed, here an age 't is resting


And hence fleets again for ages : while the true end, sole

and single, It stops here for is, this love-way, with some other soul

to mingle?


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Else it loses what it lived for, and eternally must lose it ;
Better ends may be in prospect, deeper blisses (if you

choose it),
But this life's end and this love-bliss have been lost here.

Doubt you whether
This she felt as, looking at me, mine and her souls rushed



Oh, observe ! Of course, next moment, the world's

honours, in derision, Trampled out the light for ever. Never fear but there 's

provision Of the devil's to quench knowledge, lest we walk the

earth in rapture ! - Making those who catch God's secret, just so much

more prize their capture !


Such am I : the secret 's mine now! She has lost me, I

have gained her ; Her soul 's mine : and thus, grown perfect, I shall pass

my life's remainder. Life will just hold out the proving both our powers,

alone and blended : And then, come next life quickly! This world's use will

have been ended.




CHRIST God who savest man, save most

Of men Count Gismond who saved me!
Count Gauthier, when he chose his post,

Chose time and place and company
To suit it; when he struck at length
My honour, 't was with all his strength.


And doubtlessly, ere he could draw

All points to one, he must have schemed ! That miserable morning saw

Few half so happy as I seemed, While being dressed in queen's array To give our tourney prize away.


I thought they loved me, did me grace

To please themselves ; 't was all their deed God makes, or fair or foul, our face;

If showing mine so caused to bleed My cousins' hearts, they should have dropped A word, and straight the play had stopped.


They, too, so beauteous! Each a queen

By virtue of her brow and breast;
Not needing to be crowned, I mean,

As I do. E'en when I was dressed,
Had either of them spoke, instead
Of glancing sideways with still head !


But no : they let me laugh, and sing

My birthday song quite through, adjust The last rose in my garland, fling

A last look on the mirror, trust My arms to each an arm of theirs, And so descend the castle-stairs

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And come out on the morning troop

Of merry friends who kissed my cheek,
And called me queen, and made me stoop

Under the canopy-(a streak
That pierced it, of the outside sun,
Powdered with gold its gloom's soft dun)-


And they could let me take my state

And foolish throne amid applause Of all come there to celebrate

My queen’s-day-Oh I think the cause Of much was, they forgot no crowd Makes up for parents in their shroud !


However that be, all eyes were bent

Upon me, when my cousins cast
Theirs down, it was time I should present

The victor's crown, but ... there, 't will last
No long time . . . the old mist again
Blinds me as then it did. How vain!

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See! Gismond is at the gate, in talk

With his two boys : I can proceed.

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