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And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
DOUND the cape of a sudden came the sea,
NAnd the sun looked over the mountain's rim-
And straight was a path of gold for him,
And the need of a world of men for me.
T'VE a Friend, over the sea;
II like him, but he loves me.
It all grew out of the books I write;
They find such favour in his sight
That he slaughters you with savage looks
Because you don't admire my books.
He does himself though, and if some vein
Were to snap to-night in this heavy brain,
To-morrow month, if I lived to try,
Round should I just turn quietly,
Or out of the bedclothes stretch my hand
Till I found him, come from his foreign land
To be my nurse in this poor place,
And make my broth and wash my face
And light my fire and, all the while,
Bear with his old good-humoured smile
That I told him “ Better have kept away
“Than come and kill me, night and day,
“With, worse than fever throbs and shoots,
“The creaking of his clumsy boots.”
I am as sure that this he would do,
As that St Paul's is striking two.
And I think I rather ... woe is me!
-Yes, rather would see him than not see,
If lifting a hand could seat him there
Before me in the empty chair
To-night, when my head aches indeed,
And I can neither think nor read
Nor make these purple fingers hold
The pen; this garret's freezing cold!
And I've a Lady—there he wakes,
The laughing fiend and prince of snakes
Within me, at her name, to pray
Fate send some creature in the way
Of my love for her, to be down-torn,
Upthrust and outward-borne,
So I might prove myself that sea
Of passion which I needs must be!
Call my thoughts false and my fancies quaint
And my style infirm and its figures faint,
All the critics say, and more blame yet,
And not one angry word you get.
But, please you, wonder I would put
My cheek beneath that lady's foot
Rather than trample under mine
The laurels of the Florentine,
And you shall see how the devil
A fire God gave for other ends!
I tell you, I stride up and down
This garret, crowned with love's best crown,
And feasted with love's perfect feast,
To think I kill for her, at least,
Body and soul and peace and fame,
Alike youth's end and manhood's aim,
-So is my spirit, as flesh with sin,
Filled full, eaten out and in
With the face of her, the eyes of her,
The lips, the little chin, the stir
Of shadow round her mouth; and she
-I'll tell you,-calmly would decree
That I should roast at a slow fire,
If that would compass her desire
And make her one whom they invite
To the famous ball to-morrow night.
There may be heaven; there must be hell;
Meantime, there is our earth here—well!
(PETER RONSARD loquitur) “LJEIGHO!" yawned one day King Francis,
1 "Distance all value enhances! “When a man's busy, why, leisure “Strikes him as wonderful pleasure: “'Faith, and at leisure once is he? “Straightway he wants to be busy. “Here we've got peace; and aghast I'm “Caught thinking war the true pastime. "Is there a reason in metre? “Give us your speech, master Peter!" I who, if mortal dare say so, Ne'er am at loss with my Naso, “Sire," I replied, "joys prove cloudlets: “Men are the merest Ixions"Here the King whistled aloud, “Let's “-Heigho-go look at our lions!" Such are the sorrowful chances If you talk fine to King Francis. And so, to the courtyard proceeding, Our company, Francis was leading, Increased by new followers tenfold
Before he arrived at the penfold;
Lords, ladies, like clouds which bedizen
At sunset the western horizon.
And Sir de Lorge pressed 'mid the foremost
With the dame he professed to adore most.
Oh, what a face! One by fits eyed
Her, and the horrible pitside;
For the penfold surrounded a hollow
Which led where the eye scarce dared follow,
And shelved to the chamber secluded
Where Bluebeard, the great lion, brooded.
The King hailed his keeper, an Arab
As glossy and black as a scarab,
And bade him make sport and at once stir
Up and out of his den the old monster.
They opened a hole in the wire-work
Across it, and dropped there a firework,
And fled: one's heart's beating redoubled:
A pause, while the pit's mouth was troubled,
The blackness and silence so utter,
By the firework's slow sparkling and sputter;
Then earth in a sudden contortion
Gave out to our gaze her abortion.
Such a brute! Were I friend Clement Marot
(Whose experience of nature's but narrow,
And whose faculties move in no small mist
When he versifies David the Psalmist)
I should study that brute to describe you
Illum Juda Leonem de Tribu.
One's whole blood grew curdling and creepy
To see the black mane, vast and heapy,
The tail in the air stiff and straining,
The wide eyes, nor waxing nor waning,
As over the barrier which bounded
His platform, and us who surrounded
The barrier, they reached and they rested
On space that might stand him in best stead:
For who knew, he thought, what the amazement,
The eruption of clatter and blaze meant,
And if, in this minute of wonder,
No outlet, 'mid lightning and thunder,
Lay broad, and, his shackles all shivered,
The lion at last was delivered?
Ah, that was the open sky o'erhead!
And you saw by the flash on his forehead,
By the hope in those eyes wide and steady,
He was leagues in the desert already,
Driving the flocks up the mountain,
Or catlike couched hard by the fountain
To waylay the date-gathering negress:
So guarded he entrance or egress.
“How he stands!" quoth the King: "we may
well swear, (“No novice, we've won our spurs elsewhere "And so can afford the confession) “We exercise wholesome discretion “In keeping aloof from his threshold, “Once hold you, those jaws want no fresh hold, “Their first would too pleasantly purloin “The visitor's brisket or surloin: “But who's he would prove so fool-hardy? “Not the best man of Marignan, pardie!
The sentence no sooner was uttered,
Than over the rails a glove fluttered,
Fell close to the lion, and rested:
The dame 'twas, who flung it and jested
With life so, De Lorge had been wooing
For months past; he sat there pursuing
His suit, weighing out with nonchalance
Fine speeches like gold from a balance.
Sound the trumpet, no true knight's a tarrier! De Lorge made one leap at the barrier, Walked straight to the glove, while the lion Ne'er moved, kept his far-reaching eye on