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Not that I bid you spare her the pain;
XI. Is it done? Take my mask off! Nay, be not morose; It kills her, and this prevents seeing it close: The delicate droplet, my whole fortune's fee! If it hurts her, beside, can it ever hurt me?
Now, take all my jewels, gorge gold to your fill,
A STORY OF PORNIC.
OH, the beautiful girl, too white,
Who lived at Pornic down by the sea, Just where the sea and the Loire unite !
And a boasted name in Brittany She bore, which I will not write.
Her flesh was the soft seraphic screen
To just see earth, and hardly be seen, And blossom in heaven instead.
Yet earth saw one thing, one how fair!
One grace that grew to its full on earth : Smiles might be sparse on her cheek so spare,
And her waist want half a girdle's girth, But she had her great gold hair.
iv. Hair, such a wonder of Alix and floss,
Freshness and fragrance-floods of it, too ! Gold, did I say? Nay, gold 's mere dross :
Here, Life smiled, “ Think what I meant to do!” And Love sighed, " Fancy my loss! ”
v. So, when she died, it was scarce more strange
Than that, when some delicate evening dies, And you follow its spent sun's pallid range,
There 's a shoot of colour startles the skies
As they put the little cross to her lips,
A spark from her eye in mid-eclipse,
“Not my hair !" made the girl her moan
“ All the rest is gone or to go; “But the last, last grace, my all, my own,
“ Let it stay in the grave, that the ghosts may know ! “ Leave my poor gold hair alone!”
Her parents sobbed their worst on that,
For indeed the hair was to wonder at, As it spread—not flowing free,
And coiled beside her cheeks, like a cap,
To her breast, pressed flat, without a gap l' the gold, it reached her gown.
'Mid the yellow wealth, nor disturbed its hair : E'en the priest allowed death's privilege,
, As he planted the crucifix with care On her breast, 'twixt edge and edge.
And thus was she buried, inviolate
Of body and soul, in the very space By the altar ; keeping saintly state
In Pornic church, for her pride of race,
Though your mouth might twitch with a dubious smile, As they told you of gold both robe and pall,
How she prayed them leave it alone awhile, So it never was touched at all.
XIII. Years flew ; this legend grew at last
The life of the lady; all she had done, All been, in the memories fading fast
Of lover and friend, was summed in one Sentence survivors passed :
To wit, she was meant for heaven, not earth;
Had turned an angel before the time : Yet, since she was mortal, in such dearth
Of frailty, all you could count a crime Was—she knew her gold hair's worth.
xv. At little pleasant Pornic church,
It chanced, the pavement wanted repair, Was taken to pieces : left in the lurch,
A certain sacred space lay bare, And the boys began research.
A benefactor,-a bishop, suppose,
Dame with chased ring and jewelled rose,
When the corpse is presumed to have done with gauds Of use to the living, in many ways:
For the boys get pelf, and the town applauds, And the church deserves the praise.