Слике страница
PDF

XII.

Till out strode Gismond; then I knew

That I was saved. I never met His face before, but, at first view,

I felt quite sure that God had set Himself to Satan : who would spend A minute's mistrust on the end ?

XIII.

He strode to Gauthier, in his throat

Gave him the lie, then struck his mouth
With one back-handed blow that wrote

In blood men's verdict then. North, South,
East, West, I looked. The lie was dead,
And damned, and truth stood up instead.

XIV.

This glads me most, that I enjoyed

The heart o' the joy, with my content
In watching Gismond unalloyed

By any doubt of the event :
God took that on him-I was bid
Watch Gismond for my part: I did.

[ocr errors]

Did I not watch him while he let

His armourer just brace his greaves, Rivet his hauberk, on the fret

The while! His foot ... my memory leaves No least stamp out, nor how anon He pulled his ringing gauntlets on.

XVI.

And e'en before the trumpet's sound

Was finished, prone lay the false knight, Prone as his lie, upon the ground:

Gismond flew at him, used no sleight O'the sword, but open-breasted drove, Cleaving till out the truth he clove.

XVII.

- Which done, he dragged him to my feet

And said, “Here die, but end thy breath “ In full confession, lest thou fleet

“ From my first, to God's second death ! “Say, hast thou lied ?” And, “I have lied “ To God and her,” he said, and died.

XVIII.
Then Gismond, kneeling to me, asked

-What safe my heart holds, though no word Could I repeat now, if I tasked

My powers for ever, to a third Dear even as you are. Pass the rest Until I sank upon his breast.

XIX.
Over my head his arm he flung

Against the world; and scarce I felt
His sword (that dripped by me and swung)

A little shifted in its belt :
For he began to say the while
How South our home lay many a mile.

xx. So ʼmid the shouting multitude

We two walked forth to never more
Return. My cousins have pursued

Their life, untroubled as before
I vexed them. Gauthier's dwelling-place
God lighten! May his soul find grace!

[ocr errors]

Our elder boy has got the clear

Great brow; tho' when his brother's black
Full eye shows scorn, it . . . Gismond here?

And have you brought my tercel back ?
I was just telling Adela
How many birds it struck since May.

EURYDICE TO ORPHEUS.

A PICTURE BY FREDERICK LEIGHTON, R. A.

But give them me, the mouth, the eyes, the brow! Let them once more absorb me! One look now

Will lap me round for ever, not to pass Out of its light, though darkness lie beyond : Hold me but safe again within the bond

Of one immortal look! All woe that was, Forgotten, and all terror that may be, Defied,-no past is mine, no future : look at me!

..

THE GLOVE.

(PETER RONSARD loquitur.)

“ HEIGHO,” yawned one day King Francis, “ 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,

« ПретходнаНастави »