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But she and her son agreed, I take it,
That no one should touch on the story to wake it,
For the wound in the Duke's pride rankled fiery ;
So, they made no search and small inquiry :
And when fresh Gipsies have paid us a visit, I've
Noticed the couple were never inquisitive,
But told them they ’re folks the Duke do n't want here,
And bade them make haste and cross the frontier.
Brief, the Duchess was gone and the Duke was glad of it,
And the old one was in the young one's stead,
And took, in her place, the household's head,
And a blessed time the household had of it!
And were I not, as a man may say, cautious
How I trench, more than needs, on the nauseous,
I could favour you with sundry touches
Of the paint-smutches with which the Duchess
Heightened the mellowness of her cheek's yellowness
(To get on faster) until at last her
Cheek grew to be one master-plaster
Of mucus and fucus from mere use of ceruse :
In short, she grew from scalp to udder
Just the object to make you shudder.
You 're my friend-
What a thing friendship is, world without end !
How it gives the heart and soul a stir-up
As if somebody broached you a glorious runlet,
And poured out, all lovelily, sparklingly, sunlit,
Our green Moldavia, the streaky syrup,
Cotnar as old as the time of the Druids-
Friendship may match with that monarch of fluids;
Each supples a dry brain, fills you its ins-and-outs,
Gives your life's hour-glass a shake when the thin sand
Whether to run on or stop short, and guarantees
Age is not all made of stark sloth and arrant ease.
I have seen my little lady once more,
Jacynth, the Gipsy, Berold, and the rest of it,
For to me spoke the Duke, as I told you before;
I always wanted to make a clean breast of it:
And now it is made-why, my heart's blood, that went
trickle, Trickle, but anon, in such muddy driblets, Is pumped up brisk now, through the main ventricle, And genially floats me about the giblets. I 'll tell you what I intend to do: I must see this fellow his sad life throughHe is our Duke, after all, And I, as he says, but a serf and thrall. My father was born here, and I inherit His fame, a chain he bound his son with; Could I pay in a lump I should prefer it, But there 's no mine to blow up and get done with : So, I must stay till the end of the chapter. For, as to our middle-age-manners-adapter, Be it a thing to be glad on or sorry on, Some day or other, his head in a morion And breast in a hauberk, his heels he 'll kick up, Slain by an onslaught fierce of hiccup. And then, when red doth the sword of our Duke rust, And its leathern sheath lie o'ergrown with a blue crust, Then I shall scrape together my earnings;
For, you see, in the churchyard Jacynth reposes,
And our children all went the way of the roses :
It 's a long lane that knows no turnings.
One needs but little tackle to travel in ;
So, just one stout cloak shall I indue :
And for a staff, what beats the javelin
With which his boars my father pinned you ?
And then, for a purpose you shall hear presently,
Taking some Cotnar, a tight plump skinful,
I shall go journeying, who but I, pleasantly!
Sorrow is vain and despondency sinful.
What 's a man's age ? He mu hurry more, that 's all ;
Cram in a day, what his youth took a year to hold :
When we mind labour, then only, we 're too old-
What age had Methusalem when he begat Saul ?
And at last, as its haven some buffeted ship sees,
(Come all the way from the north-parts with sperm oil)
I hope to get safely out of the turmoil
And arrive one day at the land of the Gipsies,
And find my lady, or hear the last news of her
From some old thief and son of Lucifer,
His forehead chapleted green with wreathy hop,
Sunburned all over like an Æthiop.
And when my Cotnar begins to operate
And the tongue of the rogue to run at a proper rate,
And our wine-skin, tight once, shows each flaccid dent,
I shall drop in with—as if by accident-
“You never knew then, how it all ended,
“What fortune good or bad attended
“ The little lady your Queen befriended ? ”
-And when that 's told me, what 's remaining ?
This world's too hard for my explaining.
The same wise judge of matters equine
Who still preferred some slim four-year-old
To the big-boned stock of mighty Berold,
And, for strong Cotnar, drank French weak wine,
He also must be such a lady's scorner !
Smooth Jacob still robs homely Esau :
Now up, now down, the world 's one see-saw.
-So, I shall find out some snug corner
Under a hedge, like Orson the wood-knight,
Turn myself round and bid the world good night;
And sleep a sound sleep till the trumpet's blowing
Wakes me (unless priests cheat us laymen)
To a world where will be no further throwing
Pearls before swine that can 't value them. Amen!
SONG FROM “PIPPA PASSES."
The year 's at the spring,
And day 's at the morn;
Morning 's at seven;
The hill-side 's dew-pearled ;
The lark 's on the wing ;
The snail 's on the thorn ;
God's in His heaven-
All 's right with the world.
3. HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX."
I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he;
I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three ;
“Good speed !" cried the watch, as the gate-bolts
Speed !" echoed the wall to us galloping through ;
Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,
And into the midnight we galloped abreast.
Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our
I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right,
Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker the bit,
Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.