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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

undoing

IV.

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 unstifled, Seems the sole work of a life-time that away the rest

have trifled.

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

merely, 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 ?

VI.

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 together?

VII.

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!

VIII.

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.

COUNT GISMOND.

AIX IN PROVENCE.

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.

II.

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.

III,

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.

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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 !

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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)

VII.

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 !

VIII.
However that be, all eyes were bent

Upon me, when my cousins cast
Theirs down ; 'twas 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 's at the gate, in talk

With his two boys: I can proceed. · Well, at that moment, who should stalk

Forth boldly—to my face, indeedBut Gauthier ? and he thundered “Stay !” - And all stayed. “Bring no crowns, I say !

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“ Bring torches ! Wind the penance-sheet

“ About her! Let her shun the chaste, “ Or lay herself before their feet !

“ Shall she, whose body I embraced " A night long, queen it in the day? “ For honour's sake no crowns, I say !”

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I? What I answered ? As I live,

I never fancied such a thing As answer possible to give.

What says the body when they spring Some monstrous torture-engine's whole Strength on it? No more says the soul.

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