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When all among the thundering drums
Thy soldier in the battle stands,
And gives the battle to his hands :
He sees his brood about thy knee-
Strikes him dead for them and thee!
Tara ta tantara !
So Lilia sang : we thought her half-possess'd
Like one that wishes at a dance to change
The music-clapt her hands and cried for war,
And he that next inherited the tale
Half turning to the broken statue, said,
• Sir Ralph has got your colours : if I prove Your knight and fight your battle, what for me?
It chanced, her empty glove upon the tomb
She took it and she flung it. Fight' she said,
• And make us all we would be, great and good.' He knightlike in his cap instead of casque, A
cap of Tyrol borrow'd from the hall, Arranged the favour and assumed the Prince.
Now scarce three paces measured from the mound
We stumbled on a stationary voice
?' • Two from the palace ' I. • The second two: they wait,' he said, 'pass on ;
His Highness wakes :' and one, that clash'd in arms,
Whispers of war.
Entering, the sudden light
Dazed me half-blind : I stood and seem'd to hear,
As in a poplar grove when a light wind wakes
Each hissing in his neighbour's ear; and then
A strangled titter, out of which there brake
On all sides, clamouring etiquette to death
At length my Sire, his rough cheek wet with tears,
Panted from weary sides • King, you are free!
For I was drench'd with ooze, and torn with briers,
More crumpled than a poppy from the sheath,
Your Cyril told us all.'
As boys that slink
From ferule and the trespass-chiding eye,
Away we stole, and transient in a trice
From what was left of faded woman-slough
To sheathing splendours and the golden scale
Of harness, issued in the sun that now
And hit the northern hills. Here Cyril met us
A little shy at first, but by and by
Followed his tale. Amazed he fled away
Thro' the dark land, and later in the night
Had come on Psyche weeping : 'then we fell
your father's hand, and there she lies, But will not speak, nor stir.'
He show'd a tent
A stone-shot off : we entered in, and there Among piled arms and rough accoutrements, Pitiful sight, wrapt in a soldier's cloak,