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Like some sweet sculpture draped from head to foot, And push'd by rude hands from its pedestal,

All her fair length upon the ground she lay :

And at her head a follower of the camp,

A charr'd and wrinkled piece of womanhood,

Sat watching like a watcher by the dead.

Then Florian knelt, and · Come' he whisper'd to her

• Lift up your head, sweet sister : lie not thus.

up :

What have you done but right? you could not slay
Me, nor your prince : look be comforted :
Sweet is it to have done the thing one ought,
When fall’n in darker ways.' And likewise I:

Be comforted : have I not lost her too,

In whose least act abides the nameless charm

That none has else for me.' She heard, she moved,

She moan'd, a folded voice ; and up she sat,

And raised the cloak from brows as pale and smooth,

As those that mourn half-shrouded over death


hless m


• Her' she said my friend

Parted from her—betray'd her cause and mineWhere shall I breathe ? why kept ye not your faith ?

O base and bad ! what comfort ? none for me!'

To whom remorseful Cyril . Yet I pray
Take comfort : live, dear lady, for your

child !'

At which she lifted up her voice and cried.

• Ah me, my babe, my blossom, ah my child, My one sweet child, whom I shall see no more ! For now will cruel Ida keep her back ;

And either she will die from want of care,

Or sicken with ill usage, when they say

The child is hers—for every little fault,
The child is hers; and they will beat my girl
Remembering her mother: O my flower!

Or they will take her, they will make her hard,
And she will pass me by in after-life

With some cold reverence worse than were she dead.

Ill mother that I was to leave her there,

To lag behind, scared by the cry they made,

The horror of the shame among them all :

But I will go and sit beside the doors,
And make a wild petition night and day,

Until they hate to hear me like a wind

Wailing for ever, till they open to me,

And lay my little blossom at my feet,

My babe, my sweet Aglaïa, my one child :

And I will take her


go my way,

And satisfy my soul with kissing her:

Ah! what might that man not deserve of me,


child ?' • Be comforted'

gave me back

Said Cyril ‘ you shall have it :' but again
She veil'd her brows, and prone she sank, and so
Like tender things that being caught feign death,
Spoke not, nor stirr’d.

By this a murmur ran

Thro' all the camp and inward raced the scouts

With rumour of Prince Arac hard at hand.

We left her by the woman, and without

Found the gray kings at parle : and Look you ’cried
My father that our compact be fulfilled :
You have spoilt this child ; she laughs at you and man:
She wrongs herself, her sex, and me, and him,

But red-faced war has rods of steel and fire ;

She yields, or war.'

Then Gama turn’d to me :

• We fear, indeed, you spent a stormy time
With our strange girl: and yet they say that still
You love her. Give us, then, your mind at large :

How say you, war or not ?'

• Not war, if possible,

O king,' I said, 'lest from the abuse of war,

The desecrated shrine, the trampled year,

The smouldering homestead, and the household flower

Torn from the lintel—all the common wrong

A smoke go up thro' which I loom to her

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Three times a monster : 'now she lightens scorn

At him that mars her plan, but then would hate
(And every voice she talk'd with ratify it,
And every fuce she look'd on justify it)
The general foe. More soluble is this knot,
By gentleness than war. I want her love.
What were I nigher this altho' we dash'd
Your cities into shards with catapults,
She would not love ;-or brought her chained, a slave,
The lifting of whose eyelash is my lord,

Not ever would she love ; but brooding turn
The book of scorn, till all my little chance
Were caught within the record of her wrongs,

And crush'd to death : and rather, Sire, than this

I would the old God of war himself were dead,

Forgotten, rusting on his iron hills,
Rotting on some wild shore with ribs of wreck,

Or like an old-world mammoth bulk'd in ice,

Not to be molten out.'

And roughly spake
My father, Tut, you know them not, the girls :

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