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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.
What have you done but right? you could not slay
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
• 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
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,
Or they will take her, they will make her hard,
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,
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
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
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
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
Three times a monster : 'now she lightens scorn
At him that mars her plan, but then would hate
Not ever would she love ; but brooding turn
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,
Or like an old-world mammoth bulk'd in ice,
Not to be molten out.'
And roughly spake