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Man is the hunter ; woman is his game ;
The sleek and shining creatures of the chase,
They love us for it, and we ride them down :
Wheedling and siding with them! Out! for shame!
Boy, there's no rose that's half so dear to them
As he that does the thing they dare not do,
Among the women, snares them by the score
Flatter'd and fluster’d, wins, tho' dash'd with death
He reddens what he kisses : thus I won
Your mother, a good mother, a good wife,
To such as her ! if Cyril spake her true,
To catch a dragon in a cherry net,
Were wisdom to it.'
• Yea but Sire,' I cried,
· Wild natures need wise curbs,
The soldier? No:
What dares not Ida do that she should prize
The soldier ? I beheld her, when she rose
The yesternight, and storming in extremes
Stood for her cause, and flung defiance down Gagelike to man, and had not shunn’d the death,
No, not the soldier's : yet I hold her, king,
True woman: but you clash them all in one,
That have as many differences as we.
As oak from elm : one loves the soldier, one
The silken priest of peace, one this, one that,
They worth it? truer to the law within ?
Severer in the logic of a life?
My mother, looks as whole as some serene
Creation minted in the golden moods
Of sovereign artists ; not a thought, a touch,
Lest I lose all.'
• Nay, nay, you spake but sense'
"We remember love ourselves
In our sweet youth ; we did not rate him then
This red-hot iron to be shaped with blows.
You talk almost like Ida : she can talk ;
And there is something in it as you say:
you talk kindlier : we esteem you for it.
He seems a gracious and a gallant Prince,
Our own detention, why the causes weigh’d,
You did but come as goblins in the night,
But let your Prince (our royal word upon it,
He comes back safe) ride with us to our lines,
And speak with Arac : Arac's word is thrice
As ours with Ida : something may be done
You, likewise, our late guests, if so you will,
Foursquare to opposition.'
Here he reach'd
White hands of farewell to my sire, who growld
An answer which, half-muffled in his beard,
Let so much out as gave us leave to go.
Then rode we with the old king across the lawns
Burnt in us, when we saw the embattled
And squadrons of the Prince, trampling the flowers
With clamour : for among them rose a cry
As if to greet the king ; they made a halt ;