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Give me it ; I will give it her.'
He said :
At first her eye with slow dilation rollid
And, into mournful twilight mellowing, dwelt
milkless breast In the dead prime : but
may thy mother
As true to thee as false, false, false to me!
And, if thou needs must bear the yoke, I wish it Gentle as freedom '—here she kiss'd it : then
* All good go with thee! take it Sir' and so
Laid the soft babe in his hard-mailed hands
Who turn’d half-round to Psyche as she sprang
that swum in thanks
Then felt it sound and whole from head to foot,
And hugg’d and never hugg'd it close enough,
And hid her bosom with it; after that
Put on more calm and added suppliantly ;
• We two were friends : I go to mine own land
For ever : find some other : as for me
I scarce am fit for your great plans : yet speak to me, Say one soft word and let me part forgiven.'
But Ida spoke not, rapt upon the child. Then Arac. Soul and life ! you blame the man ;
You wrong yourselves—the woman is so hard
Upon the woman. Come, a grace to me !
Your battle : kiss her ; take her band, she weeps ;
Life! I would sooner fight thrice o'er than see it.'
But Ida spoke not, gazing on the ground,
And reddening in the furrows of his chin,
And moved beyond his custom, Gama said :
• I've heard that there is iron in the blood,
And I believe it. Not one word ? not one ?
this steel temper? not from me, Not from your mother now a saint with saints.
She said you had a heart—I heard her say it“Our Ida has a heart”—just ere she died
“ But see that some one with authority
Be near her still ” and I-I sought for one-
stand Stiff as Lot's wife, and all the good knights maim'd,
I trust that there is no one hurt to death,
wild whim: and was it then for this,
Was it for this we gave our palace up
Where we withdrew from summer heats and state,
And had our wine and chess beneath the planes,
And many a pleasant hour with her that 's gone,
When first she came, all-flush'd you said to me
Now had you got a friend of your own age,
Two women faster welded in one love
Than pairs of wedlock ; she you walk'd with, she
And right ascension, Heaven knows what; and now
A word but one, one little kindly word,
Not one? You will not ? well— no heart have you, or such
As fancies like the vermin in a nut
Have fretted all to dust and bitterness.'
So said the small king moved beyond his wont.
But Ida stood nor spoke, drain'd of her force By many a varying influence and so long.
Down thro' her limbs a drooping languor wept :
Her head a little bent; and on her mouth
A doubtful smile dwelt like a clouded moon
In a still water : then brake out
Lifting his grim head from my wounds. you,
And were half fool'd to let
tend our son,
Because he might have wish'd it—but we see
The accomplice of your madness unforgiven,
Is safer : on to the tents : take up the Prince.'
He rose, and while each ear was prick'd to attend