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Of Ida sounded, issuing ordinance :
And me they bore up the broad stairs and thro'
The long-laid galleries past a hundred doors
To one deep chamber shut from sound, and due
To languid limbs and sickness ; left me in it ;
And others otherwhere they laid ; and all

That afternoon a sound arose of hoof


And chariot, many a maiden passing home
Till happier times ; but some were left of those
Held sagest, and the great lords out and in,

From those two hosts that lay beside the walls, Walk'd at their will, and everything was changed.

Ask me no more : the moon may draw the sea ;

The cloud may stoop from heaven and take the shape,

With fold to fold, of mountain or of cape ; But 0 too fond, when have I answer'd thee?

Ask me no more.

Ask me no more : what answer should I give ?

I love not hollow cheek or faded eye :

Yet, O my friend, I will not have thee die ! Ask me no more, lest I should bid thee live;

Ask me no more.

Ask me no more : thy fate and mine are seald :

I strove against the stream and all in vain :

Let the great river take me to the main : No more, dear love, for at a touch I yield;

Ask me no more.


So was their sanctuary violated,
So their fair college turn'd to hospital ;

At first with all confusion : by and bye
Sweet order lived again with other laws :
A kindlier influence reign'd ; and everywhere
Low voices with the ministering hand
Hung round the sick : the maidens came, they talk'd,
They sang, they read : till she not fair, began

To gather light, and she that was, became

Her former beauty treble ; and to and fro
With books, with flowers, with Angel offices,

Like creatures native unto gracious act,

And in their own clear element, they moved.

But sadness on the soul of Ida fell,

And hatred of her weakness, blent with shame.
Old studies fail'd : seldom she spoke ; but oft
Clomb to the roofs, and gazed alone for hours
On that disastrous leaguer, swarms of men
Darkening her female field : void was her use ;
And she as one that climbs a peak to gaze
O'er land and main, and sees a great black cloud
Drag inward from the deeps, a wall of night,
Blot out the slope of sea from verge to shore,
And suck the blinding splendour from the sand,
And quenching lake by lake and tarn by tarn
Expunge the world : so fared she gazing there ;
So blacken'd all her world in secret, blank

And waste it seem'd and vain ; till down she came


And found fair peace once more among the sick.

And twilight dawn'd; and morn by morn the lark

; Shot up and shrill'd in flickering gyres, but I Lay silent in the muffiled cage of life : And twilight gloom'd; and broader-grown the bowers Drew the great night into themselves, and Heaven,

Star after star, arose and fell ; but I

Lay sunder'd from the moving Universe,
Nor knew what eye was on me, nor the hand

That nursed me, more than infants in their sleep.


But Psyche tended Florian : with her oft Melissa came ; for Blanche had gone, but left Her child among us, willing she should keep Court-favour : here and there the small bright head, A light of healing, glanced about the couch, Or thro’ the parted silks the tender face Peep'd, shining in upon the wounded man

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With blush and smile, a medicine in themselves

To wile the length from languorous hours and draw The sting from pain ; nor seem'd it strange that soon

He rose up whole, and those fair charities

Join'd at her side ; nor stranger seem'd that hearts

So gentle, so employ'd, should close in love,

Than when two dewdrops on the petal shake

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