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At eight years old ; and still from time to time
Came murmurs of her beauty from the South,
And one dark tress; and all around them both
Sweet thoughts would swarm as bees about their queen.
But when the days drew nigh that I should wed, My father sent ambassadors with furs
And jewels, gifts, to fetch her : these brought back
A present, a great labour of the loom ;
And therewithal an answer vague as wind :
Besides, they saw the king ; he took the gifts ;
But then she had a will ; was he to blame?
And maiden fancies ; loved to live alone
Among her women ; certain, would not wed.
That morning in the presence room I stood With Cyril and with Florian, my two friends :
The first, a gentleman of broken means
Now, while they spake, I saw my father's face Grow long and troubled like a rising moon, Inflamed with wrath : he started on his feet,
Tore the king's letter, snow'd it down, and rent
From skirt to skirt ; and at the last he sware
That he would send a hundred thousand men,
And bring her in a whirlwind : then he chew'd
At last I spoke. “My father, let me go
Whom all men rate as kind and hospitable :
Or, maybe, I myself, my bride once seen,
Who wedded with a nobleman from thence :
He, dying lately, left her, as I hear,
The lady of three castles in that land :
Thro’ her this matter might be sifted clean.'
In iron gauntlets : break the council up.'
But when the council broke, I rose and past Thro' the wild woods that hung about the town ;
Found a still place, and pluck'd her likeness out ;
Laid it on flowers, and watch'd it lying bathed
What were those fancies? wherefore break her troth?
Proud look'd the lips : but while I meditated
Went with it · Follow, follow, thou shalt win.'
Then, ere the silver sickle of that month
Became her golden shield, I stole from court
Like threaded spiders from a balk, we dropt,
And flying reach'd the frontier : then we crost
We gain'd the mother-city thick with towers,
His name was Gama ; crack'd and small his voice, But bland the smile that pucker'd up his cheeks ; A little dry old man, without a star, Not like a king : three days he feasted us, And on the fourth I spake of why we came, And my betroth'd. You do us, Prince,' he said, Airing a snowy hand and signet gem,
• All honour.
We remember love ourselves
In our sweet youth : there did a compact pass
full heart : but there were widows here,
Two widows, Lady Psyche, lady Blanche ;
Nothing but this ; my very ears were hot