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To hear them : knowledge, so my daughter held,
Was all in all ; they had but been, she thought,
As children ; they must lose the child, assume

The woman : then, Sir, awful odes she wrote,

About this losing of the child,--and rhymes
And dismal lyrics prophesying change,
Beyond all reason : these the women sang ;
And they that know such things—I sought but peace ;

No critic I--would call them masterpieces :

They master'd me. At last she begg'd a boon
A certain summer-palace which I have
Hard by your father's frontier : I said no,

Yet being an easy man, gave it ; and there,

All wild to found an University

For maidens, on the spur she fled ; and more

We know not only this : they see no men,

Not ev'n her brother Arac, nor the twins

Her brethren, tho' they love her, look upon her
As on a kind of paragon ; and I
(Pardon me saying it) were much loth to breed

Dispute betwixt myself and mine : but since
(And I confess with right) you think me bound
In some sort, I can give you letters to her ;
And yet, to speak the truth, I rate your chance
Almost at naked nothing.'

Thus the king;

And I, tho' nettled that he seem'd to slur

With garrulous ease and oily courtesies

Our formal compact, yet not less all frets
But chafing me on fire to find my bride,
Set out once more with those two gallant boys :

Many a long league back to the North we past, And came (the fern-owl whirring in the copse) Upon a little town within a wood

Close at the boundary of the liberties ;
There enter'd an old hostel, call’d mine host

To council, plied him with his richest wines,

And show'd the late-writ letters of the king.

He, with a long low sibilation, stared

As blank as death in marble ; then exclaim'd

Averring it was clear against all rules

For any man to go: but as his brain

Began to mellow, “If the king,' he said,
Had given us letters, was he bound to speak?

6

The king would bear him out ;' and at the last

The summer of the vine in all his veins

• No doubt that we might make it worth his while. She once had past that way; he heard her speak ; She look'd as grand as doomsday and as grave ; And he, he reverenced his liege-lady there ;

He always made a point to post with mares ;
His daughter and his housemaid were the boys.
The land he understood for miles about

Was till’d by women ; all the swine were sows,
And all the dogs'-

But while he jested thus,

A thought flash'd thro' me which I clothed in act, Remembering how we three presented Maid

Or Nymph, or Goddess, at high tide of feast,

In
masque or pageant at my

father's court.

We sent mine host to purchase female gear;

He brought it, and himself, a sight to shake

The midriff of despair with laughter, holp

To lace us up, till, each, in maiden plumes

We rustled : him we gave a costly bribe

To guerdon silence, mounted our good steeds,

And boldly ventured on the liberties.

We rode till midnight when the college lights

Began to glitter firefly-like in copse

And linden alley ; then we past an arch,
Whereon a woman-statue rose with wings

From four wing'd horses dark against the stars ;
And some inscription ran along the front,
But deep in shadow. Further on we gain'd
A little street half garden and half house ;

But scarce could hear each other speak for noise

Of clocks and chimes, like silver hammers falling

On silver anvils, and the splash and stir

Of fountains spouted up and showering down

:

In meshes of the jasmine and the rose :
And all about us peal'd the nightingale,

Rapt in her song, and careless of the snare.

There stood a bust of Pallas for a sign,

By two sphere lamps blazon'd like Heaven and Earth

With constellation and with continent,

Above an entry : riding in, we call’d;
A plump-arm’d Ostleress and a stable wench
Came running at the call, and help'd us down.
Then stept a buxom hostess forth, and sail'd,
. Full-blown, before us into rooms which gave

Upon a pillar'd porch, the bases lost

In laurel : her we ask'd of that and this,

And who were tutors.

• Lady Blanche' she said,

* And Lady Psyche.' Which was prettiest, Best natured?' Lady Psyche.'

• Hers are we,'

One voice, we cried ; and I sat down and wrote,

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