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We turn'd to go, but Cyril took the child, And held her round the knees against his waist,

And blew the swoll'n cheek of a trumpeter,

While Psyche watch'd them, smiling, and the child
Push'd her flat hand against his face and laugh'd ;

And thus our conference closed.

And then we stroll’d

For half the day thro' stately theatres
Bench'd crescent-wise. In each we sat, we heard

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With scraps of thundrous Epic lilted out
By violet-hooded Doctors, elegies
And quoted odes, and jewels five-words-long
That on the stretch'd forefinger of all Time
Sparkle for ever : then we dipt in all

That treats of whatsoever is, the state,

The total chronicles of man, the mind,

The morals, something of the frame, the rock,

The star, the bird, the fish, the shell, the flower,

Electric, chemic laws, and all the rest,

And whatsoever can be taught and known ;

Till like three horses that have broken fence,

And glutted all night long breast-deep in corn,

We issued gorged with knowledge, and I spoke :

6

Why, Sirs, they do all this as well as we.'

• They hunt old trails ' said Cyril ' very well ; But when did woman ever yet invent ? * Ungracious !' answer'd Florian, have you learnt No more from Psyche's lecture, you that talk'd

The trash that made me sick, and almost sad?'

• O trash' he said but with a kernel in it.

Should I not call her wise, who made me wise ?

And learnt? I learnt more from her in a flash,

Than if my brainpan were an empty hull,

And every Muse tumbled a science in.

A thousand hearts lie fallow in these halls,

And round these halls a thousand baby loves

Fly twanging headless arrows at the hearts,
Whence follows many a vacant pang ; but O
With me, Sir, enter'd in the bigger boy,
The Head of all the golden-shafted firm,

The long-limb’d lad that had a Psyche too ;

He cleft me thro' the stomacher ; and now

What think

you

of it, Florian? will it hold ?

Shall those three castles patch my tatter'd coat ? For dear are those three castles to my wants,

And dear is sister Psyche to my heart,

And two dear things are one of double worth, And much I might have said, but that my zone

Unmann'd me : then the Doctors !

O to hear

The Doctors !

O to watch the thirsty plants

Imbibing ! once or twice I thought to roar,
To break my chain, to shake my mane : but thou,
Modulate me, Soul of mincing mimicry !
Make liquid treble of that bassoon, my throat ;

Abase those eyes that ever loved to meet
Star-sisters answering under crescent brows ;

Abate the stride, which speaks of man, and loose

A flying charm of blushes o'er this cheek,

Where they like swallows coming out of time Will wonder why they came : but hark the bell For dinner, let us go!'

And in we stream'd

Among the columns, pacing staid and still

By twos and threes, till all from end to end

With beauties every shade of brown and fair,
In colours gayer than the morning mist,
The long hall glitter'd like a bed of flowers.
How might a man not wander from his wits

Pierced thro' with eyes, but that I kept mine own
Intent on her, who rapt in awful dreams,
The second-sight of some Astræan age,
Sat compass'd with professors : they, the while,

Discuss'd a doubt and tost it to and fro:

A clamour thicken'd, mixt with inmost terms

Of art and science : Lady Blanche alone

Of faded form and haughtiest lineaments,
With all her Autumn tresses falsely brown,
Shot sidelong daggers at us, a tiger-cat
In act to spring

At last a solemn grace

Concluded, and we sought the gardens : there

One walk'd reciting by herself, and one

In this hand held a volume as to read,

And smoothed a petted peacock down with that :
Some to a low song oar'd a shallop by,
Or under arches of the marble bridge
Hung, shadow'd from the heat : some hid and sought

In the orange thickets : others tost a ball

Above the fountain-jets, and back again
With laughter : others lay about the lawns,
Of the older sort, and murmur'd that their May
Was passing : what was learning unto them?
They wish'd to marry ; they could rule a house ;

Men hated learned women : but we three

E

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