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THE PRINCESS:

A MEDLEY

PROLOGUE.

SIR WALTER VIVIAN all a summer's day

Gave his broad lawns until the set of sun

Up to the people : thither flock'd at noon

His tenants, wife and child, and thither half

The neighbouring borough with their Institute

Of which he was the patron. I was there
From college, visiting the son,--the son

A Walter too, with others of our set,

Five others : we were seven at Vivian-place.

And me that morning Walter show'd the house,

Greek, set with busts : from vases in the hall

Flowers of all heavens, and lovelier than their names,

Grew side by side ; and on the pavement lay
Carved stones of the Abbey-ruin in the park,

Huge Ammonites, and the first bones of Time ;

And on the tables every clime and age

Jumbled together ; celts and calumets,
Claymore and snowshoe, toys in lava, fans

Of sandal, amber, ancient rosaries,
Laborious orient ivory sphere in sphere,
The cursed Malayan crease, and battle-clubs
From the isles of palm : and higher on the walls,

Betwixt the monstrous horns of elk and deer,

His own forefathers' arms and armour hung.

And this ’ he said was Hugh's at Agincourt ;

And that was old Sir Ralph's at Ascalon :
A good knight he ! we keep a chronicle
With all about him '—which he brought, and I

Dived in a hoard of tales that dealt with knights

Half-legend, half-historic, counts and kings

Who laid about them at their wills and died ;

And mixt with these, a lady, one that arm’d
Her own fair head, and sallying thro' the gate,
Had beat her foes with slaughter from her walls.

And, I all rapt in this, . Come out,' he said, • To the Abbey : there is Aunt Elizabeth

And sister Lilia with the rest.' We went

(I kept the book and had my finger in it)
Down thro' the park : strange was the sight to me ;
For all the sloping pasture murmur'd sown
With happy faces and with holiday.
There moved the multitude, a thousand heads :

The patient leaders of their Institute

Taught them with facts. One rear'd a font of stone

And drew, from butts of water on the slope,
The fountain of the moment, playing now
A twisted snake, and now a rain of pearls,

Or steep-up spout whereon the gilded ball

Danced like a wisp : and somewhat lower down

A man with knobs and wires and vials fired

A cannon : Echo answer'd in her sleep
From hollow fields : and here were telescopes
For azure views ; and there a group of girls

In circle waited, whom the electric shock

Dislink'd with shrieks and laughter : round the lake
A little clock-work steamer paddling plied
And shook the lilies : perch'd about the knolls
A dozen

angry models jetted steam :

A petty railway ran : a fire-balloon

Rose gem-like up before the dusky groves
And dropt a fairy parachute and past :
And there thro' twenty posts of telegraph
They flash'd a saucy message to and fro
Between the mimic stations ; so that sport

With Science hand in hand went ; otherwhere

Pure sport : a herd of boys with clamour bowlod And stump'd the wicket; babies roll’d about Like tumbled fruit in grass ; and men and maids

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