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Of spirit than to junketing and love.

Love is it? Would this same mock-love, and this

Mock-Hymen were laid up like winter bats,

Till all men grew to rate us at our worth,
Not vassals to be beat, nor pretty babes
To be dandled, no, but living wills, and sphered
Whole in ourselves and due to none. Enough!
But now to leaven play with profit, you,
Know you no song, the true growth of your soil,

That gives the manners of your countrywomen ?'

She spoke and turn'd her sumptuous head with eyes

Of shining expectation fixt on mine.

Then while I dragg'd my brains for such a song,

Cyril, with whom the bell-mouth'd flask had wrought,

Or master'd by the sense of sport, began

To troll a careless, careless tavern-catch

Of Moll and Meg, and strange experiences

Unmeet for ladies. Florian nodded at him,

I frowning ; Psyche flush'd and wann'd and shook ;

The lilylike Melissa droop'd her brows;

6

• Forbear' the Princess cried ; Forbear, Sir’I;

And heated thro' and thro' with wrath and love,

I smote him on the breast; he started

up ;

There rose a shriek as of a city sack' ;

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Said Ida ; • home! to horse !' and fled, as flies

A troop of snowy doves athwart the dusk,

When some one batters at the dovecote-doors,

Disorderly the women. Alone I stood
With Florian, cursing Cyril, vext at heart,
In the pavilion : there like parting hopes
I heard them passing from me: hoof by hoof,
And
every
hoof a knell to my

desires, Clang’d on the bridge ; and then another shriek, • The Head, the Head, the Princess, O the Head !' For blind with rage she miss'd the plank, and rollid In the river. Out I sprang from glow to gloom :

There whirl'd her white robe like a blossom’d branch

Rapt to the horrible fall :

glance I gave,

No more ; but woman-vested as I was

Plunged ; and the flood drew ; yet I caught her ; then Oaring one arm, and bearing in my

left

The weight of all the hopes of half the world,

Strove to buffet to land in vain.

A tree

Was half-disrooted from his place and stoop’d
To drench his dark locks in the gurgling wave

Mid-channel. Right on this we drove and caught,
And grasping down the boughs I gain'd the shore.

There stood her maidens glimmeringly group'd In the hollow bank. One reaching forward drew My burthen from mine arms ; they cried .she lives !' They bore her back into the tent : but I,

So much a kind of shame within me wrought,

Not yet endured to meet her opening eyes,
Nor found my friends ; but push'd alone on foot
(For since her horse was lost I left her mine)

Across the woods, and less from Indian craft

Than beelike instinct hiveward, found at length

The garden portals. Two great statues, Art

And Science, Caryatids, lifted up

A weight of emblem, and betwixt were valves
Of open-work in which the hunter rued

His rash intrusion, manlike, but his brows

Had sprouted, and the branches thereupon
Spread out at top, and grimly spiked the gates.

A little space was left between the horns,

Thro’ which I clamber'd o'er at top with pain,

Dropt on the sward, and up the linden walks,
And, tost on thoughts that changed from hue to hue,
Now poring on the glowworm, now the star,
I paced the terrace, till the bear had wheel'd

Thro' a great arc his seven slow suns.

A step

Of lightest echo, then a loftier form

Than female, moving thro' the uncertain gloom,
Disturb'd me with the doubt if this were she'

But it was Florian. “Hist 0 hist,' he said,

G

• They seek us : out so late is out of rules.

Moreover “ seize the strangers ” is the cry.
How came you here? ' I told him ; 'I' said he
* Last of the train, a moral leper, I,
To whom none spake, half-sick at heart, return’d.
Arriving all confused among the rest
With hooded brows I crept into the hall,
And, couch'd behind a Judith, underneath

The head of Holofernes peep'd and saw.

Girl after girl was call’d to trial : each
Disclaim'd all knowledge of us : last of all
Melissa : trust me, Sir, I pitied her.
She, question’d if she knew us men, at first

Was silent ; closer prest, denied it not :
And then, demanded if her mother knew,

Or Psyche, she affirm'd not, or denied :
From whence the Royal mind, familiar with her,
Easily gather'd either guilt. She sent

For Psyche, but she was not there ; she call’d

For Psyche's child to cast it from the doors ;

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