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Come, listen ! here is proof that you were miss'd : We seven stay'd at Christmas up to read ;
And there we took one tutor as to read :
The hard-grain's Muses of the cube and square
Were out of season : never man, I think,
So moulder'd in a sinecure as he :
For while our cloisters echo'd frosty feet,
Sick for the hollies and the
of homeAs many little trifling Lilias-play'd
Charades and riddles as at Christmas here,
And what 's my thought and when and where and how
And often told a tale from mouth to mouth
As here at Christmas.'
She remember'd that:
A pleasant game, she thought : she liked it more
Than magic music, forfeits, all the rest.
But these—what kind of tales did men tell men,
She wonder'd, by themselves?
Perch'd on the pouted blossom of her lips :
The rest would follow, each in turn ; and so
Chimeras, crotchets, Christmas solecisms,
Seven-headed monsters only made to kill
• Kill him now,
The tyrant ! kill him in the summer too,'
A tale for summer as befits the time,
And something it should be to suit the place,
Heroic, for a hero lies beneath,
Walter warp'd his mouth at this
To something so mock-solemn, that I laugh'd
An echo like an April woodpecker,
Hid in the ruins ; till the maiden Aunt
(A little sense of wrong had touch'd her face
With colour) turn'd to me with · As you
you will, or what you will, Or be yourself your hero if you
• Take Lilia, then, for heroine 'clamour'd he,
• And make her some great Princess, six feet high,
Grand, epic, homicidal ; and be you
The Prince to win her!'
· Then follow me, the Prince,'
I answer'd, each be hero in his turn !
Heroic seems our Princess as required. -
A Gothic ruin and a Grecian house,
A talk of college and of ladies' rights,
No matter : we will say whatever comes.
From time to time, some ballad or a song
To give us breathing-space.'
So I began,
And the rest follow'd : and the women sang
Between the rougher voices of the men,
A PRINCE I was, blue-eyed, and fair in face,
Of temper amorous, as the first of May,
My mother was as mild as any saint,
So gracious was her tact and tenderness :
But my good father thought a king a king ;
He held his sceptre like a pedant's wand
Reach'd out, and pick'd offenders from the mass
Now it chanced that I had been,
While life was yet in bud and blade, betroth'd To one, a neighbouring Princess : she to me Was proxy-wedded with a bootless calf