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And Vidal rose at break of day,
And found his heart unbroken;
And told his beads, and went away,
, On a steed he had bespoken;
His bonnet he drew his eyelids o'er,
For tears were like to blind him;
And he spurred Sir Guy o'er mount and moor,
With a long dull journey all before,
And a short gay squire behind him.
And the neighborhood much marvel had;
And all who saw did say,
The weather and the roads were bad,
And either Vidal had run mad,
Or Guy had run away!
Oh! when a cheek is to be dried,
All pharmacy is folly;
And Vidal knew, for he had tried,
There's nothing like a rattling ride
For curing melancholy!
Three days he rode all mad and mute;
And when the sun did pass,
Three nights he supp'd upon dry fruit,
And slept upon wet grass.
Beneath an oak, whose hundred years
Had formed fit shade for talk or tears,
On the fourth day he lay at noon,
And put his gilt guitar in tune;
When suddenly swept by,
In gold and silver all arrayed,
A most resplendent cavalcade;
Baron and Beauty, Knave and Knight,
And lips of love, and eyes of light,
All blended dazzlingly.
Ah! all the world that day came out,
With horse and horn, and song and shout;
And belles and bouquets gayly bloomed, v.
And all were proud, and all perfumed,
And gallants, as the humor rose,
Talked any nonsense that they chose,
And damsel gave the reins for fun )
Alike to palfrey and to pun.
It chanced no lady had been thrown,
No heir had cracked his collar-bone,
So pleasure laughed on every cheek,
And naught, save saddles, dreamed of pique. >
And brightest of that brilliant train,
With jeweled bit, and gilded rein,
And pommel clothed in gorgeous netting,
And courser daintily curvetting,
Girt round with gallant Cavaliers,
Some deep in love, and some in years,
Half exquisites and half absurds,
All babbling of their beasts and birds,
Quite tired of trumpeting and talking,
The Baroness returned from hawking.
The lady halted; well she might;
For Vidal was so fair,
You would have thought some god of light
Had walked to take the air;
Bare were both his delicate hands,
And the hue on his cheek was high,
As woman's when she understands
Her first fond lover's sigh;
And desolate very, and very dumb,
And rolling his eyes of blue,
And rubbing his forehead, and biting his thumb,
As lyrists and lovers do.
Like Queen Titania's darling pet,
Or Oberon's wickedest elf,
He lay beside a rivulet,
And looked beside himself;
And belles full blown, and beaux full drest,
Stood there with smirk and smile,
And many a finger, and many a jest,
Were pointed all the while.
Then Vidal came, and bent his knees
Before the lady there,
And raised his bonnet, that the breeze
Might trifle with his hair;
And said, he was a nameless youth,
Had learned betimes to tell the truth,
Could greet a friend, and grasp a foe,
Could take a jest, and give a blow,
Had no idea of false pretences,
Had lost his father, and his senses,
Was travelling over land and sea,
Armed with guitar and gallantry;
And if her will found aught of pleasure
Iu trifling sou], and tinkling measure,
He prayed that she would call her own
His every thought, and every tone.
"Bonne grace, good Mary, and sweet St. John'" That haughty dame did say;
"A goodly quarry I have won,
In this our sport to-day!
A precious page is this of mine,
To carve my meat and pour my wine,
To loose my greyhound's ringing chain,
And hold my palfrey's gaudy rein,
And tell strange tales of moody sprites,
Around the hearth, on winter nights.
Marry! a wilful look, and wild!
But we shall tame the wayward child,
And dress his roving locks demurely,
And tie his jesses on securely."
She took from out her garment's fold
A dazzling gaud of twisted gold;
She raised him from his knee;
The diamond cross she gravely kiss'd,
And twined the links around his wrist
With such fine witchery,
That there he kneeled, and met her glance
In silence and a moveless trance,
And saw no sight, and heard no sound,
And knew himself more firmly bound
Than if a hundred weight of steel
Had fettered him from head to heel!
And from that moment Vidal gave
His childish fancy up, Became her most peculiar slave, And wore her scarf, and whipped her knave,
And filled her silver cup. She was a widow: on this earth \ It seemed her only task was mirth;; She had no nerves and no sensations, \ No troubling friends nor poor relations; No gnawing grief to feel a care for, No living soul to breathe a prayer for. Ten years ago her lord and master Had chanced upon a sad disaster; One night his servants found him lying Speechless or senseless, dead or dying, With shivered sword and dabbled crest, And a small poniard in his breast, And nothing further to supply The slightest hint of how or why. As usual, in such horrid cases, The men made oath, the maids made faces; All thought it most immensely funny The murderer should have left the money, And showed suspicions in dumb crambo, And buried him with fear and flambeau.
Clotilda shrieked and swooned, of course,
Grew very ilV and very hoarse,
Put on a veil, put off a rout,
Turned all her cooks and courtiers out,