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She replies, in accents fainter,
* There is none I love like thee.' He is but a landscape-painter,
And a village maiden she. He to lips, that fondly falter,
Presses his without reproof : Leads her to the village altar,
And they leave her father's roof. 'I can make no marriage present :
Little can I give my wife.
And I love thee more than life.'
See the lordly castles stand :
Made a murmur in the land.
Says to her that loves him well,
Where the wealthy nobles dwell.' So she goes by him attended,
Hears him lovingly converse, Sees whatever fair and splendid
Lay betwixt his home and hers ; Parks with oak and chestnut shady,
Parks and order'd gardens great,
Built for pleasure and for state.
Evermore she seems to gaze
days. O but she will love him truly !
He shall have a cheerful home; She will order all things duly,
When beneath his roof they come. Thus her heart rejoices greatly,
Till a gateway she discerns With armorial bearings stately,
And beneath the gate she turns ; Sees a mansion more majestic
Than all those she saw before :
Many a gallant gay domestic
Bows before him at the door. And they speak in gentle murmur,
When they answer to his call,
Leading on from hall to hall.
Nor the meaning can divine,
All of this is mine and thine.' Here he lives in state and bounty,
Lord of Burleigh, fair and free,
Is so great a lord as he.
Her sweet face from brow to chin :
And her spirit changed within. Then her countenance all over
Pale again as death did prove : But he clasp'd her like a lover,
And he cheer'd her soul with love. So she strove against her weakness,
Tho' at times her spirit sank : Shaped her heart with woman's meek
To all duties of her rank : And a gentle consort made he,
And her gentle mind was such That she grew a noble lady,
And the people loved her much. But a trouble weigh'd upon her,
And perplex'd her, night and morn, With the burthen of an honour
Unto which she was not born. Faint she grew, and ever fainter,
And she murmur'd, 'Oh, that he Were once more that landscape-painter,
Which did win my heart from me!' So she droop'd and droop'd before him,
Fading slowly from his side: Three fair children first she bore him,
Then before her time she died.
SIR LAUNCELOT AND QUEEN GUINEVERE.
SIR LAUNCELOT AND QUEEN
LIKE souls that balance joy and pain,
In crystal vapour everywhere
From draughts of balmy air.
Her face was evermore unseen,
And fixt upon the far sea-line ;
Like Fancy made of golden air,
Like Virtue firm, like Knowledge fair, Now high on waves that idly burst Like Heavenly Hope she crown'd the
sea, And now, the bloodless point reversed, She bore the blade of Liberty.
x. And only one among us—him
We pleased not—he was seldom pleased: He saw not far : his eyes were dim :
But ours he swore were all diseased. *A ship of fools,' he shriek'd in spite,
' A ship of fools,' he sneer'd and wept. And overboard one stormy night He cast his body, and on we swept.
Nor anchor dropt at eve or morn;
But laws of nature were our scorn. For blasts would rise and rave and cease, But whence were those that drove the
For still we follow'd where she led :
And half the crew are sick or dead, But, blind or lame or sick or sound,
We follow that which flies before : We know the merry world is round,
And we may sail for evermore.
Sometimes the linnet piped his song :
By grassy capes with fuller sound
Above the teeming ground.
Then, in the boyhood of the year,
She seem'd a part of joyous Spring :
Closed in a golden ring.
Now on some twisted ivy.net,
And fleeter now she skimm'd the plains
With jingling bridle-reins.
A FAREWELL-THE BEGGAR MAID--THE EAGLE.
Come not, when I am dead,
To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave, To trample round my fallen head,
And vex the unhappy dust thou wouldst
THE BEGGAR MAID. Her arms across her breast she laid ;
She was more fair than words can say : Bare-footed came the beggar maid
Before the king Cophetua. In rcbe and crown the king stept down,
To meet and greet her on her way; It is no wonder,' said the lords,
'She is more beautiful than day.' As shines the moon in clouded skies,
She in her poor attire was seen : One praised her ancles, one her eyes,
One her dark hair and lovesome mien.
There let the wind sweep and the plover cry;
But thou, go by. Child, if it were thine error or thy crime
I care no longer, being all unblest : Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of
Time, And I desire to rest. Pass on, weak heart, and leave me where
I lie :
Go by, go by.