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But he was all the more resolved to go, And sent at once to Lionel, praying him. By that great love they both had borne

the dead, To come and revel for one hour with him Before he left the land for evermore ; And then to friends—they were not many

-who lived Scatteringly about that lonely land of his, And bade them to a banquet of farewells.

This love is of the brain, the mind, the

soul : That makes the sequel pure; tho' some

of us Beginning at the sequel know no more. Not such am I: and yet I say, the bird That will not hear my call, however

sweet, But if my neighbour whistle answers

himWhat matter ? there are others in the

wood. Yet when I saw her (and I thought him

crazed, Tho' not with such a craziness as needs A cell and keeper), those dark eyes of

hersOh! such dark eyes! and not her eyes

alone, But all from these to where she touch'd

on earth, For such a craziness as Julian's look'd No less than one divine apology.

And Julian made a solemn feast : I

never Sat at a costlier; for all round his hall From column on to column, as in a wood, Not such as here—an equatorial one, Great garlands swung and blossom'd ;

and beneath, Heirlooms, and ancient miracles of Art, Chalice and salver, wines that, Heaven

knows when, Had suck'd the fire of some forgotten sun, And kept it thro' a hundred years of

gloom, Yet glowing in a heart of ruby-cups Where nymph and god ran ever round in

gold— Others of glass as costly-some with gems Moveable and resettable at will,

And when the feast was near an end, he

said :

And trebling all the rest in value-Ah

heavens ! Why need I tell you all ?-suffice to say That whatsoever such a house as his, And his was old, has in it rare or fair Was brought before the guest : and they,

the guests, Wonder'd at some strange light in Julian's

eyes (I told you that he had his golden hour), And such a feast, ill-suited as it seem'd To such a time, to Lionel's loss and his, And that resolved self-exile from a land He never would revisit, such a feast So rich, so strange, and stranger ev'n

than rich, But rich as for the nuptials of a king.

• There is a custom in the Orient,

friends I read of it in Persia—when a man Will honour those who feast with him, he

brings And shows them whatsoever he accounts Of all his treasures the most beautiful, Gold, jewels, arms, whatever it may be. This custom

Pausing here a moment, all The guests broke in upon him with meet

ing hands And cries about the banquet-Beautiful ! Who could desire more beauty at a feast?'

And stranger yet, at one end of the hall Two great funereal curtains, looping

down, Parted a little ere they met the floor, About a picture of his lady, taken Some years before, and falling hid the

frame. And just above the parting was a lamp : So the sweet figure folded round with

night Seem'd stepping out of darkness with a

smile.

The lover answer'd, “There is more

than one Here sitting who desires it. Laud me

not Before my time, but hear me to the close. This custom steps yet further when the

guest Is loved and honour'd to the uttermost. For after he hath shown him gems or gold, He brings and sets before him in rich

guise That which is thrice as beautiful as these, The beauty that is dearest to his heart“O my heart's lord, would I could show

you,” he says, “Ev'n my heart too." And I propose

to-night To show you what is dearest to my heart, And my heart too.

Well then-our solemn feast-we ate

and drank, And might—the wines being of such

noblenessHave jested also, but for Julian's eyes, And something weird and wild about it

all : What was it? for our lover seldom spoke, Scarce touch'd the meats ; but ever and

anon A priceless goblet with a priceless wine Arising, show'd he drank beyond his use ;

* But solve me first a doubt. I knew a man, nor many years ago ; He had a faithful servant, one who loved His master more than all on earth beside. --

He falling sick, and seeming close on

death, His master would not wait until he died, But bade his menials bear him from the

door, And leave him in the public way to die. I knew another, not so long ago, Who found the dying servant, took him

home, And fed, and cherish'd him, and saved

his life. I ask you now, should this first master

claim His service, whom does it belong to? him Who thrust him out, or him who saved

his life?'

This question, so flung down before

the guests, And balanced either way by each, at

length When some were doubtful how the law

would hold, Was handed over by consent of all To one who had not spoken, Lionel.

And crossing her own picture as she came,
And looking as much lovelier as herself
Is lovelier than all others-on her head
A diamond circlet, and from under this
A veil, that seem'd no more than gilded air,
Flying by each fine ear, an Eastern gauze
With seeds of gold--so, with that grace

of hers,
Slow-moving as a wave against the wind,
That flings a mist behind it in the sun-
And bearing high in arms the mighty

babe, The younger Julian, who himself was

crown'd With roses, none so rosy as himselfAnd over all her babe and her the jewels Of many generations of his house Sparkled and flash'd, for he had decked

them out As for a solemn sacrifice of loveSo she came in :-I am long in telling it, I never yet beheld a thing so strange, Sad, sweet, and strange together-floated

inWhile all the guests in, mute amazement

roseAnd slowly pacing to the middle hall, Before the board, there paused and stood,

her breast Hard-heaving, and her eyes upon her feet, Not daring yet to glance at Lionel. But him she carried, him nor lights nor

feast Dazed or amazed, nor eyes of men ; who

cared Only to use his own, and staring wide And hungering for the gilt and jewell’d

world About him, look'd, as he is like to prove, When Julian goes, the lord of all he saw.

Fair speech was his, and delicate of

phrase. And he beginning languidly--his loss Weigh'd on him yet--but warming as he

went, Glanced at the point of law, to pass it by, Affirming that as long as either lived, By all the laws of love and gratefulness, The service of the one so saved was due All to the saver-adding, with a smile, The first for many weeks-a semi-smile As at a strong conclusion--' body and soul And life and limbs, all his to work his

will.'

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