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Brake with a blast of trumpets from the gate,
So sang the gallant glorious chronicle;
There moved the multitude, a thousand heads:
Taught them with facts. One reared a font of
And drew, from butts of water on the slope,
A little clock-work steamer paddling plied
They flashed a saucy message to and fro
Strange was the sight and smacking of the time; And long we gazed, but satiated at length Came to the ruins. High-arched and ivy-claspt, Of finest Gothic, lighter than a fire, Through one wide chasm of time and frost they
The park, the crowd, the house; but all within
And all things great; but we, unworthier, told
But honeying at the whisper of a lord;
But while they talked, above their heads I saw The feudal warrior lady-clad; which brought My book to mind; and opening this, I read Of old Sir Ralph a page or two that rang With tilt and tourney; then the tale of her That drove her foes with slaughter from her walls, And much I praised her nobleness, and "Where," Asked Walter, patting Lilia's head, (she lay Beside him,) "lives there such a woman now?"
Quick answered Lilia, "There are thousands now Such women, but convention beats them down: It is but bringing up; no more than that: You men have done it: how I hate you all! Ah, were I something great! I wish I were Some mighty poetess, I would shame you then, That love to keep us children! O, I wish That I were some great Princess, I would build Far off from men a college like a man's, And I would teach them all that men are taught; We are twice as quick!" And here she shook aside
The hand that played the patron with her curls.
And one said, smiling, "Pretty were the sight If our old halls could change their sex, and flaunt With prudes for proctors, dowagers for deans, And sweet girl-graduates in their golden-hair. I think they should not wear our rusty gowns, But move as rich as Emperor-moths, or Ralph Who shines so in the corner; yet I fear, If there were many Lilias in the brood, However deep you might embower the nest, Some boy would spy it."
At this upon the sward
She tapt her tiny silken-sandaled foot: "That's your light way; but I would make it death For any male thing but to peep at us."
Petulant she spoke, and at herself she laughed; A rosebud set with little wilful thorns, And sweet as English air could make her, she : But Walter hailed a score of names upon her, And "petty Ogress," and "ungrateful Puss," And swore he longed at college, only longed, All else was well, for she-society.
They boated and they cricketed; they talked
They lost their weeks; they vext the souls of deans;
"True," she said,
"We doubt not that. O yes, you missed us much. I'll stake my ruby ring upon it you did."
She held it out; and as a parrot turns Up through gilt wires a crafty loving eye, And takes a lady's finger with all care, And bites it for true heart, and not for harm, So he with Lilia's. Daintily she shrieked And wrung it. "Doubt my word again!" he said.
Come, listen! here is proof that you were missed: We seven stayed at Christmas up to read;
And there we took one tutor as to read:
The hard-grained Muses of the cube and square
For while our cloisters echoed frosty feet,
Sick for the hollies and the yews of home-
She remembered 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 wondered, by themselves?
A half-disdain Perched on the pouted blossom of her lips: And Walter nodded at me: "He began, The rest would follow, each in turn; and so We forged a seven-fold story. Kind? what kind? Chimeras, crotchets, Christmas solecisms, Seven-headed monsters only made to kill Time by the fire in winter."
"Kill him now,
Walter warped his mouth at this
Or be yourself your hero if you will."