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Up in one night and due to sudden sun:
We took this palace; but even from the first
You stood in your own light and darkened mine.
What student came but that you planed her path
To Lady Psyche, younger, not so wise,

A foreigner, and I your country woman,

I your old friend and tried, she new in all ?
But still her lists were swelled and mine were lean;
Yet I bore up, in hope she would be known:
Then came these wolves: they knew her: they

Long-closeted with her the yestermorn,

To tell her what they were, and she to hear:
And me none told: not less to an eye like mine,
A lidless watcher of the public weal,

Last night, their mask was patent, and my foot
Was to you: but I thought again: I feared

To meet a cold We thank you, we shall hear of it
From Lady Psyche:' you had gone to her,
She told, perforce; and winning easy grace,
No doubt for slight delay, remained among us
In our young nursery still unknown, the stem
Less grain than touchwood, while my honest heat
Were all miscounted as malignant haste
To push my rival out of place and power.
But public use required she should be known;
And since my oath was ta'en for public use,
I broke the letter of it to keep the sense.
I spoke not then at first, but watched them well,
Saw that they kept apart, no mischief done;
And yet this day (though you should hate me for

I came to tell you; found that


you had Ridden to the hills, she likewise: now, I thought, That surely she will speak; if not, then I.

Did she? these monsters blazoned what they were,
According to the coarseness of their kind,
For thus I hear; and known at last (my work)
And full of cowardice and guilty shame,

(I grant in her some sense of shame,) she flies;
And I remain on whom to wreak your rage,
I, that have lent my life to build up yours,
I, that have wasted here health, wealth and time
And talents, I—you know it—I will not boast:
Dismiss me, and I prophesy your plan,
Divorced from my experience, will be chaff
For every gust of chance, and men will say
We did not know the real light, but chased
The wisp that flickers where no foot can tread."

She ceased: the Princess answered coldly, “ Good: Your oath is broken: we dismiss you: go. For this lost lamb (she pointed to the child) Our mind is changed: we take it to ourselves."

Thereat the Lady stretched a vulture throat, And shot from crooked lips a haggard smile. "The plan was mine. I built the nest," she said, "To hatch the cuckoo. Rise!" and stooped to updrag

Melissa: she, half on her mother propt,
Half-drooping from her, turned her face, and cast
A liquid look on Ida, full of prayer,

Which melted Florian's fancy as she hung,
A Niobean daughter, one arm out,
Appealing to the bolts of Heaven; and while
We gazed upon her came a little stir
About the doors, and on a sudden rushed
Among us, out of breath, as one pursued,
A woman-post in flying raiment. Fear

Stared in her eyes, and chalked her face, and winged

Her transit to the throne, whereby she fell
Delivering sealed despatches, which the Head
Took half-amazed, and in her lion's mood
Tore open, silent we with blind surmise
Regarding, while she read, till over brow
And cheek and bosom brake the wrathful bloom
As of some fire against a stormy cloud,

When the wild peasant rights himself, the rick
Flames, and his anger reddens in the heavens;
For anger most it seemed, while now her breast,
Beaten with some great passion at her heart,
Palpitated, her hand shook, and we heard
In the dead hush the papers that she held
Rustle at once the lost lamb at her feet
Sent out a bitter bleating for its dam;
The plaintive cry jarred on her ire; she crushed
The scrolls together, made a sudden turn
As if to speak, but, utterance failing her,
She whirled them on to me, as who should say
16 Read," and I read-two letters-one her sire's.

"Fair daughter, when we sent the Prince your


We knew not your ungracious laws, which learnt,
We, conscious of what temper you are built,
Came all in haste to hinder wrong, but fell
Into his father's hands, who has this night,
You lying close upon his territory,
Slipt round and in the dark invested you,
And here he keeps me hostage for his son."

The second was my father's, running thus:
"You have our son: touch not a hair of his head:
Render him up unscathed: give him your hand:
Cleave to your contract: though indeed we hear
You hold the woman is the better man;

A rampant heresy, such as if it spread

Would make all women kick against their Lords
Through all the world, and which might well deserve
That we this night should pluck your palace down;
And we will do it, unless you send us back
Our son, on the instant, whole."

So far I read;
And then stood up and spoke impetuously.

"O not to pry and peer on your reserve, But led by golden wishes and a hope

The child of regal compact, did I break
Your precinct; not a scorner of your sex
But venerator, zealous it should be

All that it might be hear me, for I bear,

Though man, yet human, whatsoe'er your wrongs, From the flaxen curl to the gray lock a life

Less mine than yours: my nurse would tell me of you;

I babbled for you, as babies for the moon,

Vague brightness; when a boy, you stooped to me
From all high places, lived in all fair lights,
Came in long breezes rapt from inmost south,
And blown to inmost north; at eve and dawn
With Ida, Ida, Ida, rang the woods;

The leader wild-swan in among the stars
Would clang it, and lapt in wreaths of glow-worm

The mellow breaker murmured Ida. Now,

Because I would have reached you, had you been
Sphered up with Cassiopeia, or the enthroned
Persephone in Hades, now at length,
Those winters of abeyance all worn out,
A man I came to see you: but, indeed,
Not in this frequence can I lend full tongue,
O noble Ida, to those thoughts that wait
On you, their centre: let me say but this,
That many a famous man and woman, town
And landskip, have I heard of, after seen

The dwarfs of presage; though when known, there grew

Another kind of beauty in detail

Made them worth knowing; but in you I found
My boyish dream involved and dazzled down
And mastered, while that after-beauty makes
Such head from act to act, from hour to hour,
Within me, that except you slay me here,
According to your bitter statute-book,
I cannot cease to follow you as they say
The seal does music; who desire you more

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With many

Than growing boys their manhood; dying lips,
thousand matters left to do,
The breath of life; oh, more than poor men wealth,
Than sick men health-yours, yours, not mine-but

Without you, with you, whole; and of those halves
You worthiest; and howe'er you block and bar
Your heart with system out from mine, I hold
That it becomes no man to nurse despair,
But in the teeth of clenched antagonisms
To follow up the worthiest till he die:
Yet that I came not all unauthorized,
Behold your father's letter."

On one knee

Kneeling, I gave it, which she caught, and dashed Unopened at her feet: a tide of fierce

Invective seemed to wait behind her lips,

As waits a river level with the dam

Ready to burst and flood the world with foam :
And so she would have spoken, but there rose
A hubbub in the court of half the maids
Gathered together; from the illumined hall
Long lanes of splendor slanted o'er a press
Of snowy shoulders, thick as herded ewes,
And rainbow robes, and gems and gemlike eyes,
And gold and golden heads; they to and fro
Fluctuated, as flowers in storm, some red, some pale,
All open-mouthed, all gazing to the light,
Some crying there was an army in the land.
And some that men were in the very walls,
And some they cared not; till a clamor grew
As of a new-world Babel, woman-built,
And worse-confounded: high above them stood
The placid marble Muses, looking peace.

Not peace, she looked, the Head: but rising up
Robed in the long night of her deep hair, so
To the open window moved, remaining there

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