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And, while now she wonders blindly,
Nor the meaning can divine,
Proudly turns he round and kindly,
"All of this is mine and thine."
Here he lives in state and bounty,
Lord of Burleigh, fair and free,
Not a lord in all the county

Is so great a lord as he.
All at once the color flushes

Her sweet face from brow to chin: As it were with shame she blushes,

And her spirit changed within. Then her countenance all over

Pale again as death did prove: But he clasped her like a lover,

And he cheered her soul with love. So she strove against her weakness, Though at times her spirit sank: Shaped her heart with woman's meekness 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 weighed upon her,

And perplexed her, night and morn, With the burthen of an honor

Unto which she was not born. Faint she grew, and ever fainter,

!"

As she murmured, "O, that he Were once more that landscape-painter, Which did win my heart from me So she drooped and drooped before him, Fading slowly from his side: Three fair children first she bore him, Then before her time she died. Weeping, weeping late and early, Walking up and pacing down,

244

SIR LAUNCELOT AND QUEEN GUINEVERE.

Deeply mourned the Lord of Burleigh,
Burleigh-house by Stamford town.
And he came to look upon her,

And he looked at her and said,
"Bring the dress, and put it on her,

That she wore when she was wed."
Then her people, softly treading,

Bore to earth her body, drest
In the dress that she was wed in,
That her spirit might have rest.

SIR LAUNCELOT AND QUEEN GUINEVERE.

A FRAGMENT.

LIKE souls that balance joy and pain,
With tears and smiles from heaven again
The maiden Spring upon the plain
Came in a sun-lit fall of rain.

In crystal vapor everywhere
Blue isles of heaven laughed between,
And, far in forest-deeps unseen,
The topmost elm tree gathered green
From draughts of balmy air.

Sometimes the linnet piped his song:
Sometimes the throstle whistled strong:
Sometimes the sparhawk, wheeled along,
Hushed all the groves from fear of wrong:
By grassy capes with fuller sound
In curves the yellowing river ran,
And drooping chestnut-buds began
To spread into the perfect fan,
Above the teeming ground.

Then, in the boyhood of the year,
Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere
Rode through the coverts of the deer,
With blissful treble ringing clear.

She seemed a part of joyous Spring:
A gown of grass-green silk she wore,
Buckled with golden clasps before;
A light-green tuft of plumes she bore
Closed in a golden ring.

Now on some twisted ivy-net,
Now by some tinkling rivulet,
In mosses mixt with violet,
Her cream-white mule his pastern set:
And fleeter now she skimmed the plains
Than she whose elfin prancer springs
By night to eery warblings,
When all the glimmering moorland rings
With jingling bridle-reins.

As she fled fast through sun and shade,
The happy winds upon her played,
Blowing the ringlet from the braid:
She looked so lovely, as she swayed

The rein with dainty finger-tips,
A man had given all other bliss,
And all his worldly worth for this,
To waste his whole heart in one kiss
Upon her perfect lips.

A FAREWELL.

FLOW down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver:

No more by thee my steps shall be,
Forever and forever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea
A rivulet then a river:
Nowhere by thee my steps shall be,
Forever and forever.

But here will sigh thine alder tree
And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee
Forever and forever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,
Forever and forever.

THE BEGGAR MAID.

HER arms across her breast she laid;
She was more fair than words can say:
Barefooted came the beggar maid
Before the King Cophetua.

In robe 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 ankles, one her eyes,

One her dark hair and lovesome mien.
So sweet a face, such angel grace,
In all that land had never been:
Cophetua sware a royal oath:

"This beggar maid shall be my queen!"

THE VISION OF SIN.

I HAD a vision when the night was late:
A youth came riding toward a palace-gate.
He rode a horse with wings that would have flown,
But that his heavy rider kept him down.
And from the palace came a child of sin,
And took him by the curls, and led him in,
Where sat a company with heated eyes,
Expecting when a fountain should arise:
A sleepy light upon their brows and lips-
As when the sun, a crescent of eclipse,
Dreams over lake and lawn, and isles and capes-
Suffused them, sitting, lying, languid shapes,
By heaps of gourds, and skins of wine, and piles of
grapes.

Then methought I heard a mellow sound,
Gathering up from all the lower ground;
Narrowing in to where they sat assembled,
Low voluptuous music winding trembled,
Woven in circles: they that heard it sighed,
Panted hand in hand with faces pale,
Swung themselves, and in low tones replied;
Till the fountain spouted, showering wide
Slect of diamond-drift and pearly hail;
Then the music touched the gates and died;
Rose again from where it seemed to fail,
Stormed in orbs of song, a growing gale;
Till thronging in and in, to where they waited,
As 'twere a hundred-throated nightingale,
The strong tempestuous treble throbbed and palpi
tated;

Ran into its giddiest whirl of sound,
Caught the sparkles, and in circles,
Purple gauzes, golden hazes, liquid mazes,
Flung the torrent rainbow round;
Then they started from their places,

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