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TO

HENRY LUSHINGTON

THIS VOLUME IS INSCRIBED

BY HIS FRIEND

A. TENNYSON.

THE PRINCESS:

A MEDLEY.

PROLOGUE.

SIR WALTER VIVIAN all a summer's day

Gave his broad lawns until the set of sun

Up to the people: thither flock'd at noon
His tenants, wife and child, and thither half
The neighbouring borough with their Institute

Of which he was the patron. I was there
From college, visiting the son,--the son
A Walter too,—with others of our set,
Five others: we were seven at Vivian-place.

And me that morning Walter show'd the house,

B

Greek, set with busts: from vases in the hall

Flowers of all heavens, and lovelier than their names,
Grew side by side ; and on the pavement lay
Carved stones of the Abbey-ruin in the park,

Huge Ammonites, and the first bones of Time ;

And on the tables every clime and age
Jumbled together; celts and calumets,
Claymore and snowshoe, toys in lava, fans
Of sandal, amber, ancient rosaries,
Laborious orient ivory sphere in sphere,
The cursed Malayan crease, and battle-clubs
From the isles of palm: and higher on the walls,

Betwixt the monstrous horns of elk and deer,

His own forefathers' arms and armour hung.

And this' he said was Hugh's at Agincourt;

And that was old Sir Ralph's at Ascalon:
A good knight he! we keep a chronicle
With all about him '—which he brought, and I
Dived in a hoard of tales that dealt with knights

Half-legend, half-historic, counts and kings

Who laid about them at their wills and died;

And mixt with these, a lady, one that arm’d
Her own fair head, and sallying thro' the gate,
Had beat her foes with slaughter from her walls.

And, I all rapt in this, ' Come out,' he said, • To the Abbey: there is Aunt Elizabeth

And sister Lilia with the rest. We went

(I kept the book and had my finger in it)
Down thro' the park: strange was the sight to me;
For all the sloping pasture murmur'd sown
With happy faces and with holiday.
There moved the multitude, a thousand heads :
The patient leaders of their Institute
Taught them with facts. One rear'd a font of stone
And drew, from butts of water on the slope,
The fountain of the moment, playing now
A twisted snake, and now a rain of pearls,
Or steep-up spout whereon the gilded ball

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