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A ringing in their startled brains, until "To my unhappy pulse, that beat right She said that Gauwaine lied, then her through voice sunk,

My eager body; while I laughed out loud, And her great eyes began again to fill, And let my lips curl up at false or true,

me move

Though still she stood right up, and

“Seemed cold and shallow without any

cloud. never shrunk, But spoke on bravely, glorious lady fair! Behold, my judges, then the cloths were Whatever tears her full lips may have

brought; drunk,

While I was dizzied thus, old thoughts

would crowd, She stood, and seemed to think, and “Belonging to the time ere I was bought wrung her hair,

By Arthur's great name and his little love; Spoke out at last with no more trace of shame,

Must I give up for ever then, I thought, With passionate twisting of her body

“That which I deemed would ever round there :

Glorifying all things; for a little word, “It chanced upon a day that Launcelot Scarce ever meant at all, must I now prove

came To dwell at Arthur's court: at Christ- “Stone-cold for ever? Pray you, does mastime

the Lord This happened; when the heralds sung Will that all folks should be quite happy

and good?

I love God now a little, if this cord “Son of King Ban of Benwick, seemed to chime

"Were broken, once for all what striving Along with all the bells that rang that

could day,

Make me love anything in earth or O'er the white roofs, with little change

heaven? of rhyme.

So day by day it grew, as if one should


his name,

and even,

“Slip slowly down some path worn smooth “There, see you, where the soft still

light yet lingers, Down to a cool sea on a summer day; Round by the edges; what should I have Yet still in slipping there was some small

done, leaven

If this had joined with yellow spotted

singers, "Of stretched hands catching small stones by the way,

"And startling green drawn upward by Until one surely reached the sea at last,

the sun? And felt strange new joy as the worn But shouting, loosed out, see now! all head lay

my hair,

And trancedly stood watching the west “Back, with the hair like sea-weed;

wind run yea all past Sweat of the forehead, dryness of the lips, “With faintest half-heard breathing Washed utterly out by the dear waves sound: why there o'ercast,

I lose my head e'en now in doing this;

But shortly listen: In that garden fair “In the lone sea, far off from any ships ! Do I not know now of a day in Spring ? Came Launcelot walking; this is true, No minute of that wild day ever slips

the kiss

Wherewith we kissed in meeting that “From out my memory; I hear thrushes

spring day, sing,

I scarce dare talk of the remember'd bliss, And wheresoever I may be, straightway Thoughts of it all come up with most

“When both our mouths went wanderfresh sting:

ing in one way,

And aching sorely, met among the leaves; “I was half mad with beauty on that day,

Our hands being left behind strained And went without my ladies all alone, In a quiet garden walled round every way;

“Never within a yard of my bright I was right joyful of that wall of stone,

sleeves That shut the flowers and trees up with

Had Launcelot come before: and now the sky, And trebled all the beauty: to the bone,

so nigh!

After that day why is it Guenevere grieves? “Yea right through to my heart, grown

"Nevertheless you, O Sir Gauwaine, lie, With wary thoughts, it pierced, and

Whatever happened on through all those made me glad;

years, Exceedingly glad, and I knew verily,

God knows I speak truth, saying that A little thing just then had made me mad; I dared not think, as I was wont to do,

“Being such a lady could I weep these tears Sometimes, upon my beauty; If I had If this were true? A great queen such as I

Having sinn'd this way, straight her “Held out my long hand up against the conscience sears;

blue, And, looking on the tenderly darken'd “And afterwards she liveth hatefully, fingers,

Slaying and poisoning, certes never weeps : Thought that by rights one ought to see Gauwaine, be friends now, speak me quite through,


far away

very shy

you lie.

your mouth?

“Do I not see how God's dear pity “Curdled his blood, and how his teeth creeps

did dance, All through your frame, and trembles in His side sink in? as my knight cried and

said: Remember in what grave your mother ‘Slayer of unarm’d men, here is a chance ! sleeps,

“'Setter of traps, I pray you guard your “Buried in some place far down in the head, south

By God I am so glad to fight with you, Men are forgetting as I speak to you; Stripper of ladies, that my hand feels lead By her head sever'd in that awful drouth

“ 'For driving weight; hurrah now! "Of pity that drew Agravaine's fell blow,

draw and do, I pray your pity! let me not scream out For all my wounds are moving in my For ever after, when the shrill winds

breast, blow

And I am getting mad with waiting so.'

When you

I say,

"Through half your castle-locks! let “He struck his hands together o'er the me not shout

beast, For ever after in the winter night

Who fell down flat, and grovell'd at his ride out alone! in battle-rout


And groan'd at being slain so young: “Let not my rusting tears make your

At least,' sword light! Ah! God of mercy, how he turns away! "My knight said, 'Rise you, sir, who are So, ever must I dress me to the fight,

so fleet

At catching ladies, half-arm'd will I “So: let God's justice work! Gauwaine, fight,

My left side all uncovered !' then I weet, See me hew down your proofs: yea all men know

“Up sprang Sir Mellyagraunce with Even as you said how Mellyagraunce one great delight day,

Upon his knave's face; not until just

then "One bitter day in la Fausse Garde, for so Did I quite hate him, as I saw my knight All good knights held it after, saw: Yea, sirs, by cursed unknightly outrage; Along the lists look to my stake and pen though

With such a joyous smile, it made me sigh

From agony beneath my waist-chain, “You, Gauwaine, held his word without

when a flaw.

“The fight began, and to me they drew

nigh; Not so, fair lords, even if the world should Ever Sir Launcelot kept him on the right, end

And traversed warily, and ever high

“This very day, and you were judges “And fast leapt caitiff's sword, until my here

knight Instead of God. Did you see Mellya- Sudden threw up his sword to his left graunce

hand, When Launcelot stood by him? what Caught it and swung it; that was all the white fear


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"And burn, against the heat, would “When a queen says with gentle queenly quiver so,

sound: Yards above my head; thus these mat- 'O true as steel, come now and talk with ters went;

me, Which things were only warnings of I love to see your step upon the ground the woe

“Unwavering, also well I love to see “That fell on me. Yet Mellyagraunce That gracious smile light up your face, was shent,

and hear For Mellyagraunce had fought against Your wonderful words, that all mean the Lord;

verily Therefore, my lords, take heed lest you be blent

"'The thing they seem to mean: good “With all his wickedness; say no rash

friend, so dear

To me in everything, come here toword

night, Against me, being so beautiful; my eyes

Or else the hours will pass most dull and Wept all away to gray, may bring some

drear; sword “To drown you in your blood; see my

If you come not, I fear this time I breast rise,

might Like waves of purple sea, as here I stand;

Get thinking over much of times gone

by, And how my arms are moved in wonderful wise,

When I was young, and green hope was

in sight : “Yea also at my full heart's strong command,

“For no man cares now to know why I See through my long throat how the sigh; words go up

And no man comes to sing me pleasant ripples to my mouth; how in my hand


Nor any brings me the sweet flowers “The shadow lies like wine within a cup

that lie Of marvellously color'd gold; yea now This little wind is rising, look you up, “So thick in the gardens; therefore

one so longs “And wonder how the light is falling so To see you, Launcelot; that we may be Within my moving tresses: will you dare Like children once again, free from all When you have looked a little on my

wrongs brow,

“Just for one night.' Did he not come “To say this thing is vile? or will you

to me?

What thing could keep true Launcelot For any plausible lies of cunning woof,

away When you can see my face with no lie If I said, “Come?' there was one less there

than three


my head

“In my quiet room that night, and we His brother's trumpet sounding through were gay ;

the wood Till sudden I rose up, weak, pale, and Of his foes' lances. She leaned eagerly, sick,

And gave a slight spring sometimes, as Because a bawling broke our dream up, she could yea

At last hear something really; joyfully "I looked at Launcelot's face and could

Her cheek grew crimson, as the headnot speak,

long speed For he looked helpless too, for a little

Of the roan charger drew all men to while;

see, Then I remember how I tried to shriek,

The knight who came was Launcelot at

good need. “And could not, but fell down; from

tile to tile The stones they threw up rattled o'er DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI

MY SISTER'S SLEEP And made me dizzier; till within a while

She fell asleep on Christmas Eve: “My maids were all about me, and my

At length the long-ungranted shade head On Launcelot's breast was being soothed

Of weary eyelids overweigh'd

The pain nought else might yet relieve. away From its white chattering, until Launcelot said:...

Our mother, who had leaned all day

Over the bed from chime to chime, “By God! I will not tell you more to

Then raised herself for the first time, day,

And as she sat her down, did pray. Judge any way you will: what matters it?

Her little work-table was spread You know quite well the story of that With work to finish. For the glare fray,

Made by her candle, she had care

To work some distance from the bed. “How Launcelot still'd their bawling, the mad fit

Without, there was a cold moon up, That caught up Gauwaine, all, all,

Of winter radiance sheer and thin ; verily,

The hollow halo it was in But just that which would save me; Was like an icy crystal cup.

these things flit. “Nevertheless you, O Sir Gauwaine, lie, Through the small room, with subtle

sound Whatever may have happen'd these long

Of flame, by vents the fireshine drove years, God knows I speak truth, saying that

And reddened. In its dim alcove
The mirror shed a clearness round.

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you lie!

“All I have said is truth, by Christ's I had been sitting up some nights, dear tears."

And my

tired mind felt weak and She would not speak another word, but blank; stood

Like a sharp strengthening wine it Turn'd sideways; listening, like a man

drank who hears

The stillness and the broken lights.

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