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Which shone so close beside Thee, that ye made
One light together, but has past and left
May all love,
His love, unseen but felt, o'ershadow Thee, I dedicate, I consecrate with tears,
The love of all Thy sons encompass Thee,
The love of all Thy daughters cherish Thee,
The love of all Thy people comfort Thee,
Till God's love set Thee at his side again
A tributary prince of Devon, one Darkening the world. We have lost him: he is gone: Of that great order of the Table Round, We know him now: all narrow jealousies
Had wedded Enid, Yniol's only child, Are silent: and we see him as he moved,
And loved her, as he loved the light of Heaven. How modest, kindly, all accomplish'd, wise,
And as the light of Heaven varies, now With what sublime repression of himself,
At sunrise, now at sunset, now by night And in what limits, and how tenderly ;
With moon and trembling stars, so loved Geraint Not swaying to this faction or to that;
To make her beauty vary day by day,
And Enid, but to please her husband's eye,
In some fresh splendor ; and the Queen herself, In that fierce light which beats upon a throne, Grateful to Prince Geraint for service done, And blackens every blot; for where is he,
Loved her, and often with her own white hands Who dares foreshadow for an only son
Array'd and deck'd her, as the loveliest, A lovelier life, a more unstain'd, than his?
Next after her own self, in all the court. Or how should England dreaming of his sons And Enid loved the Queen, and with true heart Hope more for these than some inheritance
Adored her, as the stateliest and the best Of such a life, a heart, a mind as thine,
And loveliest of all women upon earth. Thou noble Father of her Kings to be,
And seeing them so tender and so close, Laborious for her people and her poor
Long in their common love rejoiced Geraint. Voice in the rich dawn of an ampler day
But when a rumor rose about the Queen, Far-sighted summoner of War and Waste
Touching her guilty love for Lancelot, To fruitful strifes and rivalries of peace
Though yet there lived no proof, nor yet was heard Sweet nature gilded by the gracious gleam
The world's loud whisper breaking into storm, Of letters, dear to Science, dear to Art,
Not less Geraint believed it; and there fell Dear to thy land and ours, a Prince indeed,
A horror on him, lest his gentle wife, Beyond all titles, and a household name,
Thro' that great tenderness to Guinevere, Hereafter, thro' all times, Albert the Good.
Had suffered or should suffer any taint
In nature: wherefore going to the king, Break not, O woman's-heart, but still endure; He made this pretext, that his princedom lay Break not, for thou art Royal, but endure,
Close on the borders of a territory, Remembering all the beauty of that star
Wherein were bandit earis, and caitiff knights,
Assassins, and all flyers from the hand
Trne tears upon his broad and naked breast, Of Justice, and whatever loathes a iaw:
And these awoke him, and by great mischance And therefore, till the king himself should please He heard but fragments of her later words, To cleanse this common sewer of all his realm, And that she fear'd she was not a true wife. He craved a fair permission to depart,
And then he thought, “In spite of all my care, And there defend his marches; and the king For all my pains, poor man, for all my pains, Mused for a little on his plea, but, last,
She is not faithful to me, and I see her Allowing it, the prince and Enid rode,
Weeping for some gay kuight in Arthur's hall." And fifty knights rode with them, to the shores Then tho' he loved and reverenced her too much Of Severn, and they past to their own land; To dream she could be guilty of foul act, Where, thinking, that if ever yet was wife
Right thro' his manful breast darted the pang True to her lord, mine shall be so to me,
That makes a man in the sweet face of her He compassed her with sweet observances
Whom he loves most, lonely and miserable. And worship, never leaving her, and grew
At this he hurl'd his huge limbs out of bed, Forgetful of his promise to the king,
And shook his drowsy squire awake and cried, Forgetful of the falcon and the hunt,
“My charger and her palfrey," then to her, Forgetful of the tilt and tournament,
“I will ride forth into the wilderness; Forgetful of his glory and his name,
For tho it seems my spurs are yet to win, Forgetful of his princedom and its cares.
I have not fall’n so low as some would wish. And this forgetfulness was hateful to her.
And you, put on your worst and meanest dress And by and by the people, when they met
And ride with me.” And Enid ask'd amazed, In twos and threes, or fuller companies,
“If Enid errs, let Enid learn her fault.” Began to scoff and jeer and babble of him
But he, “I charge you, ask not, but obey."
A faded mantle and a faded veil,
Wherein she kept them folded reverently
Drest in that dress, and how he loved her in it, While he that watch'd her sadden, was the more And all her foolish fears about the dress, Suspicious that her nature had a taint.
And all his journey to her, as himself
Had told her, and their coming to the court. At last, it chanced that on a summer morn (They sleeping each by other) the new sun
For Arthur on the Whitsuntide before
Before him came a forester of Dean,
Taller than all his fellows, milky-white,
Then the good king gave order to let blow Running too vehemently to break upon it.
His horns for hunting on the morrow morn. And Enid woke and sat beside the couch,
And when the Queen petition'd for his leave Admiring him, and thought within herself,
To see the hunt, allow'd it easily. Was ever man so grandly made as he ?
So with the morning all the court were gone. Then, like a shadow, past the people's talk
But Guinevere lay late into the morn, And accusation of uxoriousness
Lost in sweet dreams, and dreaming of her love Across her mind, and bowing over him,
For Lancelot, and forgetful of the hunt; Low to her own heart piteously, she said:
But rose at last, a single maiden with her,
Took horse, and forded Usk, and gain'd the wood; “O noble breast and all-puissant arms,
There, on a little knoll beside it, stay'd Am I the cause, I the poor cause that men
Waiting to hear the hounds; but heard instead Reproach you, saying all your force is gone? A sudden sound of hoofs, for Prince Geraint, I am the cause because I dare not speak
Late also, wearing neither hunting-dress And tell him what I think and what they say. Nor weapon, save a golden-hilted brand, And yet I hate that he should linger here ;
Came quickly flashing thro' the shallow ford I cannot love my lord and not his name.
Behind them, and so gallop'd up the kuoll. Far liever had I gird his harness on him,
A purple scarf, at either end whereof And ride with him to battle and stand by,
There swung an apple of the purest gold, And watch his mightful hand striking great blows Sway'd round about him, as he gallop'd up At caitiffs and at wrongers of the world.
To join them, glancing like a dragon-fly Far better were I laid in the dark earth,
In summer suit and silks of holiday. Not hearing any more his noble voice,
Low bow'd the tributary Prince, and she, Not to be folded any more in these dear arms, Sweetly and statelily, and with all grace And darken'd from the high light in his eyes, Of womanhood and queenhood, answer'd him: Than that my lord through me should suffer shame. “Late, late, Sir Prince,” she said, “later than we !" Am I so bold, and conld I so stand by,
Yea, noble Queen,” he answer'd, “and so late And see my dear lord wounded in the strife, That I but come like you to see the hunt, Or may be pierced to death before mine eyes, Not join it.” “Therefore wait with me,” she said ; And yet not dare to tell him what I think,
“For on this little knoll, if anywhere, And how men slur him, saying all his force There is good chance that we shall hear the hounds; Is melted into mere effeminacy?
Here often they break covert at our feet." O me, I fear that I am no true wife."
And while they listen’d for the distant hunt, Half inwardly, half audibly she spoke,
And chiefly for the baying of Cavall, And the strong passion in her made her weep King Arthur's hound of deepest mouth, there rode
Full slowly by a knight, lady, and dwarf ;
Who told him, scouring still, "The sparrow-hawk )' Whereof the dwarf lagg'd latest, and the knight Then riding close behind an ancient churl, Had visor up, and show'd a youthful face,
Who, smitten by the dusty sloping beam, Imperious, and of haughtiest lineaments.
Went sweating underneath a sack of corn, And Guinevere, not mindful of his face
Ask'd yet once more what meant the hubbub here? In the king's hall, desired his name, and sent Who answer'd gruflly, “Ugh! the sparrow-hawk.” Her maiden to demand it of the dwarf;
Then, riding further past an armorer's, Who being vicious, old, and irritable,
Who, with back turn'd, and bow'd above his work, And doubling all his master's vice of pride,
Sat riveting a helmet on his knee, Made answer sharply that she should not know. He put the selfsame query, but the man “Then will I ask it of himself," she said.
Not turning round, nor looking at him, said : "Nay, by my faith, thou shalt not,” cried the dwarf; “Friend, he that labors for the sparrow-hawk “Thou art not worthy ev'n to speak of him ;" Has little time for idle questioners.” And when she put her horse toward the knight, Whereat Geraint flash'd into sudden spleen: Struck at her with his whip, and she return’d “A thousand pips eat up your sparrow-hawk! Indignant to the Queen ; at which Geraint
Tits, wrens, and all wing'd nothings peck him dead! Exclaiming, “Surely I will learn the name,"
Ye think the rustic cackle of your bourg Made sharply to the dwarf, and ask'd it of him, The murmur of the world! What is it to me? Who answer'd as before; and when the Prince O wretched set of sparrows, one and all, Had put his horse in motion toward the knight, Who pipe of nothing but of sparrow-hawks ! Struck at him with his whip, and cut his cheek. Speak, if you be not like the rest, hawk-mad, The Prince's blood spirted upon the scarf,
Where can I get me harborage for the night? Dyeing it; and his quick, instinctive hand
And arms, arms, arms to fight my enemy? Speak!" Caught at the hilt, as to abolish him :
At this the armorer turning all amazed But he, from his exceeding manfulness
And seeing one so gay in purple silks, And pure nobility of temperament,
Came forward with the helmet yet in hand Wroth to be wroth at such a worm, refrain'd And answer'd, "Pardon me, O stranger knight; From ev'n a word, and so returning, said:
We hold a tourney here to-morrow morn,
And there is scantly time for half the work. “I will avenge this insult, noble Queen,
Arms? truth! I know not: all are wanted here, Done in your maiden's person to yourself:
Harborage? truth, good truth, I know not, save, And I will track this vermin to their earths : It may be, at Earl Yniol's, o'er the bridge For tho' I ride unarm'd, I do not doubt
Yonder.” He spoke and fell to work again. To find, at some place I shall come at, arms On loan, or else for pledge; and, being found, Then rode Geraint, a little spleenful yet, Then will I fight him, and will break his pride, Across the bridge that spann'd the dry ravine. And on the third day will again be here,
There musing sat the hoary-headed Earl, So that I be not fall'n in fight. Farewell."
(His dress a suit of fray'd magnificence,
Once fit for feasts of ceremony) and said: “Farewell, fair Prince," answer'd the stately Queen. " Whither, fair son p” to whom Geraint replied, “ Be prosperous in this jonrney, as in all;
"O friend, I seek a harborage for the night." And may you light on all things that you love, Then Yniol, “Enter therefore and partake And live to wed with her whom first you love: The slender entertainment of a house But ere you wed with any, bring your bride, Once rich, now poor, but ever open-door'd." And I, were she the daughter of a king,
"Thanks, venerable friend,” replied Geraint; Yea, tho' she were a beggar from the hedge, “So that you do not serve me sparrow-hawks Will clothe her for her bridals like the sun."
For supper, I will enter, I will eat
With all the passion of a twelve hours' fast.” And Prince Geraint, now thinking that he heard Then sigh'd and smiled the hoary-headed Earl, The noble hart at bay, now the far horn,
And answer'd, “Graver cause than yours is mine A little vext at losing of the hunt,
To curse this hedgerow thief, the sparrow-hawk: A little at the vile occasion, rode,
But in, go in; for, save yourself desire it,
Then rode Geraint into the castle court,
His charger trampling many a prickly star Aud show'd themselves against the sky, and sank. Of sprouted thistle on the broken stones. And thither came Geraint, and underneath
He look'd and saw that all was ruinous. Beheld the long street of a little town
Here stood a shatter'd archway plumed with fern : In a long valley, on one side of which,
And here had fall’n a great part of a tower, White from the mason's hand, a fortress rose: Whole, like a crag that tumbles from the cliff, And on one side a castle in decay,
And like a crag was gay with wilding flowers: Beyond a bridge that spann'd a dry ravine:
And high above a piece of turret stair, And out of town and valley came a noise
Worn by the feet that now were silent, wound As of a broad brook o'er a shingly bed
Bare to the sun, and monstrous ivy-stems Brawling, or like a clamor of the rooks
Claspt the gray walls with hairy-fibred arms, At distance, ere they settle for the night.
And suck'd the joining of the stones, and look'd
A knot, beneath, of snakes, aloft, a grove.
And while he waited in the castle court, “So," thought Geraint, “I have track'd him to his The voice of Enid, Yniol's daughter, rang earth.
Clear thro' the open casement of the Hall, And down the long street, riding wearily,
Singing: and as the sweet voice of a bird, Found every hostel full, and everywhere
Heard by the lander in a lonely isle,
Moves him to think what kind of bird it is
Conjecture of the plumage and the form ;
And made him like a man abroad at morn
“Fair Host and Earl, I pray your courtesy : When first the liquid note beloved of men
This sparrow-hawk, what is he, tell me of him. Comes flying over many a windy wave
His name? but no, good faith, I will not have it: To Britain, and in April suddenly
For if he be the knight whom late I saw Breaks from a coppice gemm'd with green and red, Ride into that new fortress by your town, And he suspends his converse with a friend, White from the mason's hand, then have I sworn Or it may be the labor of his hands,
From his own lips to have it-I am Geraint To think or say,
" there is the nightingale ;” Of Devon-for this morning when the Queen So fared it with Geraint, who thought and said, Sent her own maiden to demand the name, “Here, by God's grace, is the one voice for me." His dwarf, a vicious under-shapen thing,
Struck at her with his whip, and she return'd It chanced the song that Enid sang was one Indignant to the Queen; and then I swore Of Fortune and her wheel, and Enid sang:
That I would track this caitiff to his hold,
And fight and break his pride, and have it of him. "Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel and lower the And all unarm'd I rode, and thought to find proud ;
Arms in your town, where all the men are mad; Turn thy wild wheel thro' sunshine, storm, and cloud; They take the rustic murmur of their bourg Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate. For the great wave that echoes round the world :
They would not hear me speak: but if you know “ Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or Where I can light on arms, or if yourself frown;
Should have them, tell me, seeing I have sworn With that wild wheel we go not up or down; That I will break his pride and learn his name, Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great. Avenging this great insult done the Queen.”
“Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands;
Then cried Yniol: “Art thou he indeed, Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands,
Geraint, a name far-sounded among men For man is man and master of his fate.
For noble deeds ? and truly I, when first “Turn, tarn thy wheel above the staring crowd ;
I saw you moving by me on the bridge,
Felt you were somewhat, yea and by your state Thy wheel and thou are shadows in the cloud ;
And presence might have guess'i you one of those Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.”
That eat in Arthar's hall at Camelot.
Nor speak I now from foolish flattery : " Hark, by the bird's song you may learn the nest,"
For this dear child hath often heard me praise Said Yniol: “Enter quickly.” Entering then,
Your feats of arms, and often when I paused Right o'er a mount of newly-fallen stones,
Hath ask'd again, and ever loved to hear; The dusty-rafter'd many-cobweb'd Hall,
So grateful is the noise of noble deeds He found an ancient dame in dim brocade;
To nobie hearts who see but acts of wrong: And near her, like a blossom vermeil-white,
O never yet had woman such a pair That lightly breaks a faded flower-sheath,
Of suitors as this maiden ; first Limours, Moved the fair Enid, all in faded silk,
A creature wholly given to brawls and wine, Her daughter. In a moment thought Geraint,
Drunk even when he woo'd ; and be he dead "Here by God's rood is the one maid for me."
I know not, but he passed to the wild land. But none spake word except the hoary Earl : “Enid, the good knight's horse stands in the court : My curse, my nephew, I will not let his name
The second was your foe, the sparrow-hawk, Take him to stall, and give him corn, and then
Slip from my lips if I can help it,-he, Go to the town and buy us flesh and wine:
When I that knew him fierce and turbulent And we will make us merry as we may.
Refused her to him, then his pride awoke ; Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great."
And since the proud man often is the mean,
He sowed a slander in the common ear,
Affirming that his father left him gold,
And in my charge, which was not render'd to him ; His purple scarf, and held, and said “Forbear! Rest! the good house, tho' ruin'd, O my Son,
Bribed with large promises the men who served
About my person, the more easily Endures not that her guest should serve himself.”
Because my means were somewhat broken into And reverencing the custom of the house
Thro' open doors and hospitality; Geraint, from utter courtesy, forbore.
Raised my own town against me in the night So Enid took his charger to the stall ;
Before my Enid's birthday, sack'd my house
From mine own earldom foully ousted me;.
Built that new fort to overawe my friends,
For truly there are those who love me yet;
And keeps me in this ruinous castle here,
Where doubtless he would put me soon to death,
But that his pride too much despises me:
For I have let men be, and have their way;
And much too gentle, have not used my power:
Nor know I whether I be very base
Or very manful, whether very wise
Or very foolish ; only this I know, Geraint had longing in him evermore
That whatsoever evil happen to me,
I seem to suffer nothing heart or limb,
But can endure it all most patiently."
"Well said, true heart," replied Geraint, “but On Enid at her lowly handmaid-work,
arms: Now here, now there, about the dusky hall :
That if, as I suppose, your nephew fights Then suddenly addrest the hoary Earl.
In next day's tourney I may break his pride."