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But back she chased it with a sigh austere;
The prince, at this, would bend on her an eye
*"Sir Ferumbras " was a knight of romance. The cloak of King Ryan, or Ryence, was said to be made of the beards of his royal brethren, whom he had conquered. Richard is Richard Caur de Lion, a terrible knight de facto as well as in fable.
Yet all the while, no doubt, however stern
She, had she loved him, might have thought so too: For what will love's exalting not go through, Till long neglect, and utter selfishness, Shame the fond pride it takes in its distress? But ill prepared was she, in her hard lot, To fancy merit where she found it not, She, who had been beguiled, - she, who was made Within a gentle bosom to be laid, To bless and to be blessed, - to be heart-bare To one who found his bettered likeness there, To think for ever with him, like a bride, To haunt his eye, like taste personified, To double his delight, to share his sorrow, And like a morning beam, wake to him every morrow.
Paulo, meantime, who ever since the day He saw her sweet looks bending o'er his way, Had stored them up, unconsciously, as graces By which to judge all other forms and faces, Had learnt, I know not how, the secret snare, Which
up, that evening, to his care.
Some babbler, may-be, of old Guido's court,
This start however came so often round, -
power grown less and less,
Turning their shapely sweetness every way,
Thus daily went he on, gathering sweet pain About his fancy, till it thrilled again : And if his brother's image, less and less, Startled him up from his new idleness, 'Twas not - he fancied, that he reasoned worse, Or felt less scorn of wrong, but the reverse. That one should think of injuring another, Or trenching on his peace,
this too a brother, And all from selfishness and pure weak will, To him seemed marvellous and impossible. 'Tis true thought he, one being more there was, Who might meantime have weary hours to pass, One weaker too to bear them, - and for whom? To matter; — he could not reverse her doom;
And so he sighed and smiled, as if one thought
Yet if she loved him, common gratitude, If not, a sense of what was fair and good, Besides his new relationship and right, Would make him wish to please her all he might; And as to thinking, — where could be the harm, If to his heart he kept its secret charm ? He wished not to himself another's blessing, But then he might console for not possessing ; And glorious things there were, which but to see And not admire, was mere stupidity : He might as well object to his own eyes For loving to behold the fields and skies, His neighbor's grove, or story-painted hall; 'Twas but the taste for what was natural; Only his fav'rite thought was loveliest of them all.
Concluding thus and happier that he knew His ground so well, near and more near he drew; And, sanctioned by his brother's manner, spent Hours by her side, as happy as well-meant. He read with her, he rode, he train'd her hawk, He spent still evenings in delightful talk, While she sat busy at her broidery frame; Or touched the lute with her, and when they came To some fine part, prepared her for the pleasure, And then with double smile stole on the measure.