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Receive it; and in me behold the Prince
Your countryman, affianced years ago
To the Lady Ida: here, for here she was,
And thus (what other way was left) I came.”
"O sir, O Prince, I have no country; none;
If any, this; but none. Whate'er I was
Disrooted, what I am is grafted here.
Affianced, Sir? love-whispers may not breathe
Within this vestal limit, and how should I,
Who am not mine, say, live: the thunderbolt
Hangs silent; but prepare: I speak; it falls.”
"Yet pause,” I said: “for that inscription there,
I think no more of deadly lurks therein,
Than in a clapper clapping in a garth

To scare the fowl from fruit: if more there be,
If more and acted on, what follows? war;
Your own work marr'd: for this your Academe,
Whichever side be Victor, in the halloo
Will topple to the trumpet down, and pass
With all fair theories only made to gild
A stormless summer." "Let the Princess judge
Of that," she said: "farewell, Sir-and to you.
I shudder at the sequel, but I go."

"Are you that Lady Psyche," I rejoin'd, "The fifth in line from that old Florian, Yet hangs his portrait in my father's hall (The gaunt old Baron with his beetle brow Sun-shaded in the heat of dusty fights)




205. Who am not mine, who have no will of my own, being subject to the Princess.

209. Clapper clapping, "A clack, or kind of small windmill, with a clapper set on the top of a pole, to frighten away birds." Century Dictionary.

Garth, enclosed fruit garden.

222-223. Beetle brow Sun-shaded, jutting eyebrows, so shaggy as to shade the eyes from the sunlight in a fight.

As he bestrode my Grandsire, when he fell,
And all else fled ? we point to it, and we say,
The loyal warmth of Florian is not cold,
But branches current yet in kindred veins."
"Are you that Psyche," Florian added; "she
With whom I sang about the morning hills,
Flung ball, flew kite, and raced the purple fly,
And snared the squirrel of the glen? are you
That Psyche, wont to bind my throbbing brow,
To smoothe my pillow, mix the foaming draught
Of fever, tell me pleasant tales, and read
My sickness down to happy dreams? are you
That brother-sister Psyche, both in one?
You were that Psyche, but what are you now?"
"You are that Psyche," Cyril said, "for whom
I would be that for ever which I seem,
Woman, if I might sit beside your feet,
And glean your scatter'd sapience."

Then once more,

"Are you that Lady Psyche," I began,
"That on her bridal morn before she past
From all her old companions, when the king
Kiss'd her pale cheek, declared that ancient ties
Would still be dear beyond the southern hills;
That were there any of our people there
In want or peril, there was one to hear

And help them? look! for such are these and I.”
"Are you that Psyche," Florian ask'd, "to whom,
In gentler days, your arrow-wounded fawn
Came flying while you sat beside the well?
The creature laid his muzzle on your lap,




224. Bestrode, the characteristic posture as one stands over a fallen friend to defend him.

227. Current, flowing.

230. Raced the purple fly, raced with (i.e., chased) the butterfly. 241. Sapience, knowledge; the word is belittling, and has an accent of raillery.

And sobb'd, and you sobb'd with it, and the blood
Was sprinkled on your kirtle, and you wept.
That was fawn's blood, not brother's, yet you wept.
O by the bright head of my little niece,

You were that Psyche, and what are you now?'
"You are that Psyche," Cyril said again,
"The mother of the sweetest little maid
That ever crow'd for kisses."

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"Out upon it!"

She answer'd, "peace! and why should I not play
The Spartan Mother with emotion, be

The Lucius Junius Brutus of my


Him you call great he for the common weal,
The fading politics of mortal Rome,

As I might slay this child, if good need were,
Slew both his sons: and I, shall I, on whom
The secular emancipation turns

Of half this world, be swerved from right to save
A prince, a brother? a little will I yield.
Best so, perchance, for us, and well for you.
O hard, when love and duty clash! I fear
My conscience will not count me fleckless; yet—
Hear my conditions: promise (otherwise
You perish) as you came, to slip away

To-day, to-morrow, soon: it shall be said,

These women were too barbarous, would not learn;
They fled, who might have shamed us: promise, all."


What could we else, we promised each; and she, 280 Like some wild creature newly-caged, commenced

255. Kirtle, gown.

263. Spartan Mother with emotion, stamp emotion out; a Spartan mother would sacrifice all personal affection for public duty.

264. Lucius Junius Brutus, the establisher of the Roman Republic; when consul (509 B.C.) he condemned his sons to death for conspiring to restore the Tarquins to the throne, whence he had expelled them. 269. Secular, lasting for ages (contrasted with line 266). 270. Half, the woman-half.

A to-and-fro, so pacing till she paused
By Florian; holding out her lily arms,

Took both his hands, and smiling faintly said:
"I knew you at the first: tho' you have grown
You scarce have alter'd: I am sad and glad
To see you, Florian. I give thee to death,
My brother! it was duty spoke, not I.
My needful seeming harshness, pardon it.
Our mother, is she well?"

With that she kiss'd

His forehead, then, a moment after, clung

About him, and betwixt them blossom'd up
From out a common vein of memory

Sweet household talk, and phrases of the hearth,
And far allusion, till the gracious dews
Began to glisten and to fall and while


They stood, so rapt, we gazing, came a voice,


"I brought a message here from Lady Blanche.'
Back started she, and turning round we saw
The Lady Blanche's daughter where she stood,
Melissa, with her hand upon the lock,
A rosy blonde, and in a college gown,
That clad her like an April daffodilly
(Her mother's colour) with her lips apart,
And all her thoughts as fair within her eyes
As bottom agates seen to wave and float
In crystal currents of clear morning seas.

So stood that same fair creature at the door.
Then Lady Psyche, "Ah-Melissa-you!
You heard us?" and Melissa, "O pardon me
I heard, I could not help it, did not wish:
But, dearest Lady, pray you fear me not,
Nor think I bear that heart within my breast,
To give three gallant gentlemen to death."

304. The color worn by Lady Blanche's pupils.





"I trust you," said the other, "for we two
Were always friends, none closer, elm and vine:
But yet your mother's jealous temperament-
Let not your prudence, dearest, drowse, or prove
The Danaïd of a leaky vase, for fear

This whole foundation ruin, and I lose

My honour, these their lives." "Ah, fear me not,"
Replied Melissa; "no-I would not tell,

No, not for all Aspasia's cleverness,

No, not to answer, Madam, all those hard things
That Sheba came to ask of Solomon.'

"Be it so❞ the other, "that we still may lead
The new light up, and culminate in peace,
For Solomon may come to Sheba yet."
Said Cyril," Madam, he the wisest man
Feasted the woman wisest then, in halls
Of Lebanonian cedar: nor should you



(Tho' Madam you should answer, we would ask) Less welcome find among us, if you came

Among us, debtors for our lives to you,

Myself for something more." He said not what,

But "Thanks," she answer'd; "Go: we have been too long Together: keep your hoods about the face;

They do so that affect abstraction here.

316. Elm and vine, like the elm and the vine that clings about it. 319. Danaid of a leaky vase. The Danaïdes were the fifty daughters of Danaüs, who killed their husbands; in Hades they have for punishment the task of eternally pouring water into sieves. The sense is, do not be one to let the secret leak out.

320. Whole foundation ruin, the college and its purpose be ruined. 323. Aspasia (440 B. C.), the most famous intellectual woman of Greece, the friend of Pericles, and the centre of the group about him

in Athens.

325. Sheba. The Queen of Sheba visited Solomon because of his wisdom. 1 Kings x. 1–13; 2 Chronicles ix. 1–12.

335. Something more, his love for her.

338. Affect abstraction, pretend to be absorbed in thought and study.

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