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Yet never from the book
The knight a single look.
Off, traitor friend ! how darest thou fix
Thy wanton gaze on me?
Does Julian send by thee?
“Go, tell thy Lord, that slow is sure :
Fair speed his shafts to-day ! I follow here a stronger lure,
And chase a gentler prey."
She said : and with a baleful smile
The vassal knight reeld offLike a huge billow from a bark
Toil'd in the deep sea-trough,
Is traversed by a flash;
With dull and distant crash.
And Alice sate with troubled mien
And thro' her veins did shiver !
Her buskins and her quiver.
There stands the flowering may-thorn tree ! From thro' the veiling mist you see
The black and shadowy stem ;
Smit by the sun the mist in glee
Each blossom hath its gem!
With tear-drop glittering to a smile,
Mimics the hunter's shout. “Hip! Florian, hip! To horse, to horse !
Go, bring the palfrey out.
“My Julian's out with all his clan,
And, bonny boy, you wis, Lord Julian is a hasty man,
Who comes late, comes amiss."
Now Florian was a stripling squire,
A gallant boy of Spain,
But blush'd to hold her train.
The huntress is in her dress of green,-
Her buskins and her quiver !
He makes his javelin quiver.
And had not Ellen stay'd the race,
The whole great globe of light
Give the last parting kiss-like touch
They had o'erta’en the knight.
It chanced that up the covert lane,
Where Julian waiting stood,
The huntsmen in the wood.
And with him must Lord Julian go,
Tho' with an anger'd mind : Betroth'd not wedded to his bride, In vain he sought, 'twixt shame and pride,
Excuse to stay behind.
He bit his lip, he wrung his glove,
But pretext none could find or frame !
Yet Love wants courage without a name !
Straight from the forest's skirt the trees
O'er-branching, made an aisle,
As in a minster's pile.
From underneath its leafy screen,
And from the twilight shade,
You pass at once into a green,
A green and lightsome glade.
And there Lord Julian sate on steed;
Behind him, in a round, Stood knight and squire, and menial train; Against the leash the greyhounds strain ;
The horses paw'd the ground.
When up the alley green, Sir Hugh
Spurr'd in upon the sward,
Fall in behind his lord.
Lord Julian turn'd his steed half round.
“What ! doth not Alice deign To accept your loving convoy, knight? Or doth she fear our woodland sleight,
And joins us on the plain?"
With stifled tones the knight replied,
“Nay, let the hunt proceed !
And less deserves your heed.
“You sent betimes. Not yet unbarr'd
I found the middle door ;Two stirrers only met my eyes,
Fair Alice, and one more.
“I came unlook'd for : and, it seem'd,
In an unwelcome hour;
Within the latticed bower.
“But hush ! the rest may wait. If lost,,
No great loss, I divine;
A fair maid's lips than mine."
“God's wrath! speak out, man,” Julian cried,
O’ermaster'd by the sudden smart ;And feigning wrath, sharp, blunt, and rude, The knight his subtle shift pursued. “ Scowl not at me ;
command To lure your hawk back, if you will,
But not a woman's heart.
“Go!' (said she) 'tell him,-slow is sure,
Fair speed his shafts to-day! I follow here a stronger lure,
And chase a gentler prey.
“The game, pardie, was full in sight, That then did, if I saw aright,
The fair dame's eyes engage; For turning, as I took my ways, I saw them fix'd with steadfast
gaze Full on her wanton page."
The last word of the traitor knight
It had but enter'd Julian's ear,