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THE PRINCESS; A MEDLEY.

PROLOGUE.

IR Walter Vivian all a summer's day

Gave his broad lawns until the set of

sun

Up to the people: thither flock'd at noon
His tenants, wife and child, and thither half
The neighbouring borough with their Institute
Of which he was the patron. I was there
From college, visiting the son,—the son
A Walter too, with others of our set,

Five others : we were seven at Vivian-place.

And me that morning Walter show'd the house, Greek, set with busts : from vases in the hall

Flowers of all heavens, and lovelier than their

names,

Grew side by side ; and on the pavement lay
Carved stones of the Abbey-ruin in the park,
Huge Ammonites, and the first bones of Time;
And on the tables every clime and age
Jumbled together; celts and calumets,
Claymore and snowshoe, toys in lava, fans
Of sandal, amber, ancient rosaries,
Laborious orient ivory sphere in sphere,
The cursed Malayan crease, and battle-clubs
From the isles of palm: and higher on the walls,
Betwixt the monstrous horns of elk and deer,
His own forefathers' arms and armour hung.

And “this" he said “was Hugh's at Agincourt; And that was old Sir Ralph's at Ascalon : A good knight he! we keep a chronicle With all about him”—which he brought, and I Dived in a hoard of tales that dealt with knights Half-legend, half-historic, counts and kings Who laid about them at their wills and died ; And mixt with these, a lady, one that arm'd

Her own fair head, and sallying thro' the gate, Had beat her foes with slaughter from her walls.

“O miracle of women," said the book, “O noble heart who, being strait-besieged By this wild king to force her to his wish, Nor bent, nor broke, nor shunn'd a soldier's death, But now when all was lost or seem'd as lost

Her stature more than mortal in the burst

Of sunrise, her arm lifted, eyes on fire-
Brake with a blast of trumpets from the gate,
And, falling on them like a thunderbolt,
She trampled some beneath her horses' heels,
And some were whelm'd with missiles of the wall,

And some were push'd with lances from the rock, And part were drown'd within the whirling brook : O miracle of noble womanhood!”

So sang the gallant glorious chronicle ; And, I all rapt in this, “Come out,” he said, "To the Abbey : there is Aunt Elizabeth And sister Lilia with the rest." We went

(I kept the book and had my finger in it)

Down thro' the park: strange was the sight to me;
For all the sloping pasture murmur'd, sown
With happy faces and with holiday.
There moved the multitude, a thousand heads :
The patient leaders of their Institute
Taught them with facts. One rear'd a font of

stone

And drew, from butts of water on the slope,

The fountain of the moment, playing now
A twisted snake, and now a rain of pearls,

Or steep-up spout whereon the gilded ball Danced like a wisp: and somewhat lower down

A man with knobs and wires and vials fired

A cannon: Echo answer'd in her sleep
From hollow fields: and here were telescopes
For azure views; and there a group of girls
In circle waited, whom the electric shock
Dislink'd with shrieks and laughter: round the

lake

A little clock-work steamer paddling plied
And shook the lilies : perch'd about the knolls
A dozen angry models jetted steam:
A petty railway ran: a fire-balloon

Rose gem-like up before the dusky groves
And dropt a fairy parachute and past :
And there thro' twenty posts of telegraph
They flash'd a saucy message to and fro
Between the mimic stations ; so that sport

Went hand in hand with Science; otherwhere
Pure sport: a herd of boys with clamour bowl'a
And stump'd the wicket; babies roll'd about
Like tumbled fruit in grass; and men and maids
Arranged a country dance, and flew thro' light
And shadow, while the twangling violin
Struck up with Soldier-laddie, and overhead
The broad ambrosial aisles of lofty lime

Made noise with bees and breeze from end to end.

Strange was the sight and smacking of the time; And long we gazed, but satiated at length Came to the ruins. High-arch'd and ivy-claspt, Of finest Gothic lighter than a fire, Thro' one wide chasm of time and frost they gave The park, the crowd, the house; but all within The sward was trim as any garden lawn: And here we lit on Aunt Elizabeth,

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