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And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume; And the bride-maidens whispered, "Twere better by far,

To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."

So stately his form, and so lovely her face,

That never a hall such a galliard did grace;

While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,

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IN the golden reign of Charlemagne the king, The

three and thirtieth year, or thereabout, Young Eginardus, bred about the


(Left mother-naked at a posterndoor,)

Had thence by slow degrees ascended up; First page, then pensioner, lastly the king's knight And secretary; yet held these steps for naught

Save as they led him to the Princess' feet,

Eldest and loveliest of the regal three,

Most gracious too, and liable to love: For Bertha was betrothed; and she, the third,


Giselia, would not look upon a man. So, bending his whole heart unto this end,

He watched and waited, trusting to stir to fire

The indolent interest in those large eyes,

And feel the languid hands beat in his own,

Ere the new spring. And well he played his part;

Slipping no chance to bribe, or brush aside,

All that would stand between him and the light;

Making fast foes in sooth, but feeble friends.

But what cared he, who had read of ladies' love,

And how young Launcelot gained his Guinevere;

A foundling too, or of uncertain strain?

And when one morning, coming from the bath, He crossed the Princess on the palace-stair,

And kissed her there in her sweet disarray,

Nor met the death he dreamed of, in her eyes,

He knew himself a hero of (old)


Not seconding, but surpassing, what had been.

And so they loved; if that tumultuous pain

Be love, disquietude of deep delight,

And sharpest sadness: nor though he knew her heart His very own,-gained on the instant too,

And like a waterfall that at one leap Plunges from pines to palms, — shattered at once

To wreaths of mist, and broken spray-bows bright,

He loved not less, nor wearied of her smile;

But through the daytime held aloof and strange

His walk; mingling with knightly mirth and game; Solicitous but to avoid alone Aught that might make against him in her mind;

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To greet these mummers," softly the window closed,

And so went back to his corn-tax again.

But, with the morn, the king a meeting called

Of all his lords, courtiers and kindred too,

And squire and dame,
Audience Hall
Gathered; where sat the king, with
the high crown

Upon his brow; beneath a drapery
That fell around him like a cataract,
With flecks of colour crossed and can-

And over this, like trees about a stream,

Rich carven-work, heavy with wreath and rose,

Palm and palmirah, fruit and frondage, hung.

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- in the great

And more the high Hall held of rare and strange;

For on the king's right hand Leana bowed

In cloudlike marble, and beside her crouched

The tongueless lioness; on the other side,

And poising this, the second Sappho stood, Young Erexcéa, with her head discrowned,

The anadema on the horn of her lyre;

And by the walls there hung in sequence long

Merlin himself, and Uterpendragon, With all their mighty deeds; down to the day


When all the world seemed lost in wreck and rout, – A wrath of crashing steeds and men; and, in

The broken battle fighting hopelessly,

King Arthur, with the ten wounds on his head!

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