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And here, the Doctor's sill beside,
A Thisbe, whom the walls divide
ACT THE FIRST.
Act I. began. Some noise had scared
A child of five, with eyes that were
A mournful mouth, and tangled hair
Whose black, uncomely rigour
The plaintive, slender figure.
What was it? Something in the dress That told the girl unmothered;
Or was it that the merciless
Black garb of mourning smothered
Then, as I looked, across the wall
Surmounting fence of lattice,
And round, bright eyes, that wore a stare Of frankest childish wonder.
Rounder they grew by slow degrees,
Gave just one brief, half-uttered cry, And,- —as with gathered kirtle, Nymphs fly from Pan's head suddenly Thrust through the budding myrtle,
Fled in dismay. A moment's space,
Then, when they caught my watching face,
And, like some sombre thing beguiled
ACT THE SECOND.
Yes they were gone, the stage was bare,—
Half vexed, I knew not wherefore,
A glance sufficed to show me, The boy again above the wall, The girl erect below me.
The boy, it seemed, to add a force
Had pushed a striped and spotted horse
Where now it stuck, stiff-legged and straight,
While he, in exultation,
Chattered some half-articulate
Meanwhile, the girl, with upturned face,
The pale hair almost glistened;
Buoyant as though some power Had lifted it, as rain at night Uplifts a drooping flower.
The eyes had lost their listless way,—
She only, yearning upward, found
Ah, tyrant Time! you hold the book,
Pleased for a meagre minute; You closed it now, for, out of sight,
Some warning finger beckoned; Exeunt both to left and right ;
Thus ended Act the Second.
ACT THE THIRD.
Or so it proved. For while I still
I saw the lattice quiver;
And lo, once more appeared the head,
Flushed, while the round mouth pouted; "Give Tom a kiss," the red lips said, In style the most undoubted.
The girl came back without a thought;
If more restraint had not been taught
For these your code was all too stiff,
Then on the scene,-by happy fate,