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FRANK (in the grass).
Nods at his post, and slumbers in the sun ;
Churns in my head. The frenzy has begun !
Much out of tune, will edify the rooks.
Surely will draw the fish upon the hooks.
Faint on your cheeks, but I, alas ! am old.
Sing me of Her, whose name may not be told.
Say—by a week. Well, Lawrence, shall we sing?
Let him declare the prize he has to bring.
JACK. Hear then, my Shepherds. Lo, to him accounted
First in the song, a Pipe I will impart ;This, my Beloved, marvellously mounted, Amber and foam,—
-a miracle of art.
Grant me a soft alliterative song!
FRANK. Me too, O Muse! And when the Umpire slumbers,
Sting him with gnats a summer evening long.
Not where the brook traditionally “purls,”–
Seek I the gem,—the paragon of girls.
Not in the sham and stucco of a square, -
Stands she I honour, beautifully fair.
Back from the brows, imperially curled ;
Holding the roof that covers in a world.
Loose as a vine-branch blowing in the morn;
Blithe as a bird new risen from the corn.
Mine 's a musician,-musical at heart,-
Sways to the light coquetting of Mozart.
Queen at a pic-nic, leader of the glees,
Great in Sir Roger danced among the trees.
LAWRENCE. Ah, when the thick night flares with drooping torches,
Ah, when the crush-room empties of the swarm,
Pleasant the hand that, in the gusty porches,
Light as a snow-flake, settles on your arm.
Better the dim, forgotten garden-seat,
Lounging with Bran or Bevis at her feet.
Round with so delicate divinity, that men,
Bend to the goddess, manifest again.
FRANK. None worship mine. But some, I fancy, love her,
Cynics to boot. I know the children run, Seeing her come, for naught that I discover,
Save that she brings the summer and the sun.
Crowned with a sweet, continual control,
E’en to her own nobility of soul.
Fearless in praising, faltering in blame:
Jack's sister Florence,-now you know her name.
LAWRENCE. “ Jack's sister Florence !” Never, Francis, never.
Jack, do you hear? Why, it was she I meant. She like the country! Ah, she's far too clever
FRANK. There you are wrong. I know her down in Kent.
LAWRENCE. You'll get a sunstroke, standing with your head bare.
Sorry to differ. Jack,—the word 's with you.
FRANK. How is it, Umpire? Though the motto 's threadbare,
" Cælum, non animum"_is, I take it, true.
JACK. “ Souvent femme varie,” as a rule, is truer ;
Flattered, I'm sure,--but both of you romance. Happy to further suit of either wooer,
Merely observing—you have n't got a chance.