Puslapio vaizdai

'See here, my child, how fresh the colours look,

How fast they hold like colours of a shell
That keeps the wear and polish of the wave.
Why not? It never yet was worn, I trow :
Look on it, child, and tell me if ye know it.'

And Enid look'd, but all confused at first, Could scarce divide it from her foolish dream : Then suddenly she knew it and rejoiced, And answer'd, 'Yea, I know it; your good gift, So sadly lost on that unhappy night;

Your own good gift!' Yea, surely,' said the dame,

'And gladly given again this happy morn.
For when the jousts were ended yesterday,
Went Yniol thro' the town, and everywhere
He found the sack and plunder of our house
All scatter'd thro' the houses of the town;
And gave command that all which once was


Should now be ours again and yester-eve,
While ye were talking sweetly with your Prince,
Came one with this and laid it in my hand,
For love or fear, or seeking favour of us,
Because we have our earldom back again.
And yester-eve I would not tell you of it,
But kept it for a sweet surprise at morn.
Yea, truly is it not a sweet surprise?
For I myself unwillingly have worn

My faded suit, as you, my child, have yours,
And howsoever patient, Yniol his.

Ah, dear, he took me from a goodly house,
With store of rich apparel, sumptuous fare,
And page, and maid, and squire, and seneschal,
And pastime both of hawk and hound, and all
That appertains to noble maintenance.
Yea, and he brought me to a goodly house
But since our fortune swerved from sun



And all thro' that young traitor, cruel need
Constrain'd us, but a better time has come;
So clothe yourself in this, that better fits
Our mended fortunes and a Prince's bride:
For tho' ye won the prize of fairest fair,
And tho' I heard him call you fairest fair,
Let never maiden think, however fair,
She is not fairer in new clothes than old.
And should some great court-lady say, the

Hath pick'd a ragged-robin from the hedge,
And like a madman brought her to the court,
Then were ye shamed, and, worse, might shame
the Prince

To whom we are beholden; but I know,
When my dear child is set forth at her best,
That neither court nor country, tho' they

Thro' all the provinces like those of old
That lighted on Queen Esther, has her match.'



2 A

Here ceased the kindly mother out of breath; And Enid listen'd brightening as she lay; Then, as the white and glittering star of morn Parts from a bank of snow, and by and by Slips into golden cloud, the maiden rose, And left her maiden couch, and robed herself, Help'd by the mother's careful hand and eye, Without a mirror, in the gorgeous gown; Who, after, turn'd her daughter round, and said, She never yet had seen her half so fair; And call'd her like that maiden in the tale, Whom Gwydion made by glamour out of flowers, And sweeter than the bride of Cassivelaun, Flur, for whose love the Roman Cæsar first Invaded Britain, 'But we beat him back, As this great Prince invaded us, and we, Not beat him back, but welcomed him with joy. And I can scarcely ride with you to court, For old am I, and rough the ways and wild; But Yniol goes, and I full oft shall dream I see my princess as I see her now,

Clothed with my gift, and gay among the gay.'

But while the women thus rejoiced, Geraint Woke where he slept in the high hall, and call'd For Enid, and when Yniol made report

Of that good mother making Enid


In such apparel as might well beseem

His princess, or indeed the stately Queen,
He answer'd: 'Earl, entreat her by my love,

Albeit I give no reason but my wish,
That she ride with me in her faded silk.'
Yniol with that hard message went; it fell
Like flaws in summer laying lusty corn:
For Enid, all abash'd she knew not why,
Dared not to glance at her good mother's face,
But silently, in all obedience,

Her mother silent too, nor helping her,
Laid from her limbs the costly-broider'd gift,
And robed them in her ancient suit again,
And so descended. Never man rejoiced
More than Geraint to greet her thus attired;
And glancing all at once as keenly at her
As careful robins eye the delver's toil,
Made her cheek burn and either eyelid fall,
But rested with her sweet face satisfied;
Then seeing cloud upon the mother's brow,
Her by both hands he caught, and sweetly said,

'O my new mother, be not wroth or grieved At thy new son, for my petition to her. When late I left Caerleon, our great Queen, In words whose echo lasts, they were so sweet, Made promise, that whatever bride I brought, Herself would clothe her like the sun in Heaven. Thereafter, when I reach'd this ruin'd hall, Beholding one so bright in dark estate,

I vow'd that could I gain her, our fair Queen, No hand but hers, should make your Enid burst Sunlike from cloud-and likewise thought perhaps,

That service done so graciously would bind
The two together; fain I would the two
Should love each other: how can Enid find
A nobler friend? Another thought was mine;
I came among you here so suddenly,

That tho' her gentle presence at the lists
Might well have served for proof that I was

I doubted whether daughter's tenderness,
Or easy nature, might not let itself

Be moulded by your wishes for her weal;
Or whether some false sense in her own self
Of my contrasting brightness, overbore
Her fancy dwelling in this dusky hall;

And such a sense might make her long for court
And all its perilous glories: and I thought,
That could I someway prove such force in her
Link'd with such love for me, that at a word
(No reason given her) she could cast aside
A splendour dear to women, new to her,
And therefore dearer; or if not so new,
Yet therefore tenfold dearer by the power
Of intermitted usage; then I felt

That I could rest, a rock in ebbs and flows,
Fixt on her faith. Now, therefore, I do rest,
A prophet certain of my prophecy,

That never shadow of mistrust can cross
Between us. Grant me pardon for my thoughts:
And for my strange petition I will make
Amends hereafter by some gaudy-day,

When your fair child shall wear your costly gift

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