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This were a medley! we should have him back
Who told the · Winter's tale' to do it for us.
No matter: we will
And let the ladies sing us, if they will,
To give us breathing-space.'
So I began,
And the rest follow'd: and the women sang
Between the rougher voices of the men,
A PRINCE I was, blue-eyed, and fair in face,
For on my cradle shone the Northern star.
There lived an ancient legend in our house. Some sorcerer, whom a far-off grandsire burnt Because he cast no shadow, had foretold, Dying, that none of all our blood should know
The shadow from the substance, and that one
Should come to fight with shadows and to fall.
On a sudden in the midst of men and day,
And while I walk'd and talk'd as heretofore,
I seem’d to move among a world of ghosts,
Now it chanced that I had been,
While life was yet in bud and blade, betroth'd
Came murmurs of her beauty from the South,
And one dark tress; and all around them both
But when the days drew nigh that I should wed, My father sent ambassadors with furs And jewels, gifts, to fetch her: these brought back A present, a great labour of the loom ; And therewithal an answer vague as wind: Besides, they saw the king; he took the gifts; He said there was a compact; that was true: But then she had a will; was he to blame? And maiden fancies; loved to live alone Among her women; certain, would not wed.
That morning in the presence room I stood With Cyril and with Florian, my two friends :
The first, a gentleman of broken means
Now, while they spake, I saw my father's face Grow long and troubled like a rising moon, Inflamed with wrath: he started on his feet, Tore the king's letter, snow'd it down, and rent The wonder of the loom thro' warp and woof
From skirt to skirt; and at the last he sware
That he would send a hundred thousand men,
And bring her in a whirlwind: then he chew'd
The thrice-turn'd cud of wrath, and cook'd his spleen,
Communing with his captains of the war.
At last I spoke. "My father, let me go.
‘ It cannot be but some gross error lies
In this report, this answer of a king,