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ALICE DU CLOS:
OR THE FORKED TONGUE.
“One word with two meanings is the traitor's shield and shaft: and a slit tongue be his blazon !"
“ The sun is not yet risen,
Your buskins and your quiver ;
Long waiting brook'd he never.
To wed you on a day,
And you his lady gay.
I would not that my lord should chide.”
Thus spake Sir Hugh the vassal knight
To Alice, child of old Du Clos,
As that moon-shiny doe,
The gold star on its brow, her sire's ancestral crest!
She in the garden bower below
A snow-drop on a tuft of snow!
Ah! earliest-opend flower;
The lattice of her bower-
As if in prideful scorn
To brave th’advancing morn.
0! Alice could read passing well,
And she was conning then Dan Ovid's mazy tale of loves,
And gods, and beasts, and men.
The vassal's speech, his taunting vein,
Yet never from the book
The knight a single look.
“ Off, traitor friend! how dar'st thou fix
Thy wanton gaze on me?
And why, against my earnest suit,
Does Julian send by thee?
“Go, tell thy lord, that slow is sure:
Fair speed his shafts to-day! I follow here a stronger lure,
And chase a gentler prey."
She said : and with a baleful smile
The vassal knight reeld offLike a huge billow from a bark
Toild in the deep sea-trough,
Is travers’d by a flash.
With dull and distant crash.
And Alice sate with troubled mien
And thro' her veins did shiver !
Her buskins and her quiver.
There stands the flowering may-thorn tree! From thro' the veiling mist you see
The black and shadowy stem ;Smit by the sun the mist in glee Dissolves to lightsome jewelry
Each blossom hath its gem!
With tear-drop glittering to a smile,
Mimics the hunter's shout. “ Hip! Florian, hip! To horse, to horse!
Go, bring the palfrey out.
“ My Julian's out with all his clan,
And, bonny boy, you wis,
Now Florian was a stripling squire,
A gallant boy of Spain,
But blush'd to hold her train.
The huntress is in her dress of green,And forth they go ; she with her bow,
Her buskins and her quiver ! The squire—no younger e'er was seenWith restless arm and laughing een,
He makes his javelin quiver.
And had not Ellen stay'd the race,
The whole great globe of light
They had o’erta'en the knight.