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TO E. L., ON HIS TRAVELS IN GREECE.
ILLYRIAN Woodlands, echoing falls
Of water, sheets of summer glass,
The long divine Peneïan pass,
Tomohrit, Athos, all things fair,
With such a pencil, such a pen,
You shadow forth to distant men,
And trust me while I turn’d the page,
And track'd you still on classic ground,
For me the torrent ever pour'd
And glisten’d-here and there alone
The broad-limb'd Gods at random thrown By fountain-urns ;-and Naiads oar'd
A glimmering shoulder under gloom
Of cavern pillars ; on the swell
The silver lily heaved and fell; And many a slope was rich in bloom
From him that on the mountain lea
By dancing rivulets fed his flocks,
To him who sat upon the rocks, And fluted to the morning sea.
It was the time when lilies blow,
And clouds are highest up in air, Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe
To give his cousin, Lady Clare.
I trow they did not part in scorn :
Lovers long-betroth'd were they : They two will wed the morrow morn;
God's blessing on the day!
“ He does not love me for my birth,
Nor for my lands so broad and fair ; He loves me for my own true worth,
And that is well,” said Lady Clare.
In there came old Alice the nurse,
Said, “ Who was this that went from thee? “It was my cousin,” said Lady Clare,
6. To-morrow he weds with me."
“ O God be thank'd!” said Alice the nurse,
“ That all comes round so just and fair : Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands,
And you are not the Lady Clare."
out of mind, my nurse, my nurse?' Said Lady Clare," that ye speak so wild ? " As God's above,” said Alice the nurse, “I speak the truth: you are my child.
“ The old Earl's daughter died at my breast;
I speak the truth, as I live by bread! I buried her like my own sweet child,
And put my child in her stead.”
“Falsely, falsely have ye done,
O mother," she said, " if this be true, To keep the best man under the sun
So many years from his due.”
“ Nay now, my child," said Alice the nurse,
“But keep the secret for your life, And all you have will be Lord Ronald's,
When you are man and wife.”
“If I'm a beggar born,” she said,
"I will speak out, for I dare not lie. Pull off, pull off, the broach of gold,
And fling the diamond necklace by.”
Nay now, my child,” said Alice the nurse,
“But keep the secret all ye can.” She said “ Not so: but I will know If there be any faith in man."
“Nay now, what faith ? ” said Alice the nurse,
“ The man will cleave unto his right." “ And he shall have it,” the lady replied,
« Tho' I should die to-night.”
“ Yet give one kiss to your mother dear!
Alas, my child, I sinn'd for thee." “O mother, mother, mother," she said,
“ So strange it seems to me.
“ Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear,
My mother dear, if this be so, And lay your hand upon my head,
And bless me, mother, ere I go.”
She clad herself in a russet gown,
She was no longer Lady Clare :
With a single rose in her hair.
The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought
Leapt up from where she lay, Dropt her head in the maiden's hand,
And follow'd her all the way.
Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower :
That are the flower of the earth ?”