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Poem by Sidney Lanier
The Jacquerie. A Fragment
Chapter I. Once on a time, a Dawn, all red and bright Leapt on the conquered ramparts of the Night, And flamed, one brilliant instant, on the world, Then back into the historic moat was hurled And Night was King again, for many years. -- Once on a time the Rose of Spring blushed out But Winter angrily withdrew it back Into his rough new-bursten husk, and shut The stern husk-leaves, and hid it many years. -- Once Famine tricked himself with ears of corn, And Hate strung flowers on his spiked belt, And glum Revenge in silver lilies pranked him, And Lust put violets on his shameless front, And all minced forth o’ the street like holiday folk That sally off afield on Summer morns. -- Once certain hounds that knew of many a chase, And bare great wounds of antler and of tusk That they had ta’en to give a lord some sport, -- Good hounds, that would have died to give lords sport -- Were so bewrayed and kicked by these same lords That all the pack turned tooth o’ the knights and bit As knights had been no better things than boars, And took revenge as bloody as a man’s, Unhoundlike, sudden, hot i’ the chops, and sweet. -- Once sat a falcon on a lady’s wrist, Seeming to doze, with wrinkled eye-lid drawn, But dreaming hard of hoods and slaveries And of dim hungers in his heart and wings. Then, while the mistress gazed above for game, Sudden he flew into her painted face And hooked his horn-claws in her lily throat And drove his beak into her lips and eyes In fierce and hawkish kissing that did scar And mar the lady’s beauty evermore. -- And once while Chivalry stood tall and lithe And flashed his sword above the stricken eyes Of all the simple peasant-folk of France: While Thought was keen and hot and quick, And did not play, as in these later days, Like summer-lightning flickering in the west -- As little dreadful as if glow-worms lay In the cool and watery clouds and glimmered weak -- But gleamed and struck at once or oak or man, And left not space for Time to wave his wing Betwixt the instantaneous flash and stroke: While yet the needs of life were brave and fierce And did not hide their deeds behind their words, And logic came not ’twixt desire and act, And Want-and-Take was the whole Form of life: While Love had fires a-burning in his veins, And hidden Hate could flash into revenge: Ere yet young Trade was ’ware of his big thews Or dreamed that in the bolder afterdays He would hew down and bind old Chivalry And drag him to the highest height of fame And plunge him thence in the sea of still Romance To lie for aye in never-rusted mail Gleaming through quiet ripples of soft songs And sheens of old traditionary tales; -- On such a time, a certain May arose From out that blue Sea that between five lands Lies like a violet midst of five large leaves, Arose from out this violet and flew on And stirred the spirits of the woods of France And smoothed the brows of moody Auvergne hills, And wrought warm sea-tints into maidens’ eyes, And calmed the wordy air of market-towns With faint suggestions blown from distant buds, Until the land seemed a mere dream of land, And, in this dream-field Life sat like a dove And cooed across unto her dove-mate Death, Brooding, pathetic, by a river, lone. Oh, sharper tangs pierced through this perfumed May. Strange aches sailed by with odors on the wind As when we kneel in flowers that grow on graves Of friends who died unworthy of our love. King John of France was proving such an ache In English prisons wide and fair and grand, Whose long expanses of green park and chace Did ape large liberty with such success As smiles of irony ape smiles of love. Down from the oaks of Hertford Castle park, Double with warm rose-breaths of southern Spring Came rumors, as if odors too had thorns, Sharp rumors, how the three Estates of France, Like old Three-headed Cerberus of Hell Had set upon the Duke of Normandy, Their rightful Regent, snarled in his great face, Snapped jagged teeth in inch-breadth of his throat, And blown such hot and savage breath upon him, That he had tossed great sops of royalty Unto the clamorous, three-mawed baying beast. And was not further on his way withal, And had but changed a snarl into a growl: How Arnold de Cervolles had ta’en the track That war had burned along the unhappy land, Shouting, `since France is then too poor to pay The soldiers that have bloody devoir done, And since needs must, pardie! a man must eat, Arm, gentlemen! swords slice as well as knives!’ And so had tempted stout men from the ranks, And now was adding robbers’ waste to war’s, Stealing the leavings of remorseless battle, And making gaunter the gaunt bones of want: How this Cervolles (called ”Arch-priest” by the mass) Through warm Provence had marched and menace made Against Pope Innocent at Avignon, And how the Pope nor ate nor drank nor slept, Through godly fear concerning his red wines. For if these knaves should sack his holy house And all the blessed casks be knocked o’ the head, HORRENDUM! all his Holiness’ drink to be Profanely guzzled down the reeking throats Of scoundrels, and inflame them on to seize The massy coffers of the Church’s gold, And steal, mayhap, the carven silver shrine And all the golden crucifixes? No! -- And so the holy father Pope made stir And had sent forth a legate to Cervolles, And treated with him, and made compromise, And, last, had bidden all the Arch-priest’s troop To come and banquet with him in his house, Where they did wassail high by night and day And Father Pope sat at the board and carved Midst jokes that flowed full greasily, And priest and soldier trolled good songs for mass, And all the prayers the Priests made were, `pray, drink,’ And all the oaths the Soldiers swore were, `drink!’ Till Mirth sat like a jaunty postillon Upon the back of Time and urged him on With piquant spur, past chapel and past cross: How Charles, King of Navarre, in long duress By mandate of King John within the walls Of Crevacoeur and then of strong Alleres, In faithful ward of Sir Tristan du Bois, Was now escaped, had supped with Guy Kyrec, Had now a pardon of the Regent Duke By half compulsion of a Paris mob, Had turned the people’s love upon himself By smooth harangues, and now was bold to claim That France was not the Kingdom of King John, But, By our Lady, his, by right and worth, And so was plotting treason in the State, And laughing at weak Charles of Normandy. Nay, these had been like good news to the King, Were any man but bold enough to tell The King what [bitter] sayings men had made And hawked augmenting up and down the land Against the barons and great lords of France That fled from English arrows at Poictiers. POICTIERS, POICTIERS: this grain i’ the eye of France Had swelled it to a big and bloodshot ball That looked with rage upon a world askew. Poictiers’ disgrace was now but two years old, Yet so outrageous rank and full was grown That France was wholly overspread with shade, And bitter fruits lay on the untilled ground That stank and bred so foul contagious smells That not a nose in France but stood awry, Nor boor that cried not FAUGH! upon the air. Chapter II. Franciscan friar John de Rochetaillade With gentle gesture lifted up his hand And poised it high above the steady eyes Of a great crowd that thronged the market-place In fair Clermont to hear him prophesy. Midst of the crowd old Gris Grillon, the maimed, -- A wretched wreck that fate had floated out From the drear storm of battle at Poictiers. A living man whose larger moiety Was dead and buried on the battle-field -- A grisly trunk, without or arms or legs, And scarred with hoof-cuts over cheek and brow, Lay in his wicker-cradle, smiling. ”Jacques,” Quoth he, ”My son, I would behold this priest That is not fat, and loves not wine, and fasts, And stills the folk with waving of his hand, And threats the knights and thunders at the Pope. Make way for Gris, ye who are whole of limb! Set me on yonder ledge, that I may see.” Forthwith a dozen horny hands reached out And lifted Gris Grillon upon the ledge, Whereon he lay and overlooked the crowd, And from the gray-grown hedges of his brows Shot forth a glance against the friar’s eye That struck him like an arrow. Then the friar, With voice as low as if a maiden hummed Love-songs of Provence in a mild day-dream: ”And when he broke the second seal, I heard The second beast say, Come and see. And then Went out another horse, and he was red. And unto him that sat thereon was given To take the peace of earth away, and set Men killing one another: and they gave To him a mighty sword.” The friar paused And pointed round the circle of sad eyes. ”There is no face of man or woman here But showeth print of the hard hoof of war. Ah, yonder leaneth limbless Gris Grillon. Friends, Gris Grillon is France. Good France; my France, Wilt never walk on glory’s hills again? Wilt never work among thy vines again? Art footless and art handless evermore? -- Thou felon, War, I do arraign thee now Of mayhem of the four main limbs of France! Thou old red criminal, stand forth; I charge -- But O, I am too utter sorrowful To urge large accusation now. Nathless, My work to-day, is still more grievous. Hear! The stains that war hath wrought upon the land Show but as faint white flecks, if seen o’ the side Of those blood-covered images that stalk Through yon cold chambers of the future, as The prophet-mood, now stealing on my soul, Reveals them, marching, marching, marching. See! There go the kings of France, in piteous file. The deadly diamonds shining in their crowns Do wound the foreheads of their Majesties And glitter through a setting of blood-gouts As if they smiled to think how men are slain By the sharp facets of the gem of power, And how the kings of men are slaves of stones. But look! The long procession of the kings Wavers and stops; the world is full of noise, The ragged peoples storm the palaces, They rave, they laugh, they thirst, they lap the stream That trickles from the regal vestments down, And, lapping, smack their heated chaps for more, And ply their daggers for it, till the kings All die and lie in a crooked sprawl of death, Ungainly, foul, and stiff as any heap Of villeins rotting on a battle-field. ’Tis true, that when these things have come to pass Then never a king shall rule again in France, For every villein shall be king in France: And who hath lordship in him, whether born In hedge or silken bed, shall be a lord: And queens shall be as thick i’ the land as wives, And all the maids shall maids of honor be: And high and low shall commune solemnly: And stars and stones shall have free interview. But woe is me, ’tis also piteous true That ere this gracious time shall visit France, Your graves, Beloved, shall be some centuries old, And so your children’s, and their children’s graves And many generations’. Ye, O ye Shall grieve, and ye shall grieve, and ye shall grieve. Your Life shall bend and o’er his shuttle toil, A weaver weaving at the loom of grief. Your Life shall sweat ’twixt anvil and hot forge, An armorer working at the sword of grief. Your Life shall moil i’ the ground, and plant his seed, A farmer foisoning a huge crop of grief. Your Life shall chaffer in the market-place, A merchant trading in the goods of grief. Your Life shall go to battle with his bow, A soldier fighting in defence of grief. By every rudder that divides the seas, Tall Grief shall stand, the helmsman of the ship. By every wain that jolts along the roads, Stout Grief shall walk, the driver of the team. Midst every herd of cattle on the hills, Dull Grief shall lie, the herdsman of the drove. Oh Grief shall grind your bread and play your lutes And marry you and bury you. -- How else? Who’s here in France, can win her people’s faith And stand in front and lead the people on? Where is the Church? The Church is far too fat. Not, mark, by robust swelling of the thews, But puffed and flabby large with gross increase Of wine-fat, plague-fat, dropsy-fat. O shame, Thou Pope that cheatest God at Avignon, Thou that shouldst be the Father of the world And Regent of it whilst our God is gone; Thou that shouldst blaze with conferred majesty And smite old Lust-o’-the-Flesh so as by flame; Thou that canst turn thy key and lock Grief up Or turn thy key and unlock Heaven’s Gate, Thou that shouldst be the veritable hand That Christ down-stretcheth out of heaven yet To draw up him that fainteth to His heart, Thou that shouldst bear thy fruit, yet virgin live, As she that bore a man yet sinned not, Thou that shouldst challenge the most special eyes Of Heaven and Earth and Hell to mark thee, since Thou shouldst be Heaven’s best captain, Earth’s best friend, And Hell’s best enemy -- false Pope, false Pope, The world, thy child, is sick and like to die, But thou art dinner-drowsy and cannot come: And Life is sore beset and crieth `help!’ But thou brook’st not disturbance at thy wine: And France is wild for one to lead her souls; But thou art huge and fat and laggest back Among the remnants of forsaken camps. Thou’rt not God’s Pope, thou art the Devil’s Pope. Thou art first Squire to that most puissant knight, Lord Satan, who thy faithful squireship long Hath watched and well shall guerdon. Ye sad souls, So faint with work ye love not, so thin-worn With miseries ye wrought not, so outraged By strokes of ill that pass th’ ill-doers’ heads And cleave the innocent, so desperate tired Of insult that doth day by day abuse The humblest dignity of humblest men, Ye cannot call toward the Church for help. The Church already is o’erworked with care Of its dyspeptic stomach. Ha, the Church Forgets about eternity. I had A vision of forgetfulness. O Dream Born of a dream, as yonder cloud is born Of water which is born of cloud! I thought I saw the moonlight lying large and calm Upon the unthrobbing bosom of the earth, As a great diamond glittering on a shroud. A sense of breathlessness stilled all the world. Motion stood dreaming he was changed to Rest, And Life asleep did fancy he was Death. A quick small shadow spotted the white world; Then instantly ’twas huge, and huger grew By instants till it did o’ergloom all space. I lifted up mine eyes -- O thou just God! I saw a spectre with a million heads Come frantic downward through the universe, And all the mouths of it were uttering cries, Wherein was a sharp agony, and yet The cries were much like laughs: as if Pain laughed. Its myriad lips were blue, and sometimes they Closed fast and only moaned dim sounds that shaped Themselves to one word, `Homeless’, and the stars Did utter back the moan, and the great hills Did bellow it, and then the stars and hills Bandied the grief o’ the ghost ’twixt heaven and earth. The spectre sank, and lay upon the air, And brooded, level, close upon the earth, With all the myriad heads just over me. I glanced in all the eyes and marked that some Did glitter with a flame of lunacy, And some were soft and false as feigning love, And some were blinking with hypocrisy, And some were overfilmed by sense, and some Blazed with ambition’s wild, unsteady fire, And some were burnt i’ the sockets black, and some Were dead as embers when the fire is out. A curious zone circled the Spectre’s waist, Which seemed with strange device to symbol Time. It was a silver-gleaming thread of day Spiral about a jet-black band of night. This zone seemed ever to contract and all The frame with momentary spasms heaved In the strangling traction which did never cease. I cried unto the spectre, `Time hath bound Thy body with the fibre of his hours.’ Then rose a multitude of mocking sounds, And some mouths spat at me and cried `thou fool’, And some, `thou liest’, and some, `he dreams’: and then Some hands uplifted certain bowls they bore To lips that writhed but drank with eagerness. And some played curious viols, shaped like hearts And stringed with loves, to light and ribald tunes, And other hands slit throats with knives, And others patted all the painted cheeks In reach, and others stole what others had Unseen, or boldly snatched at alien rights, And some o’ the heads did vie in a foolish game OF WHICH COULD HOLD ITSELF THE HIGHEST, and OF WHICH ONE’S NECK WAS STIFF THE LONGEST TIME. And then the sea in silence wove a veil Of mist, and breathed it upward and about, And waved and wound it softly round the world, And meshed my dream i’ the vague and endless folds, And a light wind arose and blew these off, And I awoke. The many heads are priests That have forgot eternity: and Time Hath caught and bound them with a withe Into a fagot huge, to burn in hell. -- Now if the priesthood put such shame upon Your cry for leadership, can better help Come out of knighthood? Lo! you smile, you boors? You villeins smile at knighthood? Now, thou France That wert the mother of fair chivalry, Unclose thine eyes, unclose thine eyes, here, see, Here stand a herd of knaves that laugh to scorn Thy gentlemen! O contumely hard, O bitterness of last disgrace, O sting That stings the coward knights of lost Poictiers! I would --” but now a murmur rose i’ the crowd Of angry voices, and the friar leapt From where he stood to preach and pressed a path Betwixt the mass that way the voices came. Chapter III. Lord Raoul was riding castleward from field. At left hand rode his lady and at right His fool whom he loved better; and his bird, His fine ger-falcon best beloved of all, Sat hooded on his wrist and gently swayed To the undulating amble of the horse. Guest-knights and huntsmen and a noisy train Of loyal-stomached flatterers and their squires Clattered in retinue, and aped his pace, And timed their talk by his, and worked their eyes By intimation of his glance, with great And drilled precision. Then said the fool: ”’Twas a brave flight, my lord, that last one! brave. Didst note the heron once did turn about, And show a certain anger with his wing, And make as if he almost dared, not quite, To strike the falcon, ere the falcon him? A foolish damnable advised bird, Yon heron! What? Shall herons grapple hawks? God made the herons for the hawks to strike, And hawk and heron made he for lords’ sport.” ”What then, my honey-tongued Fool, that knowest God’s purposes, what made he fools for?” ”For To counsel lords, my lord. Wilt hear me prove Fools’ counsel better than wise men’s advice?” ”Aye, prove it. If thy logic fail, wise fool, I’ll cause two wise men whip thee soundly.” ”So: `Wise men are prudent: prudent men have care For their own proper interest; therefore they Advise their own advantage, not another’s. But fools are careless: careless men care not For their own proper interest; therefore they Advise their friend’s advantage, not their own.’ Now hear the commentary, Cousin Raoul. This fool, unselfish, counsels thee, his lord, Go not through yonder square, where, as thou see’st Yon herd of villeins, crick-necked all with strain Of gazing upward, stand, and gaze, and take With open mouth and eye and ear, the quips And heresies of John de Rochetaillade.” Lord Raoul half turned him in his saddle round, And looked upon his fool and vouchsafed him What moiety of fastidious wonderment A generous nobleness could deign to give To such humility, with eye superb Where languor and surprise both showed themselves, Each deprecating t’other. ”Now, dear knave, Be kind and tell me -- tell me quickly, too, -- Some proper reasonable ground or cause, Nay, tell me but some shadow of some cause, Nay, hint me but a thin ghost’s dream of cause, (So will I thee absolve from being whipped) Why I, Lord Raoul, should turn my horse aside From riding by yon pitiful villein gang, Or ay, by God, from riding o’er their heads If so my humor serve, or through their bodies, Or miring fetlocks in their nasty brains, Or doing aught else I will in my Clermont? Do me this grace, mine Idiot.” ”Please thy Wisdom An thou dost ride through this same gang of boors, ’Tis my fool’s-prophecy, some ill shall fall. Lord Raoul, yon mass of various flesh is fused And melted quite in one by white-hot words The friar speaks. Sir, sawest thou ne’er, sometimes, Thine armorer spit on iron when ’twas hot, And how the iron flung the insult back, Hissing? So this contempt now in thine eye, If it shall fall on yonder heated surface May bounce back upward. Well: and then? What then? Why, if thou cause thy folk to crop some villein’s ears, So, evil falls, and a fool foretells the truth. Or if some erring crossbow-bolt should break Thine unarmed head, shot from behind a house, So, evil falls, and a fool foretells the truth.” ”Well,” quoth Lord Raoul, with languid utterance, ”’Tis very well -- and thou’rt a foolish fool, Nay, thou art Folly’s perfect witless man, Stupidity doth madly dote on thee, And Idiocy doth fight her for thy love, Yet Silliness doth love thee best of all, And while they quarrel, snatcheth thee to her And saith `Ah! ’tis my sweetest No-brains: mine!’ -- And ’tis my mood to-day some ill shall fall.” And there right suddenly Lord Raoul gave rein And galloped straightway to the crowded square, -- What time a strange light flickered in the eyes Of the calm fool, that was not folly’s gleam, But more like wisdom’s smile at plan well laid And end well compassed. In the noise of hoofs Secure, the fool low-muttered: ”`Folly’s love!’ So: `Silliness’ sweetheart: no-brains:’ quoth my Lord. Why, how intolerable an ass is he Whom Silliness’ sweetheart drives so, by the ear! Thou languid, lordly, most heart-breaking Nought! Thou bastard zero, that hast come to power, Nothing’s right issue failing! Thou mere `pooh’ That Life hath uttered in some moment’s pet, And then forgot she uttered thee! Thou gap In time, thou little notch in circumstance!” Chapter IV. Lord Raoul drew rein with all his company, And urged his horse i’ the crowd, to gain fair view Of him that spoke, and stopped at last, and sat Still, underneath where Gris Grillon was laid, And heard, somewhile, with languid scornful gaze, The friar putting blame on priest and knight. But presently, as ’twere in weariness, He gazed about, and then above, and so Made mark of Gris Grillon. ”So, there, old man, Thou hast more brows than legs!” ”I would,” quoth Gris, ”That thou, upon a certain time I wot, Hadst had less legs and bigger brows, my Lord!” Then all the flatterers and their squires cried out Solicitous, with various voice, ”Go to, Old Rogue,” or ”Shall I brain him, my good Lord?” Or, ”So, let me but chuck him from his perch,” Or, ”Slice his tongue to piece his leg withal,” Or, ”Send his eyes to look for his missing arms.” But my Lord Raoul was in the mood, to-day, Which craves suggestions simply with a view To flout them in the face, and so waved hand Backward, and stayed the on-pressing sycophants Eager to buy rich praise with bravery cheap. ”I would know why,” -- he said -- ”thou wishedst me Less legs and bigger brows; and when?” ”Wouldst know? Learn then,” cried Gris Grillon and stirred himself, In a great spasm of passion mixed with pain; ”An thou hadst had more courage and less speed, Then, ah my God! then could not I have been That piteous gibe of a man thou see’st I am. Sir, having no disease, nor any taint Nor old hereditament of sin or shame, -- But, feeling the brave bound and energy Of daring health that leaps along the veins -- As a hart upon his river banks at morn, -- Sir, wild with the urgings and hot strenuous beats Of manhood’s heart in this full-sinewed breast Which thou may’st even now discern is mine, -- Sir, full aware, each instant in each day, Of motions of great muscles, once were mine, And thrill of tense thew-knots, and stinging sense Of nerves, nice, capable and delicate: -- Sir, visited each hour by passions great That lack all instrument of utterance, Passion of love -- that hath no arm to curve; Passion of speed -- that hath no limb to stretch; Yea, even that poor feeling of desire Simply to turn me from this side to that, (Which brooded on, into wild passion grows By reason of the impotence that broods) Balked of its end and unachievable Without assistance of some foreign arm, -- Sir, moved and thrilled like any perfect man, O, trebly moved and thrilled, since poor desires That are of small import to happy men Who easily can compass them, to me Become mere hopeless Heavens or actual Hells, -- Sir, strengthened so with manhood’s seasoned soul, I lie in this damned cradle day and night, Still, still, so still, my Lord: less than a babe In powers but more than any man in needs; Dreaming, with open eye, of days when men Have fallen cloven through steel and bone and flesh At single strokes of this -- of that big arm Once wielded aught a mortal arm might wield, Waking a prey to any foolish gnat That wills to conquer my defenceless brow And sit thereon in triumph; hounded ever By small necessities of barest use Which, since I cannot compass them alone, Do snarl my helplessness into mine ear, Howling behind me that I have no hands, And yelping round me that I have no feet: So that my heart is stretched by tiny ills That are so much the larger that I knew In bygone days how trifling small they were: -- Dungeoned in wicker, strong as ’twere in stone; -- Fast chained with nothing, firmer than with steel; -- Captive in limb, yet free in eye and ear, Sole tenant of this puny Hell in Heaven: -- And this -- all this -- because I was a man! For, in the battle -- ha, thou know’st, pale-face! When that the four great English horsemen bore So bloodily on thee, I leapt to front To front of thee -- of thee -- and fought four blades, Thinking to win thee time to snatch thy breath, And, by a rearing fore-hoof stricken down, Mine eyes, through blood, my brain, through pain, -- Midst of a dim hot uproar fainting down -- Were ’ware of thee, far rearward, fleeing! Hound!” Chapter V. Then, as the passion of old Gris Grillon A wave swift swelling, grew to highest height And snapped a foaming consummation forth With salty hissing, came the friar through The mass. A stillness of white faces wrought A transient death on all the hands and breasts Of all the crowd, and men and women stood, One instant, fixed, as they had died upright. Then suddenly Lord Raoul rose up in selle And thrust his dagger straight upon the breast Of Gris Grillon, to pin him to the wall; But ere steel-point met flesh, tall Jacques Grillon Had leapt straight upward from the earth, and in The self-same act had whirled his bow by end With mighty whirr about his head, and struck The dagger with so featly stroke and full That blade flew up and hilt flew down, and left Lord Raoul unfriended of his weapon. Then The fool cried shrilly, ”Shall a knight of France Go stabbing his own cattle?” And Lord Raoul, Calm with a changing mood, sat still and called: ”Here, huntsmen, ’tis my will ye seize the hind That broke my dagger, bind him to this tree And slice both ears to hair-breadth of his head, To be his bloody token of regret That he hath put them to so foul employ As catching villainous breath of strolling priests That mouth at knighthood and defile the Church.” The knife . . . . . [Rest of line lost.] To place the edge . . . [Rest of line lost.] Mary! the blood! it oozes sluggishly, Scorning to come at call of blade so base. Sathanas! He that cuts the ear has left The blade sticking at midway, for to turn And ask the Duke ”if ’tis not done Thus far with nice precision,” and the Duke Leans down to see, and cries, ”’tis marvellous nice, Shaved as thou wert ear-barber by profession!” Whereat one witling cries, ”’tis monstrous fit, In sooth, a shaven-pated priest should have A shaven-eared audience;” and another, ”Give thanks, thou Jacques, to this most gracious Duke That rids thee of the life-long dread of loss Of thy two ears, by cropping them at once; And now henceforth full safely thou may’st dare The powerfullest Lord in France to touch An ear of thine;” and now the knave o’ the knife Seizes the handle to commence again, and saws And . . ha! Lift up thine head, O Henry! Friend! ’Tis Marie, walking midway of the street, As she had just stepped forth from out the gate Of the very, very Heaven where God is, Still glittering with the God-shine on her! Look! And there right suddenly the fool looked up And saw the crowd divided in two ranks. Raoul pale-stricken as a man that waits God’s first remark when he hath died into God’s sudden presence, saw the cropping knave A-pause with knife in hand, the wondering folk All straining forward with round-ringed eyes, And Gris Grillon calm smiling while he prayed The Holy Virgin’s blessing. Down the lane Betwixt the hedging bodies of the crowd, [Part of line lost.] . . . . majesty [Part of line lost.] . . a spirit pacing on the top Of springy clouds, and bore straight on toward The Duke. On him her eyes burned steadily With such gray fires of heaven-hot command As Dawn burns Night away with, and she held Her white forefinger quivering aloft At greatest arm’s-length of her dainty arm, In menace sweeter than a kiss could be And terribler than sudden whispers are That come from lips unseen, in sunlit room. So with the spell of all the Powers of Sense That e’er have swayed the savagery of hot blood Raying from her whole body beautiful, She held the eyes and wills of all the crowd. Then from the numbed hand of him that cut, The knife dropped down, and the quick fool stole in And snatched and deftly severed all the withes Unseen, and Jacques burst forth into the crowd, And then the mass completed the long breath They had forgot to draw, and surged upon The centre where the maiden stood with sound Of multitudes of blessings, and Lord Raoul Rode homeward, silent and most pale and strange, Deep-wrapt in moody fits of hot and cold. (End of Chapter V.) . . . . . . . Song for ”The Jacquerie”. May the maiden, Violet-laden Out of the violet sea, Comes and hovers Over lovers, Over thee, Marie, and me, Over me and thee. Day the stately, Sunken lately Into the violet sea, Backward hovers Over lovers, Over thee, Marie, and me, Over me and thee. Night the holy, Sailing slowly Over the violet sea, Stars uncovers Over lovers, Stars for thee, Marie, and me, Stars for me and thee. Song for ”The Jacquerie”. Betrayal. The sun has kissed the violet sea, And burned the violet to a rose. O Sea! wouldst thou not better be Mere violet still? Who knows? who knows? Well hides the violet in the wood: The dead leaf wrinkles her a hood, And winter’s ill is violet’s good; But the bold glory of the rose, It quickly comes and quickly goes -- Red petals whirling in white snows, Ah me! The sun has burnt the rose-red sea: The rose is turned to ashes gray. O Sea, O Sea, mightst thou but be The violet thou hast been to-day! The sun is brave, the sun is bright, The sun is lord of love and light; But after him it cometh night. Dim anguish of the lonesome dark! -- Once a girl’s body, stiff and stark, Was laid in a tomb without a mark, Ah me! Song for ”The Jacquerie”. The hound was cuffed, the hound was kicked, O’ the ears was cropped, o’ the tail was nicked, (All.) Oo-hoo-o, howled the hound. The hound into his kennel crept; He rarely wept, he never slept. His mouth he always open kept Licking his bitter wound, The hound, (All.) U-lu-lo, HOWLED THE HOUND. A star upon his kennel shone That showed the hound a meat-bare bone. (All.) O hungry was the hound! The hound had but a churlish wit. He seized the bone, he crunched, he bit. ”An thou wert Master, I had slit Thy throat with a huge wound,” Quo’ hound. (All.) O, angry was the hound. The star in castle-window shone, The Master lay abed, alone. (All.) Oh ho, why not? quo’ hound. He leapt, he seized the throat, he tore The Master, head from neck, to floor, And rolled the head i’ the kennel door, And fled and salved his wound, Good hound! (All.) U-lu-lo, HOWLED THE HOUND.
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