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But when the third day from the hunt

ing-morn Made a low splendour in the world, and

wings Moved in her ivy, Enid, for she lay With her fair head in the dim-yellow

light, Among the dancing shadows of the birds, Woke and bethought her of her promise

given No later than last eve to Prince GeraintSo bent he seem'd on going the third day, He would not leave her, till her promise

given To ride with him this morning to the

court, And there be made known to the stately

Queen, And there be wedded with all cere

mony. At this she cast her eyes upon her

dress. And thought it never yet had look'd so

mean. For as a leaf in mid-November is To what it was in mid-October, seem'd The dress that now she look'd on to the

dress She look'd on ere the coming of Geraint. And still she look'd, and still the terror

grew Of that strange bright and dreadful thing,

a court, All staring at her in her faded silk : And softly to her own sweet heart she

said :

And Enil fell in longing for a dress All branch'd and flower'd with gold, a

costly gift Of her good mother, given her on the

night Before her birthday, three sad years ago, That night of fire, when Edyrn sackd

their house, And scatter'd all they had to all the

winds: For while the mother show'd it, and the

two Were turning and admiring it, the work To both appear'd so costly, rose a cry That Edyrn's men were on them, and

they fled With little save the jewels they had on, Which being sold and sold had bought

them bread: And Edyrn's men had caught them in

their flight, And placed them in this ruin; and she

wish'd The Prince had found her in her ancient

home; Then let her fancy flit across the past, And roam the goodly places that she

knew; And last bethought her how she used

to watch, Near that old home, a pool of golden

carp; And one was patch'd and blurr'd and

lustreless Among his burnish'd brethren of the

pool; And half asleep she made comparison Of that and these to her own faded self And the gay court, and fell asleep again; And dreamt herself was such a faded

forin Among her burnish'd sisters of the pool; But this was in the garden of a king; And tho' she lay dark in the pool, she

knew That all was bright; that all about were

birds Of sunny plume in gilded trellis-work; That all the turf was rich in plots that

• This noble prince who won our earl

dom back, So splendid in his acts and his attire, Sweet heaven, how much I shall discredit

him! Would he could tarry with

look'd Each like a garnet or a turkis in it; And lords and ladies of the high court


us here
But being so beholden to the Prince,
It were but little grace in any of us,
Bent as he seem'd on going this third

To seek a second favour at his hands.
Yet if he could but tarry a day or two,
Myself would work eye dim, and finger

Far liefer than so much discredit him.'

In silver tissue talking things of state; And children of the King in cloth of

gold Glanced at the doors or gamboll'd down

the walks; And while she thought .They will not

see me,' came A stately queen whose name was Guine

vere, And all the children in their cloth of

gold Ran to her, crying, 'If we have fish at all Let them be gold; and charge the

gardeners now To pick the faded creature from the

pool, And cast it on the mixen that it die.' And therewithal one came and seized on

her, And Enid started waking, with her heart All overshadow'd by the foolish dream, And lo! it was her mother grasping her To get her well awake; and in her hand A suit of bright apparel, which she laid Flat on the couch, and spoke exultingly:

“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

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 ours 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

to shade, 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 Prince 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


Why not? It never yet was worn, I

trow: Look on it, child, and tell me if ye know


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 For when the jousts were ended yester

day, Went Vniol thro' the town, and every

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

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


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 Gwylion made by glamour out

of flowers, And sweeter than the bride of Cassive

laun, 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.'

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 laving 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

But while the women thus rejoiced,

Geraint Woke where he slept in the high hall,

and callid For Enid, and when Yniol made report Of that good mother making Enid gay In such apparel as might well beseem

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 loved, 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 Or 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 Beside your own warm hearth, with, on

her knees, Who knows? another gift of the high

God, Which, maybe, shall have learn’d to lisp

you thanks.'

Now thrice that morning Guinevere

had climb'd The giant tower, from whose high crest,

they say, Men saw the goodly hills of Somerset, And white sails flying on the yellow sea; But not to goodly hill or yellow sea Look'd the fair Queen, but up the vale

of Usk, By the flat meadow, till she saw them

come; And then descending met them at the

gates, Embraced her with all welcome as a

friend, And did her honour as the Prince's bride, And clothed her for her bridals like the

sun; And all that week was old Caerleon gay, For by the hands of Dubric, the high

saint, They twain were wedded with all cere


And this was on the last year's Whit

suntide. But Enid ever kept the faded silk, Remembering how first he came on her, Drest in that dress, and how he loved

her in it, And all her foolish fears about the dress, And all his journey toward her, as him

self Had told her, and their coming to the


And now this morning when he said

to her, * Put on your worst and meanest dress,'

she found And took it, and array'd herself therein.

He spoke: the mother smiled, but

half in tears, Then brought a mantle down and wrapt

her in it, And claspt and kiss'd her, and they rode


GERAINT AND ENID. O PURBLIND race of miserable men, How many among us at this very hour Do forge a life-long trouble for ourselves, By taking true for false, or false for true; Here, thro' the feeble twilight of this

world Groping, how many, until we pass and

reach That other, where we see as we are seen!

To dress her beautifully and keep her

true'And there he broke the sentence in his

heart Abruptly, as a man upon his tongue May break it, when his passion masters

him. And she was ever praying the sweet

heavens To save her dear lord whole from any

wound. And ever in her mind she cast about For that unnoticed failing in herself, Which made him look so cloudy and so

cold; Till the great plover's human whistle

amazed Her heart, and glancing round the waste

she fear'd In every wavering brake an ambus

cade. Then thought again, 'If there be such in

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So fared it with Geraint, who issuing

forth That morning, when they both had got

to bourse, Perhaps because he loved her passion

ately, And felt that tempest brooding round

his heart, Which, if he spoke at all, would break

perforce Upon a head so dear in thunder, said: Not at my side. I charge thee ride

before, Ever a good way on before; and this I charge thee, on thy duty as a wife, Whatever happens, not to speak to me, No, not a word!' and Enid was aghast; And forth they rode, but scarce three

paces on, When crying out, ' Effeminate as I am, I will not right my way with gilded arms, All shall be iron;' he loosed a mighty

purse, Hung at his belt, and hurl'd it toward

the squire. So the last sight that Enid had of home Was all the marble threshold flashing,

strown With gold and scatter'd coinage, and

the squire Chafing his shoulder: then he cried

again, *To the wilds !' and Enid leading down

the tracks Thro' which he bade her lead him on,

they past The marches, and by bandit-haunted

holdis, Gray swamps and pools, waste places of

the hern, And wildernesses, perilous paths, they

rode: Round was their pace at first, but slack

en'd soon: A stranger meeting them had surely

thought They rode so slowly and they look'd so

pale, That each had suffer'd some exceeding

wrong. For he was ever saying to himself, .( I that wasted time to tend upon her, To compass her with sweet observances,

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Then Enid ponder'd in her heart, ani

said : . I will go back a little to my lord, And I will tell him all their caitiff talk; For, be he wroth even to slaying me, Far liefer by his dear hand had I die, Than that my lord should suffer loss or


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