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They opened a hole in the wire-work
Across it, and dropped there a firework,
And fled; one's heart's beating redoubled;
A pause, while the pit's mouth was troubled,
The blackness and silence so utter,

By the firework's slow sparkling and sputter;
Then earth in a sudden contortion

Gave out to our gaze her abortion !

Such a brute! Were I friend Clement Marot
(Whose experience of nature's but narrow,
And whose faculties move in no small mist
When he versifies David the Psalmist)
I should study that brute to describe you
Illum Juda Leonem de Tribu!

One's whole blood grew curdling and creepy
To see the black mane, vast and heapy,
The tail in the air stiff and straining,
The wide eyes, nor waxing nor waning,
As over the barrier which bounded
His platform and us who surrounded
The barrier, they reached and they rested

On the

space

stead :

that might stand him in best

For who knew, he thought, what the amaze

ment,

The eruption of clatter and blaze meant,
And if, in this minute of wonder,

No outlet, mid lightning and thunder,
Lay broad, and, his shackles all shivered,
The lion at last was delivered?

Ay, that was the open sky o'erhead!

And you saw by the flash on his forehead,
By the hope in those eyes wide and steady,
He was leagues in the desert already,
Driving the flocks up the mountain,
Or catlike couched hard by the fountain
To waylay the date-gathering negress :
So guarded he entrance or egress.

"How he stands!" quoth the King: “"we may well swear,

No novice, we've won our spurs elsewhere, And so can afford the confession,

We exercise wholesome discretion

In keeping aloof from his threshold ;

Once hold you, those jaws want no fresh hold,

Their first would too pleasantly purloin
The visitor's brisket or sirloin :

But who's he would prove so foolhardy?
Not the best man of Marignan, pardie!"

The sentence no sooner was uttered,
Than over the rails a glove fluttered,
Fell close to the lion, and rested :
The dame 't was, who flung it and jested
With life so, De Lorge had been wooing
For months past, he sat there pursuing
His suit, weighing out with nonchalance
Fine speeches like gold from a balance.

Sound the trumpet, no true knight's a tar

rier!

De Lorge made one leap at the barrier,

Walked straight to the glove, — while the

lion

Ne'er moved, kept his far-reaching eye on
The palm-tree-edged desert-spring's sapphire,
And the musky oiled skin of the Kaffir, -
Picked it up, and as calmly retreated,
Leaped back where the lady was seated,
And full in the face of its owner

Flung the glove, —

"Your heart's queen, you dethrone her?

So should I," - cried the King,

mere vanity,

Not love, set that task to humanity!"

66

"'t was

Lords and ladies alike turned with loathing
From such a proved wolf in sheep's clothing.
Not so, I; for I caught an expression
In her brow's undisturbed self-possession
Amid the Court's scoffing and merriment, —
As if from no pleasing experiment
She rose, yet of pain not much heedful

So long as the process was needful, -
As if she had tried in a crucible,

To what "speeches like gold," were reducible,

And, finding the finest prove copper,
Felt the smoke in her face was but proper;
To know what she had not to trust to,
Was worth all the ashes, and dust too.
She went out mid hooting and laughter;
Clement Marot stayed; I followed after,
And asked, as a grace, what it all meant,
If she wished not the rash deed's recalment ?
"For I,”—so I spoke, -

66

am a Poet:

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Human nature, behooves that I know it!"

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She told me, "Too long had I heard

Of the deed proved alone by the word :

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