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I never got hurt when I was in Morocco doing all the horse riding and my own stunts. But on the last day on the last shot I slid off my horse and landed on my bottom. I did not get hurt but it was very embarrassing.

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I did not get what I desired

I got
What I did not desire
I did not get
What I desired
I became frustrated
Started complaining
Agony increased
Irritability mounted
My behavior
Kept changing
Became worse
Day by day
My concentration
Lapsed
Till I quit working
I went into a shell
Life became a hell
My mother
Guessed my pain
Asked me
Do I remember?
What I got
Even without asking
Thank god for
What he gave me
Have little patience
Remain calm
Keep working hard
There can be delay
But success
Never stays away
God gives to those
Who have?
Faith and trust in him
Pray and live like
A good human being
I realized my weaknesses
Followed the path
My mother
Had shown to me
I became happy
In what I could get
Never cribbed again
For what I could not get
11-09-2011
1489-61-09-11

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How Did You Get Here?

The good news?
We are not that close to the bottom,
As expected.
The bad news?
We are not that close to the bottom,
As expected.

'So...
Where are we?
And why is that both good and bad news? '

Not knowing where you are can be motivating.
Forgetting who you are and how you got there,
Is total darkness.
That's where ignorance will leave you,
In total darkness!

'So...
What does that have to do with anything? '

Turn off your flashlight!

'I will be in darkness.'

How did you get here?

'I followed you! '

And you believed I knew what I was doing?
With loss of light and without eye contact?

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Such Is Life

When it comes to women
my life has never been that well.
I used to advertise myself
and on my tee shirt wrote.
(Front) Help me please.
(Back) Take me home I
make a good bed warmer.
Sadly, no takers came forward
and I wondered why
after all I was always good
at making a hot water bottle.
Such if life I guess.

Then I thought if you got it, flaunt it
and the police could not stop laughing
when they arrested me,
but they still gave me six months
for my try.
Finally, I managed to take a girl home with me,
but the parrot escaped and landed in her lap.
She did not like feathered friends
and she never came back after that.
Such is life I guess.

Nothing I did seem to work
in attracting a mate.
I went to funerals hoping to catch a widow’s eye,
but when one thought I was a corpse,
and tried to put me in the box with her departed,
I gave up after that.
I just could not understand why
women did not like me
after all I dressed like them
with a skirt and pinnie.
Such is life I guess.

I advertised in the newspapers
and my advert read
a man in need of a woman.
He is clever and witty
and is house trained as well.
I only had one reply
from a woman who said
I am pretty and petite
and I am only twenty-four.

We married in the month of June
and everything went well until it came to go to bed.
First, she unscrewed her leg and then her arm.
She then took out her glass eye
and her false teeth as well.
When she finished scraping off the make-up
my ravishing beauty of twenty-four
looked like an old hag of ninety-four.

Such is life such is my life.
Now I am left with a wife in the bed
and most of her bit on the floor.

26 November 2009

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Blinded

Just an old friend coming over
Now to visit you and
That's what I've become
I let myself in
Though I know I'm not supposed to but
I never know when I'm done
And I see you fogging up the mirror
Vapor around your body glistens in the shower
And I wanna stay right here
And go down on you for an hour
Or stay and let the day just fade away
In a wild dedication
Take the moment of hope
And let it run
Never look back
At all the damage we have done now
To each other
To each other
To each other
But when I see you
It's like I'm staring down the sun
And I'm blinded
There's nothing left to do
and still I see you
I never believe that things that they happen for a reason
And they never go as planned
I wanted to thank you for a vision that was lost that you returned
But you're past where you understand
Now her appetite is blown
Little else is known
'cept she's a little angry
Grabs a towel, looks away
The heat fades with the day
And I fall down on what to say
oh something clean, let me be clever
Hey oh well, whatever
But that's not what I mean
Where we're been has left us burnt still
I wont turn now from a fight
You know I'll never win
cos when I see you
you know all the things I've done
and I am blinded
Like I'm staring down the sun
When I see you
When I see you
When I see you
It's like I'm staring down the sun
Yeah!
(Hey! I'm Blinded!)
Time it passes and it tells us what we're left with
We become the things we do
Me, I'm a fool spent from defiance, yeah you got me but
I didn't give up on you
But the rest is not a t-shirt or a swan song, no
Heat is born again and
It's not easy being me
When I can't promise I will mend
Or bend when you believe
That we are fixed now from our birth
And I've just fallen back to earth
Still you know I'll try again
Cause I believe that we are lucky
We are golden
We have stolen manners in the days when we were one
So when I see you
In spite of all that we've become
I'm still blinded
But I'm still staring down the sun
When I see you
When I see you
When I see you
When I see you
Oh yeah
I'm still staring down the sun
Oh yeah
I'm still staring down the sun
Oh yeah
Well I'm still staring down the sun
I'm blinded
When I see you

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My Mama Did Not Raise Any Fools

They wished to dig up dirt.
But I was the one,
To reveal that first.
I knew I was far too deep for them.
And while they dug a hole...
Seeking something dark untold,
I was producing an excellence unknown.
To surround and enclose them in!
My mama did not raise any fools.
Although I admit...
I enjoy the act of it!

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All The Lovin' And Hurtin'

Do you ever get past the pain you go through?
When you give all you can and you can't understand
Why a dream won't come true?
It's a one sided romance you can't undo.
When you do All The Lovin' And The Hurting, too.
You can't take it back once you give your heart.
Trying not to recall how you did it all is the hardest part.
And you can't change the reason you feel like a fool.
'Cause you did All The Lovin' And The Hurting, too.
That's the price you pay for doing more than your share.
When you love enough for both of you, no one else has to care.
And though it's all over, you look back on the truth.
You did All The Lovin' And The Hurting, too.
And though it's all over, it's not over for you.
You're still doing All The Lovin' And The Hurting, too.
You did All The Lovin' And The Hurting, too.

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Alankar(Decor) -64

A Visit TO A Seal Colony(Villanelle)

The Villanelle is:
1.metered, primarily iambic pentameter.
2.written in a total of 19 lines, made up of 5 tercets and ending with a quatrain.
3.L1 and L3 of the first stanza, alternate as the refrain in the following tercets.


It was indeed a grand picnic event
Tho' hard by wheels in rains on long rough road
Seaward to see the seals our long intent

Up blocked cut crossed in flown spillways paths wet
Did not get back but all enjoyed pursued
It was indeed a grand picnic event

Sun light sinking so rushed and reached our spot
Oh God! we saw nature's settings-fulfilled
Seaward to see the seals our long intent

Ah, pups and moms and dads so brown so great
And seals clumping snoozing along accrued
It was indeed a grand picnic event

Furry some rocked risky some raged stepped out
When saw a seal in haste closer-fulfilled
Seaward to see the seals our long intent

Pictures, photos bagful no need to get
For those scenic great seals our hearts well stored
It was indeed a grand picnic event
Seaward to see the seals our long intent

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All the blessings which you pray to obtain hereafter could be yours today, if you did not deny them to yourself.

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You Don’t Need A Golden Leaf/Ne Treba Ti Zlatni List

To measure the depth of an autumn heart
When stone frozen you stand
Doing all the meditations of life
In stead of just living
When stuck in those harmless concepts
You do the tender death’s task
Make sure it never comes
To remind you of life a-void
Created in a self crater
Of your thought solely self defined

Ne treba to zlatni list
Da izmjeriš jednog jesenjeg srca
Kad kameno zaledjen stojiš
Odradjujuci sve meditacije o životu
Umjesto da naprosto živis
Kad zaglavljen u onim bezazlenim konceptima
Obavljaš zadatak nježne smrti
Pobrini se da se ne vrati
Da te podsjeti na život iz-bjeg
Stvoren u krateru sopstva
Tvoje misli iskljucivo sobom odredene

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Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody.

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sonnet 36 - When we met first and loved, I did not build

XXXVI

When we met first and loved, I did not build
Upon the event with marble. Could it mean
To last, a love set pendulous between
Sorrow and sorrow? Nay, I rather thrilled,
Distrusting every light that seemed to gild
The onward path, and feared to overlean
A finger even. And, though I have grown serene
And strong since then, I think that God has willed
A still renewable fear . . . O love, O troth . . .
Lest these enclasped hands should never hold,
This mutual kiss drop down between us both
As an unowned thing, once the lips being cold.
And Love, be false! if he, to keep one oath,
Must lose one joy, by his life's star foretold.

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When I Was A Child I Believed

When I was a child
a very young child
I looked at the world

of adults in discussion
their patterns of interaction
their comments reactions

a very strange world
differences between what adults said
and what child were told

their masks worn
and I thought about what
they did and why?

Questions were asked
about what you wanted
to be when you grew up?

The work question was important,
but never asked was how well you
would do this work, and for who?

They were often silent or suddenly angry
‘children were to be seen but not heard’
the news to be listened to in serious silence.

First talk repeat their sounds
to smiles laughter
then don’t talk be silent listen?

First stand walk walk how far
then don’t walk stay wait
where your told don’t go away?

When adults met sometimes they would
start to talk a lot fast all at once not one
at a time and laugh a lot talk walk funny?

Why not be on their best behaviour
nice to others as they told children to be?
Why not choose to be good not bad?

Years later I would smile a lot why not
it costs nothing to smile and often others.
Would catch your smile and smile also?

Even when sad smiling was a good thing to do
to appreciate all you have been given.
Even though you could not always play with

what was given or go outside or play with friends.
Especially on those boring rainy days.
So many games were not allowed if you got dirty?

As a teenager smilie would be a nick name.
That smile given freely to people who needed
to smile but chose to be miserable instead!

It never cost anything to be nice to people either!
To give to help had its own record, it felt good!
Happy people are the nice people to be around!

I believed happiness was the most precious gift,
a person could give another, and if sad then to give,
happiness you did not have; was even more important.

Once in my early twenties I was surprised,
a friend said you cannot be that good,
no one is that good, but I knew I was not good.

At twenty-two when about to travel overseas,
my uncle said you think everyone is your friend,
be careful, everyone you meet; is not your friend.

Now I am older and sadly wiser,
yet I still know that to treat a stranger,
as a friend not a treat is still better.

That to say hello with a smile,
and wish people well,
is still a wonderful thing to do.

I still believe it is a better thing to do.
And when kindness is meet with hostility?
I feel pity for the hurt who choose to hurt.

It is not the right way.
It is not God’s way.
It is still not my way.


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When I Was One-and-Twenty

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
"The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue."
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

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When I was boy and life was young (ghazal)

There was a strange kind of living time
a kind of experiencing joy time

when I was boy and the world was still young,
when you for me you had lost your meeting time

all of joy, our sweet love was away flung,
as to our love it was the end of time

but never in shame was my head low hung,
and for friendship I could always find time

but of your friends I did not count among,
with years we did not notice passing time

while you did not know where you do belong
we were ready for the effect of time

but still life was like a great kind of song
and now for us, for life there is no time.

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When It Was Over, You Did Not Tell Me Where It Really Ended

you show me a scar
in your heart,
you assure yourself it was once the wound
of things that ended
years ago

of the wound
that i inflicted

you had anger and
now when we meet again
you are smiling
you now
have happiness beside him and your children

i look deeper inside your eyes
showing you also my scars
in my own way of telling you about
my loneliness for years
accumulating like layers of mud and
rocks

this loneliness
that never ends like doors that always open
to the night skies
without stars

on the surface of my skin
lies a wound that never heals
you caused it too
but i did not tell you

let them believe that i am the guilty party
the fault of your earth
the murderer convicted but was never heard

i smile at you this day
i am happy on this casual meeting

it will be the last
i am dressed but i am not prepared to go anywhere
on the surface
how can you see what is on this deep
sinking eyes?

the sharks, the pointed rock, the deaths on the ocean floors
the corpses there rotting
unearthed unnamed.

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(I Remember) When Suicide Was Just a Joke

Do you know what I’d give
What I got, what I’d give to go back?
Do you know that I’d give
Up my life just as easy as anything?
And we pass and your voice
Like a death grip on my heart attack
It’s so superficial
Such a f**king w***e don’t care about anything

[Chorus]
Hate is a word that describes what this
In a hall emptied up I’m a name on a list
Of a laundry bag filled with glass I punch with my fist
I remember
When suicide was just a joke

I believed what you said
You believed that I’d always be clean
A fresh slate of my arms
Couldn’t take the days that I hurt for you
Maybe if you weren’t so cruel
I wouldn’t ‘ve had to feel the pain
And if you weren’t so good lookin’
Maybe I wouldn’t want to die

[Chorus]
When suicide was just a joke [X2]

Well everybody knows you’re the one to call
When the girls get ugly on the back of the wall
You’re a polysaccharidal leaching germ to my brain
The camera sees the one thing leaving

Do you know what it is
To make stop dropp offs of misery?
And when I tell you I feel
Do you know that I’d really rather go?
A mixed media chart
Tracing cold hard lies of my history
Yes I scream in the night
Because of you, I’ve never felt so low

[Chorus]

When suicide was just a joke
(I remember)
When suicide was just a joke
(I remember)
When suicide was just a joke
[Spoken: This life was so funny]
When suicide was just a joke
[Take back your f**king things]
When suicide was just a joke
[I remember all your lies]
When suicide was just a joke

(fade out)

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I Did Not Die (Butterfly Vision)

I drempt I was a butterfly
In a hurricane;
The world was the storm,
I just wanted to fly...
The wind controlled
But could not contain me
For I would not quit -
Trees and mountains moved
All was tattered and torn
From the earth's core
To the surface of the moon...
Still I would not quit,
My desire to live, too deep
My heart too sure, too strong...
For years the savage storm raged
On and on...
My wings bent and nearly broken
The suns light gave out, ceasing to shine
Black smoke hid the sky
In that tremulous passing time...
And yet, I refused to die.
Houses crashed
Hearts broke
Indeed, life itself did churn and choke,
All so very lost,
For those who count such cost...
But, not I; No,
I refused to die!
My spirit too strong
My dear dream drempt for so long,
I would not stop
My hope I could not drop
I flew steadily on,
My goal the Western horizon
Where the sun sets bright
And the winds find calm
In the night... and now,
The storm has gone
The dusk so clear
The stars of vision draw ever near
Beckon hope's true dawn,
Sunrise is assured.
Dreams finally realized,
I kept my dream
I would not let it go,
I did not die.
Now, forever freely
May I fly...
I am the air
The wind
The sky!
On my wings shines the sun,
Says it to me: ' Welcome home
Little butterfly, well done.
You never sold your dream, so now
Freedom and lasting love
Are forever yours,
Never again
Will your wings be broken or torn,
By any storm. '

From thus dream
I did there awake,
With a feeling light as air
That nothing has been able to shake.
Now when things around get crazy
And my mind, like my heart
Feels so hurt, its purpose rather hazy,
I close my eyes... and let my soul go
To that far, inner place, where once again,
I am the butterfly
Whom shall never ever die.

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Patrick White

When I Was A Child

When I was a child
I was uprooted like a weed of lightning
and cast like a dead snake
on a festering heap of garbage.

I was angry before I knew
what anger was;
and ever since
radical dismissals
have cored the diamond drills
of their vacuity into my heart,
sudden abandonments
for no reason; the wind
slamming the door on my fingers,
rejection repealing
the flawed doctrine of my skin.

Pariah, poet, exile, outlaw, heretic,
I was passed a shard
of the broken jug of the moon
like an ostrakon
and then the stern angels
painted an X in my own blood
on the door of my house
to ward me off like plague.

I was a child. I was hurt. I was broken.
I became a law
and enforced my acceptance
with the authority of my rage.

Turned inside out
like a dirty sock
or a black hole,
and every second-hand future
the donors ever tried out on me
to see if they could find one
that fit like a straitjacket,
a catastrophe,
I put my mouth to the sky
like a glassblower
to enlarge a space of my own over me
like a planet
rummaging through a wardrobe of atmospheres
until I could give my secret consent
to the stars that shone down upon me
like a wounded bull
in a labyrinth of alleys
and were so inhumanly far away
I was purged like a soiled surgical utensil
in the intensity of their heat.

I was wholly and serenely me.
I found acceptance
in the delicate rainfall
of their enlightened indifference
and made up new constellations
to substitute for the family tree
that had been ripped open
like a zipper of lightning
and left to stand alone on the hill,
a smouldering taboo.

I traced my bloodlines back
to the elemental anvils and forges of iron
that hammered me out
like the relentless metal of a sword
in their fire wombs
and endowed me
with the magmatic pump of a volcanic heart.

I lived alone
in the torrential eras of the early earth,
and swam through noxious seas
of sulphur and methane,
shedding my gills
like the petals of a rose
for scales and horns and feathers and claws
and the accoutrements of armour
I wore like the shale of impossible rivers.

I was raised on an island in a sea
that tore its own eyes out
storm after storm.
I had a mother.
She suffered.
I had brothers and sisters.
They were degraded by alcohol and lies.

And I have had children of my own since
but they have gone out into the world alone
and the miles don't smile much between us.

And I have laboured for years
to achieve the unacceptable
to turn the reek and rot of the swamp
into a dress rehearsal of waterlilies
getting ready to go on tour
among the stars
to manage something true and beautiful
that might prove this mauling darkness
that prowls all around me
like my own predatory intelligence, wrong.

I have laid my bumbling tribute,
this eloquence of eyes,
at the foot of the blood-stained altars of the world
as if the giving were the last protest
of a compensating heart
trying to crush the agonized ore
of its ancient deficiency,
the lunar slag of my childhood,
into the glowing wine of a mystic metal
as supple as blood,
as cool and rare
as water at night in the desert.

Like a mad hermit
scraped and tanned
by my own austerities
in these godless wastes
where even a man alone
is a crowd
that trespasses on the solitude.

I have flayed my skin with comets
and waited for millennia
like the afterlife of a pyramid
for these demonic ferocities
of salt and sand
to release me like a river,
to open my fist like a hand
and show me the cities I've founded
along the banks of my hemorrhaging lifeline.

But now I realize
that it's all been just a boy's dream,
an angry child
trying to fly a kite
in the roaring furnace of his heart
just to prove it could be done,
just to prove
by contesting the implausible
he was just like everyone.

Now let the soft ash
bury him gently in his dream,
and the lightning that rooted in his eyes
be inscribed on the night sky
like a neon epitaph.

Let him not fall
like a dropp of spite
from the tongue of the leaf
that is urged like the feather of a green wing
by the summoning stars
that have gathered around
the empty lifeboat of his grave
to enshrine his ashes with theirs.

Let him pass like a squall of light,
an urgency of the night
that shook the tree to its roots
until it raved like a woman in ecstasy
with forbidden galas of wonder.

Now I know
for all that he suffered,
for all that he bore like an ox
under the whips of the shadowmasters
that yoked him to a wheel without a road,
his heart, a rusty oil drum
glutted like a backyard incinerator
with the half-burnt pages
of the obsolete encyclopedia
he committed to the flames like his life,
he was only a black snowflake,
an arctic error
in a glacial blizzard of misery,
a manger of fire in a hovel of ice
with nothing to burn but himself.

And I shall miss him like an era,
the igneous ripening of his last eclipse
sloughed like a skin of the moon
and honour him with tears
that will fall like eyes
from the dragon's watershed.

Was there ever a poet or sage or fool
who wasn't verified by their failure?

But it's as clear as cruelty
that he must go,
that the private constellations
he hung like spiderwebs and flies
in the corners of the room
must be swept by the trees
like dust across the distant threshold of the hills,
and the sail of a starless sky
rise like a black dove
from the boat of his hands
and surveying the eyeless abyss before it
never come back.

When I first opened my eyes,
there was a darkness in the room
that outshone the light,
and when I opened my mouth
to give voice to the dreams of the dead,
for all that I have sung and said,
it was only the wind
swinging like a lonely child
on an unlocked gate.

And lastly I opened my heart,
the deepest bunker of my heart,
as if my pulse were a stranger knocking
on the outside to be let in
and I let her in
as if I played host to the world,
and she taught me how to leave.

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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, through the feeble twilight of this world
Groping, how many, until we pass and reach
That other, where we see as we are seen!

So fared it with Geraint, who issuing forth
That morning, when they both had got to horse,
Perhaps because he loved her passionately,
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 fight my way with gilded arms,
All shall be iron;' he loosed a mighty purse,
Hung at his belt, and hurled it toward the squire.
So the last sight that Enid had of home
Was all the marble threshold flashing, strown
With gold and scattered coinage, and the squire
Chafing his shoulder: then he cried again,
'To the wilds!' and Enid leading down the tracks
Through which he bad her lead him on, they past
The marches, and by bandit-haunted holds,
Gray swamps and pools, waste places of the hern,
And wildernesses, perilous paths, they rode:
Round was their pace at first, but slackened soon:
A stranger meeting them had surely thought
They rode so slowly and they looked so pale,
That each had suffered some exceeding wrong.
For he was ever saying to himself,
'O I that wasted time to tend upon her,
To compass her with sweet observances,
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 feared
In ever wavering brake an ambuscade.
Then thought again, 'If there be such in me,
I might amend it by the grace of Heaven,
If he would only speak and tell me of it.'

But when the fourth part of the day was gone,
Then Enid was aware of three tall knights
On horseback, wholly armed, behind a rock
In shadow, waiting for them, caitiffs all;
And heard one crying to his fellow, 'Look,
Here comes a laggard hanging down his head,
Who seems no bolder than a beaten hound;
Come, we will slay him and will have his horse
And armour, and his damsel shall be ours.'

Then Enid pondered in her heart, and 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 shame.'

Then she went back some paces of return,
Met his full frown timidly firm, and said;
'My lord, I saw three bandits by the rock
Waiting to fall on you, and heard them boast
That they would slay you, and possess your horse
And armour, and your damsel should be theirs.'

He made a wrathful answer: 'Did I wish
Your warning or your silence? one command
I laid upon you, not to speak to me,
And thus ye keep it! Well then, look--for now,
Whether ye wish me victory or defeat,
Long for my life, or hunger for my death,
Yourself shall see my vigour is not lost.'

Then Enid waited pale and sorrowful,
And down upon him bare the bandit three.
And at the midmost charging, Prince Geraint
Drave the long spear a cubit through his breast
And out beyond; and then against his brace
Of comrades, each of whom had broken on him
A lance that splintered like an icicle,
Swung from his brand a windy buffet out
Once, twice, to right, to left, and stunned the twain
Or slew them, and dismounting like a man
That skins the wild beast after slaying him,
Stript from the three dead wolves of woman born
The three gay suits of armour which they wore,
And let the bodies lie, but bound the suits
Of armour on their horses, each on each,
And tied the bridle-reins of all the three
Together, and said to her, 'Drive them on
Before you;' and she drove them through the waste.

He followed nearer; ruth began to work
Against his anger in him, while he watched
The being he loved best in all the world,
With difficulty in mild obedience
Driving them on: he fain had spoken to her,
And loosed in words of sudden fire the wrath
And smouldered wrong that burnt him all within;
But evermore it seemed an easier thing
At once without remorse to strike her dead,
Than to cry 'Halt,' and to her own bright face
Accuse her of the least immodesty:
And thus tongue-tied, it made him wroth the more
That she COULD speak whom his own ear had heard
Call herself false: and suffering thus he made
Minutes an age: but in scarce longer time
Than at Caerleon the full-tided Usk,
Before he turn to fall seaward again,
Pauses, did Enid, keeping watch, behold
In the first shallow shade of a deep wood,
Before a gloom of stubborn-shafted oaks,
Three other horsemen waiting, wholly armed,
Whereof one seemed far larger than her lord,
And shook her pulses, crying, 'Look, a prize!
Three horses and three goodly suits of arms,
And all in charge of whom? a girl: set on.'
'Nay,' said the second, 'yonder comes a knight.'
The third, 'A craven; how he hangs his head.'
The giant answered merrily, 'Yea, but one?
Wait here, and when he passes fall upon him.'

And Enid pondered in her heart and said,
'I will abide the coming of my lord,
And I will tell him all their villainy.
My lord is weary with the fight before,
And they will fall upon him unawares.
I needs must disobey him for his good;
How should I dare obey him to his harm?
Needs must I speak, and though he kill me for it,
I save a life dearer to me than mine.'

And she abode his coming, and said to him
With timid firmness, 'Have I leave to speak?'
He said, 'Ye take it, speaking,' and she spoke.

'There lurk three villains yonder in the wood,
And each of them is wholly armed, and one
Is larger-limbed than you are, and they say
That they will fall upon you while ye pass.'

To which he flung a wrathful answer back:
'And if there were an hundred in the wood,
And every man were larger-limbed than I,
And all at once should sally out upon me,
I swear it would not ruffle me so much
As you that not obey me. Stand aside,
And if I fall, cleave to the better man.'

And Enid stood aside to wait the event,
Not dare to watch the combat, only breathe
Short fits of prayer, at every stroke a breath.
And he, she dreaded most, bare down upon him.
Aimed at the helm, his lance erred; but Geraint's,
A little in the late encounter strained,
Struck through the bulky bandit's corselet home,
And then brake short, and down his enemy rolled,
And there lay still; as he that tells the tale
Saw once a great piece of a promontory,
That had a sapling growing on it, slide
From the long shore-cliff's windy walls to the beach,
And there lie still, and yet the sapling grew:
So lay the man transfixt. His craven pair
Of comrades making slowlier at the Prince,
When now they saw their bulwark fallen, stood;
On whom the victor, to confound them more,
Spurred with his terrible war-cry; for as one,
That listens near a torrent mountain-brook,
All through the crash of the near cataract hears
The drumming thunder of the huger fall
At distance, were the soldiers wont to hear
His voice in battle, and be kindled by it,
And foemen scared, like that false pair who turned
Flying, but, overtaken, died the death
Themselves had wrought on many an innocent.

Thereon Geraint, dismounting, picked the lance
That pleased him best, and drew from those dead wolves
Their three gay suits of armour, each from each,
And bound them on their horses, each on each,
And tied the bridle-reins of all the three
Together, and said to her, 'Drive them on
Before you,' and she drove them through the wood.

He followed nearer still: the pain she had
To keep them in the wild ways of the wood,
Two sets of three laden with jingling arms,
Together, served a little to disedge
The sharpness of that pain about her heart:
And they themselves, like creatures gently born
But into bad hands fallen, and now so long
By bandits groomed, pricked their light ears, and felt
Her low firm voice and tender government.

So through the green gloom of the wood they past,
And issuing under open heavens beheld
A little town with towers, upon a rock,
And close beneath, a meadow gemlike chased
In the brown wild, and mowers mowing in it:
And down a rocky pathway from the place
There came a fair-haired youth, that in his hand
Bare victual for the mowers: and Geraint
Had ruth again on Enid looking pale:
Then, moving downward to the meadow ground,
He, when the fair-haired youth came by him, said,
'Friend, let her eat; the damsel is so faint.'
'Yea, willingly,' replied the youth; 'and thou,
My lord, eat also, though the fare is coarse,
And only meet for mowers;' then set down
His basket, and dismounting on the sward
They let the horses graze, and ate themselves.
And Enid took a little delicately,
Less having stomach for it than desire
To close with her lord's pleasure; but Geraint
Ate all the mowers' victual unawares,
And when he found all empty, was amazed;
And 'Boy,' said he, 'I have eaten all, but take
A horse and arms for guerdon; choose the best.'
He, reddening in extremity of delight,
'My lord, you overpay me fifty-fold.'
'Ye will be all the wealthier,' cried the Prince.
'I take it as free gift, then,' said the boy,
'Not guerdon; for myself can easily,
While your good damsel rests, return, and fetch
Fresh victual for these mowers of our Earl;
For these are his, and all the field is his,
And I myself am his; and I will tell him
How great a man thou art: he loves to know
When men of mark are in his territory:
And he will have thee to his palace here,
And serve thee costlier than with mowers' fare.'

Then said Geraint, 'I wish no better fare:
I never ate with angrier appetite
Than when I left your mowers dinnerless.
And into no Earl's palace will I go.
I know, God knows, too much of palaces!
And if he want me, let him come to me.
But hire us some fair chamber for the night,
And stalling for the horses, and return
With victual for these men, and let us know.'

'Yea, my kind lord,' said the glad youth, and went,
Held his head high, and thought himself a knight,
And up the rocky pathway disappeared,
Leading the horse, and they were left alone.

But when the Prince had brought his errant eyes
Home from the rock, sideways he let them glance
At Enid, where she droopt: his own false doom,
That shadow of mistrust should never cross
Betwixt them, came upon him, and he sighed;
Then with another humorous ruth remarked
The lusty mowers labouring dinnerless,
And watched the sun blaze on the turning scythe,
And after nodded sleepily in the heat.
But she, remembering her old ruined hall,
And all the windy clamour of the daws
About her hollow turret, plucked the grass
There growing longest by the meadow's edge,
And into many a listless annulet,
Now over, now beneath her marriage ring,
Wove and unwove it, till the boy returned
And told them of a chamber, and they went;
Where, after saying to her, 'If ye will,
Call for the woman of the house,' to which
She answered, 'Thanks, my lord;' the two remained
Apart by all the chamber's width, and mute
As two creatures voiceless through the fault of birth,
Or two wild men supporters of a shield,
Painted, who stare at open space, nor glance
The one at other, parted by the shield.

On a sudden, many a voice along the street,
And heel against the pavement echoing, burst
Their drowse; and either started while the door,
Pushed from without, drave backward to the wall,
And midmost of a rout of roisterers,
Femininely fair and dissolutely pale,
Her suitor in old years before Geraint,
Entered, the wild lord of the place, Limours.
He moving up with pliant courtliness,
Greeted Geraint full face, but stealthily,
In the mid-warmth of welcome and graspt hand,
Found Enid with the corner of his eye,
And knew her sitting sad and solitary.
Then cried Geraint for wine and goodly cheer
To feed the sudden guest, and sumptuously
According to his fashion, bad the host
Call in what men soever were his friends,
And feast with these in honour of their Earl;
'And care not for the cost; the cost is mine.'

And wine and food were brought, and Earl Limours
Drank till he jested with all ease, and told
Free tales, and took the word and played upon it,
And made it of two colours; for his talk,
When wine and free companions kindled him,
Was wont to glance and sparkle like a gem
Of fifty facets; thus he moved the Prince
To laughter and his comrades to applause.
Then, when the Prince was merry, asked Limours,
'Your leave, my lord, to cross the room, and speak
To your good damsel there who sits apart,
And seems so lonely?' 'My free leave,' he said;
'Get her to speak: she doth not speak to me.'
Then rose Limours, and looking at his feet,
Like him who tries the bridge he fears may fail,
Crost and came near, lifted adoring eyes,
Bowed at her side and uttered whisperingly:

'Enid, the pilot star of my lone life,
Enid, my early and my only love,
Enid, the loss of whom hath turned me wild--
What chance is this? how is it I see you here?
Ye are in my power at last, are in my power.
Yet fear me not: I call mine own self wild,
But keep a touch of sweet civility
Here in the heart of waste and wilderness.
I thought, but that your father came between,
In former days you saw me favourably.
And if it were so do not keep it back:
Make me a little happier: let me know it:
Owe you me nothing for a life half-lost?
Yea, yea, the whole dear debt of all you are.
And, Enid, you and he, I see with joy,
Ye sit apart, you do not speak to him,
You come with no attendance, page or maid,
To serve you--doth he love you as of old?
For, call it lovers' quarrels, yet I know
Though men may bicker with the things they love,
They would not make them laughable in all eyes,
Not while they loved them; and your wretched dress,
A wretched insult on you, dumbly speaks
Your story, that this man loves you no more.
Your beauty is no beauty to him now:
A common chance--right well I know it--palled--
For I know men: nor will ye win him back,
For the man's love once gone never returns.
But here is one who loves you as of old;
With more exceeding passion than of old:
Good, speak the word: my followers ring him round:
He sits unarmed; I hold a finger up;
They understand: nay; I do not mean blood:
Nor need ye look so scared at what I say:
My malice is no deeper than a moat,
No stronger than a wall: there is the keep;
He shall not cross us more; speak but the word:
Or speak it not; but then by Him that made me
The one true lover whom you ever owned,
I will make use of all the power I have.
O pardon me! the madness of that hour,
When first I parted from thee, moves me yet.'

At this the tender sound of his own voice
And sweet self-pity, or the fancy of it,
Made his eye moist; but Enid feared his eyes,
Moist as they were, wine-heated from the feast;
And answered with such craft as women use,
Guilty or guiltless, to stave off a chance
That breaks upon them perilously, and said:

'Earl, if you love me as in former years,
And do not practise on me, come with morn,
And snatch me from him as by violence;
Leave me tonight: I am weary to the death.'

Low at leave-taking, with his brandished plume
Brushing his instep, bowed the all-amorous Earl,
And the stout Prince bad him a loud good-night.
He moving homeward babbled to his men,
How Enid never loved a man but him,
Nor cared a broken egg-shell for her lord.

But Enid left alone with Prince Geraint,
Debating his command of silence given,
And that she now perforce must violate it,
Held commune with herself, and while she held
He fell asleep, and Enid had no heart
To wake him, but hung o'er him, wholly pleased
To find him yet unwounded after fight,
And hear him breathing low and equally.
Anon she rose, and stepping lightly, heaped
The pieces of his armour in one place,
All to be there against a sudden need;
Then dozed awhile herself, but overtoiled
By that day's grief and travel, evermore
Seemed catching at a rootless thorn, and then
Went slipping down horrible precipices,
And strongly striking out her limbs awoke;
Then thought she heard the wild Earl at the door,
With all his rout of random followers,
Sound on a dreadful trumpet, summoning her;
Which was the red cock shouting to the light,
As the gray dawn stole o'er the dewy world,
And glimmered on his armour in the room.
And once again she rose to look at it,
But touched it unawares: jangling, the casque
Fell, and he started up and stared at her.
Then breaking his command of silence given,
She told him all that Earl Limours had said,
Except the passage that he loved her not;
Nor left untold the craft herself had used;
But ended with apology so sweet,
Low-spoken, and of so few words, and seemed
So justified by that necessity,
That though he thought 'was it for him she wept
In Devon?' he but gave a wrathful groan,
Saying, 'Your sweet faces make good fellows fools
And traitors. Call the host and bid him bring
Charger and palfrey.' So she glided out
Among the heavy breathings of the house,
And like a household Spirit at the walls
Beat, till she woke the sleepers, and returned:
Then tending her rough lord, though all unasked,
In silence, did him service as a squire;
Till issuing armed he found the host and cried,
'Thy reckoning, friend?' and ere he learnt it, 'Take
Five horses and their armours;' and the host
Suddenly honest, answered in amaze,
'My lord, I scarce have spent the worth of one!'
'Ye will be all the wealthier,' said the Prince,
And then to Enid, 'Forward! and today
I charge you, Enid, more especially,
What thing soever ye may hear, or see,
Or fancy (though I count it of small use
To charge you) that ye speak not but obey.'

And Enid answered, 'Yea, my lord, I know
Your wish, and would obey; but riding first,
I hear the violent threats you do not hear,
I see the danger which you cannot see:
Then not to give you warning, that seems hard;
Almost beyond me: yet I would obey.'

'Yea so,' said he, 'do it: be not too wise;
Seeing that ye are wedded to a man,
Not all mismated with a yawning clown,
But one with arms to guard his head and yours,
With eyes to find you out however far,
And ears to hear you even in his dreams.'

With that he turned and looked as keenly at her
As careful robins eye the delver's toil;
And that within her, which a wanton fool,
Or hasty judger would have called her guilt,
Made her cheek burn and either eyelid fall.
And Geraint looked and was not satisfied.

Then forward by a way which, beaten broad,
Led from the territory of false Limours
To the waste earldom of another earl,
Doorm, whom his shaking vassals called the Bull,
Went Enid with her sullen follower on.
Once she looked back, and when she saw him ride
More near by many a rood than yestermorn,
It wellnigh made her cheerful; till Geraint
Waving an angry hand as who should say
'Ye watch me,' saddened all her heart again.
But while the sun yet beat a dewy blade,
The sound of many a heavily-galloping hoof
Smote on her ear, and turning round she saw
Dust, and the points of lances bicker in it.
Then not to disobey her lord's behest,
And yet to give him warning, for he rode
As if he heard not, moving back she held
Her finger up, and pointed to the dust.
At which the warrior in his obstinacy,
Because she kept the letter of his word,
Was in a manner pleased, and turning, stood.
And in the moment after, wild Limours,
Borne on a black horse, like a thunder-cloud
Whose skirts are loosened by the breaking storm,
Half ridden off with by the thing he rode,
And all in passion uttering a dry shriek,
Dashed down on Geraint, who closed with him, and bore
Down by the length of lance and arm beyond
The crupper, and so left him stunned or dead,
And overthrew the next that followed him,
And blindly rushed on all the rout behind.
But at the flash and motion of the man
They vanished panic-stricken, like a shoal
Of darting fish, that on a summer morn
Adown the crystal dykes at Camelot
Come slipping o'er their shadows on the sand,
But if a man who stands upon the brink
But lift a shining hand against the sun,
There is not left the twinkle of a fin
Betwixt the cressy islets white in flower;
So, scared but at the motion of the man,
Fled all the boon companions of the Earl,
And left him lying in the public way;
So vanish friendships only made in wine.

Then like a stormy sunlight smiled Geraint,
Who saw the chargers of the two that fell
Start from their fallen lords, and wildly fly,
Mixt with the flyers. 'Horse and man,' he said,
'All of one mind and all right-honest friends!
Not a hoof left: and I methinks till now
Was honest--paid with horses and with arms;
I cannot steal or plunder, no nor beg:
And so what say ye, shall we strip him there
Your lover? has your palfrey heart enough
To bear his armour? shall we fast, or dine?
No?--then do thou, being right honest, pray
That we may meet the horsemen of Earl Doorm,
I too would still be honest.' Thus he said:
And sadly gazing on her bridle-reins,
And answering not one word, she led the way.

But as a man to whom a dreadful loss
Falls in a far land and he knows it not,
But coming back he learns it, and the loss
So pains him that he sickens nigh to death;
So fared it with Geraint, who being pricked
In combat with the follower of Limours,
Bled underneath his armour secretly,
And so rode on, nor told his gentle wife
What ailed him, hardly knowing it himself,
Till his eye darkened and his helmet wagged;
And at a sudden swerving of the road,
Though happily down on a bank of grass,
The Prince, without a word, from his horse fell.

And Enid heard the clashing of his fall,
Suddenly came, and at his side all pale
Dismounting, loosed the fastenings of his arms,
Nor let her true hand falter, nor blue eye
Moisten, till she had lighted on his wound,
And tearing off her veil of faded silk
Had bared her forehead to the blistering sun,
And swathed the hurt that drained her dear lord's life.
Then after all was done that hand could do,
She rested, and her desolation came
Upon her, and she wept beside the way.

And many past, but none regarded her,
For in that realm of lawless turbulence,
A woman weeping for her murdered mate
Was cared as much for as a summer shower:
One took him for a victim of Earl Doorm,
Nor dared to waste a perilous pity on him:
Another hurrying past, a man-at-arms,
Rode on a mission to the bandit Earl;
Half whistling and half singing a coarse song,
He drove the dust against her veilless eyes:
Another, flying from the wrath of Doorm
Before an ever-fancied arrow, made
The long way smoke beneath him in his fear;
At which her palfrey whinnying lifted heel,
And scoured into the coppices and was lost,
While the great charger stood, grieved like a man.

But at the point of noon the huge Earl Doorm,
Broad-faced with under-fringe of russet beard,
Bound on a foray, rolling eyes of prey,
Came riding with a hundred lances up;
But ere he came, like one that hails a ship,
Cried out with a big voice, 'What, is he dead?'
'No, no, not dead!' she answered in all haste.
'Would some of your people take him up,
And bear him hence out of this cruel sun?
Most sure am I, quite sure, he is not dead.'

Then said Earl Doorm: 'Well, if he be not dead,
Why wail ye for him thus? ye seem a child.
And be he dead, I count you for a fool;
Your wailing will not quicken him: dead or not,
Ye mar a comely face with idiot tears.
Yet, since the face IS comely--some of you,
Here, take him up, and bear him to our hall:
An if he live, we will have him of our band;
And if he die, why earth has earth enough
To hide him. See ye take the charger too,
A noble one.'
He spake, and past away,
But left two brawny spearmen, who advanced,
Each growling like a dog, when his good bone
Seems to be plucked at by the village boys
Who love to vex him eating, and he fears
To lose his bone, and lays his foot upon it,
Gnawing and growling: so the ruffians growled,
Fearing to lose, and all for a dead man,
Their chance of booty from the morning's raid,
Yet raised and laid him on a litter-bier,
Such as they brought upon their forays out
For those that might be wounded; laid him on it
All in the hollow of his shield, and took
And bore him to the naked hall of Doorm,
(His gentle charger following him unled)
And cast him and the bier in which he lay
Down on an oaken settle in the hall,
And then departed, hot in haste to join
Their luckier mates, but growling as before,
And cursing their lost time, and the dead man,
And their own Earl, and their own souls, and her.
They might as well have blest her: she was deaf
To blessing or to cursing save from one.

So for long hours sat Enid by her lord,
There in the naked hall, propping his head,
And chafing his pale hands, and calling to him.
Till at the last he wakened from his swoon,
And found his own dear bride propping his head,
And chafing his faint hands, and calling to him;
And felt the warm tears falling on his face;
And said to his own heart, 'She weeps for me:'
And yet lay still, and feigned himself as dead,
That he might prove her to the uttermost,
And say to his own heart, 'She weeps for me.'

But in the falling afternoon returned
The huge Earl Doorm with plunder to the hall.
His lusty spearmen followed him with noise:
Each hurling down a heap of things that rang
Against his pavement, cast his lance aside,
And doffed his helm: and then there fluttered in,
Half-bold, half-frighted, with dilated eyes,
A tribe of women, dressed in many hues,
And mingled with the spearmen: and Earl Doorm
Struck with a knife's haft hard against the board,
And called for flesh and wine to feed his spears.
And men brought in whole hogs and quarter beeves,
And all the hall was dim with steam of flesh:
And none spake word, but all sat down at once,
And ate with tumult in the naked hall,
Feeding like horses when you hear them feed;
Till Enid shrank far back into herself,
To shun the wild ways of the lawless tribe.
But when Earl Doorm had eaten all he would,
He rolled his eyes about the hall, and found
A damsel drooping in a corner of it.
Then he remembered her, and how she wept;
And out of her there came a power upon him;
And rising on the sudden he said, 'Eat!
I never yet beheld a thing so pale.
God's curse, it makes me mad to see you weep.
Eat! Look yourself. Good luck had your good man,
For were I dead who is it would weep for me?
Sweet lady, never since I first drew breath
Have I beheld a lily like yourself.
And so there lived some colour in your cheek,
There is not one among my gentlewomen
Were fit to wear your slipper for a glove.
But listen to me, and by me be ruled,
And I will do the thing I have not done,
For ye shall share my earldom with me, girl,
And we will live like two birds in one nest,
And I will fetch you forage from all fields,
For I compel all creatures to my will.'

He spoke: the brawny spearman let his cheek
Bulge with the unswallowed piece, and turning stared;
While some, whose souls the old serpent long had drawn
Down, as the worm draws in the withered leaf
And makes it earth, hissed each at other's ear
What shall not be recorded--women they,
Women, or what had been those gracious things,
But now desired the humbling of their best,
Yea, would have helped him to it: and all at once
They hated her, who took no thought of them,
But answered in low voice, her meek head yet
Drooping, 'I pray you of your courtesy,
He being as he is, to let me be.'

She spake so low he hardly heard her speak,
But like a mighty patron, satisfied
With what himself had done so graciously,
Assumed that she had thanked him, adding, 'Yea,
Eat and be glad, for I account you mine.'

She answered meekly, 'How should I be glad
Henceforth in all the world at anything,
Until my lord arise and look upon me?'

Here the huge Earl cried out upon her talk,
As all but empty heart and weariness
And sickly nothing; suddenly seized on her,
And bare her by main violence to the board,
And thrust the dish before her, crying, 'Eat.'

'No, no,' said Enid, vext, 'I will not eat
Till yonder man upon the bier arise,
And eat with me.' 'Drink, then,' he answered. 'Here!'
(And filled a horn with wine and held it to her,)
'Lo! I, myself, when flushed with fight, or hot,
God's curse, with anger--often I myself,
Before I well have drunken, scarce can eat:
Drink therefore and the wine will change thy will.'

'Not so,' she cried, 'by Heaven, I will not drink
Till my dear lord arise and bid me do it,
And drink with me; and if he rise no more,
I will not look at wine until I die.'

At this he turned all red and paced his hall,
Now gnawed his under, now his upper lip,
And coming up close to her, said at last:
'Girl, for I see ye scorn my courtesies,
Take warning: yonder man is surely dead;
And I compel all creatures to my will.
Not eat nor drink? And wherefore wail for one,
Who put your beauty to this flout and scorn
By dressing it in rags? Amazed am I,
Beholding how ye butt against my wish,
That I forbear you thus: cross me no more.
At least put off to please me this poor gown,
This silken rag, this beggar-woman's weed:
I love that beauty should go beautifully:
For see ye not my gentlewomen here,
How gay, how suited to the house of one
Who loves that beauty should go beautifully?
Rise therefore; robe yourself in this: obey.'

He spoke, and one among his gentlewomen
Displayed a splendid silk of foreign loom,
Where like a shoaling sea the lovely blue
Played into green, and thicker down the front
With jewels than the sward with drops of dew,
When all night long a cloud clings to the hill,
And with the dawn ascending lets the day
Strike where it clung: so thickly shone the gems.

But Enid answered, harder to be moved
Than hardest tyrants in their day of power,
With life-long injuries burning unavenged,
And now their hour has come; and Enid said:

'In this poor gown my dear lord found me first,
And loved me serving in my father's hall:
In this poor gown I rode with him to court,
And there the Queen arrayed me like the sun:
In this poor gown he bad me clothe myself,
When now we rode upon this fatal quest
Of honour, where no honour can be gained:
And this poor gown I will not cast aside
Until himself arise a living man,
And bid me cast it. I have griefs enough:
Pray you be gentle, pray you let me be:
I never loved, can never love but him:
Yea, God, I pray you of your gentleness,
He being as he is, to let me be.'

Then strode the brute Earl up and down his hall,
And took his russet beard between his teeth;
Last, coming up quite close, and in his mood
Crying, 'I count it of no more avail,
Dame, to be gentle than ungentle with you;
Take my salute,' unknightly with flat hand,
However lightly, smote her on the cheek.

Then Enid, in her utter helplessness,
And since she thought, 'He had not dared to do it,
Except he surely knew my lord was dead,'
Sent forth a sudden sharp and bitter cry,
As of a wild thing taken in the trap,
Which sees the trapper coming through the wood.

This heard Geraint, and grasping at his sword,
(It lay beside him in the hollow shield),
Made but a single bound, and with a sweep of it
Shore through the swarthy neck, and like a ball
The russet-bearded head rolled on the floor.
So died Earl Doorm by him he counted dead.
And all the men and women in the hall
Rose when they saw the dead man rise, and fled
Yelling as from a spectre, and the two
Were left alone together, and he said:

'Enid, I have used you worse than that dead man;
Done you more wrong: we both have undergone
That trouble which has left me thrice your own:
Henceforward I will rather die than doubt.
And here I lay this penance on myself,
Not, though mine own ears heard you yestermorn--
You thought me sleeping, but I heard you say,
I heard you say, that you were no true wife:
I swear I will not ask your meaning in it:
I do believe yourself against yourself,
And will henceforward rather die than doubt.'

And Enid could not say one tender word,
She felt so blunt and stupid at the heart:
She only prayed him, 'Fly, they will return
And slay you; fly, your charger is without,
My palfrey lost.' 'Then, Enid, shall you ride
Behind me.' 'Yea,' said Enid, 'let us go.'
And moving out they found the stately horse,
Who now no more a vassal to the thief,
But free to stretch his limbs in lawful fight,
Neighed with all gladness as they came, and stooped
With a low whinny toward the pair: and she
Kissed the white star upon his noble front,
Glad also; then Geraint upon the horse
Mounted, and reached a hand, and on his foot
She set her own and climbed; he turned his face
And kissed her climbing, and she cast her arms
About him, and at once they rode away.

And never yet, since high in Paradise
O'er the four rivers the first roses blew,
Came purer pleasure unto mortal kind
Than lived through her, who in that perilous hour
Put hand to hand beneath her husband's heart,
And felt him hers again: she did not weep,
But o'er her meek eyes came a happy mist
Like that which kept the heart of Eden green
Before the useful trouble of the rain:
Yet not so misty were her meek blue eyes
As not to see before them on the path,
Right in the gateway of the bandit hold,
A knight of Arthur's court, who laid his lance
In rest, and made as if to fall upon him.
Then, fearing for his hurt and loss of blood,
She, with her mind all full of what had chanced,
Shrieked to the stranger 'Slay not a dead man!'
'The voice of Enid,' said the knight; but she,
Beholding it was Edyrn son of Nudd,
Was moved so much the more, and shrieked again,
'O cousin, slay not him who gave you life.'
And Edyrn moving frankly forward spake:
'My lord Geraint, I greet you with all love;
I took you for a bandit knight of Doorm;
And fear not, Enid, I should fall upon him,
Who love you, Prince, with something of the love
Wherewith we love the Heaven that chastens us.
For once, when I was up so high in pride
That I was halfway down the slope to Hell,
By overthrowing me you threw me higher.
Now, made a knight of Arthur's Table Round,
And since I knew this Earl, when I myself
Was half a bandit in my lawless hour,
I come the mouthpiece of our King to Doorm
(The King is close behind me) bidding him
Disband himself, and scatter all his powers,
Submit, and hear the judgment of the King.'

'He hears the judgment of the King of kings,'
Cried the wan Prince; 'and lo, the powers of Doorm
Are scattered,' and he pointed to the field,
Where, huddled here and there on mound and knoll,
Were men and women staring and aghast,
While some yet fled; and then he plainlier told
How the huge Earl lay slain within his hall.
But when the knight besought him, 'Follow me,
Prince, to the camp, and in the King's own ear
Speak what has chanced; ye surely have endured
Strange chances here alone;' that other flushed,
And hung his head, and halted in reply,
Fearing the mild face of the blameless King,
And after madness acted question asked:
Till Edyrn crying, 'If ye will not go
To Arthur, then will Arthur come to you,'
'Enough,' he said, 'I follow,' and they went.
But Enid in their going had two fears,
One from the bandit scattered in the field,
And one from Edyrn. Every now and then,
When Edyrn reined his charger at her side,
She shrank a little. In a hollow land,
From which old fires have broken, men may fear
Fresh fire and ruin. He, perceiving, said:

'Fair and dear cousin, you that most had cause
To fear me, fear no longer, I am changed.
Yourself were first the blameless cause to make
My nature's prideful sparkle in the blood
Break into furious flame; being repulsed
By Yniol and yourself, I schemed and wrought
Until I overturned him; then set up
(With one main purpose ever at my heart)
My haughty jousts, and took a paramour;
Did her mock-honour as the fairest fair,
And, toppling over all antagonism,
So waxed in pride, that I believed myself
Unconquerable, for I was wellnigh mad:
And, but for my main purpose in these jousts,
I should have slain your father, seized yourself.
I lived in hope that sometime you would come
To these my lists with him whom best you loved;
And there, poor cousin, with your meek blue eyes
The truest eyes that ever answered Heaven,
Behold me overturn and trample on him.
Then, had you cried, or knelt, or prayed to me,
I should not less have killed him. And so you came,--
But once you came,--and with your own true eyes
Beheld the man you loved (I speak as one
Speaks of a service done him) overthrow
My proud self, and my purpose three years old,
And set his foot upon me, and give me life.
There was I broken down; there was I saved:
Though thence I rode all-shamed, hating the life
He gave me, meaning to be rid of it.
And all the penance the Queen laid upon me
Was but to rest awhile within her court;
Where first as sullen as a beast new-caged,
And waiting to be treated like a wolf,
Because I knew my deeds were known, I found,
Instead of scornful pity or pure scorn,
Such fine reserve and noble reticence,
Manners so kind, yet stately, such a grace
Of tenderest courtesy, that I began
To glance behind me at my former life,
And find that it had been the wolf's indeed:
And oft I talked with Dubric, the high saint,
Who, with mild heat of holy oratory,
Subdued me somewhat to that gentleness,
Which, when it weds with manhood, makes a man.
And you were often there about the Queen,
But saw me not, or marked not if you saw;
Nor did I care or dare to speak with you,
But kept myself aloof till I was changed;
And fear not, cousin; I am changed indeed.'

He spoke, and Enid easily believed,
Like simple noble natures, credulous
Of what they long for, good in friend or foe,
There most in those who most have done them ill.
And when they reached the camp the King himself
Advanced to greet them, and beholding her
Though pale, yet happy, asked her not a word,
But went apart with Edyrn, whom he held
In converse for a little, and returned,
And, gravely smiling, lifted her from horse,
And kissed her with all pureness, brother-like,
And showed an empty tent allotted her,
And glancing for a minute, till he saw her
Pass into it, turned to the Prince, and said:

'Prince, when of late ye prayed me for my leave
To move to your own land, and there defend
Your marches, I was pricked with some reproof,
As one that let foul wrong stagnate and be,
By having looked too much through alien eyes,
And wrought too long with delegated hands,
Not used mine own: but now behold me come
To cleanse this common sewer of all my realm,
With Edyrn and with others: have ye looked
At Edyrn? have ye seen how nobly changed?
This work of his is great and wonderful.
His very face with change of heart is changed.
The world will not believe a man repents:
And this wise world of ours is mainly right.
Full seldom doth a man repent, or use
Both grace and will to pick the vicious quitch
Of blood and custom wholly out of him,
And make all clean, and plant himself afresh.
Edyrn has done it, weeding all his heart
As I will weed this land before I go.
I, therefore, made him of our Table Round,
Not rashly, but have proved him everyway
One of our noblest, our most valorous,
Sanest and most obedient: and indeed
This work of Edyrn wrought upon himself
After a life of violence, seems to me
A thousand-fold more great and wonderful
Than if some knight of mine, risking his life,
My subject with my subjects under him,
Should make an onslaught single on a realm
Of robbers, though he slew them one by one,
And were himself nigh wounded to the death.'

So spake the King; low bowed the Prince, and felt
His work was neither great nor wonderful,
And past to Enid's tent; and thither came
The King's own leech to look into his hurt;
And Enid tended on him there; and there
Her constant motion round him, and the breath
Of her sweet tendance hovering over him,
Filled all the genial courses of his blood
With deeper and with ever deeper love,
As the south-west that blowing Bala lake
Fills all the sacred Dee. So past the days.

But while Geraint lay healing of his hurt,
The blameless King went forth and cast his eyes
On each of all whom Uther left in charge
Long since, to guard the justice of the King:
He looked and found them wanting; and as now
Men weed the white horse on the Berkshire hills
To keep him bright and clean as heretofore,
He rooted out the slothful officer
Or guilty, which for bribe had winked at wrong,
And in their chairs set up a stronger race
With hearts and hands, and sent a thousand men
To till the wastes, and moving everywhere
Cleared the dark places and let in the law,
And broke the bandit holds and cleansed the land.

Then, when Geraint was whole again, they past
With Arthur to Caerleon upon Usk.
There the great Queen once more embraced her friend,
And clothed her in apparel like the day.
And though Geraint could never take again
That comfort from their converse which he took
Before the Queen's fair name was breathed upon,
He rested well content that all was well.
Thence after tarrying for a space they rode,
And fifty knights rode with them to the shores
Of Severn, and they past to their own land.
And there he kept the justice of the King
So vigorously yet mildly, that all hearts
Applauded, and the spiteful whisper died:
And being ever foremost in the chase,
And victor at the tilt and tournament,
They called him the great Prince and man of men.
But Enid, whom her ladies loved to call
Enid the Fair, a grateful people named
Enid the Good; and in their halls arose
The cry of children, Enids and Geraints
Of times to be; nor did he doubt her more,
But rested in her falty, till he crowned
A happy life with a fair death, and fell
Against the heathen of the Northern Sea
In battle, fighting for the blameless King.

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When She Did Not Like It Anymore

it is easy
she pretends the leaves are all dead
in the middle of spring
when he comes
she did not like it anymore

it is easy
she pretends there are no more flowers
that it is time for mourning
when he comes
she is dressed in black and
silence
her lace around her lips
veiled
and stony.

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