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The first of all the rout was sound,
"Oh what do ye bring out of the fight, Thus hid beneath these boughs?" "Thy conquering guest returns to-night, And yet shall not carouse, Queen, in thy house.”
"Uncover ye his face," she said.
His sword was broken in his hand
His bloodied banner crossed his mouth Where he had kissed her name.
"O east, and west, and north, and south, Fair flew my web, for shame, To guide Death's aim!"
The tints were shredded from his shield
"Oh, of all gifts that I could yield,
Then stepped a damsel to her side,
That night they hung above her bed,
That night the passion of her grief
And once she woke with a clear mind.
Her soul lay in the scrip; to find
They shook far off with palace sport
A Queen's death now: as now they shake To gusts in chapel dim,
Hung where she sleeps, not seen to wake, (Carved lovely white and slim),
With them by him.
Stand up to-day, still armed, with her,
The lists are set in Heaven to-day,
Not tithed with days' and years' decease
But with imperishable peace
THE WHITE SHIP.
HENRY I. OF ENGLAND.-25TH NOVEMBER 1120.
[Ballads and Sonnets 1881.-"Composed chiefly in 1880; some scraps of it had however been written «<long ago», as my brother told me." Memoir pg. 369.]
By none but me can the tale be told,
(Lands are swayed by a King on a throne.)
King Henry held it as life's whole gain
'Twas so in my youth I heard men say, And my old age calls it back to-day.
King Henry of England's realm was he,
The times had changed when on either coast "Clerkly Harry" was all his boast.
Of ruthless strokes full many an one
And when to the chase his court would crowd,
But all the chiefs of the English land
Had knelt and kissed the Prince's hand.
And next with his son he sailed to France
And every baron in Normandy
'Twas sworn and sealed, and the day had come When the King and the Prince might journey home:
For Christmas cheer is to home hearts dear,
Stout Fitz-Stephen came to the King,-
And he held to the King, in all men's sight,
"Liege Lord! my father guided the ship From whose boat your father's foot did slip When he caught the English soil in his grip,
"And cried: "By this clasp I claim command O'er every rood of English land!'
"He was borne to the realm you rule o'er now In that ship with the archer carved at her prow:
"And thither I'll bear, an it be my due, Your father's son and his grandson too.
"The famed White Ship is mine in the bay, From Harfleur's harbour she sails to-day,
"With masts fair-pennoned as Norman spears And with fifty well-tried mariners."
Quoth the King: "My ships are chosen each one, But I'll not say nay to Stephen's son.
"My son and daughter and fellowship Shall cross the water in the White Ship."
The King set sail with the eve's south wind,
The Prince and all his, a princely show,
With noble knights and with ladies fair,
And I Berold was the meanest hind
The Prince was a lawless shameless youth; From his father's loins he sprang without ruth: