THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS. KING FRANCIS was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,

And one day, as his lions fought, sat looking on the court;

The nobles fill'd the benches, and the ladies in their pride,

And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sigh'd:

And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,

Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below. [jaws; Ramp'd and roar'd the lions, with horrid laughing They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws;

With wallowing might and stifled roar they roll'd

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With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which alway seem'd the same;

She thought, the count my lover is brave as brave can be ;

He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me;

King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;

I'll drop my glove to prove his love; great glory shall be mine.

She dropp'd her glove to prove his love, then look'd at him and smiled; [wild : He bow'd, and in a moment leap'd among the lions The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regain'd the place,

Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face.

"By God!" said Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat;

"No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that."

AN ANGEL IN THE HOUSE. How sweet it were, if without feeble fright, Or dying of the dreadful beauteous sight, An angel came to us, and we could bear To see him issue from the silent air At evening in our room, and bend on ours His divine eyes, and bring us from his bowers News of dear friends, and children who have never Been dead indeed,-as we shall know for ever. Alas! we think not what we daily see About our hearths,-angels, that are to be, Or may be if they will, and we prepare Their souls and ours to meet in happy air,A child, a friend, a wife whose soft heart sings In unison with ours, breeding its future wings.

For there are two heavens, sweet,
Both made of love,-one, inconceivable
Even by the other, so divine it is;
The other, far on this side of the stars,

By men call'd home, when some blest pair are met
As we are now; sometimes in happy talk,
Sometimes in silence, each at gentle task
Of book, or household need, or meditation,
By summer-moon, or curtain'd fire in frost;
And by degrees there come,-not always come,
Yet mostly,-other, smaller inmates there,
Cherubic-faced, yet growing like those two,
Their pride and playmates, not without meek fear,
Since God sometimes to his own cherubim
Takes those sweet cheeks of earth. And so twixt joy,
And love, and tears, and whatsoever pain
Man fitly shares with man, these two grow old;
And if indeed blest thoroughly, they die

In the same spot, and nigh the same good hour,
And setting suns look heavenly on their grave.


A HEAVY Spot the forest looks at first, To one grim shade condemn'd, and sandy thirst, Chequer'd with thorns, and thistles run to seed, Or plashy pools half-cover'd with green weed, About whose sides the swarming insects fry In the hot sun, a noisome company; But, entering more and more, they quit the sand At once, and strike upon a grassy land, From which the trees as from a carpet rise In knolls and clumps, in rich varieties. The knights are for a moment forced to rein Their horses in, which, feeling turf again, Thrill, and curvet, and long to be at large To scour the space, and give the winds a charge, Or pulling tight the bridles as they pass, Dip their warm mouths into the freshening grass: But soon in easy rank, from glade to glade, Proceed they, coasting underneath the shade; Some bearing to the cool their placid brows, Some looking upward through the glimmering Or peering into spots that inwardly [boughs, Open green glooms, and half-prepared to see The lady cross it, that, as stories tell, Ran loud and torn before a knight of hell. Various the trees and passing foliage here,Wild pear, and oak, and dusky juniper, With briony between in trails of white, And ivy, and the suckle's streaky light, And moss, warm gleaming with a sudden mark, Like growths of sunshine left upon the bark; And still the pine, flat-topp'd, and dark, and tall, In lordly right predominant o'er all. Anon the sweet birds, like a sudden throng Of happy children, ring their tangled song From out the greener trees; and then a cloud Of cawing rooks breaks o'er them, gathering loud Like savages at ships; and then again Nothing is heard but their own stately train, Or ring-dove that repeats his pensive plea, Or startled gull up-screaming toward the sea.

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