I SAID 'The dark deed matters nought,
And this green gown becomes her well;
For phrase and rhyme oft hide the thought,
As pearls are hid 'twixt shell and shell.
'My Lady Lyric, go your way,
Dance daintily around the globe,
Nor mind what carping critics say,
Nor whence you got your shining robe.'
I have a wardrobe, quaintly hung
With brave brocade and gleaming silk,
Plumed hats, and collars richly strung,
With gems outgiving fire and milk.
No thief may raid its rare contents,
No years decay, nor moth devour;
It is not lavender that scents
The air, nor is it any flower.
Full fifty poets, day and night,
In mirth and pain and dark despair
Sat weaving for the world's delight
The wondrous fabrics shining there.
'My peasant maid shall seem a queen,'
I said, 'if she be rich-arrayed';
And in another's cloak of green
I dressed the shoulders of my maid.