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Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

Dennis Shand


THE shadows fall along the wall,
It's night at Haye-la-Serre;
The maidens weave since day grew eve,
The lady's in her chair.
O passing slow the long hours go
With time to think and sigh,
When weary maidens weave beneath
A listless lady's eye.
It's two days that Earl Simon's gone
And it's the second night;
At Haye-la-Serre the lady's fair,
In June the moon is light.
O it's “Maids, ye'll wake till I come back,”
And the hound's i' the lady's chair:
No shuttles fly, the work stands by,
It's play at Haye-la-Serre.
The night is worn, the lamp's forlorn,
The shadows waste and fail;
There's morning air at Haye-la-Serre,
The watching maids look pale.
O all unmarked the birds at dawn
Where drowsy maidens be;
But heard too soon the lark's first tune
Beneath the trysting tree.
“Hold me thy hand, sweet Dennis Shand,”
Says the Lady Joan de Haye,
“That thou to-morrow do forget
To-day and yesterday.
“For many a weary month to come
My lord keeps house with me,
And sighing summer must lie cold
In winter's company.
“And many an hour I'll pass thee by
And see thee and be seen;
Yet not a glance must tell by chance
How sweet these hours have been.
“We've all to fear; there's Maud the spy,
There's Ann whose face I scor'd,
There's Blanch tells Huot everything,
And Huot loves my lord.
“But O and it's my Dennis 'll know,
When my eyes look weary dim,
Who finds the gold for his girdle-fee
And who keeps love for him.”
The morrow's come and the morrow-night,
It's feast at Haye-la-Serre,
And Dennis Shand the cup must hand
Beside Earl Simon's chair.
And still when the high pouring's done
And cup and flagon clink,
Till his lady's lips have touched the brim
Earl Simon will not drink.
But it's, “Joan my wife,” Earl Simon says,
“Your maids are white and wan.”
And it's, “O,” she says, “they've watched the night
With Maud's sick sister Ann.”
But it's, “Lady Joan and Joan my bird,
Yourself look white and wan.”
And it's, “O, I've walked the night myself
To pull the herbs for Ann:
“And some of your knaves were at the hutch
And some in the cellarage,
But the only one that watched with us
Was Dennis Shand your page.
“Look on the boy, sweet honey lord,
How drooped his eyelids be:
The rosy colour's not yet back
That paled in serving me.”
O it's, “Wife, your maids are foolish jades,
And you're a silly chuck,
And the lazy knaves shall get their staves
About their ears for luck:
“But Dennis Shand may take the cup
And pour the wine to his hand;
Wife, thou shalt touch it with thy lips,
And drink thou, Dennis Shand!”

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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