Sir Henry Taylor
Athulf And Ethilda - Poem by Sir Henry Taylor
The princess with that merry child Prince Guy:
He loves me well, and made her stop and sit,
And sate upon her knee, and it so chanced
That in his various chatter he denied
That I could hold his hand within my own
So closely as to hide it: this being tried
Was proved against him; he insisted then
I could not by his royal sister's hand
Do likewise. Starting at the random word,
And dumb with trepidation, there I stood
Some seconds as bewitched; then I looked up,
And in her face beheld an orient flush
Of half-bewildered pleasure: from which trance
She with an instant case resumed herself,
And frankly, with a pleasant laugh, held out
Her arrowy hand.
I thought it trembled as it lay in mine,
But yet her looks were clear, direct, and free.
And said that she felt nothing.
- And what felt'st thou?
- A sort of swarming, curling, tremulous tumbling,
As though there were an ant-hill in my bosom.
I said I was ashamed. - Sidroc, you smile,
If at my folly, well! But if you smile,
Suspicious of a taint upon my heart,
Wide is your error, and you never loved.
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