Should in their sisters love be blithe and glad,
When twas their plan to coax her by degrees
To some high noble and his olive-trees.
And many times they bit their lips alone,
Before they fixd upon a surest way
To make the youngster for his crime atone;
And at the last, these men of cruel clay
Cut Mercy with a sharp knife to the bone;
For they resolved in some forest dim
To kill Lorenzo, and there bury him.
Into the sun-rise, oer the balustrade
Of the garden-terrace, towards him they bent
Their footing through the dews; and to him said,
You seem there in the quiet of content,
Lorenzo, and we are most loth to invade
Calm speculation; but if you are wise,
Bestride your steed while cold is in the skies.
To spur three leagues towards the Apennine;
Come down, we pray thee, ere the hot sun count
His dewy rosary on the eglantine.
Lorenzo, courteously as he was wont,
Bowd a fair greeting to these serpents whine,
And went in haste, to get in readiness,
With belt, and spur, and bracing huntsmans dress.
Each third step did he pause, and listend oft
If he could hear his ladys matin-song,
Or the light whisper of her footstep soft;
And as he thus over his passion hung,
He heard a laugh full musical aloft;
When, looking up, he saw her features bright
Smile through an in-door lattice all delight.
Lest I should miss to bid thee a good morrow:
Ah! what if I should lose thee, when so fain
I am to stifle all the heavy sorrow
Of a poor three hours absence? but well gain
Out of the amorous dark what day doth borrow.
Good bye! Ill soon be back.Good bye! said she:
And as he went she chanted merrily.
Rode past fair Florence, to where Arnos stream
Gurgles through straitend banks, and still doth fan
Itself with dancing bulrush, and the bream
Keeps head against the freshets. Sick and wan
The brothers faces in the ford did seem,
Lorenzos flush with love. They passd the water
Into a forest quiet for the slaughter.
There in that forest did his great love cease;
Ah! when a soul doth thus its freedom win,
It aches in lonelinessis ill at peace
As the break-covert blood-hounds of such sin:
They dippd their swords in the water, and did tease
Their horses homeward, with convulsed spur,
Each richer by his being a murderer.
Lorenzo had taen ship for foreign lands,
Because of some great urgency and need
In their affairs, requiring trusty hands.
Poor girl! put on thy stifling widows weed,
And scape at once from Hopes accursed bands;
To-day thou wilt not see him, nor to-morrow,
And the next day will be a day of sorrow.
Sorely she wept until the night came on,
And then, instead of love, O misery!
She brooded oer the luxury alone:
His image in the dusk she seemd to see,
And to the silence made a gentle moan,
Spreading her perfect arms upon the air,
And on her couch low murmuring, Where? O where?
Its fiery vigil in her single breast;
She fretted for the golden hour, and hung
Upon the time with feverish unrest
Not long; for soon into her heart a throng
Of higher occupants, a richer zest,
Came tragic; passion not to be subdued,
And sorrow for her love in travels rude.
The breath of Winter comes from far away,
And the sick west continually bereaves
Of some gold tinge, and plays a roundelay
Of death among the bushes and the leaves,
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