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heart. You're too light-headed for my company.
Is it with all your heart ? then I'll not go ;
Or else I'll take you with me.
Your bower lacks tendance; it is strewn with leaves ;
The autumn winds have broken in, alas !
And many a flower is hanging down its head
Since the rude kissing of those wild intruders.
Come, come with me; the dew is on the grass ;
The snails are running races on the walks ;
And at this merry pace, an inch an hour,
We shall o'ertake some laggard. Snail, good day!
I like you well, but will not marry you.
I'll tell you why. Your eyes are in your horns.
SCENE V.-The House Van Artevelde.
PHILIP VAN ARTEVELDE and FATHER JOHN of HEDA.
I never look'd that he should live so long.
He was a man of that unsleeping spirit,
He seem'd to live by miracle: his food
Was glory, which was poison to his mind
And peril to his body. He was one
Of many thousand such that die betimes,
Whose story is a fragment, known to few.
Then comes the man who has the luck to live,
And he's a prodigy. Compute the chances,
And deem there's ne'er a one in dangerous times
Who wins the race of glory, but than him
A thousand men more gloriously endow'd
course; a thousand others Have had their fortunes founder'd by a chance, Whilst lighter barks push'd past them; to whom add A smaller tally, of the singular few Who, gifted with predominating powers, Bear yet a temperate will and keep the peace. The world knows nothing of its greatest men.
Had Launoy lived he might have pass'd for great,
But not by conquests in the Franc of Bruges.
The sphere, the scale of circumstance, is all
Which makes the wonder of the many. Still
An ardent soul was Launoy's, and his deeds
Were such as dazzled many a Flemish dame.
There'll some bright eyes in Ghent be dimm'd for him.
They will be dim and then be bright again.
All is in busy, stirring, stormy motion,
And many a cloud drifts by and none sojourns.
Lightly is life laid down amongst us now,
And lightly is death mourn'd: a dusk star blinks
As fleets the rack, but look again, and lo!
In a wide solitude of wintry sky
Twinkles the re-illuminated star,
And all is out of sight that smirch'd the ray.
We have not time to mourn.
The worse for us! He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.
Eternity mourns that. 'Tis an ill cure
For life's worst ills, to have no time to feel them.
Where sorrow's held intrusive and turn'd out,
There wisdom will not enter, nor true power,
Nor aught that dignifies humanity.
Yet such the barrenness of busy life!
From shelf to shelf Ambition clambers up
To reach the naked'st pinnacle of all,
Whilst Magnanimity, absolved from toil,
Reposes self-included at the base.
But this thou know'st.
Else had I little learn'd From my much learn'd preceptor.
Enter the Page.
What, Sir Page ! Hast thou been idling in the market-place? Canst tell whose chattels have been sold to-day For payment of the White-Hoods ?
Sir, I cannot; 'Tis at the house Van Merestyn I've been To see the Lady Adriana.
Her! Well, and what said the damsel ?
Sir, not much ; For Mistress Clara was her visiter, And she said everything; she said it all.
What was it that ye spake of ?
When I came
The talk was all of chivalry and love.
And presently arrived the Lord of Occo.
And what was talk'd of then?
Oh! still the same. The ladies praised him mightily for deeds Whose fame, they said, effulgent far and wide, Eclipsed Sir Roland and Sir Oliver.
Now, Father, mark you that; hearts soft as wax These damsels would be thought to bear about, Yet ever is the bloodiest knight the best !
It is most true. Full many a dame I've known
Who'd faint and sicken at the sight of blood,
And shriek and wring her hands and rend her hair
To see her lord brought wounded to the door ;
And many a one I've known to pine with dread
Of such mishap or worse,- lie down in fear,
The night-mare sole sad partner of her bed,
Rise up in horror to recount bad dreams
And seek to witches to interpret them,-
This oft I've known, but never knew I one
Who'd be content her lord should live at home
In love and christian charity and peace.
And wherefore so ? Because the women's heaven
Is vanity, and that is over all.
What's firiest still finds favour in their eyes ;
What's noisiest keeps the entrance of their ears.
The noise and blaze of arms enchants them most :
Wit, too, and wisdom, that's admired of all,
They can admire—the glory, not the thing.
An unreflected light did never yet
Dazzle the vision feminine. For me,
Nor noise nor blaze attend my peaceful path ;
Nor, were it otherwise, should I desire
That noise and blaze of mine won any heart.
Wherefore it is that I would fain possess,
If any, that which David wept,-a love
Passing the love of women.
Deem you not There
be one who so transcends her sex In loving, as to match the son of Saul ?
It may be I have deem'd or dream'd of such.
But what know I? We figure to ourselves
The thing we like, and then we build it up
As chance will have it, on the rock or sand :
For thought is tired of wandering o'er the world,
And home-bound fancy runs her bark ashore.
Sir, here is Master Van den Bosch below
Desires to speak with you.