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And all in passion uttering a dry shriek,
Then like a stormy sunlight smiled Geraint, Who saw the chargers of the two that fell Start from their fallen lords, and wildly fly, Mixt with the flyers. 'Horse and man,' he said, 'All of one mind and all right-honest friends! Not a hoof left: and I methinks till now Was honest paid with horses and with arms; I cannot steal or plunder, no nor beg: And so what say you, shall we strip him there Your lover? has your palfrey heart enough To bear his armour? shall we fast, or dine? No? then do you, being right honest, pray That we may meet the horsemen of Earl Doorm, I too would still be honest.' Thus he said: And sadly gazing on her bridle-reins, And answering not one word, she led the way.
But as a man to whom a dreadful loss Falls in a far land and he knows it not,
But coming back he learns it, and the loss
And Enid heard the clashing of his fall, Suddenly came, and at his side all pale Dismounting, loosed the fastenings of his arms, Nor let her true hand falter, nor blue eye Moisten, till she had lighted on his wound, And tearing off her veil of faded silk Had bared her forehead to the blistering sun, And swathed the hurt that drain'd her dear lord's
Then after all was done that hand could do,
And many past, but none regarded her,
The long way smoke beneath him in his fear;
And scour'd into the coppices and was lost,
But at the point of noon the huge Earl Doorm, Broad-faced with under-fringe of russet beard, Bound on a foray, rolling eyes of prey, Came riding with a hundred lances up; But ere he came, like one that hails a ship, Cried out with a big voice, 'What, is he dead?' No, no, not dead!" she answer'd in all haste. 'Would some of your kind people take him up, And bear him hence out of this cruel sun: Most sure am I, quite sure, he is not dead.'
Then said Earl Doorm; Well, if he be not dead,
Why wail you for him thus? you seem a child.
Your wailing will not quicken him: dead or not,
He spake, and past away, But left two brawny spearmen, who advanced, Each growling like a dog, when his good bone Seems to be pluck'd at by the village boys Who love to vex him eating, and he fears To lose his bone, and lays his foot upon it, Gnawing and growling: so the ruffians growl'd, Fearing to lose, and all for a dead man, Their chance of booty from the morning's raid; Yet raised and laid him on a litter-bier, Such as they brought upon their forays out For those that might be wounded; laid him on it All in the hollow of his shield, and took
And bore him to the naked hall of Doorm,
They might as well have blest her: she was deaf To blessing or to cursing save from one.
So for long hours sat Enid by her lord, There in the naked hall, propping his head, And chafing his pale hands, and calling to him. And at the last he waken'd from his swoon, And found his own dear bride propping his head, And chafing his faint hands, and calling to him; And felt the warm tears falling on his face; And said to his own heart, she weeps for me:' And yet lay still, and feign'd himself as dead, That he might prove her to the uttermost, And say to his own heart' she weeps for me.'
But in the falling afternoon return'd The huge Earl Doorm with plunder to the hall. His lusty spearmen follow'd him with noise: Each hurling down a heap of things that rang Against the pavement, cast his lance aside, And doff'd his helm: and then there flutter'd in, Half-bold, half-frighted, with dilated eyes, A tribe of women, dress'd in many hues, And mingled with the spearmen: and Earl Doorm Struck with a knife's haft hard against the board, And call'd for flesh and wine to feed his spears. And men brought in whole hogs and quarter beeves,
And all the hall was dim with steam of flesh :
And none spake word, but all sat down at once,
And ate with tumult in the naked hall,
God's curse, it makes me mad to see you weep.
For were I dead who is it would weep for me?
And so there lived some colour in your cheek,
He spoke the brawny spearman let his cheek Bulge with the unswallow'd piece, and turning
While some, whose souls the old serpent long had drawn
Down, as the worm draws in the wither'd leaf