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But answer'd in low voice, her meek head yet
She spake so low he hardly heard her speak, But like a mighty patron, satisfied With what himself had done so graciously, Assumed that she had thanked him, adding, 'yea, Eat and be glad, for I account you mine.'
She answer'd meekly, 'How should I be glad
Here the huge Earl cried out upon her talk,
No, no,' said Enid, vext, I will not eat, Till yonder man upon the bier arise,
And eat with me.' 'Drink, then,' he answer'd.
(And fill'd a horn with wine and held it to her,) Lo! I, myself, when flush'd with fight, or hot, God's curse, with anger often I myself, Before I well have drunken, scarce can eat: Drink therefore, and the wine will change your will.'
'Not so,' she cried,' by Heaven, I will not drink, Till my dear lord arise and bid me do it, And drink with me; and if he rise no more, I will not look at wine until I die.'
At this he turn'd all red and paced his hall, Now gnaw'd his under, now his upper lip, And coming up close to her, said at last;
'Girl, for I see you scorn my courtesies,
He spoke, and one among his gentlewomen Display'd a splendid silk of foreign loom, Where like a shoaling sea the lovely blue Play'd into green, and thicker down the front With jewels than the sward with drops of dew, When all night long a cloud clings to the hill, And with the dawn ascending lets the day Strike where it clung: so thickly shone the gems.
But Enid answer'd, harder to be moved
'In this poor gown my dear lord found me first, And loved me serving in my father's hall: In this poor gown I rode with him to court, And there the Queen array'd me like the sun : In this poor gown he bade me clothe myself, When now we rode upon this fatal quest Of honour, where no honour can be gain'd: And this poor gown I will not cast aside Until himself arise a living man,
And bid me cast it. I have griefs enough:
Then strode the brute Earl up and down his hall, And took his russet beard between his teeth; Last, coming up quite close, and in his mood Crying, 'I count it of no more avail, Dame to be gentle than ungentle with you; Take my salute,' unknightly with flat hand, However lightly, smote her on the cheek.
Then Enid in her utter helplessness, And since she thought, he had not dared to do it, Except he surely knew my lord was dead,' Sent forth a sudden sharp and bitter cry, As of a wild thing taken in the trap, Which sees the trapper coming thro' the wood.
This heard Geraint, and grasping at his sword (It lay beside him in the hollow shield), Made but a single bound, and with a sweep of it Shore thro' the swarthy neck, and like a ball The russet-bearded head roll'd on the floor. So died Earl Doorm by him he counted dead. And all the men and women in the hall Rose when they saw the dead man rise, and fled Yelling as from a spectre, and the two
Were left alone together, and he said ·
· Enid, I have used you worse than that dead man;
Done you more wrong: we both have undergone
Not, tho' mine own ears heard you yester-morn
You thought me sleeping, but I heard you say,
And Enid could not say one tender word, She felt so blunt and stupid at the heart: She only prayed him, Fly, they will return And slay you; fly, your charger is without, My palfrey lost.' Then, Enid, shall you ride Behind me.' Yea,' said Enid, 'let us go.' And moving out they found the stately horse, Who now no more a vassal to the thief, But free to stretch his limbs in lawful fight, Neigh'd with all gladness as they came, and stoop'd With a low whinny toward the pair: and she Kiss'd the white star upon his noble front, Glad also; then Geraint upon the horse Mounted, and reach'd a hand, and on his foot She set her own and climb'd; he turn'd his face And kiss'd her climbing, and she cast her arms About him, and at once they rode away.
And never yet, since high in Paradise
She, with her mind all full of what had chanced,
'He hears the judgment of the King of Kings,' Cried the wan Prince; and lo the powers of Doorm Are scatter'd,' and he pointed to the field, Where, huddled here and there on mound and
Were men and women staring and aghast,