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And dreamt herself was such a faded form
Among her burnish'd sisters of the pool;
But this was in the garden of a king;
And tho' she lay dark in the pool, she knew
That all was bright; that all about were birds
Of sunny plume in gilded trellis-work;
That all the turf was rich in plots that look'd
Each like a garnet or a turkis in it;

And lords and ladies of the high court went
In silver tissue talking things of state;
And children of the king in cloth of gold
Glanced at the doors or gambol'd down the walks;
And while she thought 'they will not see me,' came
A stately queen whose name was Guinevere,
And all the children in their cloth of gold
Ran to her, crying, 'if we have fish at all
Let them be gold; and charge the gardeners now
To pick the faded creature from the pool,
And cast it on the mixen that it die.'

And therewithal one came and seized on her,
And Enid started waking, with her heart
All overshadow'd by the foolish dream,
And lo! it was her mother grasping her
To get her well awake; and in her hand
A suit of bright apparel, which she laid
Flat on the couch, and spoke exultingly :

'See here, my child, how fresh the colours look,
How fast they hold, like colours of a shell
That keeps the wear and polish of the wave.
Why not? it never yet was worn, I trow :
Look on it, child, and tell me if you know it.'

And Enid look'd, but all confused at first, Could scarce divide it from her foolish dream: Then suddenly she knew it and rejoiced, And answer'd, 'Yea, I know it; your good gift, So sadly lost on that unhappy night;

Your own good gift!' 'Yea, surely,' said the dame,

'And gladly given again this happy morn.
For when the jousts were ended yesterday,
Went Yniol thro' the town, and everywhere
He found the sack and plunder of our house
All scatter'd thro' the houses of the town;
And gave command that all which once was ours,
Should now be ours again: and yester-eve,
While you were talking sweetly with your Prince,
Came one with this and laid it in my hand,
For love or fear, or seeking favour of us,
Because we have our earldom back again.
And yester-eve I would not tell you of it,
But kept it for a sweet surprise at morn.
Yea, truly is it not a sweet surprise?
For I myself unwillingly have worn
My faded suit, as you, my child, have yours,
And howsoever patient, Yniol his.

Ah, dear, he took me from a goodly house,
With store of rich apparel, sumptuous fare,
And page, and maid, and squire, and seneschal,
And pastime both of hawk and hound, and all
That appertains to noble maintenance.
Yea, and he brought me to a goodly house;
But since our fortune slipt from sun to shade,
And all thro' that young traitor, cruel need
Constrain'd us, but a better time has come;
So clothe yourself in this, that better fits
Our mended fortunes and a Prince's bride:
For tho' you won the prize of fairest fair,
And tho' I heard him call you fairest fair,
Let never maiden think, however fair,
She is not fairer in new clothes than old.
And should some great court-lady say, the Prince
Hath pick'd a ragged-robin from the hedge,
And like a madman brought her to the court,
Then were you shamed, and, worse, might shame
the Prince

To whom we are beholden; but I know,
When my dear child is set forth at her best,

That neither court nor country, tho' they sought Thro' all the provinces like those of old

That lighted on Queen Esther, has her match.'

Here ceased the kindly mother out of breath; And Enid listen'd brightening as she lay ; Then, as the white and glittering star of morn Parts from a bank of snow, and by and by Slips into golden cloud, the maiden rose, And left her maiden couch, and robed herself, Help'd by the mother's careful hand and eye, Without a mirror, in the gorgeous gown; Who, after, turn'd her daughter round, and said, She never yet had seen her half so fair; And call'd her 'like that maiden in the tale, Whom Gwydion made by glamour out of flowers, And sweeter than the bride of Cassivelaun, Flur, for whose love the Roman Cæsar first Invaded Britain, but we beat him back, As this great prince invaded us, and we, Not beat him back, but welcomed him with joy. And I can scarcely ride with you to court, For old am I, and rough the ways and wild; But Yniol goes, and I full oft shall dream I see my princess as I see her now,

Clothed with my gift, and gay among the gay.'

But while the women thus rejoiced, Geraint Woke where he slept in the high hall, and call'd For Enid, and when Yniol made report Of that good mother making Enid gay In such apparel as might well beseem His princess, or indeed the stately queen, He answer'd; Earl, entreat her by my love, Albeit I give no reason but my wish, That she ride with me in her faded silk.' Yniol with that hard message went; it fell, Like flaws in summer laying lusty corn: For Enid all abash'd she knew not why,

Dared not to glance at her good mother's face,
But silently, in all obedience,

Her mother silent too, nor helping her,
Laid from her limbs the costly-broider'd gift,
And robed them in her ancient suit again,
And so descended. Never man rejoiced
More than Geraint to greet her thus attired;
And glancing all at once as keenly at her,
As careful robins eye the delver's toil,
Made her cheek burn and either eyelid fall,
But rested with her sweet face satisfied;
Then seeing cloud upon the mother's brow,
Her by both hands he caught, and sweetly said.

'O my new mother, be not wroth or grieved
At your new son, for my petition to her.
When late I left Caerleon, our great Queen,
In words whose echo lasts, they were so sweet,
Made promise, that whatever bride I brought,
Herself would clothe her like the sun in Heaven.
Thereafter, when I reach'd this ruin'd hold,
Beholding one so bright in dark estate,

I vow'd that could I gain her, our kind Queen,
No hand but hers, should make your Enid burst
Sunlike from cloud - and likewise thought perhaps,
That service done so graciously would bind
The two together; for I wish the two

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To love each other: how should Enid find
A nobler friend? Another thought I had;
I came among you here so suddenly,
That tho' her gentle presence at the lists
Might well have served for proof that I was loved,
I doubted whether filial tenderness,

Or easy nature, did not let itself

Be moulded by your wishes for her weal;

Or whether some false sense in her own self

Of my contrasting brightness, overbore
Her fancy dwelling in this dusky hall ;

And such a sense might make her long for court

And all its dangerous glories: and I thought,
That could I someway prove such force in her
Link'd with such love for me, that at a word
(No reason given her) she could cast aside
A splendour dear to women, new to her,
And therefore dearer; or if not so new,
Yet therefore tenfold dearer by the power
Of intermitted custom; then Ỉ felt

That I could rest, a rock in ebbs and flows,
Fixt on her faith. Now, therefore, I do rest,
A prophet certain of my prophecy,

That never shadow of mistrust can cross
Between us. Grant me pardon for my thoughts:
And for my strange petition I will make
Amends hereafter by some gaudy-day,
When your fair child shall wear your costly gift
Beside your own warm hearth, with, on her knees,
Who knows? another gift of the high God,

Which, maybe, shall have learn'd to lisp you thanks.'

He spoke the mother smiled, but half in tears, Then brought a mantle down and wrapt her in it, And claspt and kiss'd her, and they rode away.

Now thrice that morning Guinevere had climb'd
The giant tower, from whose high crest, they say,
Men saw the goodly hills of Somerset,
And white sails flying on the yellow sea;
But not to goodly hill or yellow sea

Look'd the fair Queen, but up the vale of Usk,
By the flat meadow, till she saw them come;
And then descending met them at the gates,
Embraced her with all welcome as a friend,
And did her honour as the Prince's bride,
And clothed her for her bridals like the sun
And all that week was old Caerleon gay,
For by the hands of Dubric, the high saint,
They twain were wedded with all ceremony.

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