And when Guy saw that he had slain the Beast,
He was right glad, and full of sweet content.
And so he wiped his blood-stain’d battle-axe,
And rode with lighten’d heart in haste away
To bear the welcome tidings to the town.
And as he pass’d, or that he dreamt, or saw,
It seem’d as though the land bloom’d up again,
And sunshine fill’d the air with hope and life.
And so he bore the tidings to the town—
And when the people heard the Beast was dead,
They gather’d round with tears and cries of joy,
And scarce found words to thank and honour him.
And one brought forth her babe, and held him up,
And cried, “Look, child upon him, that your soul
May know the fashion of a noble man!”
But still he told no man that he was Guy.
And all desired to lead him to the King,
But he would not, and turn’d another way—
“Nay! friends,” said he, “I need no recompense.
For in the doing of a worthy deed
Lies all the honour that a man should seek.”
And thus he turn’d away unto the sea,
And would not tarry, or for prayers, or tears;
And when he came unto the quiet port,
He said no word unto his waiting men,
But gazed out seaward; and the waves were down,
The clouds fast breaking, and the West wind blew;
And many a sail sped swiftly o’er the main,
White in the sunshine as a sea-gull’s wing—
And so he went on ship-board cheerily,
And they hove anchor with a right good-will,
And spreading canvas to the welcome breeze,
Bore swiftly out into the open sea;
And Guy stood silent in the dipping bows,
Gazing out seaward with a strange still smile.
The day fades fast;
And backward ebbs the tide of light
From the far hills in billows bright,
Scattering foam, as they sweep past,
O’er the low clouds that bank the sky,
And barrier day off solemnly.
Above the land
Grey shadows stretch out, still and cold,
Flinging o’er water, wood, and wold,
Mysterious shapes, whose ghastly hand
Presses down sorrow on the heart,
And silence on the lips that part.
The dew-mist broods
Heavy and low o’er field and fen,
Like gloom above the souls of men;
And through the forest solitudes
The fitful night-wind rustles by,
Breathing many a wailing sigh—
O Day! O Life!
Ending in gloom together here—
Though not one star of Hope appear,
Still through the cold bleak Future gaze,
That mocks thee with its murky haze;
Soon morn shall end the doubt, the strife,
And give unto thy weeping eyes
The far night-guarded Paradise!
Winds are sighing round the drooping eaves;
Sadly float the midnight hours away;
Dun and grey athwart the ivy-leaves,
Fall the first pale chilly tints of day,
Ah me! the weary, weary tints of day.