Then these two long silence hold,
And the lisping babe doth say
‘White white bird, it flew away.’
And they marvel at these things,
For her ghostly visitings
Turn to them another face.
Haply she was sent, a friend
Trying them, and to good end
For their better weal and grace;
One more wonder let to be
In the might and mystery
Of the world, where verily
And good sooth a man may wend
All his life, and no more view
Than the one right next to do.
So, the welcome dusk is here,
Sweet is even, rest is dear;
Mountain heads have lost the light,
Soon they couch them. Night—’t is night.
Sigismund dreaming delightsomely after his haying.
(’Sleep of the labouring man,’ quoth King David, ‘is sweet.’)
’Sigismund, Sigismund’—’Who is this calling and saying
“Sigismund, Sigismund,” O blessed night do not fleet.
Is it not dark—ay, methinks it is dark,
I would slumber,
O I would rest till the swallow shall chirp ‘neath mine eaves.’
‘Sigismund, Sigismund,’ multitudes now without number
Calling, the noise is as dropping of rain upon leaves.
‘Ay,’ quoth he dreaming, ‘say on,
for I, Sigismund, hear ye.’
’Sigismund, Sigismund, all the knights weary full sore.
Come back, King Sigismund, come, they shall love thee and fear thee,
The people cry out O come back to us, reign evermore.
The new king is dead, and we will not his son, no
Come with thy queen, is she busy yet, kneading of cakes?
Sigismund, show us the boy, is he safe, and his mother,
Sigismund?’—dreaming he falls into laughter and wakes.
And men say this dream came true,
For he walking in the dew
Turned aside while yet was red
On the highest mountain head,
Looking how the wheat he set
Flourished. And the knights him met
And him prayed ’Come again,
Sigismund our king, and reign.’
But at first—at first they tell
How it liked not Malva well;
She must leave her belted bees
And the kids that she did rear.
When she thought on it full dear
Seemed her home. It did not please
Sigismund that he must go
From the wheat that he did sow;
When he thought on it his mind
Was not that should any bind
Into sheaves that wheat but he,
Only he; and yet they went,
And it may be were content.
And they won a nation’s heart;
Very well they played their part.
They ruled with sceptre and diadem,
And their children after them.