The Goshawk griped the muscle of Farina’s arm till the youth was compelled to slacken it with pain.
’Could you drive a knife through a six-inch wood-wall? I doubt this wild boar wants a harder hit than many a best man could give. ’Sblood! obey, sirrah. How shall we keep yon fellow true, if he sees we’re at points?’
‘I yield,’ exclaimed Farina with a fall of the chest; ’but hear I nothing of you by midnight—Oh! then think not I shall leave another minute to chance. Farewell! haste! Heaven prosper you! You will see her, and die under her eyes. That may be denied to me. What have I done to be refused that last boon?’
‘Gone without breakfast and dinner,’ said Guy in abhorrent tones.
A whistle from the wain, following a noise of the castlegates being flung open, called the Goshawk away, and he slouched his shoulders and strode to do his part, without another word. Farina gazed after him, and dropped into the covert.
’Bird of lovers! Voice of the passion of love! Sweet, deep, disaster-toning nightingale!’ sings the old minnesinger; ’who that has not loved, hearing thee is touched with the wand of love’s mysteries, and yearneth to he knoweth not whom, humbled by overfulness of heart; but who, listening, already loveth, heareth the language he would speak, yet faileth in; feeleth the great tongueless sea of his infinite desires stirred beyond his narrow bosom; is as one stript of wings whom the angels beckon to their silver homes: and he leaneth forward to ascend to them, and is mocked by his effort: then is he of the fallen, and of the fallen would he remain, but that tears lighten him, and through the tears stream jewelled shafts dropt down to him from the sky, precious ladders inlaid with amethyst, sapphire, blended jasper, beryl, rose-ruby, ether of heaven flushed with softened bloom of the insufferable Presences: and lo, the ladders dance, and quiver, and waylay his eyelids, and a second time he is mocked, aspiring: and after the third swoon standeth Hope before him with folded arms, and eyes dry of the delusions of tears, saying, Thou hast seen! thou hast felt! thy strength hath reached in thee so far! now shall I never die in thee !’
‘For surely,’ says the minstrel, ’Hope is not born of earth, or it were perishable. Rather know her the offspring of that embrace strong love straineth the heavens with. This owe we to thy music, bridal nightingale! And the difference of this celestial spirit from the smirking phantasy of whom all stand soon or late forsaken, is the difference between painted day with its poor ambitious snares, and night lifting its myriad tapers round the throne of the eternal, the prophet stars of everlasting time! And the one dieth, and the other liveth; and the one is unregretted, and the other walketh in thought-spun raiment of divine melancholy; her ears crowded with the pale surges that wrap this shifting shore; in her eyes a shape of beauty floating dimly, that she will not attain this side the water, but broodeth on evermore.