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The King of the Crocodiles there was seen,
He sat upon the eggs of the Queen,
And all around a numerous rout.
The young Prince Crocodiles crawld about.
The Woman shook every limb with fear,
As she to the Crocodile King came near,
For never man without fear and awe
The face of his Crocodile Majesty saw.
She fell upon her bended knee,
And said, “ O King, have pity on me,
For I have lost my darling child,
And that's the loss that makes me wild.
“ A Crocodile ate him for his food ;
Now let me have the murderer's blood,
Let me have vengeance for my boy,
The only thing that can give me joy.
“ I know that you, Sire! never do wrong,
You have no tail so stiff and strong,
You have no tail to strike and slay,
But you have ears to hear what I say.”
“ You have done well,” the King replies, And fix'd on her his little eyes ; “ Good Woman, yes, you have done right, But you have not described me quite.
“ I have no tail to strike and slay,
And I have ears to hear what you say:
I have teeth moreover, as you may see,
And I will make a meal of thee.”
BETWENE the Cytee and the Chirche of Bethlehem, is the felde Floridus, that is to seyne, the felde floriched. For als moche as a fayre Mayden was blamed with wrong and sclaundred, that sche hadd don fornicacioun, for whiche cause sche was demed to the dethe, and to be brent in that place, to the whiche sche was ladd. And as the fyre began to brenne about hire, she made her preyeres to oure Lord, that als wissely as sche was not gylty of that synne, that he wold help hire, and make it to be knowen to alle men of his mercyfulle grace ; and whanne sche had thus seyd, sche entered into the fuyer, and anon was the fuyer quenched and oute, and the brondes that weren brennynge, becomen white Roseres, fulle of roses, and theise werein the first Roseres and roses, both white and rede, that every ony man saughe. And thus was this Maiden saved be the grace of God.
The Voiage and Traivaile of Sir John Maundeville.
Nay, Edith! spare the Rose ;.. perhaps it lives,
And feels the noon-tide sun, and drinks refresh'd
The dews of night ; let not thy gentle hand
Tear its life-strings asunder, and destroy
The sense of being !... Why that infidel smile?
Come, I will bribe thee to be merciful ;
And thou shalt have a tale of other days,
For I am skill'd in legendary lore,
So thou wilt let it live. There was a time
Ere this, the freshest, sweetest flower that blooms,
Bedeck'd the bowers of earth. Thou hast not heard
How first by miracle its fragrant leaves
Spread to the sun their blushing loveliness.
There dwelt at Bethlehem a Jewish maid,
And Zillah was her name, so passing fair
That all Judea spake the virgin's praise.
He who had seen her eyes” dark radiance
How it reveald her soul, and what a soul
Beam'd in the mild effulgence, woe was he !
For not in solitude, for not in crowds,
Might he escape remembrance, nor avoid
Her imaged form which followed every where,
And fill’d the heart, and fix'd the absent eye.
Woe was he, for her bosom own’d no love
Save the strong ardours of religious zeal,
For Zillah on her God had center'd all
Her spirit's deep affections. So for her
Her tribes-men sigh’d in vain, yet reverenced
The obdurate virtue that destroy'd their hopes.
One man there was, a vain and wretched man,
Who saw, desired, despair’d, and hated her.
His sensual eye had gloated on her cheek
Even till the flush of angry modesty
Gave it new charms, and made him gloat the more. ·
She loath'd the man, for Hamuel's eye was bold,
And the strong workings of brute selfishness
Had moulded his broad features ; and she fear'd
The bitterness of wounded vanity
That with a fiendish hue would overcast
His faint and lying smile. Nor vain her fear,
For Hamuel vow'd revenge, and laid a plot
Against her virgin fame. He spread abroad
Whispers that travel fast, and ill reports,
Which soon obtain belief; how Zillah's eye,