Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Athulf and Ethilda
By Sir Henry Taylor (1800–1886)
 
                Athulf.—Appeared
The princess with that merry child Prince Guy:
He loves me well, and made her stop and sit,
And sate upon her knee, and it so chanced
That in his various chatter he denied        5
That I could hold his hand within my own
So closely as to hide it: this being tried
Was proved against him; he insisted then
I could not by his royal sister’s hand
Do likewise. Starting at the random word,        10
And dumb with trepidation, there I stood
Some seconds as bewitched; then I looked up,
And in her face beheld an orient flush
Of half-bewildered pleasure: from which trance
She with an instant ease resumed herself,        15
And frankly, with a pleasant laugh, held out
Her arrowy hand.
I thought it trembled as it lay in mine,
But yet her looks were clear, direct, and free,
And said that she felt nothing.        20
  Sidroc.—And what felt’st thou?
  Athulf.—A sort of swarming, curling, tremulous tumbling,
As though there were an ant-hill in my bosom.
I said I was ashamed.—Sidroc, you smile,
If at my folly, well! But if you smile,        25
Suspicious of a taint upon my heart,
Wide is your error, and you never loved.
 
 
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