Page:Early poems of William Morris.djvu/110

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

70

Sir Peter Harpdon's End

Among the poppies, and the yellow flowers;
And they should brush my cheek, my hair being spread
Far out among the stems; soft mice and small
Eating and creeping all about my feet,
Red shod and tired; and the flies should come
Creeping o'er my broad eyelids unafraid;
And there should be a noise of water going,
Clear blue, fresh water breaking on the slates,
Likewise the flies should creep—God's eyes! God help,
A trumpet? I will run fast, leap adown
The slippery sea-stairs, where the crabs fight.
Ah!
I was half dreaming, but the trumpet's true,
He stops here at our house. The Clisson arms?
Ah, now for news! But I must hold my heart,
And be quite gentle till he is gone out;
And afterwards,—but he is still alive,
He must be still alive.


Enter a Squire of Clisson's

Good day, fair sir,
I give you welcome, knowing whence you come.


Squire

My Lady Alice de la Barde, I come
From Oliver Clisson, knight and mighty lord,
Bringing you tidings: I make bold to hope
You will not count me villain, even if
They wring your heart; nor hold me still in hate.
For I am but a mouthpiece after all,
A mouthpiece, too, of one who wishes well
To you and yours.