Page:Early poems of William Morris.djvu/141

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



The Prince

I, Sebald, also, pluck from off the staff
The crimson banner, let it lie below,
Above it in the wind let grasses laugh.

Now let us go, love, down the winding stair,
With fingers intertwined: ay, feel my sword!
I wrought it long ago, with golden hair
Flowing about the hilts, because a word,

Sung by a minstrel old, had set me dreaming
Of a sweet bow'd-down face with yellow hair,
Betwixt green leaves I used to see it gleaming,
A half smile on the lips, though lines of care

Had sunk the cheeks, and made the great eyes hollow;
What other work in all the world had I,
But through all turns of fate that face to follow?
But wars and business kept me there to die.

O child, I should have slain my brother, too,
My brother, Love, lain moaning in the grass,
Had I not ridden out to look for you,
When I had watch'd the gilded courtiers pass

From the golden hall. But it is strange your name
Is not the same the minstrel sung of yore;
You call'd it Rapunzel, 'tis not the name.
See, love, the stems shine through the open door.