Page:Early poems of William Morris.djvu/155

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Concerning Geffray Teste Noire


So Bonne Lance fretted, thinking of some trap
Day after day, till on a time he said;
"John of Newcastle, if we have good hap,
We catch our thief in two days." "How?" I said.

"Why, Sir, to-day he rideth out again.
Hoping to take well certain sumpter mules
From Carcassonne, going with little train,
Because, forsooth, he thinketh us mere fools;

"But if we set an ambush in some wood,
He is but dead: so, Sir, take thirty spears
To Verville forest, if it seem you good."
Then felt I like the horse in Job, who hears

The dancing trumpet sound, and we went forth;
And my red lion on the spear-head flapped,
As faster than the cool wind we rode North,
Towards the wood of Verville; thus it happed.

We rode a soft space on that day, while spies
Got news about Sir Geffray; the red wine
Under the road-side bush was clear; the flies,
The dragon-flies I mind me most, did shine

In brighter arms than ever I put on;
So—"Geffray," said our spies, "would pass that way
Next day at sundown;" then he must be won;
And so we enter'd Verville wood next day.

In the afternoon; through it the highway runs,
'Twixt copses of green hazel, very thick,
And underneath, with glimmering of suns,
The primroses are happy; the dews lick