The Lady Of La Garaye - Part I Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


ON Dinan's walls the morning sunlight playsA
Gilds the stern fortress with a crown of raysA
Shines on the children's heads that troop to schoolB
Turns into beryl brown the forest poolB
Sends diamond sparkles over gushing springsC
And showers down glory on the simplest thingsC
And many a young seigneur and damsel boldD
See with delight those beams of reddening goldD
For they are bid to join the hunt to dayE
By Claud Marot the lord of La GarayeF
And merry is it in his spacious hallsG
Cheerful the host whatever sport befallsG
Cheerful and courteous full of manly graceH
His heart's frank welcome written in his faceH
So eager that his pleasure never cloysH
But glad to share whatever he enjoysH
Rich liberal gaily dressed of noble mienI
Clear eyes full curving mouth and brow sereneI
Master of speech in many a foreign tongueJ
And famed for feats of arms although so youngJ
Dexterous in fencing skilled in horsemanshipK
His voice and hand preferred to spur or whipK
Quick at a jest and smiling reparteeL
With a sweet laugh that sounded frank and freeL
But holding Satire an accurs d thingM
A poisoned javelin or a serpent's stingM
Pitiful to the poor of courage highN
A soul that could all turns of fate defyN
Gentle to women reverent to old ageO
What more young Claud could men's esteem engageO
What more be given to bless thine earthy stateP
Save Love which still must crown the happiest fateP
Love therefore came That sunbeam lit his lifeQ
And where he wooed he won a gentle wifeQ
Born like himself of lineage brave and goodR
And like himself of warm and eager moodS
Glad to share gladness pleasure to impartT
With dancing spirits and a tender heartT
Pleased too to share the manlier sports which madeU
The joy of his young hours No more afraidU
Of danger than the seabird used to soarV
From the high rocks above the ocean's roarV
Which dips its slant wing in the wave's white crestW
And deems the foamy undulations restW
Nor think the feminine beauty of her soulX
Tarnished by yielding to such joy's controlX
Nor that the form which like a flexile reedY
Swayed with the movements of her bounding steedY
Took from those graceful hours a rougher forceH
Or left her nature masculine and coarseH
She was not bold from boldness but from loveZ
Bold from gay frolic glad with him to roveA2
In danger or in safety weal or woeB2
And where he ventured still she yearned to goB2
Bold with the courage of his bolder lifeQ
At home a tender and submissive wifeQ
Abroad a woman modest ay and proudC2
Not seeking homage from the casual crowdC2
She remained pure that darling of his sightD2
In spite of boyish feats and rash delightD2
Still the eyes fell before an insolent lookE2
Or flashed their bright and innocent rebukeF2
Still the cheek kept its delicate youthful bloomG2
And the blush reddened through the snow white plumeG2
He that had seen her with her courage highN
First in the chase where all dashed rapid byN
He that had watched her bright impetuous lookE2
When she prepared to leap the silver brookE2
Fair in her Springtime as a branch of MayE
Had felt the dull sneer feebly die awayE
And unused kindly smiles upon his cold lips playE
God made all pleasure innocent but manH2
Turns them to shame since first our earth beganH2
To shudder 'neath the stroke of delving toolsH
When Eve and Adam lost poor tempted foolsH
The sweet safe shelter of their Eden bowersH
Its easy wealth of sun ripe fruits and flowersH
For some forbidden zest that was not givenI2
Some riotous hope to make a mimic heavenI2
And sank from being wingless angels lowB2
Into the depths of mean and abject woeB2
Why should the sweet elastic sense of joyJ2
Presage a fault Why should the pleasure cloyJ2
Or turn to blame which Heaven itself inspiresH
Who gave us health and strength and all desiresH
The children play and sin not let the youngJ
Still carol songs as others too have sungJ
Still urge the fiery courser o'er the plainK2
Proud of his glossy sides and flowing maneK2
Still when they meet in careless hours of mirthL2
Laugh as if Sorrow were unknown to earthL2
Prattling sweet nothings which like buds of flowersH
May turn to earnest thoughts and vigilant hoursH
What boys can suffer and weak women dareM2
Let Indian and Crimean wastes declareM2
Perchance in that gay group of laughers standN2
Guides and defenders for our native landN2
Folly it is to see a wit in woeB2
And hold youth sinful for the spirits' flowB2
As thro' the meadow lands clear rivers runI2
Blue in the shadow silver in the sunI2
Till rolling by some pestilential sourceH
Some factory work whose wheels with horrid forceH
Strike the pure waters with their dripping beamsH
Send poison gushing to the crystal streamsH
And leave the innocent things to whom God gaveO2
A natural home in that translucent waveO2
Gasping strange death and floating down to showB2
The evil working in the depths belowB2
So man can poison pleasure at its sourceH
Clog the swift sparkle of its rapid courseH
Mix muddy morbid thoughts in vicious strifeQ
Till to the surface floats the death of lifeQ
But not the less the stream itself was pureP2
And not the less may blameless joy endureP2
Careless but not impure the joyous daysH
Passed in a rapturous whirl a giddy mazeH
Where the young Count and lovely Countess drewQ2
A new delight from every pleasure newQ2
They woke to gladness as the morning brokeR2
Their very voices kept whene'er they spokeR2
A ring of joy a harmony of lifeQ
That made you bless the husband and the wifeQ
And every day the careless festal throngS2
And every night the dance and feast and songS2
Shared with young boon companions marked the timeT2
As with a carillon's exulting chimeT2
Where those two entered gloom passed out of sightD2
Chased by the glow of their intense delightD2
So till the day when over Dinan's wallsH
The Autumn sunshine of my story fallsH
And the guests bidden gather for the chaseH
And the smile brightens on the lovely faceH
That greets them in succession as they comeU2
Into that high and hospitable homeV2
Like a sweet picture doth the Lady standN2
Still blushing as she bows one tiny handN2
Hid by a pearl embroidered gauntlet holdsH
Her whip and her long robe's exuberant foldsH
The other hand is bare and from her eyesH
Shades now and then the sun or softly liesH
With a caressing touch upon the neckW2
Of the dear glossy steed she loves to deckW2
With saddle housings worked in golden threadX2
And golden bands upon his noble headX2
White is the little hand whose taper fingersH
Smooth his fine coat and still the lady lingersH
Leaning against his side nor lifts her headX2
But gently turns as gathering footsteps treadX2
Reminding you of doves with shifting throatsH
Brooding in sunshine by their sheltering cotesH
Under her plum d hat her wealth of curlsH
Falls down in golden links among her pearlsH
And the rich purple of her velvet vestW
Slims the young waist and rounds the graceful breastW
So till the latest joins the happy MeetY2
Then springs she gladly to her eager feetY2
And while the white hand from her courser's sideZ2
Slips like a snow flake stands prepared to rideZ2
Then lightly vaulting to her seat she seemsH
Queen of some fair procession seen in dreamsH
Queen of herself and of the world sweet QueenI
Her crown the plume above her brow sereneI
Her jewelled whip a sceptre and her dressH
The regal mantle worn by lovelinessH
And well she wears such mantle swift the horseH
But firm her seat throughout the rapid courseH
No rash unsteadiness no shifting poseH
Disturbs that line of beauty as she goesH
She wears her robe as some fair sloop her sailsH
Which swell and flutter to the rising galesH
But never from the cordage taut and trimA3
Slacken or swerve away The evening dimA3
Sees her return unwearied and unbentZ2
The fair folds falling smooth as when she wentZ2
The little foot no clasping buckle kE

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton


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