And the roseate shadows of fading light
Softly clear steal over the sweet young face,
Where a woman's tenderness blends to-night
With the guileless pride of a knightly race.
Her hands lie clasped in a listless way
On the old Romance—which she holds on her knee—
Of Tristram, the bravest of knights in the fray,
And Iseult, who waits by the sounding sea.
And her proud, dark eyes wear a softened look
As she watches the dying embers fall:
Perhaps she dreams of the knight in the book,
Perhaps of the pictures that smile on the wall.
What fancies I wonder are thronging her brain,
For her cheeks flush warm with a crimson glow!
Perhaps—ah! me, how foolish and vain!
But I'd give my life to believe it so!
Well, whether I ever march home again
To offer my love and a stainless name,
Or whether I die at the head of my men,—
I'll be true to the end all the same.
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