WOE, he went galloping into the war,
Let us two dream: shall he 'scape with a scar?
Scarcely disfigurement, rather a grace
Making for manhood which nowise we mar:
See, while I kiss it, the flush on his face--
Light does he laugh: "With your love in my soul"--
"How could I other than--sound, safe and whole--
Cleave who opposed me asunder, yet stand
Scatheless beside you, as touching love's goal,
Who won the race kneels, craves reward at your hand--
Ay, but if certain who envied should see!
Certain who simper: "The hero for me
Hardly of life were so chary as miss
Death--death and fame--that's love's guerdon when She
Boasts, proud bereaved one, her choice fell on this
So,--go on dreaming,--he lies mid a heap
Of the slain by his hand: what is death but a sleep?
Dead, with my portrait displayed on his breast:
Love wrought his undoing: "No prudence could keep
The love-maddened wretch from his fate." That is best,