Helen of Troy and Other Poems/A Ballad of Two Knights

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Helen of Troy and Other Poems  (1911) 
Sara Teasdale
A Ballad of Two Knights
G. P. Putnam's sons page 97

A BALLAD OF TWO KNIGHTS

TWO knights rode forth at early dawn
 A-seeking maids to wed.
Said one, "My lady must be fair,
 With gold hair on her head."


Then spake the other knight-at-arms:
 "I care not for her face,
But she I love must be a dove
 For purity and grace."


And each knight blew upon his horn
 And went his separate way,
And each knight found a lady-love
 Before the fall of day.


But she was brown who should have had
 The shining yellow hair—
I ween the knights forgot their words
 Or else they ceased to care.


For he who wanted purity
 Brought home a wanton wild,
And when each saw the other knight
 I ween that each knight smiled.