Page:The Hundred Best Poems (lyrical) in the English language - second series.djvu/95
CHRISTINA GEORGINA ROSSETTI
The singing men and women sang that night as
usual, The dancers danced in pairs and sets, but music had
a fall, A melancholy windy fall as at a funeral.
Amid the toss of torches to my chamber back we
swept ; My ladies loosed my golden chain ; meantime I
could have wept To think of some in galling chains whether they
waked or slept.
I took my bath of scented milk, delicately waited
on: They burned sweet things for my delight, cedar
and cinnamon, They lit my shaded silver lamp, and left me there
A day went by, a week went by. One day I heard it said:
- ' Men are clamouring, women, children, clamour-
ing to be fed ;
Men like famished dogs are howling in the streets for bread."
So two whispered by my door, not thinking I could
Vulgar naked truth, ungarnished for a royal ear ; Fit for cooping in the background, not to stalk so