Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/102

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"'Twas wrong indeed, I take it,
That you should boldly dare
Address a well-born maiden
By stealth with such a prayer.

"But if your looks belie not,
You good and noble are,
And so your path to fortune
I should be loth to mar."

Then by the hand she leads him
To where the window is,
She blushes and she trembles;
They interchange a kiss.

W. F. H.

It would be superfluous to say more about this poem, which I suppose is the most popular of Ploug's essays in epic narrative. How far the anecdote is historical is uncertain; but with the knowledge we have of his and her character it cannot, in any case, be regarded as improbable. Ploug may thus be right when he says:

A kiss has with its gentle flame
Once kindled honour's beacon high;
A kiss has given Denmark's fame
A hero's name that shall not die.

W. F. H.

In early French literature there is a story somewhat akin to this; it occurs in the old