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HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS
FROM GHENT TO AIX.
BY ROBERT BROWNING.
I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he ;
three; “Good speed!” cried the watch, as the gate
bolts undrew Speed !” echoed the wall to us galloping
through; Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to
rest, And into the midnight we galloped abreast.
Not a word to each other; we kept the great
pace Neck by neck, stride by stride, never chang
ing our place; I turned in my saddle and made its girths
tight, Then shortened each stirrup, and set the
pique right, Rebuckled the cheek-strap, chained slacker
the bit, Nor galloped lesss steadily Roland a whit.
'Twas moonset at starting ; but while we
Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned
At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see, At Düffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard
the half chime, So Joris broke silence with, “Yet there is
At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun, And against him the cattle stood black
every one, To stare thro' the mistatus galloping
past, And I saw my stout galloper Roland at
last, With resolute shoulders, each butting away The haze, as some bluff river headland its
And his low head and crest, just one sharp
ear bent back For my voice, and the other pricked out on
And one eye's black intelligence—ever that
glance O'er its white edge at me, his own master,
askance! And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye
and anon His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.
By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris,
“Stay spur! Your Roos galloped bravely, the fault's not
in her, We'll remember at Aix” ——for one heard
the quick wheeze Of her chest, saw the stretched neck and
staggering knees, And sunk tail, and horrible heave of the
flank, As down on her haunches she shuddered