Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Extract from Edwin of Deira
By Alexander Smith (1830–1867)
(Book I)

THEN at his wish, the haggard Prince was led
To the great hall wherein was set the feast;
And at his step, from out the smoky glare
And gloom of guttering torches, weeping pitch,
A hundred bearded faces were upraised,        5
Flaming with mead: and from their masters’ stools
Great dogs upstarting snarled; and from the dais,
The King, while wonder raised the eyebrow, asked
What man he was? what business brought him there?
When Edwin thus, the target of all eyes:        10
  “One who has brothered with the ghostly bats,
That skim the twilight on their leathern wings,
And with the rooks that caw in airy towns;
One intimate with misery: who has known
The fiend that in the hind’s pinched entrail sits        15
Devising treason, and the death of kings— …”

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