Sarah Orne Jewett

Two Mornings

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In armor strong the fearless knight
At daybreak rode away,
And from her window in the tower
The lady watched all day.

There stood that morning by the gate
A little page, to see,
And wished to be, in years to come,
As grand a knight as he.

All day the idle echoes brought,
Like noises in a dream,
The roar of fighting from afar,
The dashing of a stream;

And when the stars came, one by one,
The lady could not sleep;
She feared the shadows in the room,
She heard the waters leap.

The daylight lingered ere it came,
And hardly with surprise
She heard the tale the servants brought,
With terror in their eyes;

How at the close-barred castle gate
At daybreak they had found
The knight's horse, which came drooping,
Weak with a mortal wound.

Oh, all forlorn and riderless,
Stained with his master's blood,
With human sorrow in his look,
He hurt and trembling stood.

The lady did not speak. She came
Beside the horse to stand;
She kissed the bridle where the knight
Had held it in his hand;

And all that day she longed and feared
To hear the soldiers' tread,
When they came marching up the glen
To bring the knight home dead.

She wished the women would not wail;
She hoped that she might die;
She longed to be the little page,
Who hid himself to cry.

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Sarah Orne Jewett