The Faithless Knight

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THE lady she sate in her bower alone,
And she gaz'd from the lattice window high,
Where a white steed's hoofs were ringing on,
With a beating heart, and a smother'd sigh.
Why doth she gaze thro' the sunset rays--
Why doth she watch that white steed's track--
While a quivering smile on her red lip plays?
'Tis her own dear knight--will he not look back?

The steed flew fast--and the rider past--
Nor paus'd he to gaze at the lady's bower;
The smile from her lip is gone at last--
There are tears on her cheek--like the dew on a flower!
And "plague on these foolish tears," she said,
"Which have dimm'd the view of my young love's track;
For oh! I am sure, while I bent my head,
It was then--it was then that my knight look'd back."

On flew that steed with an arrow's speed;
He is gone--and the green boughs wave between:
And she sighs, as the sweet breeze sighs through a reed,
As she watches the spot where he last has been.
Oh! many a sun shall rise and set,
And many an hour may she watch in vain,
And many a tear shall that soft cheek wet,
Ere that steed and its rider return again!

© Caroline Norton