Chevalier Malheur, Le

Grim visor'd cavalier!
Rides silently Mischance
Stabbed is my dying heart
of his unpitying lance
My poor heart's blood leaps forth,
a single crimson jet.
The hot sun licks it up
where petals pale are wet.
Deep shadow seals my sight,
one shriek my lips has fled
With a wrung, sullen shudder
my poor heart is dead
The cavalier dismounts;
and, kneeling on the ground,
His finger iron-mailed
he thrusts into the wound
Suddenly, at the freezing touch,
the iron smart,
At once within me bursts
a new, a noble heart.
Suddenly, as the steel
into the wound is pressed,
A heart all beautiful
and young throbs in my breast
Trembling; incredulous
I sat; but ill at ease,
As one who, in a holy trance,
strange visions sees.
While the good cavalier,
remounted on his horse,
Left me a parting nod
as he retook his course,
And shouted to me
(still I hear his cries):
“Once only can the miracle
avail.—Be wise!”
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