The News from the Field

The King to the battle, the Queen to her bower.
She sits with her maidens and chides the slow hour.
There cometh no message, no word from the King,
And she chides the slow hour for the weight of its wing.

The bat flutters wavering noiselessly by;
The sun is gone down off the steps of the sky;
And the peacock has trailed his long splendours away
In the hush of the world at the fall of the day.

But hark, there are hoofbeats that clatter and ring!
A message, a message is come from the King.
Who bringeth the tidings, at last, and so late?
A riderless charger, that neighs at the gate.
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