The Single Witness

" Did no one else, then, see them, man,
Lying among the whin?
Did no one else, behold them at all
Commit this shameless sin,
But you, in the hollow of the down
No traveller's eye takes in?"

" Nobody else, my noble lord,
Saw them together there —
Your young son's tutor and she. I made
A short cut from the fair,
And lit on them. I've said no word
About it anywhere."

" Good. . . . Now, you see my father's sword,
Hanging up in your view;
No hand has swung it since he came
Home after Waterloo.
I'll show it you. . . . There is the sword:
And this is what I'll do."

He ran the other through the breast,
Ere he could plead or cry.
" It is a dire necessity,
But — since no one was nigh
Save you and they, my historied name
Must not be smirched thereby."
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