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From The Story of Rimini

By Leigh Hunt

Canto II, The Bride's Journey to Rimini, lines 1-49

We'll pass the followers, and their closing state;
The court was entered by a hinder gate;
The duke and princess had retired before,
Joined by the knights and ladies at the door;
But something seemed amiss, and there ensued
Deep talk among the spreading multitude,
Who got in clumps, or paced the measured street,
Filling with earnest hum the noontide heat;
Nor ceased the wonder, as the day increased,
And brought no symptoms of a bridal feast,		10
No mass, no tilt, no largess for the crowd,
Nothing to answer that procession proud;
But a blank look, as if no court had been;
Silence without, and secrecy within;
And nothing heard by listening at the walls,
But now and then a bustling through the halls,
Or the dim organ roused at gathering interals.

The truth was this:--The bridegroom had not come,
But sent his brother, proxy in his room.
A lofty spirit the former was, and proud,		20
Little gallant, and had a sort of cloud
Hanging for ever on his cold address,
Which he mistook for proper manliness.
But more of this hereafter. Guido knew
The prince's character; and he knew too,        
That sweet as was his daughter, and prepared
To do her duty, where appeal was barred,
She had stout notions on the marrying score,
And where; the match unequal prospect bore,
Might pause with firmness, and refuse to strike		30
A chord her own sweet music so unlike.
The old man therefore, kind enough at heart,
Yet fond from habit of intrigue and art,
And little formed for sentiments like these,
Which seemed to him mere maiden niceties,
Had thought at once to gratify the pride
Of his stern neighbour, and secure the bride,
By telling him, that if, as he had heard,
Busy he was just then, 'twas but a word,
And he might send and wed her by another,		40
Of course, no less a person than his brother.
The bride meantime was told, and not unmoved,
To look for one no sooner seen than loved;
And when Giovanni, struck with what he thought
Mere proof how his triumphant hand was sought,
Dispatched the wished for prince, who was a creature
Formed in the very poetry of nature,
The effect was perfect, and the future wife
Caught in the elaborate snare, perhaps for life.