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IV More than I liked did my fear rise
 More than I liked did my fear rise. Stock still I stood and dared not call;
With lips close shut and watchful1 eyes,
I stood as quiet as hawk2 in hall.
I thought her a spirit from the skies;
I doubted what thing might befall;
If to escape me now she tries,
How shall my voice her flight forestall3?
Then graciously and gay withal,
In royal robes, so sweet, so slight,
She rose, so modest and so small,
That precious one in pearls bedight.
Pearl bedight full royally,
Adown the bank with merry mien4,
Came the maiden5, fresh as fleur-de-lys.
Her surcoat linen6 must have been
Shining in whitest purity,
Slashed7 at the sides and caught between
With the fairest pearls, it seemed to me,
That ever yet mine eyes had seen;
With large folds falling loose, I ween,
Arrayed with double pearls, her white
Kirtle, of the same linen sheen,
With precious pearls all round was dight.
A crown with pearls bedight, the girl
Was wearing, and no other stone;
High pinnacled8 of clear white pearl,
Wrought9 as if pearls to flowers were grown.
No band nor fillet else did furl
The long locks all about her thrown.
Her air demure10 as duke or earl,
Her hue11 more white than walrus-bone;
Like sheer gold thread the bright hair strown
Loose on her shoulders, lying light.
Her colour took a deeper tone
With bordering pearls so fair bedight.
Bedight was every hem12, and bound,
At wrists, sides, and each aperture13,
With pearls the whitest ever found,—
White all her brave investiture;
But a wondrous14 pearl, a flawless round,
Upon her breast was set full sure;
A man's mind it might well astound15,
And all his wits to madness lure16.
I thought that no tongue might endure
Fully17 to tell of that sweet sight,
So was it perfect, clear and pure,
That precious pearl with pearls bedight.
Bedight in pearls, lest my joy cease,
That lovely one came down the shore;
The gladdest man from here to Greece,
The eagerest, was I, therefore;
She was nearer kin18 than aunt or niece,
And thus my joy was much the more.
She spoke19 to me for my soul's peace,
Courtesied with her quaint20 woman's lore21,
Caught off the shining crown she wore,
And greeted me with glance alight.
I blessed my birth; my bliss22 brimmed o'er
To answer her in pearls bedight.

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