grass, to bathe in the still pools, to watch the wild things of
the woods, to wander ankle deep in forest blossoms, to sleep
under the rocking of pines, to run .against the sweet force
of the wind, to climb the trees and SAving cradled in leaves,
and to look far away at the snow on the mountains, and to
dream, and to love, and to be content in dreaming and loving,
their mystical glory that aAvoke Avith the sun.
One day in the red autumn, Taric came; he had been
AvhoUy absent more than two years.
He was superb to the sight still, with matchless splendour
of face and form, but his carriage Avas more reckless and
disordered than ever, and in his gem-like and night-black
eyes, there Avas a look of cunning and of subtle ferocity new
His life had gone hardly with him, and to the indolence,
the passions, the rapacity, the slothful sensuality of the
gypsy—who had retained all the vices of his race whilst
losing their virtues of simplicity in living, and of endurance
under hardship—the gall of a sharp poverty had become
unendurable: and to live without dice, and Avomen, and
wine, and boastful brawling, seemed to him to be worse
than any death.
The day he returned, they were still camped in the Lie¬
bana ; in one of its narrow gorges, overhung with a thick
growth of trees, and coursed through by a headlong hill-
stream, that spread itself into darkling breadths and leafy
pools, in which the fish were astir under great snowy lilies
and a tangled web of water plants.
He strode into the midst of them, as they sat round their
camp-fire lit beneath a shelf of rock, as his wont was ; and
was welcomed and fed and plied with such as they had, with
that mixture of sullen respect and incurable attachment
which his tribe preserved, through aU their quarrels, for
this, the finest and the fiercest, the most fickle and the most
faithless of them all.
He gorged himself, and drank, and said little.
When the meal was done, the young of the tribe scattered
themselves in the red evening light under the great wal-
nuts ; some at feud, some at play,
" Which is mine ?" he asked, surveying the children.
They shoAved her to him. The sequins were round her
bead; phe swung on a bough of ash; the pool beneath