A thing of not much moment, as life goes,
A thing a man with some philosophy
Had idly brushed aside, as 't were a gnat
That winged itself between him and the light,
Had, through the crooked working of his mind,
Brought Wyndham to a very grievous pass.
Yet 't was a grapestone choked Anacreon
And hushed his song. There is no little thing
In nature: in a raindrop's compass lie
A planet's elements. This Wyndham's woe
Was one Griselda, daughter to a man
Of Bideford, a shipman once, but since
Turned soldier; now in white-haired, wrinkled age
Sitting beneath the olive, valiant still,
With sword on nail above the chimney-shelf
In case the Queen should need its edge again.
An officer he was, though lowly born.
The man aforetime, in the Netherlands
And through those ever-famous French campaigns
(Marry, in what wars bore he not a hand?)
In Rawdon Wyndham's troop of horse had served,
And when he fell that day by Calais wall