Author: Owen Meredith


When the light
Of the dawn grayly flicker’d and glared on the spent
Wearied ends of the night, like a hope that is sent
To the need of some grief when its need is the sorest,
He was sullenly riding across the dark forest
Toward Luchon.
Thus riding, with eyes of defiance
Set against the young day, as disclaiming alliance
With aught that the day brings to man, he perceived
Faintly, suddenly, fleetingly, through the damp-leaved
Autumn branches that put forth gaunt arms on his way,
The face of a man pale and wistful, and gray
With the gray glare of morning. Eugene de Luvois,
With the sense of a strange second sight, when he saw
That phantom-like face, could at once recognize,
By the sole instinct now left to guide him, the eyes
Of his rival, though fleeting the vision and dim,
With a stern sad inquiry fix’d keenly on him,
And, to meet it, a lie leap’d at once to his own;
A lie born of that lying darkness now grown
Over all in his nature! He answer’d that gaze
With a look which, if ever a man’s look conveys
More intensely than words what a man means convey’d
Beyond doubt in its smile an announcement which said,
"I have triumph’d. The question your eyes would imply
Comes too late, Alfred Vargrave!"
And so he rode by,
And rode on, and rode gayly, and rode out of sight,
Leaving that look behind him to rankle and bite.


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Chicago: Owen Meredith, "12," Lucile, ed. Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902 and trans. Seaton, R. C. in Lucile (New York: George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892), Original Sources, accessed March 25, 2019,

MLA: Meredith, Owen. "12." Lucile, edited by Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902, and translated by Seaton, R. C., in Lucile, New York, George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Original Sources. 25 Mar. 2019.

Harvard: Meredith, O, '12' in Lucile, ed. and trans. . cited in ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Lucile, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 25 March 2019, from