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The grass was fine, the sun was bright,
With truth I may aver it;
Much like a beast of spirit.
The ox is only glad.”
Halloo! the ox is mad.
Plunge! through the hedge he drove-
He's mad, he's mad, by Jove!
A sage of sober hue,
And, damme! who are you?”
And curse him o'er and o'er-
Of a Presbyterian w-re! “ You'd have him gore the parish-priest,
And run against the altarYou fiend!”—The sage his warnings ceased, And north, and south, and west, and east, Halloo! they follow the poor beast,
Mat, Dick, Tom, Bob, and Walter.
Stood trembling in his shoes;
And gave him his death's bruise.
The gospel scarce more true is-
A tear for good old Lewis.
All follow'd, boy and dad,
They drove the poor oz mad.
Why e'en a rat might plague you: There's no philosopher but sees
That rage and fear are one disease
They're both alike the ague.
Faced round like any bulle
But had his belly-full.
Old Nicholas to a tittle!
Squirt out some fasting-spittle.*
The Trojans he could worry-
The mob fled hurry-skurry,
Through his hedge and through her hedge,
That had more wrath than courage.
He made for these poor ninnies,
A sight of golden guineas.
The man that kept his senses.
For all the parish fences.
What means this coward fuss?
See, here's my blunderbuss !"
Let's break his Presbyterian head!” “ Hush !” quoth the sage, “ you've been misled, No quarrels now let's all make head
You drove the poor or mad!”
With the morning's wet newspaper,
Our pursy woollen-draper.
* One of the many fine words which the most uneducated * According to the superstition of the west countries, if had about this time a constant opportunity of acquiring you meet the devil, you may either cut him in half with from the sermons in the pulpit, and the proclamations on a straw, or you may cause him instantly to disappear by the corners,
spitting over his horns.
I play'd a sad and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving storyAn old rude song that fitted well
That ruin wild and hoary.
She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace; For well she knew, I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.
Upon his shield a burning brand;
The ladie of the land:
INTRODUCTION TO THE TALE OF THE
DARK LADIE. The following poem is intended as the introduction to a somewhat longer one. The use of the old ballad word Ladie for Lady, is the only piece of obsoleteness in it; and as it is prosessedly a tale of ancient times, I trust that the affectionate lovers of venerable antiquity (as Camden says) will grant me their pardon, and perhaps may be induced to admit a force and propriety in it. A heavier objection may be adduced against the author, that in these times of fear and expectation, when novelties explode around us in all directions, he should presume to offer to the public a silly tale of old-fashioned love: and five years ago, I own I should have allowed and felt the force of this objection. But, alas! explosion has succeeded explosion so rapidly, that novelty itself ceases to appear new; and it is possible that now even a simple story,wholly uninspired with politics or personality, may find some allention amid the hubbub of revolutions, as to those who have remained a long time by the falls of Niagara, the lowest whispering becomes distinctly audible.-S. T. C.
Dec. 21, 1799.
I told her how he pined: and ab!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone With which I sung another's love,
Interpreted my own.
She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace ; And she forgave me, that I gazed
Too fondly on her face!
O LEAVE the lily on its stem;
O leave the rose upon the spray ;
And listen to my lay.
This morn around my harp you twined, Because it fashion'd mournfully
Its murmurs in the wind.
A woful tale of love I sing;
And trembles on the string.
It sighs and trembles most for thee!
Befell the Dark Ladie.
But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed this bold and lonely knight, And how he roam'd the mountain woods,
Nor rested day or night; And how he cross'd the woodman's paths,
Through briers and swampy mosses beat; How boughs rebounding scourged his limbs,
And low stubs gored his feet;
And sometimes from the darksome shade, And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade ;
An angel beautiful and bright;
This miserable knight!
He leapt amid a lawless band,
The ladie of the land !
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope, my joy, my Genevieve! She loves me best, whene'er I sing
The songs that make her grieve.
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng, And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherish'd long!
She wept with pity and delight,
She blush'd with love and maiden shame; And, like the murmurs of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name.
I saw a cloud of palest hue,
Onward to the moon it pass'd;
Till it reach'd the moon at last:
And with such joy I find my Lewti:
Drinks in as deep a flush of beauty ! Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind, If Lewti never will be kind.
I saw her bosom heave and swell,
Heave and swell with inward sighsI could not choose but love to see
Her gentle bosom rise.
Her wet cheek glow'd : she stept aside
As conscious of my look she stepp'd: Then suddenly, with timorous eye,
She flew to me and wept.
She press'd me with a meek embrace; And bending back her head, look'd up,
And gazed upon my face.
The little cloud-it floats away,
Away it goes ; away so soon?
Away it passes from the moon !
Ever fading more and more, To joyless regions of the sky,
And now 'tis whiter than before ! As white as my poor cheek will be,
When, Lewti! on my couch I lie, A dying man for love of thee. Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind And yet thou didst not look unkind.
'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art, That I might rather feel than see
The swelling of her heart.
I calm'd her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride; And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous bride.
A woful tale of love I sing:
And trembles on the string.
I saw a vapour in the sky,
Thin, and white, and very high ; I ne'er beheld so thin a cloud
Perhaps the breezes that can fly
Now below and now above,
Of lady fair-that died for love.
When last I sang the cruel scorn
That crazed this bold and lonely knight And how he roam'd the mountain woods,
Nor rested day or night:
Of man's perfidious cruelty:
Hush! my heedless feet from under
Slip the crumbling banks for ever: Like echoes to a distant thunder,
They plunge into the gentle river. The river-swans have heard my tread, And startle from their reedy bed.
O beauteous birds ! methinks ye measure Easily caught, ensnare him, 0 ye nymphs,
Your movements to some heavenly tune! Ye Oreads chaste, ye dusky Dryades ! O beauteous birds ! 'tis such a pleasure
And you, ye earth-winds ! you that make at morn To see you move beneath the moon,
The dew-drops quiver on the spider's webs! I would it were your true delight
You, O ye wingless airs ! that creep between To sleep by day and wake all night.
The rigid stems of heath and bitten furze,
Within whose scanty shade, at summer-noon I know the place where Lewti lies,
The mother-sheep hath worn a hollow bed When silent night has closed her eyes:
Ye, that now cool her fleece with dropless damp, It is a breezy jasmine bower,
Now pant and murmur with her feeding lamb. The nightingale sings o'er her head :
Chase, chase him, all ye fays, and elfin gnomes ! Voice of the night! had I the power
With prickles sharper than his darts bemock That leafy labyrinth to thread,
His little godship, making him perforce And creep, like thee, with soundless tread, Creep through a thorn-bush on yon hedgehog's I then might view her bosom white
back. Heaving lovely to my sight,
This is my hour of triumph! I can now As these two swans together heave
With my own fancies play the merry fool, On the gently swelling wave.
And laugh away worse folly, being free.
Here will I seat myself, beside this old, 0! that she saw me in a dream,
Hollow, and weedy oak, which ivy-twine And dreamt that I had died for care ;
Clothes as with network : here will I couch my All pale and wasted I would seem,
limbs, Yet fair withal, as spirits are !
Close by this river, in this silent shade, I'd die, indeed, if I might see
As safe and sacred from the step of man Her bosom heave, and heave for me!
As an invisible world—unheard, unseen, Soothe, gentle image! soothe my mind! And listening only to the pebbly brook To-morrow Lewti may be kind.
That murmurs with a dead, yet tinkling sound; 1795.
Or to the bees, that in the neighbouring trunk
The tendril ringlets from the maiden's brow,
And the blue, delicate veins above her cheek; RESOLUTION.
Ne'er played the wanton-never half-disclosed THROUGH weeds and thorns, and matted under- The maiden's snowy bosom, scattering thence wood
Eye-poisons for some love-distemper'd youth, I force my way; now climb, and now descend Who ne'er henceforth may see an aspen grove O’er rocks, or bare or mossy, with wild foot Shiver in sunshine, but his feeble heart Crushing the purple whorts ; while oft unseen, Shall flow away like a dissolving thing. Hurrying along the drifted forest leaves,
Sweet breeze ! thou only, if I guess aright, The scared snake rustles. Onward still I toil, Liftest the feathers of the robin's breast, I know not, ask not whither! A new joy, That swells its little breast, so full of song, Lovely as light, sudden as summer gust,
Singing above me, on the mountain ash.
Though clear as lake in latest summer eve,
The face, the form divine, the downcast look The fir trees, and th' unfrequent slender oak, Contemplative! Behold! her open palm Forth from this tangle wild of bush and brake Presses her cheek and brow! her elbow rests Soar up, and form a melancholy vault
On the bare branch of half-uprooted tree, High o'er me, murmuring like a distant sea. That leans towards its mirror! Who erewhile
Here wisdom might resort, and here remorse; Had from her countenance turn'd, or look’d by Here too the lovelorn man who, sick in soul,
stealth, And of this busy human heart aweary,
(For fear is true love's cruel nurse,) be now Worships the spirit of unconscious life
With steadfast gaze and unoffending eye, In tree or wild-flower. Gentle lunatic!
Worships the watery idol, dreaming hopes If so he might not wholly ccase to be,
Delicious to the soul, but fleeting, vain, He would far rather not be that, he is;
E’en as that phantom world on which he gazed, But would be something that he knows not of, But not unheeded gazed! for see, ah! see, In winds, or waters, or among the rocks !
The sportive tyrant with her left hand plucks But hence, fond wretch! breathe not contagion The heads of tall flowers that behind her grow, here!
Lychnis, and willow-herb, and fox-glove bells : No myrtle-walks are these: these are no groves And suddenly, as one that toys with time, Where love dare loiter! If in sullen mood Scatters them on the pool! Then all the charm He should stray hither, the low stumps shall gore Is broken-all that phantom world so fair His dainty feet, the brier and the thorn
Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, Make his plumes haggard. Like a wounded bird And each misshapes the other. Stay a while,
Poor youth, who scarcely darest lift up thine eyes ! Holds loosely its small handful of wild-flowers,
Yon bark her canvass, and those purple berries Each wild-flower on the marge inverted there, Her pencil! See, the juice is scarcely dried And there the half-uprooted tree-but where, On the fine skin! She has been newly here;
where the virgin's snowy arm, that lean'd And lo! yon patch of heath has been her couchOn its bare branch ? He turns, and she is gone! The pressure still remains ! O blessed couch! Homeward she steals through many a woodland For this mayest thou flower early, and the sun,
Slanting at eve, rest bright, and linger long
O child of genius! stately, beautiful,
And full of love to all, save only me,
And not ungentle e'en to me! My heart,
way Making thee doleful as a cavern-well:
On to her father's house. She is alone! Save when the shy kingfishers build their nest The night draws on—such ways are hard to hitOn thy steep banks, no loves hast thou, wild And fit it is I should restore this sketch, stream!
Dropt unawares, no doubt. Why should I yearn This be my chosen haunt-emancipate
To keep the relic? twill but idly feed From passion's dreams, a freeman, and alone, The passion that consumes me. Let me haste! I rise and trace its devious course. O lead,
The picture in my hand which she has left, Lead me to deeper shades and lonelier glooms. She cannot blame me that I follow'd her; Lo! stealing through the canopy of firs,
And I may be her guide the long wood through.
A DRAMATIC FRAGMENT.
You loved the daughter of Don Manrique !
Loved ? And hark, the noise of a near waterfall!
Did you not say you woo'd ber?
Once I loved
Her whom I dared not woo!
And wood, perchance, With brook and bridge, and gray stone cottages, One whom you loved not! Half hid by rocks and fruit trees. At my feet The whortleberries are bedewed with spray,
EARL HENRY Dash'd upwards by the furious waterfall,
0! I were most base, How solemnly the pendent ivy mass
Not loving Oropeza. True, I woo'd her, Swings in its winnow: all the air is calm.
Hoping to heal a deeper wound; but she The smoke from cottage chimneys, tinged with Met my advances with impassion'd pride, light,
That kindled love with love. And when her sire, Rises in columns; from this house alone,
Who in his dream of hope already grasp'd Close by the waterfall, the column slants,
The golden circlet in his hand, rejected And feels its ceaseless breeze. But what is this? My suit with insult, and in memory That cottage, with its slanting chimney smoke, Of ancient feuds pour'd curses on my head, And close beside its porch a sleeping child, Her blessings overtook and baffled them! His dear head pillow'd on a sleeping dog But thou art stern, and with unkindly countenance One arm between its fore-legs, and the hand Art inly reasoning whilst thou listenest to me.