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* In a comedy of Fletcher, called The Knight of the burning Peffle, old Merry-Thought enters repeating tre following verses :
When it was grown to dark midnight,
And all were fait aseer,
And stood at Willian's feet.
This mas, probably, the leginning of fcire ballad, conmonly kniciun, at the time wulen that anilor wrote; and is all of it, I believe, that is any where to be inet with. These lines, naked of ornament and simple as they are, fruck my fancy: and, bringing frijs into my mind an unhappy adventure, much talkeid of formerly, gare birth to the following poem ; which was written many years ago
When night and morning meet ; In glided MARGARET's grimly ghaft,
And stood at WILLIAM's feet.
Clad in a wintry cloud :
That held her sable shroud.
When youth and years are fown':
When death has reft their crown.
That Gips the filver dew;
Just opening to the view.
Confum'd her early prime :
She dy d before her time.
Come from her midnight grave ;
Thy Love refus'd to fave.
When injur'd ghofts complain ;
To haunt the faithless swain.
Thy pledge and broken oath :
And not that promise keep?
swear my eyes were bright, Yet leave those eyes to weep?
And yet ihat face forsake ?
Yet leave that heart to break ?
Why did you say my lip was sweet,
And made the scarlet pale?
Believe the flattering tale?
XIT. That face, alas ! no more is fair ;
Those lips no longer red : Dark are my eyes, now clos'd in death,
And every charm is fed.
- XIII. The hungry worm my fifter is ;
This winding sheet I wear :
Till that last morn appear.
A long and late adieu !
Who dy'd for love of you.
With beams of rofy red:
And raving left his bed.
XVI. He hy'd him to the fatal place
Where Margaret's body lay : And stretch'd him on the green grass turf,
That wrap'd her breathless clay.
And thrice he wept full sore :
And word spoke never more !
On the publication of this ballad, in the year 1760, Mr. Mallet subjoined an attestation of the truth of the facts related in it, which we shall give the reader literally :
Extract of a letter from the curate of Bowes in TorkJhire, on the subject of the preceding poem, to Mr. Copperthwaite at Marrick.
“ Worthy fir, “ As to the affair mentioned in yours; it happened long to before my time. I have therefore been obliged to consult " my clerk. and another person in the neighbourhood for " the truth of that melancholy event. The history of it is " as follows:
“ The family-name of the young man was Wrightson; " of the
maiden Railton. They were both much of " the same age; that is growing up to twenty. In their “ birih was no disparity; but in fortune, alas! she was