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They shall tear him limb from limb!
O thankless beldames and untrue!
And is this all that you can do
For him, who did so much for you?
Ninety months he, by my troth!
Hath richly cater'd for you both;
And in an hour would you repay
An eight years' work ?--Away! away!
I alone am faithful! I
Cling to him everlastingly.
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
Are all but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
Beside the ruin'd tower.
The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve!
She leant against the armed man,
The statue of the armed knight;
She stood and listen’d to my lay,
Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best, whene'er I sing
that make her grieve.
I play'd a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story-
An old rude song, that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.
She listen’d with a fitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace,
For well she knew, I could not chuse
gaze upon her face.
I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that for ten long years he woo'd
The Lady of the Land.
I told her how he pin’d; and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang 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!
But when I told the cruel scorn
All impulses of soul and sense That craz'd that bold and lovely Knight,
Had thrillid my guileless Genevieve; And that he cross'd the mountain-woods,
The music, and the doleful tale, Nor rested day nor night;
The rich and balmy eve; That sometimes from the savage den,
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope, And sometimes from the darksome shade,
An undistinguishable throng, And sometimes starting up at once
And gentle wishes long subdued, In green and sunny glade,
Subdued and cherish'd long! There came and look'd him in the face
She wept with pity and delight, An angel beautiful and bright;
She blush'd with love, and virgin-shame; And that he knew it was a fiend,
And like the murmur of a dream, This miserable Knight!
I heard her breathe my name. And that unknowing what he did,
Her bosom heav'd-she stept aside, He leap'd amid a murderous band,
As conscious of my look she stepAnd sav'd from outrage worse than death
Then suddenly, with tímorous eye The Lady of the Land!
She fled to me and wept. And how she wept, and claspt his knees;
She half enclosed me with her arms, And how she tended him in vain
She press'd me with a meek embrace; And ever strove to expiate
And bending back her head, look'd up, The scorn that crazed his brain.
And gazed upon my face. And that she nursed him in a cave;
'Twas partly Love, and partly Fear, And how his madness went away,
And partly 'twas a bashful art, When on the yellow forest-leaves
That I might rather feel, than see, A dying man he lay.
The swelling of her heart. His dying words—but when I reach'd
I calm’d her fears, and she was calm, That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
And told her love with virgin-pride. My faultering voice and pausing harp
And so I won my Genevieve, Disturb'd her soul with pity!
My bright and beauteous bride.
“ But they are dead; those two are dead! Their spirits are in Heaven!" 'Twas throwing words away: for still The little maid would have her will, And said, “ Nay, we are Seven !”
WE ARE SEVEN.
A simple child
What should it know of death ? 225. I met a little cottage girl:
She was eight years old, she said ;
That clustered round her head.
And she was wildly clad;
And two of us at Conway dwell, i And two are gone to sea.
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink ; I heard a voice: it said, “ Drink, pretty creature,
drink!" And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied A snow-white mountain lamb, with a maiden at its
No other sheep were near, the lamb was all alone, And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass did the little maiden kneel,
(meal. While to that mountain lamb she gave its evening
The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper
took, Seem'd to feast with head and ears; and his tail with pleasure shook.
[a tone “ Drink, pretty creature, drink,” she said in such That I almost received her heart into my own.
'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty rare!
(pair. I watched them with delight; they were a lovely Now with her empty can the maiden turned away; But, ere ten yards were gone, her footsteps did she
And i Rece
That plaintive cry! which up the hill
Comes from the depth of Dungeon Ghyll.
Towards the lamb she looked; and from that shady “ Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky; place
Night and day thou art safe,-our cottage is hard by. I, unobserved, could see the workings of her face: Why bleat so after me? Why pull so at thy chain? If Nature to her tongue could measured numbers Sleep-and at break of day I will come to the bring,
(sing. again!" Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little maid might
-As homeward through the lane I went with lazy “ What ails thee, young one? What? Why pull This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat; [feet, so at thy cord ?
And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line,
That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was
Again, and once again did I repeat the song;
Nay,” said I, “ more than half to the danisel Thy limbs, are they not strong? And beautiful thou
(such a tone,
For she looked with such a look, and she spake with This grass is tender grass; these flowers they have
That I almost received her heart into my own." no peers; And that green corn, all day, is rustling in thy ears ! “ If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy woollen chain,
THE IDLE SHEPHERD BOYS, This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst gain ; For rain and mountain storms! the like thou need'st not fear (come here
I. The rain and storm are things which scarcely can
The valley rings with mirth and joy; “Rest, little young one, rest; thou hast forgot the day
Among the hills the echoes play
The magpie chatters with delight;
Have left the mother and the nest; “ He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee home:
And they go rambling east and west A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst thou
In search of their own food; A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee
Or through the glittering vapours dart
In very wantonness of heart. yean Upon the mountain tops no kinder could have been.
II. “ Thou know'st that twice a-day I have brought
Beneath a rock, upon the grass, thee in this can
Two boys are sitting in the sun; Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran;
It seems they have no work to do And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with
Or that their work is done. dew,
[new. I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is, and
On pipes of sycamore they play
The fragments of a Christmas hymn; “ Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they
Or with that plant which in our dale are now,
We call stag-horn, or fox's tail, Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the
Their rusty hats they trim: My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is
And thus, as happy as the day, cold
Those shepherds wear the time away.
nor hear. “ Alas, the mountain tops that look so green and fair! I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come
there; The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play, When they are angry, roar like lions for their prey.
SIX YEARS OLD.
By chance had thither strayed ; Said Walter, leaping from the ground,
And there the helpless lamb be found, * Down to the stump of yon old yew
By those huge rocks encompassed round.
He drew it gently from the pool,
And brought it forth into the light: Seeing that he should lose the prize,
The shepherds met him with his charge, Stop!” to his comrade Walter cries
An unexpected sight! James stopped with no good will:
Into their arms the lamb they took, Said Walter then, “ Your task is here,
Said they, “ He’s neither maimed nor scarred.” 1. 'Twill keep you working half a year.
Then up the steep ascent they hied,
And gently did the bard “ Now cross where I shall cross-come on,
Those idle shepherd-boys upbraid,
And bade them better mind their trade.
TO H. C.
O thou! whose fancies from afar are brought; Hath fallen, and made a bridge of rock:
Who of thy words dost make a mock apparel, The gulph is deep below;
And fittest to unutterable thought And in a basin black and small
The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol; Receives a lofty waterfall.
Thou fairy voyager! that dost float
In such clear water, that thy boat
May rather seem
To brood on air than on an earthly stream; The challenger began his march;
Suspended in a stream as clear as sky, And now, all eyes and feet, hath gained
Where earth and heaven do make one imagery; The middle of the arch.
O blessed vision! happy child! & When list! he hears a piteous moan
That art so exquisitely wild, Again!-his heart within him dies
I think of thee with many fears His pulse is stopped, his breath is lost,
For what may be thy lot in future years. He totters, pale as any ghost,
I thought of times when pain might be thy guest, And, looking down, he spies
Lord of thy house and hospitality; A lamb, that in the pool is pent
And grief, uneasy lover! never rest Within that black and frightful rent.
But when she sate within the touch of thee.
Oh! too industrious folly!
Oh! vain and causeless melancholy!
Nature will either end thee quite; * And safe without a bruise or wound
Or, lengthening out thy season of delight, The cataract had borne him down
Preserve for thee, by individual right, Into the gulph profound.
A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks. His dam had seen him when he fell,
What hast thou to do with sorrow, She saw him down the torrent borne;
Or the injuries of to-morrow? And, while with all a mother's love
Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn brings forth, She from the lofty rocks above
Not framed to undergo unkindly shocks; Sent forth a cry forlorn,
Or to be trailed along the soiling earth; The lamb, still swimming round and round,
A gem that glitters while it live Made answer to that plaintive sound.
And no forewarning gives;
But, at the touch of wrong, without a strife
Slips in a moment out of life.
THE FEMALE VAGRANT.
My father was a good and pious man, now deferred their task;
An honest man by honest parents bred, Nor was there wanting other aid,
And I believe that, soon as I began who loves the brooks
To lisp, he made me kneel beside my bed, Far better ician the sages' books,
And in his hearing there my prayers I said:
A poet, one