Page images
PDF
EPUB

And steel was measured by the ell,

And trousers lined with leather ;
And jesters wore a cap and bell,

And knights a cap and feather.
Then single folks might live at ease,

And married ones might sever;
Uncommon doctors had their fees,

But Doctors Commons never;
O! had we in those times been bred,

Fair cousin, for thy glances,
Instead of breaking Priscian's head,
I had been breaking lances !

Edward Fitzgerald.

CCCLXXXVIII,

THE ROMANCE OF THE SWAN'S NEST.

LITTLE Ellie sits alone
'Mid the beeches of a meadow

By a stream-side on the grass,

And the trees are showering down
Doubles of their leaves in shadow

On her shining hair and face.

She has thrown her bonnet by,
And her feet she has been dipping

In the shallow water's flow :

Now she holds them nakedly
In her hands, all sleek and dripping,

While she rocketh to and fro.

Little Ellie sits alone,
And the smile she softly uses

Fills the silence like a speech,

While she thinks what shall be done,
And the sweetest pleasure chooses

For her future within reach.

Little Ellie in her smile
Chooses—“I will have a lover,

Riding on a steed of steeds :

He shall love me without guile,
And to him I will discover

The swan's nest among the reeds.

" And the steed shall be red-roan, And the lover shall be noble,

With an eye that takes the breath :

And the lute he plays upon Shall strike ladies into trouble,

As his sword strikes men to death.

“And the steed it shall be shod All in silver, housed in azure,

And the mane shall swim the wind;

And the hoofs along the sod
Shall flash onward and keep measure,

Till the shepherds look behind.

“But my lover will not prize All the glory that he rides in,

When he gazes in my face:

He will say, “O Love, thine eyes Build the shrine my soul abides in, And I kneel here for thy grace !

“Then, ay, then he shall kneel low, With the red-roan steed anear him,

Which shall seem to understand,

Till I answer, ‘Rise and go!
For the world must love and fear him

Whom I gift with heart and hand.'

" Then he will arise so pale, I shall feel my own lips tremble

With a yes I must not say,

Nathless maiden-brave, “Farewell,' I will utter, and dissemble

‘Light to-morrow with to-day!'

“ Then he'll ride among the hills To the wide world past the river,

There to put away all wrong;

To make straight distorted wills, And to empty the broad quiver

Which the wicked bear along.

“ Three times shall a young foot-page Swim the stream and climb the mountain, And kneel down beside my feet

'Lo, my master sends this gage, Lady, for thy pity's counting !

What wilt thou exchange for it?'

“ And the first time, I will send A little rose-bud for a guerdon,

And the second time, a glove;

But the third time-I may bend From my pride, and answer-Pardon, If he comes to take

my

love.' “Then the young foot-page will run, Then my lover will ride faster,

Till he kneeleth at my knee:

'I am a duke's eldest son, Thousand serfs do call me master,

But, O Love, I love but thee!'

“He will kiss me on the mouth Then, and lead me as a lover

Through the crowds that praise his deeds:

And, when soul-tied by one troth, Unto him I will discover

That swan's nest among the reeds.”

Little Ellie, with her smile Not yet ended, rose up gaily,

Tied the bonnet, donn'd the shoe,

And went homeward round a mile, Just to see, as she did daily,

What more eggs were with the two.

Pushing thro’ the elm-tree copse, Winding up the stream, light-hearted,

Where the osier pathway leads,

Past the boughs she stoops—and stops. Lo, the white swan had deserted !

And a rat had gnaw'd the reeds !

Ellie went home sad and slow. If she found the lover ever,

With his red-roan steed of steeds,

Sooth I know not ; but I know She could never show him-never, That swan's nest among the reeds.

Elizabeth B. Browning.

CCCLXXXIX.

That out of sight is out of mind
Is true of most we leave behind;
It is not sure, nor can be true,
My own, my only love, of you.
They were my friends,—'twas sad to part;
Almost a tear began to start ;
But yet as things run on they find,
That out of sight is out of mind.
For men that will not idlers be,
Must lend their hearts to things they see ;
And friends who leave them far behind,
When out of sight are out of mind.
I blame it not; I think that when
The cold and silent meet again,
Kind hearts will yet as erst be kind,
'Twas “out of sight” was “out of mind.”
That friends, however friends they were,
Still deal with things as things occur,
And that, excepting for the blind,
What's out of sight is out of mind,
But Love, the poets say, is blind ;
So out of sight and out of mind
Need not, nor will, I think, be true,
My own, and only love, of you.

Arthur H. Clough.

INDEX OF WRITERS,

WITH DATES OF THEIR BIRTH AND DEATH.

ALDRICH, Dean (1647-1710)

Reasons for drinking-CCL.
ANTI-JACOBIN (1797—1798),

The friend of humanity-CXCV

Song of Rogero-CCCLXXIV,
AYTON, Sir Robert (1570–1638)

Woman's inconstancy-XI

I do confess thou'rt smooth and fair-XVI.
Aytoun, William E. (1813–1865)

The lay of the Levite-CCCLXXX.

BAILLIE, Joanna (1762—1851)

To a kitten-CCCXXXII.
BARBAULD, Anna Letitia (1743-1825)

Life! I know not what thou art-CCLXXXIII.
BARHAM, Richard H. (1780—1845)

Lines left at Theodore Hook's House--CCCXXIII

The poplar-CCCLX.
BARNARD, Dr., Bishop of Limerick (1727–1806)

On mending his faults-CLI.
BAYLY, Thomas Haynes (1797-1839)

I'd be a butterfly-CCCLXV

A fashionable novel-CCCLXIX.
BEAZLEY, Samuel (1786—1851)

When I'm dead, on my tomb-stone I hope they will

say--CCLIV.
BEDINGFIELD, William

The lover's choice-CXXXII

Contentment-CCLIII.
BEHN, Aphra ( -1689)

The alternative-LXVI.
BISHOP, Rev. Samuel (1731–1795)

To his wife, with a knife-cxvi
To his wife, with a ring-CXVII.

Y

« PreviousContinue »