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My First, in torrents bleak and black,
Was rushing from the sky,
Young Cupid wandered by: “Now take me in; the moon hath passed;
I pray ye, take me in!
I'm dripping to the skin !”
“I know thee well, thy songs and sighs;
A wicked god thou art,
Most witching to the heart !"
And shook his drooping wing;
And dried my Second's string.
And therefore,—(so the urchin swore,
By Styx, the fearful river,
And by his shining quiver,)
In Life's tempestuous Heaven;
In the deep calm of even !
The Indian lover burst
From his lone cot by night ;When Love hath lit my First, In hearts by Passion nurst,
Oh! who shall quench the light?
The Indian left the shore;
He heard the night wind sing,
Upon my Second's wing.
The blast came cold and damp.
But, all the voyage through,
He paddled his canoe.
In other days, when hope was bright,
But now ye tell another tale,
Away! ye grieve and ye rejoice
Alas! for that forgotten day
When Chivalry was nourished, When none but friars learned to pray
And beef and beauty flourished ! And fraud in kings was held accurst,
And falsehood sin was reckoned, And mighty chargers bore my First,
And fat monks wore my Second !
Oh, then I carried sword and shield,
And casque with flaunting feather, And earned my spurs in battle field,
In winter and rough weather ; And polished many a sonnet up
To ladies' eyes and tresses, And learned to drain my father's cup,
And loose my falcon's jesses :
How grand was I in olden days!
How gilded o’er with glory! The happy mark of ladies' praise,
The theme of minstrel's story;