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And the breath of vernal gales,
And the voice of nightingales :
But the nightingales were mute,
Envious, when an unseen lute
Shaped the music of its chords
Into passion's thrilling words:

“Smile, lady, smile!—I will not set
Upon my brow the coronet,
Till thou wilt gather roses white
To wear around its gems of light.
Smile, lady, smile !—I will not see
Rivers and Hastings bend the knee,

Till those bewitching lips of thine
Will bid me rise in bliss from mine.
Smile, lady, smile !—for who would win
A loveless throne through guilt and sin ?
Or who would reign o'er vale and hill,
If woman's heart were rebel still ?”

One jerk, and there a lady lay,

A lady wondrous fair;

But the rose of her lip had faded away, .
And her cheek was as white and as cold as clay,

And torn was her raven hair.
“ Ah, ha !” said the fisher, in merry guise,

“Her gallant was hooked before ;"
And the abbot heaved some piteous sighs,
For oft he had blessed those deep blue eyes,

The eyes of Mistress Shore !

There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
As he took forth a bait from his iron box.
Many the cunning sportsman tried,
Many he flung with a frown aside ;
A minstrel's harp, and a miser's chest,
A hermit's cowl, and a baron's crest,
Jewels of lustre, robes of price,
Tomes of heresy, loaded dice,
And golden cups of the brightest wine
That ever was pressed from the Burgundy vine ;
There was a perfume of sulphur and nitre,
As he came at last to a bishop's mitre !
From top to toe the abbot shook,
As the fisherman armed his golden hook ;

And awfully were his features wrought
By some dark dream or wakened thought.
Look how the fearful felon gazes
On the scaffold his country's vengeance raises,
When the lips are cracked and the jaws are dry
With the thirst which only in death shall die :
Mark the mariner's frenzied frown
As the swaling wherry settles down,
When peril has numbed the sense and will,
Though the hand and the foot may struggle still :
Wilder far was the abbot’s glance,
Deeper far was the abbot's trance ;
Fixed as a monument, still as air,
He bent no knee, and he breathed no prayer ;
But he signed—he knew not why or how-
The sign of the Cross on his clammy brow.

There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks, As he stalked away with his iron box.

“Oh, ho! Oh, ho !

The cock doth crow;
It is time for the fisher to rise and go.
Fair luck to the abbot, fair luck to the shrine !
He hath knawed in twain my choicest line ;

Let him swim to the north, let him swim to the south, i The abbot will carry my hook in his mouth!”

The abbot had preached for many years,

With as clear articulation
As ever was heard in the House of Peers

Against emancipation;
His words had made battalions quake,

Had roused the zeal of martyrs ;
He kept the court an hour awake,

And the king himself three quarters : But ever, from that hour, 'tis said,

He stammered and he stuttered,
As if an axe went through his head

With every word he uttered.
He stuttered o'er blessing, he stuttered o'er ban,

He stuttered, drunk or dry;
And none but he and the fisherman

Could tell the reason why!



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