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A FRAGMENT OF A BALLAD:

TEACHING HOW POETRY IS BEST PAID FOR.

Non voglio cento scudi.-Song.

Oh say not that the minstrel's art,

The pleasant gift of verse,
Though his hopes decay, though his friends depart,

Can ever be a curse;-
Though sorrow reign within his heart,

And Penury hold his purse.

Say not his toil is profitless ;

Though he charm no rich relation,
The Fairies all his labors bless

With such remuneration,
As Mr. Hume would soon confess

Beyond his calculation.

Annuities, and three per cents,

Little cares he about them;

He rambles on without them : But love, and noble sentiments,

Oh, never bid him doubt them!

Young Florice rose from his humble bed,

And prayed as a good youth should;
And forth he sped, with a lightsome tread,

Into the neighboring wood;
He knew where the berries were ripe and red,

And where the old oak stood.

And as he lay at the noon of day,

Beneath the ancient tree,
A grayhaired pilgrim passed that way;

A holy man was he,
And he was wending forth to pray

At a shrine in a far countrie.

Oh, his was a weary wandering,

And a song or two might cheer him.
The pious youth began to sing,

As the ancient man drew near him;
The lark was mute as he touched the string,

And the thrush said, “Hear him, hear him !"

He sang high tales of the martyred brave;

Of the good, and pure, and just; Who have gone into the silent grave,

In such deep faith and trust, That the hopes and thoughts which sain and save

Spring from their buried dust.

The fair of face, and the stout of limb,

Meek maids, and grandsires hoary; Who have sung on the cross their rapturous hymn,

As they passed to their doom of glory ;

Their radiant fame is never dim,

Nor their names erased from story.

Time spares the stone where sleep the dead

With angels watching round them; The mourner's grief is comforted,

As he looks on the chains that bound them; And peace is shed on the murderer’s head,

And he kisses the thorns that crowned them.

Such tales he told; and the pilgrim heard

In a trance of voiceless pleasure ; For the depths of his inmost soul were stirred,

By the sad and solemn measure : “I give thee my blessing,”—was his word;

“It is all I have of treasure !"

A little child came bounding by;

And he, in a fragrant bower, Had found a gorgeous butterfly,

Rare spoil for a nursery dower, Which, with fierce step, and eager eye,

He chased from flower to flower.

“Come hither, come hither,” 'gan Florice call;

And the urchin left his fun;
So from the hall of poor Sir Paul

Retreats the baffled dun;
So Ellen parts from the village ball,

Where she leaves a heart half won.

Then Florice did the child caress,

And sang his sweetest songs: Their theme was of the gentleness

Which to the soul belongs, · Ere yet it knows the name or dress

Of human rights and wrongs.

And of the wants which make agree

All parts of this vast plan;
How life is in whate'er we see,

And only life in man :-
What matter where the less may be,

And where the longer span ?

And how the heart grows hard without

Soft Pity's freshening dews;
And how when any life goes out

Some little pang ensues ;-
Facts which great soldiers often doubt,

And wits who write reviews.

Oh, Song hath power o'er Nature's springs,

Though deep the Nymph has laid them !
The child gazed, gazed, on gilded wings,

As the next light breeze displayed them;
But he felt the while that the meanest things...)

Are dear to him that made them! mai 23

The sun went down behind the hill,

The breeze was growing colder

But there the minstrel lingered still;

And amazed the chance beholder, Musing beside a rippling rill,

With a harp upon his shoulder.

And soon, on a graceful steed and tame,

A sleek Arabian mare, The Lady Juliana came,

With lords of fame, at whose proud name

A radical would swear.

The minstrel touched his lute again.

When the lady checked her bridle rein,

And lit from her palfrey down:What would you give for such a strain,

Rees, Longman, Orme, and Brown?

He sang of Beauty's dazzling eyes,

Of Beauty's melting tone;
And how her praise is a richer prize

Than the gems of Persia's throne ;
And her love a bliss which the coldly wise

Have never, never known.

He told how the valiant scoff at fear,

When the sob of her grief is heard ; How they couch the spear for a smile or tear

How they die for a single word ;Things which, I own, to me appear

Exceedingly absurd.

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