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From the bowels of the earth,
Strange and varied sounds had birth-
Now the battle's bursting peal,
Neigh of steed, and clang of steel;
Now an old man's hollow groan
Echoed from the dungeon stone;
Now the weak and wailing cry
Of a stripling's agony !

Cold by this was the midnight air;

But the abbot's blood ran colder,
When he saw a gasping knight lie there,
With a gash beneath his clotted hair,

And a hump upon his shoulder.
And the loyal churchman strove in vain

To mutter a Pater Noster;
For he who writhed in mortal pain
Was camped that night on Bosworth plain -

The cruel Duke of Glo'ster!

There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
As he took forth a bait from his iron box,
It was a haunch of princely size,
Filling with fragrance earth and skies.
The corpulent abbot knew full well
The swelling form, and the steaming smell;
Never a monk that wore a hood
Could better have guessed the very wood
Where the noble hart had stood at bay,
Weary and wounded, at close of day.

Sounded then the noisy glee
Of a revelling company -
Sprightly story, wicked jest,
Rated servant, greeted guest,
Flow of wine, and flight of cork:
Stroke of knife, and thrust of fork:
But, where'er the board was spread,
Grace, I ween, was never said !

Pulling and tugging the fisherman sat;

And the priest was ready to vomit, When he hauled out a gentleman, fine and fat, With a belly as big as a brimming vat,

And a nose as red as a comet.

A capital stew," the fisherman said,

“With cinnamon and sherry!” And the abbot turned away his head, For his brother was lying before him dead,

The mayor of St. Edmond's Bury !

There was turning of keys, and creaking of locks,
As he took forth a bait from his iron box:
It was a bundle of beautiful things –
A peacock's tail, and a butterfly's wings,
A scarlet slipper, an auburn curl,
A mantle of silk, and a bracelet of pearl,
And a packet of letters, from whose sweet fold
Such a stream of delicate odors rolled,
That the abbot fell on his face, and fainted,
And deemed his spirit was half-way sainted.

Sounds seemed dropping from the skies,
Stifled whispers, smothered sighs,
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, ah !” 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,

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 gnawed in twain my choicest line; Let him swim to the north, let him swim to the south, The abbot will carry my hook in his mouth!”

The abhot 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, 't is 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 !


- years ago ere yet my dreams Had been of being wise and witty; Ere I had done with writing themes,

Or yawn’d o'er this infernal Chitty; Years, years ago, while all my joys

Were in my fowling-piece and filly; In short, while I was yet a boy,

I fell in love with Laura Lilly.

I saw her at the County ball;

There when the sound of flute and fiddle Gave signal sweet in that old hall,

Of hands across and down the middle, Hers was the subtlest spell by far

Of all that sets young hearts romancing: She was our queen, our rose, our star;

And when she danced - oh, Heaven, her dancing!

Dark was her hair, her hand was white;

Her voice was exquisitely tender, Her eyes were full of liquid light;

I never saw a waist so slender ; Her every look, her every smile,

Shot right and left a score of arrows; I thought 't was Venus from her isle,

I wondered where she'd left her sparrows.

She talk'd of politics or prayers ;

Of Southey's prose, or Wordsworth's sonnets; Of daggers or of dancing bears,

Of battles, or the last new bonnets;
By candle-light, at twelve o'clock,

To me it matter'd not a tittle,
If those bright lips had quoted Locke,

I might have thought they murmured Little.

Through sunny May, through sultry June,

I loved her with a love eternal; I spoke her praises to the moon,

I wrote them for the Sunday Journal. My mother laughed; I soon found out

That ancient ladies have no feeling; My father frown'd; but how should gout

Find any happiness in kneeling ?

She was the daughter of a dean,

Rich, fat, and rather apoplectic; She had one brother just thirteen,

Whose color was extremely hectic; Her grandmother, for many a year,

Had fed the parish with her bounty ; Her second cousin was a peer,

And lord-lieutenant of the county.

But titles and the three per cents,

And mortgages, and great relations, And India bonds, and tithes and rents,

Oh! what are they to love's sensations ? Black eyes, fair forehead, clustering locks,

Such wealth, such honors, Cupid chooses; He cares as little for the stocks,

As Baron Rothschild for the muses.

She sketch'd; the vale, the wood, the beach,

Grew lovelier from her pencil's shading; She botanized; I envied each

Young blossom in her boudoir fading;
She warbled Handel ; it was grand –

She made the Catalina jealous;
She touch'd the organ; I could stand

For hours and hours and blow the bellows.

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