Page images

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 sate;

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 odours 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 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,
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, '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!
Friendship's Offering.



Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom friend of the maturing sun,
Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core ;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer hath o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amidst thy store !

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,

Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath, and all its twined flowers;

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too;
While barred clouds bloom the soft dying day,

And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, born aloft,
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies !

And full brown lambs bleat loud from hilly bourn ;
Hedge crickets sing; and now, with treble soft,
The redbreast whistles from a garden croft ;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies !
London Magazine.




ERIN! his heart of truth

At length is wholly thine,
Albeit, his careless youth

Was spent 'mid “smiles and wine;"
You watched his dawn of future fame,

Through many a day of grief and shame,
When cold apostate slaves withdrew the hand-

You held the high Harp to his eye,

And wept to see your lone hope lie So long in Pleasure's bower, fettered in flowery band.

The wizard hand that framed,

Had waved its last farewell;
The latest soul was tamed

In death, that knew the spell.
Each after-hand that vainly tried

To waken notes of former pride,
(Through lapse of mouldering ages dim),

Backward, disgraced and baffled, fell –

In silence slept the powerful spell,
As if 't would sound for him, for only him!

Beneath his wondrous hand

Awaked, delighted, free,
Each string, from soft to grand,

From love to liberty!
Oh! there be hearts (nor they the worst),

Enthusiast, fondest hopes have nursed,
Heard his wild lays, and saw the while

Chains, then first with blushes worn;

Arms, in defiance tossed, and scorn, And eyes that darkly frowned, or lightened to a smile.

Whether, by lonely stream,

Or 'mid the trembling leaves,
Wanders my waking dream

Of life, that smiles and grieves ;

« PreviousContinue »