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Soothed by the self-same ditty, see

The infant and the sire;
That smiling on the nurse's knee,

This weeping by the fire ;

Where unobserved he finds a joy

To list its plaintive tone,
And silently his thoughts employ

On sorrows all his own.

At once it comes, by memory's power,

The loved habitual theme,
Reserved for twilight's darkling hour,

A voluntary dream!

And as with thoughts of former years

His weakly eyes o'erflow,
None wonder at an old man's tears,

Or seek his grief to know.

Think not he doats because he

weeps ; Conclusion, ah! how wrong! Reason with grief joint empire keeps,

Indissolubly strong;

And oft in age a helpless pride

With jealous weakness pines, (To second infancy allied)

And every woe refines.

He ponders on his infant years,

When first his race began,
And, oh! how wonderful appears

The destiny of man!


How swift those lovely hours were past,

In darkness closed how soon! As if a winter's night o'ercast

The brightest summer's noon.

His withered hand he holds to view,

With nerves once firmly strung, And scarcely can believe it true

That ever he was young.

And as he thinks o'er all his ills,

Disease, neglect, and scorn, Strange pity of himself he feels,

Thus aged and forlorn.



Sweet is the balmy evening hour,

And mild the glow-worm's light, And soft the breeze that sweeps the flower

With pearly dew-drops bright. I love to loiter on the hill,

And catch each trembling ray ;Fair as they are, they mind me still

Of fairer things than they.

What is the breath of closing flowers

But Feeling's gentlest sigh?
What are the dew-drops' crystal showers

But tears from Pity's eye ?
What are the glow-worms by the rill

But Fancy's flashes gay?
I love them, for they mind me still

Of one more dear than they.



Beside the parson's bower of yew,

Why strays a troubled sprite, That peaks and pines, and dimly shines

Through the curtains of the night?

Why steals along the pond of toads

A gliding fire so blue, That lights a spot where grows no grass,

Where falls no rain nor dew?

The vicar's daughter once was good,

And gentle as the dove,
And young and fair,—and many came

To win the damsel's love.

High o'er the hamlet, from the hill,

Beyond the winding stream, The windows of a stately house

In the sheen of evening gleam:

There dwelt, 'mid riot, rout, and roar,

A lord so frank and free,
And oft with inward joy of heart,

The maid beheld his glee,

Whether he met the dawning day,

In hunting trim so fine,
Or tapers, sparkling from his hall,

Beshone the midnight wine.

He sent the maid his picture, girt

With diamond, pearl, and gold; And a silken scroll, with perfumes sweet, This gentle message told :

Let go thy sweethearts, one and all;

Shalt thou be basely wooed, That worthy art to gain the heart

Of a youth of noble blood !

“ The tale I would to thee bewray,

In secret must be said : At midnight hour I'll seek thy bower;

Fair girl, be not afraid.

" And when the amorous nightingale

Sings sweetly to his mate,
I'll pipe my quail-call from the field:

Be kind, nor make me wait."

In cap and mantle dight he came,

At eve, with lonely tread; Unseen and silent as a mist,

And hushed the dogs with bread.

And when the amorous nightingale

Sang sweetly to his mate,
She heard his quail-call in the field,

And did not make him wait.

The words he whispered were so soft,

They won her ear and heart ; How soon will she, who loves, believe!

How deep a lover's art !

No lure, no soothing guise, he spared,

To banish virtuous shame; He called on holy God above,

As the witness to his flame.

He clasped her to his breast, and swore

To be for ever true : “O yield thee to my wishful arms,

Thy choice thou shalt not rue."

And while she strove, he drew her on,

And led her to the bower
So still, so dim—and round about

Sweet smelt the beans in flower.

There beat her heart, and heaved her breast,

And pleaded every sense ;
And there the glowing breath of lust

Did blast her innocence.

But when the fragrant beans began

Their fallow blooms to shed,
Her sparkling eyes their lustre lost;

Her cheeks, their roses fled;

And when she saw the pods increase,

The ruddier cherries stain,
She felt her silken robe grow tight,

Her waist new weight sustain.

And when the mowers went afield,

The yellow corn to ted,
She felt her burden stir within,

And shook with tender dread.

And when the winds of autumn hissed

Along the stubble field,
Then could the damsel's piteous plight

No longer be concealed.

Her sire, a harsh and angry man,

With furious voice reviled :
Hence, from my sight! I'll none of thee-
I harbour not thy child!”


And fast, amid her fluttering hair,

With clenched fist he gripes,
And seized a leathern thong, and lashed

Her side with sounding stripes.

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