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Oh sair, sair did we greet, and mickle say of a'.
Ae kiss we took, nae mair-I bad him' gang awa.
I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to dee;
For O, I am but young to cry out, Woe is me!
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena much to spin ;
I darena think o' Jamie, for that wad be a sin.
But I will do my best a gude wife ay to be,
For auld Robin Gray, oh! he is sae kind to me.
ANNE, LADY BARNARD.
29. THE PLAINT OF THE NIGHTINGALE As it fell upon a day
None takes pity on thy pain : In the merry month of May, Senseless trees, they cannot hear Sitting in a pleasant shade
a grove of myrtles Ruthless bears, they will not made,
cheer thee; Beasts did leap and birds did sing, King Pandion, he is dead, Trees did grow and plants did All thy friends are lapped in spring,
lead: Every thing did banish moan All thy fellow birds do sing Save the Nightingale alone. Careless of thy sorrowing: She, poor bird, as all forlorn, Whilst as fickle fortune smiled, Leaned her breast up-till a thorn, Thou and I were both beguiled. And there sung the dolefull’st ditty Every one that flatters thee, That to hear it was great pity. Is no friend in misery. Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry; Words are easy, like the wind : Tereu, tereu, by and by:
Faithful friends hard to That to hear her so complain
find. Scarce I could from tears refrain; Every man will be thy friend, For her griefs so lively shown Whilst thou hast wherewith to Made me think upon my own.
spend; -Ah, thought I, thou mourn'st But if store of crowns be scant, in vain,
No man will supply thy want.
THE primrwose in the sheäde do
The cowslip in the zun,
The thyme upon the down dogrow,
The clote where streams do run;
An' where do pretty maïdens grow
An' blow, but where the tow'r
Do rise among the bricken tuns,
In Blackmwore by the Stour.
could zee their comely gaït,
An' pretty feäces’ smiles,
A-trippèn on so light o' waïght,
An' steppèn off the stiles ;
A-gwaïn to church, as bells doswing
An' ring within the tow'r,
You'd own the pretty maïdens'
Is Blackmwore by the Stour.
Their smilèn mother's feäce;
You'd cry, Why, if a man
An' thrive, 'ithout a dow'r,
Then let en look en out a wife
In Blackmwore by the Stour.'
If you vrom Wimborne took your
To Stower or Paladore,
An' all the farmers' housen show'd
Their daughters at the door ;
to bachelors at
'Here, come: 'ithin an hour
You'll vind ten maïdens to your
In Blackmwore by the Stour.'
An' if you look'd 'ithin their door,
To zee em in their pleäce,
A-do'n housework up'avore
As I upon my road did pass
A school-house back in May,
There out upon the beäten grass
Wer maïdens at their play ;
An' as the pretty souls did tweil
An' smile, I cried, “The flow'r
O’ beauty, then, is still in bud
In Blackmwore by the Stour.'
31. THE MOTHERLESS CHILD The zun'd a-zet back t'other night, The zun'da-zet another night; But in the zettèn pleäce
But, by the moon on high,
The clouds, a-redden'd by his He still did zend us back his light
Below a cwolder sky.
Still glow'd avore my feäce. My Meäry 's in a better land
An' I've a-lost my Meäry's smile, I thought, but still her chile's at
I thought; but still I have her chile hand,
Zoo like her, that my eyes can
An' in her chile she'll zend me on treäce
Her love, though she herself 's
The mother's in her daughter's a-gone.
O little chile so near to me,
O little feäce so near to me, An' like thy mother gone; why
An' like thy mother's gone ; why
Sweet moon, the messenger vrom
Sweet night cloud, wi' the glow o' my lost day,
my lost day,
Thy looks be always dear to Thy looks be always dear to me! me.
32. AN EPITAPH
RENOWNÈD Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
To learnèd Chaucer; and rare Beaumont, lie
A little nearer Spenser ; to make room
For Shakespeare in your three-fold four-fold tomb.
To lodgo all four in one bed make a shift
Until Doomsday; for hardly will a fifth,
Betwixt this day and that, by fates be slain,
For whom your curtains may be drawn again.
If your precedency in death do bar
A fourth place in your sacred sepulchre,
Under this sacred marble of thine own,
Sleep, rare tragedian, Shakespeare, sleep alone :
Thy unmolested peace, in an unshared cave,
Possess as lord, not tenant, of thy grave;
That unto us and others it may be
Honour hereafter to be laid by thee.
33. THE PREACHER
STILL thinking I had little time to live,
My fervent heart to win men's souls did strive ;
I preached as never sure to preach again,
And as a dying man to dying men.
Though God be free, He works by instruments,
And wisely fitteth them to His intents.
A proud unhumbled preacher is unmeet
To lay proud sinners humbled at Christ's feet;
So are the blind to tell men what God saith,
And faithless men to propagate the faith :
The dead are unfit means to raise the dead,
And enemies to give the children bread ;
And utter strangers to the life to come
Are not the best conductors to our home.
They that yet never learned to live and die,
Will scarcely teach it others feelingly. R. BAXTER.
34. AT THE CLOSE OF THE DAY
At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove,
When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill,
And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove :
'Twas thus, by the cave of the mountain afar,
While his harp rung symphonious, a hermit began ;
No more with himself or with nature at war,
He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man.
'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more : I mourn, but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you ; For morn is approaching, your charms to restore, Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew; Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn ; Kind Nature the embryo blossoms will save : But when shall spring visit the mouldering urnOr when shall it dawn on the night of the grave ?'
J. BEATTIE (The Hermit)
35. BUT WHO THE MELODIES OF MORN CAN TELL ?
But who the melodies of morn can tell —
The wild brook babbling down the mountain side ;
The lowing herd, the sheepfold's simple bell ;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley ; echoing far and wide
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above ;
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide ;
The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove ?
The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark ;
Crowned with her pail the tripping milkmaid sings ;
The whistling ploughman stalks afield ; and, hark !
Down the rough slope the ponderous wagon rings ;
Thro' rustling corn the hare astonished springs ;
Slow tolls the village clock the drowsy hour;
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings ;
Deep mourns the turtle in sequestered bower,
And shrill lark carols from her aerial tour.
J. BEATTIE (The Minstrel). 36. THE TOMBS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY
MORTALITY, behold, and fear,
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within this heap of stones ;
Here they lie, had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands ;
Where from their pulpits sealed with dust,
They preach, “In greatness is no trust!'
Here's an acre sown indeed
With the richest, royal'st seed,
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin ;
Here the bones of earth have cried,
'Though gods they were, as men they died ;'
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruined sides of kings.
Here's a world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate,
F. BEAUMONT. 37. AT THE MERMAID
What things have we seen
Done at the Mermaid ! heard words that have been
So nimble, and so full of subtle flame,
As if that every one from whence they came
Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest,
And had resolved to live a fool the rest
Of his dull life; then when there hath been thrown
Wit able enough to justify the town
For three days past; wit that might warrant be
For the whole city to talk foolishly
Till that were cancelled ; and when we were gone,
We left an air behind us, which alone
Was able to make the two next companies
Right witty ; though but downright fools, more wise !
F. BEAUMONT (Letter to Ben Jonson).
38. DRINK AND DROWN SORROW
DRINK to-day, and drown all sorrow,
You shall perhaps not do it to-morrow:
But, while you have it, use your breath ;
There is no drinking after death.
Wine works the heart up, wakes the wit,
There is no cure 'gainst age but it:
It helps the headache, cough, and ptisick,
And is for all diseases physic.
Then let us swill, boys, for our health;
Who drinks well, loves the commonwealth.
And he that will to bed go sober
Falls with the leaf, still in October.
F. BEAUMONT AND J. FLETCHER (The Bloody Brother).
39. LAY A GARLAND ON MY HEARSE Lay a garland on my hearse My love was false, but I was firm Of the dismal yew ;
From my hour of birth.
Maidens, willow branches bear ; Upon my buried body lie
Say, I dièd true.
Lightly, gentle earth !
F. BEAUMONT AND J. FLETCHER
(The Maid's Tragedy).
40. TAKE, OH! TAKE THOSE LIPS AWAY
TAKE, oh! take those lips away, Hide, oh! hide those hills of
That so sweetly were forsworn, snow,
And those eyes like break of day, Which thy frozen bosom bears,
Lights that do mislead the On whose tops the pinks that
grow But my kisses bring again,
Are of those that April wears ! Seals of love, though sealed in But first set my poor heart free, vain.
Bound in those icy chains by thee.
F. BEAUMONT AND J. FLETCHER
(The Bloody Brother).