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They burst the patent coffin first,
And they cut through the lead,
And they laugh'd aloud when they saw the shroud
And they allow'd the sexton the shroud,
And nose and knees they then did squeeze
The watchmen as they past along
So they carried the sack a-pick-a-back,
MARY THE MAID OF THE INN.
WHO is yonder poor maniac, whose wildly-fix'd eyes
She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs:
No aid, no compassion the maniac will seek;
Through her rags do the winds of the winter blow bleak
Yet cheerful and happy, nor distant the day,
The traveller remembers who journeyed this way
As Mary the maid of the inn.
Her cheerful address filled her guests with delight
She loved; and young Richard had settled the day,
But Richard was idle and worthless, and they
'Twas in autumn, and stormy and dark was the night, And fast were the windows and door;
Two guests sat enjoying the fire that burnt bright,
"Tis pleasant," cried one," seated by the fire-side, To hear the wind whistle without."
"A fine night for the abbey!" his comrade replied; "Methinks a man's courage would now be well tried Who should wander the ruins about.
"I myself, like a school-boy, should tremble to hear
"I'll wager a dinner," the other one cried,
Will Mary this charge on her courage allow ?"
"I shall win,-for I know she will venture there now,
With fearless good humour did Mary comply,
The night it was dark, and the wind it was high,
O'er the path so well known still proceeded the maid
Through the gateway she entered, she felt not afraid;
All around her was silent, save when the rude blast
Over weed-covered fragments still fearless she past,
Well-pleased did she reach it, and quickly drew near
When the sound of a voice seemed to rise on her ear:
The wind blew, the hoarse ivy shook over her head,
The wind ceased; her heart sunk in her bosom with dread
Of footsteps approaching her near.
Behind a wide column, half breathless with fear,
That instant the moon o'er a dark cloud shone clear,
Then Mary could feel her heart-blood curdle cold!
"Curse the hat!" he exclaims; "nay, come on here, and hide The dead body," his comrade replies.
She beholds them in safety pass on by her side-
And fast through the abbey she flies.
She ran with wild speed, she rushed in at the door,
She gazed horribly eager around,
Then her limbs could support their faint burthen no more, And exhausted and breathless she sunk on the floor, Unable to utter a sound.
Ere yet her pale lips could the story impart,
Her eyes from that object convulsively start,
For-O God! what cold horror then thrilled through her When the name of her Richard she knew!
Where the old abbey stands on the common hard by,
His irons you still from the road may espy,
The traveller beholds them, and thinks with a sigh,
In Finland there is a castle which is called the New Rock, moated about with a river of unsounded depth, the water black, and the fish therein very distasteful to the palate. In this are spectres often seen, which foreshow either the death of the governor, or some prime officer belonging to the place; and most commonly it appeareth in the shape of a harper, sweetly singing and dallying and playing under the water. It is reported of onte Donica, that after she was dead, the Devil walked in her body for the space of two years, so that none suspected but she was still alive; for she did both speak and eat, though very sparingly; only she had a deep paleness on her countenance, which was the only sign of death. At length a magician coming by where she was then in the company of many other virgins, as soon as he beheld her he said, "Fair maids, why keep you company with this dead virgin, whom you suppose to be alive?" when taking away the magic charm which was tied under her arm, the body fell down lifeless and without motion.
The following ballad is founded on these stories. They are to be found in the notes to The Hierarchies of the blessed Angels; a poem by Thomas Heywood, 1635.
HIGH on a rock whose castled shade
In ancient strength majestic stood
The fisher in the lake below
Her passing wings would wet.
The cattle from its ominous banks
Though parched with thirst, and faint beneath
For sometimes when no passing breeze
All white with foam, and heaving high
All when the tempest from its base