Page images
PDF
EPUB

BARTHRAM'S DIRGE.

(FROM MINSTRELSY OF THE SCOTTISH BORDER.”) "HEY shot him on the Nine-Stane Rig,

Beside the Headless Cross ; And they left him lying in his blood,

Upon the muir and moss.

T

They made a bier of the broken bough,

The saugh' and the aspen grey ;
And they bore him to the Lady Chapel,

And waked him there all day.

A lady came to that lonely bower,

And threw her robes aside,
She tore her ?ling-long yellow hair,

And knelt at Barthram's side.

She bathed him in the Lady-Well,

His wounds sae deep and sair ;
And she plaited a garland for his breast,

And a garland for his hair.

They row'd him in a lily sheet,

And bare him to his earth, And the Grey Friars sung the dead man's mass,

As they pass'd the Chapel-Garth.

They buried him at the mirk midnight,

When the dew fell cold and still, When the aspen grey forgot to play,

And the mist clung to the hill.

1

Saugh, “ sally,” willow.

? Ling, heather.

They dug his grave but a bare foot deep,

By the edge of the Nine-Stane Burn, And they cover'd him o'er wi' the heather-flower,

The moss and the lady-fern.

A Grey Friar stay'd upon the grave,

And sang till the morning-tide ;
And a friar shall sing for Barthram's soul,

While the Headless Cross shall bide.

THE WORLD'S WANDERERS.

VELL me, thou star whose wings of light

In what cavern of the night

Will thy pinions close now?

Tell me, moon, thou pale and grey
Pilgrim of heaven's homeless way,
In what depth of night or day

Seekest thou repose now?

Weary wind who wanderest
Like the world's rejected guest,
Hast thou still some secret nest
On the tree or billow ?

SHELLEY.

MY LAST DUCHESS.

[ocr errors]

but I)

(FERRARA.) WHAT'S my last Duchess painted on the wall,

Looking as if she were alive; I call That piece a wonder, now; Frà Pandolf's hands Work’d busily a day, and there she stands. Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said “ Frà Pandolf” by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turn’d (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for

you, And seem'd as they would ask me, if they durst, How such a glance came there ; so not the first Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 'twas not Her husband's presence only, call’d that spot Of joy into the Duchess' cheek : perhaps Frà Pandolf chanced to say, “ Her mantle laps Over my Lady's wrist too much,” or

66 Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat;" such stuff Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough For calling up that spot of joy. She had A heart—how shall I say!—too soon made glad, Too easily impress'd; she liked whate'er She look'd on, and her looks went everywhere. Sir, 'twas all one! My favour at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace-all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech,

Or blush, at least. She thank'd men,-good; but

thank'd Somehow, I know not how-as if she rank'd My gift of a nine hundred

years

old name With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame This sort of trifling ? Even had you skill In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will Quite clear to such an one, and say “ Just this Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, Or there exceed the mark”-and if she let Herself be lesson'd so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, -E'en then would be some stooping, and I choose Never to stoop. Oh Sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene'er I pass'd her; but who pass'd without Much the same smile ? This grew; I gave com

mand ; Then all smiles stopp'd together. There she stands As if alive. Will't please you rise ? We'll meet The company

below then. I repeat The Count your Master's known munificence Is ample warrant that no just pretence Of mine for dowry will be disallow'd; Though his fair daughter's self, as I avow'd At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go Together down, Sir! Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me.

ROBERT BROWNING.

SONG.

[THE SEASON FOR WOOING.]

D

At what gentle seasons Nymphs relent, when lovers near

Press the tenderest reasons ? Ah, they give their faith too oft

To the careless wooer ; Maidens' hearts are always soft ;

Would that men's were truer!

Woo the fair one, when around

Early birds are singing ;
When, o'er all the fragrant ground,

Early herbs are springing :
When the brookside, bank, and grove,

All with blossoms laden,
Shine with beauty, breathe of love, -

Woo the timid maiden.

Woo her when, with rosy blush,

Summer eve is sinking ; When on rills that softly gush

Stars are softly winking; When, through boughs that knit the bower,

Moonlight gleams are stealing; Woo her, till the gentle hour

Wake a gentler feeling.

Woo her when autumnal dyes

Tinge the woody mountain ; When the dropping foliage lies

In the weedy fountain ;

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »