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Of the leaves of many years:
Many times have Winter's shears,
Frozen North, and chilling East,
Sounded tempests to the feast
Of the forest's whispering fleeces,
Since men knew nor rent nor leases.
No, the bugle sounds no more,
And the twanging bow no more,
Silent is the ivory shrill
Past the heath and up the hill;
There is no mid-forest laugh,
Where lone Echo gives the half
To some wight, amazed to hear
Jesting, deep in forest drear.
On the fairest time in June
You may go with sun or moon,
Or the seven stars to light you ;
Or the polar ray to right you;
But you never may behold
Little John, or Robin bold;
Never one, of all the clan,
Thrumming on an empty can
Some old hunting ditty, while
He doth his green way beguile
To fair hostess Merriment,
Down beside the pasture Trent;
For he left the merry tale
Messenger for spicy ale.
Gone the merry morris din; Gone the song of Gamelyn;
Gone, the tough-belted outlaw
Idling in the "greenè shawe;"
All are gone away and past!
And if Robin should be cast
Sudden from his tufted grave,
And if Marian should have
Once again her forest-days,
She would weep and he would craze,
He would swear, for all his oaks,
Fallen beneath the dock-yard strokes,
Have rotted on the briny seas:
She would weep that her wild bees
Sang not to her-strange! that honey
Can't be got without hard money!
So it is; yet let us sing
Honour to the old bow-string!
Honour to the bugle-horn!
Honour to the woods unshorn!
Honour to the Lincoln-green!
Honour to the archer keen!
Honour to tight Little John,
And the horse he rode upon!
Honour to bold Robin Hood,
Sleeping in the underwood!
Honour to Maid Marian,
And to all the Sherwood clan!
Though their days have hurried by,
Let us two a burden try.
A BIRD IN THE HAND'S WORTH TWO IN THE BUSH.
THERE are two little songsters well known in the land,
Their names are I-have" and O-had-I;"
"I-have" will come tamely, and perch on your hand;
But "O-had-I" will mock you most sadly.
"I-have" at first sight is less fair to the eye;
But his worth is by far most enduring
Than a thousand "O-had-Is," that sit far and high
On roofs and on trees so alluring.
Full many a golden egg this bird will lay,
And sing you "Be cheery! be cheery!"
O, merrily then will the day glide away,
And sweet shall your sleep be when weary.
But let an "O-had-I" once take your eye,
And a longing to catch him once seize you,
He'll give you no comfort nor rest till you die,
Life long he'll torment you and tease you.
He'll keep you all day running up and down hill; Now racing, now panting choice and creeping; While far overhead, this sweet bird at his will With his golden plumage is sweeping.
Then every wise man who attends to my song,
Will count his "I-have" a choice treasure;
O-had-I" comes flying along,
Will just let him fly at his pleasure.
FOUR YEARS OLD.-A NURSERY SONG.
AH! little ranting Johnny!
For ever blithe and bonny,
And singing "nonny, nonny,'
With hat just thrown upon ye;
Or whistling like the thrushes
With voice in silver gushes;
Or twisting random posies
With daisies, weeds, and roses;
And strutting in and out so,
Or dancing all about so,
With cock-up nose so lightsome,
And sidelong eyes so brightsome,
And cheeks as ripe as apples,
And head as rough as Dapple's,
And mouth that smiles so truly,
Heav'n seems t' have made it newly,
It breaks into such sweetness,
With merry-tipped completeness.
One cannot turn a minute,
But mischief-there, you're in it!
A getting at my books, John,
With mighty bustling looks, John,
Or poking at the roses,
In midst of which your nose is;
Or climbing on a table,
No matter how unstable;
And turning up your quaint eye
And half-shut teeth, with "Mayn't I?"
Or else you're off at play, John,
Just as you'd be all day, John,
With hat or not, as happens,
And there you dance, and clap hands,
Or on the grass go rolling,
Or plucking flowers, or bowling,
And getting me expenses
With losing balls o'er fences;
-as the constant trade is,—
Are fondled by the ladies
With "What a young rogue this is!"
Reforming him with kisses;
Till suddenly you cry out,
As if you had an eye out,
So desperately tearful,
The sound is really fearful;
When lo! directly after,
It bubbles into laughter.
Ah, rogue! and do you know, John,
Why 'tis we love you so, John?
And how it is they let ye
Do what they like, and pet ye,
Though all who look upon ye
Exclaim, "Ah, Johnny, Johnny!"