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36

Lullaby of an Infant Chief

Oh! hush thee, my babie, thy sire was a knight,
Thy mother a lady both lovely and bright:
The woods and the glens, from the towers which we see,
They all are belonging, dear babie, to thee.

Oh ! fear not the bugle, though loudly it blows,
It calls but the warders that guard thy repose ;
Their bows would be bended, their blades would be red,
Ere the step of a foeman draws near to thy bed.

Oh ! hush thee, my babie, the time soon will come, When thy sleep shall be broken by trumpet and drum ; Then hush thee, my darling, take rest while you may, For strife comes with manhood, and waking with day.

Scott, 1815.

37

A Faery Song

(SUNG BY THE FAIRIES OVER AN OUTLAW AND HIS BRIDE

WHO HAD ESCAPED INTO THE MOUNTAINS.)

We who are old, old and gay,

O so old !
Thousand of years, thousand of years,

If all were told :

Give to these children, new from the world,

Silence and love ;
And the long dew-dropping hours of the night,

And the stars above :

Give to these children, new from the world,

Rest far from men.
Is anything better, anything better ?

Tell us it then :

Us who are old, old and gay,

O so old !
Thousand of years, thousand of years,
If all were told.

W. B. Yeats.

38*

It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make men better be ;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere;

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night;
It was the plant and flower of Light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.

Ben Jonson.

39*

Life
Joy and Woe are woven fine,
A Clothing for the soul divine :
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so :
Man was made for Joy and Woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Safely through the World we go.

Blake. 40*

Hymn on the Morning of

Christ's Nativity

I

It was the Winter wild,
While the Heav'n-born-child

All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies ;
Nature in awe to him
Had doff'd her gaudy trim,

With her great Master so to sympathize :
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the Sun her lusty Paramour.

II

Only with speeches fair
She woos the gentle Air

To hide her guilty front with innocent Snow;
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinful blame,

The saintly Veil of maiden white to throw,
Confounded, that her Maker's eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities.

III

But he, her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-eyed Peace;

She, crown'd with Olive green, came softly sliding
Down through the turning sphere
His ready Harbinger,

With Turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing ; And waving wide her myrtle wand, She strikes a universal Peace through Sea and Land. 1. paramour] lover.

II. front] forehead. III. turning sphere]*. harbinger] herald. turtle) dove.

IV

No War, or Battle's sound
Was heard the World around,

The idle spear and shield were high up-hung ;
The hooked Chariot stood
Unstain'd with hostile blood,

The Trumpet spake not to the armed throng,
And Kings sat still with aweful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.

V

But peaceful was the night
Wherein the Prince of light

His reign of peace upon the earth began :
The Winds with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kiss'd,

Whispering new joys to the mild Ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While Birds of Calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.

VI

The Stars with deep amaze
Stand fix'd in stedfast gaze,

Bending one way their precious influence,
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,

Or Lucifer that often warn'd them thence ;
But in their glimmering Orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.

VII

And though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
The Sun himself with-held his wonted speed,
iv. hooked) with hooks on axles. v. whist] hushed.

And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame

The new enlightn'd world no more should need :
He saw a greater Sun appear
Than his bright Throne or burning Axletree could bear,

VIII

The Shepherds on the Lawn,
Or ere the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they than,
That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below;
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

IX

When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,

As never was by mortal finger strook,
Divinely-warbled voice
Answering the stringéd noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took :
The Air such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echoes still prolongs each heav'nly close.

X

Nature, that heard such sound
Beneath the hollow round

Of Cynthia's seat, the Airy region thrilling,
Now was almost won
To think her part was done,

And that her reign had here its last fulfilling ; She knew such harmony alone Could hold all Heav'n and Earth in happier union, VII. as] as if. axle-tree) the fixed beam on which the wheels turn. VIII. or ere] before. than] old form of then. silly) simple. ix. close] cadence.

x. round, etc.] *.

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