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All are companions in the general glee ;
Authority, hard-favoured, frowns not there.
Some, more advanced, raise up the lofty rick,
Whilst on its top doth stand the parish toast
In loose attire and swelling ruddy cheek.
With taunts and harmless mockery she receives
The tossed-up heaps from fork of simple youth,
Who, staring on her, takes his arm away,
While half the load falls back upon himself.
Loud is her laugh, her voice is heard afar :
The mower busied on the distant lawn,
The carter trudging on his dusty way,
The shrill sound know, their bonnets toss'd in air,
And roar across the field to catch her notice :
She waves her arm to them, and shakes her head.
And then renews her work with double spirit.
Thus do they jest and laugh away their toil.
CCLXV. JAMES HURDIS, 1763-1801.
I love to see the little goldfinch pluck
The groundsel's feather'd seed, and twit and twit,
And soon in bower of apple blossom perch'd,
Trim his gay suit, and pay us with a song,
I would not hold him pris'ner for the world.
The chimney-haunting swallow too, my eye
And ear well pleases. I delight to see
How suddenly he skims the glassy pool,
How quaintly dipe, and with a bullet's speed,
Whisks by. I love to be awake, and hear
His morning song twitter'd to dawning day.
But most of all it wins my admiration,
To view the structure of this little work,
A bird's nest. Mark it well, within, without.
No tool had he that wrought, no knife to cut,
No nail to fix, no bodkin to insert,
No glue to join; his little beak was all,
And yet how neatly finish'd! What nice hand,
And ev'ry implement and means of art,
And twenty years apprenticeship to boot,
Could make me such another? Fondly then
We boast of excellence, whose noblest skill
Instinctive genius foils.
CCLXVI. MRS RADCLIFF, 1764-1823.
Down, down a thousand fathoms deep,
Among the sounding seas I go;
Play round the foot of every steep,
Whose cliffs above the ocean grow.
There, within their secret caves
I hear the mighty rivers roar,
And guide their streams through Neptune's waves, To bless the green earth's inmost shore.
In coral bowers I love to lie,
And hear the surges roll above,
And through the waters view on high
The proud ships sail, and gay clouds move.
And oft, at midnight's stillest hour,
When summer seas the vessel lave,
I love to prove my charmful power,
While floating on the moonlit wave.
And when deep sleep the crew has bound,
And the sad lover musing leans
O'er the ship's side, I breathe around
Such strains as speak uo mortal means.
Sometimes a single note I swell,
That softly sweet at distance dies,
Then wake the magic of my shell,
And choral voices round me rise.
The trembling youth, charm'd by my strain,
Calls up the crew, who silent bend
O'er the high deck, but list in vain ;
My song is hush'd, my wonders end.
CCLXVII. REV. J. GRAHAME, 1765–1811.
THE SHIPWRECK'D SAILOR.
Motionless he sits,
As is the rock his seat, gazing whole days
With wandering eye on all the watery waste,
Now striving to believe the albatross
A sail appearing on the horizon's verge;
Now vowing ne'er to cherish other hope
Than hope of death. Thus pass his weary hours,
Till welcome evening warns him that 'tis time
Upon the shell-notched calendar to mark
Another day, another weary day.
CCLXVIII. ROBERT BLOOMFIELD, 1766—-1823.
THE FAKENHAM GHOST.
The lawns were dry in Euston Park,
(Here truth inspires my tale);
The lonely footpath, still and dark,
Led over hill and dale.
Benighted was an ancient dame,
And fearful haste she made
To gain the vale of Fakenham,
And hail its willow shade.
Her footsteps knew no idle stops,
But follow'd faster still;
And echoed to the darksome copse
That whisper'd on the hill;
Where clamorous rooks, yet scarcely hushed,
Bespoke a peopled shade;
And many a wing the foliage brushed,
And hovering circuits made.
The dappled herd of grazing deer
That sought the shades by day,
Now started from her path with fear,
And gave the stranger way.
Darker it grew and darker fears
Came o'er her troubled mind;
When now a short quick step she hears
Come patting close behind.
She turned; it stopped;-nought could she see
Upon the gloomy plain!
But as she strove the sprite to flee,
She heard the same again.
Now terror seized her quaking frame ·
For when the path was bare,
The trotting ghost kept on the same!
She mutter'd many a prayer.
Yet once again, amidst her fright,
She tried what sight could do:
When through the cheating glooms of night
A monster stood in view.
Regardless of whate'er she felt,
It follow'd down the plain!
She own'd her sins, and down she knelt,
And said her prayers again.
Then on she sped: and hope grew strong,
The white park gate in view;
Which pushing hard, so long it swung
That ghost and all passed through.
Loud fell the gate against the post!
Her heart-strings like to crack;
For much she feared the grisly ghost
Would leap up on her back.
Still on, pat, pat, the goblin went,
As it had done before :
Her strength and resolution spent,
She fainted at the door.
Out came her husband much surprised,
Out came her daughter dear;
Good-natured souls! all unadvised
Of what they had to fear.
The candle's gleam pierced through the night,
Some short space o'er the
And there the little trotting sprite
Distinctly might be seen.
An ass's foal had lost its dam
Within the spacious park;
And, simple as the playful lamb,
Had followed in the dark.
No goblin he, no imp of sin;
No crimes had ever known;
They took the shaggy stranger in,
And reared him as their own.
His little hoofs would rattle round
Upor the cottage floor;
The matron learnt to love the sound
That frighten'd her before.
A favourite the ghost became ;
And 'twas his fate to thrive :
And long he lived and spread his fame,
And kept the joke alive.
For many a laugh went through the vale,
And some conviction too:
Each thought some other goblin tale
Perhaps was just as true.
CCLXIX. ALEXANDER WILSON, 1766-1819.
THE VILLAGE SCOLD.
I' the thrang o' stories tellin',
Shakin' hands and jokin' queer,
Swith! a chap comes on the hallan,—
"Mungo, is our Watty here ?"
Maggy's weel-kenned tongue and hurry
Darted through him like a knife:
Up the door flew-ike a fury
In came Watty's scoldin' wife.
"Nasty gude-for-naething bein'!
O ye snuffy drucken sow!
Bringin' wife and weans to ruin,
Drinkin' here wi' sick a crew!
drucken beast o' Bethel!
Drink's your night and day's des re
Rise this precious hour, or 'faith, I'll
Fling your whiskey i' the fire."
Watty heard her tongue unhallow'd,
Paid his groat wi',little din,
Left the house, while Maggy followed,
Flytin' a' the road behin'.
Folk frae every door came lampin',
Maggy curst them ane and a',
Clappéd wi' her hands, and stampin'
Lost her bauchels i' the snaw.
Hame at length she turned the gavel,
Wi' a face as white's a clout,