Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors]

*

vestige of the opening of a cavern was obliterated. Thus failed another of the repeated opportunities, for releasing the spell-bound king of Britain from the “charmed sleep of ages." Within his rocky chamber, he still sleeps on, as tradition tells, till the appointed hour, or if invited by his enchantress to participate in the illusions of the fairy festival, it has charms for him no longer.

66 Wasted with care," he sits besides her—the banquet untasted—the pageantry unmarked,

-“ by constraint
Her guest, and from his native land withheld

By sad necessity.”
The groundwork of this legend, says Sir Walter Scott, “ is a
tradition common to all nations, as the belief of the Mahommedans
respecting their twelve Imaums demonstrates. It is found with
several variations, in many parts of Scotland and England; the
scene is sometimes laid in some favourite glen of the Highlands,
sometimes in the deep coal-mines of Northumberland and Cumberland,
which run so far beneath the ocean. It is also to be found in Regi-
nald Scott's book on Witchcraft, which was written in the sixteenth
century. It would be in vain to ask what was its origin. The choice
between the horn and sword may, perhaps, include as a moral, that
it is fool-hardy to awaken danger before we have arms in our hands
to resist it.”

J. HARDY.

[merged small][graphic]

THE

MATCHLESSE MAYDE OF MORPETH.

BY GEORGE SAVILLE CAREY.

[graphic]

EORGE SAVILLE CAREY the author of the following poem, was son of the celebrated Harry Carey, a successful comic writer in the earlier part of the last century; who, though often in great distress, and the author of many convivial and festive songs, never employed his Muse in opposition to the interests of morality. It has been long understood,

that Harry Carey was author of the tune and words of “God save the King." This was mentioned by the late Dr. Arnold, and no person has ever laid claim to this popular composition. He was the avowed author of the words and air of the well-known song “Of all the Girls that are so smart,” which Incledon and other singers brought again into vogue. Poor Harry Carey, like many who have no regular profession, and devote themselves to the Muses, was at last reduced to such distress, that he did not wait for Nature to relieve him from the burthen of life, and when he was found dead, had only a half-penny in his pocket. How much it is to be regretted, that the man whose song has so often afforded pleasure to loyal and patriotic hearts, and which has at length become the chief national strain, should himself have fallen a victim to poverty and despair !–George Saville Carey, who was a posthumous child, inherited the misfortunes of his father; but he inherited also his talents in a great degree, though they took another direction. He inherited too his moral qualities; for, though he wrote a vast number of Lyric compositions, they are all intended to awaken patriotic, generous, and amiable emotions. He was at first a printer; and attempted the stage early in life, but did not display such abilities as encouraged him to persevere in theatrical pursuits. He afterwards, for more than forty years, supported himself, in a most precarious manner by his writings and by giving lectures on elocution, mimicry, &c., and his imitations of the most celebrated performers of that day are said to have displayed talents of a very superior order. Yet though he went through various vicissitudes of fortune, he always maintained a decent appearance, and supported the character of an honest man. He possessed musical taste and talents that would have raised him to eminence if he had cultivated them with

diligence, or had not been obliged “to provide for the day that was passing over his head.” For many years Carey regularly visited Newcastle, where he had numerous friends, and it was at that town that he wrote his “Matchlesse Mayde of Morpeth,” from a tradition which he had heard in the neighbourhood. His death, which took place in 1807, and in the 64th year of his age, might be considered as a fortunate event for him, if we may not presume to ascribe it to the kindness of Providence, as the infirmities of age were gathering upon him; and if he had lived much longer, he could not of course, have subsisted by his talents, but must have sunk into one of the common asylums of misfortune.---Gent's Mag. T. Bell's Col., &c.,

The Matchlesse Mayde of Morpeth.

B

LEAKE was the nyghte, and darke the skye,

And deep the roads with mudde,
The rayne fell faste, the winde blewe highe,

The rivers all afloode.

On such a nyghte, while neare the fyre

The yeoman Perkyne sate,
A poore olde mann all muck and myre

Came knocking at his gate.

All supplyante he, abas’d and sad,

The straynger ask'd reliefe :
A rugge was all the garbe he had,

His face was pale with yrief.

Some mercy shew, he cry'd, to one

Who has no shelter got,
Benighted too, and quyte undone,

The wynds have rift my cot,

The floods have wash'd away my bed,

My little all is gone,
Permit me shelter in some shed,

Untill the morne returne.

Now anger like the fyre redd,

In Pyrkyne's face appear’d,
He said he had nor strawe nor shedd

To spare the begging herde.

The poore old mann, was bought to turne,

With sorrowe in his hearte;
But hearde a female in concerne,

Who pleaded on his parte.

'Twas Pyrkyne's daughter, Rachel fayre,

Who near her father stoode,
She urg'd him with a tender prayere,

To give the poore mann foode.

To shelter him from wynde and rayne,

Untill the morne returne;
How can you heare the poore complayne,

And sleepe without concerne ?

How can your hearte a scene endure,

Which gives such payne to mene ? While this she sayde, fell faste and pure

The tears from bothe her eyne.

Now Pyrkyne stampt, and now he swore,

If she did not forgoe
Against his will to urge him more,

He eke would serve her soe.

The poore olde mann on hearing this,

Retreated soone with speede,
Cry'd, 'Twould in me be much amisse

To scathe the guiltless heade.

To that fayre mayde shall praise be sung,

Who listens to distresse ;
Around her neck shall gems be hung,

A veste of gold her dress.

Knyghtes shall attend that lovelye mayde,

Whose breasts with pitie froughte ;
A garlande shall adorne her heade;

By purest vyrgynes wroughte.

[blocks in formation]

No more he sayde, but bent his waye,

All hopelesse in the nyghte,
When no kynde starr bestow'd a raye,

No cottage lente a lyghte.

I'th' morning when the clouded sun

Had beene up full hours twayne, The good Sir Walter Robynsone

Came hastening o'er the playne.

He rode to yeoman Pyrkyne's doore,

At which he knock'd full harde, And ere he well could count a score,

The doore it was unbarr'd.

Sir Knyghte you're welcome, Pyrkyne cry'd,

And bow'd him to the ground.
I thank you, Sir, the Knyghte reply'd,

But with a looke profounde.

He enter'd in and sate him downe,

To Rachel turned he,
He sayde she was so seemly growne,

Her lyke was rare to see.

Her bashful eyne she downwarde bente,

But made him no replye,
A blush her dimpled cheekes did painte,

Which rose from modestye.

Sir Walter then to Pyrkyne sayde,

Have you a stranger seene, An humble beggar poorly clade,

Of venerable meine.

Such one, cry'd Pyrkyne, here hath beene,

And though I sayde him naye,
He begg'd that I woulde let him in

Untill 'twas breake of daye.

He murmur'd much with strange pretence,

I heeded noughte he sayde,
But soon I sent him trudging hence,

To seeke elsewhere his bedde.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »