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Heere uponne mie true love's grave,
Schalle the baren fleurs be layde,
Nee on hallie seyncte to save
Al the celness of a mayde.
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al ander the wyllow tree.
Wythe my hondes I'll dente the brieres
Rounde his hallie corse to gre,
Ouphante fairie, lyghte your fyres,
Heere mie bodie still schalle bee.
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
Comme, wythe acorne-coppe and thorne,
Drayne mie hartys blodde awaie;
Lyfe and all ytts goode I scorne,
Daunce bie nete, or feaste by daie.
Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.
Waterre wytches, crownede wythe reytes,
Bere mee to yer leathalle tyde.
I die; I comme; mie true love waytes.
Thos the damselle spake, and dyed.
Ah mourn, thou lov’d retreat! no more Shall classic steps thy scenes explore! When morn's pale rays but faintly peep O'er yonder oak-crown'd airy steep, Who now shall climb its brows to view The length of landscape, ever new, Where summer flings, in careless pride, Her varied vesture far and wide : Who mark, beneath, each village-charm, Or grange, or elm-encircled farm: The flinty dove-cote's crowded roof, Watch'd by the kite that sails aloof: The tufted pines, whose umbrage tall Darkens the long-deserted hall: The veteran beech, that on the plain Collects at eve the playful train: The cot that smokes with early fire, The low-roof'd sane's embosom'd spire! Who now shall indolently stray Through the deep forest's tangled way; Pleas'd at his custom'd task to find The well known hoary-tressed hind, That toils with feeble hands to glean Of wither'd boughs his pittance meant Who mid thy nooks of hazel sit, Lost in some melancholy fit, And listening to the raven's croak, The distant flail, the falling oak Who through the sunshine and the shower, Descry the rainbow-painted tower? Who, wandering at return of May, Catch the first cuckoo's vernal lay : Who, musing waste the summer hour, Where high o'er-arching trees embow'r The grassy lane, so rarely pac'd, With azure flow'rets idly grac'd 1 Unnotic’d now, at twilight's dawn Returning reapers cross the lawn; Nor fond attention loves to note The wether's bell from folds remote: While, own'd by no poetic eye, Thy pensive evenings shade the sky! For lo! the bard who rapture found In every rural sight or sound ; Whose genius warm, and judgment chaste, No charm of genuine nature past; Who felt the Muse's purest fires; Far from thy favour'd haunt retires: Who peopled all thy vocal bowers With shadowy shapes, and airy powers. Behold, a dread repose resumes,
As erst, thy sad sequester'd glooms!
From the deep dell, where shaggy roots
Fringe the rough brink with wreathed shoots,
Th' unwilling genius flies forlorn,
His primrose chaplet rudely torn.
With hollow shriek the nymphs forsake
The pathless copse, and hedge-row brake.
Where the delv’d mountain's headlongside
Its chalky entrails opens wide,
On the green summit, ambush'd high,
No longer echo loves to lie.
No pearl-crown'd maids, with wily look,
Rise beckoning from the reedy brook.
Around the glowworm's glimmering bank,
No fairies run in fiery rank;
Nor brush, half-seen, in airy tread,
The violet's unprinted head:
But fancy, from the thickets brown,
The glades that wear a conscious frown,
The forest-oaks, that pale and lone
Nod to the blast with hoarser tone,
Rough glens, and sullen waterfalls,
Her bright ideal offspring calls.
So by some sage inchanter's spell,
(As old Arabian sablers tell)
Amid the solitary wild,
Luxuriant gardens gaily smil'd :
From sapphire rocks the fountains stream'd,
With golden fruit the branches beam'd;
Fair forms, in every wonderous wood,
Or lightly tripp'd, or solemn stood;
And oft, retreating from the view,
Betray'd, at distance, beauties new:
While gleaming o'er the crisped bower
Rich spires arose, and sparkling towers.
If bound on service new to go,
The master of the magic show,
His transitory charm withdrew,
Away th' illusive landscape flew:
Dun clouds obscur'd the groves of gold.
Blue lightning smote the blooming mould;
In visionary glory rear'd,
The gorgeous castle disappear'd:
And a bare heath's unfruitful plain
Usurp'd the wizard's proud domain.
Or evening glimmer'd o'er the folded train:
Her fairest landscapes whence my Muse has drawn,
Too free with servile courtly phrase to fawn,
Too weak to try the buskin's stately strain:
Yet now no more thy slopes of beech and corn,
Nor views invite, since he far distant strays,
With whom I trac'd their sweets at eve and morn,
From Albion far, to cull Hesperian bays;
In this alone they please, howe'er forlorn,
That still they can recal those happier days.
When late the trees were stript by winter pale,
Young Health, a dryad-maid in vesture green,
Or like the forest's silver-quiver'd queen,
On airy uplands met the piercing gale;
And, ere its earliest echo shook the vale,
Watching the hunter's joyous horn was seen.
But since, gay-thron'd in fiery chariot sheen,
Summer has smote each daisy-dappled dale;
She to the cave retires, high-arch'd beneath
The fount that laves proud Isis’ towery brim :
And now, all glad the temperate air to breathe,
While cooling drops distil from arches dim,
Binding her dewy locks with sedgy wreath,
She sits amid the choir of naiads trim.'
written IN A BLANK LEAF of DUGDALE’s MONAstico N.
Deem not, devoid of elegance, the sage,
By fancy's genuine feelings unbeguil'd,
Of painful pedantry the poring child;
Who turns, of these proud domes, th’ historic page,
Now sunk by time, and Henry's fiercer rage.
Think'st thou the warbling Muses never smil’d
On his lone hours ? Ingenuous views engage
His thoughts, on themes, unclassic falsely styl'd,
Intent. While cloister'd piety displays
Her mouldering roll, the piercing eye explores
New manners, and the pomp of elder days,
Whence culls the pensive bard his pictur'd stores.
Nor rough, nor barren, are the winding ways
Of hoar antiquity, but strown with flowers.
IV. written. At ston EHENGE.
Thou noblest monument of Albion's isle!
Whether by Merlin's aid from Scythia's shore
To Amber's fatal plain Pendragon bore,
Huge frame of giant-hands, the mighty pile,
T entomb his Britains slain by Hengist's guile:
Or Druid priests, sprinkled with human gore,
Taught mid thy massy maze their mystic lore:
Or Danish chiefs, enrich'd with savage spoil,
To victory's idol vast, an unhewn shrine,
Rear'd the rude heap : or, in thy hallow’d round,
Repose the kings of Brutus' genuine line;
Or here those kings in solemn state were crown'd:
Studious to trace thy wond’rous origine,
We muse on many an ancient tale renown'd.
V. written AFTER SEEING WILTON-Hous E.
From Pembroke's princely dome, where mimic art
Decks with a magic hand the dazzling bow'rs,
Its living hues where the warm pencil pours,
And breathing forms from the rude marble start,
How to life's humbler scene can I depart?
My breast all glowing from those gorgeous tow’rs,
In my low cell how cheat the sullen hours!
Vain the complaint: for fancy can impart
(To fate superior, and to fortune's doom)
Whate'er adorns the stately-storied hall:
She, mid the dungeon's solitary gloom,
Can dress the graces in their Attic pall;
Bid the green landskip's vernal beauty bloom;
And in bright trophies clothe the twilight wall.
Not that her blooms are mark'd with beauty's hue,
My rustic Muse her votive chaplet brings;
Unseen, unheard, O Gray, to thee she sings:
While slowly-pacing through the churchyard dew,
At curfew-time, beneath the dark-green yew,
Thy pensive genius strikes the moral strings;
Or, borne sublime on inspiration's wings,
Hears Cambria's bards devote the dreadsul clue
Of Edward's race, with murders foul defil’d:
Can aught my pipe to reach thine ear essay?
No, bard divine! For many a care beguil'd
By the sweet magic of thy soothing lay,
For many a raptur'd thought, and vision wild,
To thee this strain of gratitude I pay.
While summer-suns o'er the gay prospect play'd,
Through Surry's verdant scenes, where Epsom
Mid intermingling elms her flowery meads,
And Hascombe's hill in towering groves array'd
Rear'd its romantic steep, with mind serene
I journey’d blithe. Full pensive I return'd;
For now my breast with hopeless passion burn'd.
Wet with hoar mists appear'd the gaudy scene,
Which late in careless indolence I past;
And Autumn all around those hues had cast,
Where past delight my recent grief might trace.
Sad change, that nature a congenial gloom
Should wear, when most, my cheerless mood to chase,
I wish'd her green attire and wonted bloom!
VIII. on KING ARthur's Round table. At winchester. Where Venta's Norman castle still appears, Its rafter'd hall, that o'er the grassy foss, And scatter'd flinty fragments clad in moss, On yonder steep in naked state appears; High-hung remains, the pride of warlike years,
Old Arthur's board: on the capacious round
Some British pen has sketch'd the names renown'd,
In marks obscure, of his immortal peers.
Though join’d by magic skill with many a rhyme,
The Druid frame unhonour’d falls a prey
To the slow vengeance of the wizard time,
And fade the British characters away :
Yet Spenser's page, that chaunts in verse sublime
Those chiefs, shall live unconscious of decay.
Ah! what a weary race my feet have run,
Since first I trod thy banks with alders crown'd,
And thought my way was all through fairy ground,
3eneath thy azure sky and golden sun :
Where first my Muse to lisp her notes begun ?
While pensive memory traces back the round,
Which fills the varied interval between ;
Much pleasure, more of sorrow, marks the scene.
Sweet native stream! those skies and suns so pure
No more return, to cheer my evening road
Yet still one joy remains, that not obscure,
Nor useless, all my vacant days have flow'd,
From youth's gay dawn to manhood's prime mature;
Nor with the Muse's laurel unbestow'd.
THE PROGRESS OF DISCONTENT.
When now mature in classic knowledge,
The joyful youth is sent to college,
His father comes, a vicar plain,
At Oxford bred—in Anna's reign,
And thus, in form of humble suitor,
Bowing accosts a reverend tutor.
“Sir, I'm a Glo'stershire divine,
And this my eldest son of nine ;
My wife's ambition and my own
Was that this child should wear a gown;
I'll warrant that his good behaviour
Will justify your future favour;
And for his parts, to tell the truth,
My son's a very forward youth :
Has Horace all by heart—you’d wonder—
And mouths out Homer's Greek like thunder.
If you'd examine—and admit him,
A scholarship would nicely fit him:
That he succeeds 'tis ten to one;
Your vote and interest, Sir!”—'Tis done.
Our pupil's hopes, though twice defeated,
Are with a scholarship completed:
A scholarship but half maintains,
And college rules are heavy chains:
In garret dark he smokes and puns,
A prey to discipline and duns;
And now intent on new designs,
Sighs for a fellowship—and fines.
When nine full tedious winters past,
That utmost wish is crown'd at last:
But the rich prize no sooner got,
Again he quarrels with his lot:
“These fellowships are pretty things, We live indeed like petty kings: But who can bear to waste his whole age Amid the dullness of a college, Debarr'd the common joys of life, And that prime bliss—a loving wise I O! what's a table richly spread Without a woman at its head : Would some snug benefice but fall, Ye feasts, ye dinners! farewell ali: To officers I’d bid adieu, Of Dean, Vice Pres.—of Bursar too; Come joys, that rural quiet yields, Come, tithes, and house, and fruitful fields!" Too fond of freedom and of ease A patron's vanity to please, Long time he watches, and by stealth. Each frail incumbent's doubtful health ; At length—and in his fortieth year, A living drops—two hundred clear ! With breast elate beyond expression, He hurries down to take possession, With rapture views the sweet retreat— “What a convenient house ! how neat For fuel here's sufficient wood : Pray God the cellars may be good! The garden—that must be new plann'd— Shall these old-fashion'd yew-trees stand : O'er yonder vacant plot shall rise The flow'ry shrub of thousand dyes:– Yon wall, that feels the southern ray, Shall blush with ruddy fruitage gay : While thick beneath its aspect warm O'er well-rang'd hives the bees shall swarm, From which, ere long, of golden gleam Metheglin's luscious juice shall stream: This awkward hut, o'ergrown with ivy, We'll alter to a modern privy: Up yon green slope, of hazels trim, An avenue so cool and dim, Shall to an arbour, at the end, In spite of gout, entice a friend. My predecessor lov’d devotion— But of a garden had no notion.” Continuing this fantastic farce on, He now commences country parson. To make his character entire, He weds—a cousin of the 'squire; Not over weighty in the purse, But many doctors have done worse: And though she boasts no charms divine, Yet she can carve and make birch wine. Thus fixt, content he taps his barrel, Exhorts his neighbours not to quarrel; Finds his church-wardens have discerning Both in good liquor and good learning; With tithes his barns replete he sees, And chuckles o'er his surplice fees; Studies to find out latent dues, And regulates the state of pews; Rides a sleek mare with purple housing, To share the monthly club's carousing;
Of Oxford pranks facetious tells,
And—but on Sundays—hears no bells;
Sends presents of his choicest fruit,
And prunes himself each sapless shoot;
Plants cauliflow'rs, and boasts to rear
The earliest melons of the year;
Thinks alteration charming work is,
Keeps bantam cocks, and feeds his turkies;
Builds in his copse a fav'rite bench,
And stores the pond with carp and tench.
But ah! too soon his thoughtless breast
By cares domestic is opprest;
And a third butcher's bill, and brewing,
Threaten inevitable ruin:
For children fresh expenses yet,
And Dicky now for school is fit.
“Why did I sell my college life
(He cries) for benefice and wife?
Return, ye days! when endless pleasure
I found in reading, or in leisure :
When calm around the common room
I puff'd my daily pipe’s perfume !
Rode for a stomach, and inspected,
At annual bottlings, corks selected:
And din'd untax'd, untroubled, under
The portrait of our pious founders
When impositions were supply'd
To light my pipe—or soothe my pride—
No cares were then for forward peas,
A yearly-longing wife to please;
My thoughts no christ'ning dinners crost,
No children cry'd for butter'd toast;
And ev’ry night I went to bed,
Without a modus in my head "
Oh! trifling head, and fickle heart!
Chagrin’d at whatsoe'er thou art;
A dupe to follies yet untry'd,
And sick of pleasures scarce enjoy'd
Each prize possess'd, thy transport ceases,
And in pursuit alone it pleases.