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IN IMITATION OF SPENSER.
Henceforth shall be Corydon's theme.
And at the door imprisoning board is seen,
Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray;
Eager, perdie, to bask in sunny day!
The noises intermix'd, which thence resound,
Do learning's little tenement betray:
Where sits the dame, disguis'd in look profound, O ye woods, spread your branches apace;
And eyes her fairy throng, and turns her wheel
Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,
Emblem right meet of decency does yield:
Her apron dy'd in grain, as blue, I trowe,
As is the hare-bell that adorns the field :
And in her hand, for sceptre, she does wield
With dark distrust, and sad repentance fill'd;
And stedfast hate, and sharp afliction join'd,
And fury uncontroul'd, and chastisement unkind. * Auditæ voces, vagitus et ingens,
Few but have ken'd, in semblance meet pourtray’d, Infantumque animæ fentes in limine primo."
The childish faces of old Eol's train;
Libs, Notus, Auster: these in frowns array'd,
How then would fare or earth, or sky, or main,
And were not she her statutes to maintain,
The cot no more, I ween, were deem'd the cell,
Where comely peace of mind, and decent order Such as I oft have chaunced to espy,
dwell. Lost in the dreary shades of dull obscurity.
A russet stole was o'er her shoulders thrown:
A russet kirtle fenc'd the nipping air ;
'Twas her own labour did the fleece prepare;
For, they in gaping wonderment abound,
And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight
Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her truth,
Goody, good-woman, gossip, n'aunt, forsooth,
Yet these she challeng'd,these she held right dear:
Ne would esteem him act as mought behove, But their limbs shudder'd, and their pulse beat
Who should not honour'd eld with these revere: low;
For never title yet so mean could prove,
One ancient hen she took delight to feed,
Which, ever and'anon, impell’d by need,
Into her school, begirt with chickens, came;
Such favour did her past deportment claim ; They start, they stare,they wheel,they look aghast;
And, if neglect had lavish'd on the ground Sad servitude! such comfortless annoy
Fragment of bread, she would collect the same; May no bold Briton's riper age e'er taste !
For well she knew, and quaintly could ex pound,
What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb she Ne superstition clog his dance of joy,
found. Ne vision empty, vain, his native bliss destroy. Near to this dome is found a patch so green,
Herbs too she knew, and well of each could speak, On which the tribe their gamboles do display;
That in her garden sip'd the silvery dew
Where no vain flower disclos'd a gaudy streak; Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high,
And some entice with pittance small of praise; sanotte
Ev'n absent, she the reins of power doth hold, Fresh baum, and marygold of cheerful hue :
While with quaint arts the giddy crowd she sways; The lowly gill, that never dares to climb;
Forewarn'd, if little bird their pranks bebold, And more I fain would sing, disdaining here to 'Twill whisper in her ear, and all the scene unfold. rhyme.
Lo now with state she utters her command! Yet euphrasy may not be left unsung,
Eftsoons the urchins to their tasks repair; That gives dim eyes to wander leagues around; Their books of stature small they take in hand, And pungent radish, biting infant's tongue;
Which with pellucid horn secured are,
Andel And plantain ribb’d, that healsthe reaper's wound; To save from finger wet the letters fair: And marjoram sweet, in shepherds' posie found; The work so gay, that on their back is seen, And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom
St. George's high achievements does declare; Shall be, ere-while, in arid bundles bound,
On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been, To lurk amidst the labours of her loom,
Kens the forthcoming rod, unpleasing sight, I ween! His face And crown her kerchiefs clean, with mickle rare perfume.
Ab luckless he, and born beneath the beam
Of evil star! it irks me whilst I write! And here trim rosemarine, that whilom crown'd As erst the bard by Mulla's silver stream, The daintiest garden of the proudest peer;
Oft, as he told of deadly dolorous plight, Ere, driven from its envy'd site, it found
Sigh’d as he sung, and did in tears indite. A sacred shelter for its branches here; [pear.
For brandishing the rod, she doth begin Where edg’d with gold its glittering skirts ap To loose the brogues, the stripling's late delight!
ca Oh wassail days! O customs meet and well ! And down they drop; appears his dainty skin, Ere this was banish'd from its lofty sphere : Fair as the furry coat of whitest ermilin.
Simplicity then sought this humble cell, [dwell. Nor ever would she more with thane and lordling
O ruthful scene! when from a nook obscure,
His little sister doth his peril see: Here oft the dame, on Sabbath's decent eve,
All playful as she sate, she grows demure; Hymned such psalms as Sternhold forth did mete; She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee; If winter 'twere, she to her hearth did cleave, She meditates a prayer to set him free: But in her garden found a summer-seat:
Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny, Sweet melody! to hear her then repeat
(If gentle pardon could with dames agree) How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king,
To her sad grief that swells iu either eye,
Ik be While taunting foe-men did a song entreat, And wrings her so that all for pity she could die.
All, for the nonce, untuning every string, Uphung their useless lyres-small heart had they
No longer can she now her shrieks command; to sing.
And hardly she forbears, through awful fear,
To rushen forth, and, with presumptuous hand, For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore, To stay barsh justice in its mid career.
ANE And pass'd much time in truly virtuous deed; On thee she calls, on thee her parent dear!
4 And, in those elfins' ears, would oft deplore
(Ah! too remote to ward the shameful blow!) The times, when truth by popish rage did bleed;
She sees no kind domestic visage near, And tortuous death was true devotion's meed;
And soon a flood of tears begins to flow; And simple faith in iron chains did mourn,
And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe. That nould on wooden image place her creed;
TE And lawny saints in smouldering flames did burn:
But ah! what pen his piteous plight may trace! Ah! dearest lord, forefend, thilk days should c'er
Or what device his loud laments explain? return.
The form upcouth of his disguised face?
In elbow-chair, (like that of Scottish stem,
And warn’d them not the fretful to deride,
Right well she knew each temper to descry:
The pallid hue that dyes his looks amain?
Or when from high she levels well her aim,
By turns, astony'd, every twig survey,
Till fear has taught them a performance meet, And, sour'd by age, profound he shall appear; And to the well-known chest the dame repair;
As he who now with 'sdainful fury thrillid, Whence oft with sugar'd cates she doth them Surveys mine work; and levels many a sneer, greet,
And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, “ What stuff And gingerbread y-rare; now certes, doubly sweet.
is here?" See to their seats they hye with merry glee, But now Dan Phæbus gains the middle sky, And in beseemly order sitten there;
And liberty unbars lier prison-door; All but the wight of bum y-galled, he,
And like a rushing torrent out they fly, Abhorreth bench and stool, and form, and chair; And now the grassy cirque han cover'd o'er (This hand in mouth y-fix'd, that rends his hair;)
With boisterous revel-rout and wild uproar; And eke with snubs profound, and heaving breast, A thousand ways in wanton rings they run. Convulsions intermitting, does declare
Heaven shield their short-liv'd pastimes, I imHis grievous wrong; his dame's unjust behest ; For well may freedom erst so dearly.won, Cplore ! And scorns her offer'd love, and shuns to be caress'd. Appear to British elf more gladsome than the sun.
His face besprent with liquid crystal shines, Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade,
In knightly castles or in ladies' bowers.
O vain to seek delight in earthly thing ! All, all, but she, regret this mournful hour:
But most in courts, where proud ambition towers; Yet hence the youth, and hence the flower, shall
Deluded wight! who weens fair peace can spring claim,
Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of king. If so I deem aright, transcending worth and fame.
See in each sprite some various bent appear! Behind some door, in melancholy thought,
These rudely carol most incondite lay; Mindless of food, he, dreary caitiff! pines;
Those sauntering on the green, with jocund leer Ne for his fellows' joyance careth aught,
Salute the stranger passing on his way; But to the wind all merriment resigns ;
Some builden fragile tenements of clay; And deems it shame if he to peace inclines;
Some to the standing lake their courses bend, And many a sullen look ascance is sent,
With pebbles smooth at duck and drake to play; Which for his dame's annoyance he designs ;
Thilk to the huxter's savoury cottage tend, And still the more to pleasure him she's bent, In pastry kings and queens th'allotted mite to spend. The more doth he, perverse, her 'haviour past resent.
Here as each season yields a different store, Ah me! how much I fear lest pride it be!
Each season's stores in order ranged been; But if that pride it be, which thus inspires, Apples with cabbage-net y-cover'd o'er, Beware, ye dames, with nice discernment see Galling full sore th' unmoney'd wight, are seen; Ye quench not too the sparks of nobler fires: And goosebrie clad in livery red or green; Ah! better far than all the Muses' lyres,
And here of lovely dye, the catharine pear, All coward arts, is valour's generous heat;
Fine pear! as lovely for thy juice, I ween: The firm fixt breast which fit and right, requires,
O may no wight e'er pennyless come there, Like Vernon's patriot soul; more justly great
Lest smit with ardent love he pine with hopeless Than craft that pimps for ill, or flowery false deceit ;
care! Yet, nurs'd with skill, what dazzling fruits ap
See! cherries here, ere cherries yet abound, pear!
With thread so white in tempting posies ty’d, Evin now sagacious foresight points to show Scattering like blooming maid their glances round, A little bench of heedless bishops here,
With pamper'd look draw little eyes aside; And there a chancellor in embryo;
And must be bought, though penury betide. Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be so,
The plum all azure, and the nut all brown; As Milton, Shakspeare, names that ne'er shall die! And here each season do those cakes abide, Though now he crawl along the ground so low, Whose honour'd names th' inventive city own,
Nor weeting how the Muse should soar on high, Rendering through Britain's isle Salopia's praises Wisheth, poor starveling elf! his paper kite may fly.
known. And this perhaps, who, censuring the design, Admir'd Salopia! that with venial pride Low lays the house which that of cards doth build, Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave, Shall Dennis be! if rigid fate incline,
Fam'd for her loyal cares in perils try'd, And many an epic to his rage shall yield;
Her daughters lovely, and her striplings brave : And many a poet quit th’ Aonian field;
Ahl midst the rest, may flowers adorn his grav.
Whose art did first these dulcet cates display!
The gracious prince that gave him life,
Would crown a never-dying flame;
But though he should be dragg'd in scorn
To yonder ignominious tree;
He shall not want one constant friend
O then her mourning-coach was callid,
The sledge mov'd slowly on before;
Though borne in a triumphal car,
She had not lov'd her favourite more.
She follow'd him, prepar'd to view
The terrible behests of law; Do thou a pensive ear incline;
And the last scene of Jemmy's woes,
With calm and stedfast eye she saw.
Distorted was that blooming face,
Which she had fondly lov'd so long;
And stifled was that tuneful breath,
Which in her praise had sweetly sung:
And sever'd was that beauteous neck,
Round which her arms had fondly clos'd;
And mangled was that beauteous breast,
On which her love-sick head repos'd:
And ravish'd was that constant heart,
She did to every heart prefer;
For though it could its king forget,
'Twas true and loyal still to her. Their colours and their sash he wore,
Amid those unrelenting flames,
She bore this constant heart to see; And in the fatal dress was found;
But when 'twas moulder'd into dust,
Yet, yet, she cry'd, I follow thee.
My death, my death alone can show
The pure and lasting love I bore;
Accept, O Heav'n! of woes like ours,
And let us, let us weep no more.
The dismal scene was o'er and past, Oh Dawson, monarch of my heart;
The lover's mournful hearse retir'd; Think not thy death shall end our loves,
The maid drew back her languid head, For thou and I will never part.
And, sighing forth his name, expir'd. Yet might sweet mercy find a place,
Though justice ever must prevail, And bring relief to Jemmy's woes;
The tear my Kitty sheds is due: O George, without a pray’r for thee,
For seldom shall she hear a tale My orisons should never close.
So sad, so tender, yet so true.
In Edwin's gentle heart, a war
Of differing passions strove : His heart, that durst not disobey,
Yet could not cease to love.
Deny'd her sight, he oft behind
The spreading hawthorn crept,
Where Emma walk'd and wept.
Beneath the moonlight shade, In sighs to pour his soften'd soul,
The midnight mourner stray'd.
A deadly pale o'ercast :
Before the northern blast.
The parents now, with late remorse,
Hung o'er his dying bed; And weary'd Heaven with fruitless vows,
And fruitless sorrows shed.
Far in the windings of a vale,
Fast by a sheltering wood,
An humble cottage stood.
Beneath a mother's eye;
To see her blest, and die.
Gave colour to her cheek:
When vernal mornings break.
This charmer of the plains:
who bids their diamonds blaze,
Each maiden with despair;
Yet knew not she was fair.
A soul devoid of art;
Shone forth the feeling heart.
Was quickly too reveal’d;
That virtue keeps conceal'd.
Did love on both bestow!
Where fortune proves a foe.
Like her in mischief joy'd,
Each darker art employ'd.
Who love nor pity knew,
From whence his riches grew.
'Tis past! he cry'd--but if your souls
Sweet mercy yet can move, Let these dim eyes once more behold,
What they must ever love!
She came; his cold hand softly touch’d,
And bath'd with many a tear : Fast-falling o'er the primrose pale,
So morning dews appear.
But oh! his sister's jealous care,
A cruel sister she ! Forbade what Emma came to say;
“ My Edwin, live for me!”
Now homeward as she hopeless wept,
The church-yard path along, The blast blew cold, the dark owl scream'd
Her lover's funeral song.
Amid the falling gloom of night,
Her startling fancy found In every bush his hovering shade, His groan in every sound.