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IX. I look for ghosts; but none will force Their way to me : 'tis falsely said That there was ever intercourse Between the living and the dead; For, surely, then I should have sight Of him I wait for day and night, With love and longings infinite.
DEPARTED Child ! I could forget thee once
My apprehensions come in crowds ;
Beyond participation lie
The Child she mourned had overstepped the pale
Have you espied upon a dewy lawn A pair of Leverets each provoking each To a continuance of their fearless sport, Two separate Creatures in their several gifts Abounding, but so fashioned that, in all That Nature prompts them to display, their looks, Their starts of motion and their fits of rest, An undistinguishable style appears And character of gladness, as if Spring Lodged in their innocent bosoms, and the spirit Of the rejoicing morning were their own.
The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
Majestic in her person, tall and straight; And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.
The ancient spirit is not dead;
She begged an alms, like one in poor estate; I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.
When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
She answered, soon as she the question heard, “ A simple burthen, Sir, a little Singing-bird."
Such union, in the lovely Girl maintained And her twin Brother, had the parent seen, Ere, pouncing like a ravenous bird of prey, Death in a moment parted them, and left The Mother, in her turns of anguish, worse Than desolate ; for oft-times from the sound Of the survivor's sweetest voice (dear child, He knew it not) and from his happiest looks, Did she extract the food of self-reproach, As one that lived ungrateful for the stay By Heaven afforded to uphold her maimed And tottering spirit. And full oft the Boy, Now first acquainted with distress and grief, Shrunk from his Mother's presence, shunned with
And, thus continuing, she said,
And I have travelled weary miles to see
The bird and cage they both were his : 'Twas my Son's bird ; and neat and trim He kept it: many voyages The singing-bird had gone with him ; When last he sailed, he left the bird behind ; From bodings, as might be, that hung upon his mind
He to a fellow-lodger's care
And now, God help me for my little wit! I bear it with me, Sir ;-he took so much det in it."
xxvIII. THE CHILDLESS FATHER. “ Up, Timothy, up with your staff and away ! Not a soul in the village this morning will stay. The hare has just started from Hamilton's groun | And Skiddaw is glad with the cry of the hounds
THE SAILOR'S MOTHER. One morning (raw it was and wetA foggy day in winter time) A Woman on the road I met, Not old, though something past her prime :
-Of coats and of jackets grey, scarlet, and gree On the slopes of the pastures all colours were se With their comely blue aprons, and caps white
snow, The girls on the hills made a holiday show.
* In several parts of the North of England, when a funeral takes place, a basin full of sprigs of box-wood is placed at the door of the house from which the coffin is taken up, and each person who attends the funeral ordinarily takes a sprig of this box-wood, and throws it into the grave of the deceased.
Oh ! how I love thee !-we will stay
She with her mother crossed the sea ; The babe and mother near me dwell : Yet does my yearning heart to thee Turn rather, though I love her well : Rest, little Stranger, rest thee here! Never was any child more dear!
- I cannot help it; ill intent I've none, my pretty Innocent! I weep-I know they do thee wrong, These tears-and my poor idle tongue. Oh, what a kiss was that ! my cheek How cold it is! but thou art good; Thine eyes are on me—they would speak, I think, to help me if they could. Blessings upon that soft, warm face, My heart again is in its place!
With answering vows. Plebeian was the stock,
vir, While thou art mine, my little Love, This cannot be a sorrowful grove; Contentment, hope, and mother's glee, I seem to find them all in thee: Here 's grass to play with, here are flowers; I'll call thee by my darling's name; Thou hast, I think, a look of ours, Thy features seem to me the same; His little sister thou shalt be; And, when once more my home I see, I'll tell him many tales of Thee.”
Thus, not without concurrence of an age Unknown to memory, was an earnest given By ready nature for a life of love, For endless constancy, and placid truth; But whatsoe'er of such rare treasure lay Reserved, had fate permitted, for support Of their maturer years, his present mind Was under fascination ;-he beheld A vision, and adored the thing he saw. Arabian fiction never filled the world With half the wonders that were wrought for him. Earth breathed in one great presence of the spring; Life turned the meanest of her implements, Before his eyes, to price above all gold; The house she dwelt in was a sainted shrine ; Her chamber-window did surpass in glory The portals of the dawn; all paradise Could, by the simple opening of a door, Let itself in upon him :-pathways, walks, Swarmed with enchantment, till his spirit sank, Surcharged, within him, overblest to move Beneath a sun that wakes a weary world To its dull round of ordinary cares; A man too happy for mortality!
xxx. VAUDRACOUR AND JULIA. The following tale was written as an Episode, in a work from which its length may perhaps exclude it. The facts are true; no invention as to these has been
exercised, as none was needed,
So passed the time, till whether through effect Of some unguarded moment that dissolved Virtuous restraint-ah, speak it, think it, not! Deem rather that the fervent Youth, who saw So many bars between his present state And the dear haven where he wished to be In honourable wedlock with his Love, Was in his judgment tempted to decline To perilous weakness, and entrust his cause To nature for a happy end of all; Deem that by such fond hope the Youth was swayed, And bear with their transgression, when I add
Persisted openly that death alone Should abrogate his human privilege Divine, of swearing everlasting truth, Upon the altar, to the Maid he loved.
That Julia, wanting yet the name of wife,
“You shall be baffled in your mad intent If there be justice in the court of France," Muttered the Father.-From these words the Youth Conceived a terror; and, by night or day, Stirred nowhere without weapons, that full soon Found dreadful provocation: for at night When to his chamber he retired, attempt Was made to seize him by three armed men, Acting, in furtherance of the father's will, Under a private signet of the State. One the rash Youth's ungovernable hand Slew, and as quickly to a second gave A perilous wound—he shuddered to behold The breathless corse; then peacefully resigned His person to the law, was lodged in prison, And wore the fetters of a criminal.
I pass the raptures of the pair ;-such theme Is, by innumerable poets, touched In more delightful verse than skill of mine Could fashion ; chiefly by that darling bard Who told of Juliet and her Romeo, And of the lark's note heard before its time, And of the streaks that laced the severing clouds In the unrelenting east.— Through all her courts The vacant city slept; the busy winds, That keep no certain intervals of rest, Moved not; meanwhile the galaxy displayed Her fires, that like mysterious pulses beat Aloft ;-momentous but uneasy bliss ! To their full hearts the universe seemed hung On that brief meeting's slender filament !
Have you observed a tuft of winged seed
They parted; and the generous Vaudracour
For him, by private influence with the Court, Was pardon gained, and liberty procured; But not without exaction of a pledge, Which liberty and love dispersed in air. He flew to her from whom they would divide himHe clove to her who could not give him peace| Yea, his first word of greeting was,—“All right Is gone from me; my lately-towering hopes, To the least fibre of their lowest root, Are withered; thou no longer canst be mine, I thine-the conscience-stricken inust not woo The unruffled Innocent, I see thy face, Behold thee, and my misery is complete !"