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Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;
If it be long, aye, long ago,
When I beginne to think howe long,
Swift as an arrowe, sharpe and strong;
Alle fresh the level pasture lay,
And not a shadowe mote be seene,
The steeple towered from out the greene;
The swannerds where their sedges are
Moved on in sunset's golden breath, The shepherde lads I heard afarre,
And my sonne's wife, Elizabeth ; Till floating o’er the grassy sea
Came downe that kyndly message free,
Then some looked uppe into the sky,
And all along where Lindis flows To where the goodly vessels lie,
And where the lordly steeple shows. They sayde, “And why should this thing be, What danger lowers by land or sea ? They ring the tune of Enderby!
“For evil news from Mablethorpe,
Of pyrate galleys warping downe; For shippes ashore beyond the scorpe,
They have not spared to wake the towne; But while the west bin red to see, And storms be none, and pyrates flee, Why ring ‘The Brides of Enderby'?”
I looked without, and lo! my sonne
Came riding downe with might and main. He raised a shout as he drew on,
Till all the welkin rang again, “Elizabeth! Elizabeth!” (A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath Than any sonne's wife, Elizabeth.)
“The olde sea wall (he cried) is downe,
The rising tide comes on apace, And boats adrift in yonder towne
Go sailing uppe the market-place."
He shook as one that looks on death : “God save you, mother !” straight he saith ; “Where is my wife, Elizabeth ?”
“Good sonne, where Lindis winds away
With her two bairns I marked her long; And ere yon bells beganne to play,
Afar I heard her milking song."
With that he cried and beat his breast;
For lo! along the river's bed
And uppe the Lindis raging sped.
And rearing Lindis backward pressed,
Shook all her trembling bankes amaine ; Then madly at the eygre's breast
Flung uppe her weltering walls again. Then bankes came downe with ruin and Then beaten foam flew round about, Then all the mighty floods were out.
So farre, so fast the eygre drave,
The heart had hardly time to beat, Before a shallow seething wave
Sobbed in the grasses at our feet : The feet had hardly time to flee Before it brake against the knee, And all the world was in the sea.
Upon the roofe we sate that night,
The noise of bells went sweeping by: I marked the lofty beacon light
Stream from the church-tower, red and high, – A lurid mark and dread to see; And awsome bells they were to mee, That in the dark rang “Enderby.”
They rang the sailor lads to guide
From roofe to roofe who fearless rowed ;
And yet the ruddy beacon glowed :
And didst thou visit him no more ?
Thou didst, thou didst my daughter deare! The waters laid thee at his doore,
Ere yet the early dawn was clear. Thy pretty bairns in fast embrace, The lifted sun shone on thy face, Downe drifted to thy dwelling-place.
That flow strewed wrecks about the grass;
That ebbe swept out the flocks to sea;
A fatal ebbe and flow, alas !
To manye more than myne and mee: But each will mourn his own (shee sayth). And sweeter woman ne'er drew breath Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.
I shall never hear her more
Cusha, Cusha, Cusha !” calling,
Cusha, Cusha!” all along.
I shall never see her more
Shiver, quiver :