Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Set thy tail in a blaze,
That all the world may gaze
And wonder upon thee,
From Ocean, the great sea,
Unto the Isles of Orchadye;
From Tilbury Ferry
To the plain of Salisbury.

7. Skelton

CXLV

TO A BUTTERFLY

I've watch'd you now a full half-hour,
Self-poised upon that yellow flower ;
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Has found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

This plot of orchard-ground is ours;
My trees they are, my sister's flowers ;
Here rest your wings when they are weary ;
Here lodge as in a sanctuary !
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We'll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days when we were young ;
Sweet childish days that were as long
As twenty days are now.

W. Wordsworth

CXLVI

THE DRAGON OF WANTLEY

Old stories tell how Hercules

A dragon slew at Lerna,
With seven heads and fourteen eyes,

To see and well discern-a:
But he had a club, this dragon to drub,

Or he ne'er had done it, I warrant ye : But More of More-hall, with nothing at all,

He slew the dragon of Wantley.

This dragon had two furious wings,

Each one upon each shoulder ; With a sting in his tail as long as a flail,

Which made him bolder and bolder. He had long claws, and in his jaws

Four and forty teeth of iron; With a hide as tough as any buff,

Which did him round environ.

Have you not heard how the Trojan horse

Held seventy men in his belly ? This dragon was not quite so big,

But very near, I'll tell ye; Devour'd he poor children three,

That could not with him grapple; And at one sup he ate them up,

As one would eat an apple.

All sorts of cattle this dragon would eat,

Some say he ate up trees,

And that the forests sure he would

Devour up by degrees : For houses and churches were to him geese and

turkies ; He ate all and left none behind, But some stones, dear Jack, that he could not crack,

Which on the hills you will find.

Hard by a furious knight there dwelt;

Men, women, girls, and boys,
Sighing and sobbing, came to his lodging,

And made a hideous noise.
O save us all, More of More-hall,

Thou peerless knight of these woods ;
Do but slay this dragon, who won't leave us a rag on,

We'll give thee all our goods.

This being done, he did engage

To hew the dragon down ;
But first he went new armour to

Bespeak at Sheffield town;
With spikes all about, not within but without,

Of steel so sharp and strong,
Both behind and before, arms, legs, and all o'er,

Some five or six inches long.

Had you but seen him in this dress,

How fierce he look'd, and how big,
You would have thought him for to be

Some Egyptian porcupig:
He frighted all, cats, dogs, and all,

Each cow, each horse, and each hog:
For fear they did flee, for they took him to be

Some strange, outlandish hedge-hog.

To see this fight all people then

Got up on trees and houses,
On churches some, and chimneys too;

But these put on their trousers,
Not to spoil their hose. As soon as he rose,

To make him strong and mighty,
He drank, by the tale, six pots of ale

And a quart of aqua-vitæ.

It is not strength that always wins,

For wit doth strength excel ;
Which made our cunning champion

Creep down into a well,
Where he did think this dragon would drink,

And so he did in truth;
And as he stoop'd low, he rose up and cried, boh !

And kick'd him in the mouth.

Oh, quoth the dragon with a deep sigh,

And turn'd six times together,
Sobbing and tearing, cursing and swearing

Out of his throat of leather :
More of More-hall, O thou rascal,

Would I had seen thee never ; With the thing at thy foot thou hast prick'd my

throat, And I'm quite undone for ever.

Murder, murder, the dragon cried,

Alack, alack, for grief;
Had you but miss'd that place, you could

Have done me no mischief.

Then his head he shaked, trembled and quaked,

And down he laid and cried ;
First on one knee, then on back tumbled he;
So groan'd, and kick'd, and died.

Old Ballad

CXLVII

THE UNGRATEFUL CUPID

At dead of night, when mortals lose
Their various cares in soft repose,
I heard a knocking at my door:
"Who's that,' said I, 'at this late hour
Disturbs my rest ?' It sobb’d and cried,
And thus in mournful tone replied,
A

poor, unhappy child am I,
That's come to beg your charity;
Pray, let me in. You need not fear;
I mean no harm, I vow and swear;
But, wet and cold, crave shelter here;
Betray'd by night, and led astray,
I've lost, alas! I've lost my way!
Moved with this little tale of fate,
I took a lamp, and oped the gate!
When, see ! a naked boy before
The threshold; at his back he wore
A pair of wings, and by his side
A crooked bow and quiver tied.
‘My pretty angel ! come,' said I,
• Come to the fire, and do not cry.'
I stroked his neck and shoulders bare,
And squeez'd the water from his hair ;

« AnteriorContinuar »