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VALSE friend, wilt thou smile or weep
When my life is laid asleep?
What is this whispers low ? There is a snake in thy smile, my dear, And bitter poison within thy tear.
Sweet sleep, were death like to thee,
O world, farewell !
Listen to the passing-bell! It says thou and I must part, With a light and a heavy heart.
THE WIFE OF USHER'S WELL.
WHERE lived a wife at Usher's Well,
And a wealthy wife was she, She had three stout and stalwart sons,
And sent them o'er the sea.
They hadna been a week from her,
A week but barely ane,
That her three sons were gane.
They hadna been a week from her,
A week but barely three,
That her sons she'd never see.
“ I wish the wind may never cease,
Nor fish be in the flood, Till my
three sons come hame to me, In earthly flesh and blood !”
It fell about the Martinmas,
When nights are lang and mirk, The carline wife's three sons cam' hame,
And their hats were o' the birk.
It neither grew in syke nor ditch,
Nor yet in ony sheugh ; But at the gates o' Paradise
That birk grew fair eneugh.
the fire, my
maidens ! Bring water from the well! For a' my house shall feast this night, Since
my three sons are well."
And she has made to them a bed,
She's made it large and wide ; And she's ta'en her mantle round about,
Sat down at the bed-side.
Up then crew the red, red cock,
and crew the gray;
The eldest to the youngest said
“ 'Tis time we were away.
“ The cock doth craw, the day doth daw,
The channerin' worm doth chide; Gin we be miss'd out o' our place,
A sair pain we maun bide.”
“ Lie still, lie still but a little wee while,
Lie still but if we may ; Gin my mother should miss us when she wakes,
She'll go mad ere it be day.
“ Our mother has nae mair but us ;
See where she leans asleep ; The mantle that was on herself,
She has happ'd it round our feet.”
O it's they have ta’en up their mother's mantle,
And they've hung it on a pin :
Ere ye hap us again!
Fareweel to barn and byre !
That kindles my mother's fire.”
THE KNIGHT'S TOMB.
HERE is the grave of Sir Arthur O'Kellyn?
of that good man be ? By the side of a spring on the breast of Helvellyn,
Under the twigs of a young birch tree.
The oak that in summer was sweet to hear
and the birch in its stead has grown.
THE SHADOW OF NIGHT.
OW strange it is to wake
And watch while others sleep, Till sight and hearing ache
For objects that may keep The awful inner sense
Unroused, lest it should mark The life that haunts the emptiness
And horror of the dark.
How strange the distant bay
Of dogs; how wild the note
In homesteads far remote;
The old and crumbling tower,
Take life and speak the hour !
If dreams or panic dread
Reveal the gloom of gloom,
Kiss thou the pillow'd head
By thine, and soft resume The confident embrace,
And so each other keep In the sure league of amity,
And the safe lap of sleep.
Affects the dreary moon,
From life's nocturnal swoon : Men melancholy mad,
Beasts ravenous and sly, The robber and the murderer,
Remorse, with lidless eye.
The nightingale is gay,
For she can vanquish night; Dreaming, she sings of day,
Notes that make darkness bright: But when the refluent gloom Saddens the
gaps of song, We charge on her the dolefulness,
And call her crazed with wrong.
VI. 'Tis well that men should lie
All senseless, while the sun, Coursing the nether sky,
Leaves half the world o'er-run With baleful shapes unseen ;
And foul it is when we By loud carousal desecrate
Night's evil sanctity.