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I prayed for thee, and that thy end were past; And willingly have laid thee here at last: For thou hadst lived, till every thing that cheers In thee had yielded to the weight of years; Extreme old age had wasted thee away; And left thee but a glimmering of the day; Thy ears were deaf; and feeble were thy knees,— I saw thee stagger in the summer breeze, Too weak to stand against its sportive breath, And ready for the gentlest stroke of death. It came, and we were glad; yet tears were shed; Both Man and Woman wept when Thou wert dead; Not only for a thousand thoughts that were, Old household thoughts, in which thou hadst thy share; But for some precious boons vouchsafed to thee, Found scarcely any where in like degree! For love, that comes to all; the holy sense, Best gift of God, in thee was most intense; A chain of heart, a feeling of the mind, A tender sympathy, which did thee bind Not only to us Men, but to thy Kind: Yea, for thy Fellow-brutes in thee we saw The soul of Love, Love's intellectual law:— Hence, if we wept, it was not done in shame; Our tears from passion and from reason came, And, therefore, shalt thou be an honoured name!

VOL. Ii. L

XXIIL

THE FORCE OF PRAYER;

OR,

THE FOUNDING OF BOLTON PRIORY. A TRADITION.

"eafjat is 3006 fot a bootless bene >"

With these dark words begins my Tale;

And their meaning is, whence can comfort spring

When Prayer is of no avail?

"aafjat ts goot) tot a bootless bene?"

The Falconer to the Lady said; .

And she made answer " Endless sorrow!"

For she knew that her Son was dead.

She knew it by the Falconer's words,
And from the look of the Falconer's eye;
And from the love which was in her soul
For her youthful Romilly.

—Young Romilly through Barden Woods
Is ranging high and low;
And holds a Greyhound in a leash,
To let slip upon buck or doe.

And the Pair have reached that fearful chasm,
How tempting to bestride!
For lordly Wharf is there pent in
With rocks on either side.

This Striding-place is called The Strid,
A name which it took of yore:
A thousand years hath it borne that name,
And shall, a thousand more.

And hither is young Romilly come,
And what may now forbid
That he, perhaps for the hundredth time,
Shall bound across The Strid?

He sprang in glee,—for what cared he
That the River was strong and the rocks were steep f
—But the Greyhound in the leash hung back,
And checked him in his leap.

The Boy is in the arms of Wharf,
And strangled by a merciless force;
For never more was young Romilly seen
Till he rose a lifeless Corse!

Now there is stillness in the Vale,
And long unspeaking sorrow:—
Wharf shall be to pitying hearts
A name more sad than Yarrow.

If for a Lover the Lady wept,

A solace she might borrow

From death, and from the passion of death

Old Wharf might heal her sorrow.

She weeps not for the wedding-day
Which was to be to-morrow:
Her hope was a farther-looking hope,
And hers is a Mother's sorrow.

He was a Tree that stood alone,
And proudly did its branches wave;
And the Root of this delightful Tree
Was in her Husband's grave!

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Long, long in darkness did she sit,
And her first words were, " Let there be
In Bolton, on the Field of Wharf,
A stately Priory!"

The stately Priory was reared;
And Wharf, as he moved along,
To Matins joined a mournful voice,
Nor failed at Even-song.

And the Lady prayed in heaviness
That looked not for relief;
But slowly did her succour come,
And a patience to her grief.

Oh! there is never sorrow of heart
That shall lack a timely end
If but to God we turn, and ask
Of Him to be our Friend!

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