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260 THE GREENWOOD SHRIFT.
"c I will go with you, child,' he said,
Mother, he's here, hard by."
Looked on with glistening eye.
The bridle on his neck flung free, With quivering flank and trembling knee,
Pressed close his bonny bay;
Than those stood there that day.
So while the little maiden spoke
Looked on with glistening eye
Preached, — " All is vanity."
But when the dying woman's face
He stepped to where she lay;
And well, withouten book or stole
Into the dying ear
And death's dark shadows clear,
He spoke of sinners' lost estate,
Of God's most blest decree,
"Be merciful to me!"
He spoke of trouble, pain, and toil,
In patience, faith, and love, —
Of happiness above.
Then, as the spirit ebbed away,
He raised his hands and eyes, to pray
That peaceful it might pass;
Close round on the green grass.
Such was the sight their wondering eyes Beheld, in heart-struck, mute surprise,
Who reined their coursers back, Just as they found the long astray, Who, in the heat of chase that day,
Had wandered from their track.
Back each man reined his pawing steed, And lighted down, as if agreed,
In silence at his side; And there, uncovered all, they stood; — It was a wholesome sight, and good,
That day for mortal pride.
262 MUTABILITY. For of the noblest of the land
Was that deep-hushed, bareheaded band;
And central in the ring,
Knelt their anointed king.*
MUTABILITY. — Shelley.
We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver, Streaking the darkness radiantly! — yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost for ever;
Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
We rest, — a dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise,—-one wandering thought pollutes the day; We feel, conceive, or reason, laugh or weep,
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away;
It is the same! — for, be it joy or sorrow,
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
* George the Third of England.
TO THE MOON.— Shelley.
Art thou pale for weariness Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless Among the stars that have a different birth,— And ever-changing, like a joyless eye That finds no object worth its constancy?
OF A CONTENTED MIND.
When all is done and said,
In th' end thus shall you find:
That hath a quiet mind;
To deem can be content
In thinking to be spent.
The body subject is
To fickle Fortune's power,
Is casual every hour;
It to a clod of clay;
Runs never to decay.
Companion none is like
Unto the mind alone;
Through thinking, few or none,
264 THE FRIAR OF ORDERS GRAY.
Fear oftentimes restraineth words,
And he speaks best, that hath the skill
Our wealth leaves us at death;
Our kinsmen at the grave;
The heavens with us we have.
I can be well content
To deem in thinking spent.
THE FRIAR OF ORDERS GRAY.— Percy.
It was a friar of orders gray Walked forth to tell his beads,
"Now Christ thee save, thou reverend friar!
I pray thee tell to me,
My truelove you did see."
"And how should I your truelove know
From many another one?"
And by his sandal shoon.
"But chiefly by his face and mien,
That were so fair to view;
And eyes of lovely blue."