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"O lady, he is dead and gone, Lady, he's dead and gone! At his head a green grass turf, And at his heels a stone.
"Within these holy cloisters long He languished, and he died Lamenting of a lady's love, And 'plaining of her pride.
"Here bore him barefaced on his bier Six proper youths and tall; And many a tear bedewed his grave Within yon kirkyard wall."
"And art thou dead, thou gentle youth?
And art thou dead and gone? And didst thou die for love of me?
Break, cruel heart of stone!"
"O, weep not, lady, weep not so!Some ghostly comfort seek; Let not vain sorrow rive thy heart, Nor tears bedew thy cheek."
"O, do not, do not, holy friar,
My sorrow now reprove!
That e'er won lady's love.
"And now, alas! for thy sad loss I '11 evermore weep and sigh; For thee I only wished to live, For thee I wished to die."
266 THE FRIAR OF ORDERS GRAY.
"Weep no more, lady, weep no more;
Thy sorrow is in vain;
Will ne'er make grow again.
"Our joys as winged dreams do fly;
Why, then, should sorrow last?
"O, say not so, thou holy friar;
I pray thee, say not so!
'T is meet my tears should flow."
"Sigh no more, lady, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
To one thing constant never."
"Now say not so, thou holy friar,
I pray thee, say not so;
O, he was ever true!
"And art thou dead, thou much loved youth?
And didst thou die for me?
A pilgrim I will be.
"But first upon my truelove's grave
My weary limbs I '11 lay;
That wraps his breathless clay."
"Yet stay, fair lady, rest awhile
Beneath this cloister wall; The cold wind through the hawthorn blows, And drizzly rain doth fall."
"O, stay me not, thou holy friar,
O, stay me not, I pray!
Can wash my fault away."
"Yet stay, fair lady, turn again,
And dry those pearly tears;
Thy own truelove appears!
"Here, forced by grief and hopeless love, These holy weeds I sought, — And here, amid these lonely walls, To end my days I thought.
"But haply, — for my year of grace
Is not yet passed away,— Might I still hope to win thy love,
No longer would I stay."
"Now farewell grief, and welcome joy
Once more unto my heart;
We never more will part."
268 TO THE MEMORY OF ISABEL SOUTHEY.
SONNET ON HIS BLINDNESS. — Milton.
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless (though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present ,
My true account, lest he returning chide),
"Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, " God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."
TO THE MEMORY OF ISABEL SOUTHEY.— Mrs. Southey.
9T is ever thus, — 't is ever thus, when Hope hath built a bower
Like that of Eden, wreathed about with every thornless flower,
To dwell therein securely, the self-deceiver's trust, A whirlwind from the desert comes, and "all is in the dust."
'Tis ever thus, — 't is ever thus, that, when the poor heart clings With all its finest tendrils, with all its flexile rings,
That goodly thing it cleaveth to, so fondly and so fast, Is struck to earth by lightning, or shattered by the blast.
'T is ever thus, — 't is ever thus, with beams of mortal bliss, With looks too bright and beautiful for such a world as this;One moment round about us their angel lightnings P^y,
Then down the veil of darkness drops, and all hath passed away.
'T is ever thus, —91 is ever thus, with sounds too
sweet for earth,— Seraphic sounds, that float away (borne heavenward)
in their birth; The golden shell is broken, the silver chord is mute, The sweet bells all are silent, and hushed the lovely
'T is ever thus, — 't is ever thus, with all that 9s best
below, The dearest, noblest, loveliest, are always first to go; The bird that sings the sweetest, the pine that crowns the rock, The glory of the garden, the flower of the flock.
'T is ever thus, — 't is ever thus, with creatures
heavenly fair, Too finely framed to 'bide the brunt rrore earthly
creatures bear; A. little while they dwell with us, blest ministers of
love, Then spread the wings we had not seen, and seek
theh home above.