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The Vicar of Bray.

In good King Charles's golden days,

When loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous high-churchman was I,

And so I got preferment.
To teach my flock I never missed:

Kings were by God appointed,
And lost are those that dare resist

Or touch the Lord's anointed.
And this is law that I'll maintain

Until my dying day, sir,
That whatsoever King shall reign,

Still I'll be Vicar of Bray, sir.

When royal James possessed the crown,

And popery grew in fashion, The penal laws I hooted down,

And read the declaration; The church of Rome I found would fit

Full well my constitution; And I had been a Jesuit

But for the revolution.

When William was our king declared,

To ease the nation's grievance; With this new wind about I steered,

And swore to him allegiance; Old principles I did revoke,

Set conscience at a distance; Passive obedience was a joke,

A jest was non-resistance.

When royal Anne became our queen,

The church of England's glory, Another face of things was seen,

And I became a Tory;

Occasional conformists base,

I blamed their moderation;
And thought the church in danger was,

By such prevarication.

When George in pudding-time came o er,

And moderate men looked big, sir, My principles I changed once more,

And so became a Whig, sir; And thus preferment I procured

From our new faith's defender; And almost every day abjured

The pope and the pretender.

The illustrious house of Hanover,

And Protestant succession,
To these I do allegiance swear-

While they can keep possession:
For in my faith and loyalty

I nevermore will falter,
And George my lawful king shall be
Until the times do alter.
And this is law that I'll maintain

Until my dying day, sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
Still I'll be Vicar of Bray, sir.


Cumnor Hall.

The dews of summer night did fall;

The moon, sweet regent of the sky, Silvered the walls of Cumnor Hall,

And many an oak that grew thereby.

Now naught was heard beneath the skius,

The sounds of busy life were still,

Save an unhappy lady's sighs,

That issued from that lonely pile.

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* Leicester," she cried, “is this thy love

That thou so oft hast sworn to me, To leave me in this lonely grove,

Immured in shameful privity ?

“No more thou com'st with lover's speed,

Thy once beloved bride to see; But be she alive, or be she dead,

I fear, stern Earl, 's the same to thee.

“Not so the usage I received

When happy in my father's hall;
No faithless husband then me grieved,

No chilling fears did me appal.

“I rose up with the cheerful morn,

No lark more blithe, no flower more ga: And like the bird that haunts the thorn,

So merrily sung the livelong day.

“If that my beauty is but small,

Among court ladies all despised, Why didst thou rend it from that hall,

Where, scornful Earl, it well was prized ?

"And when you first to me made suit,

How fair I was, you oft would say! And proud of conquest, plucked the fruit,

Then left the blossom to decay.

“Yes! now neglected and despised,

The rose is pale, the lily's dead;
But he that once their charms so prized,

Is sure the cause those charms are fled.

For know, when sick’ning grief doth prey,

And tender love's repaid with scorn, The sweetest beauty will decay,

What floweret can endure the storm?

“At court, I'm told, is beauty's throne,

Where every lady 's passing rare, That Eastern flowers, that shame the sun,

Are not so glowing, not so fair.

Then, Earl, why didst thou leave the beds

Where roses and where lilies vie,
To seek a primrose, whose pale shades

Must sicken when those gauds are by?

" 'Mong rural beauties I was one,

Among the fields wild flowers are fair; Some country swain might me have won,

And thought my beauty passing rare.

“But, Leicester, (or I much am wrong.)

Or 't is not beauty lures thy vows; Rather ambition's gilded crown

Makes thee forget thy humble spouse.

“Then, Leicester, why, again I plead,

(The injured surely may repine,)Why didst thou wed a country maid,

When some fair princess might be thine ?

“Why didst thou praise my humble charms,

And, oh! then leave them to decay? Why didst thou win me to thy arms,

Then leave to mourn the livelong day?

“ The village maidens of the plain

Salute me lowly as they go;

Envious they mark my silken train,

Nor think a Countess can have woe.

" The simple nymphsthey little know

How far more happy 's their estate; To smile for joy than sigh for woe

To be content-than to be great.

“How far less blest am I than them?

Daily to pine and waste with care! Like the poor plant, that, from its stem

Divided, feels the chilling air.

“Nor, cruel Earll can I enjoy

The humble charms of solitude; Your minions proud my peace destroy,

By sullen frowns or pratings rude.

“Last night, as sad I chanced to stray,

The village death-bell smote my ear; They winked aside, and seemed to say, 'Countess, prepare, thy end is near.'

“And now, while happy peasants sleep,

Here I sit lonely and forlorn; No one to soothe me as I weep,

Save Philomel on yonder thorn.

"My spirits flag-my hopes decay

Still that dread death-bell smites my ear, And many a boding seems to say, 'Countess, prepare, thy end is near!'"

Thus sore and sad that lady grieved,

In Cumnor Hall so lone and drear, And many a heartfelt sigh she heaved,

And let fall many a bitter tear.

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