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Oh sair, sair did we greet, and mickle say of a'.
Ae kiss we took, nae mair-I bad him gang awa.
I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to dee;
For O, I am but young to cry out, Woe is me!
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena much to spin ;
I darena think o' Jamie, for that wad be a sin.
But I will do my best a gude wife ay to be,
For auld Robin Gray, oh! he is sae kind to me.
29. THE PLAINT OF THE NIGHTINGALE
As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles
Beasts did leap and birds did sing, Trees did grow and plants did spring,
Every thing did banish moan
Save the Nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Leaned her breast up-till a thorn,
And there sung the dolefull'st ditty
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
Tereu, tereu, by and by:
That to hear her so complain
Scarce I could from tears refrain;
For her griefs so lively shown
Made me think upon my own.
-Ah, thought I, thou mourn'st
None takes pity on thy pain: Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee, Ruthless bears, they will not cheer thee;
King Pandion, he is dead,
All thy friends are lapped in
All thy fellow birds do sing
Careless of thy sorrowing:
Whilst as fickle fortune smiled,
Thou and I were both beguiled.
Every one that flatters thee,
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy, like the wind:
are hard to
Every man will be thy friend, Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend ;
But if store of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.
Their smilèn mother's feäce;
You'd cry-'Why, if a man
An' thrive, 'ithout a dow'r,
Then let en look en out a wife
In Blackmwore by the Stour.'
As I upon my road did pass
A school-house back in May,
There out upon the beäten grass
Wer maïdens at their plaÿ;
An' as the pretty souls did tweil
An' smile, I cried, The flow'r
O' beauty, then, is still in bud
In Blackmwore by the Stour.'
31. THE MOTHERLESS CHILD
THE zun'd a-zet back t'other night,
But in the zetten pleäce
The clouds, a-redden'd by his
Still glow'd avore my feäce.
An' I've a-lost my Meäry's smile,
I thought; but still I have her chile
Zoo like her, that my eyes can
The mother's in her daughter's feäce.
O little feäce so near to me, An' like thy mother's gone; why
need I zay, Sweet night cloud, wi' the glow o' my lost day,
Thy looks be always dear to me!
The zun'd a-zet another night;
But, by the moon on high,
He still did zend us back his light
Below a cwolder sky.
My Meäry 's in a better land
I thought, but still her chile's at
An' in her chile she'll zend me on
Her love, though she herself's
RENOWNED Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
To learned Chaucer; and rare Beaumont, lie
A little nearer Spenser; to make room
For Shakespeare in your three-fold four-fold tomb.
To lodge all four in one bed make a shift
Until Doomsday; for hardly will a fifth,
Betwixt this day and that, by fates be slain,
For whom your curtains may be drawn again.
If your precedency in death do bar
A fourth place in your sacred sepulchre,
Under this sacred marble of thine own,
Sleep, rare tragedian, Shakespeare, sleep alone:
Thy unmolested peace, in an unshared cave,
Possess as lord, not tenant, of thy grave;
That unto us and others it may be
Honour hereafter to be laid by thee.
STILL thinking I had little time to live,
My fervent heart to win men's souls did strive;
I preached as never sure to preach again,
And as a dying man to dying men.
Though God be free, He works by instruments,
And wisely fitteth them to His intents.
A proud unhumbled preacher is unmeet
To lay proud sinners humbled at Christ's feet;
So are the blind to tell men what God saith,
And faithless men to propagate the faith:
The dead are unfit means to raise the dead,
And enemies to give the children bread;
And utter strangers to the life to come
Are not the best conductors to our home.
They that yet never learned to live and die,
Will scarcely teach it others feelingly.
34. AT THE CLOSE OF THE DAY
AT the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove,
When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill,
And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove:
'Twas thus, by the cave of the mountain afar,
While his harp rung symphonious, a hermit began;
No more with himself or with nature at war,
He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man.
'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more:
I mourn, but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you;
For morn is approaching, your charms to restore,
Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew;
Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn;
Kind Nature the embryo blossoms will save:
But when shall spring visit the mouldering urn-
Or when shall it dawn on the night of the grave?'
35. BUT WHO THE MELODIES OF MORN CAN TELL?
BUT who the melodies of morn can tell
The wild brook babbling down the mountain side;
The lowing herd, the sheepfold's simple bell;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide;
The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove?
The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark;
Crowned with her pail the tripping milkmaid sings;
The whistling ploughman stalks afield; and, hark!
Down the rough slope the ponderous wagon rings;
Thro' rustling corn the hare astonished springs ;
Slow tolls the village clock the drowsy hour;
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings;
Deep mourns the turtle in sequestered bower,
And shrill lark carols from her aerial tour.
J. BEATTIE (The Minstrel).
36. THE TOMBS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY
MORTALITY, behold, and fear,
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within this heap of stones;
Here they lie, had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands;
Where from their pulpits sealed with dust,
They preach, 'In greatness is no trust!'
Here's an acre sown indeed
With the richest, royal'st seed,
That the earth did e'er suck in
Since the first man died for sin;
Here the bones of earth have cried,
Though gods they were, as men they died;'
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruined sides of kings.
Here's a world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.
37. AT THE MERMAID
WHAT things have we seen
Done at the Mermaid! heard words that have been
So nimble, and so full of subtle flame,
As if that every one from whence they came
Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest,
And had resolved to live a fool the rest
Of his dull life; then when there hath been thrown
Wit able enough to justify the town
For three days past; wit that might warrant be
For the whole city to talk foolishly
Till that were cancelled; and when we were gone,
We left an air behind us, which alone
Was able to make the two next companies
Right witty; though but downright fools, more wise!
F. BEAUMONT (Letter to Ben Jonson).
38. DRINK AND DROWN SORROW
DRINK to-day, and drown all sorrow,
You shall perhaps not do it to-morrow:
But, while you have it, use your breath;
There is no drinking after death.
Wine works the heart up, wakes the wit,
There is no cure 'gainst age but it:
It helps the headache, cough, and ptisick,
And is for all diseases physic.
Then let us swill, boys, for our health;
Who drinks well, loves the commonwealth.
And he that will to bed go sober
Falls with the leaf, still in October.
F. BEAUMONT AND J. FLETCHER (The Bloody Brother).
39. LAY A GARLAND ON MY HEARSE
LAY a garland on my hearse
Of the dismal yew;
Maidens, willow branches bear;
Say, I dièd true.
My love was false, but I was firm
From my hour of birth.
Upon my buried body lie
Lightly, gentle earth!
F. BEAUMONT AND J. FLETCHER
(The Maid's Tragedy).
40. TAKE, OH! TAKE THOSE LIPS AWAY
TAKE, oh! take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn,
And those eyes like break of day,
Lights that do mislead the
But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, though sealed in
Hide, oh! hide those hills of
Which thy frozen bosom bears, On whose tops the pinks that grow
Are of those that April wears!
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.
F. BEAUMONT AND J. FLETCHER
(The Bloody Brother).