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chiefly through garbled extracts from them, I will here give an entire poem (one that has always been a favourite with me), that the reader may know what it is that the admirers of this author find to be delighted with in his poetry. Those who do not feel the beauty and the force of it, may save themselves the trouble of inquiring farther.
"The knight had ridden down from Wensley moor
And," Bring another horse!" he cried aloud.
"Another horse!"-That shout the vassal heard,
Joy sparkled in the prancing courser's eyes;
The horse and horseman are a happy pair;
A rout this morning left Sir Walter's hall,
That as they galloped made the echoes roar;
Sir Walter, restless as a veering wind,
Calls to the few tired dogs that yet remain : Brach, Swift, and Music, noblest of their kind, Follow, and up the weary mountain strain.
The knight hallooed, he chid and cheered them on
With suppliant gestures and upbraidings stern; But breath and eye-sight fail; and, one by one, The dogs are stretched among the mountain fern.
Where is the throng, the tumult of the race?
The poor hart toils along the mountain side;
But now the knight beholds him lying dead.
Dismounting then, he leaned against a thorn;
He had no follower, dog, nor man, nor boy: He neither smacked his whip, nor blew his horn, But gazed upon the spoil with silent joy.
Close to the thorn on which Sir Walter leaned,
And foaming like a mountain cataract.
Upon his side the hart was lying stretched :
His nose half-touched a spring beneath a hill, And with the last deep groan his breath had fetched The waters of the spring were trembling still.
And now, too happy for repose or rest,
(Was never man in such a joyful case!) Sir Walter walked all round, north, south, and west, And gazed, and gazed upon that darling place.
And climbing up the hill-(it was at least
Nine roods of sheer ascent) Sir Walter found Three several hoof-marks which the hunted beast Had left imprinted on the verdant ground.
Sir Walter wiped his face and cried, "Till now
I'll build a pleasure-house upon this spot,
A cunning artist will I have to frame
A bason for that fountain in the dell; And they, who do make mention of the same From this day forth, shall call it HART-leap Well.
And, gallant brute! to make thy praises known,
And, in the summer-time when days are long,
Till the foundations of the mountains fail,
My mansion with its arbour shall endure; The joy of them who till the fields of Swale,
And them who dwell among the woods of Ure!"
Then home he went, and left the hart, stone-dead,
With breathless nostrils stretched above the spring. -Soon did the knight perform what he had said, And far and wide the fame thereof did ring.
Ere thrice the moon into her port had steered,
And near the fountain, flowers of stature tall
With trailing plants and trees were intertwined,— Which soon composed a little sylvan hall,
A leafy shelter from the sun and wind.
And thither, when the summer-days were long,
The knight, Sir Walter, died in course of time,
And I to this would add another tale."
"The moving accident is not my trade:
To pipe a simple song for thinking hearts.
As I from Hawes to Richmond did repair,
It chanced that I saw standing in a dell Three aspens at three corners of a square,
And one, not four yards distant, near a well.
What this imported I could ill divine :
And, pulling now the rein my horse to stop, I saw three pillars standing in a line,
The last stone pillar on a dark hill-top.
The trees were gray, with neither arms nor head; Half-wasted the square mound of tawny green; So that you just might say, as then I said,
"Here in old time the hand of man hath been."
I looked upon the hill both far and near,
It seemed as if the spring-time came not here,
I stood in various thoughts and fancies lost,
And what this place might be I then inquired.