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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 130/175 -


IV Three years she grew in sun and shower; Then Nature said, "A lovelier flower On earth was never sown; This child I to myself will take; She shall be mine, and I will make A lady of my own.

"Myself will to my darling be Both law and impulse: and with me The girl, in rock and plain, In earth and heaven, in glade and bower, Shall feel an overseeing power To kindle or restrain.

"She shall be sportive as the fawn That wild with glee across the lawn Or up the mountain springs; And hers shall be the breathing balm, And hers the silence and the calm Of mute insensate things.

"The floating clouds their state shall lend To her; for her the willow bend; Nor shall she fail to see Even in the motions of the storm Grace that shall mold the maiden's form By silent sympathy.

"The stars of midnight shall be dear To her; and she shall lean her ear In many a secret place Where rivulets dance their wayward round And beauty born of murmuring sound Shall pass into her face.

"And vital feelings of delight Shall rear her form to stately height, Her virgin bosom swell; Such thoughts to Lucy I will give While she and I together live Here in this happy dell."

Thus Nature spake - The work was done - How soon my Lucy's race was run! She died, and left to me This heath, this calm and quiet scene; The memory of what has been, And never more will be.

V A slumber did my spirit seal; I had no human fears: She seemed a thing that could not feel The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, or force; She neither hears nor sees; Rolled round in earth's diurnal course, With rocks, and stones, and trees.

William Wordsworth [1770-1850]

PROUD MAISIE From "The Heart of Midlothian"

Proud Maisie is in the wood, Walking so early; Sweet Robin sits on the bush, Singing so rarely.

"Tell me, thou bonny bird, When shall I marry me?" - "When six braw gentlemen Kirkward shall carry ye."

Who makes the bridal bed, Birdie, say truly?" - "The gray-headed sexton That delves the grave duly.

"The glow-worm o'er grave and stone Shall light thee steady; The owl from the steeple sing Welcome, proud lady!"

Walter Scott [1771-1832]

SONG

Earl March looked on his dying child, And, smit with grief to view her - The youth, he cried, whom I exiled Shall be restored to woo her.

She's at the window many an hour His coming to discover; And he looked up to Ellen's bower And she looked on her lover -

But ah! so pale, he knew her not, Though her smile on him was dwelling! And I am then forgot - forgot? It broke the heart of Ellen.

In vain he weeps, in vain he sighs, Her cheek is cold as ashes; Nor love's own kiss shall wake those eyes To lift their silken lashes.

Thomas Campbell [1777-1844]

THE MAID'S LAMENT From "The Examination of Shakespeare"

I loved him not; and yet now he is gone I feel I am alone. I checked him while he spoke; yet could he speak, Alas! I would not check. For reasons not to love him once I sought, And wearied all my thought To vex myself and him: I now would give My love, could he but live Who lately lived for me, and when he found 'Twas vain, in holy ground He hid his face amid the shades of death. I waste for him my breath Who wasted his for me; but mine returns, And this lorn bosom burns With stifling heat, heaving it up in sleep, And waking me to weep Tears that had melted his soft heart: for years Wept he as bitter tears. Merciful God! Such was his latest prayer, These may she never share! Quieter is his breath, his breast more cold, Than daisies in the mold, Where children spell, athwart the churchyard gate, His name and life's brief date. Pray for him, gentle souls, whoe'er you be, And, oh! pray too for me!

Walter Savage Landor [1775-1864]

"SHE IS FAR FROM THE LAND"

She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps, And lovers are round her, sighing: But coldly she turns from their gaze, and weeps, For her heart in his grave is lying.

She sings the wild songs of her dear native plains, Every note which he loved awaking; - Ah! little they think, who delight in her strains, How the heart of the minstrel is breaking.

He had lived for his love, for his country he died, They were all that to life had entwined him; Nor soon shall the tears of his country be dried, Nor long will his love stay behind him.

Oh! make her a grave where the sunbeams rest, When they promise a glorious morrow; They'll shine o'er her sleep, like a smile from the West, From her own loved island of sorrow.

Thomas Moore [1779-1852]

"AT THE MID HOUR OF NIGHT"

At the mid hour of night, when stars are weeping, I fly To the lone vale we loved, when life shone warm in thine eye; And I think oft, if spirits can steal from the regions of air To revisit past scenes of delight, thou wilt come to me there, And tell me our love is remembered even in the sky.

Then I sing the wild song 'twas once such rapture to hear, When our voices commingling breathed like one on the ear; And, as Echo far off through the vale my sad orison rolls, I think, O my love! 'tis thy voice from the Kingdom of Souls Faintly answering still the notes that once were so dear.

Thomas Moore [1779-1852]

ON A PICTURE BY POUSSIN REPRESENTING SHEPHERDS IN ARCADIA

Ah, happy youths, ah, happy maid, Snatch present pleasure while ye may;

Laugh, dance, and sing in sunny glade, Your limbs are light, your hearts are gay; Ye little think there comes a day


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 130/175

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