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' But Philip chatter'd more than brook or bird ; Old Philip; all about the fields you caught His weary daylong chirping, like the dry High-elbow'd grigs that leap in summer grass.
I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a grayling,
And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
Above the golden gravel,
And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river,
But I go on for ever.
O darling Katie Willows, his one child !
Straight, but as lissome as a hazel wand;
Divides threefold to show the fruit within.
'Sweet Katie, once I did her a good turn, Her and her far-off cousin and betrothed,
James Willows, of one name and heart with her.
For here I came, twenty years back-the week Before I parted with poor Edmund; crost
By that old bridge which, half in ruins then,
Beyond it, where the waters marry-crost,
Whistling a random bar of Bonny Doon,
And push'd at Philip’s garden-gate. The gate, Half-parted from a weak and scolding hinge,
Stuck; and he clamour'd from a casement,
To Katie somewhere in the walks below,
“Run, Katie !” Katie never ran : she moved
To meet me, winding under woodbine bowers,
A little flutter'd, with her eyelids down,
Fresh apple-blossom, blushing for a boon.
"What was it? less of sentiment than sense
Had Katie; not illiterate ; nor of those
Who dabbling in the fount of fictive tears,
She told me.
She and James had quarrell’d.
What cause of quarrel ? None, she said, no cause ;
James had no cause : but when I prest the cause,
I learnt that James had flickering jealousies
Which anger'd her. Who anger'd James ? I said.
But Katie snatch'd her eyes at once from mine,
And sketching with her slender pointed foot
On garden gravel, let my query pass
Unclaim'd, in flushing silence, till I ask'd
If James were coming. Coming every day,"
But evermore her father came across
With some long-winded tale, and broke him short;
(Claspt hands and that petitionary grace
For one half-hour, and let him talk to me!”
And even while she spoke, I saw where James
Beyond the brook, waist-deep in meadow-sweet.
O Katie, what I suffer'd for
For in I went, and call'd old Philip out
To show the farm : full willingly he rose :
He led me thro' the short sweet-smelling lanes
Of his wheat-suburb, babbling as he went.
He praised his land, his horses, his machines ;
Then crost the common into Darnley chase
To show Sir Arthur's deer.
In copse and fern
Twinkled the innumerable ear and tail.
Then, seated on a serpent-rooted beech,
Of how the Squire had seen the colt at grass,
And how he sent the bailiff to the farm
To learn the price, and what the price he ask'd,