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For they in gaping wonderment abound,
And think, no doubt, she been the greatest
wight on ground!
Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her truth,
Ne pompous title did debauch her ear;
Goody, good-woman, gossip, n'aunt, forsooth, And here trim rosemarine, that whilom
Or dame, the sole additions she did hear;
Yet these she challenged, these she held right
Ne would esteem him act as mought behove, Who should not honored eld with these revere;
For never title yet so mean could prove,
But there was eke a mind which did that
And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom
Shall be erewhile in arid bundles bound,
To lurk amid the labors of her loom,
And crown her kerchiefs clean with mickle
Herbs, too, she knew, and well of each could speak,
That in her garden sipped the silvery dew, Where no vain flower disclosed a gaudy streak;
One ancient hen she took delight to feed,
The plodding pattern of the busy dame;
Which, ever and anon, impelled by need,
Into her school, begirt with chickens, came!
Such favor did her past deportment claim;
And if Neglect had lavished on the ground
Fragment of bread, she would collect the same;
For well she knew, and quaintly could
What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king,
While taunting foemen did a song entreat,
All for the nonce untuning every string,
Uphung their useless lyres-small heart had
they to sing.
But herbs for use and physic not a few,
Of grey renown, within these borders grew;
The tufted basil, pun-provoking thyme,
Fresh balm, and marygold of cheerful hue,
The lowly gill, that never dares to climb;
And more I fain would sing, disdaining here
The daintiest garden of the proudest peer,
Ere, driven from its envied site, it found
A sacred shelter for its branches here;
Where edged with gold its glittering skirts
Yet euphrasy may not be left unsung,
That gives dim eyes to wander leagues
Oh wassel days! O customs meet and well!
Ere this was banished from its lofty sphere!
Simplicity then sought this humble ceil,
Nor ever would she more with thane and
ex-But in her garden found a summer-seat; Sweet melody! to hear her then repeat
Here oft the dame, on Sabbath's decent eve,
Hymned such psalms as Sternhold forth did
If winter 't were, she to her hearth did cleave,
For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore,
And passed much time in truly virtuous deed;
And in those elfin ears would oft deplore
The times when truth by Popish rage did
And tortuous death was true devotion's
And simple Faith in iron chains did mourn,
That nould on wooden image place her creed;
And lawny saints in smouldering flames did
Ah, dearest Lord, forefend thilk days should e'er return!
And pungent radish, biting infant's tongue; And plantain ribbed, that heals the reaper's wound;
And marjoram sweet, in shepherd's posie Our sovereign prince and liefest liege is
In elbow-chair, like that of Scottish stem
By the sharp tooth of cankering eld defaced,
In which, when he receives his diadem,
The matron sate, and some with rank she She meditates a prayer to set him free; Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny, (The source of children's and of courtiers' (If gentle pardon could with dames agree) pride!) To her sad grief, which swells in either eye, Redressed affronts, for vile affronts there And wrings her so that all for pity she could passed; die.
And warned them not the fretful to deride, But love each other dear, whatever them betide.
Right well she knew each temper to descry; To thwart the proud, and the submiss to raise;
Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high, And some entice with pittance small of praise;
Forewarned if little bird their pranks behold, 'T will whisper in her ear and all the scene unfold.
Lo! now with state she utters the command;
Eftsoons the urchins to their tasks repair;
Their books of stature small they take in
And other some with baleful sprig she frays;
E'en absent, she the reins of power doth hold,
While with quaint arts the giddy crowd she But ah! what pen his piteous plight may
Which with pellucid horn secured are,
To save from fingers wet the letters fair;
The work so gay, that on their back is seen,
St. George's high achievements doth declare;
On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been,
Kens the forthcoming rod-unpleasing sight,
Ah luckless he, and born beneath the beam
Of evil star! it irks me while I write;
As erst the bard by Mulla's silver stream,
Oft as he told of deadly, dolorous plight,
Sighed as he sung, and did in tears indite.
For, brandishing the rod, she doth begin
To loose the brogues, the stripling's late de-
And down they drop; appears his dainty
Fair as the furry coat of whitest ermilin.
No longer can she now her shrieks command,
And hardly she forbears, through awful fear,
To rushen forth, and with presumptuous
To stay harsh justice in his mid-career.
On thee she calls, on thee, her parent dear!
(Ah! too remote to ward the shameful blow!)
She sees no kind domestic visage near;
And soon a flood of tears begins to flow,
And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe.
Or what device his loud laments explain?
The form uncouth of his disguised face?
The pallid hue that dyes his looks amain?
The plenteous shower that does his cheek
See to their seats they hie with merry glee,
O ruthful scene! when from a nook obscure, And in beseemly order sitten there;
His little sister doth his peril see;
All playful as she sate, she grows demure;
She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee;
All but the wight of bum y-galled; he
Abhorreth bench, and stool, and fourm, and
(This hand in mouth y-fixed, that rends his Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be so, As Milton, Shakespeare, names that ne'er shall die!
And eke with snubs profound, and heaving breast,
Though now he crawl along the ground so low,
Convulsions intermitting, doth declare
His grievous wrong, his dame's unjust behest; Nor weeting how the Muse should soar on And scorns her offered love, and shuns to be caressed.
His face besprent with liquid crystal shines,
His blooming face that seems a purple flower,
Which low to earth its drooping head de-
All smeared and sullied by a vernal shower.
O the hard bosoms of despotic power!
All, all but she, the author of his shame,
All, all but she, regret this mournful hour;
Yet hence the youth, and hence the flower
If so I deem aright, transcending worth and
Behind some door, in melancholy thought,
Mindless of food, he, dreary caitiff! pines;
Ne for his fellows' joyaunce careth aught,
But to the wind all merriment resigns;
And deems it shame if he to peace inclines;
And many a sullen look askance is sent,
Which for his dame's annoyance he designs;
And still the more to pleasure him she's bent,
The more doth he perverse, her haviour past
Like Vernon's patriot soul! more justly great Than craft that pimps for ill or flowery false deceit.
Yet nursed with skill, what dazzling fruits appear!
Wisheth, poor starveling elf! his paper kite may fly.
E'en now sagacious Foresight points to show
A little bench of heedless bishops here,
And there a chancellor in embryo,
And this perhaps, who, censuring the design,
Low lays the house which that of cards doth
Shall Dennis be! if rigid Fate incline,
And many an epic to his rage shall yield;
And many a poet quit th' Aonian field,
And, soured by age, profound he shall ap-
Ah me! how much I fear lest pride it be!
But if that pride it be, which thus inspires,
Beware, ye dames, with nice discernment see,
Ye quench not too the sparks of noble fires.
Ah! better far than all the Muses' lyres,
All coward arts, is valor's generous heat;
The firm fixt breast which fit and right re- For when my bones in grass-green sods are
As he who now with 'sdainful fury thrilled
Surveys mine work; and levels many a sneer,
And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, "What
stuff is here?"
And now Dan Phoebus gains the middle skie,
And Liberty unbars her prison-door;
And like a rushing torrent out they fly,
And now the grassy cirque had covered o'er
With boisterous revel-rout and wild uproar;
A thousand ways in wanton rings they run;
Heaven shield their short-lived pastimes, I
For well may freedom erst so dearly won,
Appear to British elf more gladsome than
Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade,
And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest flow-
For never may ye taste more careless hours
In knightly castles, or in ladies' bowers.
O vain to seek delight in earthly thing!
But most in courts where proud Ambition
Deluded wight! who weens fair peace can
Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of