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IN boyish days, I wander'd on the green,
O'er field, through grove, pleas'd with the summer scene,
To Moushold heath, I sometimes bent my way,
To fly my kite, on schoolboy's holiday ; |
Or saunter'd in the lovely vale below,
To Thorpe, where Wensum's winding waters flow.
Or cross'd the tide to Witlingham-dear spot !
And all my little anxious cares forgot :
Fix'd in my little boat, tugg'd at the oar,
Till my young arms were stiff and hands were sore;
Sometimes would mount my pony, blithe as the lark,
And take the circuit of sweet Cossey's Park-
Delightful village ! to my heart most dear,
Where Noble Stafford dries the suff' rers tear ;
May Jerninghams-may Staffords-('tis my pray’r)
For ages yet to come, be happy there.
I'd spin my top, my bag with marbles fill
And lose them all on Norwich Castle Hill,
Would view the charming scene, and pleasure feel
When e'er I heard St. Peter's noble peal.
I've chac'd the butterfly, with downy wing,
In Chapel-field, and oft would gaily sing,
Or thought I sung, while humm’d the busy bee,
And sipp'd the sweets of Flora, roaming free;
Oft bave I watch'd within my Father's bower
While she extracted sweets from many a flower.
Like her I've labour'd to enrich my store,
And fill my budget well with Minstrel lore.
Long have I strove to gain each pleasing lay
On Virtue, Love, and Valour, grave and gay;
Like her I've pilfer'd, but have taken heed
To gather sweets and leave the noxious weed.



Thus, while the “ Norwich Minstrel” sings the lay
In praise of wine, (as oft his thoughts will stray),
He begs that prudence may direct the joys
Of Bacchus, and discard the drunkard's noise,
Condemns his wasting in excess whole nights,
Squandering his substance 'midst his false delights,
And while he chants of bumper, glass, or bowl,
Promotes kind social mirth and flow of soul.
And while the British Fair is oft his theme,
Let Virtue, more than Beauty, reign supreme :
While he “ sweet woman hails,” with mind serene,
Forget not Royal Adelaide, our Queen;
And as he lifts his voice in England's praise,
Remember Royal William in his lays :
Beloved Monarch! British tars' fond pride!
To thee he drinks his grog at ev'ry tide ;
For Nelson, England's, Norfolk's hero sighs,
And for his King and Country fights and dies.
Kind friends, my language cannot well impart
The grateful feelings cherish'd in my heart :
Through you, the Minstrel issued from the press,
You aided me in sickness and distress :
I now present you with my garland gay,
May you, well pleased, peruse your Minstrel's lay.
With warmest sentiments my bosom swells,
My gratitude the pen but faintly tells,
May you be happy-



Norwich, February, 1831.

P. S. Some errors in my little book you'll see,

One free from fault ne'er was, nor e'er will be.
As you peruse the Minstrel's lays be kind,
May they give pleasure and improve the mind.




THE way was long, the wind was cold,
The Minstrel was infirm and old ;
His withered cheek, and tresses gray,
Seem'd to have known a better day ;
The harp, his sole remaining joy,
Was carried by an orphan boy.
The last of all the Bards was he,

of Border Chivalry ;
For, well a day! their date was fled,
His tuneful brethren all were dead;
And he, neglected and oppressed,
Wished to be with them, and at rest.
No more, on prancing palfrey borne,
He carrolled, light as lark at morn ;
No longer, courted and carressed,
High placed in hall, a welcome guest,
He poured, to lord and lady gay,
The unpremeditated lay.

A wandering harper, scorned and poor,
He begged his bread from door to door ;
And tuned, to please a peasant's ear,
The harp, a King had loved to hear.
Amid the strings his fingers strayed,
And an uncertain warbling made
And oft he shook his hoary head.
But when he caught the measure wild,
The old man raised his face and smiled ;
And lightened up his faded eye,
With all a poet's extacy!


In varying cadence, soft and strong,
He swept the sounding chords along ;
The present scene, the future lot,
His toils, his wants, were all forgot ;
Cold diffidence, and ages frost,
In the full tide of song were lost.
Each blank in faithless memory void,
The poet's glowing thought supplied ;
And while his harp responsive rung,
"Twas thus the latest Minstrel sung:-


God save our gracious King,
William, our noble King,

God save the King !
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,

God save the King!
O Lord our God arise,
Scatter his enemies,

And make them fall !
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On him our hopes we fix ;

God save us all !
Thy choicest gifts in store,
On William deign to pour,

Long may he reign!
May he defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,

God save the King !


Braham. A Gobler of Burgundy, fill, fill for me,

Give those who prefer it Champagne ;

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