صور الصفحة

And lawny saints in smouldering flames did

burn : Ah! dearest Lord, forefend, thilk days should

e'er return.

In elbow-chair, like that of Scottish stem,
By the sharp tooth of cankering eld defaced,
In which, when he receives his diadem,
Our sovereign prince and liefest liege is placed,
The matron sate; and some with rank she

graced, (The source of children's and of courtier's

pride !) Redress'd affronts, for vile affronts there

pass'd; And warn’d 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 ;
And other some with baleful sprig she 'frays :
Even absent, she the reins of power doth hold,
While with quaint arts the giddy crowd she

sways; Forewarn’d, if little bird their pranks behold, "Twill whisper in her ear, and all the scene un.


Lo now with state she utters the command ! Eftsoons the urchins to their tasks repair ; Their books of stature small they take in hand, Which with pellucid born secured are ;

To save from finger wet the letters fair :
The work so gay, that on their back is seen,
St George's high achievements does declare ;

On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been, Kens the forthcoming rod, unpleasing sight, I

ween !

Ah ! luckless he, and born beneath the beam
Of evil star! it irks me whilst I write!
As erst the bard by Mulla's silver stream,
Oft, as he told of deadly dolorous plight,
Sigh'd as he sung, and did in tears indite,
For brandishing the rod, she doth begin
To loose the brogues, the stripling's late de-

light! And down they drop ; appears his dainty skin, Fair as the furry-coat of whitest ermilin.

O ruthful scene! when from a nook obscure,
His little sister doth his peril see :
All playful as she sate, she grows demure ;
She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee;
She meditates a prayer to set him free:
Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny,
(If gentle pardon could with dames agree)

To her sad grief that swells in either eye,
And wrings her so that all for pity she could


No longer can she now her shrieks command ;
And hardly she forbears, through awful fear,
To rushen forth, and, with presumptuous hand,
To stay harsh justice in its 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 food of tears begins to flow, And gives a loose at last to unavailing wo.

But, ah! what pen his piteous plight may

trace ? 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 dis

tain ? When he, in abject wise, implores the dame, Ne hopeth aught of sweet reprieve to gain ;

Or when from high she levels well her aim, And, through the thatch, his cries each falling

stroke proclaim.

The other tribe, aghast, with sore dismay,
Attend, and conn their tasks with mickle care :
By turns, astonied, every twig survey,
And, from their fellow's hateful wounds, be-

Knowing, I wist, how each the same may

share; Till fear has taught them a performance meet, And to the well-known chest the dame repair ; Whence oft with sugar'd cates she doth them

greet, And gingerbread y-rare; now, certes, doubly


See to their seats they hye with merry glee,
And in beseemly order sitten there ;

All but the wight of bum y-galled, he Abhorreth bench, and stool, and fourm, and

chair; (This hand in mouth y-fix'd, that rends his

hair ;) And eke with snubs profound, and heaving

breast, Convulsions intermitting, does declare

His grievous wrong; his dame's unjust behest; And scorns her offer'd love, and shuns to be


His eye besprent with liquid crystal shines,
His blooming face that seems a purple flower,
Which low to earth its dropping head declines,
All smear'd and sullied by a vernal shower.
0, 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,

shall claim, If so I deem aright, transcending worth and fame.

Behind some door, in melancholy thought,
Mindless of food, he, dreary caitiff! pines ;
Ne for his fellows' joyance 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


But now Dan Phæbus gains the middle sky,
And liberty unbars her prison-door :
And, like a rushing torrent, out they fly,
And now the grassy cirque han cover'd o'er
With boisterous revel-rout and wild uproar;
A thousand ways in wanton rings they run,
Heaven shield their short-lived pastimes, I im.

plore! For well may freedom erst so dearly won, Appear to British elf more gladsome than the


Enjoy, poor imps ! enjoy your sportive trade, And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest flowers; For when my bones in grass-green sods are

laid ; 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 .. towers ; Deluded wight! who weens fair peace can

spring Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of king.

« السابقةمتابعة »