« ForrigeFortsæt »
'Tis very clear, and yet I strive in vainI cannot see the bottom, where
Luke Hath hid himself.—I'll call him-Luke! what, Luke! -He does not answer : no—nor Echo neither She will not live in such a dreary place. Why, nor will I—I'll come and seek thee, truant. This hollow trunk shall be my bonny boat ; It hath been here a hundred years, and stood More storms than man hath seen. What is it then So heavy in a simple girl, that makes It totter thus? I know-it is
heart. How merrily we swing! But softly—softly! I'll tie my birthday scarf to this tall bulrush, That the old man may know where I am gone, And light on wherewithal to wipe his eyes. There-how the light silk laughs to tell the breeze How well we play at hide and seek!-Now crack, Thou obstinate old tree-crack, crack, I say, And bear me to my true love. Every time The summer eves come round, we will be seen Sailing along on thy old knotty back. My Luke shall steer thee with a wish; whilst I, In semblance, twine his hair with dripping flowers. Crack, crack, I say. The folks shall come afar To see us keep our holyday. Nay, then, An thou wilt not, I'll make thee. [Shakes the tree, which gives way, and falls wit her into the water.
Merrily! O, merrily! I saw them on the search;
But they shall never catch me. Ne’ertheless, I'll sing them, for their pains, a farewell song. “ Under the wave, and under the wave,
Beneath the old willow tree; With the weeds for my pall, in a deep, deep grave,
My hiding-place shall be."
[While she sits, carelessly singing, the tree floats
steadily round the circles of the Whirlpool, gradually approaching the centre, in which she disappears.
THE REGATTA AT RYDE,
Gonzalo. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing.—The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death.—The Tempest.
“Pugh ! how hot it is !” quoth my fat friend Mr. D-, dragging me along the jetty at Ryde, as a three-decker would tow a cock-boat. “I came here to cool myself in the evening breeze, but find it like the breeze of the bellows, for, the harder it blows, the hotter the fire; and I am a pretty subject for sunbeams, a’nt I? If people go to heaven by flying, I shall be ruined to a certainty, for where will you find wings to carry twenty stone?”
With all this anti-cherubic ponderosity, my friend (whom, I trust, the reader will recollect as the hero of the Pic Nic, in Vol. I.) had the advantage of most unwieldy subjects, for it appeared that the longer he lived the more active he grew, the greater beau, and the more envied favourite of the ladies. The crowds who were languishing under their parasols all brightened up
their smiles to respond to his jocularity; and the very creaking of the planks beneath his stride seemed to attract universal admiration. We sat down on the stairs which descended to the water, where a numerous party were admiring the fleet of yachts, all lying ready for the Regatta on the morrow. The light clouds, the white sails, the thousand varied colours, and even the minutest rope, were reflected in the sunny water with a fidelity which reminded Mr. D— of a world turned topsy-turvy; and the prospect of fine weather, and a sight of the King, set every one upon arranging plans for going to sea; all of which my friend assisted with his counsel, taking it for granted that he was to be included as ballast. In fact, this assumption was chiefly instrumental in organizing a party, the responsible ladies being solely induced to brave the danger from a reasonable confidence that a man of Mr.D_'s compass would undertake nothing hazardous.
Alas ! that years of discretion should ever be indiscreet enough to form those galley-slave amusements, called parties of pleasure, from which the utmost good that can be extracted is a disposition to jog on the more contented with things in their ordinary course. In the commencement, it is an even chance but you are afflicted with a coup de soleil ; in the middle, it is two to one that each individual has a different view of enjoyment, and thinks how happy he could have been without the rest; and then it is any odds you please that the finale is an accident; for which the only consolation is, “ I told you how it would be." I never gave into a martyrdom of the kind, of which this is not the exact character, excepting in one instance, and from this one I can only deduct the discontent, which was banished (from me at least) by a pair of eyes which would have banished the gloom of Erebus. Even now they were sparkling on the jetty stairs, as if to remind me of the hide-and-seek in the wood, and to dare the utterance of my evil forebod