« ForrigeFortsæt »
He loves," the man exclaim'd," he loves, 'tis But when the men beside their station took, plain.
The maidens with them, and with these the cook, The thoughtless girl, and shall he love in vain ? When one huge wooden bowl before them stood, She may be stubborn, but she shall be tried, Fillid with huge balls, of farinaceous food; Born as she is of wilfulness and pride."
With bacon, mass saline, where never lean With anger fraught, but willing to persuade, Beneath the brown and bristly rind was seen ; The wrathful father met the smiling maid : When from a single horn the party drew * Sybil,” said he, “I long, and yet I dread Their copious draughts of heavy ale and new; To know thy conduct; hath Josiah fled ?
When the course cloth she saw, with many a stain And, grieved and fretted by thy scornful air, Soil'd by rude hinds who cut and came again, For his lost peace betaken him to prayer ?
She could not breathe ; but, with a heavy sigh, Couldst thou his pure and modest mind distress, Rein'd the fair neck, and shut th' offended eye ; By vile remarks upon his speech, address, She minced the sanguine flesh in frustums fine, Attire, and voice ?” -“ All this I must confess.” And wonder'd much to see the creatures dine: "Unhappy child! what labour will it cost
When she resolved her father's heart to move, To win him back!—“I do not think him lost."— If hearts of farmers were alive to love. * Courts he then, trifler! insult and disdain ?"- She now entreated by herself to sit ** No: but from these he courts me to refrain." In the small parlour, if papa thought fit, * Then hear me, Sybil ; should Josiah leave And there to dine, to read, to work alone. Thy father's house ?”—“ My father's child would • No!" said the farmer, in an angry tone ; grieve."
• These are your school-taught airs ; your mother's * That is of grace, and if he come again
pride To speak of love ?”—“ I might from grief refrain.”- Would send you there ; but I am now your guide.
Then wilt thou, daughter, our design embrace?"- Arise betimes, our early meal prepare, - Can I resist it, if it be of grace ?"
And this despatch’d, let business be your care ; * Dear child! in three plain words thy mind ex. Look to the lasses, let there not be one press ;
Who lacks attention, till her tasks be done;
And what you make not, see that others make:
A useful lass, you may have more to do."
Dreadful were these commands ; but worse than THE WIDOW'S TALE.
these Ah me! for aught that I could ever read,
The parting hint, a farmer could not please : Or ever hear by tale or bistory,
'Tis true she had without abhorrence seen The course of true love never did run smooth: Young Harry Carr, when he was smart and clean; But either it was different in blood,
But to be married, be a farmer's wife, Or else misgrafted in respect of years,
A slave! a drudge! she could not, for her life. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends;
With swimming eyes the fretful nymph with Or if there were a sympathy in choice,
drew, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it. Midsummer Night's Dream, act i. sc. l.
And, deeply sighing, to her chamber flew ;
There on her knees, to Heaven she grieving pray'd 0! thou didst then ne'er love so heartily, For change of prospect to a tortured maid If thou rememberest not the slightest folly That ever love did make thee run into.
Harry, a youth whose late departed sire
Had left him all industrious men require,
Saw the pale beauty ; and her shape and air Cry the man inercy; love him, take his offer. Engaged him much, and yet he must forbear :
Ibid. act iii. sc. 5.
For my small farm what can the damsel do ?”
He said: then stopp'd to take another view : To farmer Moss, in Langar Vale, came down " Pity so sweet a lass will nothing learn His only daughter, from her school in town ; Of household cares ; for what can beauty earn A tender, timid maid! who knew not how
By those small arts which they at school attain, To pass a pig-sty, or to face a cow':
That keep them useless, and yet make ihem vain!" Smiling she came, with peity talents graced, This luckless damsel look'd the village round, A fair complexion, and a slender waist.
To find a friend, and one was quickly found ; Used to spare meals, disposed in manner pure, A pensive widow, whose mild air and dress Her father's kitchen she could ill endure ;
Pleased the sad nymph, who wish'd her soul's disWhere by the steaming beef he hungry sat, And laid at once a pound upon his plate :
To one so seeming kind, confiding, to confess. Hot from the field, her eager brother seized
" What lady that ?" the anxious lass inquired, An equal part, and hunger's rage appeased ; Who then beheld the one she most admired : The air, sorcharged with moisture, flaggd around, “Here,” said the brother, “ are no ladies seenAnd the offended damsel sigh'd and frown'd; That is a widow dwelling on the green ; The swelling fat in lumps conglomerate laid, A dainty dame, who can but barely live And fancy's sickness seized the loathing maid : On her poor pittance, yet contrives to give ; 13*
She happier days has known, but seems at ease, And I confess, it shocks my pride to tell
For that dear maiden would be shock'd to feel You shall see twenty better worth your love." The secrets I should shudder to reveal ;
These Nancy met; but, spite of all they taught, When told her friend was by a parent ask'd, This useless widow was the one she sought : Fed you the swine? Good heaven! how I am task'd ! The father growl'd; but said he knew no harm What! can you smile! Ah! smile not at the grief In such connexion that could give alarm : That woos your pity and demands relief.” “ And if we thwart the trifler in her course,
“ Trifles, my love ; you take a false alarm ; 'Tis odds against us she will take a worse.' Think, I beseech you, better of the farm :
Then met the friends ; the widow heard the sigh Duties in every state demand your care, That ask'd at once compassion and reply. And light are those that will require it there: “Would you, my child, converse with one so poor, Fix on the youth a favouring eye, and these, Yours were the kindness—yonder is my door; To him pertaining, or as his, will please." And, save the time that we in public pray,
" What words,” the lass replied, "offend my ear! From that poor cottage I but rarely stray.” Try you my patience? Can you be sincere ? There went the nymph, and made her strong And am I told a willing hand to give complaints,
To a rude farmer, a nd with rustic live? Painting her wo as injured feeling paints. Far other fate was yours : some gentle youth
“O, dearest friend ! do think how one must feel, Admired your beauty, and avow'd his truth ; Shock'd all day long, and sicken'd every meal! The power of love prevail'd, and freely both Could you behold our kitchen, (and to you Gave the fond heart, and pledged the binding oath ; A scene so shocking must indeed be new,) And then the rival's plof, the parent's power, A mind like yours, with true refinement graced, And jealous fears, drew on the happy hour : Would let no vulgar scenes pollute your taste ; Ah! let not memory lose the blissful view, And yet, in truth, from such a polish'd mind But fairly show what love has done for you." All base ideas must resistance find,
“Agreed, my daughter, what my heart has known And sordid pictures from the fancy pass,
Of love's strange power shall be with frankness As the breath startles from the polish'd glass.
shown : " Here you enjoy a sweet romantic scene, But let me warn you, that experience finds Without so pleasant, and within so clean ; Few of the scenes that lively hope designs." These twining jess’mines, what delicious gloom “ Mysterious all," said Nancy ; “you, I know, And soothing fragrance yield they to the room! Have suffer'd much; now deign the grief to show What lovely garden! there you oft retire, I am your friend, and so prepare my heart And tales of wo and tenderness admire :
In all your sorrows to receive a part." In that neat case, your books, in order placed, The widow answer’d, " I had once, like you, Soothe the full soul, and charm the cultured taste; Such thoughts of love ; no dream is more untrue: And thus, while all about you wears a charm, You judge it fated and decreed to dwell How must you scorn the farmer and the farm !" In youthful hearts, which nothing can expel,
The widow smiled, and “Know you not," said she, A passion doom'd to reign, and irresistible. “ How much these farmers scorn or pity me ; The struggling mind, when once subdued, in vain Who see what you admire, and laugh at all they Rejects the fury or defies the pain ;
The strongest reason fails the flame tallay, True, their opinion alters not my fate,
And resolution droops and faints away: By falsely judging of an humble state :
Hence, when the destined lovers meet, they provo This garden, you with such delight behold, At once the force of this all-powerful love : Tempts not a feeble dame who dreads the cold ; Each from that period feels the mutual smart, These plants, which please so well your livelier Nor seeks to cure it: heart is changed for heart ; sense,
Nor is there peace till they delighted stand, To mine but little of their sweets dispense ; And, at the altar, hand is joined to hand. Books soon are painful to my failing sight,
“Alas! my child, there are who, dreaming so, And oftener read from duty than delight;
Waste their fresh youth, and waking feel the wo; (Yet let me own, that I can sometimes find There is no spirit sent the heart to move Both joy and duty in the act combined ;)
With such prevailing and alarming love ; But view me rightly, you will see no more Passion to reason will submit; or why Than a poor female, willing to be poor ;
Should wealthy maids the poorest swains deny ? Happy indeed, but not in books nor flowers, Or how could classes and degrees create Not in fair dreams, indulged in earlier hours, The slightest bar to such resistless fate ? Of never-tasted joys ; such visions shun,
Yet high and low, you see, forbear to mix; My youthful friend, nor scorn the farmer's son.” No beggars' eyes the heart of kings transfix ;
“ Nay," said the damsel, nothing pleased to see And who but amorous peers or nobles sigh A friend's advice could like a father's be ; When titled beauties pass triumphant by ? “ Bless'd in your cottage, you must surely smile For reason wakes, proud wishes to reprove; At those who live in our detested style :
You cannot hope, and therefore dare not love : To my Lucinda's sympathizing heart
All would be safe, did we at first inquire, Could I my prospects and my griefs impart, • Does reason sanction what our hearts desire ?' She would console me ; but I dare not show But quitting precept, let example show Ills that would wound her tender soul to know : What joys from love uncheck'd by prudence flow
“A youth my father in his office placed, Our dying hopes and stronger fears between,
When its contemptuous frown the world bestows,
When, being wretched, we incline to hate
While you, exempt from want, despair, alarm,
last ?" "At length 'twas friendship; and my friend and I “Smiled for a moment," she replied, " and pass'd : Said we were happy, and began to sigh :
My lover still the same dull means pursued,
By fears and wishes in eternal strife;
At length he urged impatient, · Now consent; With pity moved, yet angry, “Child,' said he, With thee united, fortune may relent.'
Will you embrace contempt and beggary? I paused, consenting ; but a friend arose,
Pleased a fair view, though distant, to disclose ; By want, of every human wo the worst?
From the rough ocean we beheld a gleam Warring for ever with distress, in dread
Of joy, as transient as the joys we dream; Either of begging or of wanting bread;
By lying hopes deceived, my friend retired, Wh.je poverty, with unrelenting force,
And sail'd—was wounded-reach'd us-and Will your own offspring from your love divorce : expired! They, through your folly, must be doom'd to pine, You shall behold his grave, and when I die, And you deplore your passion, or resign;
There--but 'tis folly-I request to lie.” For, if it die, what good will then remain ?
“ Thus," said the lass, “ to joy you bade adieu. And if it live, it doubles every pain.''
But how a widow-that cannot be true : " But you were true,"exclaim'd the lass," and fled Or was it force, in some unhappy hour, The tyrant's power who fill'd your soul with dread ?" That placed you, grieving, in a tyrant's power ?" ** But," said the smiling friend, “he fill'd my "Force, my young friend, when forty years are mouth with bread :
fled, And in what other place that bread to gain Is what a woman seldom has to dread; We long consider'd, and we sought in vain : She needs no brazen locks nor guarding walls, This was my twentieth year : at thirty-five And seldom comes a lover though she calls : Our hope was fainter, yet our love alive;
Yet moved by fancy, one approved my face, So many years in anxious doubt had pass’d.” Though time and tears had wrought it much dis* Then,” said the damsel, “ you were bless'd at last?" grace. A smile again adorn'd the widow's face,
* The man I married was sedate and meek, But soon a starting tear usurp'd its place.
And spoke of love as men in earnest speak: *Slow pass’d the heavy years, and each had more Poor as I was, he ceaseless sought, for years, Pains and vexationis than the years before
A heart in sorrow and a face in tears ; My father fail'd ; his family was rent,
That heart I gave not; and 'twas long before And to new states his grieving daughters sent; I gave attention, and then nothing more ; Each to more thriving kindred found a way, But in my breast some grateful feeling rose Guests without welcome-servants without pay ; For one whose love so sad a subject chose ; Our parting hour was grievous; still I feel Till long delaying, fearing to repent, The sad, sweet converse at our final meal ; But grateful still, I gave a cold assent. Our father then reveal'd his former fears,
Th we were wed; no fault had I to find, Cause of his sternness, and then join'd our tears; And he but one ; my heart could not be kind : Kindly he strove our feelings to repress,
Alas! of every early hope berest,
There was no fondness in my bosom left;
He lived but to indulge me and complain :
He to my room these curious trifles brought, To nse in life, he was dependent still;
And with assiduous love my pleasure sought : We met in grief, nor can I paint the fears He lived to please me, and I ofttimes strove, Of these unhappy, troubled, trying years : Smiling, to thank his unrequited love:
• Teach me,' he cried, 'that pensive mind to ease, The youth replied, “It is the widow's deed : For all my pleasure is the hope to please.' The cure is perfect, and was wrought with
“ Serene, though heavy, were the days we spent, speed."Yet kind each word, and generous each intent; “And comes there, boy, this benefit of books, But his dejection lessend every day,
Of that smart dress, and of those dainty looks? And to a placid kindness died away ;
We must be kind; some offerings from the farm In tranquil ease we pass'd our latter years, To the white cot will speak our feelings warm; By griefs untroubled, unassail'd by fears.
Will show that people, when they know the fact, “Let not romantic views your bosom sway, Where they have judged severely, can retract. Yield to your duties, and their call obey :
Oft have I smiled, when I beheld her pass Fly not a youth, frank, honest, and sincere ; With cautious step, as if she hurt the grass ; Observe his merits, and his passion hear!
Where is a snail's retreat she chanced to storm, 'Tis true, no hero, but a farmer sues
She look'd as begging pardon of the worm ; Slow in his speech, but worthy in his views; And what, said I, still laughing at the view, With him you cannot that affliction prove
Have these weak creatures in the world to do? That rends the bosom of the poor in love : But some are made for action, some to spenk; Health, comfort, competence, and cheerful days, And, while she looks so pitiful and meek, Your friends' approval, and your father's praise, Her words are weighty, though her nerves aro Will crown the deed, and you escape their fate
weak." Who plan so wildly, and are wise too late.”
Soon told the village bells the rite was done, The damsel heard ; at first th' advice was That joind the school-bred miss and farmer's son; strange,
Her former habits some slight scandal raised, Yet wrought a happy, nay, a speedy change : But real worth was soon perceived and praised; • I have no care," she said, when next they met, She, her neat taste imparted to the farm, “But one may wonder he is silent yet :
And he, th' improving skill and vigorous arm.
What though you have beauty,
Must you be therefore proud and pitiless ?
As You Like It, act iii. sc. 5. “Persist, my love," replied the friend, " and
I would not marry her, though she were endow'd with gain
all that Adam had left him before he transgress'd. A parent's praise, that cannot be in vain."
Ibid. The father saw the change, but not the cause, Wilt thou love such a woman? What! to make thee And gave the alter'd maid his fond applause : an instrument, and play false strains upon thee!-Not to The coarser manners she in part removed,
Ibid. In part endured, improving and improved ; She spoke of household works, she rose betimes,
As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know And said neglect and indolence were crimes ;
Her estimation hence, The various duties of their life she weigh’d,
All's Well that Ends Well, act v. sc. 3. And strict attention to her dairy paid ;
Be this sweet Helen's kncll: The names of servants now familiar grew
He left a wife whose words all ears took captive, And fair Lucindas from her mind withdrew :
Whose dear perfection, hearts that scorn'd to serve As prudent travellers for their ease assume
Humbly call'd mistress.
Ibid Their modes and language to whose lands they come:
THERE was a worthy, but a simple pair, So to the farmer this fair lass inclined,
Who nursed a daughter fairest of the fair : Gave to the business of the farm her mind ; Sons they had lost, and she alone remain'd, To useful arts she turn'd her hand and eye; Heir to the kindness they had all obtain'd; And by her manners told him—" You may try." Heir to the fortune they design'd for all,
Th’ observing lover more attention paid, Nor had th' allotted portion then been small; With growing pleasure, to the alter'd maid ; But now, by fate enrich'd with beauty rare, He fear'd to lose her, and began to see
They watch'd their treasure with peculiar care That a slim beauty might a helpmate be: The fairest features they could early trace, "Twixt hope and fear he now the lass address'd, And, blind with lovc, saw merit in her faceAnd in his Sunday robe his love express'd : Saw virtue, wisdom, dignity, and grace: She felt no chilling dread, no thrilling joy, And Dorothea, from her infant years, Nor was too quickly kind, too slowly coy ; Gain'd all her wishes from their pride or fears : But still she lent an unreluctant ear
She wrote a billet, and a novel read, To all the rural business of the year;
And with her fame her vanity was fed ; Till love's strong hopes endured no more delay, Each word, each look, each action was a cause And Harry ask'd, and Nancy named the day. For flattering wonder, and for fond applause ;
“A happy change! my boy," the father cried : She rode or danced, and ever glanced around, " How lost your sister all her school-day pride?" Seeking for praise, and smiling when she found
The yielding pair to her petitions gave
Beauty to keep, adorn, increase, and griard, An humble friend to be a civil slave;
Was their sole care, and had its full reward : Who for a poor support herself resign'd,
In rising splendour with the one it reign'd, To the base toil of a dependent mind :
And in the other was by care sustain'd,
A village maid, unver'd by want or love,
Her duty joy, and her companion dear; So humbly temper’d, so intent to please,
In tender friendship and in true respect It quite distress'd her to remain at ease,
Lived aunt and niece, no flattery, no neglectWithout a cause to sigh, without pretence to lease : They read, walk’d, visited-together pray'd, She tried his patience in a thousand modes, Together slept the matron and the maid : And tired it not upon the roughest roads.
There was such goodness, such pure nature seen Pleasures she sought, and, disappointed, sigh'd In Lucy's looks, a manner so serene ; For joys, she said, “ to her alone denied ;
Such harmony in motion, speech, and air, And she was “sure her parents, if alive,
That without faimess she was more than fair: Would many comforts for their child contrive.” Had more than beauty in each speaking grace The gentle husband bade her name him one ; That lent their cloudless glory to the face; * No--that," she answer'd, should for her be Where mild good sense in placid, looks were done ;
shown, How could she say what pleasures were around ? And felt in every bosom but her own. But she was certain many might be found.”- The one presiding feature in her mind, "Would she soine sea-port, Weymouth, Scarbo- Was the pure meekness of a will resign’d; rough, grace!"
A tender spirit, freed from all pretence * He knew she hated every watering place."- Of wit, and pleased in mild benevolence; * The town ?"-"What! now 'twas empty, joyless, Bless'd in protecting fondness she reposed, dull?"
With every wish indulged though undisclosed ; -“In winter !"_" No; she liked it worse when But love, like zephyr on the limpid lake,
Was now the bosom of the maid to shake, She talk'd of building—“Would she plan a room ?" And in that gentle mind a gentle strife to make. * No! she could live, as he desired, in gloom.". Among their chosen friends, a favour'd few, *Call then our friends and neighbours.”—“ He The aunt and niece a youthful rector knew; might call,
Who, though a younger brother, might address And they might come and fill his ugly hall; A younger sister, fearless of success : A noisy vulgar set, he knew she scorn'd them all.” His friends a loîty race, their native pride * Then might their two dear girls their time em. At first display'd, and their assent denied ; ploy,
Bui, pleased sneh virtues and such love to trace, And their improvement yield a solid joy.”— They own'd she would adorn the loftiest race. Solid indeed! and heavy-O! the bliss
The aunt, a mother's caution to supply, Of teaching letters to a lisping miss!"
Had watch'd the youthful priest with jealous eye ; * My dear, my gentle Dorothea, say,
And, anxious for her charge, had view'd unseen Can I oblige you ?"—“ You may go away.” The cautious life that keeps the conscience clean:
Twelve heavy years this patient soul sustain'd In all she found him all she wish'd to find,
To be received as brother to the 'squire.
Had oft confess'd) that he her favour sought : Long time had Lucy wept her slighted face, But when he kneeld, (she wish'd him not to kneel) And then began to smile at her disgrace.
And spoke the fears and hopes that lovers feel ; Her father's sister who the world had seen When too the prudent aunt herself confess'd, Near sixty years when Lucy saw sixteen, Her wishes on the gentle youth would rest ; Begg'd the plain girl : the gracious mother smiled, | The maiden's eye with tender passion beam'd, And freely gave her grieved but passive child ; She dwelt with fondness on the life she schemed ;
od with her elder born, the beauty bless'd, The household cares, the soft and lasting ties i je parent rested, if such minds can rest : Of love, with all his binding charities; No miss her waren babe could so admire, Their village taught, consoled, assisted, fed, Nurse with such care, or with such pride attire ; Till the young zealot tears of pleasure shed. They were companions meet, with equal mind, But would her mother? Ah! she sear'd it wrong Bless'd with one love, and to one point inclined ; To have indulged these forward hopes so long ;