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On whose trim seat doth Edmund stretch at ease, And while the lazy boat sways to and fro,

Breathes in his flute sad airs, so wild and slow, That his own cheek is wet with quiet tears.

But 0, dear Anne! when midnight wind careers,
And the gust pelting on the out-house shed

Makes the cock shrilly on the rain storm crow,

To hear thee sing some ballad full of woe, Ballad of ship-wrecked sailor floating dead,

Whom his own true-love buried in the sands! Thee, gentle woman, for thy voice re-measures Whatever tones and melancholy pleasures

The things of Nature utter; birds or trees Or moan of ocean-gale in weedy caves, Or where the stiff grass ’mid the heath-plant waves,

Murmur and music thin of sudden breeze.

1799.

ANSWER TO A CHILD'S QUESTION.

Do
you
ask what the birds

say
? The

sparrow, the dove,
The linnet and thrush say, “I love and I love !"
In the winter they're silent—the wind is so strong;
What it says, I don't know, but it sings a loud song.
But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm

weather, And singing, and loving—all come back together. But the lark is so brimful of gladness and love,

fields below him, the blue sky above, That he sings, and he sings; and for ever sings he“I love my Love, and my Love loves me!”

The green

1798-9.

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Ah! not by Cam or Isis, famous streams

In arched groves, the youthful poet's choice; Nor while half-listening, ʼmid delicious dreams,

To harp and song from lady's band and voice;
Nor yet while gazing in sublimer mood

On cliff, or cataract, in Alpine dell;
Nor in dim cave with bladdery sea-weed strewed,

Framing wild fancies to the ocean's swell ;

Our sea-bard sang this song! which still he sings,

And sings for thee, sweet friend! Hark, Pity, hark ! Now mounts, now totters on the tempest's wings,

Now groans, and shivers, the replunging bark ! Cling to the shrouds !" In vain! The breakers roar

Death shrieks! With two alone of all his clan Forlorn the poet paced the Grecian shore,

No classic roamer, but a ship-wrecked man !

Say then, what muse inspired these genial strains

And lit his spirit to so bright a flame ? The elevating thought of suffered pains,

Which gentle hearts shall mourn; but chief, the name

Of gratitude! remembrances of friend,

Or absent or no more! shades of the Past, Which Love makes substance! Hence to thee I send,

O dear as long as life and memory last !

I send with deep regards of heart and head,

Sweet maid, for friendship formed! this work to thee: And thou, the while thou canst not choose but shed

A tear for Falconer, wilt remember me.

TO A YOUNG LADY.

ON HER RECOVERY FROM A FEVER.

Why need I say, Louisa dear!
How glad I am to see you here,

A lovely convalescent;
Risen from the bed of pain and fear,

And feverish heat incessant.

The sunny showers, the dappled sky,
The little birds that warble high,

Their vernal loves commencing,
Will better welcome you than I

With their sweet influencing.

Believe

me,

while in bed you lay,
Your danger taught us all to pray :
You made us grow

devouter !
Each
eye
looked

up

and seemed to say, How can we do without her?

Besides, what vexed us worse, we knew,
They have no need of such as you

In the place where you were going :
This world has angels all too few,

And Heaven is overflowing!

INTRODUCTION TO THE TALE OF THE DARK

LADIE.

O LEAVE the lily on its stem ;
O leave the rose upon

the

spray ;
O leave the elder bloom, fair maids !

And listen to my lay.

A cypress and a myrtle bough
This morn around my harp you twined,
Because it fashioned mournfully

Its murmurs in the wind.

And now a tale of love and woe,
A woeful tale of love I sing ;
Hark, gentle maidens ! hark, it sighs

And trembles on the string.

But most, my own dear Genevieve,
It sighs and trembles most for thee !
O come and hear the cruel wrongs,

Befell the Dark Ladie !*

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And now, once more a tale of woe,
A woeful tale of love I sing;
For thee, my Genevieve, it sighs,

And trembles on the string.

* Here followed the Stanzas, afterwards published separately under the title “Love” (see p. 198), and after them came the other three stanzas printed above; the whole forming the introduction to the intended Dark Ladie, of which all that exists is subjoined.

When last I

sang

the cruel scorn, That crazed this bold and lovely knight, And how he roamed the mountain woods,

Nor rested day nor night;

I promised thee a sister tale,
Of man's perfidious cruelty;
Come then, and hear what cruel wrong

Befell the Dark Ladie.

THE BALLAD OF THE DARK LADIE.

A FRAGMENT.

BENEATH yon birch with silver bark,
And boughs so pendulous and fair,
The brook falls scatter'd down the rock :
And all is

mossy

there!

And there

upon

the moss she sits, The Dark Ladie in silent pain; The heavy tear is in her eye,

And drops and swells again.

Three times she sends her little page
Up the castled mountain's breast,
If he might find the K

that wears The Griffin for his crest.

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