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my nurse ?
But thou wilt never move from hence, In there came old Alice the nurse,
Said, "Who was this that went from Thy latter days increased with pence
thee?' Go down among the pots :
• It was my cousin,' said Lady Clare, Thou battenest by the greasy gleam
"To-morrow he weds with me.' In haunts of hungry sinners, Old boxes, larded with the steam
O God be thank'd!' said Alice the Of thirty thousand dinners.
*That all comes round so just and fair : We fret, we fume, would shift our skins, | Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands, Would quarrel with our lot ;
And you are not the Lady Clare.'
• Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, To come and go, and come again, Returning like the pewit,
Said Lady Clare, that ye speak so And watch'd by silent gentlemen,
wild ?? That trifle with the cruet.
• As God's above,' said Alice the nurse,
'I speak the truth : you are my child. Live long, ere from thy topmost head The thick-set hazel dies ;
• The old Earl's daughter died at my Long, ere the hateful crow shall tread
breast; The corners of thine eyes :
I speak the truth, as I live by bread! Live long, nor feel in head or chest I buried her like my own sweet child, Our changeful equinoxes,
And put my child in her stead.'
* Falsely, falsely have ye done,
O mother,' she said, if this be true, But when he calls, and thou shalt cease
To keep the best man under the sun
So many years from his due.'
• Nay now, my child,' said Alice the Nocarved cross-bones, the types of Death,
nurse, Shall show thee past to Heaven : * But keep the secret for your life, But carved cross-pipes, and, underneath, And all you have will be Lord Ronald's, A pint-pot neatly graven.
When you are man and wife.'
"If I'm a beggar born,' she said, LADY CLARE.
'I will speak out, for I dare not lie. It was the time when lilies blow,
Pull off, pull off, the brooch of gold, And clouds are highest up in air,
And fling the diamond necklace by.' Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe
'Nay now, my child,' said Alice the To give his cousin, Lady Clare.
nurse, I trow they did not part in scorn :
• But keep the secret all ye can.' Lovers long-betroth'd were they :
She said, 'Not so: but I will know They two will wed the morrow morn :
If there be any faith in man.' God's blessing on the day!
• Nay now, what faith ?' said Alice the *He does not love me for my birth,
nurse, Nor for my lands so broad and fair ; • The man will cleave unto his right.' He loves me for my own true worth, * And he shall have it,' the lady replied,
And that is well,' said Lady Clare. • Tho' I should die to-night.'
• Vet give one kiss to your mother dear ! Alas, my child, I sinn'd for thee.'
THE CAPTAIN. O mother, mother, mother,' she said, * So strange it seems to me.
A LEGEND OF THE NAVY.
Doeth grievous wrong.
Brave the Captain was : the seamen She clad herself in a russet gown,
Made a gallant crew,
But they hated his oppression,
Stern he was and rash; The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had | So for every light transgression brought
Doom'd them to the lash. Leapt up from where she lay,
Day by day more harsh and cruel Dropt her head in the maiden's hand,
Seem'd the Captain's mood. And follow'd her all the way.
Secret wrath like smother'd fuel
Burnt in each man's blood. Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower :
Yet he hoped to purchase glory, O Lady Clare, you shame your worth !
Hoped to make the name Why come you drest like a village maid, of his vessel great in story, That are the flower of the earth ?'
Wheresoe'er he came.
So they past by capes and islands, *If I come drest like a village maid,
Many a harbour-mouth, I am but as my fortunes are :
Sailing under palmy highlands I am a beggar born,' she said,
Far within the South. * And not the Lady Clare.'
On a day when they were going
O'er the lone expanse, • Play me no tricks,' said Lord Ronald, • For I am yours in word and in deed.
In the north, her canvas flowing,
Rose a ship of France.
Then the Captain's colour heighten'd,
Joyful came his speech :
But a cloudy gladness lighten'd
Chase,' he said : the ship flew forAnd told him all her nurse's tale.
And the wind did blow; He laugh'd a laugh of merry scorn :
Stately, lightly, went she Norward, He turn'd and kiss'd her where she Till she near'd the foe. stood :
Then they look'd at him they hated, * If you are not the heiress born,
Had what they desired : And I,' said he, “the next in blood Mute with folded arms they waited
Not a gun was fired. • If you are not the heiress born,
But they heard the foeman's thunder And I,' said he, the lawful heir, Roaring out their doom ; We two will wed to-morrow morn, All the air was torn in sunder,
And you shall still be Lady Clare.' Crashing went the boom,
Spars were splinter'd, decks were shatter'd,
Bullets fell like rain ;
Blood and brains of men.
Every mother's son-
Each beside his gun.
Were their faces grim.
Did they smile on him.
For his noble name,
Sold him unto shame.
Pale he turn'd and red,
Falling on the dead.
Years have wander'd by,
Crew and Captain lie;
O'er them mouldering,
With one waft of the wing.
Summer woods, about them blowing,
Made a murmur in the land,
Says to her that loves him well,
Where the wealthy nobles dwell.' So she goes by him attended,
Hears him lovingly converse, Sees whatever fair and splendid
Lay betwixt his home and hers; Parks with oak and chestnut shady,
Parks and order'd gardens great, Ancient homes of lord and lady,
Built for pleasure and for state. All he shows her makes him dearer :
Evermore she seems to gaze On that cottage growing nearer,
Where they twain will spend their days O but she will love him truly !
He shall have a cheerful home; She will order all things duly,
When beneath his roof they come. Thus her heart rejoices greatly,
Till a gateway she discerns With armorial bearings stately,
And beneath the gate she turns ; Sees a mansion more majestic
Than all those she saw before : Many a gallant gay domestic
Bows before him at the door. And they speak in gentle murmur,
When they answer to his call,
Leading on from hall to hall.
Nor the meaning can divine,
All of this is mine and thine.' Here he lives in state and bounty,
Lord of Burleigh, fair and free, Not a lord in all the county
Is so great a lord as he. All at once the colour flushes
Her sweet face from brow to chin: As it were with shame she blushes,
And her spirit changed within. Then her countenance all over
Pale again as death did prove : But he clasp'd her like a lover,
And he cheer'd her soul with love.
THE LORD OF BURLEIGH.
In her ear he whispers gaily,
If my heart by signs can tell, Maiden, I have watch'd thee daily,
And I think thou lov'st me well.' She replies, in accents fainter,
• There is none I love like thee.' He is but a landscape-painter,
And a village maiden she. He to lips, that fondly falter,
Presses his without reproof : Leads her to the village altar,
And they leave her father's roof. I can make no marriage present :
Little can I give my wife. Love will make our cottage pleasant,
And I love thee more than life.' They by parks and lodges going
See the lordly castles stand :
The Lady'g-head upon the prow
gale. The broad seas swell'd to meet the keel,
And swept behind ; so quick the run, We felt the good ship shake and reel,
We seem'd to sail into the Sun !
So she strove against her weakness,
Tho' at times her spirit sank : Shaped her heart with woman's meekness
To all duties of her rank : And a gentle consort made he,
And her gentle mind was such That she grew a noble lady,
And the people loved her much. But a trouble weigh'd upon her,
And perplex'd her, night and morn, With the burthen of an honour
Unto which she was not born. Faint she grew, and ever fainter,
And she murmur'd, “Oh, that he Were once more that landscape-painter,
Which did win my heart from me!' So she droop'd and droop'd before him,
Fading slowly from his side :
Then before her time she died.
Walking up and pacing down, Deeply mourn'd the Lord of Burleigh,
Burleigh-house by Stamford-town. And he came to look upon her,
And he look'd at her and said, • Bring the dress and put it on her,
That she wore when she was wed.' Then her people, softly treading,
Bore to earth her body, drest In the dress that she was wed in,
That her spirit might have rest.
How oft we saw the Sun retire,
And burn the threshold of the night, Fall from his Ocean-lane of fire,
And sleep beneath his pillar'd light ! How oft the purple-skirted robe
Of twilight slowly downward drawn, As thro' the slumber of the globe
Again we dash'd into the dawn!
New stars all night above the brim
Of waters lighten'd into view ; They climb'd as quickly, for the rim
Changed every moment as we flew. Far ran the naked moon across
The houseless ocean's heaving field, Or flying shone, the silver boss
Of her own halo's dusky shield ;
The peaky islet shifted shapes,
High towns on hills were dimly seen, We past long lines of Northern capes
And dewy Northern meadows green. We came to warmer waves, and deep
Across the boundless east we drove, Where those long swells of breaker sweep
The nutmeg rocks and isles of clove.
We left behind the painted buoy
That tosses at the harbour-mouth ; And madly danced our hearts with joy,
As fast we fleeted to the South : How fresh was every sight and sound
On open main or winding shore ! We knew the merry world was round,
And we might sail for evermore.
By peaks that flamed, or, all in shade, Gloom'd the low coast and quivering
brine With ashy rains, that spreading made
Fantastic plume or sable pine ; By sands and steaming flats, and floods
Of mighty mouth, we scudded fast, And hills and scarlet-mingled woods
Glow'd for a moment as we past.
Warm broke the breeze against the
brow, Dry sang the tackle, sang the sail :
For blasts would rise and rave and cease,
But whence were those that drove the O hundred shores of happy climes,
sail How swiftly stream'd ye by the bark ! Across the whirlwind's heart of peace, At times the whole sea burn'd, at times
And to and thro' the counter gale ?
From havens hid in fairy bowers,
For still we follow'd where she led : But we nor paused for fruit nor flowers.
Now mate is blind and captain lame,
And half the crew are sick or dead,
But, blind or lame or sick or sound, For one fair Vision ever fled
We follow that which flies before : Down the waste waters day and night, We know the merry world is round, And still we follow'd where she led, And we may sail for evermore.
In hope to gain upon her flight. Her face was evermore unseen, And fixt upon the far sea-line;
SIR LAUNCELOT AND But each man murmur'd, O my Queen, QUEEN GUINEVERE. I follow till I make thee mine.'
Like souls that balance joy and pain, And now we lost her, now she gleam'd With tears and smiles from heaven again
Like Fancy made of golden air, The maiden Spring upon the plain Now nearer to the prow she seem'd Came in a sun-lit fall of rain.
Like Virtue firm, like Knowledge fair, In crystal vapour everywhere Now high on waves that idly burst Blue isles of heaven laugh'd between, Like Heavenly Hope she crown'd the And far, in forest-deeps unseen, sea,
The topmost elm-tree gather'd green And now, the bloodless point reversed, From draughts of balmy air. She bore the blade of Liberty.
Sometimes the linnet piped his song :
Sometimes the throstle whistled strong : And only one among us—him
Sometimes the sparhawk, wheel'd along,
Hush'd all the groves from fear of wrong : We pleased not - he was seldom pleased :
By grassy capes with fuller sound He saw not far : his eyes were dim :
In curves the yellowing river ran, But ours he swore were all diseased.
And drooping chestnut-buds began
To spread into the perfect fan, • A ship of fools,' he shriek'd in spite,
Above the teeming ground. ‘A ship of fools,' he sneer'd and wept.
Then, in the boyhood of the year, And overboard one stormy night
Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere He cast his body, and on we swept. Rode thro' the coverts of the deer,
With blissful treble ringing clear.
She seem'd a part of joyous Spring And never sail of ours was furl'd, A gown of grass-green silk she wore,
Nor anchor dropt at eve or morn; Buckled with golden clasps before ; We lov'd the glories of the world, A light-green tuft of plumes she bore But laws of nature were our scorn.
Closed in a golden ring.