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I had Columbines, both pink and blue,
And Thalictrum like a feather;
Before a change of weather.
And Pinks all Pinks exceeding;
And plenty of Love-lies-bleeding.
I'd Jacob's Ladder, Aaron's Rod,
And the Peacock-Gentianella;
And Lupins blue and yellow.
I set a grain of Indian Corn,
One day in an idle humour,
My glory for a summer.
I found far off in the pleasant fields,
More flowers than I can mention; I found the English Asphodel,
And the spring and autumn Gentian.
I found the Orchis, fly and bee,
And the Cistus of the mountain;
Beside an old wood fountain.
I found within another wood,
The rare Pyrola blowing:
I was sure to find it growing.
I set them in my garden beds,
Those beds I loved so dearly, Where I labour'd after set of sun,
And in summer mornings early.
O my pleasant garden-plot!
A shrubbery was beside it,
With a woodbine wreathed to hide it.
There was a bower in my garden-plot,
A Spiræa grew before it; Behind it was a Laburnum tree,
And a wild Hop clamber'd o'er it.
Like a king in all his glory;
Some pleasant wondrous story.
I read of Gardens in old times,
Old, stately Gardens, kingly, Where people walk'd in gorgeous crowds, Or for silent musing, singly.
I raised up visions in my brain,
The noblest and the fairest; But still I loved my Garden best,
And thought it far the rarest.
And all among my flowers I walk’d,
Like a miser 'mid his treasure;
THE TRUE STORY OF WEB-SPINNER.
WEB-SPINNER was a miser old,
Who came of low degree;
And he kept bad company;
And his visage had the evil look
Of a black felon grim;
But none spoke well of him.
His house was seven stories high,
In a corner of the street,
When other homes were neat;
Up in his garret dark he lived,
And from the windows high Look'd out in the dusky evening
Upon the passers by. Most people thought he lived alone;
Yet many have averr'd,
Were often loudly heard;
Although a few went in,
And stripp'd him to the skin;
And though he pray'd for mercy,
Yet mercy ne'er was shown The miser cut his body up,
And pick'd him bone from bone. Thus people said, and all believed
The dismal story true;
I tell it so to you.
There was an ancient widow
One Madgy, de la Moth,
Had not gone there in troth;
But she was poor, and wander'd out
At nightfall in the street, To beg from rich men's tables
Dry scraps of broken meat. So she knock'd at old Web-Spinner's door,
With a modest tap, and low, And down stairs came he speedily,
Like an arrow from a bow.
“Walk in, walk in, mother!” said he,
And shut the door behind-
That he was wondrous kind;
But ere the midnight clock had tollid,
Like a tiger of the wood, He had eaten the flesh from off her bones,
And drank of her heart's blood !
Now, after this fell deed was done,
A little season's space,
Was riding from the chase:
The sport was dull, the day was hot,
The sun was sinking down, When wearily the Baron rode
Into the dusty town.
Says he, “ I'll ask a lodging
At the first house I come to;" With that the gate of Web-Spinner
Came suddenly in view;
Loud was the knock the Baron gave
Down came the churl with glee, Says Bluebottle, “Good sir, to-night
I ask your courtesy ;
I'm wearied with a long day's chase
My friends are far behind.” “You may need them all,” said Web-Spinner,
“It runneth in my mind."
“ A Baron am I,” says Bluebottle;
· From a foreign land I come.' “I thought as much,” said Web-Spinner,
“Fools never stay at home!"
Says the Baron, “Churl, what meaneth this?
I defy ye, villain base !" And he wish'd the while in his inmost heart
He was safely from the place.
Web-Spinner ran and lock'd the door,
And a loud laugh, laughed he;
And they wrestled furiously.
The Baron was a man of might,
A swordsman of renown;
And kept the Baron down:
From a pocket at his side,
His hands and feet he tied;
And bound him down unto the floor,
And said in savage jest, “There's heavy work in store for you ;
So, Baron, take your rest!"
Then up and down his house he went,
Arranging dish and platter, With a dull heavy countenance,
As if nothing were the matter.