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On the publication of this ballad, in the year 1760, Mr. Mallet subjoined an attestation of the truth of the facts related in it, which we shall give the reader literally :
Extract of a letter from the curate of Bowes in Yorkshire, on the subjekt of the preceding poem, to Mr. Copperthwaite at Marrick.
" Worthy fir, " As to the affair mentioned in yours; it happened long s“ before my time. I have therefore been obliged to consult
my clerk, and another person in the neighbourhood for " the truth of that melancholy event. The history of it is
“ The family-name of the young man was Wrightson; “ of the young maiden Railton. They were both much of " the same age; that is growing up to twenty. In their " birth was no disparity; but in fortune, alas! she was
r his inferior. His father, a hard old man, who had by « his toil acquired a handsome competency, expected and re
quired that his fon shoulil marry suitably. But, as amor “ vincit omnia, his heart was unalterably fixed on the
pretty young creature already named. Their courtship, " which was all by stealth, unknown to the family, con“ tinued about a year. When it was found out, old Wright"fon, his wife, and particularly their crooked daughter “ Harinah, Aouted at the maiden, and treated her with “ notable contempt : for they held it as a maxim, and a “ rustic one it is, that blood was nothing without groats.
young lover fickened, and took to his bed about • Shrode-tuesday, and died the Sunday sevennight after.
« On the last day of his illness, he desired to see his mifar tress: fise was civily received by the mother, who bid " ber welcome--when it was too late. But her daughter “ Hannah lay at his back to cut them off from all oppor“ tunity of exchanging their thoughts.
" At her return home, on hearing the bell to toll out for “ his departure, the screamed aloud that her heart was
burst, and expired fome moments after.
" The then curate of * Bowes inserted it in his register, so that they both died of love, and were buried in the same grave, March 15, 1714.
- Dear fir,
* Bowes is a small village in Yorkshire, where in former ages the earls of Richmond had a castle. It stands on the edge of that vast and mountanious tract, named by the neighbouring people Stanemore ; which is always exposed to wind and weather, defolate and folitary throughout. Camd. Brit.
AR in the windings of a vale,
Faft by a sheltering wood, The safe retreat of Health and Peace,
An humble cottage stood.
There beauteous Emma flourish'd fair,
Beneath a mother's eye ;
To see her bleft, and die.
The loftest blush that nature spreads
Gave colour to her cheek :
When May's sweet mornings break.
Nor let the pride of great ones fcorn
This charmer of the plains :
To paint our lilly deigns.
Long had the fill'd each yonth with love,
Each maiden with despair ;
Yet knew not Nie was fair.
Till Edwin came, the pride of fwains,
A soul that knew no art;
Shone forth the feeling heart.
A mutual flame was quickly caught ;
Was quickly too reveald :
That virtue keeps conceal'd.
What happy hours of home-felt bliss
Did love on both bestow !
Where fortune proves a foe.
His fifter, who, like Envy form'd,
Like her in mischief joy'd, To work them harm, with wicked skill,
Each darker art employ’d.
The father too, a fordid man,
Who love nor pity knew, Was all-unfeeling as the clod,
From whence his riches grew.
Long had he seen their secret flame,
And seen it long unmov'd: Then with a father's frown at laft
Had sternly disapprov'd.
In Edwin's gentle heart, a war
Of different paffions (trove :
Yet could not cease to love.
Deny'd her fight, he oft behind
The spreading hawthorn crept,
Where Emma walk'd and wept.
Oft too on Stanemore's wintry wade,
Beneath the moonlight-shade, In fighs to pour his soften'd soul,
The midnight-mourner stray'd.
His check, where health with beauty glow'd,
A deadly pale o'ercast :
Before the northern blast.
The parents now, with late remorse,
Hung o'er his dying bed ;
And fruitless sorrow shed.
"Tis paft! he cry'd but if your soula
Sweet mercy yet can move,
What they must ever love!
She came; his cold hand softly touch'd,
And bath'd with many a tear :
So morning-dews appear.
But oh! his fifter's jealous care
A cruel fifter she !
“ My Edwin live for me."
Now homeward as she hopeless wept
The church-yard path along,
Her lover's funeral song.
Amid the falling gloom of night,
Her startling fancy found
groan in every sound,