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THE TALKING OAK.

Once more the gate behind me falls ;

Once more before my face
I see the moulder'd Abbey-walls,

That stand within the chace.

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Beyond the lodge the city lies,

Beneath its drift of smoke ;
And ah! with what delighted eyes

I turn to yonder oak.

III.
For when my passion first began,

Ere that, which in me burn'd,
The love, that makes me thrice a man,

Could hope itself return’d;

To yonder oak within the field

I spoke without restraint,
And with a larger faith appeald

Than Papist unto Saint.

For oft I talk'd with him apart,

And told him of my choice,
Until he plagiarised a heart,

And answer'd with a voice.

VI.
Tho' what he whisper'd under Heaven

None else could understand ;
I found him garrulously given,

A babbler in the land.

VII.

But since h heard him make reply

Is many a weary hour ; "Twere well to question him, and try

If yet he keeps the power.

VOL. II.

THE TALKING OAK.

Once more the gate behind me falls ;

Once more before my face
I see the moulder'd Abbey-walls,

That stand within the chace.

Beyond the lodge the city lies,

Beneath its drift of smoke ;
And ah! with what delighted eyes

I turn to yonder oak.

III.
For when my passion first began,

Ere that, which in me burn’d,
The love, that makes me thrice a man,

Could hope itself return'd ;

To yonder oak within the field

I spoke without restraint,
And with a larger faith appeal'd

Than Papist unto Saint.

For oft I talk'd with him apart,

And told him of my choice,
Until he plagiarised a heart,

And answer'd with a voice.

Tho’ what he whisper'd under Heaven

None else could understand ;
I found him garrulously given,

A babbler in the land.

VII.

But since ¥ heard him make reply

Is many a weary hour ; 'Twere well to question him, and try

If yet he keeps the power.

VOL. II.

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“ And I have shadow'd many a group

Of beauties, that were born
In teacup-times of hood and hoop,

Or while the patch was worn ;

XVI.

“ And, leg and arm with love-knots gay,

About me leap'd and laugh’d The modish Cupid of the day, . And shrill'd his tinsel shaft.

XVIII.
“I swear (and else may insects prick

Each leaf into a gall)
This girl, for whom your heart is sick,

Is three times worth them all;

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“ For those and theirs, by Nature's law,

Have faded long ago ;
But in these latter springs I saw

Your own Olivia blow,

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