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Tway birchen sprays; with anxious fear en

twined, With dark distrust, and sad repentance fill'd ;

And steadfast hate, and sharp affliction join'd, And fury uncontroll'd, and chastisement unkind.

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A russet stole was o'er her shoulders thrown : A russet kirtle fenced the nipping air : 'Twas simple russet, but it was her own ; 'Twas her own country bred the flock so fair ! 'Twas her own labour did the fleece prepare ; And, sooth to say, her pupils, ranged around, Through pious awe, did term it passing rare ;

For they in gaping wonderment abound, And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight

on ground.

Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her truth,
Ne pompous title did debauch her ear;
Goody, good woman, gossip, n'aunt; forsooth,
Or dame, the sole additions she did hear;
Yet these she challenged, these she held right

dear : Ne would esteem him act as mought behove, Who would not honour'd eld with these re

vere :

For never title yet so mean could prove, But there was eke a mind which did that title

love.

One ancient hen she took delight to feed,
The plodding pattern of the busy dame ;

Which, ever and anon, impellid by need,
Into her school, begirt with chickens, came;
Such favour did her past deportment claim ;
And, if neglect had lavish'd on the ground
Fragment of bread, she would collect the same;
For well she knew, and quaintly could ex-

pound, What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb

she found.

Herbs too she knew, and well of each could

speak That in her garden sipp'd the silvery dew; Where no vain flower disclosed a gaudy streak; But herbs for use, and physic, not a few, Of grey renown, within those borders grew : The tufted basil, pun-provoking thyme, Fresh baum, and marygold of cheerful hue:

The lowly gill, that never dares to climb ; And more I fain would sing, disdaining here to

rhyme. Yet euphrasy may not be left unsung, That gives dim eyes to wander leagues around; And pungent radish, biting infant's tongue; And plantain ribb’d, that heals the reaper's

wound ; And marj'ram sweet, in shepherd's posie

found;

And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom
Shall be, erewhile, in arid bundles bound,

To lurk amidst the labours of her loom,
And crown her kerchiefs clean, with mickle rare

perfume.

And here trim rose

osemarine, that whilom crown'd The daintiest garden of the proudest peer ; Ere, driven from its envied site, it found A sacred shelter for its branches here ; Where, edged with gold, its glittering skirts

appear. Oh wassel days! O customs meet and well! Ere this was banish'd from its lofty sphere

Simplicity then sought this humble cell, Nor ever would she more with thane and lordling

dwell.

Here oft the dame, on Sabbath's decent eve, Hymned such psalms as Sternhold forth did

mete; If winter 'twere, she to her hearth did cleave, But in her garden found a summer-seat : Sweet melody! to hear her then repeat How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king, While taunting foemen did a song entreat,

All, for the nonce, untuning every string, Uphung their useless lyres-small heart had they

to sing.

For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore, And pass'd much time in truly virtuous deed ; And, in those elfins' ears, would oft deplore The times, when truth by popish rage did

bleed ; And tortious death was true devotion's meed; And simple faith in iron chains did mourn, That nould on wooden image place her creed ;

And lawny saints in smouldering flames did

burn : Ah! dearest Lord, forefend, thilk days should

e'er return.

In elbow-chair, like that of Scottish stem,
By the sharp tooth of cankering eld defaced,
In which, when he receives his diadem,
Our sovereign prince and liefest liege is placed,
The matron sate; and some with rank she

graced, (The source of children's and of courtier's

pride !) Redress'd affronts, for vile affronts there

pass'd ; And warn'd them not the fretful to deride, But love each other dear, whatever them betide.

Right well she knew each temper to descry ;
To thwart the proud, and the submiss to raise ;
Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high,
And some entice with pittance small of praise ;
And other some with baleful sprig she 'frays :
Even absent, she the reins of power doth hold,
While with quaint arts the giddy crowd she

sways ; Forewarn’d, if little bird their pranks behold, "Twill whisper in her ear, and all the scene un.

fold.

Lo now with state she utters the command !
Eftsoons the urchins to their tasks repair ;
Their books of stature small they take in hand,
Which with pellucid born secured are ;

To save from finger wet the letters fair :
The work so gay, that on their back is seen,
St George's high achievements does declare ;

On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been, Kens the forthcoming rod, unpleasing sight, I

ween !

Ah ! luckless he, and born beneath the beam
Of evil star! it irks me whilst I write !
As erst the bard by Mulla's silver stream,
Oft, as he told of deadly dolorous plight,
Sigh'd as he sung, and did in tears indite,
For brandishing the rod, she doth begin
To loose the brogues, the stripling's late de-

light! And down they drop ; appears his dainty skin, Fair as the furry-coat of whitest ermilin.

O ruthful scene! when from a nook obscure,
His little sister doth his peril see :
All playful as she sate, she grows demure ;
She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee ;
She meditates a prayer to set him free:
Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny,
(If gentle pardon could with dames agree)

To her sad grief that swells in either eye,
And wrings her so that all for pity she could

die.

No longer can she now her shrieks command ;
And hardly she forbears, through awful fear,
To rushen forth, and, with presumptuous hand,
To stay harsh justice in its mid career.
On thee she calls, on thee her parent dear!

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