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PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
'twas midnight dark,
The seaman's bark
When, through the night,
He spied a light Shoot o'er the wave before him. "A sail! a sail!" he cries;
"She comes from the Indian shore. And to-night shall be our prize, With her freight of golden ore:
Sail on! sail on!"
When morning shone
But though so fast
The waves he passed,
Bright daylight came,
And still the same
While on the prize
While the waves o'ertop the mast;
Thus on, and on,
Till day was gone, And the moon through heaven did hie her,
He swept the main;
But all in vain—
And many a day
He is now careering o'er 1 —
It was the time when lilies blow,
Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe
I trow they did not parle in scorn;
Lovers long betrothed were they: They two will wed the morrow morn:
God's blessing on the day.
"He does not love me for my birth, .
Nor for my lands, so broad and fair; He loves me for my own true worth,
And that is well," said Lady Clare.
In then came old Alice the nurse;
Said, "Who was this that went from thee?" "It was my cousin," said Lady Clare;
"To-morrow he weds with me."
"O God be thanked !" said Alice the nurse, "That all comes round so just and fair;
Lord Ronald is heir of all your land,
"Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse,"
"As God's above," said Alice the nurse,
The old Earl's daughter died at my breast—
I buried her like my own sweet child,
"Falsely, falsely have ye done,
To keep the best man under the sun
"Nay, now, my child," said Alice the nurse;
"But keep the secret for your life, And all you have will be Lord Ronald's
When you are man and wife."
"If I'm a beggar born," she said,
Pull off, pull off the brooch of gold,
"Nay, now, my child," said Alice the nurse,
"Nay, now, what faith ?" said Alice the nurse;
"The man will cleave unto his right."— "And he shall have it," the lady replied,
"Though I should die, to-night!"
"Yet give one kiss to your mother, dear!
Alas, my child, I sinned for thee."—
"So strange it seems to me.
Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear,
My mother dear, if this be so; And lay your hand upon my head,
And bless me, mother, ere I go."
She clad herself in a russet gown;
She was no longer Lady Clare:
With a single rose in her hair.
The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought
Leaped up from where she lay, Dropped her head in the maiden's hand,
And followed her all the way.
Down stepped Lord Ronald from his tower: "O Lady Clare, you shame your worth!
Why come you dressed like a village maid,
"If I come dressed like a village maid,
I am but as my fortunes are; I am a beggar born," she said,
"And not the Lady Clare."
"Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald, "For I am yours in word and deed;—
"Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald; Your riddle is hard to read."
Oh, and proudly stood she up!
Her heart within her did not fail; She looked into Lord Ronald's eyes,
And told him all her nurse's tale.
He laughed a laugh of merry scorn;
He turned and kissed her where she stood: "If you are not the heiress born.
And I," said he, " the next in blood—
If you are not the heiress born,
We two will wed to-morrow morn,
No eye beheld when William plunged
No human ear, but William's, heard
Submissive, all the vassals owned
And he, as rightful heir, possessed
The ancient house of Erlingford
Stood in a fair domain,
Rolled through the fertile plain.
And often the wayfaring man
Forgetful of his onward road,
But never could Lord William dare
In every wind that swept its waves
In vain, at midnight's silent hour,
In every dream, the murderer saw
In vain, by restless conscience driven,