« PreviousContinue »
ELEGANT EXTRACTS. ·
Ballads, Songs, and Sonnets.
THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH.
ALLUDING TO A STORY RECORDED OF HER WHEN
SHE WAS PRISONER AT WOODSTOCK, 1554.
WILL you hear how once repining
Great Eliza captive lay,
Foe to riches, pomp, and sway?
Tripp'd around in all their pride;
Thus the royal maiden cried : • Bred on plains, or born in valleys,
Who would bid those scenes adieu? Stranger to the arts of Malice,
Who would ever courts pursue? VOL. III.
• Malice never taught to treasure,
Censure never taught to bear ; Love is all the shepherd's pleasure;
Love is all the damsel's care. ' How can they of humble station
Vainly blame the powers above ? Or accuse the dispensation
Which allows them all to love? Love, like air, is widely given;
Power nor Chance can these restrain; Truest, noblest gifts of Heaven!
Only purest on the plain! • Peers can no such charms discover,
All in stars and garters dress'd, As on Sundays does the lover,
With his nosegay on his breast. · Pinks and roses in profusion,
Said to fade when Chloe's near ; Fops may use the same allusion,
But the shepherd is sincere. · Hark to yonder milkmaid singing
Cheerly o’er the brimming pail; Cowslips, all around her springing,
Sweetly paint the golden vale. • Never yet did courtly maiden
Move so spritely, look so fair; Never breast, with jewels laden,
Pour a song so void of care. • Would indulgent Heaven had granted
Me some rural damsel's part! All the empire I had wanted
Then had been my shepherd's heart.
· Then with him o'er hills and mountains,
Free from fetters, might I rove; Fearless taste the crystal fountains,
Peaceful sleep beneath the grove. • Rustics had been more forgiving,
Partial to my virgin bloom;
WRITTEN ABOUT THE TIME OF HIS EXECUTION,
IN THE YEAR 1745.
COME listen to my mournful tale,
Ye tender hearts and lovers dear! Nor will you scorn to heave a sigh,
Nor need you blush to shed a tear. And thou, dear Kitty, peerless maid !
Do thou a pensive ear incline; For thou canst weep at every woe,
And pity every plaint—but mine.
A brighter never trod the plain;
And dearly was he loved again.
Of gentle blood the damsel came; And faultless was her beauteous form,
And spotless was her virgin fame.
But curse on party's hateful strife,
That led the favour'd youth astray, The day the rebel clans appear'd;
0, had he never seen that day ! Their colours and their sash he wore,
And in the fatal dress was found; And now he must that death endure
Which gives the brave the keenest wound. How pale was then his true love's cheek,
When Jemmy's sentence reach'd her ear! For never yet did Alpine snows
So pale or yet so chill appear.
Dawson! monarch of my heart!
For thou and I will never part.
And bring relief to Jemmy's woes;
My prisons should never close, • The gracious prince that gave him life
Would crown a never dying flame, And every tender babe I bore
Should learn to lisp the giver's name. • But though he should be dragg'd in scorn
To yonder ignominious tree,
To share the cruel fates' decree.'
The sledge moved slowly on before;
She had not loved her favourite more.
She follow'd him, prepared to view
The terrible behests of law,
With calm and steadfast eye she saw.
Which she had fondly loved so long, And stifled was that tuneful breath
Which in her praise had sweetly sung: And sever'd was that beauteous neck
Round which her arms had fondly closed, And mangled was that beauteous breast
On which her lovesick head reposed: And ravish'd was that constant heart
She did to every heart prefer; For though it could its king forget,
'Twas true and loyal still to her. Amid those unrelenting flames
She bore this constant heart to see, But when 'twas moulder'd into dust,
* Yet, yet (she cried) I follow thee ! My death, my death alone can show
The pure, the lasting love I bore: Accept, O Heaven! of woes like ours,
And let us, let us weep no more.' The dismal scene was o'er and pass’d,
The lover's mournful hearse retired; The maid drew back her languid head,
And, sighing forth his name, expired. Though justice ever must prevail,
The tear my Kitty sheds is due; For seldom shall she hear a tale So sad, so tender, yet so true.