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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
"His wishful eyes
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
To night gave way,
While still his flight,
Through day and night,
He is now careering o'er? -
For oh, till sky
And earth shall die,
That boat must flee
O'er the boundless sea,
It was the time when lilies blow,
And clouds are highest up in air, Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe
To give his cousin, Lady Clare.
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,
And you are not the Lady Clare."
“Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse,"
Said Lady Clare, “that ye speak so wild ?” “As God's above,” said Alice the nurse,
“I speak the truth-you are my child.
The old Earl's daughter died at my breast
I speak the truth, as I live by bread! I buried her like my own sweet child,
And put my child in her stead.”
“Falsely, falsely have ye done,
O mother,” she said, “if this be true; To keep the best man under the sun
So many years from his due.”
“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,
"I will speak out, for I dare not lie; Pull off, pull off the brooch of gold,
And fling the diamond necklace by!”
“Nay, now, my child,” said Alice the nurse,
“But keep the secret all ve can.”— She said, “Not so; but I will know
If there be any faith in man.”
“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.”“O mother, mother, mother,” she said,
“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,
That are the flower of the earth ?”
“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,
And I,” said he, “the lawful heir, We two will wed to-morrow morn, And you shall still be Lady Clare."
No eye beheld when William plunged
Young Edmund in the stream; No human ear, but William's, heard
Young Edmund's drowning scream.
Submissive, all the vassals owned
The murderer for their lord; And he, as rightful heir, possessed
The house of Erlingford.
The ancient house of Erlingford
Stood in a fair domain,
Rolled through the fertile plain.
And often the wayfaring man
Would love to linger there, Forgetful of his onward road,
To gaze on scenes so fair.
But never could Lord William dare
To gaze on Severn's stream ;-
He heard young Edmund scream!
In vain, at midnight's silent hour,
Sleep closed the murderer's eyes ;In every dream, the murderer saw
Young Edmund's form arise !
In vain, by restless conscience driven,
Lord William left his home,