Imágenes de páginas

*He loves," the man exclaim'd, " he loves, 'tis But when the men beside their station took, plain,

The maidens with them, and with these the cook ; The thoughtless girl, and shall he love in vain ? When one huge wooden bowl before them stood, She may be stubbom, but she shall be tried, Fill’d with huge balls, of farinaceous food; Born as she is of wilfulness and pride."

With bacon, mass saline, where never lean With anger fraught, but willing to persuade, Beneath the brown and bristly rind was seen ; The wrathful father met the smiling maid : When from a single horn the party drew * Sybil,” said he, “I long, and yet I dread Their copious draughts of heavy ale and new; To know thy conduct; hath Josiah fled ?

When the course cloth she saw, with many a stain And, grieved and fretted by thy scornful air, Soil'd by rude hinds who cut and came again, For his lost peace betaken him to prayer ?

She could not breathe ; but, with a heavy sigh, Couldst thou his pare and modest mind distress, Rein'd the fair neck, and shut th' offended eye ; By vile remarks upon his speech, address, She minced the sanguine flesh in frustums fine, Attire, and voice ?”-“ All this I must confess."- And wonder'd much to see the creatures dine : * Unhappy child! what labour will it cost When she resolved her father's heart to move, To win him back!"_" I do not think him lost."- If hearts of farmers were alive to love.

Courts he then, trifler! insult and disdain ?"-- She now entreated by herself to sit " No: but from these he courts me to refrain." In the small parlour, if papa thought fit, “Then hear me, Sybil; should Josiah leave And there to dine, to read, to work alone : Thy father's house ?”—“ My father's child would " No!" said the farmer, in an angry tone ; grieve."

“ These are your school-taught airs ; your mother's « That is of grace, and if he come again

pride To speak of love ?"_“I might from grief refrain.”- Would send you there; but I am now your guide. " Then wilt thou, daughter, our design embrace?”– Arise betimes, our early meal prepare, Can I resist it, if it be of grace ?"

And this despatch’d, let business be your care ; "Dear child! in three plain words thy mind ex- Look to the lasses, let there not be one press;

Who lacks attention, till her tasks be done; Wilt thou have this good youth ?”—“Dear father! In every household work your portion take, yes."

And what you make not, see that others make :
At leisure times attend the wheel, and see
The whitening web he sprinkled on the Lea ;
When thus employ'd, should our young neighbour


A useful lass, you may have more to do."

Dreadful were these commands ; but worse than THE WIDOW'S TALE.

these Ah me! for aught that I could ever read,

The parting hint, a farmer could not please : Or ever hear by tale or history,

"Tis true she had withont abhorrence seen The course of true love never did run smooth: Young Harry Carr, when he was smart and clean; But either it was different in blood,

But to be married, be a farmer's wife, Or else misgrafted in respect of years,

A slave! a drudge! she could not, for her life. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends;

With swimming eyes the fretful nymph with. Or if there were a sympathy in choice,

drew, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it. Midsummer Night's Dream, act i. sc. 1. And, deeply sighing, to her chamber flew;

There on her knees, to Heaven she grieving pray'd 0! thou didst then ne'er love so heartily,

For change of prospect to a tortured maid
If thou rememberest not the slightest folly

Harry, a youth whose late departed sire
That ever love did make thee run into.
As You Like It, act ii. sc. 4. Had left him all industrious men require,

Saw the pale beauty; and her shape and air Cry the man mercy; love him, take his offer. Engaged him much, and yet he must forbear :

Ibid. act iis. sc. 5.

" For my small farm what can the damsel do ?”

He said ; then stopp'd to take another view : To farmer Moss, in Langar Vale, came down Pity so sweet a lass will nothing learn His only daughter, from her school in town ; Of household cares ; for what can beauty earn A tender, timid maid! who knew not how By those small arts which they at school attain, To pass a pig-sty, or to face a cow :

That keep them useless, and yet make them vain ?" Smiling she came, with petty talents graced, This luckless damsel look'd the village round, A fair complexion, and a slender waist.

To find a friend, and one was quickly found ; Used to spare meals, disposed in manner pure, A pensive widow, whose mild air and dress Her father's kitchen she could ill endure ; Pleased the sad nymph, who wish'd her soul's disWhere by the steaming beef he hungry sat,

tress And laid at once a pound upon his plate :

To one so seeming kind, confiding, to confess. Hot from the field, her eager brother seized

“ What lady that ?" the anxious lass inquired, An equal part, and hunger's rage appeased ; Who then beheld the one she most admired : The air, surcharged with moisture, flagg’d around, “Here,” said the brother, “ are no ladies seenAnd the offended damsel sigh'd and frown'd; That is a widow dwelling on the green ; The swelling fat in lumps conglomerate laid, A dainty dame, who can but barely live And fancy's sickness seized the loathing maid : On her poor pittance, yet contrives to give;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

She happier days has known, but seems at ease, And I confess, it shocks my pride to tell
And you may call her lady, if you please : The secrets of the prison where I dwell;
But if you wish, good sister, to improve,

For that dear maiden would be shock'd to feel You shall see twenty better worth your love." The secrets I should shudder to reveal ;

These Nancy met ; but, spite of all they taught, When told her friend was by a parent ask'd, This useless widow was the one she sought: Fed you the swine? Good heaven! how I am task'd! The father growl'd; but said he knew no harm What! can you smile! Ah! smile not at the grief In such connexion that could give alarm : That woos your pity and demands relief." “ And if we thwart the trifler in her course,

“ Trifles, my love ; you take a false alarm ; Tis odds against us she will take a worse." Think, I beseech you, better of the farm :

Then met the friends ; the widow heard the sigh Duties in every state demand your care, That ask'd at once compassion and reply.

And light are those that will require it there : “Would you, my child, converse with one so poor, Fix on the youth a favouring eye, and these, Yours were the kindness—yonder is my door; To him pertaining, or as his, will please." And, save the time that we in public pray,

" What words," the lass replied, “ offend my ear! From that poor cottage I but rarely stray." Try you my patience ? Can you be sincere ? There went the nymph, and made her strong And am I told a willing hand to give complaints,

To a rude farmer, and with rustic live? Painting her wo as injured feeling paints. Far other fate was yours : some gentle youth

O, dearest friend ! do think how one must feel, Admired your beauty, and avow'd his truth ;
Shock'd all day long, and sicken'd every meal! The power of love prevailid, and freely both
Could you behold our kitchen, (and to you Gave the fond heart, and pledged the binding oath;
A scene so shocking must indeed be new,) And then the rival's plot, the parent's power,
A mind like yours, with true refinement graced, And jealous fears, drew on the happy hour :
Would let no vulgar scenes pollute your taste ; Ah! let not memory lose the blissful view,
And yet, in truth, from such a polish'd mind But fairly show what love has done for you."
All base ideas must resistance find,

"Agreed, my daughter, what my heart has known And sordid pictures from the fancy pass, Of love's strange power shall be with frankness As the breath startles from the polish'd glass.

shown: “ Here you enjoy a sweet romantic scene, But let me warn you, that experience finds Without so pleasant, and within so clean ; Few of the scenes that lively hope designs." These twining jess’mines, what delicious gloom Mysterious all,” said Nancy ; " you, I know, And soothing fragrance yield they to the room! Have suffer'd much ; now deign the grief to show; What lovely garden! there you oft retire, I am your friend, and so prepare my heart And tales of wo and tenderness admire:

In all your sorrows to receive a part." In that neat case, your books, in order placed, The widow answer'd, “ I had once, like you, Soothe the full soul, and charm the cultured taste; Such thoughts of love ; no dream is more untrue : And thus, while all about you wears a charm, You judge it fated and decreed to dwell How must you scorn the farmer and the farm !" In youthful hearts, which nothing can expel,

The widow smiled, and “Know you not,” said she, A passion doom'd to reign, and irresistible. 4 How much these farmers scorn or pity me; The struggling mind, when once subdued, in vain Who see what you admire, and laugh at all they Rejects the fury or defies the pain ; see?

The strongest reason fails the flame t'allay, True, their opinion alters not my fate,

And resolution droops and faints away: By falsely judging of an humble state :

Hence, when the destined lovers meet, they prove This garden, you with such delight behold, At once the force of this all-powerful love: Tempts not a feeble dame who dreads the cold ; Each from that period feels the mutual smart, These plants, which please so well your livelier Nor seeks to cure it: heart is changed for heart;

Nor is there peace till they delighted stand, To mine but little of their sweets dispense; And, at the altar, hand is joined 10 hand. Books soon are painful to my failing sight,

“Alas! my child, there are who, dreaming so, And oftener read from duty than delight;

Waste their fresh youth, and waking feel the wo; (Yet let me own, that I can sometimes find There is no spirit sent the heart to move Both joy and duty in the act combined ;)

With such prevailing and alarming love ; But view me rightly, you will see no more Passion to reason will submit; or why Than a poor female, willing to be poor ;

Should wealthy maids the poorest swains deny ? Happy indeed, but not in books nor flowers, Or how could classes and degrees create Not in fair dreams, indulged in earlier hours, The slightest bar to such resistless fate? Of never-tasted joys ; such visions shun,

Yet high and low, you see, forbear to mix; My youthful friend, nor scorn the farmer's son." No beggars' eyes the heart of kings transfix;

“Nay," said the damsel, nothing pleased to see And who but amorous peers or nobles sigh A friend's advice could like a father's be ; When titled beauties pass triumphant by ? “ Bless'd in your cottage, you must surely smile For reason wakes, proud wishes to reprove; At those who live in our detested style :

You cannot hope, and therefore dare not love : To my Lucinda's sympathizing heart

All would be safe, did we at first inquire, Could I my prospects and my griefs impart, • Does reason sanction what our hearts desire ?" She would console me ; but I dare not show But quitting precept, let example show

that would wound her tender soul to know : What joys from love uncheck'd by prudence flow.


[ocr errors]

"A youth my father in his office placed, Our dying hopes and stronger fears between,
Of humble fortune, but with sense and taste; We felt no season peaceful or serene ;
Bat he was thin and pale, had downcast looks ; Our fleeting joys, like meteors in the night,
He studied much, and pored upon his books : Shone on our gloom with inauspicious light;
Confused he was when seen, and, when he saw And then domestic sorrows, till the mind,
Me or my sisters, would in haste withdraw; Worn with distresses, to despair inclined ;
And had this youth departed with the year, Add too the ill that from the passion flows,
His loss had cost us neither sigh nor tear.

When its contemptuous frown the world bestows,
" But with my father still the youth remain'd, The peevish spirit caused by long delay,
And more reward and kinder notice gain'd: When being gloomy we contemn the gay,
He often, reading, to the garden stray'd,

When, being wretched, we incline to hate
Where I by books or musing was delay'd ; And censure others in a happier state;
This to discourse in summer evenings led, Yet loving still, and still compellid to move
Of these same evenings, or of what we read : In the sad labyrinth of lingering love :
On such occasions we were much alone ;

While you, exempt from want, despair, alarm,
But, save the look, the manner, and the tone, May wed-O! take the farmer and the farm.”
(These might have meaning, all that we discuss'd Nay,” said the nymph, “joy smiled on you at
We could with pleasure to a parent trust.

last ?" “At length 'twas friendship; and my friend and I "Smiled for a moment,” she replied, " and pass'd : Said we were happy, and began to sigh :

My lover still the same dull means pursued,
My sisters first, and then my father, found Assistant callid, but kept in servitude ;
That we were wondering o'er enchanted ground; His spirits wearied in the prime of life,
But he had troubles in his own affairs,

By fears and wishes in eternal strife;
And would not bear addition to his cares : At length he urged impatient, • Now consent;
With pity moved, yet angry, “Child,' said he, With thee united, fortune may relent.'
“Will you embrace contempt and beggary? I paused, consenting ; but a friend arose,
Can you endure to see each other cursed

Pleased a fair view, though distant, to disclose; By want, of every human wo the worst ?

From the rough ocean we beheld a gleam Warring for ever with distress, in dread

Of joy, as transient as the joys we dream; Either of begging or of wanting bread ;

By lying hopes deceived, my friend retired, While poverty, with unrelenting force,

And sailid-was rounded-reach'd us--and Will your own offspring from your love divorce : expired! They, through your folly. must be doom'd to pine, You shall behold his grave, and when I die, And you deplore your passion, or resign; There--but 'tis folly-I request to lie." For, if it die, what good will then remain ?

“ Thus," said the lass, “ to joy you bade adieu. And if it live, it doubles every pain.'”

But how a widow ?—that cannot be true : But you were true," exclaim'd the lass, "and fled Or was it force, in some unhappy hour, The tyrant's power who fill’d your soul with dread ?" That placed you, grieving, in a tyrant's power ?" " But,” said the smiling friend, “he fill'd my "Force, my young friend, when forty years are mouth with bread :

fled, And in what other place that bread to gain Is what a woman seldom has to dread; We long consider'd, and we sought in vain : She needs no brazen locks nor guarding walls, This was my twentieth year : at thirty-five And seldom comes a lover though she calls : Our hope was fainter, yet our love alive;

Yet moved by fancy, one approved my face, So many years in anxious doubt had pass’d." Though time and tears had wrought it much dis"Then,” said the damsel, “ you were bless'd at last ?" grace. A smile again adorn'd the widow's face,

“The man I married was sedate and meek, But soon a starting tear usurp'd its place.

And spoke of love as men in eamest speak : " Slow pass'd the heavy years, and each had more Poor as I was, he ceaseless sought, for years, Pains and vexations than the years before

A heart in sorrow and a face in lears ; My father fail'd ; his family was rent,

That heart I gave not; and 'twas long before And to new states his grieving daughters sent; I gave attention, and then nothing more; Each to more thriving kindred found a way, But in my breast some grateful feeling rose Guests without welcome--servants without pay; For one whose love so sad a subject chose ; Our parting hour was grievous ; still I feel Till long delaying, fearing to repeni, The sad, sweet converse at our final meal; But grateful still, I gave a cold assent. Our father then reveal'd his former fears,

“ Thus we were wed; no fault had I to find. Cause of his sternness, and then join'd our tears; And he but one; my heart could not be kind : Kindly he strove our feelings to repress,

Alas! of every early hope bereft,
But died, and left us heirs to his distress

There was no fondness in my bosom left;
The rich, as humble friends, my sisters chose, So had I told him, but had told in vain,
I with a wealthy widow sought repose ;

He lived but to indulge me and complain :
Who with a chilling frown her friend received His was this cottage, he enclosed this ground,
Bade me rejoice, and wonder'd that I grieved ; And planted all these blooming shrubs around;
In vain my anxious lover tried his skill

He to my room these curious trifles brought, To rise in life, he was dependent still ;

And with assiduous love my pleasure sought: We met in grief, nor can I paint the fears He lived to please me, and I ofttimes strove, Of these unhappy, troubled, trying years : Smiling, to thank his unrequited love:

[ocr errors]

The youth replied, “It is the widow's deed : The cure is perfect, and was wrought with

speed." “ And comes there, boy, this benefit of books, Of that smart dress, and of those dainty looks! We must be kind; some offerings from the farm To the white cot will speak our feelings warm; Will show that people, when they know the fact, Where they have judged severely, can retract. Oft have I smiled, when I beheld her pass With cautious step, as if she hurt the grass ; Where if a snail's retreat she chanced to storm, She look'd as begging pardon of the worm ; And what, said I, still laughing at the view, Have these weak creatures in the world to do? But some are made for action, some to speak; And, while she looks so pitiful and meek, Her words are weighty, though her nerves are

weak." Soon told the village bells the rite was done, That join'd the school-bred miss and farmer's son ; Her former habits some slight scandal raised, But real worth was soon perceived and praised; She, her neat taste imparted to the farm, And he, th' improving skill and vigorous arm.



• Teach me,' he cried, that pensive mind to ease, For all my pleasure is the hope to please.'

" Serene, though heavy, were the days we spent, Yet kind each word, and generous each intent; But his dejection lessen'd every day, And to a placid kindness died away ; In tranquil ease we pass'd our latter years, By griefs untroubled, unassail'd by fears.

Let not romantic views your bosom sway, Yield to your duties, and their call obey : Fly not a youth, frank, honest, and sincere ; Observe his merits, and his passion hear! 'Tis true, no hero, but a farmer suesSlow in his speech, but worthy in his views ; With him you cannot that affliction prove That rends the bosom of the poor in love : Health, comfort, competence, and cheerful days, Your friends' approval, and your father's praise, Will crown the deed, and you escape their fate Who plan so wildly, and are wise too late." The damsel heard ; at first th' advice was

strange, Yet wrought a happy, nay, a speedy change : • I have no care," she said, when next they met, “ But one may wonder he is silent yet : He looks around him with his usual stare, And utters nothing—not that I shall care." This pettish humour pleased th' experienced

friend None need despair whose silence can offend ; “ Should I,” resumed the thoughtful lass, “ consent To hear the man, the man may now repent : Think you my sighs shall call him from the plough, Or give one hint, that · You may woo me now?'” “ Persist, my love," replied the friend, “and

gain A parent's praise, that cannot be in vain."

The father saw the change, but not the cause, And gave the alter'd maid his fond applause : The coarser manners she in part removed, In part endured, improving and improved ; She spoke of household works, she rose betimes, And said neglect and indolence were crimes ; The various duties of their life she weigh'd, And strict attention to her dairy paid ; The names of servants now familiar grew And fair Lucindas from her mind withdrew : As prudent travellers for their ease assume Their modes and language to whose lands they

come: So to the farmer this fair lass inclined, Gave to the business of the farm her mind; To useful arts she turn'd her hand and eye ; And by her manners told him—" You may try."

Th’ observing lover more attention paid, With growing pleasure, to the alter'd maid ; He fear’d to lose her, and began to see That a slim beauty might a helpmate be: "Twixt hope and fear he now the lass address'd, And in his Sunday robe his love express'd : She felt no chilling dread, no thrilling joy, Nor was too quickly kind, too slowly coy ; But still she lent an unreluctant ear To all the rural business of the year; Till love's strong hopes endured no more delay, And Harry ask'd, and Nancy named the day.

“ A happy change! my boy," the father cried : “How lost your sister all her school-day pride ?"

What though you have beauty, Must you be therefore proud and pitiless ?

As You Like It, act iji. sc. 5. I would not marry her, though she were endow'd with all that Adam had left him before he transgress'd.

Ihid Wilt thou love such a woman? What! to make thes an instrument, and play false strains upon thee!-Not to be endured.


Your son,

As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
Her estimation hence.

All's Well that Ends Well, act v. sc. 3.

Be this sweet Helen's knell: He left a wise whose words all ears took captive, Whose dear perfection, hearts that scorn'd to serve Humbly call'd mistress.

Ibid THERE was a worthy, but a simple pair, Who nursed a daughter fairest of the fair: Sons they had lost, and she alone remainid, Heir to the kindness they had all obtain'd; Heir to the fortune they design’d for all, Nor had th' allotted portion then been small; But now, by fate enrich'd with beauty rare, They watch'd their treasure with peculiar care: The fairest features they could early trace, And, blind with love, saw merit in her face Saw virtue, wisdom, dignity, and grace: And Dorothea, from her infant years, Gain'd all her wishes from their pride or fears: She wrote a billet, and a novel read, And with her fame her vanity was fed; Each word, each look, each action was a cause For flattering wonder, and for fond applause; She rode or danced, and ever glanced around, Seeking for praise, and smiling when she found.

[ocr errors]

The yielding pair to her petitions gave

Beauty to keep, adorn, increase, and guard,
An humble friend to be a civil slave;

Was their sole care, and had its full reward :
Who for a poor support herself resign'd,

In rising splendour with the one it reign'd,
To the base toil of a dependent mind :

And in the other was by care sustain'd,
By nature cold, our heiress stoop'd to art,

The daughter's charms increased, the parent's yet
To gain the credit of a tender heart.

Hence at her door must suppliant paupers stand, Leave we these ladies to their daily caro,
To bless the bounty of her beauteous hand : To see how meekness and discretion fare :-
And now her education all complete,

A village maid, unvex'd by want or love,
She talk'd of virtuous love and union sweet ; Could not with more delight than Lucy move;
She was indeed by no soft passion moved, The village lark, high mounted in the spring,
But wish'd, with all her soul, to be beloved. Could not with purer joy than Lucy sing ;
Here on the favour'd beauty fortune smiled; Her cares all light, her pleasures all sincere,
Her chosen husband was a man so mild,

Her duty joy, and her companion dear;
So humbly temper'd, so intent to please,

In tender friendship and in true respect
It quite distress'd her to remain at ease,

Lived aunt and niece, no flattery, no neglect-
Without a cause to sigh, without pretence to lease: They read, walk'd, visited-together pray'd,
She tried his patience in a thousand modes, Together slept the matron and the maid :
And tired it not upon the roughest roads.

There was such goodness, such pure nature seen
Pleasures she sought, and, disappointed, sigh'd In Lucy's looks, a manner so serene ;
For joys, she said, “ to her alone denied ;

Such harmony in motion, speech, and air,
And she was “sure her parents, if alive,

That without fairness she was more than fair :
Would many comforts for their child contrive." Had more than beauty in each speaking grace
The gentle husband bade her name him one ; That lent their cloudless glory to the face;
"No—that,” she answer'd, “should for her be Where mild good sense in placid looks were
done ;

How could she say what pleasures were around ? And felt in every bosom but her own.
But she was certain many might be found.”— The one presiding fealure in her mind,
"Would she some sea-port, Weymouth, Scarbo- Was the pure meekness of a will resign'd;
rough, grace ?"-

A tender spirit, freed from all pretence
"He knew she hated every watering place."- Of wil, and pleased in mild benevolence;
" The town ?"_"What! now 'twas empty, joyless, Bless'd in protecting fondness she reposed,
dull ?"

With every wish indulged though undisclosed ; -“In winter !"_" No; she liked it worse when But love, like zephyr on the limpid lake, full."

Was now the bosom of the maid to shake, She talk'd of building—“Would she plan a room ?? And in that gentle mind a gentle strife to make. "No! she could live, as he desired, in gloom.” Among their chosen friends, a favour'd few, "Call then our friends and neighbours.”—“ He The aunt and niece a youthful rector knew ; might call,

Who, though a younger brother, might address
And they might come and fill his ugly hall; A younger sister, fearless of success :
A noisy vulgar set, he knew she scorn'd them all." His friends a lofty race, their native pride
" Then might their two dear girls their time em- At first display'd, and their assent denied ;

But, pleased such virtues and such love
And their improvement yield a solid joy.”— They own'd she would adorn the loftiest race.
Solid indeed! and heavy-0! the bliss

The aunt, a mother's caution to supply,
of teaching letters to a lisping miss !"-

Had watch'd the youthful priest with jealous eye ; "My dear, my gentle Dorothea, say,

And, anxious for her charge, had view'd unseen
Can I oblige you ?”—“ You may go away.' The cautious life that keeps the conscience clean:

Twelve heavy years this patient soul sustain'd In all she found him all she wish'd to find,
This wasp's attacks, and then her praise obtain'd, With slight exception of a losty mind;
Graved on a marble tomb, where he at peace A certain manner that express'd desire

To be received as brother to the 'squire.
Two daughters wept their loss ; the one a child Lucy's meek eye had beam'd with many a tear,
With a plain face, strong sense, and temper mild, Lucy's soft heart had beat with many a fear,
Who keenly felt the mother's angry taunt,

Before he told (although his looks, she thought, “Thou art the image of thy pious aunt.”

Had oft confess'd) that he her favour sought:
Long time had Lucy wept her slighted face, But when he kneelid, (she wish'd him not to kneel.)
And then began to smile at her disgrace. And spoke the fears and hopes that lovers feel ;
Her father's sister who the world had seen When too the prudent aunt herself confess’d,
Near sixty years when Lucy saw sixteen, Her wishes on the gentle youth would rest;
Begg'd the plain girl : the gracious mother smiled, The maiden's eye with tender passion beam'd,
And freely gave her grieved but passive child ; She dwelt with fondness on the life she schemed ;
nd with her elder born, the beauty bless'd, The household cares, the soft and lasting ties
l'his parent rested, if such minds can rest : Of love, with all his binding charities;
No miss her waxen babe could so admire, Their village taught, consoled, assisted, fed,
Nurse with such care, or with such pride attire ; Till the young zealot tears of pleasure shed.
They were companions meet, with equal mind, But would her mother? Ah! she fear'd it wrong
Bless'd with one love, and to one point inclined; To have indulged these forward hopes so long ;


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »