Imágenes de páginas


| Erasmus Darwin, born 1721, died 1802.

Born in yon blaze of orient sky,

Sweet May ! thy radiant form unfold : Unclose thy blue voluptuous eye,

And wave thy shadowy locks of gold. For thee the fragrant zephyrs blow,

For thee descends the sunny shower, The rills in softer murmurs flow,

And brighter blossoms gem the bower. Light Graces, drest in flowery wreaths,

And tiptoe Joys their hands combine ; And Love his sweet contagion breathes,

And, laughing, dances round thy shrine. Warm with new life the glittering throngs,

On quivering fin and rustling wing, Delighted join their votive songs,

And hail thee, Goddess of the Spring.


Dr. Percy, Editor of “ Percy's Reliques."

It was a friar of orders gray

Walk'd forth to tell his beads;
And he met with a lady fair

Clad in a pilgrim's weeds.

“ Now Christ thee save, thou reverend friar,

I pray thee tell to me,
If ever at yon holy shrine

My true-love thou didst see.”

And how should I know your true-love,
From many

another one?
“O, by his cockle hat, and staff,

And by his sandal shoon.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Our joys as winged dreams do fly,

Why then should sorrow last ? Since grief but aggravates thy loss,

Grieve not for what is past.”

“O say not so, thou holy friar ;

I pray thee, say not so:
For since my true love died for me,

'Tis meet my tears should flow.

And will he never come again ?

Will he ne'er come again ? Ah! no, he is dead and laid in his grave:

For ever to remain.

His cheek was redder than the rose;

The comeliest youth was he! But he is dead and laid in his grave :

Alas, and woe is me !"

“Sigh no more, lady, sigh no more,

Men were deceivers ever : One foot on sea and one on land,

To one thing constant never.

Hadst thou been fond, he had been false,

And left thee sad and heavy ;
For young men ever were fickle found,

Since summer trees were leafy.”

“ Now say not so, thou holy friar,


thee say not so ;
My love he had the truest heart :

O he was ever true !

And art thou dead, thou much-loved youth,

And didst thou die for me? Then farewell home ;. for evermore

A pilgrim I will be.

But first upon my

true-love's grave My weary limbs I 'll lay, And thrice I 'll kiss the green-grass turf,

That wraps his breathless clay."

Yet stay, fair lady: rest awhile

Beneath this cloister wall :
See through the hawthorn blows the cold wind,

And drizzly rain doth fall.”.
“O stay me not, thou holy friar;

O stay me not, I pray ;
No drizzly rain that falls on me,
Can wash


“ Yet stay, fair lady, turn again,

And dry those pearly tears ;
For see beneath this gown of gray
Thy own true-love

Here forced by grief, and hopeless love,

These holy weeds I sought ;
And here amid these lonely walls

To end my days I thought.
But haply, for my year of grace

Is not yet past away,
Might I still hope to win thy love,

No longer would I stay,
“Now farewell grief, and welcome joy

Once more unto my heart;
For since I have found thee, lovely youth,

We never more will part."

Dispersed through Shakspeare's plays are innumerable little fragments of ancient ballads, the entire copies of which could not be recovered. Many of these being of the most beautiful and pathetic simplicity, the Editor of “Percy's Reliques” was tempted to select some of them, and with a few supplemental stanzas to connect them together and form them into a little Tale, which is here submitted to the reader's candour.-One small fragment was taken from Beaumont and Fletcher. -PERCY.



MERRILY rolls the mill-stream on,

Merrily goes the mill-
And merry to-night shall be my song,
As ever the


lark's trill.
While the stream shall flow,
And the mill shall go,

[blocks in formation]

Well may

his song

Well may the miller's heart be light


gay ;
For the rich man's smile, and the poor man's pray'r
Have been his for many a day.

And they bless the name

Of the miller's dame
In cots where the lowly mourn;

For want and woe

At her coming go,
And joy and peace return.

Fair is the miller's daughter, too,

With her locks of golden hair-
With her laughing eye and sunny brow,
Still better is she than fair.

She hath lightened toil

With her winning smile,
And if ever his heart was sad,

Let her sing the song

He hath loved so long,
And the miller's heart was glad.

Merrily rolls the mill-stream on, &c.


CHARLES HIGHMORE.—Written for Dodsley's entertainment—"The King and Miller

of Mansfield."

How happy a state does the miller possess !
Who would be no greater, nor fears to be less;
On his mill and himself he depends for support,
Which is better than servilely cringing at court.

What though he all dusty and whiten'd does go,
The more he's bepowder'd, the more like a beau ;
A clown in his dress may be honester far
Than a courtier, who struts in his garter and star.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »