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Your little heretic nun. How timid-bashful
Did John salute his love, being newly seen!
Sir Rowland term'd it a rare modesty,
And praised it in a youth.

John. Now Margaret weeps herself.
(A noise of bells heard).

With unwash'd hands, and lips unused to the offices?"

Marg. Hark the bells, John.

And then I at my own presumption smiled;

John. Those are the church bells of St. Mary And then I wept that I should smile at all,
Ottery.
Having such cause of grief! I wept outright;
Tears like a river flooded all my face,
And I began to pray, and found I could pray;
And still I yearn'd to say my prayers in the
church.

Marg. I know it.

John. St. Mary Ottery, my native village In the sweet shire of Devon.

Those are the bells.

Marg. Wilt go to church, John? John. I have been there already. Marg. How canst say thou hast been there already? The bells are only now ringing for morning service, and hast thou been at church | already?

John. I left my bed betimes, I could not sleep, And when I rose, I look'd (as my custom is) From my chamber window, where I can see the sun rise;

And the first object I discern'd

Was the glistering spire of St. Mary Ottery.
Marg. Well, John.

John. Then I remember'd 'twas the sabbath-day.
Immediately a wish arose in my mind,
To go to church and pray with Christian people.
And then I check'd myself, and said to myself,
"Thou hast been a heathen, John, these two years
past,

Thou would'st but discompose their pious thoughts,

And do thyself no good: for how could'st thou

pray,

(Not having been at church in all that time,)
And is it fit, that now for the first time
Thou should'st offend the eyes of Christian people
With a murderer's presence in the house of

prayer?

"Doubtless (said I) one might find comfort in it."
So stealing down the stairs, like one that fear'd
detection,

Or was about to act unlawful business
At that dead time of dawn,

I flew to the church, and found the doors wide
open.

(Whether by negligence I knew not,

Or some peculiar grace to me vouchsafed,
For all things felt like mystery).

Marg. Yes.

John. So entering in, not without fear,
I past into the family pew,

And covering up my eyes for shame,
And deep perception of unworthiness,
Upon the little hassock knelt me down,
Where I so oft had kneel'd,

A docile infant by Sir Walter's side;
And, thinking so, I wept a second flood
More poignant than the first

But afterwards was greatly comforted.

It seem'd, the guilt of blood was passing from me
Even in the act and agony of tears,
And all my sins forgiven.

A DRAMATIC SKETCH OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

THE WITCH.

OLD SERVANT in the Family of SIR FRANCIS FAIRFORD.

chanced,

Was pacing to and fro in the avenue

That westward fronts our house,

CHARACTERS.

Servant. ONE summer night Sir Francis, as it So saying, she departed,

gate,

And begg'd an alms.

Some say he shoved her rudely from the gate
With angry chiding; but I can never think
(Our master's nature hath a sweetness in it)
That he could use a woman, an old woman,
With such discourtesy; but he refused her-
And better had he met a lion in his path
Than that old woman that night;

For she was one who practised the black arts,
And served the devil, being since burnt for witch-

craft.

A mischief, mischief, mischief, And a nine-times killing curse,

Among those aged oaks, said to have been planted

Three hundred years ago,

By a neighb'ring prior of the Fairford name.
Being o'ertask'd in thought, he heeded not
The importunate suit of one who stood by the And none could tell what ail'd him; for he lay,

Young Philip Fairford suddenly fell sick,

And pined, and pined, till all his hair fell off,
And he, that was full-flesh'd, became as thin
As a two-month's babe that has been starved in

STRANGER.

By day and by night, to the caitiff wight,
Who shakes the poor like snakes from his door,
And shuts up the womb of his purse.

And still she cried

Leaving Sir Francis like a man, beneath

Whose feet a scaffolding was suddenly falling;
So he described it.

A mischief,

And a nine-fold withering curse :

For that shall come to thee that will undo thee,
Both all that thou fearest and worse.

Stranger. A terrible curse! What follow'd? Servant. Nothing immediate, but some two months after,

there;

And, when they ask'd him his complaint, he laid
She look'd at him as one that meant to blast him, His hand upon his heart to show the place,
And with a frightful noise,

Where Susan came to him a-nights, he said,
And prick'd him with a pin.-

('Twas partly like a woman's voice,

And partly like the hissing of a snake,)
She nothing said but this

And thereupon Sir Francis call'd to mind
The beggar-witch that stood by the gateway
And begg'd an alms.

(Sir Francis told the words):

the nursing.
And sure I think

He bore his death-wound like a little child;
With such rare sweetness of dumb melancholy
He strove to clothe his agony in smiles,
Which he would force up in his poor pale cheeks,
Like ill-timed guests that had no proper dwelling

Stranger.
But did the witch confess?
Servant. All this and more at her death.
Stranger. I do not love to credit tales of magic.
Heaven's music, which is Order, seems unstrung,
And this brave world

(The mystery of God) unbeautified,
Disorder'd, marr'd, where such strange things are

acted.

ALBUM VERSES.

WITH A FEW OTHERS.

DEDICATION.

ENFIELD, 1st June, 1839.

TO THE PUBLISHER.

DEAR MOXON,

I do not know to whom a Dedication of these Trifles is more properly due than to yourself. You suggested the printing of them. You were desirous of exhibiting a specimen of the manner in which Publications, entrusted to your future care, would appear. With more propriety, perhaps, the "Christmas," or some other of your own simple, unpretending Compositions, might have served this purpose. But I forget -you have bid a long adieu to the Muses. I had on my hands sundry Copies of Verses written for Albums—

Those books kept by modern young Ladies for show,
Of which their plain Grandmothers nothing did know-

or otherwise floating about interest in their publication.

in Periodicals; which you have chosen in this manner to embody. I feel little They are simply-Advertisement Verses.

It is not for me, nor you, to allude in public to the kindness of our honoured Friend, under whose auspices you are become a Publisher. May that fine-minded Veteran in Verse enjoy life long enough to see his patronage justified? I venture to predict that your habits of industry, and your cheerful spirit, will carry you through the world.

I am, Dear Moxon, your Friend and sincere Well-Wisher,

IN THE AUTOGRAPH BOOK OF
MRS. SERGEANT W.

HAD I a power, Lady, to my will,
You should not want Hand Writings. I would fill
Your leaves with Autographs-resplendent names
Of Knights and Squires of old, and courtly Dames,
Kings, Emperors, Popes. Next under these
should stand

The hands of famous Lawyers-a grave band-
Who in their Courts of Law or Equity
Have best upheld Freedom and Property.
These should moot cases in your book, and vie
To show their reading and their Sergeantry.
But I have none of these; nor can I send
The notes by Bullen to her Tyrant penn'd
In her authentic hand; nor in soft hours
Lines writ by Rosamund in Clifford's bowers.
The lack of curious Signatures I moan,
And want the courage to subscribe my own.

CHARLES LAMB.

TO DORA W—,

ON BEING ASKED BY HER FATHER TO WRITE IN HER

ALBUM.

AN Album is a Banquet: from the store,
In his intelligential Orchard growing,
Your Sire might heap your board to overflowing:
One shaking of the Tree-'twould ask no more
To set a Salad forth, more rich than that
Which Evelyn* in his princely cookery fancied:
Or that more rare, by Eve's neat hands enhanced,
Where, a pleased guest, the Angelic Virtue sat.
But like the all-grasping Founder of the Feast,
Whom Nathan to the sinning king did tax,
From his less wealthy neighbours he exacts;
Spares his own flocks, and takes the poor man's
beast.

Obedient to his bidding, lo, I am,
A zealous, meek, contributory

LAMB

• Acetaria, a Discourse of Sallets, by J. E. 1706,

IN THE ALBUM OF A CLERGYMAN'S LADY.

AN Album is a Garden, not for show
Planted, but use; where wholesome herbs should

grow.

A Cabinet of curious porcelain, where

No fancy enters, but what's rich or rare.

A Chapel, where mere ornamental things
Are pure as crowns of saints, or angels' wings.
A List of living friends; a holier Room
For names of some since mouldering in the tomb,
Whose blooming memories life's cold laws survive;
And, dead elsewhere, they here yet speak and live.
Such, and so tender, should an Album be;
And, Lady, such I wish this book to thee.

IN THE ALBUM OF EDITH S.
IN Christian world MARY the garland wears!
REBECCA Sweetens on a Hebrew's ear;
Quakers for pure PRISCILLA are more clear;
And the light Gaul by amorous NINON swears.
Among the lesser lights how LUCY shines!
What air of fragrance RosAMOND throws round!
How like a hymn doth sweet CECILIA Sound!
Of MARTHAS, and of ABIGAILS, few lines
Have bragg'd in verse. Of coarsest household stuff
Should homely JOAN be fashion'd. But can
You BARBARA resist, or MARIAN?

And is not CLARE for love excuse enough?
Yet, by my faith in numbers, I profess,
These all, than Saxon EDITH, please me less.

IN THE ALBUM OF ROTHA QA PASSING glance was all I caught of thee, In my own Enfield haunts at random roving. Old friends of ours were with thee, faces loving; Time short and salutations cursory, Though deep, and hearty. The familiar Name Of you, yet unfamiliar, raised in me Thoughts--what the daughter of that Man should

be,

Who call'd our Wordsworth friend. My thoughts did frame

A growing Maiden, who, from day to day
Advancing still in stature, and in grace,
Would all her lonely Father's griefs efface,
And his paternal cares with usury pay.
I still retain the phantom, as I can;
And call the gentle image-Quillinan.

IN THE ALBUM OF CATHERINE ORKNEY.
CANADIA! boast no more the toils
Of hunters for the furry spoils;
Your whitest ermines are but foils

To brighter Catherine Orkney.

That such a flower should ever burst From climes with rigorous winter curst !We bless you, that so kindly nurst

This flower, this Catherine Orkney.

We envy not your proud display
Of lake-wood-vast Niagara;
Your greatest pride we've borne away.

How spared you Catherine Orkney?

That Wolfe on Heights of Abraham fell, To your reproach no more we tell : Canadia, you repaid us well

With rearing Catherine Orkney.

O Britain, guard with tenderest care The charge allotted to your share : You've scarce a native maid so fair,

So good, as Catherine Orkney.

IN THE ALBUM OF LUCY BARTON.

LITTLE Book, surnamed of white,
Clean as yet, and fair to sight,
Keep thy attribution right.

Never disproportion'd scrawl; Ugly blot, that's worse than all; On thy maiden clearness fall!

In each letter, here design'd, Let the reader emblem'd find Neatness of the owner's mind.

Gilded margins count a sin, Let thy leaves attraction win By the golden rules within;

Sayings fetch'd from sages old; Laws which Holy Writ unfold, Worthy to be graved in gold:

Lighter fancies not excluding: Blameless wit, with nothing rude in, Sometimes mildly interluding

Amid strains of graver measure : Virtue's self hath oft her pleasure In sweet Muses' groves of leisure.

S S

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