Imatges de pÓgina

And hither is young Romilly come

And what may now forbid
That he, perhaps for the hundredth time,

Shall bound across the “ Strid ?"

He sprang in glee,- for what cared he
That the river was strong, and the rocks were

-But the greyhound in the leash hung back,

And check'd him in his leap.

The boy is in the arms of Wharf,

And strangled by a merciless force; For never more was young Romilly seen

Till he rose a lifeless corse.

Now there is stillness in the vale,

And long unspeaking sorrow : Wharf shall be, to pitying hearts,

A name more sad than Yarrow.

If for a lover the lady wept,

A solace she might borrow
From death, and from the passion of death;

Old Wharf might heal her .sorrow.4

She weeps not for the wedding-day

Which was to be to-morrow :
Her hope was a farther-looking hope,

And her's is a mother's sorrow.

He was a tree that stood alone,

And proudly did its branches wave; And the root of this delightful tree

Was in her husband's grave !

Long, long in darkness did she sit,

And her first words were, “Let there be
In Bolton, on the field of Wharf,

A stately Priory!" 5

The stately priory was rear'd,

And Wharf, as he moved along,
To matins joined a mournful voice,

Nor fail'd at even-song.
And the lady pray'd in heaviness

That look'd not for relief !
But slowly did her succour come,

And a patience to her grief.

Oh! there is never sorrow of heart

That shall lack a timely end,
If but to God we turn and ask
Of Him to be our friend !



A TALE FROM DON QUIXOTE. DON QUIXOTE being all impatience to hear the wonders which had been promised him by the arms-carrier, inmediately went in search of him, and having found him in the stable, he begged him to relate without delay what he had promised on the road. "My wonders,” said the man, “must be told at leisure, and not on the wing. Wait, good sir, till I have done with my mule, and then I will tell you things that will amaze you."

"It shall not be delayed on that account, answered Don Quixote ; "for I will help you.”

And so in truth he did, winnowing the barley and cleaning the manger; which condescension induced the man the more willingly to tell his tale. Seating himself, therefore, on a stone bench at the outside of the door, and having Don Quixote (who sat next to him), and the scholar, the page, Sancho Panza, and the innkeeper, for his senate and auditors, he began in the following manner :

"You must know, gentlemen, that in a town four leagues and a half from this place, a certain alderman happened to lose his ass, all through the artful contrivance (too long to be told) of a wench, his maid-servant; and though he tried every means to recover his beast, it was to no purpose. Fifteen days passed, as public fame reports, after the ass was missing, and while the unlucky alderman was standing in the market-place, another alderman of the same town came up to him and said, ' ay me for my good news, gossip, for your ass has made its appearance. Most willingly, neighbour,' answered the other, but tell me where has he been seen?' ‘On the mountain,' answered the other; 'I saw him there this morning, with no pannel or furniture upon him of any kind, and so lank that it was grievous to behold him. I would have driven him before me and brought him to you, but he is already become so shy that when I went near him he took to his heels and fled to a distance from me. Now, if you like it, we will both go seek him ; but first let me put up this of mine at home, and I will return instantly. You will do me a great favour,' said the owner of the lost ass, and I shall be happy at any time to do as much for you.'

“ With all these particulars and in these very words is the story told by all who are thoroughly acquainted with the truth of the affair. In short, the two aldermen, hand in hand and side by side, trudged together up the hill; and on coming to the place where they expected to find the ass, they found him not, nor was he anywhere to be seen, though they made diligent search. Being thus disappointed, the alderman who had seen him said to the other, ‘Hark you, friend, I have thought of a stratagem by which we shall certainly discover this animal, even though he had crept into the bowels of the earth, instead of the mountain ; and it is this : I can bray marvellously well, and if you can do a little in that way the business is done.' 'A little, say you, neighbour ?' quoth the other, 'before heaven, in braying, I yield to none-no, not to asses themselves.' We shall soon see that,' answered the second alderman; 'go you on one side of the mountain, while I take the other, and let us walk round it, and every now and then you shall bray and I will bray; and the ass will certainly hear and answer us, if he still remains in these parts.' 'Verily, neighbour, your device is excellent, and worthy your good parts,' said the owner of the ass. They then separated, according to agreement, and both began braying at the same

[ocr errors]

instant, with such marvellous truth of imitation that, mutually deceived, each ran towards the other, not doubting but that the ass was found; and, on meeting, the loser said, Is it possible, friend, that it was not my ass that brayed ?' No, it was I,' answered the other. 'I declare, then,' said the owner, that, as far as regards braying, there is not the least difference between you and an ass; for in my life I never heard anything more natural.' ‘These praises and compliments,' answered the author of the stratagem, 'belong rather to you than to me, friend; for, by Him that made me, you could give the odds of two brays to the greatest and most skilful brayer in the world; for your tones are rich, your time correct, your notes well sustained, and cadences abrupt and beautiful ; in short, I own myself vanquished, and yield to you the palm in this rare talent.' "Truly,' answered the ass owner, 'I shall value and esteem myself the more henceforth, since I am not without some endowment. It is true, I fancied that I brayed indifferently well, yet never flattered myself that I excelled so much as you are pleased to say.' 'I tell you,' answered the second, there are rare abilities often lost to the world, and they are ill-. bestowed on those who know not how to employ them to advantage. “Right, brother,' quoth the owner, though except in cases like the present, ours may not turn to much account; and even in this business, Heaven grant it may prove of service.'

This said, they separated again, to resume their

« AnteriorContinua »