Imatges de pÓgina
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66 He left me left his sister too,

" Yet tears bedew'd his face66 What could a feeble old man do!

“ He burst from my embrace.

“ O thirst of glory, fatal flame ?

66 O laurels dearly bought ! " Yet sweet is death when earn’d with fame

66 So virtuous Edwy thought.

“ Full manfully the brave boy ftrove,

“ Tho' prefling ranks oppose ; “ But weak the strongest arm must prove

Against an hoft of foes.

64

A deadly wound my son receives,

A spear assails his fide : « Grief does not kill--for ARDOLPH lives

To tell that Edwy died.

“ His long lov'd mother died again

• In Edwy's parting groan; I wept for her, yet wept in vain6 I wept

for both in one.

“ I would have died-I fought to die ;

« But Heaven restrain'd the thought, “ And to my paflion clouded eye

“ My helpless BIRTHA brought.

• When lo ! array'd in robes of light,

** A nymph celestial came ; " She cleard the milts that dimm'd my fight

66 Religion was her name.

“ She prov'd the chastisement divine,

" And bade me kiss the rod ; “ She taught this rebel heart of mine

" Submiffion to its God.

" Religion taught me to sustain

• What nature bad me feel ; " And piety reliev'd the pain

" Which time can never heal.

He ceas'd—with forrow and delight

The tale Sir ELDRED hears, Then weeping cries — Thou noble Knight " For thanks accept my tears.

“ O ARDOLPH, might I dare aspire

" To claim fo bright a boon " Good old Sir ELDRED was my

fire " And thou haft loft a son.

" And tho' I want a worthier.plea

“ To urge so dear a cause ; " Yet, let me to thy bosom be

“What once thy Edwy was.

" My trembling tongue its aid denies ;

“ For thou may'ft disapprove ; si Then read it in

my
ardent

eyes, , " Oh! read the tale of love.

Cries ARDOLPH,

Chy beauteous Birtha !”- “ Gracious Power, “ How could I e'er repine,"

“ fince I see this hour? -BIRTHA shall be thine."

6 Yes

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The tender father kindly smil'd

With fulness of content,
And fondly eyed his darling child,

Who, bashful, blush'd confent.

O then to paint the vast delight

That fill'd Sir ELDRED's heart, To tell the transports of the Knight,

Wou'd mock the Muse's art.

But every kind and gracious soul,

Where gentle paflions dwell, Will better far conceive the whole, Than

any

Muse can tell.

The more the Knight his Birtha knew,

The more he priz'd the maid ;
Some worth each day produc'd to view,

Some grace each hour betray'd.

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The virgin too was fond to charm

The dear accomplish'd Youth; His fingle breast the strove to warm,

And crown'd, with, love his truth,

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Unlike the dames of modern days,

Who general homage claim, Who court the universal gaze,

And pant for public fame.

Then Beauty but on merit smild,

Nor were her chatte smiles fold; No venal father gave his child

For grandeur or for gold.

1

The ardour of young ELBRED's fame

But ill cou'd brook delay,
And oft he press’d the maid to name

A speedy nuptial day.

The fond impatience of his breast

'Twas all in vain to hide, But she his eager suit represt

With modeft, maiden pride.

When oft Sir ELDRED press'd the day

Which was to crown his truth,
The thoughtful Sire would figh, and say,

“O happy state of youth !

" It little recks the woes which wait

“ To scare its dreams of joy, " Nor thinks to-morrow's alter'd fate

“ May all those dreams destroy.

" And tho' the flatterer, Hope, deceives,

" And painted prospects shews ; “ Yet man, still cheated, still believes

“ Till death the bright scene close.

* So look'd my bride, so sweetly mild,

" On me her beauty's slave; " But whilst she look’d, and whilft she smild,

" She sunk into the grave.

" Yet, О forgive an old man's care,

Forgive a father's zeal: “ Who fondly loves must greatly fear,

" Who fears must greatly feel.

6 Once more in soft and sacred bands

+6 Shall Love and Hymen mcet ; 6. To-morrow shall unite your hands,

" And be your bliss complete !"

The rising sun inflam'd the sky,

The golden orient blush'd,
But Birtha's cheeks a sweeter die,

A brighter crimson flush'd.

a

The Priest, in milk-white vestments clad,

Perform'd the mystic rite ;
Love lit the hallow'd torch that led

To Hymen's chaste delight.

How feeble language were to speak

Th’immeasurable joy That fir'd Sir Eldren's ardent cheek,

And triumph'd in his eye!

Sir ARDOLPH's pleasure ftood confest,

A pleasure all his own ;
The guarded rapture of a breast

Which many a grief had known.

'Twas such a sober sense of joy

As Angels well might keep; A joy chastis' by piety,

Ajoy prepar'd to weep.

To recollect her scatter'd thought,

And shun the noon-tide hour, The lovely bride in secret fought

The coolness of her bower.

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