Her cheek was pale—but resolved and high
Was the word of her lip and the glance of her eye.
She mutter'd the spell of Swithin bold,
When his naked foot traced the midnight wold,
When he stopp'd the Hag as she rode the night,
And bade her descend, and her promise plight.
He that dare sit on St. Swithin's Chair,
When the Night-Hag wings the troubled air,
Questions three, when he speaks the spell,
He may ask, and she must tell.
The Baron has been with King Robert his liege,
These three long years in battle and siege ;
News are there none of his weal or his woe
And fain the Lady his fate would know.
She shudders and stops as the charm she speaks ;-
Is it the moody owl that shrieks?
Or is that sound, betwixt laughter and scream,
The voice of the Demon who haunts the stream ?
The moan of the wind sunk silent and low,
And the roaring torrent had ceased to flow ;
The calm was more dreadful than raging storm,
When the cold grey mist brought the ghastly form!


Stanzas Written on the Road between

Florence and Pisa

OH, talk not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory ;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.
What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is

wrinkled ? 'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled. Then away with all such from the head that is hoary! What caré I for the wreaths that can only give glory! Oh FAME !—if I e'er took delight in thy praises, 'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,

Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover,
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee ;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee ;
When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.


Barthram's Dirge

THEY shot him dead on the Nine-Stone Rig,

Beside the Headless Cross,
And they left him lying in his blood,

Upon the moor and moss.

They made a bier of the broken bough,

The sauch and the aspin gray,
And they bore him to the Lady Chapel,

And waked him there all day.
A lady came to that lonely bower

. And threw her robes aside,
She tore her ling (long) yellow hair,

And knelt at Barthram's side.
She bath'd him in the Lady-Well

His wounds so deep and sair,
And she plaited a garland for his breast,

And a garland for his hair.
They rowed him in a lily sheet,

And bare him to his earth,
(And the Grey Friars sung the dead man's mass,

As they passed the Chapel Garth).
They buried him at (the mirk) midnight,

(When the dew fell cold and still,
When the aspin gray forgot to play,

And the mist clung to the hill).
They dug his grave but a bare foot deep,

By the edge of the Nine-Stone Burn,
And they covered him (o'er with the heather-flower)

The moss and the (Lady) fern.

A Grey Friar staid upon the grave,

And sang till the morning tide, And a friar shall sing for Barthram's šoul, While Headless Cross shall bide.


To the Cuckoo
O BLITHE New-comer ! I have heard,

I hear thee and rejoice.
O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee Bird,

Or but a wandering Voice ?
While I am lying on the grass

Thy twofold shout I hear,
From hill to hill it seems to pass,

At once far off, and near.
Though babbling only to the Vale,

Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale

Of visionary hours.
Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring !

Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,

A voice, a mystery ;
The same whom in my schoolboy days

I listened to; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways

In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove

Through woods and on the green And thou wert still a hope, a love ;

Still longed for, never seen. And I can listen to thee yet ;

Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget

That golden time again.
O blessed Bird ! the earth we pace

Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, faery place :
That is fit home for Thee !

WORDSWORTH. Helen of Kirkconnel

I wish I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
O that I were where Helen lies,

On fair Kirkconnel Lee !
Curst be the heart that thought the thought
And curst the hand, that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,

And died to succour me !
O think na ye my heart was sair,
When my love dropt down and spak nae mair !
There did she swoon wi' meikle care,

On fair Kirkconnel Lee.
As I went down the water side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,

On fair Kirkconnel Lee.
I lighted down, my sword did draw,
I hacked him into pieces sma',
I hacked him into pieces sma',

For her sake that died for me.
O Helen fair, beyond compare !
I'll make a garland of thy hair,
Shall bind my heart for evermair,

Untill the day I die.
O that I were where Helen lies !
Night and day on me she cries;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,

Says, “Haste, and come to me!'
O Helen fair ! O Helen chaste !
If I were with thee, I were blest,
Where thou lies low, and takes thy rest,

On fair Kirkconnel Lee.
I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn ower my een,
And I in Helen's arms lying,

On fair Kirkconnel Lee.

I wish I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries,
And I am weary of the skies,
For her sake that died for me.


To Althea from Prison

WHEN Love with unconfined wings

Hovers within my gates ; And my divine Althea brings

To whisper at the grates :
When I lie tangled in her hair,

And fetter'd to her eye ;
The Gods that wanton in the air,

Know no such liberty.
When flowing cups run swiftly round

With no allaying Thames, Our careless heads with roses bound,

Our hearts with loyal flames ; When thirsty grief in wine we steep,

When healths and draughts go free, Fishes that tipple in the deep,

Know no such liberty.
When, like committed linnets, I

With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetness, mercy, majesty,

And glories of my KING;
When I shall voice aloud, how good

He is, how great should be ;
Enlarged winds that curl the flood,

Know no such liberty.
Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take

That for an hermitage ;
If I have freedom in my love,

And in my soul am free ;
Angels alone that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.


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