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There's many a black black eye, they say, but none so bright as mine;
There's Margarct and Mary, there's Kate and Caroline:
But none so fair as little Alice in all the land they say,
So I'm to be Queen o’the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.
I sleep so sound all night, mother, that I shall never wake,
If you do not call me loud, when the day begins to break:
But I must gather knots of flowers, and buds and garlands gay,
For I'm to be Queen o’the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o’the May.
As I came up the valley, whom think ye should I see,
But Robin leaning on the bridge beneath the hazel-tree?
He thought of that sharp look, mother, I gave him yesterday-
But I'm to be Queen o’the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.
He thought I was a ghost, mother, for I was all in white,
And I ran by him without speaking, like a flash of light.
They call me cruel-bearted, but I care not what they say,
For I'm to be Queen o’the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.
They say he's dying all for love, but that can never be:
They say his heart is breaking, mother—what is that to me?
There's many a bolder lad 'ill woo me any summer day,
And I'm to be Queen o’the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o’the May.
Little Effie shall go with me to-morrow to the green,
And you 'll be there too, mother, to see me made the Queen;
For the shepherd lads on every side ’ill come from far away,
And I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.
The honeysuckle round the porch has wov'n its wavy bowers,
And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo-flowers;
And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and hollows gray,
And I'm to be Queen o’the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.
The night-winds come and go, mother, upon the meadow-grass,
And the happy stars above them seem to brighten as they pass;
There will not be a drop of rain the whole of the livelong day,
And I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o’the May.
All the valley, mother, 'ill be fresh and green and still,
And the cowslip and the crowfoot are over all the hill,
And the rivulet in the flowery dale 'ill merrily glance and play,
For I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.
So you must wake and call me early, call me early, mother, dear,
To-morrow 'ill be the happiest time of all the glad new-year:
To-morrow 'ill be of all the year the maddest merriest day,
For I’m to be Queen o’the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.
If you 're waking call me early, call me early, mother dear,
For I would see the sun rise upon the glad new year.
It is the last new-year that I shall ever see,
Then you may lay me low i' the mould and think no more of me.
To-night I saw the sun set: he set and left behind
The good old year, the dear old time, and all my peace of mind,
And the new-year's coming up, mother, but I shall never see
The blossom on the blackthorn, the leaf upon the tree.
Last May we made a crown of flowers: we had a merry day;
Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me Queen of May
And we danced about the May-pole and in the hazel copse,
Till Charles's Wain came out above the tall white chimney tops.
There's not a flower on all the hills: the frost is on the pane;
I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again :
I wish the snow would melt and the sun come out on high:
I long to see a flower so before the day I die.
The building rook ’ill caw from the windy tall elm-tree,
And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea,
And the swallow ’ill come back again with summer o'er the wave,
But I shall lie alone, mother, within the mouldering grave.
Upon the chancel casement, and upon that grave of mine,
In the early early morning the summer sun 'ill shine,
Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the hill,
When you are warm asleep, mother, and all the world is still.
When the flowers come again, mother, beneath the waning light,
You 'll never see me more in the long gray fields at night;
When from the dry dark wold the summer airs blow cool
On the oat-grass and the sword-grass, and the bulrush in the pool.
You 'll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn shade,
And you 'll come sometimes and see me where I am lowly laid,
I shall not forget you, mother, I shall hear you when you pass,
With your feet above my head in the long and pleasant grass.
I have been wild and wayward, but you 'll forgive ine now;
You'll kiss me, my own mother, upon my check and brow;
Nay, nay, you must not weep, nor let your grief be wild,
You should not fret for me, mother, you have another child.
If I can I'll come again, mother, from out my resting-place ;
Though you'll not see me, mother, I shall look upon your face,
Though I cannot speak a word, I shall hearken what you say,
And be often often with you when you think I'm far away.
Good night, good night, when I have said good night for evermore,
And you see me carried out from the threshold of the door ;
Don't let Effie come to see me till my grave be growing green :
She'll be a better child to you than ever I have been.
She'll find my garden tools upon the granary floor :
Let her take 'em : they are hers : I shall never garden more :
But tell her when I'm gone, to train the rose-bush that I set
About the parlour window and the box of mignonette.
Good night, sweet mother : call me before the day is born,
All night I lie awake, but I fall asleep at morn;
But I would see the sun rise upon the glad new year,
So, if you ’re waking, call me, call me early, mother dear.
I thought to pass away before, and yet alive I am ;
And in the fields all round I hear the bleating of the lamb
How sadly, I remember, rose the morning of the year !
To die before the snow-drop came, and now the violet's here
O sweet is the new violet, that comes beneath the skies,
And sweeter is the young lamb's voice to me that cannot rise,
And sweet is all the land about, and all the flowers that blow,
And sweeter far is death than life to me that long to go.
It seem'd so hard at first, mother, to leave the blessed sun,
And now it seems as hard to stay, and yet His will be done!
But still I think it can't be long before I find release ;
And that good man, the clergyman, bas told me words of peace.
O blessings on his kindly voice, and on his silver hair !
And blessings on his whole life long, until he meet ine there!
O blessings on his kindly heart and on his silver head !
A thousand times I blest him, as he knelt beside my bed.
He showed me all the mercy, for he taught me all the sin.
Now, though my lamp was lighted late, there's One will let me in :
Nor would I now be well, mother, again, if that could be,
desire is but to pass to him that died for me.
I did not hear the dog howl, mother, or the death-watch beat,
There came a sweeter token when the night and morning meet :
But sit beside my bed, mother, and put your hand in mine,
And Effie on the other side, and I will tell the sign.
All in the wild March morning I heard the angels call ;
It was when the moon was setting, and the dark was over all ;
The trees began to whisper, and the wind began to roll,
And in the wild March-morning I heard them call my soul.
For lying broad awake I thought of you and Effie dear;
I saw you sitting in the house, and I no longer here ;
With all my strength I pray'd for both, and so I felt resign'd,
And up the valley came a swell of music on the wind.
I thought that it was fancy, and I listep'd in my bed,
And then did something speak to me--I know not what was said ;
For great delight and shuddering took hold of all my mind,
And up the valley came again the music on the wind.
But you were sleeping ; and I said, " It's not for them ; it's mine!"
And if it comes three times, I thought, I take it for a sign.
And once again it came, and close beside the window-bars,
Then seem'd to go right up to Heaven, and die among the stars.
So pow I think my time is near. I trust it is. I know
The blessed music went that way my soul will have to go.
And for myself, indeed, I care not if I go to-day.
But, Effie, you must comfort her when I am pass'd away.
And say to Robin a kind word, and tell him not to fret;
There's many å worthier than I would make him happy yet.
If I had lived I cannot tell-I might have been his wife ;
But all these things have ceased to be, with my desire of life.
O look! the sun begins to rise, the heavens are in a glow;
He shines upon a hundred fields, and all of them I know.
And there I move no longer now, and there his light may shine -
Wild flowers in the valley for other hands than mine.
O sweet and strange it seems to me, that ere this day is done,
The voice, that now is speaking, may be beyond the sun-
For ever and for ever with those just souls and true-
And what is life, that we should moan ? why make we such ado ?
For ever and for ever, all in a blessed home-
And there to wait a little while till you and Effie come-
To lie within the light of God, as I lie upon your breast-
And the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.
243.-CHARACTER OF BRUTUS.
G. Long. [We extract a Character of Brutus' from the notes to the concluding volume of The Civil Wars of Rome,' a select translation of Plutarch, from which we have already borrowed. This character will startle many of our readers. But the acknowledged learning of Mr. Long --one of the most distinguished scholars that have been sent forth from that great nursery of scholars, Trinity College, Cambridge—will satisfy the candid that this estimate of one of the great men of antiquity is not a hasty and unsupported theory.]
Brutus had moderate abilities, with great industry and much learning: he had no merit as a general, but he had the courage of a soldier; he had the reputation of virtue, and he was free from many of the vices of his contemporaries : he was sober and temperate. Of enlarged political views he had none; there is not a sign of his being superior in this respect to the mass of his contemporaries. When the Civil War broke out, he joined Pompeius, though Pompeius had murdered his father. If he gave up his private enmity, as Plutarch says, for what he believed to be the better cause, the sacrifice was honourable; if there were other motives, and I believe there were, his choice of his party does him no credit. His conspiracy against Cæsar can only be justified by those, if there are such, who think that a usurper ought to be got rid of in any way. But if a man is to be murdered, one does not expect those to take a part in the act who, after being enemies, have received favours from him, and professed to be friends. The murderers should at least be a man's declared enemies who have just wrongs to avenge. Though Brutus was dissatisfied with things under Cæsar, he was not the first mover in the conspiracy. He was worked upon by others, who knew that his character and personal relation to Cæsar would in a measure sanctify the deed; and by their persuasion, not his own resolve, he became an assassin in the name of freedom, which meant the triumph of his party, and in the name of virtue, which meant nothing.
The act was bad in Brutus as an act of treachery; and it was bad as an act of policy. It failed in its object, the success a party, because the death of Cæsar was not enough; other victims were necessary, and Brutus would not have them. He put himself at the head of a plot, in which there was no plan : he dreamed of success and forgot the means. He mistook the circumstances of the times and the character of the men. His conduct after the murder was feeble and uncertain ; and it was also as illegal as the usurpation of Cæsar. “He left Rome as Prætor without the permission of the Senate; he took possession of a province which, even according to Cicero's testimony, had been assigned to another; he arbitrarily passed beyond the boundaries of his province, and set his effigy on the coins.” (Drumann.) He attacked the Bessi in order to give his soldiers booty, and he plundered Asia to get money for the conflict against Cæsar and Antonius, for the mastery of Rome and Italy. The means that he had at his disposal show that he robbed without measure and without mercy; and never was greater tyranny exercised over helpless people in the name of liberty, than the wretched inbabitants of Asia experienced from Brutus the Liberator' and Cassius "the last of the Romans.' But all
these great resources were thrown away in an ill-conceived and worse executed campaign.
Temperance, industry, and unwillingness to shed blood, are noble qualities in a citizen and a soldier ; and Brutus possessed them. But great wealth gotten by ill means is an eternal reproach; and the trade of money lending carried on in the names of others, with unrelenting greediness, is both avarice and hypocrisy. Cicero, the friend of Brutus, is the witness for his wealth, and for his unworthy means to increase it.
Reflecting men in all ages have a philosophy. With the educated Greeks and Romans, philosophy was religion. The vulgar belief under whatever name it may be, is never the belief of those who have leisure for reflection. The vulgar rich and vulgar poor are immersed in sense; the man of reflection strives to emerge from it. To him the things which are seen are only the shadows of the unseen; forms without substance, but the evidence of the substantial; " for the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.” (Epistle to the Romans, i. 20). Brutus was from his youth up a student of philosophy, and well versed in the systems of the Greeks. Untiring industry and a strong memory had stored his mind with the thoughts of others, but he had not capacity enough to draw profit from his intellectual as he did from his golden treasures. His mind was a barren field on which no culture could raise an abundant crop. His wisdom was the thoughts of others, and he had ever ready in his mouth something that others had said. But to utter other men's wisdom is not enough ; a man must make it his own by the labour of independent thought. Philosophy and superstition were bleuded in his mind, and they formed a chaos in his bewildered brain, as they always will do ; and the product is “Gorgons and Hydras and Chimæras dire.” In the still of night phantoms floated before his wasted strength and watchful eyes; perhaps the vision of him, the generous and the brave, who had saved the life of an enemy in battle, and fell by his hand in the midst of peace. Conscienco was his tormentor, for truth was stronger than the illusions of a self-imputed virtue. Though Brutus had condemned Cato's death, he died by his own hand, not with the stubborn resolve of Cato, who would not yield to a usurper, but merely to escape from his enemies. A Roman might be pardoned for not choosing to become the prisoner of a Roman, but his grave should have been the battle-field, and the instrument should have been the hands of those who were fighting against the cause which he proclaimed to be righteous and just. Cato's son bettered his father's example: he died on the plain of Philippi in the ranks of the enemy. Brutus died without belief in the existence of that virtue which he had affected to follow; the triumph of a wrongful cause, as he conceived it, was a proof that virtue was an empty name. He forgot the transitory nature of all individual existences, and thought that justice perished with him. But a true philosopher does not make himself a central point, nor his own misfortunes a final catastrophe. He looks both backwards and forwards, to the past and the future, and views himself as a small link in the great chain of events which holds all things together. Brutus died in despair, with the courage, but not with the faith, of a martyr.
When men talk of tyranny and rise against it, the name of Brutus is invoked ; a mere name and nothing else. What single act is there in the man's life which promised the regeneration of his country and the freedom of mankind ? Like other Romans, he only thought of maintaining the supremacy of Rome : his ideas were no larger than theirs ; he had no sympathy for those whom Rome governed and oppressed For his country, he had nothing to propose : its worn out political constitution he would maintain, not amend ; indeed, amendment was impossible,