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He lost the sense that handles daily lifeThat keeps us all in order more or lessAnd sick of home went overseas for

change. John. And whither ? James. Nay, who knows? he's here

and there. But let him go; his devil goes with him, As well as with his tenant, Jocky Dawes.

John. What's that?
James. You saw the man-on Monday,

was it ? There by the humpback'd willow; half

stands up And bristles ; half has fall'n and made a

bridge; And there he caught the younker tickling

troutCaught in flagrante—what's the Latin

word ? Delicto: but his house, for so they say, Was haunted with a jolly ghost, that

shook The curtains, whined in lobbies, tapt at

doors, And rummaged like a rat : no servant

stay'd : The farmer vext packs up his beds and

chairs, And all his household stuff ; and with his

boy Betwixt his knees, his wife upon the tilt, Sets out, and meets a friend who hails him,

"What !

John. He left his wife behind; for so I

heard. James. He left her, yes. I met my

lady once : A woman like a butt, and harsh as crabs. John. Oh yet but I remember, ten years

back'Tis now at least ten years—and then she

wasYou could not light upon a sweeter thing : A body slight and round, and like a pear In growing, modest eyes, a hand, a foot Lessening in perfect cadence, and a skin As clean and white as privet when it

flowers. Fames. Ay, ay, the blossom fades, and

they that loved At first like dove and dove were cat and


She was the daughter of a cottager,
Out of her sphere. What betwixt shame

and pride, New things and old, himself and her, she

sour'd To what she is : a nature never kind ! Like men, like manners : like breeds like,

they say : Kind nature is the best : those manners

next That fit us like a nature second-hand ; Which are indeed the manners of the great. John. But I had heard it was this bill

that past, And fear of change at home, that drove

him hence.

James. That was the last drop in the

cup of gall. I once was near him, when his bailiff

brought A Chartist pike. You should have seen

him wince As from a venomous thing : he thought

himself A mark for all, and shudderd, lest a

cry Should break his sleep by night, and his

nice eyes Should see the raw mechanic's bloody

thumbs Sweat on his blazon'd chairs ; but, sir,

you know That these two parties still divide the

worldOf those that want, and those that have ;

and still The same old sore breaks out from age to

age With much the same result. Now I

myself, A Tory to the quick, was as a boy Destructive, when I had not what I

would. I was at school-a college in the South : There lived a flayflint near; we stole his

fruit, His hens, his eggs ; but there was law

for us ; We paid in person. He had a sow, sir.

She, With meditative grunts of much content, Lay great with pig, wallowing in sun and

mud. By night we dragg’d her to the college

tower From her warm bed, and up the cork

screw stair With hand and rope we haled the groan

ing sow,

And on the leads we kept her till she

pigg’d. Large range of prospect had the mother

sow, And but for daily loss of one she loved As one by one we took them—but for

thisAs never sow was higher in this worldMight have been happy : but what lot is

We took them all, till she was left alone
Upon her tower, the Niobe of swine,
And so return'd unfarrow'd to her sty.

John. They found you out ?

Not they.

Well-after allWhat know we of the secret of a man? His nerves were wrong. What ails us,

who are sound, That we should mimic this raw fool the

world, Which charts us all in its coarse blacks

or whites, As ruthless as a baby with a worm, As cruel as a schoolboy ere he grows To Pity-more from ignorance than will.

But put your best boot forward, or I

fear That we shall miss the mail : and here it

comes With five at top : as quaint a four-in

hand As you shall see-three pyebalds and a




O ME, my pleasant rambles by the lake, My sweet, wild, fresh three quarters of a

year, My one Oasis in the dust and drouth

Of city life! I was a sketcher then :
See here, my doing : curves of mountain,

bridge, Boat, island, ruins of a castle, built When men knew how to build, upon a

rock With turrets lichen-gilded like a rock : And here, new-comers in an ancient hold, New-comers from the Mersey, million

aires, Here lived the Hills--a Tudor-chimnied

bulk Of mellow brickwork on an isle of

bowers. O me, my pleasant rambles by the lake With Edwin Morris and with Edward

Bull The curate; he was fatter than his cure.

And three rich sennights more, my love

for her. My love for Nature and my love for her, Of different ages, like twin-sisters grew, Twin-sisters differently beautiful. To some full music rose and sank the

sun, And some full music seem'd to move an

change With all the varied changes of the dark, And either twilight and the day between ; For daily hope fulfill’d, to rise again Revolving toward fulhlment, made

sweet To walk, to sit, to sleep, to wake, to

breathe.' Or this or something like to this he

spoke. Then said the fat-faced curate Edward

Bull, "I take it, God made the woman for

the man, And for the good and increase of the

world. A pretty face is well, and this is well, To have a dame indoors, that trims us

up, And keeps us tight ; but these unreal

ways Seem but the theme of writers, and indeed Worn threadbare. Man is made of solid

stuff. I say, God made the woman for the man, And for the good and increase of the


But Edwin Morris, he that knew the

names, Long learned names of agaric, moss and

fern, Who forged a thousand theories of the

rocks, Who taught me how to skate, to row, to

swim, Who read me rhymes elaborately good, His own-I call’d him Crichton, for he

seem'd All-perfect, finish'd to the finger nail.

And once I ask'd him of his early life, And his first passion ; and he answer'd

me ; And well his words became him : was he

not A full-cell'd honeycomb of eloquence Stored from all flowers ? Poet-like he


Parson,' said I, “you pitch the pipe

too low : But I have sudden touches, and can run My faith beyond my practice into his : Tho' if, in dancing after Letty Hill, I do not hear the bells upon my cap I scarce have other music : yet say on.

• My love for Nature is as old as I ; But thirty moons, one honeymoon to that,

But you can talk : yours is a kindly vein : "I have, I think,—Heaven knows—as

much within ; Have, or should have, but for a thought

or two, That like a purple beech among the greens Looks out of place : 'tis from no want in

her :

It is my shyness, or my self-distrust,
Or something of a wayward modern mind
Dissecting passion. Time will set me


What should one give to light on such a

dream?' I ask'd him half-sardonically.

Give? Give all thou art,' he answer'd, and a

light Of laughter dimpled in his swarthy

cheek; "I would have hid her needle in my

heart, To save her little finger from a scratch No deeper than the skin : my ears could

hear Her lightest breath : her least remark

was worth The experience of the wise. I went and

came ; Her voice fled always thro' the summer

land; I spoke her name alone. Thrice-happy

days! The flower of each, those moments when

we met, The crown of all, we met to part no


So spoke I knowing not the things that

were. Then said the fat-faced curate, Edward

Bull : God make the woman for the use of man, And for the good and increase of the

world.' And I and Edwin laugh’d; and now we

paused About the windings of the marge to hear The soft wind blowing over meadowy

holms And alders, garden-isles; and now we

left The clerk behind us, I and he, and ran By ripply shallows of the lisping lake, Delighted with the freshness and the


Were not his words delicious, I a

beast To take them as I did ? but something

jarr'd; Whether he spoke too largely; that there

seem'd A touch of something false, some self

conceit, Or over-smoothness : howsoe'er it was, He scarcely hit my humour, and I said :

But, when the bracken rusted on their


*Friend Edwin, do not think yourself

alone Of all men happy. Shall not Love to me, As in the Latin song I learnt at school, Sneeze out a full God-bless-you right and

My suit had wither'd, nipt to death by

him That was a God, and is a lawyer's clerk, The rentroll Cupid of our rainy isles. 'Tis true, we met ; one hour I had, no

more : She sent a note, the seal an Elle vous suit, The close · Your Letty, only yours ;' and

left ?


There came a mystic token from the king
To greet the sheriff, needless courtesy !
I read, and Aled by night, and flying

turn'd : Her taper glimmerd in the lake below : I turn'd once more, close-button’d to the

storm ; So left the place, left Edwin, nor have

seen Him since, nor heard of her, nor cared

to hear.

Thrice underscored. The friendly mist

of morn Clung to the lake. I boated over, ran My craft aground, and heard with beating

heart The Sweet-Gale rustle round the shelving

keel; And out I stept, and up I crept : she

moved, Like Proserpine, in Enna, gathering

flowers : Then low and sweet I whistled thrice ;

and she, She turn'd, we closed, we kiss’d, swore

faith, I breathed In some new planet : a silent cousin stole Upon us and departed : ‘Leave,' she

cried, O leave me !' • Never, dearest, never :

here I brave the worst :' and while we stood

like fools Embracing, all at once a score of pugs And poodles yell’d within, and out they

came Trustees and Aunts and Uncles. "What,

with him! Go' (shrill'd the cotton-spinning chorus);

him!' I choked. Again they shriek'd the

burthen-Him!' Again with hands of wild rejection ‘Go! Girl, get you in!' She went-and in one

month They wedded her to sixty thousand

pounds, To lands in Kent and messuages in York, And slight Sir Robert with his watery

smile And educated whisker. But for me, They set an ancient creditor to work : It seems I broke a close with force and

Nor cared to hear? perhaps : yet long

ago I have pardon'd little Letty; not indeed, It may be, for her own dear sake but this, She seems a part of those fresh days to

me ; For in the dust and drouth of London life She moves among my visions of the lake While the prime swallow dips his wing,

or then While the gold-lily blows, and overhead The light cloud smoulders on the summer



Altho' I be the basest of mankind,
From scalp to sole one slough and crust

of sin, Unfit for earth, unfit for heaven, scarce

meet For troops of devils, mad with blasphemy, I will not cease to grasp the hope I hold Of saintdom, and to clamour, mourn and

sob, Battering the gates of heaven with storms

of prayer, Have mercy, Lord, and take away my

sin. Let this avail, just, dreadful, mighty



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