This is the dumb and dreary hour,

Wheo injur d ghosts complain ;
When yawning graves give up their dead,

To haunt the faithlefs swain.

Bethink thee, William, of thy fault,

Thy pledge and broken oath: 51
And give me back my maiden-vow

And give me back my trótk.

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Why did you promise love to me,

And not that promise keep?
Why did you swear my eyes were bright,

Yet leave those eyes to weep?

How could you say my face was fair,

And yet that face forfake?
How could you win my virgin heart,

Yet leave that heart to break ? 19.1

Why did you say my lip was sweet,

And made the scarlet pale?
And why did I, young witlef&- maid !

Believe the flattering tale?

That face, alas ! no more is fair ;

Those lips no longer red :
Dark are my eyes, now clos'd in death,

charm is fled.

The hungry worm my fifter is ; :

This winding sheet I wear :
And cold and weary lasts our night,

Till that last morn appear.


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But hark! the cock has warn'd me hence ;

A long and late adieu !
Come, fee, false man, how low she lies,

Who dy'd for love of you.

The lark sung loud; the morning Imild,

With beams of rosy red:
Pale William quak'd in every limb,

And raving left his bed.

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He hy'd him to the fatal place,

Where Margaret's body lay :
And tretch'd Kim on the green grass turf,

That wrap'd her breathless clay.

And thrice he call'd on Margaret's name,

And thrice he wept full sore :
Then laid his cheek to her cold.grave,

And word spoke never more!

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On the publication of this ballad, in the year 1760, Mr. Mallet fubjoined an atteftation of the truth of the facts related in it, which we shall give the reader literally :

Extract of a letter from the curate of Bowes in Yorkshire, on the subject of the preceding poem, to Mr. Copperthwaite at Marrick.

Worthy fir, " As to the affair mentioned in yours; it happened long " before my time. I have therefore been obliged to consult

my clerk, and another person in the neighbourhood for " the truth of that melancholy event. The history of it is

as follows:

" The family-name of the young man was Wrightsons. of the young maiden Railton. They were both much of the same age; that is growing up to twenty In their " birih avas no disparity; but in fortune, alas! She was,

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his inferior. His father, a hard old man, who had by " "his toil acquired a han.tsome competency, expected and reet quired that his for should marry suitably. But, as amor vincit omnia, his heart was unalterably fixed on the

pretty young creature already named. Their courtship, " 'which was all by stealth, unknown to the family, con. tinued about a year. When it was found out, old Wright. "fon, his wife, and particularly their crooked daughter Hannah, Aouted at the maiden, and treated her with notable contempt : for they held it as a maxim, and a

ruflic one it is, that blood was nothing without groats.


16 The

young lover fickened, and took to his bed about Shrove-tuesday, and died the Sunday fevennight after.

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" On the last day of his illness, he defired to see bis mif

tress : jhe was civily received by the mother, who bid o her welcome when it was too late. Bui her daughter Harnah lay at his back to cut them off from all opportunity of exchanging their thoughts.

" At her return home, on hearing the bell to toll out for his departure, pe screamed aloud that her heart was burst, and expired some moments after.

The then curate of * Bowes inserted it in his register, " that they both died of love, and were buried in the same grave, March 15, 1714.

Dear fir,

" Yours, &c.

I am,


* Bowes is a small village in Yorkfire, where in former ages the earls of Richmond had a calle. It stands on the edge of that vaft and mountanious tract, named by the neighbouring people Stanemore ; which is always exposed to wind and weather, desolate and solitary throughout. Camd. Brit.



Faft by a sheltering wood,
The safe retreat of Health and Peace,
An humble cottage stood.

There beauteous Emma flourish'd fair,

Beneath a mother's eye;
Whose only with on earth was now

To see her bleft, and die.

The softest blush that nature spreads

Gave colour to her cheek :
Such orient colour smiles thro' heaven

When May's sweet mornings break.

Nor let the pride of great ones fcorn

This charmer of the plains : That sun who bids their diamond blaze,

To paint our lilly deigns.

Long had the fillid cach yonth with love,

Each maiden with despair ; And tho' by all a wonder own'd,

Yet knew not Mie was fair.

Till Edwin came, the pride of fwains,

A soul that knew no art ;
And from whose eye,' serenely mild,

Shone forth the feeling heart.

A mutual fame was quickly caught ;

Was quickly too reveald:
For neither bosom lodg?d a wish,
That virtue keeps conceald.

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