"My ear-rings! my ear-rings! he'll say they should
have been

Not of pearl and of silver, but of gold and glittering


15 Of jasper* and of onyx* and of diamonds shining clear,

Changing to the changing light, with radiance in



That changeful mind unchanging gems are not be-
fitting* well-

Glittering, showy. Sheen, that which

shines brightly.

Jasper, a

Onyx, a pre-
cious stone,

Thus will he think—and what to say, alas! I cannot so called tell.


"He'll think when I to market went, I loitered by

the way;

20 He'll think a willing ear I lent to all the lads might



He'll think some other lover's hand among my tresses*

From the ears where he had placed them, my rings
of pearl unloosed;

He'll think when I was sporting so beside this marble

My pearls fell in,—and what to say, alas! I cannot


"He'll say I am a woman, and we are all the same;
He'll say I loved when he was here to whisper of his

But when he went to Tunis* my virgin troth had

And thought no more of Muça, and cared not for his

My ear-rings! my ear-rings! Oluckless,*luckless well! 30 For what to say to Muça, alas! I cannot tell.

"I'll tell the truth to Muça, and I hope he will be-

That I thought of him at morning, and thought of

him at eve;


That musing on my lover, when down the sun

was gone,


His ear-rings in my hand I held, by the fountain

all alone;

35 And that my mind was o'er the sea, when from my
hand they fell,

And that deep his love* lies in my heart, as they lie
in the well!"

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MATTHEW ARNOLD (1822- ), son of the celebrated Dr. Arnold, occupies an eminent position. His poems include several dramas after the antique, and a series of lyrics and sonnets of an emotional kind. Among his works may be mentioned Empedocles on Etna and The Merope.

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And the little grey church on the windy shore,

Then come down;

She will not come though you call all day,
Come away, come away.

Children dear, was it yesterday

We heard the sweet bells over the bay?
In the caverns* where we lay,

Through the surf* and through the swell,

The far-off sound of a silver bell?
Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep,
Where the winds are all asleep;



Merman, a man of the sea; a fabled marine animal having the upper part like s man and the lower like a fish.


Where the spent lights quiver* and gleam;
Where the salt weed sways* in the stream;
Where the sea beasts* ranged all round
40 Feed in the ooze * of their pasture-ground;
Where the sea-snakes* coil and twine,
Dry their mail* and bask in the brine;
Where great whales come sailing by,
Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
45 Round the world for ever and aye?
When did music come this way?
Children dear, was it yesterday?

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Children dear, was it yesterday
(Call yet once) that she went away?
Once she sate with you and me,


On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea,*
And the youngest sate on her knee.
She combed its bright hair, and she tended it


When down swung the sound of the far-off bell. 55 She sighed, she looked up through the clear

green sea,

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She said; "I must go, for my kinsfolk* pray Kinsfolk, relations.
In the little grey church on the shore to-day.

'Twill be Easter-time in the world-ah me!

And I lose my poor soul, Merman, here with


60 I said, "Go up, dear heart, through the waves. Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind sea



[the bay. She smiled, she went up through the surf in Children dear, was it yesterday?

Children dear, were we long alone?

"The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan. Long prayers," I said, "in the world they say. Come," I said, and we rose through the surf in

the bay.

We went up the beach,* by the sandy down*
Where the sea-stocks *
bloom, to the white-

walled town.

Beach, sea-shore.
Down, a hill.

Sea-stock, a flower,
like an anemone,
found near the sea

70 Through the narrow paved streets, where all shore.

was still,

To the little grey church on the windy hill.

From the church came a murmur of folk* at Folk, people.

their prayers,

But we stood without in the cold blowing airs.

Aisle, a passage in a church.

Hist! hush, attention, silence, listen.

We climbed on the graves, on the stones

worn with rains,

And we gazed up the aisle* through the 75 small leaded panes.



She sate by the pillar; we saw her clear:
Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here.
Dear heart," I said, "we are long alone.
The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan."
But, ah, she gave me never a look,

Sealed, fixed with an For her eyes were sealed* to the holy book.

attentive gaze.

Humming town, at a distance the noise of a town sounds like the humming of bees in a hive.


an instru

ment used for shoot

ing the thread of the


"Loud prays the priest; shut stands the door." Come away, children, call no more.

Come away, come down, call no more.

Down, down, down,

Down to the depths of the sea.

She sits at her wheel in the humming town,*
Singing most joyfully.

Hark, what she sings: "Oh joy, oh joy,


For the humming street, and the child with 90
its toy,

For the priest, and the bell, and the holy well.
For the wheel where I spun,

And the blessed light of the sun."

And so she sings her fill,

Singing most joyfully,

Till the shuttle* falls from her hand,

And the whizzing wheel stands still.

woof between the She steals to the window, and looks at the sand;

threads of the warp

in weaving.

And over the sand at the sea;

And her eyes are set in a stare;



Anon, soon, quickly, immediately.

Sorrow-laden, full of sorrow, weighed down with sadness. Mermaiden, maid of the sea, having the upper part like a woman and the lower like a fish, and supposed to have long golden hair.

Hoarse, harsh, disagreeable.

Gusts, sudden blasts of wind.

And anon* there breaks a sigh,
And anon there drops a tear,
From a sorrow-clouded eye,
And a heart sorrow-laden,*

A long, long sigh.


For the cold strange eyes of a little Mermaiden,

And the gleam of her golden hair.

Come away, away, children.
Come, children, come down.
The hoarse wind blows colder;
Lights shine in the town.

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We shall see, while above us

The waves roar and whirl,*
A ceiling of amber,
A pavement of pearl.

Singing, "Here came a mortal,
But faithless* was she.
And alone dwell for ever
The kings of the sea."

But, children, at midnight,
When soft the winds blow;
When clear falls the moonlight:
When spring-tides * are low :
When sweet airs come seaward
From heaths starred with broom;
And high rocks throw mildly
On the blanched * sands a gloom :
Up the still, glistening beaches,
Up the creeks* we will hie;
Over banks of bright seaweed
The ebb-tide * leaves dry.
We will gaze, from the sand-hills,
At the white, sleeping town;
At the church on the hill-side-
And then come back down.
Singing, "There dwells a loved one,
But cruel is she.

She left lonely for ever

The kings of the sea."



Whirl, to go round and round, to toss about in a confused manner.

Faithless, false, not true to her promise.

Spring-tides, those which rise higher than ordinary tides, after new and full moon.

Broom, a wild evergreen shrub, with leafless pointed twigs. Blanched, made

white or whitened.
Creek, a small inlet
of the sea.

Hie, to hasten.
Ebb-tide, the going
back or retiring of the

Sleeping town, the in.
habitants had retired
to rest.


JAMES HOGG (1770-1835) was born in Ettrick Forest in Selkirkshire. He was a farmer and a shepherd, and hence called the "Ettrick Shepherd," but he was more successful as a poet. Chief work: The Queen's Wake, containing the beautiful fairy ballad Kilmeny: he also wrote songs and novels.

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