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"My ear-rings! my ear-rings! he'll say they should
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-
Glittering, showy. Sheen, that which
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
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
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;
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
His ear-rings in my hand I held, by the fountain
35 And that my mind was o'er the sea, when from my
And that deep his love* lies in my heart, as they lie
THE FORSAKEN MERMAN.*—Arnold.
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.
And the little grey church on the windy shore,
Then come down;
She will not come though you call all day,
Children dear, was it yesterday
We heard the sweet bells over the bay?
Through the surf* and through the swell,
The far-off sound of a silver bell?
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;
Children dear, was it yesterday
On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea,*
When down swung the sound of the far-off bell. 55 She sighed, she looked up through the clear
She said; "I must go, for my kinsfolk* pray Kinsfolk, relations.
'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
We went up the beach,* by the sandy down*
Sea-stock, a flower,
70 Through the narrow paved streets, where all shore.
To the little grey church on the windy hill.
From the church came a murmur of folk* at Folk, people.
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:
Sealed, fixed with an For her eyes were sealed* to the holy book.
Humming town, at a distance the noise of a town sounds like the humming of bees in a hive.
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,*
Hark, what she sings: "Oh joy, oh joy,
For the humming street, and the child with 90
For the priest, and the bell, and the holy well.
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
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,
A long, long sigh.
For the cold strange eyes of a little Mermaiden,
And the gleam of her golden hair.
Come away, away, children.
We shall see, while above us
The waves roar and whirl,*
Singing, "Here came a mortal,
But, children, at midnight,
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.
Hie, to hasten.
Sleeping town, the in.
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.