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Speak, if there be a priest, a man of God, Among you there, and let him presently Approach, and lean a ladder on the shaft, And climbing up into my airy home, Deliver me the blessed sacrament; For by the warning of the Holy Ghost, I prophesy that I shall die to-night, A quarter before twelve.

But thou, O Lord, Aid all this foolish people ; let them take Example, pattern : lead them to thy light.

THE TALKING OAK.

1.

ONCE more the gate behind me falls ;

Once more before my face I see the moulder'd Abbey-walls, - That stand within the chace.

II.
Beyond the lodge the city lies,

Beneath its drift of smoke ;
Aud ah! with what delighted eyes

I turn to yonder oak.

III.

For when my passion first began,

Ere that, which in me burn’d, The love, that makes me thrice a man,

Could hope itself return'd ;

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To yonder oak within the field

I spoke without restraint, And with a larger faith appeal'd

Than Papist unto Saint.

For oft I talk'd with him apart,

And told him of my choice, Until he plagiarised a heart,

And answer' with a voice.

VI.

Tho’ what he whisper'd, under Heaven

None else could understand ; I found him garrulously given,

A babbler in the land.

VII.
But since I heard him make reply

Is many a weary hour ; 'Twere well to question him, and try

If yet he keeps the power.

VIII.

Hail, hidden to the knees in fern,

Broad Oak of Sumner-chace, Whose topmost branches can discern

The roofs of Sumner-place!

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Say thou, whereon I carved her name,

If ever maid or spouse,
As fair as my Olivia, came

To rest beneath thy boughs.

“ O Walter, I have shelter'd here

Whatever maiden grace
The good old Summers, year by year,

Made ripe in Sumner-chace :

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“Old Summers, when the monk was fat,

And, issuing shorn and sleek, Would twist his girdle tight, and pat

The girls upon the cheek,

XII.
“ Ere yet, in scorn of Peter's-pence,

And number'd bead, and shrift,
Bluff Harry broke into the spence,

And turn’d the cowls adrift :

XIII.

“ And I have seen some score of those

Fresh faces, that would thrive When his man-minded offset rose

To chase the deer at five ;

XIV. “ And all that from the town would stroll,

Till that wild wind made work
In which the gloomy brewer's soul

Went by me, like a stork :

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“The slight she-slips of loyal blood,

And others, passing praise, Strait-laced, but all-too-full in bud

For puritanic stays :

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“ And I have shadow'd many a group

Of beauties, that were born
In teacup-times of hood and hoop,

Or while the patch was worn ;

XVII. “ And, leg and arm with love-knots gay,

About me leap'd and laugh'd The modish Cupid of the day,

And shrill’d his tinsel shaft.

XVIII. “I swear (and else may insects prick

Each leaf into a gall) This girl, for whom your heart is sick,

Is three times worth them all ;

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