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THE MAY-BRID E.
Why is the terrace so early alive;
Grooms in a panic, and bower-maidens weeping, Guests coming crowding like bees in a hive,
To the blue chamber where no one is sleeping ? Loud down the corridor passes a cry,
Startling the friar his early mass saying, " Where is fair Ellen ?”—A voice doth reply “ Down the elm avenue she's gone a-Maying
Only a-Maying !”
Pale is my Lady and wrings her proud hands,
Speechless and stern, 'mid a tear and a tremble Red is the Baron, and shouts where he stands,
Bidding the steward his pages assemble. All but dark Gylbyn, the gipsy, are there;
Each one hath tales of his craft in betraying: “ Search for him !-Scourge him!”—but what doth
Weep, haughty mother,—the fault is your own!
Gladly to Age's embrace had you brought her. Silence, loud father !-can brawlings atone
For a life's tyranny heaped on your daughter ?
Blithe in her forest retreat will she be,
Spite of rude shelter and russet arraying, Blessing the morn when she found herself free, Down the elm avenue going a-Maying
Only a-Maying !
PARAPHRASED FROM THE GERMAN.
WHERE the river is flowing soft wood-banks between, And the hawthorn-tree snowing its buds on the green, Who waits me, with dew-drops that glance in her
hair ? —'Tis May, the blooming May !-but my Lady's
She is lighter of foot than the merle on its wing,
Never tell me of Prudence than Winter more cold;
WE ANNIE JEAN.
“Up, up, weannie Jean!” quoth my mither to me, “ The burnie glints brightly, an' green is the tree; Ilka lass will be prankit fu’ fairly the morn, An' the May-dancers foot it aneath the white thorn; Hie awa' wi' thy Willie; look blithsome an' braw; Grey haffits come fast when the spring-time's awa'!"
But e'en as she speakit my tears 'gan to drap,
“Hout awa', weannie Jean!" quoth my mither ance
mair, “ The simmer comes quickly when birds 'gin to pair; New love is as gude as the love that is auld, An' warm love is better than love that is cauld. Guid safe the puir lass wha, when winter draws near, Has nae bairns to cling roun' her, nor gudeman to
Nae bairns shall cling roun' me, nae gudeman shall
cheer, Sin' my heart wi' my Willie lies cauld on his bier; For the kirk-yard is eerie, an' blank the kirk-wa', Where their lane by Dumfermline his banes waste
A HEROINE OF HUMBLE LIFE.
ABOUT thirty-five years ago, a woman of the name of Isbel Lucas kept a small lodging-house in the southern suburbs of Edinburgh. She was the daughter of a respectable teacher in the city, who, at his death, had bequeathed to her, as his sole surviving relation, about £300, together with the furniture of a house. The latter part of the legacy suggested to her the propriety of endeavouring to support herself by keeping lodgings, while the part which consisted in money promised to stand effectually between her and all the mischances that could be expected to befall her in such a walk of life. She accordingly, for several years, let one or two rooms to students and other persons, and thus contrived to live very decently, without trenching upon her little capital, till at length she attainol the discreet age of two-and-forty.
Isbel had at no period of life been a beauty. She had an iron-gray complexion, and a cast of features bespeaking rather strength of character thar. feminine grace. She was now less a beauty than ever; and for years had tacitly acknowledged her sense of the fact, by abandoning all those modes and materials of dress which women wear so long as they have any thoughts of matrimony. Where, however, is the woman at that, or any more juvenile period of life, in whose bosom the spark of love lies dead beyond recall ? If any such there be, Isbel's was not of the number.
Among her lodgers was an individual of the name of Fordyne, who kept a grocer's shop of an inferior order in the neighbourhood. This person gave himself out for a native of the Isle of Man, and stated that he had made a little money as mess-man to a militia regiment, by which he had been enabled to set up in business. He was a large, dark, coarse man, of about five-and-thirty, with a somewhat unpromising cast of face, and a slight twist in his left eye. Fordyne seemed to be a man of great industry and application, and used to speak of his circumstances as agreeable in every respect, except that he wanted a wife. This, he said, was a great want. There were many things about his shop which no one but a female could properly attend to. Without such a helpmate, things were ! continually going wrong; but with her, all would go right. One point, however, he must be clear about; she who should be his wife would require to bring something with her, to add to his stock, and buy the necessary house-furniture. He cared little about good