Were somewhat startling. He had heard, indeed,
That Rayner's business did not well succeed :
" But what of that ? They lived in decent style,
" No doubt, and Phoebe still retain'd her smile ;
" And why," he asked, " should all men choose to
" In broad cold streets ? — the Row does just as well,
" Quiet and snug;" and then the favourite maid
Rose in his fancy, tastefully array'd,
238 DANVERS AND RAYNER.
Looking with grateful joy upon the swain,
Who could his love in trying times retain.
Soothed by such thoughts, to the new house he
Surveyed its aspect, sigh'd, and gave his name.
But ere tliey opened, he had waited long,
vVnd heard a movement — Was there somewhat
Nay, but a friendly party, he was told ;
And look'd around, as wishing to behold
Some friends — but these were not the friends of old.
Old Peter Rayner, in his own old mode.
Bade the Squire welcome to his new abode,
For Richard had been kind, and doubtless meant
To make proposals now, and ask consent.
Mamma and misses, too, were civil all ;
But what their awkward courtesy to call.
He knew not ; neither could he well express
His sad sensations at their strange address.
And then their laughter loud, their story-telling.
All seem'd befitting to that Row and dwelling ;
The hearty welcome to the various treat
Was lost on him — he could nor laugh nor eat.
But one thing pleased him, when he look'd around,
His dearest Phoebe could not there be found :
" Wise and discreet," he says, " she shuns the crew
"Of vulgar neighbours, some kind act to do ;
" In some fair house, some female friend to meet,
" Or take at evening prayer in church her seat."
TAtEXVli. DANVERS AND RAYNER. 239
Meantime there rose, amid the ceaseless din,
A mingled scent, that crowded room within.
Rum and red-herring, Cheshire cheese and gin ;
Pipes, too, and punch, and sausages, witli tea.
Were things that Richard was disturb'd to see.
Impatient now, he left them in disdain.
To call on Phcebe, when he call'd again ;
To walk with her, the morning fair and briglit,
And lose the painful feelings of the night.
All in the Row, and tripping at the side
Of a young Sailor, he the nymph espied.
As homeward hastening with her happy boy.
She went to join the party, and enjoy.
" Fie ! " Phoebe cried, as her companion spoke,
Yet laugh'd to hear the fie-compelling joke ; —
Just then her chance to meet, her shame to
Her tender Richard, moving sad and slow,
Musing on things full strange, the manners of the
At first amazed, and then alarm'd, the fair
Late-laughing maid now stood in dumb despair :
As when a debtor meets in human shape
The foe of debtors, and cannot escape,
He stands in terror, nor can longer aim
To keep his credit, or preserve his name,
Stood Phoebe fix'd ! " Unlucky time and place !
" An earlier hour had kept me from disgi'uce ! "
She thought — but now the sailor, undisniay'd,
Said, " My dear Phoebe, why are you afraid ?
240 DANVERS AND RAYNER. tale xtii.
" The mail seems civil, or he soon should prove
" That I can well defend the girl I love.
" Are you not mine ? " She utter'd no reply : —
" Thine I must be," she thought; " more foolish I ! "
While Richard at the scene stood mute and wonder-
His spirits hurried, but his bosom light,
He left his Phoebe with a calm " good night."
So Love like Friendship fell ! The youth awhile
Dreamt, sorely moved, of Phoebe's witching smile —
But learned in daylight visions to forego
The Sailor's laughing Lass, the Phoebe of the Row.
Home turn'd young Richard, in due time to turn,
With all old Richard's zeal, the leaves of Burn;
And home turned Phoebe — in due time to grace
A tottering cabin with a tattered race.
THE BOAT RACE.
IFarewell and Return.^
VOL. VIII. a
THE BOAT RACE.
The man who dwells where party-spirit reigns,
May feel its triumphs, but must wear its chains ;
He must the friends and foes of party take
For his, and suffer for his honour's sake ;
When once enlisted upon either side.
He must the rude septennial storm abide —
A storm that when its utmost rage is gone,
In cold and angry mutterings murmurs on :
A slow unbending scorn, a cold disdain,
Till years bring the full tempest back again.
Within our Borough two stiff sailors dwelt,
WTio both this party storm and triumph felt ;
Men who had talents, and were both design'd
For better things, but anger made them blind.
In the same year they married, and their wives
Had pass'd in friendship their yet peaceful lives,
24'4' THE BOAT RACE.
And, as they married in a time of peace,
Had no suspicion that their love must cease.
In fact it did not ; but they met by stealth.
And that perhaps might keep their love in health ;
Like children watch'd, desirous yet afraid,
Their visits all were with discretion paid.
One Captain, so by courtesy we call
Our hoy's commandei's — they are captains all —
Had sons and daughters many ; while but one
The rival Captain bless'd — a darling son.
Each was a burgess to his party tied,
And each was fix'd, but on a different side ;
And he who sought his son's pure mind to fill
With wholesome food, Avould evil too instil.
The last in part succeeded — but in part —
For Charles had sense, had virtue, had a heart;
And he had soon the cause of Nature tried
With the stern father, but this father died ;
Who on his death-bed thus his son address'd : —
" Swear to me, Charles, and let my spirit rest —
" Swear to our party to be ever true,
" And let me die in peace — I pray thee, do."
With some reluctance, but obedience more.
The weeping youth reflected, sigh'd, and swore ;
Trembling, he swore for ever to be true,
And Avear no colour but the untainted Blue :
This done, the Captain died in so much joy,
As if he 'd wrought salvation for his boy.
The female friends their wishes yet retain'd.
But seldom met, by female fears restrain'd ;
THE BOAT RACE. 2i5
Yet in such town, where girls and boys must meet,
And every house is known in every street,
Charles had before, nay since his father's death,
Met, say by chance, the young Elizabeth ;
Who was both good and graceful, and in truth
Was but too pleasing to th' observing youth ;
And why I know not, but the youth to her
Seem'd just that being that she could prefer.
Both were disposed to think that party-strife
Destroy 'd the happiest intercourse of life ;
Charles, too, his growing passion could defend —
His father's foe he call'd his mother's friend.
Mothers, indeed, he knew were ever kind ;
But in the Captain should he favour find ?
He doubted this — yet could he that command
Which fathers love, and few its power withstand.
The mothers both agreed their joint request .
Should to the Captain jointly be address'd ;
And first the lover should his heart assail,
And then the ladies, and if all should fail, [prevail.
They'd singly watch the hour, and jointly might
The Captain's heart, although unused to melt,
A strong impression from persuasion felt ;
His pride was soften'd by the prayers he heard.
And then advantage in the match appear 'd.
At length he answer'd, — " Let the lad enlist
" In our good cause, and I no more resist ;
" For I have sworn, and to my oath am true,
" To hate that colour, that rebellious Blue.
246 THE BOAT RACE. tale xviu.
" His father once, ere master of the brig,
" For that advantage turn'd a rascal Whig:
" Now let the son — a wife's a better thing —
'•' A Tory turn, and say, God save the King !
" For I am pledged to serve that sacred cause,
" And love my country, while I keep her laws."
The women trembled ; for they knew full well
The fact they dare not to the Captain tell ;
And the poor youth declared, with tears and sighs,
" My oath was pass'd : I dare not compromise."
But Charles to reason made his strong appeal.
And to the heart — he bade him think and feel:
The Captain answering, with reply as strong, —
" If you be right, then how can I be wrong ?
" You to your father swore to take his part ;
" I to oppose it ever, head and heart ;
" You to a parent made your oath, and I
" To God ! and can I to my Maker lie ?
<' Much, my dear lad, I for your sake would do,
" But I have sworn, and to my oath am true."
Thus stood the parties when my fortunes bore
Me far away from this my native shore :
And who prevail'd, I know not — Young or Old ;
But, I beseech you, let the tale be told.
TAW XVIU. THE BOAT RACE. 247
P. — How fared these lovers? Many a time I thought
How with their ill-starr'd passion Time had wrouglit.
Did either party from his oath recede,
Or were they never from the bondage freed ?
F. — Alas! replied my Friend — the tale I tell
With some reluctance, nor can do it well.
There are three females in the place, and they,
Like skilful painters, could the facts portray,
In their strong colours — all that I can do
Is to present a weak imperfect view ;
The colours I must leave — the outlines shall be
Soon did each party see the other's mind,
What bound them both, and what was Uke to bind ;
Oaths deeply taken in such time and place.
To break them now was dreadful — was disgrace !
" That oath a dying father bade me take,
" Can I — yourself a father — can I break ? "
" That oath which I a living sinner took,
" Shall I make void, and yet for mercy look ? "
The women wept; the men, themselves distress'd,
The cruel rage of party zeal confess'd :
But solemn oaths, though sprung from party zeal,
Feel them we must, as Christians ought to feel.
248 THE BOAT RACE. tale XVIII.
Yet shall a youth so good, a girl so fair,
From their obedience only draw despair ?
Must they be parted ? Is there not a way
For them both love and duty to obey ?
Strongly they hoped ; and by their friends around
A way, at least a lover's way, was found.
" Give up your vote ; you '11 then no longer be
" Free in one sense, but in the better free."
Such was of reasoning friends the kind advice,
And hoAv could lovers in such case be nice ?
A man may swear to walk directly on
While sight remains ; but how if sight be gone ?
" Oaths are not binding when the party's dead ;
" Or when the power to keep the oath is fled :
" If I 've no vote, I 've neither friend nor foe,
" Nor can be said on either side to go."
Tliey were no casuists : — '^ Well ! " the Captain
" Give up your vote, man, and behold your bride ! "
Thus was it fix'd, and fix'd the day for both
To take the vow, and set aside the oath.
It gave some pain, but all agreed to say,
" You 're now absolved, and have no other way :
" 'T is not expected you should love resign
" For man's commands, for love's are all divine."
When all is quiet and the mind at rest,
All in the calm of innocence are blest ;
But when some scruple mixes with our joy,
We love to give the anxious mind employ.
THE BOAT RACE. 24-9
In autvimn late, when evening suns were bright,
The day was fix'd the lovers to unite ;
But one before the eager Captain chose
To break, with jocund act, his girl's repose,
And, sailor-like, said, " Hear how I intend
" One day, before the day of days, to spend !
" All round the quay, and by the river's side,
" Shall be a scene of glory for the bride.
" We'll have a Race, and colours will devise
" For every boat, for every man a prize :
" But that which first returns shall bear away
" The proudest pendant — Let us name the day."
They named the day, and never morn more bright
Rose on the river, nor so proud a sight :
Or if too calm appear'd the cloudless skies.
Experienced seamen said the wind would rise.
To that full quay from this then vacant place
Thronged a vast crowd to see the promised Race.
Mid boats new painted, all with streamers fair.
That flagg'd or flutter'd in that quiet air —
The Captain's boat that was so gay and trim.
That made his pride, and seem'd as proud of him ^
Her, in her beauty, we might all discern.
Her rigging new, and painted on the stern,
As one who could not in the contest fail,
" Learn of the little Nautilus to sail."
So forth they started at the signal gun,
And down the river had three leagues to run ;
This sail'd, they then their watery way retrace.
And the first landed conquers in the race.
250 THE BOAT RACE. tale XVIU.
The crowd await till they no more discern,
Then parting say, " At evening we return."
I could proceed, but you will guess the fate,
And but too well my tale anticipate.
P. — True ! yet proceed —
F. — The lovers had some grief
In this day's parting, but the time was brief;
And the poor girl, between his smiles and sighs,
Ask'd, " Do you wish to gain so poor a prize ? "
" But that your father wishes," he replied,
" I would the honour had been still denied :
" It makes me gloomy, though I would be gay,
" And oh ! it seems an everlasting day."
So thought the lass, and as she said, farewell !
Soft sighs arose, and tears unbidden fell.
The morn was calm, and ev'n till noon the strong
Unruffled flood moved quietly along ;
In the dead calm the billows softly fell,
And mock'd the whistling sea-boy's favourite
So rests at noon the reaper, but to rise
With mightier force and twofold energies.
The deep, broad stream moved softly, all was hush'd.
When o'er the flood the breeze awakening brush'd ;
A sullen sound was heard along the deep.
The stormy spirit rousing from his sleep ;
The porpoise rolling on the troubled wave,
Unwieldy tokens of his pleasure gave ;
TALE XV III.
THE BOAT RACE. 251
Dark, chilling clouds the troubled deep deform,
And led by terror downward rush'd the storm.
As evening came, along the river's side,
Or on the quay, impatient crowds divide,
And then collect ; some whispering, as afraid
Of what they saw, and more of what they said.
And yet must speak : how sudden and how great
The danger seem'd, and what might be the
Of men so toss'd about in craft so small,
Lost in the dark, and subject to the squall.
Then sounds are so appalling in the night,
And, could we see, how terrible the sight ;
None knew the evils that they all suspect,
And Hope at once they covet and reject.
But where the wife, her friend, her daughter,
Alas ! in grief, in terror, in despair —
At home, abroad, upon the quay. No rest
In any place, but where they are not, best.
Fearful they ask, but dread the sad reply.
And many a sailor tells the friendly lie —
" There is no danger — that is, we believe,
"And think — and hope" — but this does not
Although it soothes them ; while they look around,
Trembling at every sight and every sound.
Let me not dwell on terrors It is dark,
And lights are carried to and fro, and hark I
252 THE BOAT RACE.
There is a cry — "a boat, a boat at hand !"
What a still terror is there now on land !
" Whose, M-hose ? " they all enquire, and none can
At length they come — and oh ! how then rejoice
A wife and children at that welcome voice :
It is not theirs — but what have these to tell?
" Where did you leave the Captain — were they
Alas ! they know not, they had felt an awe
In dread of death, and knew not what they saw.
Thus they depart. — The evening darker grows,
The lights shake wildly, and as wildly blows
The stormy night-wind : fear possesses all,
The hardest hearts, in this sad interval.
But hark again to voices loud and high !
Once more that hope, that dread, that agony,
That panting expectation ! " Oh ! reveal
" What must be known, and think what pangs we
In vain they askl The men now landed speak
Confused and quick, and to escape them seek.
Our female party on a sailor press.
But nothing learn that makes their terror less ;
Nothing the man can show, or nothing will confess.
To some, indeed, they whisper, bringing news
For them alone, but others they refuse ;
And steal away, as if they could not bear
The griefs they cause, and if they cause must share.
TALE xvjil. THE BOAT RACE. 253
They too are gone ! and oiu- unhappy Three,
Half wild with fear, are trembling on tlie quay.
They can no ease, no peace, no quiet find.
The storm is gathering in the troubled mind ;
Tlioughts after thoughts in wild succession rise, ''
And all within is changing like the skies.
Their friends persuade them, " Do depart, we
pray ! "
They will not, must not, cannot go away,
But chill'd with icy fear, for certain tidings stay. '
And now again there must a boat be seen —
Men run together ! It must something mean !
Some figure moves upon the ousy bound
Where flows the tide — Oh! what can he have
What lost ? And who is he ? — The only one
Of the loved three — the Captain's younger son.
Their boat was fill'd and sank — He knows no more,
But that he only hardly reach'd the shore.
He saw them swimming — for he once was near —
But he was sinking, and he could not hear ;
And then the waves curl'd round him, but at length.
He struck upon the boat with dying strength,
And that preserved him : when he turn'd around.
Nought but the dark, wild, billowy flood was found —
That flood was all he saw, that flood's the only sound —
Save that the angry wind, with ceaseless roar,
Dash'd the wild waves upon the rocky shore.
The Widows dwell together — so we call
The younger woman ; widow'd are they all :
254< THE BOAT RACE.
But she, the poor Elizabeth, it seems
Not life in her — she lives not, but she dreams ;
She looks on Philip, and in him can find
Not much to mark in body or in mind —
He who was saved ; and then her very soul
Is in that scene I — Her thoughts beyond control,
Fix'd on that night, and bearing her along.
Amid the waters terrible and strong ;
Till there she sees within the troubled waves
The bodies sinking in their wat'ry graves,
When from her lover, yielding up his breath,
There comes a voice, — " Farewell, Elizabeth ! "
Yet Resignation in the house is seen,
Subdued Affliction, Piety serene,
And Hope for ever striving to instil
The balm for grief — " It is the Heavenly will :"
And in that will our duty bids us rest.
For all that Heaven ordains is good, is best ;
We sin and suffer — this alone we know.
Grief is our portion, is our part below ;
But we shall rise, that world of bliss to see.
Where sin and suffering never more shall be.
IFareivell and Return.'}
TALE XIX. i
MASTER WILLIAM; OB, LAD'S LOVE.
I HAVE remembrance of a Boy, whose mind
Was weak : he seem'd not for the world design'd,
Seem'd not as one who in that world could strive,
And keep his spirits even and alive —
A feeling Boy, and happy, though the less,
From that fine feeling, form'd for happiness.
His mother left him to his favourite ways.
And what he made his pleasure brought him praise
Romantic, tender, visionary, mild,
Affectionate, reflecting when a child.
With fear instinctive he from harshness fled,
And gentle tears for all who suffer d shed ;
Tales of misfortune touch'd his generous heart.
Of maidens left, and lovers forced to part.
In spite of all that weak indulgence wrought,
That love permitted, or that flattery taught,
VOL. VIII. S
25S MASTER WILLIAM ; TALE XlX.
lu spite of teachers who no fault would find,
The Boy was neithei- selfish nor unkind.
Justice and truth his honest heart approved,
And all things lovely he admired and loved.
Arabian Nights, and Persian Tales, he read,
And his pure mind with brilliant wonders fed.
The long Romances, Avild Adventures fii'ed
His stirring thoughts : he felt like Boy inspired.
The cruel fight, the constant love, the art
Of vile magicians, thrill'd his inmost heart :
An early Quixote, dreaming dreadful sights
Of warring dragons, and victorious knights :
In every dream some beauteous Princess shone,
Tire pride of thousands, and the prize of one.
Not yet he read, nor reading, would approve,
The Novel's hero, or its ladies' love.
He would Sophia for a wanton take,
Jones for a wicked, nay a vulgar rake.
He would no time on Smollett's page bestow ;
Such men he knew not, would disdain to know :
And if he read, he travell'd slowly on,
Teazed by the tame and faultless Grandison.
He in that hero's deeds could not delight —
" He loved two ladies, and he would not fight."
The minor works of this prolific kind
Presented beings he could never find ;
Beings, he thought, that no man should describe,
A vile, intriguing, lying, perjured tribe,
With impious habits, and dishonest views ;
The men he knew, had souls they feared to
OR, lad's love. 259
These had no views that coukl their sins controul,
With them nor fears nor hopes disturb'd the soul.
To dear Romance with fresh delight he turn'd,
And vicious men, like recreant cowards, spurn'd.
The Scripture Stories he Avith reverence read,
And duly took his Bible to his bed.
Yet Joshua, Samson, David, were a race
He dared not with his favourite heroes place.
Young as he was, the difference well he knew
Between the Truth, and what we fancy true.
He was with these entranced, of those afraid,
With Guy he triumph'd, but with David pray'd.
P. — Such was the Boy, and what the man would
I might conjecture, but could not foresee.
jF. — He has his trials met, his troubles seen,
And now deluded, now deserted, been.
His easy nature has been oft assail'd
By grief assumed, scorn hid, and flattery veil'd.
P. — But has he, safe and cautious, shunn'd the
That life presents ? — I ask not of its cax-es.
F. — Your gentle Boy a course of life began.
That made him what he is, the gentle-man,
2(30 MASTER WILLIAM ; tale xix.
A man of business. He in courts presides
Among their Worships, whom his judgment guides.
He in the Temple studied, and came down
A very lawyer, though without a gown ;
Still he is kind, but prudent, steady, just,
And takes but little that he hears on trust ;
He has no visions now, no boyish plans ;
All his designs and prospects are the man's,
The man of sound discretion — ?
P. — How so made ?
What could his mind to change like this persuade —
What first awaken'd our romantic friend —
For such he is —
F. — If you would know, attend.
In those gay years, when boys their manhood prove,
Because they talk of girls, and dream of love.
In William's way there came a maiden fair.
With soft, meek look, and sweet retiring air ;
With just the rosy tint upon her cheek,
With sparkling eye, and tongue unused to speak ;
W^ith manner decent, quiet, chaste, that one,
Modest himself, might love to look upon,
As William look'd ; and thus the gentle Squire
Be"-an the Nymph, albeit poor, t' admire.
She was, to wit, the gardener's niece ; her place
Gave to her care the Lady's silks and lace ;
With other duties of an easy kind.
And left her time, as much she felt inclined,
T' adorn her graceful form, and fill her craving mind ;
OR, lad's love. 261
Nay, left her leisure to employ some hours
Of the long day, among her uncle's flowers —
Myrtle and rose, of which she took the care,
And was as sweet as pinks and lilies are.
Such was the damsel whom our Youth beheld
With passion unencouraged, unrepell'd ;
For how encourage what was not in view ?
Or how repel what strove not to pursue ?
What books inspired, or glowing fancy wrought,
What dreams suggested, or reflection taught,
Whate'er of love was to the mind convey'd.
Was all directed to his darling maid.
He saw his damsel with a lover's eyes,
As pliant fancy wove the fair disguise ;
A Quixote he, who in his nymph could trace
The high-born beauty, changed and — out of place.
That William loved, mamma, with easy smile.
Would jesting say ; but love might grow the while ;
The damsel's self, with unassuming pride.
With love so led by fear was gratified.
What cause for censure ? Could a man reprove
A child for fondness, or miscall it love ?
Not William's self ; yet well inform'd was he.
That love it was, and endless love would be.
Month after month the sweet delusion bred
Wild feverish hopes, that flourish'd, and then
Like Fanny's sweetest flower, and that was lost
In one cold hour, by one harsh morning frost.
262 MASTER WILLIAM; tale x IX.
In some soft evenings, mid the garden's bloom,
Would William wait, till Fanny chanced to come ;
And Fanny came, by chance it may be ; still,
There was a gentle bias of the will,