John Churton Collins.

A treasury of minor British poetry selected and arranged with notes .. online

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OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 249



Since, with all its thorns, the rose
Is the sweetest flower that blows.

P. B. MARSTON.



CCXVII

SERENADE

AWAKE thee, my Lady-love !

Wake thee, and rise !
The sun through the bower peeps

Into thine eyes !

Behold how the early lark

Springs from the corn !
Hark, hark how the flower-bird

Winds her wee horn !

The swallow's glad shriek is heard

All through the air !
The stock-dove is murmuring

Loud as she dare !

Then wake thee, my Lady-love !

Bird of my bower !
The sweetest and sleepiest

Bird at this hour.

G. DARLEY.



250 A TREASURY



CCXVIII
SONG OF THE FORSAKEN

MY cheek is faded sair, love,

An' lichtless fa's my e'e ;
My breast a' lane and bare, love,

Has aye a beild for thee.
My breast, though lane and bare, love,
The hame o' cauld despair, love,
Yet ye've a dwallin' there, love,

A' darksome though it be.

Yon guarded roses glowin',

It's wha daur min't to pu' ?
But aye the wee bit gowan

Ilk reckless hand may strew.
An' aye the wee, wee gowan,
Unsheltered, lanely growin',
Unkent, uncared its ruin,

Sae marklessly it grew.

An' am I left to rue, then,

Wha ne'er kent Love but thee ;

An' gae a love as true, then,
As woman's heart can gie ?

But can ye cauldly view, then,

A bosom burstin' fu', then ?

An' hae ye broken noo, then,
The heart ye sought frae me ?

w. THOM.



OF MINOR BRITISH POE TRY 251



CCXIX

LIGHT

THE night has a thousand eyes,

And the day but one j
Yet the light of the bright world dies,
With the dying sun.

The mind has a thousand eyes,

And the heart but one ;
Yet the light of a whole life dies,

When love is gone.

F. W. BOURDILLON.



ccxx

Too solemn for day, too sweet for night,
Come not in darkness, come not in light ;
But come in some twilight interim,
When the gloom is soft, and the light is dim.

W. S. WALKER.



252 A TREASURY



CCXXI

WIFE, CHILDREN, AND FRIENDS

WHEN the black-letter'd list to the gods was presented,
(The list of what fate for each mortal intends),
At the long string of ills a kind goddess relented,
And slipp'd in three blessings wife, children, and friends.

In vain surly Pluto maintain'd he was cheated,

For justice divine could not compass its ends ;

The scheme of man's penance he swore was defeated,

For earth becomes heav'n with wife, children, and friends.

If the stock of our bliss is in stranger hands vested,
The fund ill-secur'd oft in bankruptcy ends ;
But the heart issues bills which are never protested,
When drawn on the firm of wife, children, and friends.

Though valour still glows in his life's waning embers,
The death-wounded tar who his colours defends,
Drops a tear of regret as he dying remembers
How blest was his home with wife, children, and friends.

The soldier, whose deeds live immortal in story,
Whom duty to far distant latitudes sends,
With transport would barter whole ages of glory
For one happy day with wife, children, and friends.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 253



Though spice-breathing gales o'er his caravan hover,
Though round him Arabia's whole fragrance ascends,
The merchant still thinks of the woodbines that cover
The bower where he sate with wife, children, and friends.

The day-spring of youth, still unclouded by sorrow,

Alone on itself for enjoyment depends ;

But drear is the twilight of age if it borrow

No warmth from the smiles of wife, children, and friends.

Let the breath of renown ever freshen and nourish
The laurel which o'er her dead favourite bends ;
O'er me wave the willow ! and long may it flourish,
Bedew'd with the tears of wife, children, and friends.

Let us drink for my song, growing graver and graver,

To subjects too solemn insensibly tends ;

Let us drink pledge me high love and virtue shall

flavour
The glass which I fill to wife, children, and friends.

W. R. SPENCER.



CCXXII
LITTLE AGLAE

TO HER FATHER, ON HER STATUE BEING CALLED LIKE HER

FATHER ! the little girl we see

Is not, I fancy, so like me ;

You never hold her on your knee.



254 A TREASURY



When she came home the other day
You kiss'd her ; but I cannot say
She kiss'd you first and ran away.

W. S. LANDOR.



CCXXIII

A PETITION TO TIME

TOUCH us gently, Time !

Let us glide adown thy stream
Gently, as we sometimes glide

Through a quiet dream !
Humble voyagers are We,
Husband, wife, and children three
(One is lost, an angel, fled
To the azure overhead ! )

Touch us gently, Time !

We've not proud nor soaring wings :
Our ambition, our content

Lies in simple things.
Humble voyagers are We
O'er Life's dim unsounded sea,
Seeking only some calm clime ;
Touch us gently, gentle Time !

B. WALLER PROCTER.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 255

CCXXIV
LOVE AND DEATH

I THOUGHT once how Theocritus had sung

Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,

Who each one in a gracious hand appears

To bear a gift for mortals, old or young :

And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,

I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,

The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,

Those of my own life, who by turns had flung

A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,

So weeping, how a mystic shape did move

Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair ;

And a voice said in mastery, while I strove :

" Guess now who holds thee ? " " Death ! " I said. But,

there,
The silver answer rang, " Not Death, but Love ! "

MRS. BROWNING.

ccxxv

THERE are who say we are but dust ;

We may be soon, but are not yet :
Nor should be while in Love we trust,

And never what he taught forget.

w. s. LAN DOR.



256 A TREASURY



CCXXVI
SONG

Go, forget me why should sorrow
O'er that brow a shadow fling ?

Go, forget me and to-morrow
Brightly smile and sweetly sing.

Smile though I shall not be near thee ;

Sing though I shall never hear thee ;
May thy soul with pleasure shine,
Lasting as the gloom of mine.

Like the sun, thy presence glowing,
Clothes the meanest things in light ;

And when thou, like him, art going,
Loveliest objects fade in night.

All things look'd so bright about thee,

That they nothing seem without thee ;
By that pure and lucid mind
Earthly things were too refined.

Go, thou vision wildly gleaming,

Softly on my soul that fell ;
Go, for me no longer beaming

Hope and Beauty ! fare ye well !



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 257

Go, and all that once delighted
Take, and leave me all benighted ;
Glory's burning generous swell,
Fancy and the Poet's shell.

REV. C. WOLFE.



CCXXVII

JENNY kiss'd me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in ;
Time, you thief ! who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in :
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,

Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,

Jenny kiss'd me.

LEIGH HUNT.



CCXXVIII

THE NUN

IF you become a nun, dear,

A friar I will be ;
In any cell you run, dear,

Pray look behind for me.
s



258 A TREASURY



The roses all turn pale, too ;
The doves all take the veil, too ;

The blind will see the show.
What ! you become a nun, my dear !

I'll not believe it, no.

If you become a nun, dear,

The bishop Love will be j
The Cupids every one, dear,

Will chaunt "We trust in thee."
The incense will go sighing,
The candles fall a-dying,

The water turn to wine ;
What ! you go take the vows, my dear !

You may but they'll be mine.

LEIGH HUNT,



CCXXIX
A BOY'S SONG

WHERE the pools are bright and deep,
Where the grey trout lies asleep,
Up the river and o'er the lea,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the blackbird sings the latest,
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest,
Where the nestlings chirp and flee,
That's the way for Billy and me.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 259



Where the mowers mow the cleanest,
Where the hay lies thick and greenest ;
There to trace the homeward bee,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the hazel bank is steepest,
Where the shadow falls the deepest,
Where the clustering nuts fall free,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Why the boys should drive away
Little sweet maidens from the play,
Or love to banter and fight so well,
That's the thing I never could tell.

But this I know, I love to play,
Through the meadow, among the hay ;
Up the water and o'er the lea,
That's the way for Billy and me.

J. HOGG.



ccxxx
THE SKYLARK

BIRD of the wilderness,
Blithesome and cumberless,

Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea !
Emblem of happiness,
Blest is thy dwelling-place,

Oh to abide in the desert with thee !



260 A TREASURY



Wild is thy lay and loud,

Far in the downy cloud,
Love gives it energy, love gave it birth.

Where, on thy dewy wing,

Where art thou journeying ?
Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth.

O'er fell and fountain sheen,

O'er moor and mountain green,
O'er the red streamer that heralds the day,

Over the cloudlet dim,

Over the rainbow's rim,
Musical cherub, soar, singing, away !

Then, when the gloaming comes,

Low in the heather blooms
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be !

Emblem of happiness,

Blest is thy dwelling-place
Oh to abide in the desert with thee !

J. HOGG.



CCXXXI

ECHO AND SILENCE

IN eddying course when leaves began to fly,
And autumn in her lap the stores to strew,
As 'mid wild scenes I chanced the muse to woo
Thro' glens untrod, and woods that frown'd on high,



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 261

Two sleeping nymphs, with wonder mute I spy :
And lo ! she's gone in robe of dark green hue
'Twas Echo from her sister Silence flew :
For quick the hunter's horn resounded to the sky.

In shade affrighted Silence melts away.
Not so her sister. Hark ! for onward still
With far-heard step she takes her listening way,
Bounding from rock to rock, and hill to hill :

Ah ! mark the merry maid, in mockful play,

With thousand mimic tones the laughing forest fill !

SIR EGERTON BRYDGES.



CCXXXII
THE HERON

O MELANCHOLY Bird, a winter's day,
Thou standest by the margin of the pool,
And, taught by God, dost thy whole being school
To Patience, which all evil can allay.

God has appointed thee the Fish thy prey ;
And giv'n thyself a lesson to the Fool
Unthrifty, to submit to moral rule,
And his unthinking course by thee to weigh.



262 A TREASURY



There need not schools, nor the Professor's chair,
Though these be good, true wisdom to impart ;
He, who has not enough for these to spare,
Of time, or gold, may yet amend his heart,

And teach his soul, by brooks and rivers fair :
Nature is always wise in every part.

EDWARD, LORD THURLOW.



CCXXXIII

SNOWDROPS

O DARLING spirits of the snow,

Who hide within your heart the green,

Howe'er the wintry wind may blow,
The secret of the summer sheen
Ye smile to' know !



By frozen rills, in woods and mead,
A mild pure sisterhood ye grow,

Who bend the meek and quiet head,
And are a token from below
From our dear dead.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 263

As in their turf ye softly shine

Of innocent white lives they lead,

With healing influence Divine

For souls who on their memory feed,
World-worn like mine.

RODEN NOEL.



CCXXXIV

SONG TO MAY

MAY, queen of blossoms,

And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music

Shall we charm the hours ?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,

Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed

In the green bowers ?

Thou hast no need of us,

Or pipe or wire,
That hast the golden bee

Ripened with fire ;
And many thousand more

Songsters, that thee adore
Filling earth's grassy floor

With new desire.



264 A TREASURY

Thou hast thy mighty herds,

Tame, and free-livers ;
Doubt not, thy music too

In the deep rivers ;
And the whole plumy flight,
Warbling the day and night
Up at the gates of light,

See, the lark quivers !

EDWARD, LORD THURLOW.



CCXXXV

OSME'S SONG

HITHER ! hither !

O come hither !
Lads and lasses come and see !

Trip it neatly,

Foot it featly,
O'er the grassy turf to me !

Here are bowers
Hung with flowers,

Richly curtain'd halls for you !
Meads for rovers,
Shades for lovers,

Violet beds, and pillows too !



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 265

Purple heather

You may gather,
Sandal-deep in seas of bloom !

Pale-faced lily,

Proud Sweet- Willy,
Gorgeous rose, and golden broom !



Odorous blossoms

For sweet bosoms,
Garlands green to bind the hair ;

Crowns and kirtles

Weft of myrtles,
You may choose, and Beauty wear !



Brightsome glasses

For bright faces
Shine in ev'ry rill that flows ;

Every minute

You look in it
Still more bright your beauty grows !



Banks for sleeping,

Nooks for peeping,
Glades for dancing, smooth and fine !

Fruits delicious

For who wishes,
Nectar, dew, and honey wine !



266 A TREASURY



Hither! hither!

O come hither !
Lads and lasses come and see !

Trip it neatly,

Foot it featly,
O'er the grassy turf to me !

G. DARLEY.



CCXXXVI

BUTTERFLY BEAU

I'M a volatile thing, with an exquisite wing,

Sprinkled o'er with the tints of the rainbow ;
All the Butterflies swarm to behold my sweet form,

Though the Grubs may all vote me a vain beau.
I my toilet go through, with my rose-water dew,

And each blossom contributes its essence ;
Then all fragrance and grace, not a plume out of place,

I adorn the gay world with my presence
In short, you must know,
I'm the Butterfly Beau.

At first I enchant a fair Sensitive plant,
Then I flirt with the Pink of perfection :

Then I seek a sweet Pea, and I whisper, " For thee
I have long felt a fond predilection."



OF MINOR BRITISH POETR Y 267



A Lily I kiss, and exult in my bliss,

But I very soon search for a new lip ;
And I pause in my flight to exclaim with delight,
" Oh ! how dearly I love you, my Tulip ! "
In short, you must know,
I'm the Butterfly Beau.

Thus for ever I rove, and the honey of love

From each delicate blossom I pilfer ;
But though many I see pale and pining for me,
I know none that are worth growing ill for :
And though I must own, there are some that I've

known,

Whose external attractions are splendid ;
On myself I most doat, for in my pretty coat
All the tints of the garden are blended
In short, you must know,
I'm the Butterfly Beau.

T. HAYNES BAYLY.



CCXXXVII

AFTER SUMMER

WE'LL not weep for summer over,

No, not we ;
Strew above his head the clover,

Let him be!



268 A TREASURY



Other eyes may weep his dying,

Shed their tears
There upon him where he's lying

With his peers.

Unto some of them he proffered

Gifts most sweet ;
For our hearts a grace he offered,

Was this meet ?

All our fond hopes, praying, perished

In his wrath,
All the lovely dreams we cherished

Strewed his path.

Shall we in our tombs, I wonder,

Far apart,
Sundered wide as seas can sunder

Heart from heart,

Dream at all of all the sorrows

That were ours,
Bitter nights, more bitter morrows ;

Poison-flowers

Summer gathered, as in madness,

Saying, "See,
These are yours, in place of gladness, -

Gifts from me ! "



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 269

Nay, the rest that will be ours

Is supreme,
And below the poppy flowers

Steals no dream.

P. B. MARSTON.
CCXXXVIII

BUTTERFLY LIFE

WHAT, though you tell me each gay little rover

Shrinks from the breath of the first autumn day !
Surely 'tis better, when summer is over,

To die when all fair things are fading away.
Some in life's winter may toil to discover

Means of procuring a weary delay
I'd be a Butterfly ; living, a rover,

Dying when fair things are fading away !

T. HAYNES BAYLY.
CCXXXIX

THE BLIND LASSIE

O HARK to the strain that sae sweetly is ringin',

And echoing clearly o'er lake and o'er lea ;
Like some fairy bird in the wilderness singin',

It thrills to my heart, yet nae minstrel I see ;
Round yonder rock knittin', a dear child is sittin',

Sae toilin' her pitifu' pittance is won,
Hersell tho' we see nae, 'tis mitherless Jeanie,

The bonnie blind lassie that sits i' the sun.



270 A TREASURY



Five years syne, come autumn, she cam' wi' her mither ,

A sodger's puir widow, sair wasted an' gane ;
As brown fell the leaves, sae wi' them did she wither,

An' left the sweet child on the wide world alane.
She left Jeanie weepin', in His holy keepin',

Wha shelters the lamb frae the cauld wintry win',
We had little siller, yet a' were gude till her,

The bonnie blind lassie that sits i' the sun.

An' blythe now an' cheerfu', frae mornin' to e'enin',

She sits thro' the simmer, an' gladdens ilk ear ;
Baith auld and young daut her, sae gentle an' winnin',

To a' the folks round, the wee lassie is dear.
Braw leddies caress her, wi' bounties would press her,

The modest bit darlin' their notice would shun,
For though she has naething, proud hearted this wee
thing

The bonnie blind lassie that sits i' the sun.

T. C. LATTO.



CCXL

IT'S HAME AND IT'S HAME

IT'S hame, and it's hame, hame fain wad I be,

An' it's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree !

When the flower is i' the bud and the leaf is on the tree,

The lark shall sing me hame in my ain countree ;

It's hame, and it's hame, hame fain wad I be,

An' it's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree !



OF MINOR BRITISH POE TRY 271

The green leaf o' loyaltie's beginning for to fa',
The bonnie white rose it is withering an' a' ;
But I'll water't wi' the blude of usurping tyrannic,
An' green it will grow in my ain countree ;
It's name, and it's hame, hame fain wad I be,
And it's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree !

There's naught now frae ruin my country can save,
But the keys o' kind heaven to open the grave,
That a' the noble martyrs who died for loyaltie,
May rise again and fight for their ain countree ;
It's hame, and it's hame, hame fain wad I be,
An' it's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree.

The great now are gane, a' who ventured to save,
The new grass is springing on the tap o' their grave ;
But the sun thro' the mirk blinks blythe in my ee :
" I'll shine on ye yet in your ain countree " ;
It's hame, and it's hame, hame fain wad I be,
An' it's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree.

A. CUNNINGHAM.



CCXLI
THE STANDING TOAST

THE moon on the ocean was dimm'd by a ripple,

Affording a chequer'd delight,
The gay jolly tars pass'd the word for the tipple,

And the toast, for 'twas Saturday night :



272 A TREASURY



Some sweetheart or wife that he loved as his life
Each drank while he wish'd he could hail her ;

But the standing toast that pleased the most
Was The wind that blows, the ship that goes,

And the lass that loves a sailor !



Some drank the king and his brave ships,

And some the constitution,
Some, " May our foes and all such rips

Own English resolution ! "
That fate might bless some Poll or Bess,

And that they soon might hail her,
But the standing toast that pleased the most

Was The wind that blows, the ship that goes,
And the lass that loves a sailor !



Some drank our queen, and some our land,

Our glorious land of freedom !
Some that our tars might never stand

For heroes brave to lead 'em !
That beauty in distress might find

Such friends as ne'er would fail her ;
But the standing toast that pleased the most

Was The wind that blows, the ship that goes,
And the lass that loves a sailor !

c. DIBDIN.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 273

CCXLII
THE SEA PINK

I'VE a yacht in the Island, the Sea Pink, of Ryde,

Not a craft in the club can be better ;
I own, when she goes very much on one side,

I'm afraid that the wind will upset her.
I belong to the Club, which is very genteel

We ne'er let a Scamp or a Shab in ;
But though it's the fashion, I own that I feel

More at ease in my Cab than my Cabin !

'Tis true, I know little of nautical ways,

And less about charts of the ocean ;
And what's rather odd, on the quietest days

I always grow queer with the motion !
I've sunk a large sum on the toy, and 'tis well

If the toy and I don't sink together ;
Oh ! talking of sinking nobody can tell

What I suffer in very bad weather !

When I sigh for the land, sailors talk of "sea-room,"

All sense of propriety lacking ;
And they gave me a knock-me-down blow with the boom,

T'other day, in the hurry of tacking.
I sported one morning a water-proof cap,

And a Mackintosh all India-rubber ;
And a sailor cried, " Jack, look at that 'ere queer chap,

Did you ever see such a land-lubber ? "
T



274 A TREASURY



What a bother the wind is ! one day we were caught

In a bit of a breeze in the offing ;
And we tack'd, and we tack'd, till I verily thought

Every tack was a nail in my coffin !
Cried one, " Never fear, we shall soon reach the shore,"

(To me that word reach is pathetic !)
I've heard of perpetual Blisters before,

But I've an eternal emetic !

The Captain and Crew are of course in my pay,

I expect them to pay me attention ;
But they push me about, and they now and then say

Little words it would shock me to mention !
The smell of the tar I detest, and I think

That the sea breeze quite spoils the complexion,
But the ladies all say, when they've seen the Sea Pink,

That her Owner's the Pink of Perfection.

T. HAYNES BAYLY.



CCXLIII

SONG

BLOW high, blow low, let tempests tear
The mainmast by the board ;

My heart with thoughts of thee, my dear,
And love, well-stored,



OF MINOR BRITISH POETRY 275



Shall brave all danger, scorn all fear,
The roaring winds, the raging sea,
In hopes on shore
To be once more,
Safe moor'd with thee !



Aloft, while mountains high we go,

The whistling winds that scud along,
And the surge roaring from below,
Shall my signal be,
To think on thee,
And this shall be my song :

Blow high, blow low, let tempests tear
The mainmast from the board.



And on that night when all the crew,
The memory of their former lives
O'er flowing cups of flip renew,

And drink their sweethearts and their wives,
I'll heave a sigh, and think on thee ;
And, as the ship rolls through the sea,
The burden of my song shall be

Blow high, blow low, let tempests tear
The mainmast by the board.

C. DIBDIN.



276 A TREASURY



CCXLIV

A PICTURE

Lo ! in storms, the triple-headed

Hill, whose dreaded
Bases battle with the seas,
Looms across fierce widths of fleeting

Waters beating
Evermore on roaring leas !

Arakoon, the black, the lonely !

Housed with only

Cloud and rain-wind, mist and damp ;
Round whose foam-drenched feet and nether

Depths, together
Sullen sprites of thunder tramp !

There the East hums loud and surly,

Late and early,

Through the chasms and the caves,
And across the naked verges

Leap the surges !
White and wailing waifs of waves.

Day by day the sea fogs gathered

Tempest-fathered
Pitch their tents on yonder peak,
Yellow drifts and fragments lying

Where the flying
Torrents chafe the cloven creek !



OF All NOR BRITISH POETRY 277



And at nightfall, when the driven

Bolts of heaven

Smite the rock and break the bluff,
Thither troop the elves whose home is

Where the foam is,
And the echo, and the clough.

Ever girt about with noises,

Stormy voices,

And the salt breath of the Strait,
Stands the steadfast Mountain Giant,

Grim, reliant,
Dark as Death, and firm as Fate.

H. C. KENDALL.



CCXLV

THE TAMAR SPRING

FOUNT of a rushing river ! wild flowers wreathe
The home where thy first waters sunlight claim ;

The lark sits hushed beside thee, while I breathe,
Sweet Tamar Spring ! the music of thy name.

On ! through thy goodly channel, on ! to the sea !

Pass amid heathery vale, tall rock, fair bough ;
But nevermore with footstep pure and free,

Or face so meek with happiness as now.



278 A TREASURY



Fair is the future scenery of thy days,

Thy course domestic, and thy paths of pride ;

Depths that give back the soft-eyed violet's gaze,
Shores where tall navies march to meet the tide.



Yet false the vision, and untrue the dream,

That lures thee from thy native wilds to stray ;

A thousand griefs will mingle with that stream,
Unnumbered hearts shall sigh those waves away.



Scenes fierce with men, thy seaward current laves,
Harsh multitudes will throng thy gentle brink ;

Back with the grieving concourse of thy waves,
Home to the waters of thy childhood shrink !



Thou heedest not ! thy dream is of the shore,
Thy heart is quick with life ; on ! to the sea !

How will the voice of thy far streams implore,
Again amid these peaceful weeds to be !



My Soul ! my Soul ! a happier choice be thine,
Thine the hushed valley, and the lonely sod ;

False dream, far vision, hollow hope resign,
Fast by our Tamar Spring, alone with God !

R. S. HAWKER.



OF MINOR BRITISH POETR Y 279

CCXLVI
MIDNIGHT

GOD ! this is a holy hour,
Thy breath is o'er the land ;


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Online LibraryJohn Churton CollinsA treasury of minor British poetry selected and arranged with notes .. → online text (page 10 of 19)