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Theodore Martin.

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THE BOOK OF BALLADS.

I wait for thee still by the flowery tophaik —

I have broken my Eblis for Ziileima's sake.

But the heart that adores thee is faithful and true,

Though it beats 'neath the folds of a Greek Allah-hu !

Oh, wake thee, my dearest I the muftis are still,

And the tsehocadars sleep on the Franguestan hill ;

IS'o sullen aleikoum — no derveesh is here,

And the mosques are all watching by lonely Kashmere !

Oh, come in the gush of thy beauty so full,

I have waited for thee, my adored attar-gul !

I see thee — I hear thee — thy antelope foot
Treads lightly and soft on the velvet cheroot ;
The jewelled amaun of thy zemzem is bare.
And the folds of thy palampore wave in the air.
Come, Test on the bosom that loves thee so well,
My dove ! my phingari ! my gentle gazelle !



JN'ay, tremble not, dearest ! I feel thy heart throb,
'IS'eath the sheltering shroud of thy snowy kiebaub ;
Lo, there shines Muezzin, the beautiful star !
Thy lover is with thee, and danger afar :
Say, is it the glance of the haughty vizier.
Or the bark of the distant effendi, you fear ?



11



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



I



Oh, swift fly the hours in the garden of bliss !
And sweeter than balm of Gehenna, thy kiss !
Wherever I wander — wherever I roam,
My spirit flies back to its beautiful home :
It dwells by the lake of the limpid Stamboul,
With thee, my adored one ! my own attar-gul !



t




THE BOOK OF BALLADS.






€^t iBatll nf SunuL



-TH, ESQ.



'Methinks I see him already in the cart, sweeter and more lovely than the
nosegay in his hand! I hear the crowd extolling his resolution and
inti'epidity ! What volleys of sighs are sent from the windows of
Holbom, that so comely a youth should he brought to disgrace ! I
see him at the tree ! the whole circle are in tears ! even butchers weep ! "
— Beggar's Opera.



A LIVING sea of eager human faces,

A thousand bosoms, throbbing all as one,

"Walls, windows, balconies, all sorts of places.
Holding their crowds of gazers to the sun :
Through the hush'd groups low buzzing murmurs run ;

And on the air, with slow reluctant swell.

Comes the dull funeral boom of old Sepulchre's bell.



0i
m



Oh, joy in London now ! in festal measure
Ee spent the evening of this festive day !

Por thee is opening now a high-strung pleasure
Kow, even now, in yonder press-yard they
Strike from his limbs the fetters loose away !



^05



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THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



I



i






xi little while, and he, the brave Duval,

Will issue forth, serene, to glad and, greet you all.

*^ "Why comes he not ? say, wherefore doth he tarry ? "
Starts the enquiry loud from every tongue.

^' Surely," they cry, ^^that tedious Ordinary

His tedious psalms must long ere this have sung, —
Tedious to him that 's waiting to be hung ! "

But hark ! old JSTewgate's doors fly wide apart.

^^ He comes, he comes ! " A thrill shoots through each
gazer's heart.

Join'd in the stunning cry ten thousand voices,
All Smithfield answer' d to the loud acclaim.

''He comes, he comes ! " and every breast rejoices.
As down Snow Hill the shout tumultuous came.
Bearing to Holborn's crowd the welcome fame.

*' He comes, he comes ! " and each holds back his breath,—

Some ribs are broke and some few scores are crush'd to
death.

With step majestic to the cart advances

The dauntless Claude, and springs into his seat.

He feels that on him now are fix'd the glances
Of many a Britain bold and maiden sweet.
Whose hearts responsive to his glories beat.




i >
ii



In him the honour of " The Eoad " is centred,
And all the hero's fire into his bosom enter'd.

His was the transport — ^his the exultation
Of Eome's great generals, when from afar,

IJp to the Capitol, in the ovation,

They bore with them, in the triumphal car,
Eich gold and gems, the spoils of foreign war.

lo Triumphe ! They forgot their clay.

E'en so Duval who rode in glory on his way.

His laced cravat, his kids of purest yellow,
The many-tinted nosegay in his hand.

His large black eyes, so fiery, yet so mellow,
Like the old vintages of Spanish land.
Locks clustering o'er a brow of high command,

Subdue all hearts ; and, as up Holborn's steep

Toils the slow car of death, e'en cruel butchers weep.



t



He saw it, but he heeded not. His story.
He knew, was graven on the page of Time.

Tyburn to him was as a field of glory,

"Where he must stoop to death his head sublime,
Hymn'd in full many an elegiac rhyme.

He left his deeds behind him, and his name — •

For he, like Caesar, had lived long enough for fame.



f.



4



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THE BOOK OF BALLADS.

He quail'd not, save when, as he raised the chalice, —

St. Giles's bowl, — fill'd with the mildest ale.
To pledge the crowd, on her — his beauteous Alice —
His eye alighted, and his cheek grew pale.
• She, whose sweet breath was like the spicy gale.
She, whom he fondly deem'd his own dear girl.
Stood with a tall dragoon, drinking long draughts of
purl.



He bit his lip — it quiver' d but a moment —

Then pass'd his hand across his flushing brows :

He could have spared so forcible a comment
Upon the constancy of woman's vows.
One short, sharp pang his hero-soul allows ;

But in the bowl he drowned the stinging pain.

And on his pilgrim-course went calmly forth again.



A princely group of England's noble daughters
Stood in a balcony suflused with grief.

Diffusing fragrance round them, of strong waters,
And waving many a snowy handkerchief.
Then glow'd the prince of highwayman and thief!

His soul was touch' d with a seraphic gleam : —

That woman could be false was but a mocking dream.



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



And now, his bright career of triumph ended,
His chariot stood beneath the triple tree.

The law's grim finisher to its boughs ascended.
And fix'd the hempen bandages, while he
Eow'd to the throng, then bade the car go free.

The car roU'd on, and left him dangling there.

Like famed Mahommed's tomb, uphung midway in air.

W As droops the cup of the surcharged lily

Beneath the buffets of the surly storm.

Or the soft petals of the daffodilly,

"When Sirius is uncomfortably warm.

So drooped his head upon his manly form.

While floated in the breeze his tresses brown.

He hung the stated time, and then they cut him down.

With soft and tender care the trainbands bore him.
Just as they found him, nightcap, rope, and all.

And placed this neat though plain inscription o'er him.
Among the otomies in Surgeon's Hall :
^' These are the Bones of the eej^own'd Duval ! "

There still they tell us, from their glassy case.

He was the last, the best of all that noble race !




THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



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€ljB SirgE nf tjiB irinkfr.



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Beothees, spare awhile your liquor, lay your final tumbler

down ;
He has dropp'd — that star of honour — on the field of his

renown !
Raise the wail, but raise it softly, lowly bending on your

knees.
If you find it more convenient, you may hiccup if you

please.
Sons of Pantagruel, gently let your hip-hurraing sink,
Ee your manly accents clouded, half with sorrow, half

with drink !
Lightly to the sofa pillow lift his head from ofi* the floor ;
See, how calm he sleeps, unconscious as the deadest nail in

door!
Widely o'er the earth I 've wander'd; where the drink

most freely fiow'd,
I have ever reel'd the foremost, foremost to the beaker

strode.



I



210



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



I^I^SiB^^^fi



^i /



Deep in shady Cider Cellars I have dream'd o'er heavy

wet,
By the fountains of Damascus I have quaff 'd the rich

sherbet,
Eegal Montepulciano drained beneath its native rock,
On Johannis' sunny mountain frequent hiccup' d o'er my

hock;
I have bathed in butts of Xeres deeper than did e'er Mon-
soon,
Sangaree'd with bearded Tartars in the Mountains of the

Moon ;
In beer-swilling Copenhagen I have drunk your Danesman

blind,
I have kept my feet in Jena, when each bursch to earth

declined ;
Glass for glass, in fierce Jamaica, I have shared the planter's

rum,
Drank with Highland dhuinie-wassels, till each gibbering

Gael grew dumb;
But a stouter, bolder drinker — one that loved his liquor

more —
JN^ever yet did I encounter than our friend upon the floor !
Yet the best of us are mortal, we to weakness all are

heir.
He has fallen, who rarely staggered — let the rest of us

beware !



r



n



m



THE BOOK OP BALLADS.



We shall leave him, as we found him, — flying where his

manhood fell,
'Mong the trophies of the revel, for he took his tipple well.
Eetter 't were we loosed his neckcloth, laid his throat and

bosom bare,
Pulled his Hobies off, and turn'd his toes to taste the

breezy air.
Throw the sofa cover o'er him, dim the flaring of the gas.
Calmly, calmly let him slumber, and, as by the bar we

pass,
"We shall bid that thoughtful waiter place beside him, near

and handy,
Large supplies of soda water, tumbler's bottomed well with

brandy.
So when waking, he shall drain them, with that deathless

thirst of his.
Clinging to the hand that smote him, like a good 'un as he

is!




212



f



^^



THE BOOK OP BALLADS.



r



SaiKB /rikgnnh.



Whek folks, with headstrong passion blind,

To play the fool make up their mind,

They 're sure to come with phrases nice,

And modest air, for your advice.

But, as a truth unfailing make it.

They ask, but never mean to take it.

'T is not advice they want, in fact.

But confirmation in their act.

I^ow mark what did, in such a case,

A worthy priest who knew the race.

A dame more buxsome, blithe and free.
Than Fredegonde you scarce would see.
So smart her dress, so trim her shape,
Ne'er hostess offer' d juice of grape,
Could for her trade wish better sign ;
Her looks gave flavour to her wine.



I



213



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.

And each guest feels it, as lie sips,

Smack of the ruby of her lips.

A smile for all, a welcome glad, —

A jovial coaxing way she had ;

And, — what was more her fate than blame,—

A niQe months' widow was our dame.

Eut toil was hard, for trade was good,

And gallants sometimes will be rude.

'^ And what can a lone woman do ?

The nights are long, and eerie too.

^ow, Guillot there 's a likely man.

jS'one better draws or taps a can ;

He 's just the man, I think, to suit,

If I could bring my courage to 't."

With thoughts like these her mind is cross' d :

The dame, they say, who doubts is lost.

^' Eut then the risk ? I '11 beg a slice

Of Eather Eauhn's good advice."



Prankt in her best, with looks demure.
She seeks the priest ; and, to be sure.
Asks if he thinks she ought to wed :
'' "With such a business on my head,
I 'm worried off my legs with care.
And need some help to keep things square.



THE^ BOOK or BALLADS.

I 've thouglit of Giiillot, truth to tell !

He 's steady, knows his business well.

What do you think ? " When thus he met her :

^^ Oh, take him, dear, you can't do better ! "

'' But then the danger, my good pastor.

If of the man I i^ake the master.

There is no trusting to these men."

^^ Well, well, my dear, don't have him then ! "

^' But help I must have, there 's the curse.

I may go farther and fare worse."

'' Why, take him then ! " '' But if he should

Turn out a thankless ne'er-do-good, —

In drink and riot waste my all,

And rout me out of house and hall ? "

'* Don't have him, then ! But I 've a plan

To clear your doubts, if any can.

The bells a peal are ringing, — hark !

Go straight, and what they tell you mark.

If they say * Yes ! ' wed, and be blest —

If *!N'o,' why — do as you think best."



%■



The bells rung out a triple bob :
Oh, how our widow's heart did throb.
As thus she heard their burden go,
'* Marry, mar-marry, mar-Guillot ! "



^ll



THE BOOK or BALLADS.

Eells were not then left to hang idle :
A week, — and they rang for her hridal.
Eut, woe the while, they might as well
Have rung the poor dame's parting knell.
The rosy dimples left her cheek,
She lost her beauties plump and sleek ;
Eor Guillot oftener kicked than kiss'd
And back'd his orders with his fist.
Proving by deeds as well as words,
That servants make the worst of lords.



t



She seeks the priest, her ire to wreak,
And speaks as angry women speak.
With tiger looks, and bosom swelling.
Cursing the hour she took his telling.
To all, his calm reply w^as this, —
'' I fear you 've read the bells amiss.
If they have led you wrong in aught.
Your wish, not they, inspired the thought.
Just go, and mark well what they sa5^"
Off trudged the dame upon her waj^.
And sure enough their chime went so, —
*' Don't have that knave, that knave Guillot ! "



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.

^^ Too true," she cried, *' there 's not a doubt :
What could my ears have been about ! "
She had forgot, that, as fools think,
The bell is ever sure to clink.




51



^'



^^'



217



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



^t Stittlj nf SsjiinnjL



[This and the six following poems are examples of that new achievement of
modern song — which, blending the tittle with the dulce, symbolises at once
the practical and spiritual characteristics of the age, — and is called familiarly
" the puff poetical."]



Died the Jew ? ^^ The Hebrew died.

On the pavement cold he lay,
Around him closed the living tide ;

The butcher's cad set down his tray :
The pot-boy from the Dragon Green

jN'o longer for his pewter calls ;
The JS'ereid rushes in between,

i^or more her ^Pine live mackerel!' bawls.'



{



Died the Jew ? ''The Hebrew died.

They raised him gently from the stone.
They flung his coat and neckcloth wide —

But linen had that Hebrew none.
They raised the pile of hats that pressed

His noble head, his locks of snow ;
Eut, ah, that head, upon his breast.

Sank down with an expiring ' Clo ! '



<?ii

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THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



li



Died the Jew ? ^' The Hebrew died,
Struck with overwhelming qualms,

From the flavour spreading wide
Of some fine Virginia Hams.

Would you know the fatal spot,
Fatal to that child of sin ?

These fine-flavoured hams are bought

At 50, BiSHOPSGATE WlTHI]!^ ! "




r



V



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



fm'a nit filk



'T AVAS in the town of Lubeck,

A hundred years ago,
An old man walk'd into the church,

With beard as white as snow ;
Yet were his cheeks not wrinkled,

IS'or dim his eagle eye :
There 's many a knight that steps the street.
Might wonder, should he chance to meet

That man erect and high !



'



When silenced was the organ.

And hush'd the vespers loud,
The Sacristan approached the sire.

And drew him from the crowd—
^' There 's something in thy visage,

On which I dare not look.
And when I rang the passing bell,
A tremor that I may not tell,

My very vitals shook.



i^



^f



220



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



i



^^ Who art thou, awful stranger ?

Our ancient annals say,
That twice two hundred years ago

Another pass'd this way.
Like thee in face and feature ;

And, if the tale be true,
'T is writ, that in this very year
Again the stranger shall appear.

Art thou the Wandering Jew ? "






" The Wandering Jew, thou dotard ! "

The wondrous phantom cried —
'^ 'T is several centuries ago

Since that poor stripling died.
He would not use my nostrums —

See, shaveling, here they are !
These put to flight all human ills.
These conquer death — unfailing pills,

And I 'm the inventor, Paer ! "



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



f.^



€u\\um Mi tliB Itigttr,

GiNGEELT is good King Tarquin shaving,
Gently glides the razor o'er his chin,
JS'ear him stands a grim Haruspex raving,
And with nasal whine he pitches in
Church Extension hints,
Till the monarch squints.
Snicks his chin, and swears — a deadly sin !

''Jove confound thee, thou bare-legg'd impostor!

Prom my dressing-table get thee gone !
Dost thou think my flesh is double Glo'ster ?
There again ! That cut was to the bone !
Get ye from my sight ;
I '11 believe you 're right
When my razor cuts the sharping hone ! "



r



Thus spoke Tarquin with a deal of dryness ;

But the Augur, eager for his fees.
Answered — '' Try it, your Imperial Highness,

Press a little harder, if you please.



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



There ! the deed is done ! "
Through the solid stone
"Went the steel as glibly as through cheese.



¥



So the Augur touch' d the tin of Tarquin,

Who suspected some celestial aid :
But he wronged the blameless Gods ; for hearken !
Ere the monarch's bet was rashly laid,
"With his searching eye
Did the priest espy
EoDGEKs's name engraved upon the blade.





THE BOOK OF BALLADS.






to, Bnrt B'artjiur.

NOT BY ALFRED TENNYSON.

Slowly, as one who bears a mortal hurt,
Through which the fountain of his life runs dry,
Crept good King Arthur down unto the lake.
A roughening wind was bringing in the waves
With cold, dull plash and plunging to the shore.
And a great bank of clouds came sailing up
Athwart the aspect of the gibbous moon,
Leaving no glimpse save starlight, as he sank,
With a short stagger, senseless on the stones.



'No man yet knows how long he lay in swound ;
But long enough it was to let the rust
Lick half the surface of his polished shield ;
Por it was made by far inferior hands
Than forged his helm, his breastplate, and his greaves.
Whereon no canker lighted, for they bore
The magic stamp of Mechi'^ Silver Steel.



M



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



^







M^iin ml i^t SuMoti lit

*^ Take away this clammy nectar !"

Said the king of gods and men ;
'^ JJ^ever at Olympus' table

Let that trash be served again.
Ho, Lyaeus, thou, the beery !

Quick — invent some other drink ;
Or, in a brace of shakes, thou standest

On Cocytus' sulphury brink ! "

Terror shook the limbs of Bacchus,
Paly grew his pimpled nose,



^^^i




THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



,li



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^^'



And already in his rearward

Eelt he Jove's tremendous toes ;

When a bright idea struck him —
'^ Dash my thyrsus ! I '11 be bail —

For you never were in India —

That you know not Hodgson's Ale 1"

'' Ering it !" quoth the Cloud-compeUer ;

And the wine-god brought the beer —
'' Port and Claret are like water

To the noble stuff that's here ! "
And Saturnius drank and nodded,

"Winking with his lightning eyes ;
And amidst the constellations

Did the star of Hodgson rise !



h




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THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



€lip loij nf tjiB iottkFtj lorntliBtg.






Coats at five-and-forty shillings! trousers ten-and-six a

pair!
Summer waistcoats, three a sovereign, light and comfort-
able wear !
Taglionis, black or coloured, Chesterfield and velveteen !
The old English shooting-jacket, — doeskins, such as ne'er

were seen !
Army cloaks and ridingrhabits, Alberts at a trifling cost !
Do you want an annual contract^? "Write to Doudneys'

by the post.
DouDNEY Brothees ! DouDNEY BROTHERS ! Not the men

that drive the van,
Plaster' d o'er with advertisements, heralding some paltr}'

plan,
How, by base mechanic measure, and by pinching of their

backs.
Slim attorneys' clerks may manage to retrieve their

Income-tax :
But the old established business — where the best of

clothes are given
At the very lowest prices — Fleet-street, ]^[umber Mnety-

seven



(i



i



327



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.









Would' st thou know the works of Doudney ? Hie thee to

the thronged Arcade,
To the Park upon a Sunday, to the terrible Parade.
There, amid the bayonets bristling, and the flashing of the

steel,
"When the household troops in squadrons round the bold

field-marshals wheel.
Should' st thou see an aged warrior in a plain blue morning

frock,
Peering at the proud battalion o'er the margin of his stock, —
Should thy throbbing heart then tell thee, that the veteran,

worn and grey,
Curbed the course of Bonaparte, rolled the thunders of

Assaye —
Let it tell thee, stranger, likewise, that the goodly garb

he wears
Started into shape and being from the Doudney Beotheks'

shears !
Seek thou next the rooms of Willis — mark, where

D'Orsay's Count is bending.
See the trousers' undulation from his graceful hip

descending ;
Hath the earth another trouser so compact and love-

compelling ?
Thou canst find it, stranger, only, if thou seek'st the

Dotjdneys' dwelling



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2-28



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""^^"^^^



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



Hark, from Windsor's royal palace, what sweet voice

encliants the ear ?
^^ Goodness, what a lovely waistcoat ? Oh, who made

it, Albert, dear?
'T is the very prettiest pattern ! You must get a dozen

others!"
And the Prince, in rapture, answers — ^' 'T is the work of

DouDis-EY Eeothees ! "



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W^^t^ns " iii~^rn TrrF^



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THE EOOK OF EALLADS.



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l^nriB unit Mtim,



As the youthful Paris presses
Helen to his ivory breast,

Sporting Avith her golden tresses,
Close and ever closer pressed,



He said : *' So let me quaiF the nectar,
Which thy lips of ruby yield ;

Glory I can leave to Hector,
Gathered in the tented field.

" Let me ever gaze upon thee,
Look into thine eyes so deep ;

With a daring hand I won thee,
With a faithful heart I'll keep.



'^ Oh, my Helen, thou bright wonder,
Who was ever like to thee ?

Jove would lay aside his thunder,
So he might be blest like me.



mi




THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



'11



^^ How mine eyes so fondly linger
On thy soft and pearly skin ;

Scan each round and rosy finger,
Drinking draughts of beauty in !

^' Tell me, whence thy beauty, fairest !

Whence thy cheek's enchanting bloom ?
Whence the rosy hue thou wearest.

Breathing round thee rich perfume ? "

Thus he spoke, with heart that panted.
Clasped her fondly to his side,

Gazed on her with look enchanted,
While his Helen thus replied :

'^ Be no discord, love, between us,

If I not the secret tell !
'T was a gift I had of Yenus, —

Venus, who hath loved me well.

'^ And she told me as she gave it,
' Let not e'er the charm be known,

O'er thy person freely lave it.
Only when thou art alone.'

^^ 'Tis enclosed in yonder casket —
Here behold its golden key ;




THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



\:



But its name — ^love, do not ask it,
Tell 't, I may not, even to thee !"

Long with vow and kiss he plied her,
Still the secret did she keep.

Till at length he sank beside her,

Seemed as he had dropped to sleep.

Soon was Helen laid in slumber,
When her Paris, rising slow,

Did his fair neck disencumber

From her rounded arms of snow ;



Then, her heedless fingers oping,
Takes the key and steals away,

To the ebon table groping,

Where the wondrous casket lay;

Eagerly the lid uncloses,

Sees within it, laid aslope.

Peak's Liquid Bloom of Eoses,
Cakes of his Teanspaeekt Soap !



t






THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



Iniig nf tire itniutjL



I 'm weary, and *sick, and disgusted

With Britain's mechanical din ;
Where I 'm much too well known to be trusted,

And plaguily pestered for tin ;
Where love has two eyes for your banker,

And one chiUy glance for yourself ;
Where souls can afford to be franker.

But when they 're well garnished with pelf.



I 'm sick of the whole race of poets,

Emasculate, missy, and fine ;
They brew their small-beer, and don't know its

Distinction from full-bodied wine.
I 'm sick of the prosers, that house up

At drowsy St. Stephen's, — ain't you.^
I want some strong spirits to rouse up

A good revolution or two I



^i




233



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V)



!7



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.

I "m sick of a land, where each morrow

Eepeats the dull tale of to-day,
Where you can 't even find a new sorrow,

To chase your stale pleasures away.
I 'm sick of blue-stockings horrific,

Steam, railroads, gas, scrip, and consols;
So I '11 off where the golden Pacific

Eound islands of paradise rolls.

There the passions shall revel unfettered.

And the heart never speak but in truth,
And the intellect, wholly imlettered.

Be bright with the freedom of youth ;
There the earth can rejoice in her blossoms.

Unsullied by vapour or soot.
And there chimpanzees and opossums

Shall playfully pelt me with fruit.






There I '11 sit with mj dark Orianas,

In groves by the murmuring sea.
And they '11 give, as I suck the bananas.

Their kisses, nor ask them from me.
They '11 never torment me for sonnets,

Kor bore me to death with their own ;
They '11 ask not for shawls nor for bonnets,

Por milliners there are unknown.




234



THE BOOK OF BALLADS.



41]



There my couch shall be earth's freshest flowers,

My curtains the night and the stars,


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Online LibraryTheodore MartinThe book of ballads → online text (page 7 of 9)