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Old Servant in the Family of Sir Francis
SERVANT. ONE summer night Sir Francis, as it chanced, Was pacing to and fro in the avenue That westward fronts our house, Among those aged oaks, said to have been
planted Three hundred years ago By a peighb'ring prior of the Fairford name. Being o'er-task'd in thought, he heeded not The importunate suit of one who stood by the
And begged an alms.
witchcraft, She looked at him as one that meant to blast
him, And with a frightful noise, ('Twas partly like a woman's voice, And partly like the hissing of a snake,) She nothing said but this :(Sir Francis told the words)
A mischief, mischief, mischief, And a nine-times-killing curse, By day and by night, to the caitif wight, Who shakes the poor like snakes from his door,
And shuts up the womb of his purse,
And still she cried
A mischief, And a nine-fold-withering curse : For that shall come to thee that will undo thee,
Both all that thou fearest and worse.
So saying, she departed,
the nursing And sure I think He bore his death-wound like a little child; With such rare sweetness of dumb melancholy He strove to clothe his agony in smiles, Which he would force up in his poor pale cheeks, Like ill-timed guests that had no proper dwelling
And, when they asked him his complaint, he
SERVANT. All this and more at her death.
STRANGER. I do not love to credit tales of magic. Heaven's music, which is Order, seems unstrung, And this brave world (The mystery of God) unbeautified, Disorder'd, marr'd, where such strange things