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With thee were the dreams of my earliest love ;
Every thought of my reason was thine :
In my last humble prayer to the Spirit above
Thy name shall be mingled with mine!
Oh! blest are the lovers and friends who shall live
The days of thy glory to see ;
But the next dearest blessing that Heaven can give
Is the pride of thus dying for thee.
THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN NOORE
Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corpse to the rampart we hurried ; Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning ;
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light
And the lantern dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him ; But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him. Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow ; But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow. We thought, as we hollow'd his narrow bed
And smoothed down his lonely pillow, That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his
head, And we far away on the billow ! Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him,But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring : And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing. Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory ; We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone, But we left him alone with his glory.
SIMON LEE THE OLD HUNTSMAN
In the sweet shire of Cardigan,
Not far from pleasant Ivor Hall,
An old man dwells, a little man,
'Tis said he once was tall.
Full five-and-thirty years he lived
A running huntsman merry ;
And still the centre of his cheek
Is red as a ripe cherry.
No man like him the horn could sound,
And hill and valley rang with glee,
When Echo bandied, round and round,
The halloo of Simon Lee.
In those proud days he little cared
For husbandry or tillage ;
To blither tasks did Simon rouse
The sleepers of the village.
He all the country could outrun,
Could leave both man and horse behind;
And often, ere the chase was done,
lle reel'd and was stone-blind.
And still there's something in the world
At which his heart rejoices;
For when the chiming hounds are out,
IIe dearly loves their voices.
But oh the heavy change !—bereft
Of health, strength, friends and kindred, see !
Old Simon to the world is left
In liveried poverty :-
His master's dead, and no one now
Dwells in the Hall of Ivor ;
Men, dogs, and horses, all are dead;
He is the sole survivor.
And he is lean and he is sick,
His body, dwindled and awry,
Rests upon ankles swoln and thick ;
His legs are thin and dry.
One prop he has, and only one, --
His wife, an aged woman,
Lives with him, near the waterfall,
Upon the village common.
Beside their moss-grown hut of clay,
Not twenty paces from the door,
A scrap of land they have, but they
Are poorest of the poor.
This scrap of land he from the heath
Enclosed when he was stronger ;
But what to them avails the land
Which he can till no longer ?
Oft, working by her husband's side,
Ruth does what Simon cannot do ;
For she, with scanty cause for pride,
Is stouter of the two.
And, though you with your utmost skill
From labour could not wean them,
'Tis little, very little, all
That they can do between them.
Few months of life has he in store
As he to you will tell,
For still, the more he works, the more
Do his weak ankles swell.
My gentle Reader, I perceive
How patiently you've waited,
And now I fear that you expect
Some tale will be related.
O Reader ! had you in your mind
Such stores as silent thought can bring,
O gentle Reader ! you would find
A tale in every thing.
What more I have to say is short,
And you must kindly take it :
It is no tale ; but, should you think,
Perhaps a tale you'll make it.
One summer-day I chanced to see
This old Man doing all he could
To unearth the root of an old tree,
A stump of rotten wood.
The mattock totter'd in his hand;
So vain was his endeavour
That at the root of the old tree
He might have work'd for ever.
“You're overtask’d, good Simon Lee,
Give me your tool,' to him I said ;
And at the word right gladly he
Received my proffer'd aid.
I struck, and with a single blow
The tangled root I sever'd,
At which the poor old man so long
And vainly had endeavour'd.
The tears into his eyes were brought,
And thanks and praises seem'd to run
So fast out of his heart, I thought
They never would have done.
-I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deed
With coldness still returning ;
Alas! the gratitude of men
Hath oftener left me mourning.
CCLXIV THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES I have had playmates, I have had companions, In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days; All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I have been laughing, I have been carousing, Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies ; All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I loved a Love once, fairest among women :
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her--
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man :
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly ;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.
Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood,
Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.
Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar f.ices,
How some they have died, and some they have left
And some are taken from me ; all are departed ;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
THE JOURNEY ONIVARDS
As slow our ship her foamy track
Against the wind was cleaving,
Her trembling pennant still look'd back
To that dear isle 'twas leaving.
So loth we part from all we love,
From all the links that bind us ;
So turn our hearts, as on we rove,
To those we've left behind us !
When, round the bowl, of vanish'd years
We talk with joyous seeming-
With smiles that might as well be tears,
So faint, so sad their beaming ;