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THE FORCE OF PRAYER;
OR, THE FOUNDING OF BOLTON PRIORY.

A Tradition.
“What is good for a bootless bene?

With these dark words begins my tale ; And their meaning is, Whence can comfort spring

When prayer is of no avail ?
“ What is good for a bootless bene ?”

The falconer to the lady said ;
And she made answer, “ Endless sorrow !”

For she knew that her son was dead.
She knew it by the falconer's words,

And from the look of the falconer's eye ;
And from the love which was in her soul

For her youthful Romilly.
Young Romilly through Barden woods

Is ranging high and low;
And holds a greyhound in a leash

To let slip on buck or doe.
The pair have reached that fearful chasm,

How tempting to bestride!
For lordly Wharf is there pent in

With rocks on either side.
This striding place is called the Strid,

A name which it took of yore :

THE FORCE OF PRAYER.

31

A thousand years it hath borne that name,

And shall a thousand more.

And hither is young Romilly come,

And what may now forbid
That he, perhaps for the hundredth time,

Shall bound across THE STRID?
He sprang in glee,—for what cared he
That the river was strong and the rocks were

steep ?But the greyhound in the leash hung back,

And check'd him in his leap. The boy is in the arms of Wharf,

And strangled by a merciless force, For never more was young Romilly seen,

Till he rose a lifeless corse.

Now there is stillness in the vale,

And deep, unspeaking sorrow : Wharf shall be to pitying hearts

A name more sad than Yarrow,
If for a lover the lady wept,

A solace she might borrow
From Death and from the passion of Death,-

Old Wharf might heal her sorrow.
She weeps not for the wedding-day,

Which was to be to-morrow;
Her hope was a further-looking hope,

And hers is a mother's sorrow.

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He was a tree that stood alone,

And proudly did its branches wave ;
And the root of this delightful tree

Was in her husband's grave!
Long, long in darkness did she sit,

And her first words were, “Let there be
In Bolton, on the field of Wharf,

A stately priory.
The stately priory was reared ;

And Wharf, as he moved along,
To matins joined a mournful voice,

Nor failed at even-song.
And the lady prayed in heaviness

That looked not for relief ;
But slowly did her succour come,

And a patience to her grief.
Oh, there is never sorrow of heart

That shall lack a timely end,
If but to God we turn, and ask

Of Him to be our Friend!

WORDSWORTH.

THE RAINBOW. Still young and fine! but what is still in view We slight as old and soiled though fresh and new; How bright wert thou when Shem's admiring eye Thy burning flaming arch did first descry;

SWEET SOUNDS.

33 When Zerah, Nahor, Haran, Abram, Lot, The youthful world's grey fathers, in one knot Did with intentive looks watch every hour For thy new light, and trembled at each shower. When thou dost shine, darkness looks white and

fair, Forms turn to music, clouds to smiles and air; Rain gently spends his honey-drops, and pours Balm on the cleft earth, milk on grass and flowers.

Bright pledge of peace and sunshine! the sure tie Of thy Lord's hand, the object of His eye! When I behold thee, though my light be dim, Distant and low, I can in thine see Him Who looks upon thee from His glorious throne, And minds the covenant betwixt all and one.

HENRY VAUGHAN.

SWEET SOUNDS.
AROUND, around flew each sweet sound,

Then darted to the sun;
Slowly the sounds came back again,

Now mixed, now one by one.
Sometimes a-dropping from the sky

I heard the skylark sing ;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seem'd to fill the sea and air

With their sweet jargoning !

34

THE PIG.
And now 'twas like all instruments,

Now like a lonely flute,
And now it is an angel's song,
3. That makes the heavens be mute.
It ceased ; yet still the sails made on

A pleasant noise till noon-
A noise like of a hidden brook

In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night

Singeth a quiet tune.

CONCLUSION. Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell

To thee, thou wedding guest; He prayeth well who loveth well

Both man and bird and beast :
He prayeth best who loveth best

All things both great and small ;
For the dear God, who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.

COLERIDGE. (Ancient Mariner.)

THE PIG.

A colloquial Poem.
Jacob, I do not love to see thy nose
Turu'd up in scornful curve at yonder pig.
It would be well, my friend, if we like him

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