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Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away;
And every dog his day.
When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown;
And all the wheels run down;
The spent and maimed among :
THE HIGH TIDE ON THE COAST OF
LINCOLNSHIRE (1571) The old mayor climbed the belfry tower,
The ringers ran by two, by three; 'Pull, if ye never pulled before;
Good ringers, pull your best,' quoth he. 'Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells ! Ply all your changes, all your swells,
Play uppe “The Brides of Enderby." ;
Men say it was a stolen tyde
The Lord that sent it, He knows all; But in myne ears doth still abide
The message that the bells let fall : And there was naught of strange, beside The flight of mews and peewits pied
By millions crouched on the old sea wall.
I sat and spun within the doore,
My thread brake off, I raised myne eyes; The level sun, like ruddy ore,
Lay sinking in the barren skies;
And dark against day's golden death
*Cusha ! Cusha ! Cusha !' calling,
'Cusha ! Cusha ! Cusha !' calling,
From the clovers lift your head;
Jetty, to the milking shed.'
If it be long, aye, long ago,
When I beginne to think howe long,
Swift as an arrowe, sharp and strong;
Alle fresh the level pasture lay,
And not a shadowe mote be seene, Save where full fyve good miles away
The steeple towered from out the greene;
And lo! the great bell farre and wide
The swanherds where their sedges are
Moved on in sunset's golden breath,
And my sonne's wife, Elizabeth;
Then some looked uppe into the sky,
And all along where Lindis flows To where the goodly vessels lie,
And where the lordly steeple shows. They sayde, 'And why should this thing be? What danger lowers by land or sea ? They ring the tune of Enderby! 'For evil news from Mablethorpe,
Of pyrate galleys warping down; For shippes ashore beyond the scorpe,
They have not spared to wake the towne: But while the west bin red to see, And storms be none, and pyrates flee, Why ring “The Brides of Enderby”?'
I looked without, and lo! my sonne
Came riding downe with might and main : He raised a shout as he drew on,
Till all the welkin rang again, ‘Elizabeth! Elizabeth!' (A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.)
“The olde sea wall (he cried) is downe,
The rising tide comes on apace, And boats adrift in younder towne
Go sailing uppe the market-place.'
He shook as one that looks on death:
'Good sonne, where Lindis winds away,
With her two bairns I marked her long;
Afar I heard her milking song.'
For, lo ! along the river's bed
And uppe the Lindis raging sped.
And rearing Lindis backward pressed
Shook all her trembling bankes amaine; Then madly at the eygre's breast
Flung.uppe her weltering walls again. Then bankes came downe with ruin and routThen beaten foam flew round about, Then all the mighty floods were out.
So farre, so fast the eygre drave,
The heart had hardly time to beat,
Sobbed in the grasses at oure feet :
Upon the rocfe we sate that night,
The noise of bells went sweeping by: I marked the lofty beacon light
Stream from the church tower, red and high
A lurid mark and dread to see;
They rang the sailor lads to guide
From roofe to roofe who fearless rowed;
And yet the ruddy beacon glowed:
And didst thou visit him no more?
Thou didst, thou didst, my daughter deare; The waters laid thee at his doore,
Ere yet the early dawn was clear. Thy pretty bairns in fast embrace, The lifted sun shone on thy face, Downe drifted to thy dwelling-place.
That flow strewed wrecks about the grass,
That ebbe swept oụt the flocks to sea; A fatal ebbe and flow, alas!
To manye more than myne and mee: But each will mourn his own (she saith), And sweeter woman ne'er drew breath Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.
I shall never hear her more