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Nor, though it wake thy sorrow, deem
My verse intrudes on this sad theme;
For sacred was the pen that wrote,
“ Thy father's friend forget thou not:”
And grateful title may I plead,
For many a kindly word and deed,
To bring my tribute to his grave :-
'Tis little—but 'tis all I have.
To thee, perchance, this rambling strain Recals our summer walks again ; When doing nought,-and, to speak true, Not anxious to find ought to do,The wild unbounded bills we ranged; While oft our talk its topic changed, And desultory, as our way, Ranged unconfined from grave to gay. Even when it flagged, as oft will chance, No effort made to break its trance, We could right pleasantly pursue Our sports, in social silence too.
Thou gravely labouring to pourtray
The blighted oak’s fantastic spray ;
I spelling o’er, with much delight,
The legend of that antique knight,
Tirante by name, ycleped the White.
At either's feet a trusty squire,
Pandour and Camp, with eyes of fire,
Jealous, each others motions viewed,
And scarce suppressed their ancient feud.
The laverock whistled from the cloud;
The stream was lively, but not loud;
From the white-thorn the May-flower shed
Its dewy fragrance round our head:
Not Ariel lived more merrily
Under the blossom’d bough, than we.
And blithsome nights, too, have been ours, When Winter stript the summer's bowers ; Careless we heard, what now I hear, The wild blast sighing deep and drear,
When fires were bright, and lamps beamed gay,
And ladies tuned the lovely lay ;
And he was held a laggard soul,
Who shun’d to quaff the sparkling bowl.
Then he, whose absence we deplore,
Who breathes the gales of Devon's shore,
The longer missed, bewailed the more ;
And thou, and I, and dear-loved R-
And one whose name I may not say,--
For not Mimosa's tender tree
Shrinks sooner from the touch than he,
In merry chorus, well combined,
With laughter drowned the whistling wind.
Mirth was within ; and Care without
Might gnaw her nails to hear our shout.
Not but amid the buxom scene
Some grave discourse might intervene
Of the good horse that bore him best,
His shoulder, hoof, and arching crest :
For like mad Tom's, our chiefest care,
Was horse to ride, and weapon wear.
Such nights we've had, and though the game
Of manhood be more sober tame,
And though the field-day, or the drill,
Seem less important now-yet still
Such may we hope to share again.
The sprightly thought inspires my strain ;
And mark, how like a horseman true,
Lord Marmion's march I thus renew.