Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

In March, December, and in July,

'Tis all the same with Harry Gill; The neighbors tell, and tell you truly,

His teeth they chatter, chatter still. At night, at morning, and at noon,

'Tis all the same with Harry Gill Beneath the sun, beneath the moon,

His teeth they chatter, chatter still!

Young Harry was a lusty drover;

And who so stout of limb as he? His cheeks were red as ruddy clover ;

His voice was like the voice of three. Now Goody Blake was old and poor ;

Ill fed she was, and thinly clad; And any man who passed her door

Might see how poor a hut she had.

All day she spun in her poor dwelling,

And then her three hours' work at night, Alas! 'twas hardly worth the telling;

It would not pay for candle-light. Remote from sheltering village green,

On a hill's north side she dwelt, Where from sea-blasts the hawthorns lean,

And the white frosts are slow to melt.

By the same fire to boil their pottage,
Two

poor old dames, as I have known, Will often live in one small cottage;

But she, poor woman! housed alone. 'Twas well enough when summer came —

The long, warm, lightsome summer day; Chen at her door the canty dame

Would sit as any linnet gay.

But when the ice our streams did fetter,

0, then how her old bones would shake! You would have said, if you had met her,

'Twas a hard time for Goody Blake. Her evenings then were dull and dead;

Sad case it was, as you may think, For very cold to go to bed,

And then for cold not sleep a wink

O joy for her! whene'er, in winter,

The winds at night had made a rout, And scattered many a lusty splinter,

And many a rotten bough about. Yet never had she, well or sick,

As every man who knew her says, A pile beforehand, turf or stick,

Enough to warm her for three days.

Now, when the frost was past enduring,

And made her poor old bones to ache, Could any thing be more alluring

Then an old hedge to Goody Blake? And, now and then, it must be said,

When her old bones were cold and chill, She left her fire, or left her bed,

To seek the hedge of Harry Gill.

Now Harry he had long suspected

This trespass of old Goody Blake, And vowed that she should be detected,

And he on her would vengeance take
And oft from his warm fire he'd

go,
And to the fields his road would take,
And there, at night, in frost and snow,
He watched to seize old Goody Blake.

33.

And once behind a rick of barley,

Thus looking out did Harry stand;
The moon was full, and shining clearly,

And crisp with frost the stubble land.
He hears a noise he's all awake

Again! on tiptoe down the hill
He softly creeps — 'Tis Goody Blake;

She's at the hedge of Harry Gill!

Right glad was he when he beheld her;

Stick after stick did Goody pull ; He stood behind a bush of elder, Till she had filled her

apron

full. When with her load she turned about,

The by-road back again to take, He started forward with a shout,

And sprang upon poor Goody Blake.

And fiercely by the arm he took her,

And by the arm he held her fast, And fiercely by the arm he shook her,

And cried, “ I've caught you then at last!' Then Goody, who had nothing said,

Her bundle from her lap let fall;
And, kneeling on the sticks, she prayed

To God, that is the Judge of all.

She prayed, her withered hand uprearing

While Harry held her by the arm God! who art never out of hearing,

O, may he never more be warm!” The cold, cold moon above her head,

Thus on her knees did Goody pray; Young Harry heard what she had said,

And icy cold he turned away.

He went complaining all the morrow

That he was cold and very chill ;
His face was gloom, his heart was sorrow;

Alas that day for Harry Gill !
That day he wore a riding-coat,

But not a whit the warmer he;
Another was on Thursday brought,

And ere the Sabbath he had three.

'Twas all in vain, a useless matter,

And blankets were about him pinned;
Yet still his jaws and teeth they clatter

Like a loose casement in the wind.
And Harry's flesh it fell away;

And all who see him say 'tis plain,
That, live as long as live he may,

He never will be warm again.

No word to any man he utters,

Abed or up, to young or old;
But ever to himself he mutters,

“Poor Harry Gill is very cold.”
Abed or up, by night or day,

His teeth they chatter, chatter still.
Now think, ye farmers all, I pray,
Of Goody Blake and Harry Gill.

WORDSWORTH

137. On the Life and Character of Lafayette.

LEGISLATORS OF The North American CONFEDERATE UNION : The record of the life of Gilbert Motier de Lafayette is the delineation of his character. Consider him as one human being of one thousand millions, his contemporaries on the surface of the terraqueous globe. Among that thousand millions, seek for an object of comparison with him; assume for the standard of comparison all the virtues which exalt the character of man above that of the brute creation; take the ideal man, little lower than the angels; mark the qualities of the mind and heart which entitle him to this station of preëminence in the scale of created beings, and inquire who, that lived in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of the Christian era, combined in himself so many of those qualities, so little alloyed with those which belong to that earthly vesture of decay in which the immortal spirit is enclosed, as Lafayette.

Pronounce him one of the first men of his age, and you have yet not done him justice. Turn back your eyes upon the records of time, - summon, from the creation of the world to this day, the mighty dead of every age and every clime, - and where, among the race of merely mortal men, shall one be found, who, as the benefactor of his kind, shall claim to take precedence of Lafayette ?

There have doubtless been, in all ages men whose discoveries or inventions, in the world of matter or of mind, hare opened new avenues to the dominion of man over the material creation; increased his means or his faculties of enjoyment; have raised him in nearer approximation to that higher and happier condition, the object of his hopes and aspirations in his present state of existence.

Lafayette discovered no new principle of politics or of morals. He invented nothing in science. He disclosed no new phenomenon in the laws of nature. He devoted himself, his life, his fortune, his hereditary honors, his towering ambition, his splendid hopes, all to the cause of Liberty. He came to another hemisphere to defend her. He became one of the most effective champions of our independence; but, that once achieved, he returned to his own country and thenceforward took no part in the controversies which have divided us. In the events of our revolution, and in the forms of policy which we have adopted for the establish

« VorigeDoorgaan »