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From dawn to the blush of another day,
Through its beautiful banks in a trance of song. 5. Though forced to drudge for the dregs of men,
And scrawl strange words with the barbarous pen,
-William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878). WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING.
1. I heard a thousand blended notes
While in a grove I sat reclined,
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
The human soul that through me ran;
What Man has made of Man. 3. Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
Enjoys the air it breathes.
Their thoughts I cannot measure-
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
To catch the breezy air;
That there was pleasure there.
If such be Nature's holy plan,
--William Wordsworth (1770—1850). CHARLES II. IN THE OAK TREE.
AFTER THE BATTLE OF WORCESTER, 1651.
1. When the darkness of the night was over, after the king had cast himself into that wood, he discerned another man who had gotten upon an oak in the same wood near the place where the king had rested himself, and had slept soundly. The man upon the tree had first seen the king and knew him and came down to him and was known to the king, being a gentleman of the neighbour county of Staffordshire, who had served his late majesty during the war and had now been one of the few who resorted to the king after his coming to Worcester.
2. His name was Careless, who had had a command of foot, about the degree of a captain under the Lord Loughborough. He persuaded the king, since it could not be safe for him to go out of the wood, and since as soon as it should be fully light the wood itself would probably be visited by those of the country, who would be searching to find those whom they might make prisoners, that he would get up into that tree where he had been, where the boughs were so thick with leaves that a man would not be discovered there without a narrower inquiry than people usually make in places which they do not suspect.
3. The king thought it good counsel, and, with the other's help, climbed into the tree, and then helped his companion to ascend after him, where they sat all that day, and securely saw many who came purposely into the wood to look after them, and heard all their discourse, how they would use the king himself if they could take him. This wood was either in or upon the borders of Staffordshire; and though there was a highway near one side of it, where the king had entered into it, yet it was large, and all other sides of it opened amongst inclosures, and Careless was not unacquainted with the neighbouring villages; and it was part of the king's good fortune that this gentleman, by being a Roman Catholic, was acquainted with those of that profession of all degrees, who had the best opportunities of concealing him; for it must never be denied, that some of that religion had a very great share in his majesty's preservation.
4. The day being spent in the tree, it was not in the king's power to forget that he had lived two days with eating very little, and two nights with as little sleep; so that, when the night came, he was willing to make some provision for both; and he resolved, with the advice and assistance of his companion, to leave his blessed tree; and when the night was dark they walked through the wood into those inclosures which were farthest from any highway, and making a shift to get over hedges and ditches, after walking at least eight or nine miles, which were the more grievous to the king by the weight of his boots (for he could not put them off when he cut off his hair, for want of shoes), before morning they came to a poor cottage, the owner whereof, being a Roman Catholic, was known to Careless. He was called up, and as soon as he knew one of them, he easily concluded in what condition they both were, and presently carried them into a little barn full of hay, which was a better lodging than he had for himself.
5. But when they were there, and had conferred with their host of the news and temper of the country, it was agreed that the danger would be the greater if they stayed together; and, therefore that Careless should presently be gone, and should, within two days, send an honest man to the king, to guide him to some other place
of security; and in the meantime his majesty should stay upon the hay-mow. The poor man had nothing for him to eat, but promised him good butter-milk; and so he was once more left alone, his companion, how weary soever, departing from him before day, the poor man of the house knowing no more than that he was a friend of the captain's, and one of those who had escaped from Worcester.
6. The king slept very well in his lodging till the time that his host brought him a piece of bread and a great pot of butter-milk, which he thought the best food he ever had eaten.
The poor man spoke very intelligently to him of the country, and of the people who were well or ill affected to the king, and of the great fear and terror that possessed the hearts of those who were best affected. He told him that he himself lived by his daily labour, and that what he had brought him, was the fare he and his wife had; and that he feared, if he should endeavour to procure better, it might draw suspicion upon him, and people might be apt to think he had somebody with him that was not of his own family. However, if he would have him get some meat, he would do it; but if he could bear this hard diet, he should have enough of the milk and some of the butter that was made with it. The king was satisfied with his reason and would not run the hazard for a change of diet; desired only the man “that he might have his company as often and as much as he could give it him;" there being the same reason against the poor man's discontinuing his labour as the alteration of his fare.
7. After he had rested upon this hay-mow and fed upon this diet two days and two nights, in the evening before the third night, another fellow, a little above the condition of his host, came to the house, sent from Care