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CIV.

Even as a father or some tender friend,

To her at times full gently would he speak,
Smooth her fair clustering locks, and mildly bend

To kiss her ivory forehead or soft cheek,
For greeting or good night.--I don't pretend

To know how he contrived, for many a week,
To keep his heart untouch'd - Alas! poor Blanch,
Thy gentle bosom was not half so staunch.

CV.

Poor bird ! thou art infected-'tis too late

To fly; Love's net has tangled thy sweet wings.
Alas ! 'tis vain to struggle with thy fate;

Thou hast beheld thy last of happy springs.
Sweet Blanch, too surely art thou desolate-

Oh ! for some finer hand to touch my strings !
Oh! for the strains of him who
Of slain Lorenzo and his Isabel !

sung so well

СУІ. .

His name is “ writ in water * ;' but some hearts

There are which treasure yet his youthful lays-
Some eyes to which a transient tear yet starts

At the remembrance of his blighted days,
And great heart broken by curst faction's darts ;-

I'm sorry to perceive that Byron's praise
Is flung upon his dust-shall Keats's fame
Be coupled thus with Wordsworth's slander's name?

* Keats, on being asked, a short time before his death, what should be his epitaph, replied:

“ Here lies one whose name was written in water.

CVII.

But for sweet Blanch-Sir Lonvil's tone and looks

Unwittingly had pierc'd her artless breast; And soon their wonted bloom her cheeks forsook,

And her pale eye-lids were deprived of rest;
Beneath his glance her gentle spirit shook

With love, though scarcely to herself confest;
And still his absent voice was in her ears,
And her lone pillow still was bathed in tears.

CVIII.

Poor little girl! alas, she had no sister

To whom her secret grief she might reveal ;
No mother, whose mild counsel might assist her-

Her pangs in secret was she doom'd to feel';
And now Sir Lonvil's looks, when’er he kiss'd her

(Which was but seldom) pierc'd her heart like steel, They were so cold—for he was not so stupid, As to o'erlook this handy-work of Cupid.

CIX.

Therefore from dangerous talk did he refrain,
And hid the tears which to his

eyes

would start For pity of the love-sick maiden's pain;

For good Sir Lonvil' had a tender heart; Though, as I said before, and say again,

I cau't imagine where he found the art To keep it as he did—unless some spell Lay on his nature—which seems probable.

CX.

O Reader! was it e'er thy sad mischance

To be belov'd, when thou no more wast free
To shrink and quail at Beauty's brightest glance,

Because 'twas brightest when it beam'd on theeTo check each kinder look, each meek advance

Of timorous love, with coldest courtesy-
Yet feel how deep that barbed coldness went ?
And she so youthful and so innocent!

CXI.
If such should ever be thy hapless lot,

I charge thee from her presence quickly fly ;
Begone, while yet there's time, and linger not

To feed the passion of her ear and eye-
Haply, when absent, thou shalt be forgot ;

But if, to glut thy heartless vanity,
Thou triflest with her love—by Heaven, I vow,
There's not on earth a wretch more curs'd than thou.

CXII.
'Tis hard, no doubt, to say farewell for ever,

To one who loves you, though you love not her, 'Tis hard your wandering eyes from her's to sever:

But curb your inclinations, or you'll err. The following couplet is profound and clever,

(Your Poet's still the best Philosopher) Και μη δοκώμεν, δρώντες & *ν ηδώμεθα, Ουκ αντιτίσειν αύθις αν λυπώμεθα. .

CXIII.
These lines are taken out of Sophocles*,

Be not alarm’d, fair ladies; all that's meant
Is, that if once you do whate'er you please,

You're sure to have good reason to repent.
I think it right to state such facts as these,

For fear some honest Grecian should invent
A meaning for the lines that's false or strain'd,
When ladies come to have the Greek explain'd.

CXIV.
But to proceed. When Blanch's father knew

The love his daughter to Sir Lonvil bore,
(Though sore her strife to hide from outward view

The wound that rankled at her young heart's core) Pale, on a sudden, and enraged he grew,

And angrily he bade her seek no more The orchard-cottage, and in secret curst Sir Lonvil, and the hour he came there first.

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* Ajax, 1085-5.

CXV.

So, the poor maiden, to her thoughts confined,

And to the grief that on her heart did press, In a perpetual sadness droop'd and pined,

Wasting in tears her youthful loveliness; Stricken she seem'd in body and in mind,

And those who look'd into her eyes might guess Her days on earth were number'd ;-thus she waned To death, yet never, save with tears, complain’d.

CXVI.

And every day her wasted cheek grew paler,

And dimmer, every day, her eye became; And the sweet music of her voice did fail her,

And her light footstep was no more the same. The neighbours deem'd no natural grief could ail her,

And swore Sir Lonvil had bewitch'd her brain ; 'Twas true Sir Lonvil had bewitch'd her,—not Her body, but her soul, which they forgot.

CXVII.

As for Sir Lonvil, he was glad to see

That she return'd no more, --he felt 'twas wise; Though he oft miss'd her gentle company,

And now would sometimes think of her with sighs, Recalling to his wakeful memory

Her voice so touching, and her love-sick eyes ;
And yet Sir Lonvil still was fancy-free,
Which really is most wonderful to me.

CXVIII.
Meanwhile, Sir Lonvil's purse began to dwindle

To very small dimensions, yet, the more »
It shrank, the more his heart appear'd to kindle

With pity for each beggar at his door ;
The Fates for him had turn’d their darkest spindle;

He gave, and gave, until his scanty store Was spent, and he was fairly in distress, Without a sixpence,-lone and comfortless.

CXIX.
The country-people, when his bounties ceas'd

To flow as they were wont, and they could hope No longer at his cost to drink and feast,

Gave to their fancies and their tongues full scope. 'Twas said, that all his demons were released

By a new bull just issued by the Pope ; And next, 'twas clearly proved, beyond denial, The devil was come to take him off to trial.

CXX.

'Twas thought a shame that he'd been thus permitted

To deal, as he'd long dealt, in charms and spells, By which so many tradesmen he'd outwitted,

Enough to doom him to ten thousand hells ; Then poor Miss Blanch was sadly to be pitied ;

You know she was the pink of country belles, Till he bewitch'd her with his cursed magic;— 'Twas fear'd her end would be extremely tragic.

CXXI.

The rumour of Sir Lonvil's ruin spread,

Like wildfire, through the town, and young and old Supp'd upon scandal till they surfeited;

But when to Blanch the heary news was told By some kind gossip, she uprais'd her head,

As if despair, at length, had made her bold; She felt that sorrow must kill her, but He, Oh! must he die for very poverty ?

CXXII.

And she, as she well knew, had gold, and land,

And flocks and herds, and jewels rich and gay, (Her mother's legacy,) which, with her hand,

Should be bestow'd upon her wedding-day. . But she--as any fool might understand

To Death in marriage now was given away; So why should not her store relieve the dearth Of the one creature whom she loved on earth.

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