图书图片
PDF
ePub

The farmer's Daughter.

BY THE REV. JOAN MITFORD.

N Debens bank, our little farm

Smil'd sweetly from its sylvan nook,
And trees and blooming orchards kept it warm,

And we drew water from a silver brook.
My days were soft and bright as dew-
A happier little thing, I never knew-

A mother's love-than Margaret Drew.
Well could I read and write, and use

My shining needle, seldom still;
My mother would not let me lose
My time in idleness which leads to ill.

Plain was my dress, and neat and clean,
And tidily my clothes I kept,

And ever, when I went to bed

I heard my mother's gentle tread,
Kissing me gently as I slept.
Along my chamber still I set
Pots of sweet flowers and mignionette,
And 'mid my combs, and pins, and brushes there,
And little trinkets for my hair,

I always kept,
Before I slept,

The lessons of my book of prayer.
And lesson good my heart receives,
From Bernard Barton's golden leaves.
Sometimes, by way of company,

The good old vicar came to tea,

Crossing the pleasant meads and lea
In his black dress—and talk'd to me;
And ever, though it snow'd or rain'd,
And my little kid boots were sadly stained,
I walk'd to church, over field and stile;

And with my prayer-book in my hand,

How often lingering would I stand, Reading the gravestones with a thoughtful smile.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

.

We kept no maid, and I had much to do;

A farm house is a very busy place; I milk'd, and churned, and baked, and learned to brew,

And ever with a cheerful heart and face,
Laughing, and went about my work, and singing,
And ever from my dear, dear mother bringing,

A duty or a grace.
Oh, 'twas a happy time indeed;

So much to learn, to love, to do,
I taught my little sisters how to read,
I help'd my father in his need,

And got our world of business through,
I kissed, I nursed, I dressed, I fed,
I rocked the baby in his little bed.
Then my

reward at evening came, -
A countless, countless throng of blisses
When at leisure or at ease,
Sitting on my mother's knees,
With something betwixt smiles and sighs,-
She looked as 'twere into my eyes,

And smothered all my cheek with kisses :
And ever, when I went to rest,

I prayed upon my mother's breast.
A plain good man my

father was, A good God-fearing man was he;

Buying and selling he was just-
A market man would take his trust;

He counted gold to be as dust,
Compared to honesty.
Our home, our little sylvan home,

Was cheerful as a hive of bees;
No gossips and no scandal came,
To set our neighbourhood in a flame;

No idle sauntering slatterns there;
No old maids with their mouths like purses,
Squeezing out compliments like curses;

Like night owls, who, their flight to smother,
Look one way and fly another

Disturb’d our purer air.
We lived in fear of God; and mind-
Fill'd with love to human kind.
The beggar rever from our door

Turned without his crust of bread;

And many were there who were fed From out our little store.

My father said that gold to all

Was either honey or was gall; Wealth ill to get or ill to save, From life its living virtue stole,

the victory to the graveTo death, the human soul.

It gave

[graphic]

Feuds of the Olden Times.

“Then Roderick from the Douglas broke,
As flashes flame through sable smoke,
Kindling its wreaths, long, dark, and low,
To one broad glare of ruddy glow.
With stalwart grasp, his hand he placed
On Malcom's breast and belted plaid;
"Back beardless boy !' he sternly said.
Thus as they strove, their desperate hand
Gripped to the dagger or the the brand,
And death nad been, but Douglas rose,
And thrust between the struggling foes
His giant strength; •Chieftain, forego!

I hold the first who strikes, my foe.'
“Sullen and slowly they unclasp,
As struck with shame, their desperate grasp,
And each upon his rival glared,
With foot advanced and blade half bared ;
But ere the brands aloft were flung,
Margaret on Roderick's mantle hung;
Then Roderick plunged in sheath his sword,

And veil'd his wrath in scornful word.”
Lady of the Lake, Canto II.

Scott.

N the early times of all nations, particularly at the period in which rude clans formed the component parts of a country, feuds and fighting were looked upon as necessary

ingredients to the community. The powerful chieftains of fierce tribes saw in them a field for noble excitement, for aggrandisement, or for valorous display. In

[ocr errors]
« 上一页继续 »