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CVII

FAIR HELEN
I wish I were where Helen lies;
Night and day on me she cries;
O that I were where Helen lies

On fair Kirconnell lea!
Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,

And died to succour me !
O think na but my heart was sair
When my Love dropt down and spak nae mair!
I laid her down wi' meikle care

On fair Kirconnell lea.
As I went down the water-side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,

On fair Kirconnell lea;
I lighted down my sword to draw,
I hackéd him in pieces sma',
I hacked him in pieces sma',

For her sake that died for me.

F
O Helen fair, beyond compare !
I'll make a garland of thy hair
Shall bind my heart for evermair

Until the day I die.
O that I were where Helen lies !
Night and day on me she cries ;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,

Says, 'Haste and come to me!'
O Helen fair! O Helen chaste !
If I were with thee, I were blest,
Where thou lies low and takes thy rest

On fair Kirconnell lea.

I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn ower my een,
And I in Helen's arms lying,

On fair Kirconnell lea.
I wish I were where Helen lies:
Night and day on me she cries ;
And I am weary of the skies,
Since my Love died for me.

Anon.

CVIII

THE TWA CORBIES

As I was walking all alane I heard twa corbies making a mane; The tane unto the t'other say, * Where sall we gang and dine today?' '-In behint yon auld fail dyke, I wot there lies a new-slain Knight; And naebody kens that he lies there,

But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair. · His hound is to the hunting gane, His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame, His lady's ta'en another mate, So we may mak our dinner sweet. "Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,

And I'll pick out his bonny blue een :
Wi' ae lock o' his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.
Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane ;
O’er his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair.

Anon.

CIX

TO BLOSSOMS Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,

Why do ye fall so fast ?

Your date is not so past,' But you may stay yet here awhile To blush and gently smile,

And go at last. What, were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight,

And so to bid good-night?
'Twas pity Nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,

And lose you quite.
But you are lovely leaves, where we

May read how soon things have

Their end, though ne'er so brave : And after they have shown their pride Like you, awhile, they glide Into the grave.

R. Herrick

CX
TO DAFFODILS
Fair Daffodils, we weep to see

You haste away so soon :
As yet the early-rising Sun
Has not attain'd his noon.

Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day

Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we

Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,

We have as short a Spring ;
As quick a growth to meet decay

As you, or any thing.

We die,

As your hours do, and dry

Away

Like to the Summer's rain ;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew
Ne'er to be found again.

R. Herrick

CXI THOUGHTS IN A GARDEN How vainly men themselves amaze To win the palm, the oak, or bays, And their incessant labours see Crown'd from some single herb or tree, Whose short and narrow-vergéd shade Does prudently their toils upbraid ; While all the flowers and trees do close To weave the garlands of Repose. Fair Quiet, have I found thee here, And Innocence thy sister dear ? Mistaken long, I sought you then In busy companies of men : Your sacred plants, if here below, Only among the plants will grow : Society is all but rude To this delicious solitude. No white nor red was ever seen So amorous as this lovely green. Fond lovers, cruel as their flame, Cut in these trees their mistress' name : Little, alas, they know or heed How far these beauties her exceed ! Fair trees! where'er your barks I wound, No name shall but your own be found.

When we have run our passion's heat
Love hither makes his best retreat :
The gods, who mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race :
Apollo hunted Daphne so
Only that she might laurel grow :
And Pan did after Syrinx speed
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.
What wondrous life is this I lead !
Ripe apples drop about my head ;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find ;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.

Here at the fountain's sliding foot
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside
My soul into the boughs does glide ;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.

Such was that happy Garden-state
While man there walk'd without a mate :
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet !
But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there :

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