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There with the scraps of songs, and laugh, and tale,
He lightens annual toil, while merry ale
Goes round, and glads some old man's heart to praise
The threadbare customs of his early days :
How the high bowl was in the middle set
At breakfast-time, when clippers yearly met,
Filld full of furmety, where dainty swum
The streaking sugar and the spotting plum.
The maids could never to the table bring
The bowl, without one rising from the ring
To lend a hand; who, if 'twere ta'en amiss,
Would sell his kindness for a stolen kiss.
The large stone pitcher in its homely trim,
And clouded pint-horn with its copper rim,
Were there; from which were drunk, with spirits high,
Healths of the best the cellar could supply;
While sung the ancient swains, in uncouth rhymes,
Songs that were pictures of the good old times.
Thus ale, and song, and healths, and merry ways,
Keep up a shadow still of former days;
But the old beechen bowl, that once supplied
The feast of furmety, is thrown aside;
And the old freedom that was living then,
When masters made them merry with their men;
When all their coats alike were russet brown,
And his rude speech was vulgar as their own-
All this is past, and soon will pass away,
The time-torn remnant of the holiday.
Though low my lot, my wish is won,
My hopes are few and staid ;
All I thought life would do is done,
The last request is made.
If I have foes, no foes I fear,
To fate I live resigned;
I have a friend I value here,
And that's a quiet mind.
I wish not it was mine to wear
Flush'd honour's sunny crown;
I wish not I were Fortune's heir,-
She frowns, and let her frown.
I have no taste for pomp and strife,
Which others love to find :
I only wish the bliss of life-
A poor and quiet mind.
The trumpet's taunt in battle-field,
The great man's pedigree,-
What peace can all their honours yield?
And what are they to me?
Though praise and pomp, to eke the strife,
Rave like a mighty wind;
What are they to the calm of life-
A still and quiet mind ?
I mourn not that my lot is low,
I wish no higher state;
I sigh not that Fate made me so,
Nor tease her to be great.
I am content-for well I see
What all at last shall find,
That life's worst lot the best may be,
If that's a quiet mind.
I see the world pass heedless by,
And pride above me tower; It costs me not a single sigh
For either wealth or power:
They are but men, and I'm a man
Of quite as great a kind, -
Proud, too, that life gives all she can,
A calm and quiet mind.
I never mocked at beauty's shrine,
To stain her lips with lies;
No knighthood's fame or luck was mine,
To win love's richest prize:
And yet I've found in russet weed,
What all will wish to find,
True love and comfort's prize indeed,
A glad and quiet mind.
And come what will of care or wo,
As some must come to all;
I'll wish not that they were not so,
Nor mourn that they befall :
If tears for sorrows start at will,
They're comforts in their kind;
And I am blest, if with me still
Remains a quiet mind.
When friends depart, as part they musts
And love's true joys decay,
That leave us like the summer dust,
Which whirlwinds puff away:
While life's allotted time I brave,
Though left the last behind ;
A prop and friend I still shall have,
If I've a quiet mind.
I HAVE traced the valleys fair
In May morning's dewy air,
My bonny Mary Lee !
Wilt thou deign the wreath to wear,
Gather'd all for thee?
They are not flowers of pride,
For they graced the dingle-side;
Yet they grew in heaven's smile,
My gentle Mary Lee!
Can they fear thy frowns the while,
Though offered by me?
Here's the lily of the vale,
That perfumed the morning gale,
My fairy Mary Lee!
All so spotless and so pale,
Like thine own purity.
And, might I make it known,
'Tis an emblem of my own
Love-if I dare so name
My esteem for thee.
Surely flowers can bear no blame,
My bonny Mary Lee !
Here's the violet's modest blue,
That 'neath hawthorns hides from view,
My gentle Mary Lee,
Would show whose heart is true,
While it thinks of thee.
While they choose each lowly spot,
The sun disdains them not;
I'm as lowly, too, indeed,
My charming Mary Lee;
So I've brought the flowers to plead,
And win a smile from thee.
Here's a wild rose just in bud;
Spring's beauty in its hood,
My bonny Mary Lee!
'Tis the first in all the wood
I could find for thee.
Though a blush is scarcely seen,
Yet it hides its worth within,
Like my love; for I've no power,
My angel, Mary Lee,
To speak, unless the flower
Can make excuse for me.
Though they deck no princely halls,
In bouquets for glittering balls,
My gentle Mary Lee !
Richer hues than painted walls
Will make them dear to thee;
For the blue and laughing sky
Spreads a grander canopy,
Than all wealth's golden skill,
My charming Mary Lee !