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On upland slopes the shepherds mark
The hour, when, as the dial true
Chichorium to the towering lark
Lifts her soft eyes, serenely blue.

And thou! "Wee crimson-tipped flower"2
Gatherest thy fringed mantle round
Thy bosom, at the closing hour,

When night-drops bathe the turfy ground;

Unlike silene,3 who declines

The garish noontide's blazing light;
But when the evening crescent shines,
Gives all her sweetness to the night.

Thus in each flower and simple bell
That in our path untrodden lie,
Are sweet remembrancers, who tell
How fast the winged moments fly.


THE lists are oped, the spacious area cleared,
Thousands on thousands piled are seated round;
Long ere the first loud trumpet's note is heard,
No vacant seat for lated wight is found.

1 Chicorium-chicory or succory.

2 The daisy. In allusion to a poem of Burns's, beginning with the above words.

3 Silene noctiflora-the night flowering catch-fly.


Garish-from old English gaure or gare, to stare, used thus by Chaucer :"Now gaureth all the people on her," hence the adjective may mean, staringly fine, gay, showy, oppressively bright.

5 Lists from Anglo-Saxon lis-an to collect together-list is the past participle, and therefore means primarily, that which is collected together, i.e. a collection, as in the expression "a list of names"-in a secondary sense, and in the plural number, it denotes the enclosure round which the company collected sit to behold a public spectacle, and also the barriers of rope, cloth, or board, which serve as the boundary.

6 Lated-for belated-arriving too late.

.Hushed is the din of tongues-on gallant steeds,

With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-poised lance,
Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds,

And lowly bending to the lists advance;

The crowd's loud shout their prize, and ladies' lovely glance.

In costly sheen and gaudy cloak arrayed,
But all afoot, the light-limbed Matadore1
Stands in the centre, eager to invade

The lord of lowing herds; but not before

The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o'er
Lest aught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed:
His arms a dart, he fights aloof, nor more3
Can man achieve without his friendly steed-
Alas! too oft condemned for him to bear and bleed.

Thrice sounds the clarion; lo! the signal falls,
The den expands, and expectation mute+
Gapes round the silent circle's peopled walls.
Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute,
And wildly staring, spurns, with sounding foot,
The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe:

Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit
His first attack, wide waving to and fro

His angry tail; red rolls his eye's dilated glow.

Sudden he stops; his eye is fixed: away,
Away, thou heedless boy!6 prepare the spear:

1 Matadore-from the Spanish matador, a murderer, from the Latin mactator, which is from mactare, to kill. The office of the matadore is obvious from the context.

2 Aloof-i. e. all off-entirely separate.

3 Nor more, &c.-i.e. no more can a man, thus lightly armed, do than fight aloof, without his friendly steed.

4 Mute-synonymous with silent and dumb-He is silent, who does not speak; dumb, who cannot speak; and mute, who is compelled by circumstances to be silent. The epithet silent is often figuratively applied to things that emit no sound, as here," the silent circle."

5 Lashing spring-a peculiar use of the word "lashing." The noun "lash," is derived from the French lascher, to let loose, and signifies that which is cast loose or thrown. A lashing spring, therefore, may be a leap all abroad, free, unchecked, enormous-or which, as it were, lashes the air.

6 Away thou heedless boy, &c.-There is great beauty in the sudden change of the narrator into an actual sharer in the scene itself. He seems so intensely interested in the scene he is describing, that he cannot refrain from calling out to warn the "heedless boy" of his danger-and the reader's sympathy is proportionately quickened.

Now is thy time, to perish, or display

The skill that yet may check his mad career. With well-timed croupe1 the nimble coursers veer; On foams the bull, but not unscathed he goes; Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear: He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes; Dart follows dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings speak his woes.

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Again he comes;-nor lance nor darts avail,
Nor the wild plunging of the tortured horse;
Though man and man's avenging arms assail,
Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force.
One gallant steed is stretched a mangled corse;
Another, hideous sight! unseamed appears,
His gory chest unveils life's panting source;
Though death-struck, still his feeble frame he rears;
Staggering, but stemming all, his lord unharmed he bears.

Foiled, bleeding, breathless, furious to the last,
Full in the centre stands the bull at bay,
Mid wounds, and clinging darts, and lances brast,3
And foes disabled in the brutal fray:

And now the Matadores around him play,

Shake the red cloak, and poise the ready brand:

Once more through all he bursts his thundering way—
Vain rage! the mantle quits the cunning hand,
Wraps his fierce eye-'tis past-he sinks upon the sand!

Where his vast neck just mingles with the spine,
Sheathed in his form the deadly weapon lies.
He stops he starts-disdaining to decline:
Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries,
Without a groan, without a struggle dies.
The decorated car appears-on high

The corse is piled-sweet sight for vulgar eyes!
Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy,

Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by.

Croupe or croupade-a particular leap, taught in the manège or riding school -it is higher than that called the curvet.

2 Foiled--to foil, is thus distinguished from to baffle-to foil, signifies to defeat one's adversary, by disabling him-to baffle, to defeat him by perplexing or counteracting his plans.

3 Brast-an old form of burst, from the Anglo-Saxon burstan, to break out or forth, or generally, to break-hence, "brast" is broken.

Such the ungentle sport that oft invites

The Spanish maid, and cheers the Spanish swain.
Nurtured in blood betimes, his heart delights
In vengeance, gloating on another's pain.
What private feuds the troubled village stain!
Though now one phalanxed host2 should meet the foe,
Enough, alas! in humbler homes remain,

To meditate 'gainst friends the secret blow,

For some slight cause of wrath, chance life's warm stream must flow.



MINDFUL of disaster past,

And shrinking at the northern blast.
The sleety storm returning still,
The morning hoar, the evening chill,
Reluctant comes the timid Spring:
Scarce a bee, with airy ring,

Murmurs the blossomed boughs around

That clothe the garden's southern bound :3

Scarce the hardy primrose peeps+

From the dark dell's entangled steeps:

O'er the field of waving broom

Slowly shoots the golden bloom:

And, but by fits, the furze-clad dale

Tinctures the transitory gale.

Scant along the ridgy land

The beans their new-born ranks expand;

The fresh-turned soil, with tender blades,
Thinly the sprouting barley shades;

Gloating-connected with glowing-looking at any thing with ardent or eager eyes, that indicate pleasure in the sight.

2 Phalanxed host—an army drawn up in a phalanx, or dense square body. 3 Southern bound-it has been objected to this line, that the wall which has the southern aspect, will be the northern, not the southern boundary.


Peeps, shoots-these words serve well to shew the animation that is given to language by the use of metaphors. It might have been said, that the primrose could scarcely be "seen" or "found" in the dark dell, but this would have been tame and inexpressive; whereas a sort of human interest is conferred upon the little flower by the word "peeps." Again, how vividly is the sudden effect of the blossoming broom on the eye painted by the word "shoots."

Fringing the forest's devious1 edge
Half-robed appears the hawthorn hedge;
Or to the distant eye displays,
Weakly green, its budding sprays.
The swallow, for a moment seen,
Skims in haste the village green;
From the grey moor, on feeble wing,
The screaming plovers idly spring;
The butterfly, gay-painted, soon,
Explores awhile the tepid noon;
And fondly trusts its tender dies
To fickle suns and flattering skies.
Fraught with a transient frozen shower,
If a cloud should haply lower,5
Sailing o'er the landscape dark,
Mute on a sudden is the lark;
But, when gleams the sun again
O'er the pearl-besprinkled plain,
And from behind his watery veil
Looks through the thin descending hail,
She mounts, and lessening to the sight,
Salutes the blithe return of light,
And high her tuneful track pursues
Mid the dim rainbow's scattered hues.6
Beneath a willow long forsook,"

The fisher seeks his customed nook,
And, bursting through the crackling sedge
That crowns the current's caverned edge,
Startles from the bordering wood

The bashful wild-duck's early brood.

1 Devious-see note 3, p. 15.

2 Weakly green-The poet Gray, in one of his letters speaks of "that tender emerald green, which one usually sees only a fortnight in the opening of the spring."

3 Fondly-foolishly-this is the ancient meaning of the word. Chaucer says:


"The rich man full fond is, I wis,

That weneth (fancies) that he loved is."

Fraught-connected in derivation with freight-laden, completely filled.

5 Lower or lour-from low-to become low as if about to fall, hence to be heavy, dark, stormy, or threatening.

6 Hues-A beautiful couplet-the lark just before mute, now tunefully pursues her flight amongst the very fragments, as it were, of the rainbow, floating about in the air.

7 Long forsook-that is, only throughout the winter, for it was the fisherman's accustomed nook.

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