« PreviousContinue »
Then, shifting his side, as a lawyer knows how,
He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes;
For the court did not think they were equally wise.
So his Lordship decreed, with a grave, solemn tone,
Decisive and clear, without one if or but, That whenever the Nose put his spectacles on,
By daylight or candle-light, Eyes should be shut.
TRADITIONARY BALLAD. — Mary Howitt.
THE FAIRIES OF THE CALDON-LOW. A MIDSUMMER LEGEND.
“And where have you been, my Mary,
And where have you been from me ? " “I've been at the top of the Caldon-Low,
The midsummer night to see !"
“ And what did you see, my Mary,
All up on the Caldon-Low ?" “I saw the blithe sunshine come down,
And I saw the merry winds blow."
" And what did you hear, my Mary,
All up on the Caldon-Hill ?" “ I heard the drops of water made,
And the green corn-ears to fill.”
- O, tell me all, my Mary,
All, all that ever you know ;
Last night, on Caldon-Low."
“ Then take me on your knee, mother,
And listen, mother of mine ;-
And the harpers they were nine.”
“ And merry was the glee of the harp-strings,
And their dancing feet so small; But, O, the sound of the talking
Was merrier far than all ! ”
“ And what were the words, my Mary,
That you did hear them say?". “I'll tell you all, my mother,
But let me have my way!
“ And some, they played with the water,
And rolled it down the hill :· And this,' they said, “shall speedily turn
The poor old miller's mill;
66. For there has been no water
Ever since the first of May ;
By the dawning of the day !
6660 the miller, how he will laugh
When he sees the mill-dam rise!
Till the tears fill both his eyes!'
And some, they seized the little winds,
That sounded over the hill,
And blew so sharp and shrill :
66. And there,' said they, 'the merry winds go,
Away from every horn ;
From the blind old widow's corn!
6660 the poor, blind oid winti,
Though she has been blind so long, She 'll be merry enough when the mildew 's gone,
And the corn stands stiff and strong!'
" And some they brought the brown lint-seed,
And flung it down from the Low:"And this,' said they, by the sunrise,
In the weaver's croft shall grow!
6 the poor, lame weaver,
How he will laugh outright
All full of flowers by night!'
" And then upspoke a brownie,
With a long beard on his chin:“I have spun up all the tow,' said he,
"And I want some more to spin.
“ I've spun a piece of hempen cloth,
And I want to spin another, A little sheet for Mary's bed,
And an apron for her mother!'
“ And with that I could not help but laugh,
And I laughed out loud and free ; And then on the top of the Caldon-Low
There was no one left but me.
“ And all on the top of the Caldon-Low
The mists were cold and gray,
That round about me lay.
“But as I came down from the hill-top,
I heard a jar below;
And how merry the wheel did go !
" And I peeped into the widow's field,
And, sure enough, were seen
All standing stiff and green.
" And down by the weaver's croft I stole,
To see if the flax were high; But I saw the weaver at his gate,
With the good news in his eye!
“ Now this is all I heard, mother,
And all that I did see ;
For I'm tired as I can be !”
TO THE LADY-BIRD. - Mrs. Southey.
LADY-BIRD! lady-bird ! fly away home,
The field mouse is gone to her nest, The daisies have shut up their sleepy red eyes,
And the bees and the birds are at rest.
Lady-bird ! lady-bird ! fly away home, —
The glow-worm is lighting her lamp, The dew 's falling fast, and your fine, speckled wings
Will flag with the close-clinging damp.
Lady-bird ! lady-bird ! fly away home,
Good luck if you reach it at last ! The owl 's come abroad, and the bat 's on the roam,
Sharp set from their Ramazan fast.
Lady-bird ! lady-bird ! Ay away home, –
The fairy bells tinkle afar! Make haste, or they 'll catch ye, and harness ye fast
With a cobweb to Oberon's car.
Lady-bird ! lady-bird ! fly away home,
To your house in the old willow-tree, . Where your children, so dear, have invited the ant
And a few cosey neighbours to tea.
THE ROOK AND THE SPARROW. - Miss Lamb.
A little boy with crumbs of bread