Puslapio vaizdai

"But now by steam we run our race,
With buttoned heart and pocket;
Our Love 's a gilded, surplus grace,—
Just like an empty locket!

"The time is out of joint.' Who will,

May strive to make it better;

For me, this warm old window-sill,
And this old dusty letter."


"Dear John (the letter ran), it can't, can't be, For Father's gone to Chorley Fair with Sam, And Mother's storing Apples,-Prue and Me Up to our Elbows making Damson Jam: But we shall meet before a Week is gone,"Tis a long Lane that has no Turning,' John!

"Only till Sunday next, and then you'll wait
Behind the White-Thorn, by the broken Stile-
We can go round and catch them at the Gate,
All to Ourselves, for nearly one long Mile;
Dear Prue won't look, and Father he'll go on,
And Sam's two Eyes are all for Cissy, John!

"John, she's so smart,—with every Ribbon new, Flame-coloured Sack, and Crimson Padesoy ;

As proud as proud; and has the Vapours too,
Just like My Lady;-calls poor Sam a Boy,
And vows no Sweet-heart 's worth the Thinking-on
Till he 's past Thirty. . . I know better, John!

"My Dear, I don't think that I thought of much
Before we knew each other, I and you;

And now, why, John, your least, least Finger-touch,
Gives me enough to think a Summer through.
See, for I send you Something! There, 'tis gone!
Look in this corner,-mind you find it, John !"


This was the matter of the note,-
A long-forgot deposit,

Dropped in an Indian dragon's throat,
Deep in a fragrant closet,

Piled with a dapper Dresden world,—
Beaux, beauties, prayers, and poses,-
Bonzes with squat legs undercurled,
And great jars filled with roses.

Ah, heart that wrote! Ah, lips that kissed !
You had no thought or presage
Into what keeping you dismissed

Your simple old-world message!

A reverent one. Though we to-day
Distrust beliefs and powers,

The artless, ageless things you say
Are fresh as May's own flowers,

Starring some pure primeval spring,
Ere Gold had grown despotic,-
Ere Life was yet a selfish thing,
Or Love a mere exotic!

I need not search too much to find
Whose lot it was to send it,

That feel upon me yet the kind,
Soft hand of her who penned it;

And see, through two score years of smoke,
In by-gone, quaint apparel,
Shine from yon time-black Norway oak
The face of Patience Caryl,-

The pale, smooth forehead, silver-tressed;
The gray gown, primly flowered;
The spotless, stately coif whose crest
Like Hector's horse-plume towered;

And still the sweet half-solemn look Where some past thought was clinging,

As when one shuts a serious book
To hear the thrushes singing.

I kneel to you! Of those you were,
Whose kind old hearts grow mellow,-
Whose fair old faces grow more fair
As Point and Flanders yellow;

Whom some old store of garnered grief,
Their placid temples shading,
Crowns like a wreath of autumn leaf
With tender tints of fading.

Peace to your soul! You died unwedDespite this loving letter.

And what of John? The less that's said Of John, I think, the better.


E lived in that past Georgian day,


When men were less inclined to say
That "Time is Gold," and overlay

With toil their pleasure;

He held some land, and dwelt thereon,―
Where, I forget,—the house is gone;
His Christian name, I think, was John,—
His surname, Leisure.

Reynolds has painted him,- -a face
Filled with a fine, old-fashioned grace,
Fresh-coloured, frank, with ne'er a trace
Of trouble shaded;

The eyes are blue, the hair is drest
In plainest way,-one hand is prest
Deep in a flapped canary vest,

With buds brocaded.

He wears a brown old Brunswick coat,
With silver buttons,-round his throat,

A soft cravat;—in all you note

An elder fashion,

« AnkstesnisTęsti »