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And now the same strong voice more near
Said cordially, "My Friend, what cheer ?
Rough doings these! as God's my judge,
The sky owes somebody a grudge!
We've had in half an hour or less
A twelvemonth's terror and distress !"
Then Benjamin entreats the Man
Would mount, too, quickly as he can:
The Sailor-Sailor now no more,
But such he had been heretofore-
To courteous Benjamin replied,
“ Go you your way, and mind not me;
For I must have, whate'er betide,
My Ass and fifty things beside, -
Go, and I'll follow speedily !"
The Waggon moves—and with its load
Descends along the sloping road;
And the rough Sailor instantly
Turns to a little tent hard by:
For when, at closing-in of day,
The family had come that way,
Green pasture and the soft warm air
Tempted them to settle there.-
Green is the grass for beast to graze,
Around the stones of Dunmail-raise !
The Sailor gathers up his bed,
Takes down the canvass overhead;
And, after farewell to the place,
A parting word—though not of grace,
Pursues, with Ass and all his store,
The way the Waggon went before.
IF Wytheburn's modest House of prayer,
As lowly as the lowliest dwelling,
Had, with its belfry's humble stock,
A little pair that hang in air,
Been mistress also of a clock,
(And one, too, not in crazy plight)
Twelve strokes that clock would have been telling
Under the brow of old Helvellyn-
Its bead-roll of midnight,
Then, when the Hero of
Was passing by, and, down the vale
(The vale now silent, hushed I ween
As if a storm had never been)
Proceeding with a mind at ease;
While the old Familiar of the seas
Intent to use his utmost haste,
Gained ground upon the Waggon fast,
And gives another lusty cheer;
For spite of rumbling of the wheels,
A welcome greeting he can hear ;-
It is a fiddle in its glee
Dinning from the CHERRY TREE!
Thence the sound—the light is there-
As Benjamin is now aware,
Who, to his inward thoughts confined,
Had almost reached the festive door,
When, startled by the Sailor's roar,
He hears a sound and sees a light,
And in a moment calls to mind
That 'tis the village MERRY-NIGHT !*
Although before in no dejection,
At this insidious recollection
His heart with sudden joy is filled, -
His ears are by the music thrilled,
His eyes take pleasure in the road
Glittering before him bright and broad;
And Benjamin is wet and cold,
And there are reasons manifold
That make the good, tow'rds which he's yearning,
Look fairly like a lawful earning.
Nor has thought time to come and go,
To vibrate between
For, cries the Sailor, “ Glorious chance
That blew us hither !—let him dance,
Who can or will !-my honest soul,
Our treat shall be a friendly bowl!"
He draws him to the door—" Come in,
Come, come,” cries he to Benjamin !
And Benjamin-ah, woe is me!
Gave the word—the horses heard
And halted, though reluctantly.
• Blithe souls and lightsome hearts have we,
Feasting at the CHERRY TREE!'
This was the outside proclamation,
This was the inside salutation;
What bustling-jostling-high and low!
A universal overflow!
What tankards foaming from the tap!
What store of cakes in every lap!
What thumping-stumping-overhead !
The thunder had not been more busy:
With such a stir you would have said,
This little place may well be dizzy!
'Tis who can dance with greatest vigour-
'Tis what can be most prompt and eager ;
As if it heard the fiddle's call,
The pewter clatters on the wall;
The very bacon shows its feeling,
Swinging from the smoky ceiling!
A steaming bowl, a blazing fire,
What greater good can heart desire ?
'Twere worth a wise man's while to try
The utmost anger of the sky:
To seek for thoughts of a gloomy cast,
If such the bright amends at last.
Now should you say I judge amiss,
The CHERRY TREE shows proof of this;
For soon of all the happy there,
Our Travellers are the happiest pair;
All care with Benjamin is gone-
A Cæsar past the Rubicon!
He thinks not of his long, long strife;
The Sailor, Man by nature gay,
Hath no resolves to throw away;
And he hath now forgot his Wife,
Hath quite forgotten her-or may be
Thinks her the luckiest soul on earth,
Within that warm and peaceful berth,
Sleeping by her sleeping Baby.
With bowl that sped from hand to hand,
The gladdest of the gladsome band,
Amid their own delight and fun,
They hear—when every dance is done,
When every whirling bout is o'er-
The fiddle's squeak * -that call to bliss,
Ever followed by a kiss;
They envy not the happy lot,
But enjoy their own the more !
While thus our jocund Travellers fare,
Up springs the Sailor from his chair-
Limps (for I might have told before
That he was lame) across the floor-
Is gone-returns--and with a prize;
With what ?-a Ship of lusty size;
A gallant stately Man-of-war,
Fixed on a smoothly-sliding car.
Surprise to all, but most surprise
To Benjamin, who rubs his eyes,
Not knowing that he had befriended
A Man so gloriously attended !
"This,' cries the Sailor, “a Third-rate is—
Stand back, and you shall see her gratis !
This was the Flag-ship at the Nile,
The Vanguard—you may smirk and smile,
But, pretty Maid, if you look near,
You'll find you've much in little here!
A nobler ship did never swim,