Page images

Be she with that goodness blest
Which may gain her name of Best;

If she seem not such to me,
What care I how good she be?

'Cause her fortune seems too high,
Shall I play the fool and die ?
Those that bear a noble mind
Where they want of riches find,
Think what with them they would do
Who without them dare to woo;

And unless that mind I see,
What care I though great she be?

Great or good, or kind or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair ;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve ;
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go ;

For if she be not for me,
What care I for whom she be?

G. Wither



HENCE or file you wainndelights


short as are
Wherein you spend your folly :
There's nought in this life sweet
If man were wise to see 't,
But only melancholy,
O sweetest Melancholy !


Welcome, folded arms, and fixéd eyes,
A sigh that piercing mortifies,
A look that 's fasten’d to the ground,
A tongue chain'd


without a sound !
Fountain heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves !
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed save bats and owls !
A midnight bell, a parting groan !

These are the sounds we feed upon ;
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley ;
Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.

7. Fletcher




'HY hue, dear pledge, is pure and bright

in that well-remember'd night When first thy mystic braid was wove, And first my Agnes whisper'd love.


Since then how often hast thou prest The torrid zone of this wild breast, Whose wrath and hate have sworn to dwell With the first sin that peopled hell ; A breast whose blood 's a troubled ocean, Each throb the earthquake's wild commotion ! O if such clime thou canst endure Yet keep thy hue unstain’d and pure, What conquest o'er each erring thought Of that fierce realm had Agnes wrought ! I had not wander'd far and wide With such an angel for my guide ;

Nor heaven nor earth could then reprove me
If she had lived, and lived to love me.

Not then this world's wild joys had been To me one savage hunting scene, My sole delight the headlong race And frantic hurry of the chase ; To start, pursue, and bring to bay, Rush in, drag down, and rend my prey, Then — from the carcass turn away! Mine ireful mood had sweetness tamed, And soothed each wound which pride inflamed :Yes, God and man might now approve me If thou hadst lived, and lived to love me !

Sir W. Scott

[ocr errors]




WALY waly up the bank,

And waly waly down the brae,
And waly waly yon burn-side

Where I and my Love wont to gae !
I leant my back unto an aik,

I thought it was a trusty tree;
But first it bow'd, and syne it brak,

Sae my true Love did lichtly me.

O waly waly, but love be bonny

A little time while it is new ;
But when 't is auld, it waxeth cauld

And fades awa’ like morning dew.
O wherefore should I busk my head ?

Or wherefore should I kame my hair?

For my true Love has me forsook,

And says he 'll never loe me mair.

Now Arthur-seat sall be my bed ;

The sheets shall ne'er be prest by me : Saint Anton's well sall be my drink,

Since my true Love has forsaken me. Marti'mas wind, when wilt thou blaw

And shake the green leaves aff the tree? O gentle Death, when wilt thou come ?

For of my life I am wearie.

'Tis not the frost that freezes fell,

Nor blawing snaw's inclemencie ; 'T is not sic cauld that makes me cry,

But my Love's heart grown cauld to me. When we came in by Glasgow town

We were a comely sight to see ;
My Love was clad in the black velvét,

And I mysell in cramasie.

But had I wist, before I kist,

That love had been sae ill to win;
I had lockt my heart in a case of gowd

And pinn'd it with a siller pin.
And, O! if my young babe were born,

And set upon the nurse's knee,
And I mysell were dead and gane,
And the green grass growing over me !





WISH I were where Helen lies :

Night and day on me she cries; O that I were where Helen lies

On fair Kirconnell lea!

Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,

And died to succour me !

O think na but my heart was sair
When my Love dropt down and spak nae mair!
I laid her down wi' meikle care

On fair Kirconnell lea.

As I went down the water-side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,

On fair Kirconnell lea;

I lighted down my sword to draw,
I hackéd him in pieces sma',
I hackéd him in pieces sma',

For her sake that died for me.

O Helen fair, beyond compare !
I'll make a garland of thy hair
Shall bind my heart for evermair

Until the day I die.

« PreviousContinue »