Country Sentiment

Publisher: DigiLibraries.com
ISBN: N/A
Language: English
Published: 1 month ago
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Excerpt

A FROSTY NIGHT.


Mother

Alice, dear, what ails you,
Dazed and white and shaken?
Has the chill night numbed you?
Is it fright you have taken?

Alice

Mother, I am very well,
I felt never better,
Mother, do not hold me so,
Let me write my letter.

Mother

Sweet, my dear, what ails you?

Alice

No, but I am well;
The night was cold and frosty,
There's no more to tell.

Mother

Ay, the night was frosty,
Coldly gaped the moon,
Yet the birds seemed twittering
Through green boughs of June.

Soft and thick the snow lay,
Stars danced in the sky.
Not all the lambs of May-day
Skip so bold and high.

Your feet were dancing, Alice,
Seemed to dance on air,
You looked a ghost or angel
In the starlight there.

Your eyes were frosted starlight,
Your heart fire and snow.
Who was it said, "I love you"?

Alice

Mother, let me go!






"Make a song, father, a new little song,
All for Jenny and Nancy."
Balow lalow or Hey derry down,
Or else what might you fancy?

Is there any song sweet enough
For Nancy and for Jenny?
Said Simple Simon to the pieman,
"Indeed I know not any."

"I've counted the miles to Babylon,
I've flown the earth like a bird,
I've ridden cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
But no such song have I heard."

"Some speak of Alexander,
And some of Hercules,
But where are there any like Nancy and Jenny,
Where are there any like these?"





DICKY.


Mother

Oh, what a heavy sigh!
Dicky, are you ailing?

Dicky

Even by this fireside, mother,
My heart is failing.

To-night across the down,
Whistling and jolly,
I sauntered out from town
With my stick of holly.

Bounteous and cool from sea
The wind was blowing,
Cloud shadows under the moon
Coming and going.

I sang old roaring songs,
Ran and leaped quick,
And turned home by St. Swithin's
Twirling my stick.

And there as I was passing
The churchyard gate
An old man stopped me, "Dicky,
You're walking late."

I did not know the man,
I grew afeared
At his lean lolling jaw,
His spreading beard.

His garments old and musty,
Of antique cut,
His body very lean and bony,
His eyes tight shut.

Oh, even to tell it now
My courage ebbs...
His face was clay, mother,
His beard, cobwebs.

In that long horrid pause
"Good-night," he said,
Entered and clicked the gate,
"Each to his bed."

Mother

Do not sigh or fear, Dicky,
How is it right
To grudge the dead their ghostly dark
And wan moonlight?

We have the glorious sun,
Lamp and fireside.
Grudge not the dead their moonshine
When abroad they ride.






Blacksmith Green had three strong sons,
With bread and beef did fill 'em,
Now John and Ned are perished and dead,
But plenty remains of William.

John Green was a whiskey drinker,
The Land of Cakes supplied him,
Till at last his soul flew out by the hole
That the fierce drink burned inside him.

Ned Green was a water drinker,
And, Lord, how Ned would fuddle!
He rotted away his mortal clay
Like an old boot thrown in a puddle.

Will Green was a wise young drinker,
Shrank from whiskey or water,
But he made good cheer with headstrong beer,
And married an alderman's daughter.

...