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« For everie while, with thief-like lounging pace,
And dark of look, a tawdrie villain came,
Muttering some words with serious-meaning face,
And on the church dore he would fix their name;
Then, nolens volens, they must heed the same,
And quight those fieldes their yeomen grandsires
plowd Eer since black Edwards days, when, crownd with
fame, From Cressie field the knights old grandsire prowd Led home his yeomandrie, and each his glebe allowd.
“ But now the orphan sees his harvest fielde
Beneath the gripe of laws stern rapine fall,
The friendlesse widow, from her hearth expelld,
Withdraws to some poor hutt with earthen wall:
And these, perdie, were Kathrins projects all;
For, sooth to tell, grievd was the knight full sore
Such sinful deeds to see: yet such his thrall,
Though he had pledgd his troth, yet nathemore
It mote he keep, except she willd the same before.
“ Oh wondrous powre of womans wily art,
What for thy witchcraft too secure may be!
Not Circes cup may so transform the heart,
Or bend the will, fallacious powre, like thee;
Lo manly sense, of princely dignitie,
Witchd by thy spells, thy crowching slave is seen ;
Lo, high-browd honour bends the groveling knee,
And every bravest virtue, sooth I ween,
Seems like a blighted flowre of dank unlovely mien.
“Ne may grim Saracene, nor Tartar man,
Such ruthlesse bondage on his slave impose,
As Kathrin on the knight full defily can;
Ne may the knight escape, or cure his woes :
As he who dreams he climbs some mountains brows,
With painful struggling up the steep height strains,
Anxious he pants and toils, but strength foregoes
His feeble limbs, and not a step he gains ;
So toils the powrelesse knight beneath his servile
“ His lawyer now assumes the guardians place;''-
Learnd was thilk clerk in deeds, and passing slie;
Slow was his speeche, and solemn was his face
As that grave bird which Athens rankt so high;
Pleasd Dullness basking in his glossie eye,
The smylė would oft steal through his native phlegm;
And well he guards syr Martyns propertie,
Till not one peasant dares invade the game:
But certes, seven yeares rent was soon his own just
“ Now mortgage follows mortgage: cold delay: '
Still yawns on everie long-depending case.
The knights gay bloome the while slid fast away;
Kathrin the while brought bantling imps apace;
While everie day renews his vile disgrace,
And straitens still the more his galling thrall:
See now what scenes his household hours debase,
And rise successive in his cheerlesse hall.”
So spake the seer, and prompt thescene obeyd his call.
“ See," quoth the wizard, “how with foltering mien,
And discomposd yon stranger he receives ;
Lo, how with sulkie look, and moapt with spleen,
His frowning mistresse to his friend behaves;
In vain he nods, in vain his hand he waves,
Ne will she heed, ne will she sign obay;
Nor corner dark his awkward blushes saves,
Ne may the hearty laugh, ne features gay:
The hearty laugh, perdie, does but his pain betray.
“ A worthy wight his friend was ever known,
Some generous cause did still his lips inspire ;
He begs the knight by friendships long agone
To shelter from his lawyers cruel ire
An auncient hinde, around whose cheerlesse fire
Sat grief, and pale disease. The poor mans wrong
Affects the knight: his inmost harts desire
Gleams through his eyes; yet all confus’d, and stung
With inward pain, he looks, and silence guards his
“ See, while his friend entreats and urges still, .
See, how with sidelong glaunce and haviour shy
He steals the look to read his lemmans will,
Watchfull the dawn of an assent to spy.
Look as he will, yet will she not comply.
His friend with scorn beholds his awkward pain;
From him even pity turns her tear-dewd eye,
And hardlie can the bursting laugh restrain,
While manlie honour frowns on his unmanlie stain,
“ Let other scenes now rise,” the wizard said:
He wavd his hand, and other scenes arose.
“ See there," quoth he, “ the knight supinely laid
Invokes the household houres of learnd repose;
An auncient song its manly joys bestows:
The melting passion of the nutt-brown mayde
Glides through his breast; his wandering fancy glows.
Till into wildest reveries betrayd,
He hears th’imagind faire, and wooes the lovely shade.
“ Transported he repeats her constant vow,
How to the green wode shade, betide whateer,
She with her banishd love would fearlesse goe,
And sweet would be with him the hardest cheer.
O Heaven !' he sighs, what blessings dwell sincere
In love like this!'-But instant as he sighd,
Bursting into the room, loud in his ear
His lemman thonders, . Ah! fell dole betide
The girl that trusts in man before she bees his bride!
“6 And must some lemman of a whiffling song
Delight your fancy?' she disdainful cries;
When straight herimps all brawling round her throng,
And, bleard with teares, each for revenge applies:
Him cheife in spleene the father means chastise,
But from his kindlie hand she saves him still;
Yet for no fault, anon, in furious wise
Yon yellow elfe she little spares to kill;
And then, next breath, does all to coax its stubborn
“ Pale as the ghoste that by the gleaming moon
Withdraws the curtain of the murderers bed,
So pale and cold at heart, as halfe aswoon
The knight stares round; yet good nor bad he sed.
Alas! though trembling anguish inward bled,
His best resolve soon as a meteor dies :
His present peace and ease mote chance have fled,
He deerns; and yielding, looks most wondrous wise,
As from himself he hop'd his grief and shame dis-
“ Woe to the wight whose hated home no more
The hallowd temple of content may be!
While now his days abroad with groomes he wore,
His mistresse with her liefest companie,
A rude unletterd herd! with dearest glee,
Enjoys each whisper of her neighbours shame;
And still anon the flask of ratifie
Improves their tales, till certes not a name
Escapes their blasting tongue, or goody, wench, or