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And came again together on the king
With heated faces ; till he laugh'd aloud ;
And, while the blackbird on the pippin hung
To hear him, clapt his hand in mine and sang –

“Oh! who would fight and march and countermarch,
Be shot for sixpence in a battle-field,
And shovell’d up into a bloody trench
Where no one knows ? but let me live my life.

“Oh! who would cast and balance at a desk,
Perch'd like a crow upon a three-legg'd stool,
Till all his juice is dried, and all his joints
Are full of chalk ? but let me live my life.

“Who'd serve the state ? for if I carved my name
Upon the cliffs that guard my native land,
I might as well have traced it in the sands ;
The sea wastes all : but let me live my life.

“Oh! who would love ? I woo'd a woman once, But she was sharper than an eastern wind, And all my heart turn’d from her, as a thorn Turns from the sea : but let me live my life.”

He sang his song, and I replied with mine : I found it in a volume, all of songs,

Knock'd down to me, when old Sir Robert's pride,
His books—the more the pity, so I said —
Came to the hammer here in March—and this
I set the words, and added names I knew.

“Sleep, Ellen Aubrey, sleep, and dream of me :
Sleep, Ellen, folded in thy sister's arm,
And sleeping, haply dream her arm is mine.

“Sleep, Ellen, folded in Emilia’s arm ; Emilia, fairer than all else but thou, For thou art fairer than all else that is.

“Sleep, breathing health and peace upon her breast : Sleep, breathing love and trust against her lips I go to-night : I come to-morrow morn.

“I go, but I return : I would I were
The pilot of the darkness and the dream.
Sleep, Ellen Aubrey, love, and dream of me.”

So sang we each to either, Francis Hale,
The farmer's son who lived across the bay,
My friend ; and I, that having wherewithal,
And in the fallow leisure of my life,
Did what I would ; but ere the night we rose
And saunter'd home beneath a moon, that, just

In crescent, dimly rain'd about the leaf
Twilights of airy silver, till we reach'd
The limit of the hills ; and as we sank
From rock to rock upon the glooming quay,
The town was hush'd beneath us : lower down
The bay was oily-calm ; the harbour-buoy
With one green sparkle ever and anon
Dipt by itself, and we were glad at heart.

WALKING TO THE MAIL.

John. I'm glad I walk’d. How fresh the meadows look Above the river, and, but a month ago, The whole hill-side was redder than a fox. Is yon plantation where this byway joins The turnpike ? James. Yes.

John. And when does this come by ? James. The mail ? At one o'clock.

John. What is it now? James. A quarter to.

John. Whose house is that I see Beyond the watermills ?

James. Sir Edward Head's : But he 's abroad : the place is to be sold.

John. Oh, his. He was not broken.

James. No, sir, he,
Vex'd with a morbid devil in his blood
That veil'd the world with jaundice, hid his face
From all men, and commercing with himself,
He lost the sense that handles daily life-
That keeps us all in order more or less-
And sick of home went overseas for change.
John. And whither ?

James. Nay, who knows ? he's here and there.
But let him go ; his devil goes with him,
As well as with his tenant, Jocky Dawes.
John. What 's that ?

James. You saw the man but yesterday : He pick’d the pebble from your horse's foot. His house was haunted by a jolly ghost That rummaged like a rat. No servant staid : The farmer vext packs up his beds and chairs, And all his household stuff ; and with his boy Betwixt his knees, his wife upon the tilt, Sets forth, and meets a friend who hails him, “ What ! You 're flitting !” “Yes, we're flitting,” says the ghost, (For they had pack'd the thing among the beds,)

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