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"I find them in the garden,

For there's many here about; And often when I go to plough

The ploughshare turns them out. For many thousand men,' said he, Were slain in that great victory.'

*Now tell us what 'twas all about,'

Young Peterkin he cries; And little Wilhelmine looks up

With wonder-waiting eyes; Now tell us all about the war, And what they fought each other for.' 'It was the English,' Kaspar cried,

'Who put the French to rout; But what they fought each other for

could not well make out. But every body said,' quoth he, 'That 'twas a famous victory.

My father lived at Blenheim then,

Yon little stream hard by;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,

And he was forced to fly:
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.

•With fire and sword the country round

Was wasted far and wide,
And many a childing mother then

And newborn baby died :
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.

"They say it was a shocking sight

After the field was won;
For many thousand bodies here

Lay rotting in the sun :
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory.

'Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won

And our good Prince Eugene;' Why 'twas a very wicked thing!'

Said little Wilhelmine; 'Nay .. nay.. my little girl,' quoth he, 'It was a famous victory. And every body praised the Duke

Who this great fight did win.'
* But what good came of

at last?'
Quoth little Peterkin :-
• Why that I cannot tell,' said he,
But 'twas a famous victory.'

423

THE SCHOLAR

My days among the Dead are past;
Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old:
My never failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in wcal
And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew'd
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessous seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.

My hopes are with the Dead; anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shali travel on

Through all Futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

CHARLES LAMB

[1775-1834]
THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES

424

I HAVE had playmates, I have had companions
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I loved a Love once, fairest among women:
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her-
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man:
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.

Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood,
Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces,

How some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me; all are departed;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

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WHEN maidens such as Hester die
Their place ye may not well supply,
Though ye among a thousand try

With vain endeavour.
A month or more hath she been dead,
Yet cannot I by force be led
To think upon the wormy bed

And her together.

A springy motion in her gait,
A rising step, did indicate
Of pride and joy no common rate

That flush'd her spirit:
I know not by what name beside
I shall it call: if 'twas not pride,
It was a joy to that allied

She did inherit.

Her parents held the Quaker rule,
Which doth the human feeling cool;
But she was train'd in Nature's school,

Nature had blest her.
A waking eye, a prying mind,
A heart that stirs, is hard to bind;
A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind,

Ye could not Hester.

My sprightly neighbour ! gone before
To that unknown and silent shore,
Shall we not meet, as heretofore

Some summer morning-
When from thy cheerful eyes a ray
Hath struck a bliss upon the day,
A bliss that would not go away,

A sweet fore-warning?

426

ON AN INFANT DYING AS SOON AS BORN

I SAW where in the shroud did lurk
A curious frame of Nature's work;
A flow'ret crushed in the bud,
A nameless piece of Babyhood,
Was in her cradle-coffin lying;
Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying:
So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb
For darker closets of the tomb !
She did but ope an eye, and put
A clear beam forth, then straight up shut
For the long dark: ne'er more to see
Through glasses of mortality,
Riddle of destiny, who can show
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below ?
Shall we say, that Nature blind
Check'd her hand, and changed her mind
Just when she had exactly wrought
A finish'd pattern without fault?
Could she flag, or could she tire,
Or lack'd she the Promethean fire
(With her nine moons' long workings sicken'd)
That should thy little limbs have quicken'd?
Limbs so firm, they seem'd to assure
Life of health, and days mature:
Woman's self in miniature !
Limbs so fair, they might supply
(Themselves now but cold imagery)
The sculptor to make Beauty by.
Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry
That babe or mother, one must die;
So in mercy left the stock
And cut the branch; to save the shock
Of young years widow'd, and the pain
When Single State comes back again
To the lone man who, reft of wife,
Thenceforward drags a maiméd life?

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