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RANDMA told me all about it,
Bravely modest, grandly shy,
With the minuet in fashion
In time to come if I, perchance,
HE dwelt among the untrodden ways,
Beside the Springs of Dove,
And very few to love.
A violet by a mossy stone,
Half hidden from the eye, Fair as a star when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
HE dews of summer night did fall,
The moon (sweet regent of the sky) Silver'd the walls of Cumnor Hall,
And many an oak that grew thereby. Now nought was heard beneath the skies
(The sounds of busy life were still), Save an unhappy lady's sighs,
That issued from that lonely pile.
Leicester," she cried, “is this thy love
That thou so oft hast sworn to me, To leave me in this lonely grove,
Immured in shameful privity ?
No more thou com'st, with lover's speed,
Thy once beloved bride to see; But be she alive, or be she dead,
I fear, stern Earl, is the same to thee.
Not so the usage I received
No chilling fears did me appal.
I rose up with the cheerful morn,
No lark so blithe, no flower more gay ; And, like the bird that haunts the thorn,
So merrily sung the livelong day.
If that my beauty is but small,
Among court ladies all despised, Why didst thou rend it from that hall
Where, scornful Earl, it well was prized ?
And when you first to me made suit,
How fair I was, you oft would say! And, proud of conquest, pluck'd the fruit,
Then left the blossom to decay.
Yes! now neglected and despised,
The rose is pale, the lily's dead; But he that once their charms so prized,
Is sure the cause those charms are fled.
For know, when sickening grief doth prey,
And tender love's repaid with scorn, The sweetest beauty will decay:
What floweret can endure the storm ?
At court, I'm told, is Beauty's throne,
Where every lady's passing rare, That eastern flowers, that shame the sun,
Are not so glowing, not so fair.
Where roses and where lilies vie,
Must sicken when those gauds are by ? 'Mong rural beauties I was one;
Among the fields wild flowers are fair; Some country swain might me have won,
And thought my passing beauty rare. But, Leicester (or I much am wrong),
It is not beauty lures thy vows; Rather ambition's gilded crown
Makes thee forget thy humble spouse. Then, Leicester, why, again I plead
(The injured surely may repine), Why didst thou wed a country maid,
When some fair princess might be thine ?