So in this tender conflict
The great man was forced to yield
To the handsome, sunburnt ploughman
Who sowed and reaped in his field;
For vainly he poured out his glittering gifts,
Vainly he plead and besought,
Her heart was a tender and soft little heart,
But it was not a heart to be bought.
So strange a thing I warrant you
Happens not every day,
That the pride that had thriven for centuries
One slight little maiden should slay;
Why the proud Squire’s Roman features
Quivered and burned with shame,
And the picture of his grim ancestor
Blushed in its antique frame.
Were this a romance, an idle tale,
The Squire would sicken and die,
Slain by the pitiless cruelty,
Of her dark and dazzling eye;
And she in some shadowy convent
Would bow her beautiful head,
But the hand that should have told penitent beads
Wore a plain gold ring instead.
And he, not twice had his oak trees bloomed
Ere he wedded a lady grand,
Whose tall and towering family tree,
Had for ages darkened the land;
’Twas a famous genealogical tree,
With no modernly thrifty shoots,
But a tree with a sap of royalty
Encrusting its mossy old roots.
This leaf he plucked from the outmost twig
Was somewhat withered, ’tis true,
Long years had flown since it lightly danced
To the summer air and the dew;
Not much of a dowry brought she,
In beauty or vulgar pelf,
But she had two or three ancestors
More than the Squire himself.
’Twas much to muse o’er their musty names,
And to think that his children’s brains
Should be moved by the sanguine current,
That had flown through such ancient veins;
But I think, sometimes, in his secret heart,
The Squire breathed woeful sighs
For the fresh sweet face of the little maid,
With the dark and wonderful eyes.
But she, no bird ever sang such songs
To its mate from contented nest,
As this wee waiting wife, when the twilight
Was treading the glorious west;
As she looked through the clustering roses,
For the manly form that would come
Up through the cool green evening fields
To this sweet little wife and home.
She could see the great stone mansion
Towering over the oaks’ dark green,
And the lawn like emerald velvet,
Fit for the feet of a queen;
But round this brown-eyed princess,
Did Love his ermine fold,
Queen was she of a richer realm,
She had dearer wealth than gold.
She sat in the cottage door, and the fair June moon
On a face as pure as its own, an innocent face and sweet
As the roses dewy white that grow so thick at her feet,
White royal roses, fit for a monarch’s crown.
And one is clasped in her slender hand, and one on
her bosom lies,
And two rare blushing buds loop up her light brown hair,
Ah, roses of June, you never looked on a face so white and fair,
Such perfectly moulded lips, such sweet and heavenly eyes.