MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.

“But let a maid thy pity share,
Whom love has taught to stray;
Who seeks for rest, but finds despair
Companion of her way.”

“My father lived beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he;
And all his wealth was mark’d as mine,
He had but only me.”

“To win me from his tender arms
Unnumber’d suitors came,
Who praised me for imputed charms,
And felt, or feign’d, a flame.”

“Each hour a mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove: 
Amongst the rest, young Edwin bow’d,
But never talk’d of love.”

“In humble, simple habit clad,
No wealth nor power had he: 
Wisdom and worth were all he had,
But these were all to me.

“And when, beside me in the dale,
He caroll’d lays of love,
His breath lent fragrance to the gale,
And music to the grove.

“The blossom opening to the day,
The dews of heaven refined,
Could nought of purity display
To emulate his mind.

“The dew, the blossom on the tree,
With charms inconstant shine: 
Their charms were his, but, woe to me,
Their constancy was mine.

“For still I tried each fickle art,
Importunate and vain;
And, while his passion touch’d my heart,
I triumph’d in his pain: 

“Till, quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride;
And sought a solitude forlorn,
In secret, where he died.

“But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay: 
I’ll seek the solitude he sought,
And stretch me where he lay.

“And there, forlorn, despairing, hid,
I’ll lay me down and die;
’Twas so for me that Edwin did,
And so for him will I.”

“Forbid it, Heaven!” the Hermit cried,
And clasp’d her to his breast: 
The wondering fair one turn’d to chide—­
’Twas Edwin’s self that press’d!

“Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
Restored to love and thee.

“Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And every care resign: 
And shall we never, never part,
My life—­my all that’s mine?

“No, never from this hour to part,
We’ll live and love so true,
The sigh that rends thy constant heart
Shall break thy Edwin’s too.” 

[Notes:  Oliver Goldsmith, poet and novelist.  The friend and contemporary of Johnson, Burke, and Reynolds.  Born 1728, died 1774.

This poem is introduced into ‘The Vicar of Wakefield,’ and Goldsmith there says of it, “It is at least free from the false taste of loading the lines with epithets;” or as he puts it more fully “a string of epithets that improve the sound without carrying on the sense.”

Immeasurably spread” = spread to an immeasurable length.

No flocks that range the valleys free.  “Free” may be joined either with flocks or with valley.

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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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